Martha was Thomas's second wife. He was born in Bediels², Roxburghshire, Scotland and emigrated to Ovid, N.Y. in 1819. In 1822 he and his brother William came to Eramosa. They settled on the second line of Eramosa and were among the very first settlers on that line. Thomas owned lot 23, con. 1. Thomas first married Fannie Carpenter, then Martha Loghrin¹. They were married on Oct. 18, 1855 by Rev. Barrie with William Loghrin, Martha's father and William Armstrong, Thomas's older brother as witnesses.^ An infant son was born on Jan. 11, 1857; Martha died 3 days later and the little boy died on Feb. 1².
He and his third wife, Isabella Strachan had two children.
Thomas was the first Reeve of Eramosa township in 1850 and 1851; before that he had been Eramosa's first representative when the Wellington District Council was established in 1842.³
The 1861 Census indicates that Thomas and Isabella lived in a 1½ storey stone house with William Mundell, a labourer, and Caroline Miles, a domestic.
Thomas Armstrong Sr.¹
b. ~1796 - d. June 10, 1869²
Thomas and Fannie Carpenter
John C. Armstrong b. ~1825 - d. Sept. 1, 1848
Elizabeth Armstong b. ~1826 - d. Sept. 1, 1864
Frederick Armstrong b. ~1826 - d. Nov. 11, 1841
Thomas and Martha Loghrin
Infant son b. Jan. 11, 1857 - Feb. 1, 1857
Thomas and Isabella Strachan
David Armstrong b. Apr. 26, 1859 - d. Aug. 19, 1859
Elizabeth "Bessie" Armstong b. ~1860 m. Robert Dodds
The history of the Armstrong and Loghrin families is interwoven and checkered.
In 1838, Thomas Sr. and his brother William Sr. signed the petition for a Presbyterian minister with William Loghrin.* However, less than 10 years later, many of the Armstrongs were among the founders of the Congregational church at Speedside. In fact, George Armstrong Sr., another of Thomas's brothers, was one of the first deacons and his son William S. donated land for the church.** In 1837, William "Big Will" Armstrong, age 20, was arrested with six others and accused of planning to attack and burn Guelph as part of the Mackenzie rebellion. All were found, "Not Guilty". James Peters, one of the supposed ringleaders, is reported to have said that all of the victims (those arrested) from Eramosa remained good Grits for the rest of their
lives.*** Tensions between the families may have been high as the Loghrins were known to be Tories.****
"Apparently love laughed at their differences"**** in politics and religion as there were at least three marriages between the Loghrins and Armstrongs. In addition to Martha and Thomas; James Loghrin married Elizabeth Armstong; his nephew, James Loghrin married Matilda Armstong; John W. Armstrong, son of William Armstrong Sr. and Margaret Wilson, married Bessie Loghrin^^.
¹ Historical Atlas of the County of Wellington, Ontario, (Toronto: Historical Atlas Publishing Co., 1906).
² Leslie Mansell, Armstrong Family Descendant Chart - Version 2.1, Aug. 17, 1993
³ Frank Day, Here and There in Eramosa , (Guelph: Leaman Printing Co., 1953), p. 191
^ The Marriage Register of Upper Canada/Canada West, Vol. 9: Part 2, Wellington District, Compiled by Dan Walker and Fawne Stratford-Devai. Record held at the Wellington county Archives.
* Day, p. 85-86. Also see William and Agnes Loghrin.
** Day, p. 92. Also see Appendix V.
*** Day, p. 181-182. Day identifies William Armstrong as, "a son of Thos. Armstrong, the first District Councillor from Eramosa". However, the Wellington County Atlas, 1906 states that Thomas, Sr. had only one son, John C. It is likely that William is Thomas's nephew, the second oldest son of George Sr. and Jane Smith.
**** Day, p. 193. Also see James and Elizabeth Loghrin.
^^ This marriage is reported in the Wellington County Atlas, 1906 and in the Armstrong Family Descendant Chart. It is not clear who Bessie was. The only Elizabeth Loghrin recorded in that time period was John's niece, daughter of James Loghrin and Elizabeth Armstrong.
Headstones in the McCormick Cemetery, Eramosa Township