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:
 

STALEY/DAVIS/STONE lineage:
 

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.

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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.

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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.

  1. Karin’s avatar

    In Sweden I´m quite alone having a genealogical blog. Now I have found a few more out there in “the world of blogs”. Nice. I´m trying to find inspiration to continue. Very few people comment on genealogy blogs, I´ve noticed.

  2. Lila George’s avatar

    Hello,
    I am a direct descendant of Mary Ann Staley and George or Daniel Rawley. My ggrandmother, Maryann Rawley, was the daughter of William James Rawley.
    Would love to talk more.
    Lila George

  3. Charles Davis’s avatar

    During the second World War a Charles Davis was on short leave in London, England. My mother was then 38years of age and circumbed to his charms, this in turn produced me. Mrs. Frances Gibbs. I am now 63 and intersted in finding out about this mans background.
    I think he came from Ontario and from London was then posted to Italy, where apparently he died.1944 I was born.
    My mother tried after the war to find out information, but was fobbed off. Presumably he was married.
    I am just curious to find any information about him.

  4. Barbara Bonner’s avatar

    I am a direct descendant of Catherine Ursula Staley the elder sister of Margaret Elizabeth. My research shows that Ursula Davis was bapt. in Trininty Anglican Church on May 21, 1854 and born April 17, 1854, sponsors: Ann J. Hennessy and Willard Davis, Wolfe Island. Ursula was ‘sub-conditionaly’ bapt. in Sacred Heart R.C. Ch. on May 25, 1862. Date of birth given there as April 17, 1855. Since she was first bapt. in 1854 this is obviously incorrect. Sponsors were Daniel and Selina Staley (bro & sis of Margaret).
    I have proven lineage for Martin Staley from Marten Stahle to Jacob to Martin of W.I who was bapt. in
    Zion Lutheran Ch., Williamssburg, Ontario, August 21, 1803.
    I have been searching for Ursula Davis Stone for many years and am glad to have finally found her and the great pictures of (also) my relatives.
    Barb

  5. Garry McFadden’s avatar

    Hi… You have a very nice site. My compliments to you. I’m working on a site for my McFadden family. They were from Wolfe Island and I’m told they are not related to the McFadden’s who lived at the east end of the island.
    FYI, My grandfather was Raymond James McFadden. My grandmother was Ethel Luella Raneous, daughter of William Isaac Raneous and Jennie Eliza Card. I would love to hear from anyone who may have pictures or information on this family.
    Again, my complements on your website. I would like to have permission to use your picture of Trinity Church. Thanks,

    Garry McFadden
    Prince George, BC.
    250-612-3741

  6. beckerp’s avatar

    Barbara: Thanks for posting a comment here. I got in touch with you earlier and you sent me some info on the Staley’s. I’m very behind in getting back with you, I know. I hope to catch up soon! My apologies

    Gary: Thanks for the compliments on the site. Yes, you may use the church photo for your gen searching, etc. I have no info on your McFadden family. Good luck in your pursuit. Posting a comment here might just help with those look for Wolfe Island gen info.

  7. James Staley’s avatar

    It was wonderful to read about family history, both my grandparents and parents are now dececed, and Im very interested in knowing more about my ancestors. My grandparents were Noble and Florine Staley. My father was Archibald Staley one of the 17 children of the family. Thanks again James

  8. beckerp’s avatar

    James: I’m most happy to hear you gained from reading this entry on Martin Staley! Thank you for taking time to leave a comment!

  9. Leslie Woodring’s avatar

    Are any of the Staley’s related to the Poe family or Teeters or Teet/ Robothom?if so please contact me, I have a Robert and Margaret Staley who lived in Florida signed my dad’s baby book in 1932 leslie Lutao

  10. todd lower’s avatar

    i’m looking for the land titles on wolf island starting 1904..i was hoping you could help me out or lead me in the right direction!!!!!

  11. Stanice Patricia Myttenar’s avatar

    My Grandmother was Mary Irene Pearl Staley ,
    My Great-Great-Great Grandparents were Martin and Catharine Staley.
    Pleased to find there are others relations researching our Families. Especially the SPELLING of Martin STAHLE (G-G-G-G-G-Grandfather) as I now have Grandchildren asking questions !!
    Thanks Patricia

  12. Judy Ford’s avatar

    It is nice of you to create such a nice site for your family. I notice that Sacred Heart Cemetery is mostly Scots and Irish plus Stahle…were they all RC or Protestant? I wonder if there is another RC church which was mostly French? I have immigration records of my Uncle’s father and his brother who came to Boston, MA from Wolf Island in 1890. Their names were Alfred A. b.1871 and Armande LaLonde b.c1873.
    I have not been too successful in finding their family at Wolf Island. Did you run across any French settlements on the island dating back to 1850-1890 period?
    Thanks,
    Judy

  13. Sharon Hooey’s avatar

    My great-great grandmother was Mary Ann Staley and great great grandfather was Daniel Rawley, my grandmother was Isabella Rawley who married John Todd. Isabella is buried in the Friday Harbor, WA cemetery as are other members of that branch of the family. I would love to visit Wolfe Island, track down some more information about Jacob Staley, Martin Stahle,and especially GG-grandad Daniel Rawley. I do have a picture of the Wolfe Island homestead. Am wondering where Daniel Rawley is buried? Hope to hear.

  14. Pat O'Dell’s avatar

    I am searching for John Nicholas De Francesco from Toronto born September 15th 1947. Is this the J. DeFrancesco who lives on Wolfe Island?
    It is very important for me to get in touch with him.

    Thanks you and my apologies if it is the wrong person.

  15. beckerp’s avatar

    Hi Pat,

    I’m sorry, but I don’t have any information on you John Nicholas De Fancesco. Maybe if you contact one of the gen people who do look ups, etc. on the The Islands site, you might get an answer.

    Good luck in your quest for John!

  16. beckerp’s avatar

    Hi Sharon,

    I hope you get a chance to visit Wolf Island and see the area and where are ancestors lived. Is Mary Ann buried on Wolf Island? You will find a lot of info on our Grandfather Martin Staley on the links I have (plus what I have reiterated). Good luck on finding info on your gg-grandad Rawley!

  17. beckerp’s avatar

    Hi Judy,

    I can’t say I did notice any French settlements in the area, but that doesn’t mean their aren’t. My g-g-grandmother was French and was in the area so there must have been some. Were your relations out of Quebec or France originally? I still need to do some research on my French gr-grandmother. Good luck and I hope you find what you’re looking for!

  18. Sheila McElwain{Staley}’s avatar

    HI Paula;
    I have been in touch with Scott Manning. His grandfaather and my father were half brothers. Archibald Staley was married twice. Austin from the 1st family was Scott’s grandfather. My father’s name was Edwin in the 2nd family. I have enjoyed reading all your findings. Scott has been an excellent source for me. I am presently putting together all the info. I have for my kids. This past summer I put a picture story together including Martin Staley. He sure was busy with 16 children 14 which survived.I had 2 brothers and they had 6 children and 4 children. All but 1 living in California. Barb Manning who is Austin’s youngest is now 81. She now rents a cottage and goes back to the Island every year. We joined her last year and paid a visit to the old homstead presently been used by the Demmings. Evelyn Staley married Dr. Demming. They bought the place from Nellie [Archibald's 2nd wife.] My grandmother. So more stuff. Hope you enjoy this banter.
    Regards,
    Sheila

  19. Gord Mc Donald’s avatar

    My childern on there mother’s side
    belong to the Fargo,Davis,Rawley and Lalonde families and I am interested in finding more information on the Lalonde’s of Wolfe and where they came from before that. Thanks for any help you may be able to give.
    Gord

  20. Headstones’s avatar

    This is why we actually have headstones, l love what historians do, heart warming.

  21. Mary Robertson Warner’s avatar

    My grand mother was from Wolf Island, She was Emma Lacey who married Otis W. Robertson from Cape Vincent, NY. They were married in 1900. I used to visit the island when I was a child. We went to a family reunion that was held in the church yard. I can still remember a little about the inside of the church.Are there any Laceys or Mackeys still living on the island? I took a ride around the island sometime in the 1990′s. But we didn’t stop and go into any places. I now wish I had gone in the church. My cousin Helen Netto visits there from Watertown, NY. I am now living in Suffolk, Virginia. I would love to know more about the island and my grandmother’s people.
    Mary Robertson Warner
    Suffolk, Virginia

  22. ryan staley’s avatar

    very cool just came across this site after doing a search of my name. Just wanted to let u know that you missed my brother Randy staley march 18 1982 son of Lawrence Charles Staley and Andrea Lee Craig. Thank you for all your hard work.

  23. Karen Staley Kavin’s avatar

    Hi,
    The website is fantastic !!!! Scott, I presume, we have shared other information regarding our lineage.

    I understand through Michael Staley, that Barbara Bonner is planning on visiting the Island this Summer. Both you and Barbara have made such wonderful contributions to our geneology.

    For others, I am also a direct decendent of Martin Staley, through Archibald”s second wife Nellie McCarthy. Archibald is my gr. gr. grandfather, and Martin is my gr. gr. gr. grandfather.

    There are many of us. Does anyone know who lives in the house on Wolfe? Just curious. Thanks again. I have information on Ancestory.com. The website is fun but also a bit challenging. I will add these links.

    Best always to my relatives,

    Karen Staley Kavin

  24. Karen Staley Kavin’s avatar

    Hi,
    Thank you for this fantastic website and to all who so diligently worked to preserve the family. I am a direct desendent of Archibald Staley and Nellie McCarthy. They are my gr grandparents, Martin and Catherine being my gr gr grandparents. My father was Arthur Francis Staley, the first born of Edwin J. Staley, Archibald and Nellie’s son. A tid pit of info regarding my father. It was customary to name the first son after the father, hence my father would have been named Edwin. When my father was born, he had severe pneumonia and was not excepted to survive. As the story told me goes, a “Nun” relative, whom I do not remember the Sisters name, breathed in my father lungs and supposedly that is how he survived. Since my father was not expected to live, I gather my grandparents didn’t wish to name their first born son with a family name that “perhaps would not have carried on.” Alas, my father survived. Edwin and Helen (my grandparents) named their second son Edwin J. Staley. Another responder to this Blog, Sheila, is my father’s sister and my Aunt. Both my parents have now passed away and I truly appreciate being able to show my sons their ancestors, and tell historical tid bits of family history. One day I truly hope to visit Wolf Island to see the Homestead. But first, I must visit Shelia and Brian. My love and best to all who worked so hard and responded. Should anyone wish to locate any counsins etc., please feel free to email me at karenkavin@gmail.com.

    Karen Staley Kavin