My 3rd Great-grandfather, Theodore Turley moved his family from England to Upper Canada around 1825. He settled in York, then later moved his family to Churchville, where he acquired some land along the Credit River.
This weekend a family history conference was held in nearby Brampton, celebrating Canada’s Sesquicentennial and the beginnings of Mormonism there. I wish I could’ve been there. Here are some photos of this area that I took when I visited there.
You can watch the dedication of the historical marker here:
Many early Saints were baptized in the Credit River.This is an old home, still standing in Churchville.I visited Churchville a few years ago with Rick Turley, where we gathered information about our 3rd Great-grandfather, Theodore Turley.
Here is this weekend’s program:
A little history about Churchville from the event website:
The village of Churchville is a designated historic conservation district in the southwest corner of Brampton, Ontario and can be reached by travelling west on Steeles Avenue from Highway 410 and turning south on the Churchville Road.
The village was settled in 1815 by Amaziah Church and celebrated its 200th birthday in 2015. It became part of the City of Brampton in 1974.
From 1836 to 1839, Churchville had a thriving branch of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Missionary work done here by Isaac Russell, Parley P. Pratt, John Taylor and others brought many converts into the Church. A 1913 article by Rob Roy in the “Weekly Sun” on April 9, 1913 said “immense crowds attended the services.” It is estimated that there were 100 members in the Churchville branch, and baptisms were performed in the Credit River.
Joseph Fielding, who had joined the Church in Toronto in 1836, wrote “…at a conference held in Churchville, U.C. (Upper Canada) Brother John Taylor prophesied with much of the Spirit and great Power upon several of us present. He said the Spirit of God should be upon Bro. Fielding and he should lift up his voice in his native land, etc. I have not heard a prophecy delivered more manifestly by the spirit of God than this was. From this I began to believe that the Lord had called me to go to England.” Diary of Joseph Fielding, p. 4 Brother Fielding was with the first group of missionaries who went to England in June, 1937.
The Prophet Joseph Smith visited Churchville in 1837 and urged members to join with the body of the Saints in the United States. Many left their homes and families and formed wagon trains to follow their new-found faith.
In 2017, a historic marker was dedicated in the Churchville Cemetery by Richard E. Turley Jr., a descendant of Theodore Turley, one of the early Churchville converts to the Church.
Hi Sister Lewis:
The conference went extremely well. We had about 300 in attendance from across Ontario. The reason for the conference was 2017 is the 150th anniversary of the birth of Canada. This was the only multi-stake event which took place in southern Ontario to celebrate Canada’s birth.
One interesting thing I learned was where the section 100 of the Doctrine and Covenants was given. The revelation was given, not in Perrysburg, New York but actually outside of Perrysburg. One brother who gave a talk on Joseph Smith’s visit to Ontario (Upper Canada) in 1833. This brother visited the property (the Nickerson property) where the revelation was given.
Theodore Turley was one of the first missionaries in Boston Mills, Peel County, Ontario. This is where 3 members of the Standing family were baptized. They were John Standing Senior, James Standing and John Standing Junior.. John Standing Senior did not gather with the Saints in the United States because his wife was a devout Baptist. However, in the 1861 census for Ontario, he is listed as a Mormon. He died in 1866 and was buried in the Boston Mills Cemetery.
John Standing Junior made it to Nauvoo. He died in 1843 of measles. He is buried in the Old Nauvoo Cemetery.
James Standing was one of the first missionaries to Simcoe County which is in the boundaries of my stake, the Barrie Stake. James crossed the plains to Utah. His son, Joseph Standing, was serving a mission in Varnell, Georgia in 1879 when he was killed by a mob of religious fanatics. There is a monument to him in Varnell, Georgia. He is buried in the SLC Cemetery where there is a monument and grave marker for him. Over 10,000 people attended his funeral.
Theodore Turley may have baptized the 3 members of the Standing family. They would have known one another.
P.S. Please see the new website www.josephsmith.ca to see photos and descriptions of Church historical sites in Ontario. There is a really good video on this website called “Joseph Smith in Upper Canada”. This video was produced in 2005. Several stakes in the Toronto area got together to make this video. The video was to remember the 200th anniversary of the birth of Joseph Smith and the 175th anniversary of the founding of the church in 1830. I was actually surprised how good it was, considering it was a local production. There are other items on this website too.
Brother Turley dedicated an historical marker yesterday in the Churchville Cemetery. Churchville was a village which is now located in the City of Brampton. There was a branch of the Church in the 1830’s in Churchville. It is believed Joseph Smith visited this branch in 1837 when he visited the Toronto area. There were about 100 members in the Churchville Branch.
Brother Turley was to speak to stake presidents and public affairs leaders from across Ontario this morning in Brampton. He will be speaking at a multistake fireside tonight in Toronto.
Hi Sister Lewis:
I hope you are enjoying your mission in Washington State.
We had a wonderful time at the church history conference yesterday. Brother Richard Turley gave a wonderful talk as the keynote speaker. He discussed the history of the Church from 1830 to the 1840’s in the Toronto area.
I helped organize this conference. I made the Barrie Stake display.
Here are a few items which most people would not know about the conference. Elder Hansen, a young missionary serving in Ontario, portrayed Parley P.Pratt. Elder Hansen is a direct descendant of Lydia Bailey who was baptized in October 1833 in Mount Pleasant, Ontario.
Elder Monson, a young missionary serving in Ontario portrayed Alexander Hill Senior who was the ggg grandfather of Mitt Romney. Elder Monson’s gg uncle is President Thomas S. Monson. I thought it was approprate for Elder Monson to be in the conference because President Monson played an important role in the history of the Church in Ontario.
Elder Ballard is a young missionary serving in Ontario. He is a grandson of Elder M. Russell Ballard. Young Elder Ballard is also a direct descendant of Mary Fielding so he played Joseph Fielding, Mary’s brother. Mary and Joseph Fielding were baptized in May 1836 in what is now Toronto.
Finally, Elder Allred is a young missionary serving in Ontario. He played James Standing who was one of the first missionaries to Simcoe County, Ontario. When I was doing some research on James Standing to write a script for Elder Allred, I found out James Standing and his family crossed the plains in 1849 in the Alan Taylor Company. The Standing family was in the Redick Allred Group of Fifty. In this group there were several members of the Allred family. Allred is a common name, even in the church. I asked Elder Allred if these were his ancestors. He said yes and Redick Allred was his ggg uncle. This story is incredible to me.
I don’t believe it is an accident these missionaries are serving in Ontario at the time of our church history conference.
Newmarket, Ontario, Canada