Agnes Addison was born on June 15, 1838 in Heversham, Westmoreland, England. She is the daughter of Thomas Addison and Ann Philipson. Thomas and Ann had eight children; James (1823), Thomas Edward (1824), Eleanor (1825), Robert (1827), William (1829), Peter (1831), Agnes (1838), John (1841).
In the 1841 English Census, Agnes is found with her parents and and three of her siblings; Ellen, William, Peter and three year old Agnes. They live in Westmoreland, England in the Kendal Parish. Thomas’s occupation is listed as Agricultural Laborer. By the time of the 1851 English Census, the family lives in the Levens parish of Westmoreland, England. Thomas and Ann have two children who remain living at home, William who is 21 and Agnes who is 12 years old.
Thomas Addison was arrest and charge with “ feloniously embezzling of a Post Letter whilst in the service of the Post Master General”. (I am not sure that I know exactly what he did.) He was found guilty and sentenced to nine months in prison, according to the to the England and Wales Criminal Register for the Westmoreland, England in 1851.
Ann Philipson Addison died on June 29, 1854. Following Ann’s death, Thomas and Agnes embarked on the SS Dreadnaught leaving Liverpool and arriving in New York on May 18, 1855. I can not help but wonder if Thomas’s “criminal record”, the death of his wife and the fact that several of his children had gone to Canada, prompted this decision. From New York, they made their way to Oxford, Ontario.
I do not find a marriage record for Agnes and Hiram Best but in the 1859 probate administrative document for Agnes’s father, Thomas Addison’s probate proceedings, it states that Agnes is married to Hiram in Ontario.
Hiram and Agnes had four children; Sarah Ann (1858), Addison (1869), Rachel (1870), Mary Agnes (1873). In the 1861 Canadian Census, Hiram and Agnes are found living in Oxford, Ontario with their daughter Sarah Ann and Thomas Best, Hiram’s twenty five year old brother. Hiram is a farmer and his brother is a farm laborer. In the 1871 Canadian Census, Hiram and Agnes Best are found in Dereham, Oxford South, Ontario. Hiram is a farmer. They have three of their four children living with them ; Sarah Ann, Addison and Rachel.
One hundred and forty three years ago on March 9, 1873, Agnes died one month after having her daughter Mary Agnes. She died of Hydropericardium which is a build up of liquid/water in the heart. According to the death Certificate she had been sick for a month. She is buried with the Best Family members in the Best Cemetery in Bayham Township, Elgin County, Ontario.
Rest in peace, Agnes!
Agnes was the first wife of my fourth Great Uncle, Hiram Best.