Surname Saturday: ATKINSON

Genealogy has been a passionate hobby of mine since 1972 when I was nine-years-old.  But in 1975, Grams (paternal) died and I lost interest along with my mentor. It wasn’t until 1979 when the television mini-series ROOTS came out, that I picked up where I left off.

ATKINSON = “Son of Adam’s kin”

The earliest traces of the name in Canada are situated in York County, Ontario / Canada West / Upper Canada between 1819 and 1833.

[1] 1833: John ATKINSON, his wife, the former Elizabeth (HODGSON), their two sons, Thomas and Robert, and a married/pregnant daughter, Mary, with her husband, Thomas BRUNSKILL, and three small children arrived in York (AKA Toronto). When they left Liverpool, England two months earlier, they were travelling with Mary & Tom’s six little ones; but three died on the boat voyage to York via New York City.  [This group is my, and many fellow researchers, ancestry line.].

[2] [YEAR]: John ATKINSON, his wife, the former Jane (WATSON). [This group was listed as cousins to ones above, but after 40years of digging and searching, I have NOT been able to locate a common relative or the year of their arrival.  Previous research and sources were NOT cited, so I cannot locate whatever proofs prior genealogists had.].

[3] 1819: John ATKINSON, a widower — his wife, the late Margery (CUSSONS) had died in 1807 in England — came to Richmond Hill, (Markham Township, York County, ON) to join his two prospering sons, John and David (who arrived two years earlier).  John arrived with two sons (Thomas and George) and two daughters (Margery and Jane). Four years later, John’s other son, William, joined them. [This group was also listed as cousins and is unproven.].

The information collected on these three groups fills three 2″ binders (each starter family) and thirteen 1″ binders (descendants of 1833 family).

Future Surname Saturday blogs will describe these three groups in more detail.  Starting next week, with Group One.  (Information after 1940 will NOT be shared).


  1. hello,

    My name is Jennifer, and I am a descendent of your 3rd John Atkinson (and Margery Cussons). as they were my 4th Great Grandparents.

    John Sr. – John Jr. – Joshua – Edmund Percy – Mary Arnold Chase (married K.P. Barlow) – Sarah Elizabeth Arnold Barlow – me.

    I lost much of my research resources several years ago when my computer crashed (lesson learned).

    I would be thrilled, and very grateful if might be willing to share some of your information with me.


    1. Hello, Jennifer:
      You are the second descendant from this family group to contact me this week! I would be happy to send you a copy of my research notes, and connect you with your cousins, Peter & Anita CUSSONS. Just send me an email to hobbes_k(AT)hotmail(DOT)com


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