Canadian Methodist Historical Society

COSFORD, Rev. Thomas

John and Martha Cosford arrived in Upper Canada in about 1817 with two sons and a daughter. They first lived in York where John plied his trade as saddler and leather-maker for seven years. Six additional children and several emigrating leather tradesmen forced John to find another way to feed his family. They next lived near the Quaker Settlement, which became Aurora, then farmed in Tecumseh Township and Blanchard Township. When the Queen's Bush opened for settlement, they moved to Peel Township.

John and Martha had twelve children. Ties with their neighbours in Peel Township were cemented with marriages to sons or daughters of the Bettison, Mellis, Garbutt, Tyack, Mitchell, Cunningham, Bradley, Wood and Simpson families.

The land registry indicates that John Cosford gave one acre of his land to the Trustees of the Springhill Congregation of the Wesleyan Methodist Church. The "neat brick building with a basement story tastefully finished" on this site was formally inaugurated in June 1862 by guest minister Rev. Thomas Cosford, who was one of John's sons. John Cosford died one week later and was buried in the church grounds which became Springhill Cemetery. John and Martha's headstones are preserved in a roadside memorial that marks the location of this long-abandoned cemetery.

Although the Cosford name remained in Peel Township until the mid-1920's, most of the clan began to relocate shortly after the death of the family patriarch.

Lot 1, Concession 4, Peel Township (50 acres)
1873 - Reynolds (sold south half, 25 acres, to O. G. Hughs for taxes)
1877 - Crown to Richard T. Crosford
1887 Thomas and Mary Armstrong
Land is now under Lake Conestogo, which was created by damning the Conestoga River in about 1954

Lot 2, Concession 4, Peel Township (200 acres)
1856 - Crown to John Cosford
1861 - Springhill Wesley Methodist Church - 1 acre
1861 - Martha Cosford
1863 - James Cosford
1864 - John Garbutt
1878 - John G. Garbutt
1881 - Henry Hagey ($5000)

Charges: 1840 Grimsby, 1841 Thorold/St. Catharines, 1842 Simcoe, 1843-1844 ordained at Nelson/Whitchurch, 1845-1846 Norfolk St. Guelph (Wellington Co.), 1845 Nichol (Wellington Co.), 1846-1847 Eramosa/Nichol/Garafraxa/Woolwich (Wellington Co.), 1847-1848 Richmond/York/Seneca, 1848 Superintendent at Simcoe, 1849 Walpole (London), 1849-1850 Nelson (Halton Co.), 1851-1853 Drummondville/Niagara, 1854-1856 Bowmanville, 1855 Peel Twp. (Wellington Co.), 1856 Cartwright, 1856 Darlington (Durham), 1857 Stratford Chairman Goderich District, 1858 Blanshard (Oxford Co.), 1858 Stanley (Huron Co.), 1858-1860 Goderich, 1861-1862 St. Mary's, 1863-1865 Eglington/Yonge Street (York Co.), 1865 Stamford (Welland Co.), 1866-1868 Millbrook/Cavan (Durham) Chairman Peterborough District, 1869-1870 Whitby, 1871-1873 Strathroy, 1874 Mount Forest (Wellington Co.), 1875-1880 Governor of the Mount Elgin Industrial Institute, Muncey, Ontario. Chairman of District 1874, Delegate to the first General Conference, Toronto, 1874 and the General Conference in Montreal in 1878

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