The Quantz Family of Markham


Chapter 31.1

History of the Quantz Family in Markham


            Markham was first settled in 1790 some years before any survey was made. It was finally surveyed in 1794, being the third township in the County of York marked out. In laying out the township Yonge Street was made the Base Line. There are ten concessions being almost a square, excepting the Eastern Line which is also the boundary of the County and does not run parallel with the concession lines, some of the lots in the concession are consequently deficient in area.


Though a few scattered pioneers here and there had taken up land before that date, there were no systematic attempts at settlement until 1794, when a number of Germans came from the United States under the leadership of Mr. William Berczy. Governor Simcoe, believing that many United Empire Loyalist families still remained in the United States who would be glad of an opportunity to settle in Canada if encouraged to do so by offers in land held out in inducements which were responded to by a good who were actuated so much by the motive of establishment under the rule of King George as of securing land grants. Among the were sixty four families of Germans who recently arrived from Hamburg having been brought out by agents to locate on "Captain Williamsons Demesne", or as it was also called the Pulionery (or Pulteney) settlement in New York State. Here they would have been in the position of tenants under the Patroon system then prevailing in New York. The prospects of their own farms in Canada was more inviting and in the face of great difficulties they made their way to Markham. There was then no roads and no stores, their supplies had to be secured from south of the lakes. Some few articles could be gotten at Niagara, but everything required in the way of tools, farm implements and provisions, had to be brought from the settlements of New York State.


            York was then a mere hamlet. Yonge Street did not exist, though the line had been marked out. But Mr. William Berczy, the leader of the expedition was a man of indefatigable energy and boundless resources. He had, during his residence in the United States, constructed wagon road all the way from Philadelphia to Lake Ontario and under his direction the Immigrants cut their way through the unbroken forests and made a wagon track from York to the southern portion of Markham, which winding in and out among the trees marked the beginning of Yonge Street. Over this primitive road they set out on their journey from York with their families and household effects. Their wagon was ingeniously contrived so that they could be used as boats on an emergency.  Made of closely fitting boards with the seams caulked, the body of the vehicle being removed from the carriage could be floated across small bodies of water, carrying a considerable load. Thus they crossed the Don and other streams in their journey. Where the banks were steep they lowered their wagons down the declivity by ropes passes around the trunks of saplings and pulled them up on the banks of the Rouge, sometimes known as the New River, which they at first supposed to be a tributary of the Don River, but on following to its outlet they discovered that instead of leading to York, it entered the Lake nearly twenty miles to the Eastward. This route afforded them easier access to the Front than Yonge Street in its primitive condition and for many years it was one mainly in use.


The first saw and gristmills in York County were built by Mr. William Berczy. In the earlier day of the settlement they were situated on the River Rouge on Lot # 4 in the three concessions of Markham and were known as the German Mills. The Gazette, a paper published in 1799, in referring to the township of Markham, mentions it as having good mills and a thriving settlement of Germans. It may also be mentioned here that the two first white born children in the township were John Stivers and Henry Elson, whose parents also came with the Berczy party. Now Mr. Berczy becoming embarrassed in his circumstances and was discouraged with the treatment he met with at the hands of the government. The pledges under which the project of settlement was put into execution were not difficult as he had expected and in 1799 he withdrew from Markham and took up his residence in Montreal.


Melchior Quantz

            Now the oldest of the Quantz family (three generations back) was named Melchior Quantz, but was known among his neighbours as "Michael". He emigrated from Hamburg, Germany, in 1772, was a soldier in the English army and fought in that capacity during the American war of Independence. He went to England on the restoration of peace and while there his son Frederick was born. He subsequently returned to America, landing in Philadelphia in 1791, from thence he came to Canada with this Mr. William Berczy and settled in Markham in 1794.

                                                                                                Author unknown
Chapter 31.2

Facts and Figures

Relating to the History of the

“House of Quantz”


(Note: The author refers to page numbers of a Journal he wrote. The Quantz families near Didsbury, Alberta have a copy of this journal. It is now being transcribed and is available on this website. The page numbers are shown.)


            In accordance with a promise made to myself (and I suppose it is right and proper to keep a promise made to yourself as well as to others.)  I am going to make room here for a chapter dealing with the name, past and present, and for which I seemed to be unable to find a better heading than the above.


If you were to look back on page 439 of my old memorandum you would see a dream related.  Just a simple little dream, yet out of it came the thought that has set me writing this addition to my memorandum.  This chapter will have to be written to a great extent from memory, memory of sight and memory of hearing.  The dates supplied will have to come from the old memorandum itself or from documents in my possession, as I cannot remember dates. 


The name Quantz is a German name which some may be considered unnecessary information as any one hearing the correct pronunciation of it would suppose it to be such.  Some distant members of the family write it Quance, which destroys the German accent and makes it more Englishified.  Why those same members of the family should change the spelling, or by what authority I have never learned, and it is a matter I have always resented in my own mind.  My grandfather carried the name across the sea from Germany when he was four years old and it was such a heavy load that it took seventeen weeks to get it across.  The family then consisted of my grandfather George, his older brother Frederick and their father and perhaps mother although I am not certain of her being alive at that time. 


Note: Melchior (Michael) Quantz - born 1749 - buried in Buttonville Cemetery. Served in the 1st Regiment York Militia attached to the “Light Dragoons". Noted by J.O.Q.


Somewhere among the ancient papers belonging to the family I have seen the “Will of *Melcher Quantz” bequeathing to his sons Frederick and George sundry effects consisting of brindle steers, sugar, kettles, buckets, pans, traps, etc.  Memory fails here so I cannot tell just what was bequeathed but one thing is certain the sum total listed would be considered a very meager possession nowadays, from which we might infer that at any rate the Quantz family did not commence their career on Canadian soil in the lap of luxury.  As near as I can compute their landing in this country must have been between 1780 and 1790.  Where they landed or where they may have spent the first years of their existence in this then unsettled country I do not know.  One thing I know and that is that my grandfather spent some small portion of his early life in the Garrison, Little York, which place I suppose is identical with the Garrison common, Toronto.  When he was near the end of his long pilgrimage of life and too childish to remember the things that happened later in life, I myself heard him talk of his experiences there and how he would turn his comrades upside down in their wrestling matches.  Whether or not he ever saw any active service as a soldier I cannot tell.


 In the history of the Canadian Rebellion and events leading up to that time I have read of a wealthy and powerful man of German extraction who for certain benefits and privileges agreed with the Government of Upper Canada to bring out immigrants and settle certain townships among which was the township of Markham.  Naturally the immigrants which this man gathered into these townships were of his own nationality and today the majority of the population of these townships are of German descent.  It may be worth mentioning that the false government broke faith with this man, and from a wealthy and influential person he became a poor and needy man. 


We yet hear of the “Pennsylvania Dutch” and believe that large numbers of them settled in Markham and adjoining townships.  We also hear them spoken of as a superior class of Dutch people, others contend - and I suppose strictly speaking they are correct - that the German and Dutch are two distinct nationalities and that the Dutch are Holland [Not sure of the preceding word on original manuscript] people, however I am not going to contend with any one about this conglomeration of mixed terms.  Moreover I do not know whether or not my ancestors were ever in Pennsylvania.  I could not say whether they were brought into Markham by the aforesaid gentleman of rank or settled there of their own accord.  One thing I have always believed and that is that they were of the superior class and yet I do not wish to dispute about this question for fear I couldn't furnish proofs to support my assertions.


I would now like to dismiss the other branch of the family, namely Frederick's, with as few words as possible. He settled on the third concession of Markham (near Dollar post office) married a wife and raised a numerous posterity. A few of them I am acquainted with but the greater part of them I couldn't pick out if we were turned loose in a ten acre field. The majority of them are well-to-do farmers and good citizens, one or two of them have attained some notoriety in municipal matters and if all do their share as well that branch of the family the name Quantz will exist 'till Gabriel sounds the last trump.


The rear of Lot #14 in the 6th Concession of the Township of Markham was the homestead of George Quantz, my grandfather. The main portion of the farm passed out of the hands of a Quantz two-score years being sold by my Father to my Uncle William Wonch and since that time to strangers. The portion of the Lot fronting upon the 7th Concession was divided into small lots and became the possessions of some of my Uncles consequently was sometimes called Quantz-town, at other times Centreville because centrally located between Markham village and Unionville. At the present time there is nobody there of the name of Quantz but some of the lots are still owned and occupied by their descendants. 


My grandmother’s maiden name was, according to an old German record in my possession, “Anna Maria” Baker.  According to an insertion in the old family Bible in my father’s handwriting it was “Maryann”.  Whether the German and English do not correspond or whether there may be a mistake on one side or the other I do not know.  I simply mention and leave it because it seems to be the easiest way out of the complication.  Eleven children were born to them and as far as I know this family were all born and raised on the old homestead heretofore described.  In dealing with this family - namely my uncles and aunts, I would like to give a brief sketch from memory of each one, as far as my memory will carry me.  I would also like to place these records in schedule form so that any dates not now in my possession and of which I may become possessed hereafter may be easily inserted.  In giving the ages of the family as contained in the above-mentioned German record we believe them to be correct.  The Record was executed by Louis A. Constantine, Schoolmaster, and I dated August 20th 1824.  It is my intention to write the name by which they were known to me as Uncle and Aunt and they may differ somewhat from the German.  For instance the German record gives the two oldest girls double names which look nearly alike yet they were known as Anna and Mary.



Names                                                  Born                                   Died



     George Quantz                                1767                                   May 27th 1873

     Maryann Baker (Batger) (Badger)  Oct. 10th 1788                    May 2nd 1858.



     Anna                                                Aug. 1st 1808                        

     Mary                                                June 22nd 1810                  April 17th 1908.

     Frederick                                          June 5th 1812                     Oct. 26th 1888.

     Elizabeth                                         Sept. 27th 1814                 

     Sophia                                             July 6th 1817                      Aug. 1st 1892

     Christeen                                         Feb. 1st 1819                      April 26th 1903.

     Martha                                            Dec. 8th 1821                    

     John                                                 April 14th 1824                  Sept. 22nd 1904.

     George B.                                         Aug. 4th 1826                     June 19th 1892

     Margaret                                         April 7th 1828                   

     Philip                                               Aug. 12th 1830                  


            Aunt Anna the oldest of the family married John Size, Shoemaker, of Unionville.  I remember five grown children.  There may or may not have been more.  She was born about forty-six years before I was; consequently they were “old people” at my earliest recollection.  They lived in Unionville near the schoolhouse where I first attended school and my recollections of my Aunt Anna are mixed up with kindly pats on the head and bread and butter with brown sugar on it.  Brown sugar was ten cents a pound in those days and a rare treat on bread and butter.  When a boy of eight or nine I remember being sent time and again for a dozen tallow candles and a pound of sugar and those articles were supposed to last a family a couple of weeks.  The old people were poverty stricken in their old age and I remember people saying it was brought about by a too free use of sugar and like articles when they were able to earn them. 


Aunt Mary in her youthful days married a man by the name of Lihty by whom she had two children.  After her first husbands death she married Henry Shoults, and raised an additional family of three.  They lived on the old homestead, or rather on a small lot belonging to the old home farm fronting on the seventh concession.  Uncle Henry has been dead a number of years but she still lives with her son George having attained the great age of over ninety-six years.  At the present time she is the only living member of the family.


Frederick, the firstborn son was a six-foot, two hundred-pound, powerful man and stories of his exploits in the line of work in his palmy days are yet extant.  He had for his first wife one Peggy Puterbaugh.  At least nine children were born to them.  After her death which was longer ago than I can remember, he married a widow Lundy and two more children came of this marriage.  He died at Richmond Hill aged 76 years, 4 months, 21 days.


Elizabeth, the fourth of the family, was an Aunt about whom I knew very little.  She was reckoned as the flower of the flock as far as looks were concerned but I have an indistinct remembrance of her having left a stain upon our name.  She married (it appears to me unwillingly) a George Bierman of Markham.  They separated after a time and she fell in love and ran away with Jacob Barkey.  How long afterward her lawful husband lived I do not know but she became a faithful wife to the man of her choice and raised a large family, probably eight or ten.  They lived in Pennsylvania and at least one of her sons gave up his life in the United States civil war.  They were in Markham on a visit when I was a lad of nine, that being the only time I ever saw her or her husband.  At the present time no correspondence or definite knowledge of each other exists between her descendants and their relatives here.


Sophia married George Haacke. Their home for the greater part of their lives was on Lot 21, Concession 7. Fourteen children were all they had.  My recollections of Aunt Sophy are pleasant ones.  She was kindhearted, motherly, sunny-tempered Christian.  Uncle George was a hard man in some respects but I believe he was a good husband.  Unlike the Quantz’s he was a moneymaker, adding farm to farm and money to money, nearly all of which has been squandered by the children since his death.  They both died near the old home and both lie buried in the old Christian graveyard on the 7th Con. where so many of the descendants of the house of Quantz have found their last resting place.


Aunt Christeen was an aunt whom I knew more about and whom I held in high esteem although she had a decided way of making boys toe the mark. Unlike her next older sister with the numerous family she only had one child - a son. She married William Wonch also of Markham Township. My first recollection was of them living on the 4th concession of Markham and Father and Mother taking me to visit them on a bitterly cold day and of my crying with the cold on the way. In after years Uncle William bought the old homestead from Father and for a certain time we lived close together, my Father having built a house on the front of the Lot or in Quantztown. Years after my Uncle sold out again and moved to the Township of Innisfil where both the old people reached the span of life and crossed over. The son, cousin George E. Wonch, is still there.


Martha was one of the three children who became United States citizens. She married Stephen Noble and had two children if I remember rightly. They left Markham when I was quite young in years and I never saw them afterward. I very much doubt if any of her connections here could furnish the date of her death or have any definite knowledge of her descendants.


John was never far afield. For a few years he lived on a rented farm in the Township of Whitchurch, otherwise he was always a resident of Markham. I never knew of him living anywhere but on his lot in Quantztown.


He married Elizabeth Whipple, otherwise known as “Aunt Betty”.  They only had one child - a daughter who afterward married George Sornberger and they also spent the greater part of their lives on the same lot in another house.  It is an old saying that “a rolling stone gathers no moss” but this case must have been an exception, for although they were nearly all their lives in the one place they never gathered much of this worlds goods.  However theirs was a pleasant and a hospitable home and one which was often visited by me.  I was called Aunt Betty’s boy and they were nearer to me than any others of my Uncles and Aunts.  Both lie buried in the old churchyard above mentioned.

George B Quantz

            It is not necessary to say much about George Baker Quantz here.  Much of father’s life and movements are recorded elsewhere in this book.  Unlike Uncle John he wandered here and there.  From the old homestead he moved first to East Gwillimbury, then to Osprey, then to King, then to Whitchurch.  He and Mother are lying side by side in the Church Hill Christian Church burying ground which some ground was given by him to the church.






            Margaret was the third one of the girls whose husbands took them to the United States although it was later on in life when they went.  I remember both of them distinctly and remember playing with the children of whom there were five.  They went to Michigan but we used to hear oftener from them than the others and one of the boys visited Markham ten or twelve years afterward.  Uncle David N. Wismer (for that was her husband's name) was rather unsettled as far as his occupations were concerned, - being hunter, fisher, farmer or a follower of any other occupation that caught his fancy for the time being, and at his best if his possessions had been turned into hard cash he wouldn’t have required all his pantspockets to carry it around.  Like the other wanderers I have no record of her death.


Philip, the last of the family was born when the oldest child was twenty-two.  Eleven children in twenty-two years, making an average of two years for each child.  And every one reached manhood and womanhood and every one married.  What an awful calamity to a family and an outrage upon society that would be in our day.  One or two at most, is enough according to the edicts of polite society now-a-days.  Uncle Philip married Catherine Crosby; a girl born and raised on the next farm from where he was born and they settled in the Quantztown and raised a family of six.  He was a carpenter by trade and like many more of the Quantz's, especially the younger generation; he was a genius at woodworking.  Our own Valley Grove home was built by him.  One of his sons was fretwork sawer for the Uxbridge Organ Co. for a number of years.  But in spite of all his natural abilities he made a failure of life financially speaking and his last days were spent in a charitable institution in the city of Toronto.


So endeth these memory sketches.  They may be faulty in a few instances but I think they are correct in the main.  It may be of interest in passing to notice that my computation gives the house of George Quantz senior about seventy grandchildren.  Just a word about the honored name of George as relating to the family.  Four successive generations bore the name and unless it crops up somewhere in succeeding generations it is likely to become obsolete because the last to bear it came to an untimely end by drowning at the age of twenty.  George, my grandfather, George Baker, my father, George Wellington my brother and George Naurice, my brother’s son, have borne the name.


It would be impossible for me to follow the family tree as it spread its branches wider and wider so I will have to confine myself to the particular branch that represented our family.  As far as my dream and the intent of writing this chapter to my memorandum is concerned the foregoing may be considered as a prologue.  In my dream I was relating to this book the characteristics, movements and concerns of our own family, that is, the family of George Baker Quantz of which family I am the oldest, biggest, and most illiterate specimen living.           

            According to the records heretofore-inserted George Baker Quantz was born Aug. 4th, 1826, married Dec.1st 1852 and died June 19th 1892.  Jane Bradburn, his wife was born Feb. 1st 1833 and died May 4th 1906.  We see by these figures that father died in his 66th year and mother in her 73rd.  She was nearly seven years younger than him being married in her 19th year and survived him nearly 14 years.  On Oct. 27th 1896 she was married the second time to George Feeley, an old time lover of hers, and May 1900 he was burned to death in the great Hull-Ottawa fire.  Mother was of Irish extraction both her parents coming from the “old sod” so there was a streak of Irish somewhere mixed up with the German in the composition of the children.  I used to say that I was half-Irish, half-Dutch and half-Canadian but some folks wouldn’t believe it.


            The children of George B. and Jane Quantz were nine, born as follows:


Name                                 Born                    Married               Died

     James                            Dec. 17, 1853                                   Dec. 29, 1853

     William Alexander       Nov. 26, 1854      Oct.   5, 1881                                      m. Susan C.

     William Alexander                                   Apr. 13, 1898      Jun. 18, 1945         m. Florence A.

     George Wellington       Apr. 30, 1857      Jan. 23, 1884       Apr. 13, 1938

     Mary Jane                     Jul. 26, 1859        Jun. 28, 1881       Jul. 10, 1930

     Joseph                           Sep.   6, 1862                                   Sep. 8, 1862

     Jacob Daniel                 Sep. 13, 1863      Oct. 14, 1891       Jul.   2, 1943

     Edwin Albert                Mar. 10, 1866     Aug. 4, 1904        May 16, 1959

     John Oscar                    Jan. 12, 1868       Aug. 11, 1900      Jan. 24, 1903

     Charles Augustus         Jan. 10, 1872                                   Mar. 22, 1874


            Charlie was scalded by falling backward into a pail of boiling water and his injuries resulted in death. 


There you have us.  Leaving out the angel children and the only girl, you have the [make], the smart boy, the plodder, the mischief and the student.


            William Alexander, that’s myself, is the first on the list but it is not my purpose to say anything about myself in this chapter.  There is enough and more than enough about me in the book now. The writing of this entire book has been a huge task and has required a large amount of stick-to-itiveness, and let me say that this same trait has been one of the redeeming features of the [make] and has often made successes out of what otherwise might have been failures. And one of the benefits of this book to myself has been the memory of things past in black and white and the ready reference to dates that I could not hold in my head.  And so I thought this chapter might tell some of the younger people who might chance to see it a little more than they yet know about their ancestors and supply some dates that might otherwise be lost for good.


            Although it may be somewhat of a repetition I want to record the Births, Deaths and Marriages of each separate family as we go along.

Name                                   Born                        Married                       Died


     William Alexander          Nov. 26th 1854        Oct.5th 1881                June 18th 1945

     Susan Remina Clayton   Sep. 1854                                                    Apr. 3rd 1892



     Edna Jane                        July 5th 1882           April 20th 1910 to       Aug. 22nd1960

                                                                             William R. Reid

     Clayton                            July 8th 1886           Jan. 26th 1916 to

                                                                             Alma Holzkamm

     Florence Remina             Mar. 24th 1892                                            May 2nd 1892

(Second Marriage)

Name                                   Born                        Married                       Died


     William Alexander          Nov. 26th 1854        Apr. 13th, 1898            Jun. 18th 1945

     Florence Ella Amos         Aug. 15th 1869                                            Jan. 10th 1959



     Gordon Amos                 Mar. 16th 1901        Jan. 13th 1945 to         Oct.13th 1967

                                                                             Kathleen Harrison

                                                                             May 7th 1958 to

                                                                             Audrey Luella Emery 

     John Oscar                      June 10th 1903        June 1oth, 1949 to

                                                                             Eileen Gertrude Taylor



            George Wellington comes next. He was considered by people in general to be of a more enterprising and speculative nature than his older brother. Unlike his brother he started out on his own account before he became of age. After roaming around for a considerable time he joined forces with me and from 1879 till 1883 we worked together on "Hard Scrabble". We were fairly successful while together and during those years done very much toward cleaning up and improving the old farm of Hard Scrabble, Lot 26, Concession 9, Whitechurch.


After leaving me he spent some time in Flos and on Jan. 23rd 1884 he married Miss Nancy Doan of Tiny, formerly of King. (p.100). They rented a farm in Flos near Allenwood and settled down to business. For several years they continued their farming operations and then sold out. This was the beginning of what is generally termed "the hard times" and his stock and effects were sold at great sacrifice. His business career since leaving me had been a failure. Not only was what he had gathered together gone but he found himself burdened with debt. Prices were away down, work was scarce, his stakes were pulled up and he was turned loose with the burden on his back.


That was the time he showed his breeding. He was a man. He provided for his family as best he could and struck out for the woods. Year after year he struggled on 'till every man had his dollar. In the Northern lumber woods, in the Northwest with the surveyors, in the Sudbury mining district, in New Ontario, and in Cobalt he has cooked and hunted and worked. During most of these years he saw his wife and family two or three times a year. He lived such a life as I have thought many a time I couldn't stand anyway you could fix it. But he has shook his debts. For the last years he has been a prospector in the Cobalt district and has a couple of claims there of his own. The most terrible shock of their lives came last summer when Naurice was downed while pursuing his work with the surveyors. (p.436). The family lived in Wahnapitae and then came to New Market to give the children a high school education.


Name                                   Born                        Married                       Died

     George Wellington         Apr. 30th, 1857       Jan. 23rd, 1884            Apr. 13th, 1938

     Nancy Doan                    Mar. 11th, 1860                                           June 12th, 1937



     Beatrice                           May 3rd, 1885                                             Oct. 14th, 1886

     George Naurice               Mar. 15th, 1886                                           May 12th, 1906

     Myrtle Jane                     Sep. 24th, 1889       Nov. 18th, 1919 to      

                                                                             Flt. Lieu. W. C. Johnston   Died 1969

     Edgar Doan                     Aug. 18th, 1891       Sep. 1st, 1927 to          Aug. 13th, 1968

                                                                             Georgina Mackenzie  Feb. 4th, 1979

            Next comes Mary Jane, the only girl in the family of nine. I was nearly five years old when she was born and I remember that I considered my life as being made miserable because I had to stay in and rock the cradle. I don't think she was "spoiled" any more than the rest of us because she was a girl. Her life was as uneventful as the male members of the family and perhaps more so. On June 28th, 1881 she married William E. Spring, son of Jacob and Anna Spring. The ceremony was performed by Elder William Percy of Stouffville, at Father's house in Church Hill. (p.56). In October of the same year, they moved to the township of Tiny where he had purchased a bush farm and they have been there ever since.

Like the Quantz's he was never noted as a moneymaker. I think however they have lived a happy life together, which is of much more account than the money making. They have brought up three obedient and well-behaved children.


Name                                   Born                        Married                       Died


     William Edwin Spring     Aug. 18th, 1856       June 28th, 1881           May 6th, 1940

     Mary Jane Quantz          July 26th, 1859                                            July 10th, 1930



     Herbert Augustus           Sept. 18th, 1882      June 1924 to              

                                                                             Mrs. Margaret Tripp

     Laura Ethel                      May 22, 1884         Mar. 20, 1907 to

                                                                             James McFadden.

     Viola Pearl                       July 3rd, 1888,         Oct. 29, 1924 to          Jan. 1965

                                                                             John D. Stone            



            The children enumerated thus far were all born on the old farm proper but the fifth was born in Quantztown after the farm had been sold. One of my Father's older sisters married a man by the name of Barkey and lived in Pennsylvania. In the autumn of 1863 this couple and their youngest son paid a visit to the old home. The uncle's name was Jacob and the cousin's Daniel and the young gaffer who had just lately come into the home was called Jacob Daniel.


I have heard people talk of the black sheep of the family but he wasn't black, at least not as far as character was concerned, but his eyes and hair were several shades darker than those of any other member of the family. We were all flaxen-haired in early youth except Jake. He was the odd sheep. He was also shorter in stature than any of us. But he possessed the grim determination of his old German ancestors. He was a plodder. Like his older brothers he started for himself as an ordinary farmer or rather his training was in that direction for he owned no land in those days. He worked sometimes for me, sometimes for Wellington and sometimes for strangers. But the time came when he had to quit work. He developed a bad case of Dyspepsia. When he was getting better he took another notion. He went to Toronto Veterinary College and in due time became a qualified Veterinary Surgeon. He hung out his shingle and practiced his profession for some time in Lakefield near Peterborough. From Lakefield he went to Kentucky the land of whiskey drinking and racehorses. While in Cynthiana, Kentucky, he married Miss Sophia Doan. But she wasn't a Kentucky girl, not by any means. She was a sister of his brother George Wellington's wife and she must have seen him before for she thought enough of him to travel from Flos to Kentucky alone to marry him. A son was born to them there but the climate was too hot for mother and son. During the summer of 1895 they came back to Ontario and in September of the same year they went to Alberta and took up a homestead. Jake has never been back since consequently it is over eleven years since I have seen him. But the plodder has made a home and money in that new country and is worth more today financially speaking than any other member of the family. And so after inserting his short family record as we have done with the rest we shall have to leave him.


Name                                   Born                        Married                       Died


     Jacob Daniel                    Sept. 13th, 1863      Oct. 14th, 1891            Jul. 2, 1943

     Sophia J. Doan                Dec. 27th, 1864                                           Jun. 2, 1943



     Jacob Doan                     Feb. 12th, 1894                                           Killed in battle in

                                                                                                                 Europe June 1916

     Oscar Percival                 Aug. 16th, 1901       June 25th, 1924 to       Oct. 6, 1979

                                                                             Ada E. Stephenette

                                                                             (Died Oct. 20, 1968)



            Edwin Albert is the next on the list. The funny thing about it is that I can't remember where we lived when he first came to see us. I don't know where he was born or why. He seemed to be just born for fun and he has been funny ever since, and in more ways than one. He was the mischief of the family. He kept things lively. Evidently he didn't believe that life was made up of all work and no play. But he did his work bravely too, and his mischief was pure fun, nothing bad. He was foremost in the lacrosse and ball game. And once in the football game he was injured internally so that it took years for him to recover from it and perhaps he was never just as robust again. He and John commenced their early studies together and although both were good students and Ed had the advantage with regard to age, John was always a little in advance with his studies. They passed their entrance examinations in the course of time and Father and Mother moved to Mount Joy in Nov. 1882 in order to send them to Markham High School (p.83). Just previous to this Father sold the Church Hill fifty-acre homestead to Mr. Stotts for $1,000. I also bought his half interest in "Hard Scrabble", he reserving ten acres by life lease. After the two boys had passed through their high school studies, the family moved back and built upon the leased ten acres giving it the name of Valley Grove which it still bears. They passed their training in the Newmarket model school and thus qualified themselves for public school teaching. After this they were left to their own resources and each one had to work his way in life. They taught for some years and then improved themselves by taking a course in stenography and shorthand, also a course in Business College. After this their paths diverged. Ed has taught in business colleges but for the greater part of his life he has followed the avocation of a public school teacher. He has proven himself a thoroughly capable teacher and has gained a living thereby. He has drifted wide in his teaching operations and for the last few years has been in Alberta. He is now located in Daysland, Alberta and in addition to his duties as a teacher, has taken up a homestead. In August 1904 he married Ruth Harris of Alberta and since that time a son has been born to them. The age of 26 was the regulation time for the Quantz's to marry but he passed that time by a dozen years.


Name                                   Born                        Married                       Died


     Edwin Albert                   Mar. 10th, 1866       Aug. 4th, 1904             May 16th, 1959

     Ruth Harris                     Sept. 7th, 1886                                            Dec. 21st, 1915



     William Edwin                July 29th, 1906        July 22nd, 1938 to

                                                                             E. Green

     Albert George                 Sept. 23rd, 1907     

     Minnie Ruth                    June 3rd, 1909         Jan.10th, 1933 to

                                                                             John Paxton.

     Irene Jane                       Feb. 3rd, 1911                                             Apr. 5th, 1916

     Daniel Ernest                  Oct. 11, 1912                                              Oct. 6th, 1939


            John Oscar - One more brother finds a place in this catalogue, the youngest and best. If it were fair to leave his biography out of this chapter I would gladly do so. He is numbered with the dead and the memory of the dead is sacred. I cannot do his memory justice so it is with great reluctance that I write at all. Neither do I wish it understood that it is because he is gone that I say the good I may of him. It has became a customary thing to eulogize the dead, and sometimes it is carried beyond the limits of truth, but what I have said or may say of the Brother that has gone will only be approaching the truth. The majority of people were not capable of knowing him as he was, only a few people have sounded the depths of his great character and - yes, I think I may say it - I am among that few. He and I, the youngest and the oldest were thrown more together in our after life than any of the rest of the family.


            During his studies in the Toronto University he was an inmate of my home and yet at that time I didn't understand him. He passed through one of the greatest heart-struggles of his life while under my roof and I didn't know it 'til long after. Where the time came that I had no home, where father and wife and child passed over in less than three months, where the old "days of darkness" were dragging slowly along, then I came to know John. From that time on he and I lived heart to heart. From him I received the greatest share of the sympathy and help that I so sorely needed at that time.


            From him I learned little by little the grandest truths that have came into my life. And I came to know that the lessons, the inspirations, the truths, he was dealing out to me he was dealing out to scores of others. And one of the beautiful features of his character was that he went about his work so quietly and unobtrusively. He would listen respectfully to the opinions of people greatly inferior to himself in wisdom and never argue for the sake of argument. He was modest in his assertions yet at the same time strong in his convictions. And while he was exerting himself to make others happy his own life was full of disappointment and longing and loneliness. He came to know the full what is meant by "waiting". A great many people think they understood all about "waiting" where they have scarcely touched the outside of its meaning.


            He was born in the township of East Gwillimbury on the 3rd Concession or Queen Street as it is generally called, about two miles north of Queensville on the outskirts of what was known then as, and may still be called "The Holland Swamp". Poverty held the house of Quantz in its clutches in those days and the little stranger found a very indifferent welcome. I myself remember the family living for some time on plain boiled turnips. Perhaps under the circumstances the mother might be forgiven for saying that she would not have mourned greatly if the new addition to the family had been taken away.


            But he didn't go, not then. He stayed with us and took his chances with the rest and his slice came out of the loaf and the loaves seemed to keep us going some how. But a good deal of the time there was nothing but the loaf and a little tea to help it down. Sometimes, when things were a little more prosperous, we had butter on our last half slice. And the little one came to be dearly loved for even in his childish days he was good. One time the rest of us took him upstairs to play in a house where only part of the upper floor was laid and he pitched over and lit on his head on the lower floor barely escaping splitting his head on an iron pot. He barely escaped with his life as it was, but there was rejoicing in that house when we knew he would live.


            I often think of our wanderings from place to place and of the privations we suffered and I wonder sometimes if it made better men of us. As soon as I was able to work out (thirteen was the age in my case) I was away from home most of the time and couldn't enjoy the companionship of the younger ones. John and Ed grew up together and the outward history of the one was the history of the other until they commenced to teach. I have traced that history in Ed's case. As I have said, John was the best student. He was a great student. The exercise of his great mind overtaxed his physical resources. He never could endure privation and manual labour like the rest of us. He would teach public school until he would gather a sufficient sum and then expend it on his college studies. He took the degree of BA in Toronto University in the class of 1894 (p.257) and the degree of Ph.D. in the University of Wisconsin in July 1897. (p.333).


            Aug. 11th, 1900 he married Miss Maggie Baxter, the girl he had loved and waited for long, long years (p.397). He loved as few love in this life and waited, as few have to wait. The same day they were married they started for Moose Jaw, Saskatoon, where he assumed the principalship of the High School in that place. A year or so afterward they went to Oshkosh, Wisconsin, where he died. Once more you will have to turn back in the old memorandum (p.403) and read what has been written in the past for the conclusion of this poor biography. You will there find the last tribute of my poor pen to the Brother who has gone to rest.


Name                                   Born                        Married                       Died

     John Oscar Quantz         Jan. 12th, 1868        Aug. 11th, 1900           Jan. 24th, 1903

     Margaret Baxter             Aug. 16th, 1863                                           Apr. 17th, 1943



                                                                             By: William A. Quantz      

                                                                             Dated: Dec. 31, 1906




Chapter 31.3

Appendix to Former Chapter


Back in book No. 1, page 444, there is a long chapter and the title given to it when written was called "Facts and Figures relating to the History of the House of Quantz". I am making a pause in my weekly insertions here to add an appendix to that chapter and the reason for it is that I have been reading an old book from which I have gleaned some facts regarding my ancestors and my country that seemed to me to be worth Preserving. The title of the book is "The History of the County of York". The name of the author I can not give for the perfectly good reason that it is neither in or on the book. Evidently the author was too modest to put his name on the outside and the first leaves are missing. Some enterprising rats or mice have chewed through the cover and some of the leaves. Whether they were hunting for historical facts regarding their country or something to eat remains an unsettled question. The book was published in 1885; consequently there are no historical facts in it relating to the County of York or Canada after that date.


            It is not my intention to try and dig up Canadian History, but there are a few facts regarding it that have interested me so much that I think it is worth while mentioning them. My main object is to retain some further facts concerning my ancestors of which I was ignorant at the time of writing the former chapter. First then, some facts relating to the early history of Canada, most of which happened within 25 miles of where I was born and raised, namely, York, or muddy York, or little York, afterward Toronto. The name York was first given to the place in honour of the King's son, the Duke of York, York County, and York Township are names probably derived from the same source.


            The name Toronto (meaning meeting place) is an Indian word and was probably given to the place because it became a place of supply for the first settlers and place of meeting and barter between the white man and his civilized products and the Indian and his furs.


            John Graves Simcoe, first Governor of Canada came over from England in 1792 and built Castle Frank as a residence for himself during his governorship in Canada. When he was recalled to England the pioneers of Canada lost a good friend and a just ruler. He died in Oct. 1806. The County of Simcoe, Lake Simcoe, Simcoe Street in Toronto, were named for him. His wife's maiden name was Gwillim, and East, West, and North Gwillimbury were named for her. The population of York in 1800 was 200 soldiers and ten or twelve families.


            Yonge Street is one of the first highways built in Canada and was intended to connect Lakes Ontario and Simcoe. The name Yonge was bestowed on it by Governor Simcoe in honour of his friend Sir George Yonge, secretary of war during the earlier part of the Governor's residence in Canada. Simcoe employed the soldiers in the work of opening up Yonge Street.


            The first public market in Little York was established in 1803 and called St. Lawrence Market. It is still in existence in 1933 making it 130 years old. The first St. James Cathedral was built in 1804. The first parliament was called in June 1798 and the location was at the intersection of Parliament and Front Streets. That may have been the reason it was called Parliament Street.


            Just a few words about one of the most prominent men in the history of Canada - William Lyon McKenzie. He was born in Dundee Scotland, in 1795, and died August 28th, 1861. Toronto was incorporated in 1834 with a population of 10,000 and McKenzie was the city's first chief magistrate. He was a Member of Parliament, and as such was thrown out of his seat time and time again. He published a paper called the Colonial Advocate in which he scourged the grasping, iniquitous rule of the "Family Compact" and the injustice of the "Clergy Reserve Law", whereby one seventh of all Canadian lands were set aside in sections for the sole use of the Church of England.


            The story of the rebellion of 1836-37, of which McKenzie was the leading spirit, is generally well known. It failed in the sense of accomplishing anything of immediate value to the opposers of the "Family Compact" and their iniquitous granting of lands and positions to their families and supporters but it worked to their undoing in the end. A number of persons lost their lives and a number escaped to the United States. Amoung the latter was McKenzie. He returned to Toronto in 1849.


            Reports to the English authorities and investigations on their part led to the overthrow of the Family Compact government and the betterment of conditions in Canada.


            The Clergy reserves question was settled in 1855 and the lands thrown open for disposal. The proceeds, a supposedly large amount, were invested in the interests of education and constitutes what is called the Clergy reserve fund and the interest of that fund is divided yearly among all our schools.


            The "History of the County of York" deals at some length with the old-time history of Canada as a whole; its explorers, its Indian natives, its wars, especially the wars between the English and the French during the time that Upper Canada was held by the English and Lower Canada by the French.


            Then it gives in detail, the effect of some of the abuses practiced upon the sparse settlers and the injustice of some of the rulers sent over from the Mother country, who apparently thought they were going to build a new England where the few would be entitled to rule over the many and the Church of England would be sustained and enriched without regard to other denominations or beliefs.


            Then the writer gives a more detailed account of the townships comprising the County of York, namely Etobicoke, York, Scarborough, Vaughan, King, Markham, Whitchurch, Gwillimbury East, Gwillimbury North, and Georgina. After that he gives a history of the towns and villages included in the county of which we will take no note.



We come now to the main purpose of the writing of this chapter, namely, some further facts relating to the history of the House of Quantz. In doing so we just have to confine ourselves to what the author has told us about the settlement of the good old banner township of Markham.


After describing the township and giving the acreage, which is 67,578, he says, "it was first settled in about the year 1790. It was partially surveyed in 1794, being the third township in the county to be marked out". The author also says that "a few scattered pioneers had here and there taken up land but there was no systematic attempt at settlement until 1794 when a number of Germans came over from the United States under the leadership of William Berczy". Among these were 64 families of Germans who had been brought out from Hamburg by agents to locate on Captain Williamsons' estate called the "Pulteney settlement" in New York. These people were there in the position of tenants. The prospect of owning their own farms in Canada was more inviting, and in the face of great difficulties they made their way to Markham. There were no roads and no stores; supplies had to be procured from the south of the lakes. Some few articles could be got at Niagara (then called Newark) but nearly everything in the way of tools, farm implements and provisions had to be brought from the settlements in New York State. York was then a mere hamlet; Yonge Street did not exist, though the line had been marked out.


            But Berczy, the leader of the expedition was a man of indomitable energy and boundless resources. He had, during his residence in the United States, constructed a road all the way from Philadelphia to Lake Ontario, and under his direction the immigrants cut their way through the forest and made a wagon track to the southern portion of Markham, which winding in and out amoung the trees marked the beginning of Yonge Street.


            Over this primitive road they set out on their journey from York with their families and household effects. Their wagons were ingeniously contrived so they could be used as boats on an emergency.  Made of closely fitting boards with the seams caulked, the body of the vehicle being removed from the carriage could be floated across small bodies of water, carrying a considerable load. Where the banks were steep they lowered their wagons down the declivity by ropes passes around the trunks of saplings and pulled them up on the opposite side in a similar manner.


The first saw and gristmills in York County were built by Mr. William Berczy in the early days of the settlement. They were situated on the River Rouge on Lot # 4 in the 3rd concession of Markham and were known as the German Mills.


As near as I can tell the German Mills are in the neighbourhood of where Frederick Quantz settled in the township. The "Jail Farm" was purchased by the government from a Quantz and a Quantz has held a position of authority there since the institution was built, as far as I know.


The author says, "The Gazetteer in 1799, in referring to the township of Markham, mentions it as having "good mills and a thriving settlement of Germans". He also mentions that John Stivers and Henry Elson were the two first white children born in Markham and that their parents came in with the Berczy party. Berczy became greatly embarrassed in his circumstances and was discouraged by the treatment of the government. The pledges under which the project of settlement was first put into execution were not fulfilled as he expected and in 1799 he withdrew from the enterprise and took up his residence in Montreal. His losses in connection with the settlement of Markham were stated at Thirty Thousand Pounds. Ultimately he returned to the States and died in New York in 1813.


It has been very gratifying to me to get the history of this man Berczy. Mention of him is contained in the former chapter of facts and figures but very little was known to me then except the bare fact that he had lost a fortune in connection with the settlement of Markham. Possibly his losses came to him during the regime of the English aristocracy and the family Compact, and if such is the case, at any rate, it puts the German immigrant and the poorer classes on the right side in the pages of History, and we belong to both.


Reading this history and studying all the facts that it has brought to me has been not only gratifying but entertaining. There doesn't seem to be a doubt left in my mind about the movements of the family back tom the time of my Great Grandfather, Melchior Quantz. I think we can trace them from Hamburg Germany, to New York State, and from there to the township of Markham. There is an old saying in the family that my Grandfather (with his parents) came across the sea at the age of four. He was born in 1784, so reckoning from that the migration from Germany would be in 1788. The migration from New York State was in 1794, consequently giving them only six years there. This appears to be a short space of time for the settlement and removal of a colony of 64 families but it agrees with the author's description of it, for in speaking of their migration to Markham he says they had "recently" been brought from Hamburg.


A good deal has been said in the former chapter about the Pennsylvania Germans and their migration to Markham but it would appear from this history that Berczy's party, who came from New York, may have been there first, and I suppose New York may have been just as good a place to come from as Pennsylvania, and it seems to be one more point cleared up in the Quantz history.


In the history of the township the author has given a list of the early patentees of the township arranged according to years in which they received their titles or deeds of land, and Melchior Quantz is recorded as receiving his in the year 1803, 130 years ago. It is so interesting to meet with names that you are accustomed to hearing in 1933 mentioned back in the first years of the 18th century that I will bring some of them to your notice. John George Shoults, (here spelled Schultz), John Haacke, John Size, Albright Spring, Philip Wideman, Nathan Terry, Ners Fierheller, Philip Eckardt, John Button, Englehart Helmkey, William Eakin, and others. Descendants of the first three mentioned in this list married Quantz girls and were Uncles of mine.


Referring back to the old German record I find that Grandfather was born in 1784, and died Sept. 1873, consequently he would be 89 at the time of his death. Grandmother was born Oct. 10th, 1788, and died May 2nd, 1858 making her age nearly 70. A few years ago I did a job of carpenter work for Homer Wilson at Old Gormley on the 4th Concession of Markham and while there I went down to Heise Hill Cemetery where both Grandparents were buried and found Dear old Grandmother's grave and headstone and it verified the dates given above. There never was a stone erected on Grandfather's grave and there is not even the appearance of a grave left as a Cemetery Commission have leveled and seeded the yard and it is to be perpetually cared for. The caring for a cemetery is a good thing, but losing the location of a grave not so good, and it shows the folly of neglecting to erect some kind of monument to the memory of the dead. While there I had a chat with Mrs. Baker, a lady over 90 years old who remembered the old people attending the church and described Grandmother to me. The church is known as the Old Dutch or "Tunkard Church" to which denomination they belonged.


According to all these figures the Quantz family hit Canadian soil when Grandfather was 10 years old and his Brother Frederick (they of the German Mills or 3rd Concession Quantzs) a few years older. Grandfather's first child was born in 1808 so it is reasonable to suppose that he may have been married in 1806 or 7 at the age of 22 or 23, while his wife would be 18 or 19. His military experience, of which I have heard him talk, is still a conundrum; at least it is to me. If it happened in the War of 1812 - 13 between the United States and Canada, he would be 29 or 30 years of age with a family of three children.


I am through now. It has taken considerable time to cull these few facts from a large book and put them together in their proper order, but my time is not valuable so there is very little lost. It seems rather satisfying to know that I have descended from the old pioneer stock, and that they and I have been here long enough to give me the honour of being a real Canadian citizen.


I have a sneaking idea that all of it has been put together in a rather rummy way, but perhaps most of it may be understandable.


If any of the younger generation of the House of Quantz are not interested enough to read it just turn the pages down but leave them intact, so others who may have curiosity enough or intelligence enough to read it may gain some knowledge of their antecedents.



                                                                 By   William Alexander Quantz

                                                                        Lot 9, Main Street,



                                                                        Dated: Feb. 20th, 1933



Chapter 31.4

Appendix to the History of the House of Quantz


Nov. 15, 1971


I have just had a telephone call and a visit from a Mrs. Keith Moore whose mother was a Quantz. Over the years Mr. Moore has spent a great deal of time and money in tracing the Quantz Family History from numerous sources. In his research he has come up with some additional information some of which I thought was well worth recording since it goes back a further four generations prior to Melchior's time. Mr. Moore has made three trips to Germany and I feel sure that the information is authentic because it was for the most part obtained from the archives in that country. The following "Family Tree", while mot complete in every detail, you will note goes back to a Johannes Quantz who was married in (April 15) 1649.


Mr. Moore also had some further information on Melchior Quantz which was obtained from local and which is not contained in my father's account. After emigrating from Germany to New York State in 1792 or 1793 he later moved on to Canada and took up land on Lot 13 Concession 2 of Markham Township. This land was held under Order in Council dated July 28, 1801, which was later confirmed by Crown Patent dated July 15, 1803. This farm, by the way, was just sold out of the Quantz name about two years ago (1969). It was no doubt some years later that Melchior's son George homesteaded on Lot 14 Concession 7 Markham Township. This is the old Quantz homestead to which my father refers in his account and throughout his diary.


Also in my father's account he recalls his Grandfather George talking about his younger days in York Garrison and about his wrestling achievements. From Mr. Moore I learned that George belonged to the First Regiment of York Militia attached to The Light Dragoon. Mr. Moore also had photostats of Regimental Pay Sheets covering the period 1812 through 1814. These old records were of particular interest to me and in my perusal of them I found that both Frederick and George were listed in the same regiment over that period. I was amused to see a note of Frederick's desertion from the army but found where he had returned after a two-week period. Other documents belonging to Mr. Moore confirmed beyond doubt that both Frederick and George had participated in the "War of 1812".


In my father's write-up he said he had no record of whether or not Melchior's wife had accompanied him to this country. However, since Christine's death is recorded on Feb. 29th 1820 it is obvious that she too spent some years in Canada.


One other fact comes to light in Mr. Moore's research. In my father's writings he said that Melchior (which he spelled in error as Melcher) sailed from Hamburg Germany and he always assumed that this was where he lived in that country. The German archives reveal that Melchior, as well as his father, lived in Homberg which apart from Hamburg. The seaport is a small city quite some distance from Hamburg. I saw pictures of the town, which Mr. Moore had taken, a very quaint and pretty place indeed.


To me the above and much more of the verbal nature was very interesting. It all came about through inquiry because of the name taken from the Toronto telephone directory. I was glad to get the information and glad to make Mr. Moore's acquaintance. He is quite a character and I rewarded him by giving him a copy of my father's write-up on the family.


                                                                                         By   John Oscar Quantz

                                                                                                Toronto, Ontario, Canada

                                                                                                Nov. 15, 1971




Chapter 21.5

Genealogy of Melchior Quantz


Lived in                                           Name                                    Married


Malsfeld                                         Johannes Quantz                 Anna Straub

                                                                                                      m. Apr. 15, 1649



Malsfeld                                         Ulrich Quantz                      



Niederbeisheim                             Johann Henrick Quantz       Anna Elizabeth Baur

and Homberg                                 b. Nov. 28, 1688                   b. 1682

                                                        d. Mar. 28, 1751                  



Homberg                                        Urban Quantz                       Anna Martha Scheidler

                                                        b. Jan. 7, 1719                      b. 1700

                                                        d. Jan. 26, 1761                    d. Mar. 14, 1761



Homberg                                        Melchior (Michael) Quantz  Christina (Christine)

                                                        b. Sept. 20, 1749                  b. Sept. 24, 1742 (1745)

                                                        d. Feb. 20, 1827                    d. Feb. 29, 1820



Son 1                                              George Quantz                     Mary Ann Baetjer (Baker) (Badger)

Born in Homberg, Germany          b. Oct. 30, 1767                    b. Oct. 10, 1788

Lived in Markham, Canada           d. May. 27, 1873                   d. May. 2, 1858

                                                                                                      m. May. 18, 1807   


Son 2                                              Frederick Quantz                  Elizabeth Ritter

Born in London, England              b. Mar. 12, 1782                   b. Sept. 16, 1791 Hamburg, Germany

Lived in Markham, Canada           d. Nov. 3, 1876                     d. Aug. 7, 1876






The above documents were found in the Markham District Historical Museum.


                                             Retyped and Compiled by:

                                                                             Richard John Quanz

                                                                             24 king Henry Drive

                                                                             Markham, ON


                                                                             Dated: Feb. 25, 1998



--- End ---


For more information see the 10 volumes of the “Diary of William A Quantz” on this website.