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 Edward George “Edwin” Colley

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Edward George “Edwin” Colley

  • Birth 27 Apr 1830 Rochester, Medway Unitary Authority, Kent, England
  • Death 19 Jan 1897 Bracebridge, Muskoka District Municipality, Ontario, Canada
  • Burial Bracebridge, Muskoka District Municipality, Ontario, Canada
  • Plot Cemetery Block- Left
  • Memorial ID 101919703

Edward George Colley and Mary Julia Blackman were united in marriage on March 29, 1850, at the Parish Church in Gillingham, County Kent, England by Father Robert Leman. The bridegroom, a farmer by trade, was the son of William and Rebecca Colley and was twenty years old- having been born on April 27, 1830 at Rochester, County Kent, in Saint Margaret's Parish. The new bride, who was considered a spinster at the age of 19, was the daughter of Robert and Anne Mary Fenn Blackman. Mary was born on May 1, 1831 at Rose Cottage, in Higham, County Kent, England. She was christened on June 17, 1830 at Saint Mary's Parish at Higham- near Gravesend. Because her father was a gardener by trade, it is assumed that the Rose Cottage where Mary Julia was born was located on the estate or county grounds where her father was working and where the family was living at that time.

For reasons unknown, the Colley family left their home in England and set sail for Canada soon after Annie Colley's birth. They apparently entered the country somewhere near Toronto, because in Mary Julia Colley's obituary we read the following- "after a few weeks in Toronto they purchased a farm in Medonte when the railway only ran to Orillia. After five years they moved to Oakley, again beyond the end of steel." According to a Simcoe County land deed, the Colley's purchased Lot 7, Concession 9 in Medonte Township for $2000.00 on February 29, 1872 and sold this same parcel for $2500.00 on February 25, 1877. On November 10, 1877, Edward Colley received a Crown Grant for Lot number 32 in the 13th Concession of Oakley Township. It was here that the Colley's built their most permanent homestead.

Little is known of the lives of the elder Colley's. According to her obituary, Mary Julia and Edward, sometimes called "Edwin", were in the restaurant business in Bracebridge for a time, but lost this in the great fire that occurred in that village in 1887. Nothing further has ever been located to substantiate this fact though. However, according to the Tax Assessment Rolls for the Village of Bracebridge, Edward and Mary Colley did take in boarders or a short time while living on Dominion Street. Perhaps they also served meals to these paying residents.

Edward and Mary Julia spent the rest of their lives in the Bracebridge area. After what is presumed to have been a long illness, Edward "Edwin" George Colley passed away on January 19, 1897 at the age of 66. At that time the Colley's were living on Dominion Street, next door to their daughter and son-in-law, Elizabeth and Emanuel Nelson. From her obituary we learn something of Mary Julia's final years- "Since her husband's death, Mrs. Colley has lived with her daughter Mrs. E. Nelson [Elizabeth Ann] except for occasional visits to her sons. Though in ill health for three years she enjoyed a trip on Muskoka Lake a few weeks before her death." Sadly enough, we also learn from this same source that after suffering from "an extremely painful illness, she gave her blessing to each member of the family and her everlasting love to her friends and dear ones not present." Mary Julia Blackman Colley died on October 7, 1916 in Bracebridge at the age of 85. Both she and her husband are buried in the Bracebridge Cemetery where a stone is erected in their memory. At the time of her death, eight of the Colley children yet survived.



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  • Created by: patrickinpetoskey
  • Added: 8 Dec 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 101919703
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Edward George “Edwin” Colley (27 Apr 1830–19 Jan 1897), Find A Grave Memorial no. 101919703, citing Bracebridge United Cemetery, Bracebridge, Muskoka District Municipality, Ontario, Canada ; Maintained by patrickinpetoskey (contributor 47593707) .