St. Alban the Martyr

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Memorial Tiles: Helen R. Johnston

JOHNS(T)ON, Helen R: 1856 - 1905

Born on December 13, 1856, Helen Catherine Ross Trumpour was the daughter of Thomas Dorland Trumpour and Almira (Mallory)Trumpour (Tile # 58). Helen’s father was descended from two original 1884 Adolphustown United Empire Loyalist settlers, Paul Trumpour and John Dorland.

Helen married Jesse S. Johnston of Bath (formerly Ernestown). Jesse was the great grandson of James Johnston, another original United Empire Loyalist settler.(1) Jesse’s ancestor, James Johnston, had served with Jessup’s King’s Loyal Americans and later joined McAlpin’s Corps and became a sergeant.(2) When disbanded, he settled at Ernestown in 1784 with many other members of the group known as the Loyal Rangers.(3) James Johnston, the original settler, who was evidently of Irish origin, was one of a very small number of Church of England adherents in the area. The earliest Church of England minister for whom there is a record in the area, the Reverend Stuart, “travelled from Kingston to preach in Ernestown. Initially he preached in a log house along the front of Ernestown, owned by James Johnston, until a frame building was erected that could hold thirty or forty persons.”(4)

Jesse and Helen Johnston had two children: James Roy Johnston (1890-1954) who married Mabel Chalmers (1888-1965), and Thomas Johnston, born in 1892,(5) who apparently moved out west.

After Helen’s death, James and Thomas, teenagers at the time, lived with their maternal grandparents, the Trumpours. It is said the grandparents were very strict with the boys. After Helen’s death in 1905, Jesse remarried and continued to live on the Trumpour farm that had been deeded to him a year earlier. Jesse and his second wife Edith Celestial Hurlbert had no children. They are both buried in Bath. Jesse Johnston and his son James Roy Johnston were active in community affairs and both served terms as reeve and warden of Adolphustown.

Helen Catherine Trumpour Johnston died on November 5, 1905 and is buried in St. Alban’s Cemetery.

Helen’s son, James Roy Johnston,* and his wife, Mabel Chalmers Johnston, are also buried in St. Alban’s Cemetery.

* There seems to be a spelling error on the tile as the “T” is omitted from Helen’s surname. Her father, Thomas Trumpour, spells her surname without the “T” in his will and perhaps Helen’s parents sponsored the tile. Her name is inscribed as Helen Johnston on her cemetery marker in the St. Alban’s cemetery.


1. Russ W. Waller, Like Rabbits in Ernestown (Kingston: 1987).

2. Johnston/index,, posted by Alrae Anne Turcotte Johnston, 2007.

3. Larry Turner, Ernestown (Toronto: Dundurn Press, 1993), pp. 37-38.

4. Turner, 58.

5. “Thomas Johnston,” Family Search Ancestral File, via

6. Anecdote provided by Judy Smith of Adolphustown.