William Webb was my 4x great-grandfather, and one of the ancestors of my paternal Grandmother, Mildred Jean Forrest. “Jean” Forrest’s grandfather was Samuel Robert Cairns (1862-1941). Samuel’s mother was Sarah Webb (b 1836). Sarah’s father was William Webb.
William was born in Ireland around 1808. He arrived in Montréal, Québec, Canada sometime before 1833. He married Barbara Jane McKnight (1814-1872) at the Saint Gabriel Presbyterian Church in Montréal on 19 January 1833. She was the daughter of Robert McKnight and Elizabeth Hanna, and came from County Louth, Ireland.
In his marriage record William is described as a butcher by trade. Witnesses to the marriage included Ruth McKnight (likely a sister of the bride), Mary Emeron, George Henderson, and James Webb [brother of the groom].
William and Barbara had nine children in Montréal. [William is described as a “butcher” in all the baptism records which mention his trade.]
James Webb was born on 24 Dec 1833. He was baptized on 30 Jan 1834 at the Saint Gabriel Presbyterian Church in Montréal. Sponsors were Elizabeth McKnight and Sarah Davidson. He is listed as an “Engineer” and “Unmarried” in the 1861 census.
Sarah Webb [my 3x great-grandmother] was born on 9 Oct 1836. She was baptized on 19 Feb 1837 at Anglican Christ Church Cathedral, Actes. Sponsors were Martha McDowell, Barbara Webb, and Ruth McKnight. Sarah married Robert Cairns about 1860 and they had six known children including my 2x great-grandfather Samuel Robert Cairns who was born in Ormstown, Québec, Canada on 31 Oct 1862. Sarah and Robert lived in St. Malachie, Québec, Canada until at least 1891.
Robert Ramsey Webb was born in 1839. For some reason his baptism record isn’t at Anglican Christ Church. In the 1901 Census for St. Anne Ward of Montréal he gives his birth date as 4 Nov 1836, which is obviously not right as it conflicts with his sister’s known birthdate. He married Mary Jenkins on 23 Dec 1859, and they had at least two daughters. In the 1861 census (where he is the head of the household after his father’s death) he is listed as a machinist. The same occupation is given for him in the 1871, 1881, 1891 and 1901 census reports. Robert died on 24 Jul 1908 and was buried in Mount Royal Cemetery of Knox Presbyterian Church in Montréal.
William Henry Webb was born on 11 Feb 1840. He was baptized on 1 Mar 1840 at Anglican Christ Church. Sponsors were James Ford, Thomas Martin, and Jane Herde. He was single in the 1861 and 1871 census. He died in Montréal General Hospital on the 16th of December 1883 where his occupation was listed as “Machinist”. He was buried at the Presbyterian Saint Mark Church in Montréal.
Henry Fredrick Webb was born on 12 Dec 1841. He was baptized on 15 Jan 1842 at Anglican Christ Church. Sponsors were Henry Fredrick Hanna [namesake], Elizabeth Hanna, and William Webb. Henry and Elizabeth Hanna were likely the aunt and uncle or cousins of Barbara Jane McKnight. Her mother’s maiden name was Elizabeth Hanna. Henry was in the 1860 census for New York City as a printer, and again in the 1861 census for Montréal as a printer with his residence given as New York. He married Martha Taylor about 1865 and they had five known sons. In the 1881 Census for Ottawa, Canada he is again listed as a Printer. Henry died on 16th of December 1914 in Carleton, Ontario, Canada of anemia and heart trouble. He was listed as a “Proof-reader” on the death record.
Thomas Webb was born on 4 Nov 1843. He was baptized on 17 Dec 1843 at Anglican Christ Church. Sponsors were William Webb, Thomas Mullin, Margaret Haney, and William McKnight. He is in the 1861 census for Montréal with his family, then in the 1871 census for Ste-Anne, Montréal living with the family of Patrick and Elizabeth Ravey. He’s listed as a “Carter” and unmarried.
Elizabeth Jane Webb was born on 15 Dec 1845. She was baptized on 4 Jan 1846 at Anglican Christ Church. Sponsors were John and Rosanna [Logie] Whelan. [William Webb was a witness on their marriage record from 2 Jun 1844 at Anglican Christ Church]. Unfortunately Eliza died on 7 Oct 1850 at the age of 4 and was buried in the cemetery at Anglican Saint Stephen Church on the 9th.
Joseph Alexander Webb was born 15 Dec 1845. He was baptized on 19 Mar 1848 at Anglican Saint Stephen Church. Sponsors were William Webb, James Chapman, and Elisabeth Chapman. In 1870 he is living in De Witt, Iowa with the family of his soon-to-be bride Hannah Tanner. She was born in Hanover Germany. They were married in that place on 26 December that same year, and had four daughters. In the 1880 census he is listed as a “Clerk in Saloon” in De Witt. The family then moved back to Montréal where they are listed in the 1901 census. They moved to Québec City where Joseph is listed in the 1911 census as working in “coal”. Joseph died on 29 May 1922 and was buried at the Mount Royal Cemetery in Montréal.
George Henry Webb was born on 29 Mar 1850. He was baptized on 21 Apr 1850 at Saint Stephen. Sponsors were William Webb, and two other names which are not legible. One looks vaguely like Lucy Bailey. George married Annie Brown in Carleton, Ontario, Canada on 1 Jul 1875. They had a daughter and four sons. George was listed as a “driver” in the 1891, 1901, and 1911 census reports for Montréal.
William Webb is mentioned in every Montréal City Directory from 1842 (the first year of the directory) and his death in 1853. He is listed as an “Inspector” rather than a “Butcher” in the city directory. There is no William Webb listed among Butchers in the directory, so I assume this means something along the lines of “meat inspector” since all the baptism records list him as a butcher. You can see that after his death on 6 Apr 1853 his wife is listed as a “grocer”.
1842 Directory:"Webb, William, inspector, Wellington, near King Street." 1843 Directory: "Webb, William, inspector, Dalhousie, near Gabriel street." 1844 Directory: Same entry. 1845-1846 Directory: Same entry. 1847 Directory: Same entry. 1848 Directory: Same entry. 1849 Directory: Same entry. 1850 Directory: Same entry. 1851 Directory: Does not exist. 1852 Directory: "Webb, William, inspector, Murray near Gabriel". 1853 Directory: "Webb, Mrs. William, grocer, Murray near Gabriel"
William died on 6 Apr 1853 and was buried at Anglican Saint Stephen in Montréal. Thomas Webb and James Webb, likely his brothers and not his sons of the same names, were witnesses.
After his death, his widow Barbara lived in a boarding house at 99 Wellington Street for a few years. Then in the 1861 census for Montréal she is living with her son Robert, his wife Mary Jenkins, and most of the family [James, William, Henry, Thomas, Joseph, George, and two other unidentified Webbs].
In the 1871 Census for St. Malachie, Châteauguay, Quebec, Canada, Barbara and her son William are living with her daughter Sarah Webb Cairns, her husband Robert Cairns [my 3x great-grandparents], and their family.
Barbara McKnight died on 21 February 1872 in Ormstown, Quebec, Canada and was buried in the cemetery of the Wesleyan Methodist Church in Ormstown two days later. Her son-in-law Robert Cairns and George Moore were witnesses.