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James & Dorothy (Dolly) Blight

James Blight, son of George & Elizabeth (nee Saunders) Blight, married Dorothy (Dolly) Martin on January 16, 1838 at Little Torrington, Devon.  James (1817 - 1903) was a laborer and Dorothy (1818 - 1880) was a glover.  James was born in Peters Marland, Devon England on May 11, 1817.  Social historians have frequently noted the remarkable mobility of the Devon population, other than the land-owning class.  At point of marriage, James notes he was from Cleave and Dorothy was from Taddiport.  Census records show they lived together in Little Torrington, Merton, and Little Potheridge, all in the County of Devon.  Devon is known to be a very beautiful part of the country.  James and Dorothy are buried at All Saints Church, Merton, Devon.   

They had eleven children:
  1. George born July 14, 1838 (arrived in Canada in 1870)
  2. Priscilla born in 1841
  3. John born in 1843
  4. James born in 1845
  5. Simon born in 1848
  6. Annie born in 1851
  7. William born Jan 3, 1853
  8. Elias born Jan 15, 1855 (arrived in New York, New York in 1873 and came to Canada)
  9. Elizabeth born Nov 20, 1858
  10. Mary Jane (Polly) born May 10, 1860
  11. Ellen born Sept 19, 1865 (sons James & Arthur Balch moved to Canada)
George, Priscilla, and John were born in Little Torrington, England.  The rest of the family was born in Merton Devon England.

George Blight was the eldest child of James & Dolly Blight.  In the Census of 1851, when George was 11 years old, he was employed as a farm laborer and living at Dunsbear Estate (dates back to the Domesday Book of 1086) as a servant in the household of Elizabeth Ashton.  No doubt his service on this old estate would have left a considerable impression on him.  Perhaps so much so, he ventured from the County of Devon England to Canada with his wife and young family.  George married Sarah (Sally) Piper on March 26, 1862 at Merton, Devon England.  He was 23, a laborer and Sarah was 22, a glover by occupation, the daughter of George Piper, also a laborer.  The couple both signed the register by marks and witnesses were John Blight and George Robins.  They had eleven children:

  1. John (1862 - 1937) farmer (m. Jennie Cobban) (no children but raised Jennie's nephew Richard Cobban)
  2. William (1864 - 1928) farmer (m. Frances Cooper)
  3. George (1866 - 1935) farmer at Oakville, Manitoba (m. Isabella Dixon)
  4. Annie (1868 - 1922) Tomlinson
  5. Sarah (1870 - 1931) dressmaker/single (crippled w. arthritis in later years - wheelchair)
  6. Mary Jane (1872 - 1949) nurse/single
  7. Thomas (1873 - 1873) died in infancy
  8. Mina (1874 -  ) McConnell (married later in life) (had arthritis)
  9. Elizabeth (Bessie) (1876 -  1935) Stapleton (no children)
  10. Simon (1880 - 1951) m. Nettie Swallow
  11. Henrietta (Ettie) (1882 -  ) Kumpf
The first five children were born in Merton Devon England with George being born at Moor Hill Cottage, Merton.  (It is thought Sarah was born at sea whilst on the way to Canada and suffered ill health.)  The remaining children were all born in Canada.   The family settled around London, Ontario at Wyton, Middlesex County and George was stationmaster and postmaster.  Sally's sister, Mary Piper, married John B Martyn and they also immigrated to Middlesex.  Sally & Mary's brother, Thomas Piper, also came to this area.
The tracks went from London to St. Mary's.  Mail was dropped off and picked up without the train stopping.  According to relatives, all the children of George & Sally Blight lived within a 20 mile radius with the exception of George who moved to Manitoba in 1890 and Mary Jane who was a nurse in Illinois before retiring to London, Ontario.

Wyton Post Office in Ontario
Unknown, Simon Blight, Mina Blight, George (Sr) Blight, Sally (Piper)Blight, Sarah Blight Circa 1900

The George Blight Family Circa 1889 in Ontario
Back Row:  Mina, Sarah, John, Mary Jane, George, Elizabeth
Middle Row:  George (father), William, Annie, Sarah (mother)
Front Row:  Henrietta, Simon

George Blight died May 25, 1905.  The following was printed in the local paper:

The funeral of the late Mr. Blight took place on Sunday afternoon to Webster's Burying Ground, and was the largest seen for some time, over a hundred carriages being in procession.  Many personal friends from a distance paid their last respects.........on Friday morning of Mr. George Blight, at his late residence, Wyton.  Deceased, who had not been enjoying good health for some time, was taken down with a severe attack of pneumonia, about two weeks ago, and although everything possible in the way of medical skill was done, disease conquered, and death came as a release.  Mr. Blight had resided here nearly 30 years, and was one of the best known and most respected members of the community.  A widow, four sons, and six daughters are left to mourn.  The sons are John and William of London Township; George of Oakville, Manitoba, and Simon at home.  The daughters are Mrs. Tomlinson of Thamesford; Mrs. Stapleton, Thorndale; Miss Jennie of Springfield , Illinois; Etta of this city and Sara and Mina at home.  The funeral takes place on Sunday at 2 o'clock to Webster's Cemetery.

Sarah Piper Blight died September 27, 1921.  The following was printed in the local paper some time prior to her death and after a nasty fall:

Mrs. George Blight, Wyton, West Nissouri, fell from a milk stand, breaking the breast bone and a rib.  The injury is of a serious nature.  Hopes, however, are entertained of her recovery.

William Blight, brother to George, was born 1864 and married Frances Cooper on November 8, 1893.  They farmed in the London Township and had two daughters:
  1. Verna b. 1895
  2. Almeda b. 1899
William suffered from asthma and his grandchildren can remember him pumping the water pump and coughing and coughing.  William bought land from the Tomlinsons and after he died, it was sold back to the Tomlinsons.  (His sister, Annie, was married to Harry Tomlinson.)  Verna married Alec Payne.  They had three children:  Wilma Payne McMartin; Elsie Payne Duncanson, & Kenneth Payne.  

The William Blight Family in Ontario

Verna (Blight) Payne, Almeda (Blight) Fraser, Frances (Cooper) Blight, William Blight, unknown, Grandma Cooper