The Family Tree of Barry Allen Peers
Organized by the surnames of my grandparents
My father’s father’s family can be traced back 11 generations to the early 1600s to the area around Hawarden in Flintshire, northeast Wales. In the late nineteenth century my great-grandfather, a coal miner, moved to Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire, England where my grandfather Stephen was born. At the outbreak of World War I, Stephen and his young family emigrated to Quebec, Canada where subsequent generations of Peers have spread out across Canada with one branch of the family moving to Detroit into the United States.
My father’s mother’s family have been traced back 13 generations to the beginning of the 1600s to the agricultural area around the village of Newborough in Staffordshire, England. The Uptons lived as agricultural labourers for many generations, but in the 1880s they moved to Stoke-on-Trent to work in the potteries and coal mines. It was here that my grandmother Sarah married Stephen and with their two young children crossed the Atlantic in 1912 to settle in Canada. Sarah’s brother also made the voyage with them and a few years later he moved to Chicago from whence his descendants, my distant Upton cousins have dispersed in the mid-western States and beyond.
My mother’s father’s paternal family has only been traced back 4 generations with the origins of my great-great grandfather Smith being as yet undiscovered. But circumstantial evidence suggests that my Smith ancestors seem to have had a connection with upstate New York (near the Canadian border). And I have DNA matches with families who have been traced back to the early 1600s and the earliest Pilgrim settlers of New England. DNA tests also indicate that I have a small percentage of Amerindian genetic material and the Smith line seems to be the most likely source of these genes. My grandfather, Howard Clayton’s mother’s family was named Dewar and their history can be followed for 6 generations from Scotland to Glengarry in Ontario in the mid-1790s and to Harrington, Argenteuil, Quebec from the late 1830s. Although my Dewars have faded away, I have focussed a lot of my research efforts on this family and it is one of the best documented branches of my family tree.
My mother’s mother’s family has been traced back 8 generations. They originated in northern England and the Highlands of Scotland and immigrated in the early 1800s to settle in Argenteuil County in Quebec and in the adjacent counties of Prescott and Glengarry on the Ontario side of the Ottawa River. My grandmother, Jessie Margaret grew up in a large farming family near Vankleek Hill, Ontario and when she met and married my grandfather, Howard Clayton when he returned from the trenches of World War I they settled in the Rouge River Valley near Harrington, Quebec. The Dodd side of the family has been very well documented by Clarence Xavier Dodd, my first cousin once removed, and I have built on his work in reconstructing this branch of my family tree.