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Repository
Burnaby Village Museum
Date
[1841]-1994
Collection/Fonds
William Holmes fonds
Description Level
Fonds
Physical Description
2 photographs (calotype) + 1 photograph : b&w + 6 photographs : col. + Textual records
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of photographs pertaining to the William Holmes family along with original correspondence and land title certificates.
Administrative History
William Holmes was the first non-Indigenous resident of Burnaby and was born in Kilkenny Ireland January 4, 1812. In 1833, at the age of 20 yrs, William Holmes immigrated to Canada from Ireland in with his parents, Joseph and Jane (McCullough) Holmes and ten other family members including two of hi…
Repository
Burnaby Village Museum
Collection/Fonds
William Holmes fonds
Description Level
Fonds
Physical Description
2 photographs (calotype) + 1 photograph : b&w + 6 photographs : col. + Textual records
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of photographs pertaining to the William Holmes family along with original correspondence and land title certificates.
Administrative History
William Holmes was the first non-Indigenous resident of Burnaby and was born in Kilkenny Ireland January 4, 1812. In 1833, at the age of 20 yrs, William Holmes immigrated to Canada from Ireland in with his parents, Joseph and Jane (McCullough) Holmes and ten other family members including two of his married brothers and their wives, two sisters with their husbands and two unmarried brothers. This was the first group of thirteen to leave Ireland and set up homesteads in Canada near the shores of Lake Huron. The family settled on land concessions in Huron County, Ontario about 14 km southeast of Goderich. The area was first founded in 1832 by John and Samuel Holmes and the community was known as Holmes Hill before becoming Holmesville [ca. 1850]. In 1837, William Holmes is noted as owning Lot 23, Concession IX, Goderich Twp. Much of the village of Holmesville grew up around the five road concession near the border of his brother’s farm so William decided to open a store. The Holmesville post office opened on March 1, 1855 and William was appointed the first post master which he operated until May 1857. William met and married Mary Richardson in 1841 and the couple had three daughters: Jane (1844-1926) (married Charles Studdert Finlaison in New Westminster in 1863); Anne Maria (Annie) (1846-192?) (married John Gunther Jennings in New Westminster in 1865 and married Robert Johnson in New Westminster in 1877) and Elizabeth (1848-1934) (married Thomas Carrington of Lakes District in 1867). William’s wife, Mary (Richardson) Holmes died in Holmesville sometime between 1848 and 1853. Following the death of his first wife, Mary, William married Charlotte McCullough (McCulloch). The couple had four daughters; Arabella Charlotte Amelia (1854-1943) (married Arthur Robert Green in 1887); Laura (1855-1867); Arabella Henrietta (1857-1929) (married Clark Wesley Gillanders in 1880) and Mary (1863-1864). During the late 1850s, William became aware of the gold rush and opportunities opening up in British Columbia so left for the west coast in 1858 at the age of 46 yrs. In preparation for his move to the west coast of Canada, William obtained a letter of introduction from top government officials of Canada. William Holmes arrived in British Columbia in 1859. Upon arriving, he first worked running pack trains from Harrison Mills to Lillooet. After earning some money, he decided to re-invest it in land. His first pre-emption of land occurred on January 21, 1860 for 160 acres situated on North Road from the Military Camp to Burrard Inlet and distancing 25 chains south of the Brunette River and 20 chains south of the river with the land extending in a westerly direction. On March 17, 1860, Holmes received a Crown Grant for this and other land in the immediate area totalling 415 acres of which was known as Lot No. 1, Group 1, Rural Land, New Westminster District. The balance of land was situated on the east side of the Brunette River – Lot 13, with 344 2/3 acres of which he made an application to purchase on June 26, 1860, and a Crown Grant dated March 16, 1861 covering 86 acres. Holmes also pre-empted land in Port Moody and Pitt Meadows in 1860 and 1861. The name of “Brunette River” is officially attributed to William Holmes who referred to the river as “Brunette” due to it’s dark colour originating from the peat lands above the lake. Following his purchase of property, he sent for his wife Charlotte, their three daughters and her three step daughters (from William’s first marriage). Charlotte and the six children made the long trip to B.C. by ship and rail, crossing the Isthmus of Darien at Panama. They arrived in B.C. in October 1861 and moved into a one room log cabin built by William. The cabin stood on the North Road at the foot of Sapperton, on a bluff overlooking the Brunette River. Eventually the family moved to a larger dwelling but the original cabin remained on the site until the 1890s when it was burned after being used as a sick house. Mr. Holmes was instrumental in organizing the first Orange Lodge in British Columbia. He was a prominent Orangeman who joined the order in 1840 and was the first master in the order of the City of New Westminster when the Lodge No. 1150 was established there. Charlotte Holmes died in New Westminster in 1893 at the age of 70 years and William Holmes died in New Westminster September 11, 1907 at the age of 95 years.
Names
Holmes, William
Holmes, Charlotte
Holmes, Mary
Geographic Access
Burnaby - North Road
Ontario - Huron County
Accession Code
HV971.46; BV997.50
Access Restriction
No restrictions
Reproduction Restriction
May be restricted by third party rights
Date
[1841]-1994
Media Type
Photograph
Textual Record
Historic Neighbourhood
Burquitlam (Historic Neighbourhood)
Related Material
See also: Reference file: Persons - Holmes, William
Notes
Title based on contents of fonds
Less detail
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