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Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit

Excerpt about my Great-great Grandfather Thomas Allen

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A cyclopedia of Canadian biography: being chiefly men of the time.

 edited by George Maclean Rose, Rose Publishing Company, 1886, 807 pages

Allen, Thomas, Alderman, Toronto, was born in the County of Armagh, Ireland, on May 31st, 1831, and was a son of William Allen, a worthy and highly respectable farmer, who from his fine and imposing stature was known to his neighbours and the country folk around by the sobriquet of “Big William Allen.” Thomas Allen was sent to the Irish National schools, and his studies comprehended the ordinary branches of reading, writing and arithmetic. The knowledge received at these schools, however, in the case of the ambitious young Allen, was only a foundation upon which to rear a structure of practical experience. As soon as the lad had completed his studies he went to work upon his father’s farm, and strove there faithfully till he was nineteen years old.

 Then came the failure of the potato crop in Ireland, with its attendant famine and horror. With the thousands who fled from the stricken land was young Allen, and he turned his face westward, and sailed for Canada in 1850, but was not long out from land when there came violent weather and the ship was tossed about for fourteen days. Then she returned into the Cove of Cork, and our subject, glad of the rescue from almost total shipwreck, retired to his home, where he remained for nearly a year.

The following year he set out again, and arriving in Toronto, went to his cousin, Samuel Piatt, who kept a brewery where the gas works now stand. In this establishment he learned the brewing and malting business, and at such occupation has he, in the main, been engaged from that day to this. Here he took engagements as brewer and foreman. He was likewise for a time in the establishment of W. Copeland. In 1868 lie joined in partnership with Hugh Thompson and leased the East End Brewery. In 1875, he purchased his partner’s interest in the business, and continued the establishment alone.

He has not accumulated a very large fortune, but Mr. Allen now retired from the business with a very considerable income. He belonged to the volunteers over a quarter of a century ago, and again volunteered in 1866 when the Fenians were crossing over to Ridgeway. He went to Thorold as sergeant of No. 10 Company, Tenth Royals, but the company’s services were not required. Shortly afterwards he retired from the regiment. Mr. Allen is now serving his sixth year as alderman, and is popular and respected, not for much speaking, but for honest, straightforward and well-judged conduct. Mr. Allen has grown up with the city, and thoroughly understands its needs…

In politics Mr. Allen has always, been a consistent Conservative. He has been twice married, first to Miss Margaret Brown, whose family belonged to the county of Grey. They were married in 1857, and she died in 1873. He married again in 1877 his present wife, who was a daughter of the late Edward Beckett, the well-known ironfounder and temperance advocate. Our subject has had twelve children, and ten are living, and two are dead. Mr. Allen, though well advanced in years, devotes his whole time to the interest of the people, and is a staunch supporter of the Episcopal (ie Anglican) church.


Author: edhird

I am the Rector of St. Simon's Church North Vancouver, B.C., having served there since 1987. Ordained in 1980, I have also served at St. Philip's Vancouver and St. Matthew's Abbotsford. My wife Janice and I have three sons James, Mark, and Andrew. I was the Past President and Chaplain for Alpha Canada. While serving as the National Chair for Anglican Renewal Ministries of Canada, I was one of three co-signers of the Montreal Declaration of Anglican Essentials http://www3.telus.net/st_simons/arm05.htm For the past 26 years, I have been privileged to write over 400 articles as a columnist on spiritual issues for local North Vancouver newspapers. In the last number of years, I have had the opportunity to lead conferences and retreats in Honduras, Rwanda, Washington State, BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland, and Toronto. My new sequel Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit, with a foreword by Dr JI Packer, is online with Amazon.com in both paperback http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/097820221X/ref=redir_mdp_mobile and ebook form http://tiny.cc/tanhmx . In Canada, Amazon.ca has it available in paperback http://tiny.cc/dknhmx and ebook http://tiny.cc/wmhmmx . It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook ), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook). Restoring Health is also available online on Barnes and Noble in both paperback and Nook/ebook form. Nook gives a sample of the book to read online: http://tiny.cc/vj3bmx . Indigo also offers the Kobo ebook version: http://tiny.cc/kreonx . You can also obtain it through ITunes as an IBook: http://tiny.cc/1ukiox The book 'Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit' focuses on strengthening a new generation of healthy leaders. Drawing on examples from Titus' healthy leadership in the pirate island of Crete, it shows how North Americans can embrace a holistically healthy life. In order to obtain a copy of the prequel book 'Battle for the Soul of Canada', please send a $18.50 cheque to 'Ed Hird', #1008-555 West 28th Street, North Vancouver, BC V7N 2J7. For mailing the book to the USA, please send $20.00 USD. For more info, please click on www3.telus.net/st_simons/nsnews030.html

One thought on “Excerpt about my Great-great Grandfather Thomas Allen

  1. Good Day,

    Thomas Allen is my GG Grandfather. His grand-daughter Minnie Ethel Hart was my grandmother. I am working on my family tree on Ancestry.ca. Do you have any information on his wife Margaret Brown?


    Carol Tilston Cannon


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