In about 1848, James I & Isabella Gibney collected up their entire family which included seven children, their spouses and the first of many grandchildren. They vacated Tyrone County Ireland, and crossed the Atlantic. Their new home was a settlement at Lot 21 Concession 7, East Gwillimbury, just two miles north of my current home.
According to the Canadian Census of 1851, James I and his son James II had 20 acres of crops under cultivation that year. Ten acres of that were wheat which produced a total of 200 bushels. Today, that same 10 acres would produce approximately 900 bushels. James III was one of their first grandchildren to be born in Canada. He was also the first to leave the farm at a very young age to train to become a blacksmith.
In a small town, you are not forgotten, if you have influenced one of your surviving peers. Out of the blue one day in the early 1980's, our neighbour Al Hopkins gave dad and I an old hewing axe. He said "I swiped that from the blacksmith when I was a kid. I was afraid to give it back. Jimmy had a quick Irish temper. He would get mad at Milt and raise his hammer over his head. Milt would start running and Jimmy would throw the hammer...in the opposite direction!"
That's one side of my Irish family history. They spelled it Gibney, but possibly pronounced it Gibbonney. Happy St. Patrick's Day! To learn more about the people who founded our farm you can click on the section in The Common-Tater called “The Faces Of Our Farm.”