Not long ago, I discovered a little scrap of paper with a faded handwritten note in pencil tucked away with some old family papers: “Thomas and Mary Trewin and three children sailed from England to Quebec on the ship Ion on July 8, 1857.
The other side of the note provided a bit more information:”Were living in Woolwich, County of Kent at that time. Grandpa age 40, Grandma 38, Uncle Will 10 1/2″ I presumed that William referred to our great grandfather William Trewin.
Intrigued, I decided to dig around for some more information about this line of the family about which little was known.
One discovery was a biography about William Trewin (1845-1916) which I came across in the Memorial Cyclopedia of New Jersey, Ed. Mary Depue Ogden, Vol. III, (Newark: Memorial History Company, 1917). It can be found at Internet Archives. From this bio I was able to learn not only that he had the amazing privilege of meeting Pres. Abraham Lincoln while serving for the Commissary Dept. during the Civil War, but also was able to confirm the details found in the handwritten note as to where in England he and his parents had come from and how and when they ended up in New Jersey.
As confirmed by the bio, William Trewin’s parents were Thomas J. Trewin and Mary Anne Phillips Trewin of Woolwich, England, which at the time of William’s birth (March 21, 1845) was located in the county of Kent. Today it is part of London. If the handwritten note is accurate, Thomas would have been born circa 1817 and Mary circa 1819. Thomas is described in the bio as “the builder and founder of one of the first Wesleyan Methodist chapels erected in London.” I tried to research that angle online, but have yet to find details connecting him to the construction of a Wesleyan Methodist chapel in London. The bio confirms that Thomas and Mary Anne Trewin moved their family to Canada in 1857. William would have been 12. They lived in Toronto and two years later resettled in New Jersey.
The names of William’s two other siblings I have from a genealogy passed down by family: Thomas and Emma. Emma married Francis C. Ludey. Together they had a daughter Mary Emma (Minnie). I do not have any information yet as to what happened to Thomas. Note: Of the two siblings, only Emma is mentioned in the bio as having survived William at the time of his death in 1916.
William was married first to Edith H. Fry, daughter of Judge Asa Fry of Jersey City. Together they had two sons, William Clarence Trewin and Albert Phillips Trewin. Some time after Edith passed away (1879), William married Miss Elizabeth Sargent, also of Jersey City. Together they had one daughter, Zillah.
More on the Trewins in the next post.