The Anglin Brothers

When Robert left Ireland for Canada in 1829, young William Anglin (my great-great-grandfather) missed his older brother terribly. For the next 14 years, he wrote letters frequently as the only way to keep him close to his heart. Upon hearing of the rebellions in 1838 in Upper Canada and near Kingston, Ontario, where Robert had settled with his family, William wrote a worried letter:

Another reason why I have not written is the very disturbed state of your country – you cannot think the feelings of my mind on account of you my dear brothers and family for fear you should suffer loss of property, or life. I pray that you may receive this and that it will find you all well. I was afraid that a letter may not pass from here to you, and was kept in awful suspense to know how it would terminate – and anxiously waiting for every account – and you cannot imagine what joy it gave me to hear that the Rebels are in a great measure defeated.      ..…     I was glad to know from the papers that they did not get up to Kingston, and I hope that you in that city do still enjoy peace. We were glad to hear the stand the Protestants have made with the Army against them. Things may be worse than we know with you but do hope our next account will bring us satisfactory news. A good deal of the Army sailed from England and Ireland for America and do hope they have safely arrived before this date. I forbear to say any more on this, to me, painful subject, and know that you are better acquainted with it than I can be. I only mention what I have said to let you know what I have heard about the agitated state of your country. Under such circumstances as these I hope you will write as soon as you receive this, for I long to hear from you or to see you. 

 – Excerpt from a letter from William to his brother Robert in Kingston – Feb 23, 1838                                         

In 1843, William at age 28, arrived in Kingston, Ontario, where he finally joined two of his older brothers, Robert and Samuel, in business.  William, the youngest of four brothers and one sister, was born in 1815 in Bandon, County Cork, Ireland. He hadn’t seen his brother Robert in 14 years.

Before long William branched out into business for himself, partnering with an iron-gray pony named ‘Fanny’.  He travelled along the Rideau Canal as far north as Big Rideau Lake, and also along Lake Ontario to Hay Bay near Adolphustown, purchasing cordwood as fuel for the mail boats operating between Toronto and Montreal – steamers named ‘Passport’, ‘Spartan’, ‘Corsican’, ‘Corinthian’, and ‘Algerian’[1].

Later he purchased his own powerful tug, named ‘Grenville’, as well as two barges and continued to manage the cordwood contract with his young son’s help.  The cordwood was then freighted up on scows and barges, and piled on the Long Wharf in Kingston, later known as Swift’s Wharf.[2]

In 1847, four years after his arrival in Kingston, William married Mary Gardiner who had been born in County Durham, England, in 1817, and had also immigrated to the Kingston area with her family.

William and his wife first had two daughters, Mary Frances, who died shortly after her birth in 1850, and Annabella ‘Annie’ Jane.

Annie was born in 1853. Sadly, on July 1, 1878, while watching a fireworks display in the Cricket Field from the roof of a neighbors’ house, she took ill and developed pulmonary tuberculosis.  She was only 26 years old when she died on April 18, 1879.[3]

Then came two sons, William Gardiner Anglin (my great-grandfather), in 1856, and James Vickers Anglin, in 1860. They grew up in the house at 56 Earl Street where they moved as young boys with their parents in 1865.

Both sons eventually studied medicine at Queen’s University and became well respected surgeons in Kingston. William, however, also built an extension on his father’s house at 56 Earl Street which served both as his own home and medical office.  To this day, the name “Dr. W.G. Anglin” is still etched on the window at 56 Earl Street.[4]

When William’s mother died in Ireland, in 1863, twenty years after William’s arrival in Kingston, his eldest brother, John, was finally able to move to Upper Canada to join the rest of the family.

The Anglin brothers were re-united once again.


[2] The Anglin Family Story – Part 2 –

[3] The Anglin Family Story – Part 2 –

[4] Helen Finlay, owner-operator of  52 Earl Street Cottages, Kingston, Ontario

6 thoughts on “The Anglin Brothers”

  1. I know where Robert and his wife are buried in Cork. Only 3 groups in the Anglin study. Group 1 is not an Anglin by DNA. Group 3 carries the name but has never shown an Anglin match prior to Adrian the non French or Admiral. Frauds told wild stories saying descended from Henry VIII. All fabricated yet believed by some. William M above was not the son of John. Another fabricated story from those spreading the Adrian stories. The first cousin of William Thomas gave us the truth ca 1934. The Anglin DNA site has many lies posted. Not touched for nearly 5 years. I spoke with Bill asking for a test. We have perfect matches Cork 1770’s and America ca 1695. Leslie has no proof that William was 1733! In fact that birth date was Adrian’s son. But folks who do not know make gross errors. Like saying no ties between Catholic and Bandon Anglin’s from DS.


  2. Hello, my name is Lesli Anglin Lewis. I have been researching the Anglin family for three years with help from the Anglin DNA project. I was wondering if you are familiar with the project administered by Karen Parker? I’m interested in knowing which group your Anglin family is linked on the project. Mine is group two, also listed in my group are the Canadian and Australian Anglins . I would love to find out where our family Pedigree intercept. My direct male Anglin line from the YDNA test are as follows ( my father took the test) My tree begins in Ireland picking up with William Anglin b. 1733 who married Ann and died in Caswell County South Carolina. John b. 1757 who married first unknown and second Elizabeth Carver, William Marion b. 1790 who married Elizabeth Sheppard, Aaron Monroe b. 1819 who married Mary Ann Rye and William Thomas b. 1843 who married Eliza Jane Jeffries.
    There was great confusion in our line of Anglins until the DNA project, it revealed many surprises. We had always believed that the Adrian Anglin line was related to my William line, we found this to be not true, there was no blood relation. In fact the Anglins were placed into four groups, all non related. The Jamaican Anglins are still a mystery. I would love to share info with you, I have quite an extensive pile of research. I have a theory that a number of our immigrating American ancestors might have fled to Canada to live with family when tax trouble or the law was after them. Please feel free to contact me at
    I do have a blog where I add new research finds located at
    I hope to hear from you and I enjoyed reading about the Anglin brothers!
    Lesli Anglin Lewis


  3. Lucy, it is with interest I read your blog on the Anglin family in Kingston. My ancestors, the Reid family lived at 48 Earl Street, and attended Queen’s. My ancestors moved into 48 Earl in 1907, I do not know if the Anglin’s were still there then, but if so they almost certainly knew each other. Family names in the immediate area were Malone and Reid. Regards


    1. Thank you for reading my story! Helen Finlay owns and operates the 52 Earl Street cottages ( and is very knowledgeable about the history of the building. She is very interesting and might know about the neighbouring buildings and your ancestors. William’s son Dr. W.G. Anglin ( continued to live and work there so he must have been there in 1907. I will keep my eyes open for your ancestors in my readings. Best regards.


      1. Thanks, one of her properties is the Reid Cottage (my families home from 1907 to the early 1980’s). Will give her a call


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