Grey County, Ontario
This chronicle starts in the days of the renaissance. It was in this period of time that the Shunk family had it's origin. There were Protestants before the days of Luther, born 1483, died 1546. They were to be found in Bohemia Italy and France.
It was in Saxony a province of Germany where his public defiance of the church of Rome took place and was this starting point of the reformation which quickly spread through Europe. The Protestants of France under John Calvin (died 1564) were nicknamed Huguenots by the French Catholics. These Huguenots were allies of the German and Dutch Armies, when they fought against the Inquisition of 1565 and later in 1589 engaged in their own campaign which gained for them religious freedom. Treaties were signed but Catharine of France did not respect them she had dynastic ambition which was the motive for arranging the Massacre of St Bartholomew, 1758. This roused the Huguenots who were then headed by Henry IV in new wars until he finally deserted their religion but granted them security by the EDICT of NANTES 1598, but Europe continued in a state of turmoil the thirty year wars, which had for its inception the withdrawal of concessions made by Rudolph II to the Protestants of Bohemia in 1689. This brought about a rebellion. The Protestants elected as their King Frederick V an elector of Palatine who was one of their leaders in Germany but the cause was crushed and the people of Bohemia and those of Frederick's dominion (the Palintinate of the Rhine) were made to suffer on. For thirty years the countries of Europe fought religious wars. Subsequently it became a struggle for political ascendency until the peace of West Phalia was signed at Munster in 1648.
In 1681 Louis XIV resolved to crush Calvinism. His troops were sent to where the Protestants were most numerous, the solders were given every licence except that of Killing. The churches of the reformed were demolished and their homes destroyed. This pillage was followed by the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685. This unwise act caused the expatriation of many thousands of Protestant families, but flight to foreign countries was made to appear a criminal act, the frontiers were guarded, hardship was rampant, but multitudes did escape and Huguenot colonies were formed in many countries where they introduced their arts and crafts and were made welcome. In 1681 the British crown granted William Penn, the son of an English admiral and a Quaker, a royal charter for the province to the west of The Delaware in North America, which was later called Pennsylvania, and the following year accompanied by emigrants, sailed to the province where he organized a settlement. Many colonist from the old world came, among them were German families who had fled from their native land to Holland where they had spent some time and consequently called themselves Dutch rather than German. With them came the SHUNK family who had come originally from the Palatinate a province to the West of the Rhine. They settled in the county of Huntingdon Penn. It is near Canton Penn.,that the village of Shunk is situated. The village of Shunk was once Known as Fox Centre, the name was changed when the postoffice was established, and it was found that there was another Fox Centre in Penn., so therefore the name was changed to Shunk probably in honour of Francis Rahn Shunk former Governor of Penn., whose home was there about. These settlers with their Mixed German and Dutch dialects were Known as Pennsylvania Dutch.
Then came the
It was Samuel Adams of the Boston Gazette who was the first to openly
for independence, he was also instigator of the Boston Tea Party 1773
preceded the American Rebellion 1775 and the Declaration of
1776. But all of the colonist did not agree with the opinions of the
headed by Adams. There was a large party in each of the provinces who
avowed royalist and were loyal to the British authority, some of them
for the British while others remained neutral It was in 1798 that a
of these United Empire Loyalists left the homes that they had made in
find peace again under the flag of their adoption. Traveling north they
crossed the Niagra River into Canada to find their way around the end
Lake Ontario to York, a mere hamlet at this time. It was founded in
by Governor Simcoe, and was generally known as muddy York in 1835 it
incorporated as the City of Toronto. Among those who came up from
were some of the Pennsylvania Dutch families. One Jacob Shunk with
of the company found their way to Caledon, which lies about twelve
south east of Orangeville. From there they made their way to St Vincent
of Grey County where they settled in 1838. Jacob Shunk with "long"
Wilcox left Caledon and moved to the township of St Vincent and settled
their families. Jacob had married Temperance Wilcox sister of "Long"
settled on a farm to the west of the Wilcox (west half of lot 25, con
Among others who settled in St Vincent about this time were, William G. Raven and his father Adam, Mathew Beebee, T. Major House and Solomon Robins.