Surname Saturday – ATKINSON (in a Nutshell) Part I

I was unavoidably detained last Saturday, so, what was promised then is here this week 🙂

PLEASE NOTE: all links open PDF attachments of cited research, or charts based upon same

The ATKINSON family name was, and still is, very popular in York County, Ontario.  Between 1819 and 1840, there were eight “clans” in the area!  One group came from Ireland, while the other seven came from England.  Of the seven English families — three of them had a patriarch named John ATKINSON!  One such family, I am descended from and the other two are allegedly cousins.

This chart shows my line from 4x great-grandfather John to grandfather James Henry

I say, allegedly, because the TAG Book (The Atkinson Genealogy — compiled 1927, updated and privately published 1966) does not cite any sources; and for the last 40 years, I have been unable to find a connection between any of the families — other than they farmed properties close to ours and spell ATKINSON the same way we do.

I will showcase the three John ATKINSON families first, starting with mine — and the others I have found along the way.  Perhaps through this blog, someone out there might have the connecting thread(s) to help piece together a bigger picture.

P10 nutshell ATKINSONs 2010AU27

John ATKINSON and Elizabeth (HODGSON) had five known children,but there is speculation that they had more.

We do know that two daughters (Ann and Elizabeth) did NOT make the journey to New York City in 1833.  It is possible that they were [1] married with stable families of their own, or [2] they died young.  No information has been located to prove (or disprove) either hypothesis on these two girls.

P10 Children of ATKINSON HODGSON condensed 2008JA09

So, the three remaining children left with John & Elizabeth: their eldest daughter Mary, and their two bachelor sons, Thomas and Robert (the youngest).  Mary was travelling pregnant (approximately 2-3months), with her husband, Thomas BRUNSKILL and their six children, who ranged in age from a few months to six years old.  Unfortunately, three of the BRUNSKILL little ones died during the voyage, and it is currently unknown as to which ones.



Approximately four years after arriving in York (“Muddy York” AKA Toronto), Thomas married Bethia KIDD (abt.1837) and they had 14 children! Yes, fourteen!

P10 Children of ATKINSON KIDD condensed 2008JN19

Their oldest child was named Robert, and his descendants were limited to: two sons that died in infancy; a daughter that never married; and, a daughter that married and had no issue.

D1 CAVE ATKINSON papers 2006JL13

With the deaths of both infant sons, an unmarried daughter, and a married daughter with no children, Robert ATKINSON’s line died out in 1949 with the demise of Evaline Bethia (ATKINSON) GODDARD

St. Philip’s Cemetery, Weston, ON


  1. James Henry Atkinson was remarried to my mother, Dora Evelyn, after his first wife, Grace, died in 1959. He was no longer the beloved husband of the late Grace legally,she had already died and he was remarried to Dora, now his wife.
    Further: Another obituary, which appeared later in greater detail,” apparently” and without anyone knowing the date of publication? The Atkinson family knew when, and where Jim died and where he was buried. There must have been some animosity amongst the two groups, unknow to myself or the three young children Dora raised after their mothers death.
    “after the funeral paid for by James’ sister Lenore.” This is a blatant LIE. The funeral die James was paid for by Dora his wife as documented on a receipt she kept from the funeral home in Ridgeway. If anyone can direct me to this fabricated second obituary then come forward and do so. I do have the dates, death certificates, burial expense receipts, so please, come forward!
    ‘Just trying to right the discoloured events that someone is passing off as the truth.


    1. Your arguments are true, Sir, but the information you are disputing is time sensitive.
      Grace’s obit was copied as of August 1959.
      Jim did not marry Dora until April 1960.
      There were 3 obits published for Jim.
      A brief one in Hamilton that my mother paid for; it was too expensive for mum to afford much else.
      A longer detailed obit appeared in Hamilton after the funeral. Jim’s sister Lenore purchased to obituary and listed your mother and their marriage.
      The original wording was misunderstood. I apologize for that and have corrected it. I was referring to the obituaries not the funeral.


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