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AfriGeneas Canada Research Forum

Rev. William Troy

Rev. William Troy moved to Cincinnatti, Ohio in about 1848. He studied to be a minister and later moved to Canada. He worked as a minister to escaped slaves in Amherstburg and Windsor, Canada West.

In about 1861 he wrote a book, "Hair-breadth Escapes from Slavery to Freedom". This book was published in London and apparently William was travelling through England and Ireland to raise money for his church in Windsor Canada. He wrote the book, telling stories of some of the slaves that he knew, to help raise money. He also wrote a mini-biography at the beginning of the book, which is where I get most of my information about him.

William had 4 children at that time. Fanny Ellen, Annie, Willie and Joshua. I know that they lived in Canada, but I don't know if they were born in Canada. They all had to have been born before 1861 (the date in the book.) It is unclear how long William was in Ohio before moving to Canada. From some of the slave stories that I read, I can only guess that William was in Canada after 1850, in the early 1850's....he is not in the 1850 Canadian Census. William wrote a narrative that was published in "The Narratives of Fugitive Slaves" by Benjamin Drew. The book was published in 1856 and the introduction was written in 1855, so William had to have been interviewed before that time. He is listed in the group from Amherstburg and stated that he had only been there a few weeks, so he had to have gotten to Canada between 1851 and 1855.

William is in the 1880 census, living in Richmond, Virginia, so sometime after the end of the Civil War, he returned to the states. His two sons are listed in the census, William (born about 1856) and Joshua (born about 1858) so they were probably born in Canada. There are three other children listed in the 1880 census. Sarah would have been born in 1865, Edward in 1870 and Isaac born in 1874. I also found reference to William in a Baptist Church History on line, giving a sermon in Richmond in 1870, so I would guess he was back in the U.S. by then. So the only other child who may have been born in Canada is Sarah.

Does anyone know where I might start searching for birth records for that period of time in Canada?? Or how I might locate his church in Windsor or Amherstburg??

I'm also going to have to break down and spend some time in the library looking at census records. Is there an 1860 Canadian census that William may be in?

Thanks for any help or ideas.


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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