My Family in Douro, Peterborough, Ontario
In 1822, the northern part of County Cork, where our Tobin family was from, was on the verge of revolt. The secret Whiteboy society began to terrorize landowners. This outbreak of violence had several causes but the main reason was the several years of a poor potato crops that had failed had resulted in poverty and evictions of tenant farmers. Then the "last straw" was the introduction of the Composition Act, 1823 which required the payment of tithes in cash rather than in barter. The tithes were a form of tax which supported the Church of Ireland and were collected from everyone including poor, mostly Catholic, tenant farmers.
The local officials reacted to the situation in a hard way and many young men were arrested and transported to Australia, in some cases, for the simple crime of being out at night after the curfew. The British government thought that sending surplus evicted farmers and other people in poor circumstances to the various colonies might ease the situation and prevent an all-out rebellion, similar to the rebellions that had happens just a couple decades earlier in the County Wicklow/Wexford area.
Emigration to Upper Canada
The government decided to give poor people from north Cork free land grants in Upper Canada (now Ontario) to encourage them to leave Ireland and settle in the Canadian backwoods. This emigration scheme had the added benefit of filling up the "empty" land in the colony of Upper Canada. Settlers from Britain (including Ireland) were especially welcomed to boost the population and form the backbone of a loyal militia which could defend the land against the Americans in case they should invade Canada again.
The British government asked officials in Upper Canada to send someone to Ireland to conduct an experiment in moving poor people to Upper Canada. The person sent out was named Peter Robinson, an ex-soldier from the War of 1812, an M.P. and brother of the Attorney General of Upper Canada. He was directed to superintend an experimental emigration of two shiploads of poor farmers from north Cork to be settled in the Bathurst District of Upper Canada (around present day Almonte) Peter Robinson's report includes how the settlers were selected, their voyage and building of new homes. The ships lists of the "Stakesby" and "Hebe" name all the emigrants and their former residence in Ireland.
After the successful 1823 experiment, Robinson was sent back to Cork in 1825 to bring back a much larger group to the Newcastle district (around present day Peterborough) These two groups of emigrants from the north Cork area are now referred to as the Peter Robinson settlers. The city of Peterborough was named after Peter Robinson and the 1825 settlers. \ Most of the history information above was taken from records of Roberta M. O'Brien
The Tobins came over on the ship Fortitude in 1825
Peterborough County is made up of the following townships: Galway, Cavendish, Anstruther, Chandos, Harvey, Burleigh, Methuen, Ennismore, Smith, Douro, Dummer, Belmont, North Monaghan, Otonabee, and Asphodel. Douro, opened settlement in 1821.
My cousin, Jim Tobin wrote:
John Tobin and his family settled in Douro Township on E Lot 10, concession 3. His family consisted as follows: Tobin, John, 52, Ellen, 50, Thomas, 30, Mary, 28, Ellen, 26, Johanna, 24, Ellen, 1.
Johns son, Thomas (1795-1843) died while cutting trees. Another man was also cutting trees when the other man's tree fell on Thomas Tobin. Thomas was married to Jane Clifford (1797-18820), was also from the same area in County Cork. They had the following children:
Jane Clifford remarried a man name Dawson, and after he died, she lived with daughter Ellen Murphy for a while then in her latter years, moved in with son, Ned, who lived in New York at the time, where she passed away.
Mary Tobin married Timothy May in Jan, 1856, in Peterborough. By 1860, the Mays moved to Clinton, Iowa where they lived until at least the mid 1800's.
Their children pretty much all scattered after marriage to where the work was, some to Omaha, Kimball SD, Pasadena CA, and several to Salt Lake City, (the ones to convert to the LDS Church)
Timothy May and Mary Tobin are my 2nd great grandparents.