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The Oughtred Family

Diana Oughtred, Sarah, Ellen, Effie Poul
Diana Oughtred, Sarah Oughtred (back) , Ellen Poulton, Effie Poulton

This is one of the earliest families in the area, and one which retained longevity throughout Wesleyville's history. However it has been one of the least understood. The house located on the lot beside the church is known as the Oughtred house built by the family around 1858. The Oughtred family tree has been a difficult on to chase. They likely came over from either Yorkshire or Kent as there are Thomas Oughtred's married and born there as well as a high concentration of other Oughtreds. There are two leading candidates for Thomas's wife - Sarah Trattlers (m. 1808 in Hinderwell, York, England), or Sarah Colyer (m. 1806 in Southfleet Kent).

Thomas is noted in stories as being one of the oldest in the community. His was one of the fifth generational families in Wesleyville. He, his daughter Sarah, and her son Thomas are all buried at Wesleyville. In addition, we have discovered two other likely daughters Mary Saxby and Annie Oakes. He also may have two sons David and Thomas. He may also have additional children as there were several unaccounted for individuals living with him during 1831-1851.  We have summarized the available records below.

We first have record of the Oughtred family in 1827 in Hope Township. The patriarch of the family Thomas Oughtred is thought to have been born in 1790 in York, England. We have found a marriage record to a Sarah Trattles in 1808 in Hinderwell, York, England and it is believed that Thomas had 6 children with her: Margaret (1809), Annie (1811), David (1815), Mary (1818), Sarah (1819), and newly found Diana (1825). The family is noted to have arrived in Ontario in 1819 according to US and Canada Passenger and Immigration Lists Index. This notes Thomas Oughtred as 31 years old at the time. The family first appears on Hope Township census records in 1827. The numbers for persons living there change considerably between 1827 and 1851 (see the census table below). It is unclear when Sarah Trattles Oughtred passes away but it is sometime after 1825 when Diana is born and before 1850 when Thomas remarries. In 1842, the Oughtred family is living at Concession 1 Lot 24 in Hope Township, just down the road from where Thomas and his second wife would build their home.

Oughtred Census Table.jpg

Thomas remarried in 1850 to Cylinda Hinton in Newcastle, Ontario. There are several spellings of her name in the records: Selinda, Celinda, Celicinda but they all refer to the same woman. It is interesting to note that the original land grant for the land where the Y-house is was given to her, S Oughtred in 1855! We also can see that John Barrowclough was a witness to the marriage, which infers this was a close knit community.


Selinda was born Selinda Lincoln around 1795 in what is now Kingston. She married her first husband John Heaton (1793-1846) in 1821 in Hope Township. In 1845 they lived on Concession 1 Lot 31 (the 1844 census says the NE area of the lot). John Heaton died in 1846 and we are unsure of what happens to her son Nelson (1825). In 1847, Selinda is noted as living at Concession 1 Lot 39. However, we can see that as she lived and likely worked the land with her first husband, that is why she was awarded a crown grant at Concession 1 Lot 31 and not Thomas Oughtred (who lived at Lot 24).  Interesting side note that John Heaton was awarded a land grant for Concession 2 Lot 30 in 1820.

The 1851 Census notes Thomas Oughtred’s birth year as 1789 in England. However, we know these years are often off by one or two years due to estimation or transcription errors. We also have mention of the other members of the household: Selena Outrid and William Oke (15), Sarah Saxby (10) and Robert Saxby (6). William Oke is Thomas’s grandchild through Annie, and the Saxby children are Mary’s.  The 1861 Census has only Thomas and Celinda living in the Y-House. Thomas Oughtred died in April 1963 and is buried in Wesleyville Cemetery. Selinda died in Oct 1889.


We are not sure what happened to Margaret Oughtred. It appears she may have married a James Little. In 1842, Francis Little’s family live at Concession 1 Lot 28 so it is possible she married one of his brothers. It has been suggested that they may have settled in Victoria, Ontario like her sister Diana.


Annie Oughtred married William Oke. Their son, William Oke, is the William Oke noted on the 1851 census.


David Oughtred married Parmelia Young in 1832 and together they had 3 children – David (1833), Sarah (1835), and Diana (1844). He appears on the 1834 census with his wife and son but by 1835, the family had moved from the area. In 1850 the family is living in South Valley, Cattaraugus, New York, USA but David does not appear on the census which likely indicates that he had passed by then.


Mary Oughtred married Robert Saxby. It appears they, for a time, lived in the United States possibly in New York. However by 1852 the children were living with Thomas Oughtred and Selinda at the Y-House. By 1861 Mary Oughtred had returned to Wesleyville and was living there with her children. She is listed on the census as being a widow. Mary died on Nov 3, 1893 in Wesleyville, she was on her way to visit a friend in the village when she collapsed. She would be buried in Wesleyville near her father and sister. Her daughter Sarah Amelia Saxby (1842-1922) would marry James Lovekin (1839-1919). They would be buried with their daughter at Bond Head Cemetery in Newcastle. Her son Robert William Saxby (1847-1929) would marry Mary Marrow. They would have three children: Annie (1871-1879), Robert (1873-1929), and Gertrude (1889-?). Robert Saxby was buried at Wesleyville. 

Sarah Oughtred was born in 1919. She lived to be 100 years old. That's quite a feat for the time period without modern medicine. We know very little about her life. It an interesting and slightly mysterious story with many unanswered questions.  In 1851, she is listed as living (or at least visiting) in Wesleyville with the Sterling family. We have her living in nearby Clarke, Ontario in 1861 with a Debra Oughtred (the spelling for this record is Aughtred) who was born in 1847, age 14. Both are listed as working as a servant. This may be a child, or other relative although it is somewhat clear that Selinda and Thomas did not have any children and thus Debra is likely not a sister. Unfortunately, to date we cannot find out what happened to Debra.

By 1871 Sarah has returned to Wesleyville, after her father's death, with her son Thomas Oughtred (1863), and lives in the main house with her step-mother, Selinda. We also learn from this census that Sarah cannot write. By 1881, Sarah and Thomas are living with Selinda Oughtred in the Y-House.

Although her death certificate lists her as a widow, there is no record of a marriage before or after either Debra or Thomas. We do not have birth or baptismal records for Debra or Thomas. Sarah's death certificate does list Thomas Oughtred as her father and it seems clear that Oughtred was her maiden name. With the exception of 1901, in all of the other censuses, Sarah is listed as single.

Further illustrating the connection between Sarah and Mary Saxby, in 1871, they lived in neighboring houses with Mary, Robert and Sarah Sarby (Saxby) in house 90, and Sarah and Thomas Oughtred in house 91.

Diana Oughtred married George Yates Poulton and they would settle in Victoria, Ontario, and have 7 children of their own: James Frederick Poulton (1854-1939), Thomas Poulton (1856-1927), Sarah Elizabeth Poulton (1858-1920), George Henry Poulton (1860), Ellen Maria Poulton (1864), William John Poulton (1867-1931), and Effie Yates Poulton (1874-1963) 

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