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Memorial Tiles: Elijah Wallbridge

WALLBRIDGE, Elijah: 1752 - 1842

Elijah was born on January 9, 1752 in Norwich, Connecticut to Zebulon Wallbridge and Sarah Forbes. The youngest of four children, Elijah was a third generation American. His great grandfather Henry Wallbridge was born in England and had settled in Preston, Connecticut in 1688.

In his book The Settlement of Upper Canada, William Canniff writes the following account:

The Wallbridge family are of English descent, and were among the first settlers of America. There were several families of the name existing in America at the breaking out of the rebellion, one of which had been residents of Bennington, and were known as the Bennington Wallbridges. The rebellion led, as in many other instances, to a division among the sons, some sided with the rebels while others remained loyal. Elijah Wallbridge took part with the loyalists. His children never heard him speaking of the part he took; it is learned through another source that he was one of a party who on one occasion made a gallant attack upon a military prison and relieved the prisoners. His old musket may yet be seen. It is in possession of the Hon. Lewis Wallbridge. At the close of the war, he desired, like many other Loyalists, to remain in the States, and indeed did for a time, but the spirit of intolerance was manifested toward him, so that he determined to settle in Canada. He consequently, at the beginning of the present century, came to the Bay and purchased the tract of land held in Ameliasburgh by the family.(1)

Elijah Wallbridge married Hannah Margaret Holloway in 1775 in Quaker Hill, New York and they had nine children: William, Sarah, Zebulon, Mary, Asa, Mary, Ann, Elias and Margaret. Hannah died in 1792 and three of the young children, Zebulon, Mary and Ann, also died before the move to Canada. After settling in Canada about 1800, Elijah married Catherine Kelly and they had one child, Wing Kelley Wallbridge (1808-1869). After settling in Canada Elijah amassed 2000 acres in Ameliasburgh, Prince Edward County, which he divided into five farms for his children.

Elijah’s eldest son, William, married Mary Everett and purchased a large tract of land in what would become Belleville. Their son, the Honourable Lewis Wallbridge, became Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of the United Canadas in the days just preceding Confederation.(2)

The second eldest son, Asa, remained in Prince Edward County for a short time and then moved to Newcastle, Ontario where he purchased 600 acres of land. The Wallbridges are cited in the history of Newcastle as being important early settlers to the area and very able farmers. Quite a large portion of the town of Newcastle was built on land owned by the family.(3)

Elijah Wallbridge died on October 3, 1842, in Trenton, Hastings County, Ontario.


1. William Canniff, The Settlement of Upper Canada (Toronto: Dudley & Burns, 1869), p. 663 .

2. Margaret McBurney & Mary Byers, Homesteads: Early buildings and families from Kingston to Toronto (University of Toronto Press, 1979).

3. “Clark Township History and Pioneer Settlers,” via, accessed July 2011.