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Davis, Staley, Stone

STALEY/DAVIS, Kingston/Wolfe Island, Ontario, Canada

Below is some over-all reasearch of my STALEY/DAVIS ancestors, and some pictures from a trip taken in October 2004 to the Kingston & Wolfe Island area to locate some STALEY/DAVIS ancestral sites. The ancestors pertaining to the search was one of my gr-gr-gr-grandfathers, Martin STALEY (1801-1879), his daughter (my gr-gr-grandmother) Margaret Elizabeth STALEY (DAVIS), and his son-in-law (my gr-gr-grandfather) James William DAVIS. The STALEY/DAVIS lineage is linked to the STONE family tree in this respect:


Martin STALEY (1801-1879) m. Catherine LAMBERT
Margaret Elizabeth STALEY (1829-1886) m. James William DAVIS (1825-bef. 1881)
Ursula Agnes DAVIS (1854 or 55-1949) m. Eli Thompson STONE (1856-1938)

I’ve come across diverse information concerning Martin STALEY’s lineage.  One source (that of Scott Manning on the website The Islands) states that Martin STALEY’s father was Jacob Martin STALEY (1756-1843), born in New York, and that Jacob’s father was Martin STAHLE (1735-?).  Information denotes Martin STAHLE as German (perhaps Palatine…?) immigrating to the New York area at some point.  He was a United Empire Loyalist (UEL) who later relocated to Upper Canada (Ontario). 

Another source (the research of my cousin, Doris Kistler), has much of the same information as Scott’s, with the exception of two things. Her research states that Martin STALEY’s father is Hiram STALEY and that they are of Dutch ancestory.  She said that in her interviews with some Staley cousins, Hiram was the name they mentioned as Martin’s father.  A letter penned by my gr-gr grandmother Ursula to her daughter states that the Staley name is Dutch. I’m adding this latter  information, not because it’s correct, but because it’s been the information passed down to my family.  Below is a consolidation of the information from the above sources.


Martin STALEY was born on September 6, 1801.  His birthplace is unconfirmed but sources suggest the Mohawk River Valley, NY.  At some point his family relocated to Upper Canada (now Ontario).  He later enlisted with the Frontenac Militia (1828).  Around 1839-1840, Martin STALEY built and owned an inn/tavern  in Kingston, Ontario, The Queen’s Inn, on 125 Brock St., which is still in operation.  (All photos below were taken by me on an excursion to Kingston & Wolf Island in October of 2004, unless otherwise noted.)


A few years later, he purchased a parcel of Land on Wolfe Island.  He moved his family to the island and became a farmer.  Wolfe Island, located across the water way from Kingston, ON, is only accessable by boat and ferry


Marysville is the main (only?) town on Wolfe Island.  Located in the western side of town is Sacred Heart Catholic Church, and Trinity Anglican Church (both within walking distance of each other) and their respective cemeteries.  The present church of The Sacred Heart of Mary, RCC was built in 1917.  There were two previous churches, the first a small mission church built in 1852.  The second was built in 1872 to accommodate a larger Catholic population.  Trinity Anglican Church was built in 1845, the first church to be built on the island.  Martin Staley, his wife, Catherine LAMBERT, his daughter, Margaret STALEY (DAVIS), and her son, Charles DAVIS are buried at Sacred Heart’s old cemetery.  Both churches played a large part in the lives of the STALEY’s and DAVIS’.  Margaret STALEY and James William DAVIS were married at Trinity Anglican on December 28, 1852.


My ancestors are buried in Sacred Heart’s Old Cememtery, which is not near the church but a few blocks off the main road, down a dirt road on a remote piece of pasture land.  Their plots and headstones are located in the back area of the cemetery.

Martin STALEY and Catherine LAMBERT’s headstone’s, Sacred Heart Cemetery, Wolfe Island, ON 

Headstone Inscription:  “In memory of Martin Staley, Died in Kingston Aug. 10, 1879, Aged 78 years, also his wife Catharine, Died on Wolfe Island, Dec. 2 1851, Aged 45 years.”

Also in the cemetery are Margaret Elizabeth STALEY’s and Charles J. DAVIS’ headstones:


First Headstone Transcription:  “Eliz-th. Staley.  Wife of Jas. W. DAVIS Died Sept. 24, 1886 Aged 58 Yrs, 3 Mos.”

Second Headstone Transcription:   “Charles J. Son of Jas. & Eliz-th DAVIS.  Died Mar. 30. 1886 Aged 17 Yrs, 4 Mos.”

I don’t have any information at this point on Charles J. Davis, who would be Ursula Agnes Davis’ (married to E.T. Stone) brother.

James William DAVIS was a lighthouse keeper on Pigeon Island for a number of years.  He perished as he was making his way back to Wolfe Island )  Below is a picture I found on the internet of the present lighthouse on Pigeon Island (Photo credit:  Jennifer Hoelzel).

Also I was able to locate the plot of land on Wolfe Island where the STALEY’s resided.  There’s still a home on the site, built by Archibald STALEY in the 1880’s, that is still being used by STALEY family:  From the back of the property, one has a lovely view of Kingston.

(Photo of Archibald Staley house, below, top-left, compliments of Scott Manning.)


My thanks to Scott Manning and Doris Kistler for all their hard work and research on this branch of the Staley family, and allowing me to use their information on this posting.  Thanks also goes to the researchers on The Islands (link below) where Scott’s research (and others) can be found in regards to the Staley family and other genealogical info pertaining to Wolf Island, etc.


Other links per STALEY & DAVIS, Wolfe Island, etc. genealogy:

–Gemmel & Walker lineage of Staley Family Descendants.

–Ontario Genealogy, Kingston Branch

The Islands — genealogy devoted to Wolfe Island, Garden Island, & Howe Island, ON.  Chocked full of pictures, info, etc. on all-things genealogical concerining the aforementioned islands at the mouth of the St. Lawrence.

Sacred Heart Old Cemetery, Wolfe Island — Transcriptions and pictures.