‘A’ surnames City of Toronto residentsA History of Toronto and County of York

JAMES ACHESON was born in the County of Leitrim, Ireland, in 1810, being the sixth in a family of ten children. His parents were Thomas Acheson and Elizabeth Clark. In 1822 the family came to Canada and located on a cleared farm of two hundred and fifty acres near Brockville, where the mother died, aged ninety-four; in 1841 the father returned to Ireland, where he died at the age of eighty-six. James Acheson spent his early life on the farm, and was educated in the common schools. In 1827 he went to Brockville to learn the trade of a tanner with Isaac Beacher; he spent four years there. In 1831 he came to Toronto and began work with the late Jesse Ketchum. In 1839 he started business for himself, east of the Don, in a tannery owned by one John Smith; but in two years he gave it up and went to Ireland for his health, where he remained eighteen months. On his return he built a tannery on Yonge Street and ran it for three years, at the end of which Mr. Ketchum gave him his business. He carried that on for three years, and then removed to Charles Small’s farm on the Kingston Road, where he built a tannery, which was soon afterwards burned down. He then occupied a tannery which was built on the present site of the Union Station. When that property was sold to the Grand Trunk Railway he went to Acton, where he built a tannery in partnership with Alexander McGlashan. On the latter’s death, at the expiration of five years, Mr. Acheson retired and removed to Toronto, where he now lives at 40 Maitland Street. In politics he is a Reformer. In 1845 he married Mary, daughter of John Hamilton, by whom he had one child, now dead. (vol. II p.1)

WILLIAM CASE ADAMS, dentist, was born in the Methodist parsonage at Lundy’s Lane, near Niagara, on the 18th October, 1823, and is the third son of the Rev. Ezra Adams, U.E. Loyalist and Methodist minister, whose first circuit, in 1814, extended from Rama, on Lake Simcoe, down Yonge Street to York, and west to St. Catherines and Newark (now Niagara), thence to Queenston and on to Long Point, taking six weeks for the trip. Owing to the lack of postal communication, Mr. Adams carried letters for such as wished, this being the only way then of conveying news to friends at a distance. The early education of Dr. Adams was chiefly by his mother, who was a school teacher previous to her marriage. After spending some time studying he went to Victoria College, Cobourg, and from thence to Highblue, Missouri, where he commenced the study of medicine with Dr. Berryman. He returned to Canada and finally turned his attention to dentistry, studying about a year with Dr. Harris and a year with a Dr. Jones, when he settled in Toronto, on King Street, in 1854. In 1870 he was elected one of the teachers in the Dental College and Infirmary, which position he held until 1873. Dr. Adams is possessed of considerable mechanical skill, and has invented an appliance for removing roots and decayed stumps of teeth. With this instrument stumps and roots can be removed from the mouth with ease when all other known methods have failed. He was admitted a member of the American Dental Convention at Saratoga, which society changed its name from the American National Dental Convention in order to admit him and others from Canada. He is also a member of the Masonic body and Royal Arcanum, and is a member of the Methodist Church. (vol. II, p.2)

WILLIAM ADAMSON, wharfinger, was born in Heden, Yorkshire, England, in 1822, being the second son in a family of six children. In the following year his father, Joseph Adamson, who was a doctor, came to Canada with his family, and located in the township of Toronto, where he continued the practice of his profession until his death in 1852. He purchased four hundred acres of land in that township; those farms are now in the possession of his sons James and Alfred, and his daughter, Mrs. Shyman. During the Rebellion Dr. Adamson served as a surgeon in the First Battalion of Incorporated Militia, under his brother, the Hon. Peter Adamson, who was colonel of the regiment. The Hon. Peter Adamson, R.J.S., was a member of the Legislative Council of Upper Canada until the Union in 1841; he came to Canada in 1821. Before he came out he had served for many years in the British army; he entered at the age of fifteen and rose to the rank of Major in the 71st Highlanders and Lieutenant-General in the Portuguese service. In 1853 the subject of this sketch was married to Rachael, eldest daughter of Wm. Rutherford, by whom he had five sons and two daughters living. He served during the Rebellion in the First Battalion of Incorporated Militia as lieutenant under his uncle. It was in 1854 that he began business as a wharfinger. In religion Mr. Adamson is a member of the Church of England; in politics he is a Conservative. From 1864 to the present time he has represented St. David’s and St. Thomas’ Wards in the City Council.(vol. II p.2)

MAJOR D.H. ALLAN is a native of Perth County, Ontario. His father, the late Rev. Daniel Allan, of Goderich, was one of the pioneer Presbyterian clergyman of Western Ontario. After several years of missionary service, he was for about forty years pastor of the North Easthope Presbyterian congregation. On retiring, which he did some nine years ago, he took up his residence in Goderich, where he died on the 10th of December last, at the advanced age of seventy-nine years. His son, the subject of our present sketch, has been a resident of this city since 1866, and for two years studied law in the office of Paterson, Harrison & Paterson. For some reason or another he gave up the idea of following the legal profession and engaged in business as real estate agent, in which line he has been more than ordinarily successful. Major Allan joined the Queen’s Own Rifles as a private at the time of the Fenian Raids of 1866, and has kept up his connection with the regiment ever since; his soldierly and earnest attention given to all matters that would add to the reputation of his corps, receiving due reward in promotion as rapid as it is was deserved. He now holds a first-class Military School certificate and is Senior Major of his regiment. (vol. II, p.3)

JEROME ALLEY, 519 Sherbourne Street, was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1810. He came to Canada in 1830, and taking an official position under government served the State in various departments until 1874, when he retired. Mr. Alley has six children living, three sons and three daughters, viz., Henry R., Education Department; John A.M., accountant, Federal Bank; Alfred R., insurance agent, Chicago; Celia; Emma; and Kate, wife of Allan Harvey, Bank of British North America, London, England. (vol. II, p.3)

JAMES ARMSTRONG was born in County Tyrone, Ireland, 1813, and came to Canada in 1832. During the voyage he had a terrible experience of the dreaded disease cholera, which broke out on the vessel, and out of three hundred passengers thirty-one were committed to the deep. He was a farmer in Ireland and for some short time followed that occupation here, afterwards conducting a saw-mill in Bear Creek, which he continued some years. During the Rebellion of ’37 our subject was in 101 Company, commanded by Major Gurnett, and was on guard during the execution of Lount and Matthews. After this affair was over Mr. Armstrong settled in Toronto. In 1840 he married Ann Durnan, whose father had charge of the lighthouse until 1854. Mr. Armstrong retired from business about six years ago, selling his farm for some property. He has two sons in Toronto. He is a member of the Conservative Party, and in religion belongs to the Presbyterian Church. (vol. II p.3)
THOMAS ARMSTRONG is a native of Fermanagh, Ireland, being the only son of John Armstrong, merchant, who came to Toronto about 1825, and died in 1848. He was a member of the first Council of this city on receiving its charter of incorporation, and represented the Ward of St. Andrew’s until the time of his death; the Ward showing its appreciation of his success and honouring his memory by electing his son as successor. Mr. Thomas Armstrong in 1880 was appointed to a position in the Custom House. (vol. II, p. 4)