(Family history research into the SHOPLAND family)                                                                                Research - Canada                         
Our Shopland Family

by Lori Hodson (nee Shopland) of Canada
1Our Shopland story starts with William, born in Somerset in the early 1800's, who married a Miss Squire and moved to Par, Cornwall. 18A search of parish and census records indicate William's parents were 19William Shopland and Elizabeth Taylor, married September 20, 1813, at St. John the Baptist  in Ashbrittle, Somerset. 19William was born on January 5, 1814, in Ashbrittle and baptized on January 9 at St. John the Baptist. The records show one other child of William and Elizabeth, Elizabeth, baptized January 14, 1816.

15William Shopland married Mary Squire of Beaford, Devon, on July 31, 1842, in the Beaford parish church, St George and All Saints , in the registration district of Torrington. They were married by the curate, W. Laing, and the witnesses were William Marshall and William Squire. The marriage register lists Mary's father as John Squire and William's as William Shopland. The 40Beaford, Devon, parish records have the following children baptized to John Squire and his wife, Agnes Lake, who were married in Beaford on July 13, 1800:

Betsy chr. September 7, 1800.  John chr. March 13,1803.  Robert chr. June 9, 1805. Sally chr. November 1, 1807. William chr. February 4, 1810. Frank chr. November 29, 1812. Thomas chr. January 22, 1815. Henry chr. May 18, 1817. Agnes chr. March 31, 1820. Mary chr. March 31, 1820.

41The 1851 census has the following entry for John and Agnes in Beaford, Torrington, Devonshire:

Name Marital Age Sex Occupation Birthplace status
John SQUIRE Head M 77 M pauper-Ag Lab St. Giles In The Wood, Devon
Agness SQUIRE Wife M 76 F pauper St. Giles In The Wood, Devon
Agness SQUIRE Daur U 30 F Glover St. Giles In The Wood, Devon

William and Mary Shopland had 1three boys and five girls, including Marie, Agnes, Henry, John Squire, and James. 16A search of the General Records Office found Maria (b. 1845) and Agnes (b. 1847) born in the district of Torrington, along with Elizabeth (b. 1844). A copy of Maria's birth registration confirms she is William and Mary's daughter, so it is safe to assume that Elizabeth and Agnes are as well. 1John Squire was born 12/15August 17, 1849, in 15St. Teath, Cornwall. William is listed as a labourer on his marriage certificate and his son John's birth certificate. 1The family ended up in Par, Cornwall, where William worked in the lead and tin mines. There, William and Mary's sons, William Henry (15/20b. 1858 Tywardreath, Cornwall), and James (b.161860 District of St. Austell, Cornwall) were born. 16The FreeBMD lists Caroline Shopland born between March and June, 1854, in the District of St. Austell. The 1871 Cornwall census also lists a Sarah F. Shopland, age 18, born in St. Austell, Cornwall, in 1853, as a domestic servant to RD Collyns Allen and his wife Marian. Sarah Shopland is again in the 1881 census, age 27, a servant to Elizabeth Smith in Polgren St. Veep. I have found no evidence to conclude Sarah or Caroline were William and Mary's daughters, however, the other Shoplands born in St. Austell are related to William and Mary.

The 1881 Cornish census has William Shapland of Ashbrittal, Somerset, age 63, and Mary, also listed as of Ashbrittal (even though she was from Beaford, Devon), age 60, living in Par Green Tywardreath. William is listed as a market gardener. They are also in the 1891 census, living in Par Cliff. William is recorded as a retired market gardener, age 81, and Mary is listed as being born in Beaford, age 76. 15William died at age 70 on January 4, 1893, at Par Green of chronic bronchitis and Mary died at age 78 on September 25, 1893, at Tregonissey, St. Austell, of senile decay. Their son, William Henry, was present at both deaths.

1One daughter married a Mr. Andrews and they lived in Fowey, Cornwall, and another daughter married Mr. Phillips and lived in Plymouth, Devon. However, I have not found any records to confirm this. 16Maria Shopland was married in the District of St. Austell in 1868, her spouse being either Isaac Vivian or Peter Sandry Bennett/Bennell. 1One of William's daughters was also seen in an almshouse near Par during W.W.I.

1Agnes married a Thompson and lived in Toronto, Ontario. The 1881 Canada census has one Agnes Thompson (b. ~1848 England) and her husband, John Thompson (b. ~1850 England), a carpenter, living in Uxbridge, Ontario North, district 133, sub district J, page 19, household 93 with two children, Fredrick (b. 1874) and Mary (b. 1876).

20Wm. Henry Shapland was christened April 4, 1858, in Tywardreath to William and Mary. The 1871 Cornwall census has Henry Shopland, age 13, born 1858 in Tywardreath, Cornwall, as an indentured farm servant to RD. D. Rogers and his wife, Frances Eliza, in Fowey Parish, District 3. 16William Henry Shopland married Susan Jane Tregaskes between January and March, 1890, in the District of St. Austell.

The 1891 census for the Civil Parish of Tywardreath and Ecclesiastical Parish of Par has William H. Shopland, head, married, age 33, born in Tywardreath, Cornwall, a farmer and employer, and his wife, Susan J. Shopland, age 30, born in Lanteglos, Cornwall, living in Par Cliff, where William and Mary Shopland also are. With them is a visitor, William J. Scoble, single, age 23, steam engine maker. The 1901 census has William and Sarah with their children Ethel (9), Beatrice (8), Ilda (7) and William (6). The FreeBMD has Beatrice Maud (b. 1892), Hilda Blanche (b. 1894, likely the Ilda of the census), William Arthur (b. 1895) and Claude (b,d. 1903). 1Henry lived in Par all his life.

20James Shopland was christened Nov. 11, 1860, in Tywardreath, Cornwall, to parents William and Mary Shopland. 18The 1871 Cornwall census for Tywardreath, Cornwall, District 12D, Schedule 008, has James living with his parents:

Shapland, Wm. b. 1811 Ash Brittle labourer
Shapland, Mary 1819 Beeford, Dev
Shapland, Jas 1861 Tywardreath

1James came to Canada and took a concession next to his brother Johnís in Duncan on Vancouver Island, B.C. In 1892, he went to Victoria for the Fall Fair celebration, contracted small pox, returned to Duncan and died. He was buried in an unmarked grave by John.

John Squire Shopland was born on 12/15August 17, 1849, at Green Lane, St. Teath, Cornwall (1August 24, 1849, Par, Cornwall 11August 17, 1850 St. Leath, Cornwall). 111The 1861 Cornwall census lists John Shopland, age 11, born in St. Teath, as a servant, occupation Cow Boy, in the household of John Geach. 1John left home at age 12 or 15 and signed on as a cabin boy on a sailing vessel. He sailed nearly all the waters around Europe, spending most of his time sailing in the waters of the Mediterranean, with two trips to both Norway and Sweden. I would be very surprised if he was not involved with smuggling, as most of the ships to sail from Cornwall were, at least in part, smugglers.

3John always wore a beard due to a scar from a block and tackle on board ship. 1He returned home when he was 17 as Second Mate and stayed for 6 months, leaving after a disagreement with his father. He signed on as a deck hand on a ship bound for New York, deserted the ship in New York and went to Toronto, where his sister, Agnes, lived. 2John spent a year there, then left for Goderich on Lake Huron to take up sailing on the Great Lakes. 1It was there he met the Salkeld family and their daughter, Jane.  1In 1869, he traveled west and got a job tending a carload of sheep destined for Victoria via San Francisco. On arriving, he hired himself to a sheepman named Keddy who was in the smuggling business. They would get the sheep from San Juan Island, USA, and then dump them overboard when they reached Vancouver Island. John's job was to count them in the morning and herd them over the rocks from Oak Bay to Beacon Hill Park, BC (now part of Victoria). When Keddy returned to England, John bought his property and started his own farm.

John wrote to one of the Salkeld brothers when the CPR was completed in 1885, asking if Jane was still single and to tell her how he felt. He received an encouraging reply and returned to Goderich in late November with John Oliver (future premier of BC). They bought a carload of sheep and cattle and Oliver took them back to BC. John and Jane  were married in the Goderich Anglican Church  on December 16, 1885. They returned to BC and lived at Foul Bay where Norman J. was born October 29, 1886. Isaac Victor (Vic) was born in Goderich during a visit home on February 20, 1888. The family then moved to Maple Bay, BC and opened the Shopland Post Office January 1, 1889. All the other children were born there, Elizabeth (Betha) on June 12, 1889, William Albert (Bert)  on October 6, 1890, Francis Joseph (Frank) on December 16, 1892, Agnes on August 24, 1894, and Herbert Squire (Herb) on March 30, 1896. 4They ran the post office until John resigned on October 21, 1896. The post office changed its name to the Maple Bay post office on May 1, 1905, and closed January 31, 1916. 1From Maple Bay, the family moved to Christmas Hill near Victoria, then to North Saanich and farmed there until 1902, when they moved to Courtney to farm until 1913.

1John wanted his sons to get set up in farming and Alberta was being advertised as the province with good, available farmland. In the summer of 1910, he and Bert went by rail to Edmonton. They were interviewed by Mr. Overland, a Land Settler for the District of Rochester, then known as siding 6. They made the journey by stage coach, traveling the Athabasca Landing Trail, which follows the Tawatinaw Valley. When the CNR was brought to Athabasca in 1912, the name Rochester was given by one of the rail workers from Rochester, England.

1The land was not good for grain, but John thought it was ideal for stock. John had visions of growing feed crops, using the then-plenty free grazing land and going into the cattle business. They filed on three adjoining quarters, one for Francis (Frank), Norman and Bert in that order from North to South, approximately one mile to the west of the Tawatinaw River. The railway and highway also ran in the valley. The land grants to Shoplands in the Rochester area as recorded in the National Archives of Canada are slightly different, as follows:
John Squire Shopland
NE 14 62 24 W4
(5later owned by Norman)
Norman J Shopland
SW 24 62 24 W4
Isaac V Shopland
LS 3, 4, 5, 6 of 14 62 24 W4
Herbert Squire Shopland
SE 15 62 24 W4
Bert and Frank did not receive grants of land from the government, but Bert eventually owned 5SE and SW 14 62 24 W4 (4SE does not have a name on the original land grant) and Frank owned the 5SE 23 62 24 W4, 4which was originally granted to someone else. John and Bert returned to BC that autumn. 1In the spring of 1911, Bert and Victor went back to start clearing land and build living quarters. They found that the "free" grazing land that was in their plans had all been sold, so they made adjustments for mixed farming.

1Norman  followed with his new wife, Marriott Letitia Armstrong, after they were married in Sidney, BC, on April 19, 1911. They traveled from Edmonton by stage coach to Stoney Creek, approximately seven miles east of siding 6, the stopping spot for that district on the Landing Trail. They walked to the new homestead and farm and spent the summer living in a tent until the log house was ready on November 11. 1Frank came to Rochester in 1912 and the rest of the family followed in 1914. 1John did not get to see his dream of his sons as successful farmers, as he died a short time later on November 7, 1917.

1Norman took agricultural training at Guelph, Ontario, and applied his knowledge of animals and the general hard facts of farming successfully. His purebred sheep and hogs were known across Canada and parts of the US. He took pride in entering local fairs, the Edmonton Exhibition and the Toronto Royal Winter Fair. Another joy of his was his apple and cherry orchard of over 80 trees. He was an expert at grafting and improved many trees for fruit and winter hardiness. Both he and Marriott lived their lives on the farm where they raised five children, William, Marjorie, Robert, Winnifred, and Alice, and spent a semi-retirement with their son Bill and his wife Anna, who had taken over the farming responsibilities. Norman died of a heart attack March 12, 1961, and Marriott of bowel cancer on August 22, 1973. 24They are both buried in Peaceful Pines Cemetery, Rochester.

1Bill kept the farm running after Norman's death while Bob served overseas in the RCAF and, on his return, graduated from the Vermilion Agricultural College. Marjorie was a store clerk before she was married, Winnie helped on the farm, and Alice was a secretary in Edmonton and Central America. 1Victor returned to B.C. to marry Eliza Jeanette Greine (Lila) at her home in Sandwick on April 11, 1917. They returned to Rochester where they lived and worked on Norman's farm. After two years, Vic and Lila returned to BC to make their home in Courtenay, where their son, John (Jack), and daughter, Audreynn, were born. Vic and Lila operated their farm for some years and before he retired, Vic drove a school bus.

1Betha had taken secretarial training in Victoria. On January 26, 1916, she married Charles Joseph Rayner Whitely of Perryvale, AB, where his parents ran the general store. They bought and farmed a section of land near Colinton, AB. Before their marriage, Rayner was one of the drivers of a freight team of the Athabasca Stage Coach Line. It was over this line many of the Klondike gold seekers went in 1898, going to Athabasca and continuing up the river to Dawson City, BC. Betha and Rayner had three daughters. Their eldest, Jean, died of pneumonia in 1940 at age 24. Edith served in the RCAF and Joyce taught school in Canada and Central America. Betha and Rayner retired from the farm in 1948 to operate a garage and machinery business in Colinton, then moved to Athabasca to operate the Landing Motors Garage. Rayner sold the garage in 1952 to his nephew-in-law, Don Logan, and a partner, Buster Bissell. Rayner and Betha lived the rest of their years in Athabasca, very active in the church and community. Betha died November 17, 1974, from a stroke and Rayner April 20, 1978, of lung cancer. They are buried in the Athabasca Cemetery, beside Betha's parents.

1Agnes , the youngest daughter, was one of the first schoolteachers in Rochester. When she was teaching in Bruce, AB, she met Russell Kennedy. He was born in Tara, ON and moved with his family when he was quite young to Silverton, Manitoba. Russell graduated from the Manitoba Agricultural College in 1908 and homesteaded in Saskatchewan and Alberta. When Agnes met him, he was operating the general store with his brother, Lorne. He and Agnes married and farmed in Viking and Waskatinaw, AB, then moved to Vilna, AB, where Russell ran a successful Raleigh Products business. Russell went to Edmonton in 1941 to work as a carpenter, then moved to Port Hardy, BC, in 1944, also working as a carpenter. Agnes and the children, Gerald, Muriel and Elizabeth, joined him soon after. In 1945, they moved to Vancouver. Russell was a carpenter until 1951, then bought a hardware store and ran it until he retired in 1964. He suffered a stroke and died on July 28, 1967. Agnes died of a heart attack January 6, 1975. They are buried in the Benediction Section of Forest Lawn Cemetery in Burnaby, BC. Their son, Gerald, was in the service in France where he met his wife Nancy Harshaw, who was teaching there. Their daughters, Muriel and Beth, were both teachers.

1Bert  lived with Norman and Marriott in his first years in Rochester, farming his own land and helping with theirs. 2He joined the forces and served in W.W.I, attaining the rank of Corporal, until he was seriously wounded in the leg in 1917. 2While overseas, Bert visited with cousins in Cornwall and wanted to bring one of them home as his bride. She thought life in Canada would be too hard, so he went home alone. When he returned to Canada, Bert started farming again and married Hilda  Devaux of Dapp, Alberta, at the Rochester United Church on October 10, 1934. He was 44 and she was 18. Bert and Hilda had seven children, John, Lillian, Charles (the first child not born at home), Blanche, George, Dorothy and Henry. The children walked two miles to school every day, even when the kids who lived only half a mile away wouldn't come if it was cold.

In the 1940's, Bert was the poundkeeper for stray animals in the district. As can be seen, Bert was known for his distinctive signature. 1/3Bert was the "Dead-eye Dick" of the family with his gun and loved to hunt, a true shot who provided wild meat for the table as well as keeping the farm free of predators.

Bert was active on the farm and in community affairs until he died of a heart attack July 7, 1976. 24He and Hilda are buried in Peaceful Pines Cemetery, Rochester.

1Frank  was bettering the farm until WWI began. He joined up, served overseas, and was wounded in action. He settled on his farm when he returned and married Ada Waterhouse on August 24, 1921. She had come from Huddersfield, England to be with her brother, Jack, his wife, and their two children, Alice and George. They were married in front of Frank's new house, adjoining Jack's land to the east. A pulpit on a stand had been constructed for the Anglican minister to conduct the ceremony from. Jack's son, George, and Norman's two boys, Bill and Bob, all under ten years, crawled right up beside the minister's feet so their view of the wedding would be better. The minister knew they were there, but they kept hidden from the wedding party and guests. 1Frank and Ada ran a prosperous farm and raised three children, Alice Margaret, Harold and Vera. In 1939, they sold the farm and moved to Aldergrove, BC, where they farmed again for some years. They retired from the farm, moving to Vancouver, where Frank worked in a hardware store until he retired in 1968. They then moved to Langley, BC, and lived there until Frank died of a heart attack on January 5, 1974. Ada died March 20, 1980, at 88 years. They are buried in the Langley Cemetery. The first school in Rochester was built on Frank's land in 1916 (Norman's original grant is where the school was and is). His sister, Agnes, taught there and one of the first pupils was Norman's son, Bill. Three other buildings were also built on the property. These were the Community Hall, the United Church and the Roman Catholic Church - only the Catholic Church still stood as of 1985. Their son, Harold, served in the RCAF before his marriage and daughters Margaret and Vera were nurses.

1Herb was enrolled in 1917 as one of the first students at the Agricultural College in Olds. After completing his studies, he returned to BC and worked in the logging and timber camps for about ten years. He returned to Rochester to farm. When the new Highway 2 was built from Clyde to Athabasca, it cut though the NE tip of his land. He built his home on the largest piece of the property, with the highway to the east and the secondary road into Rochester to the north. Herb never married and his mother lived with him after John died. He had heart trouble and was in the hospital in Edmonton several times. Herb had just been released from the hospital on July 19, 1973, when he died. Norman's son, Bob, had taken him to the Greyhound Bus Depot for the trip home. That evening, he was out in his garden in the company of a close neighbor, Mrs. Evelyn Dickens, when he slumped to the ground. 24He is buried in the Peaceful Pines Cemetery, Rochester. 1One of the stipulations in Herbert's will was that his land be given to Norman's son, Bill, as he wanted to keep it in the family. Bill then transferred it to his eldest son, Kenneth.

12John is buried in the Athabasca Cemetery.  1Jane died in Vancouver  on February 13, 1946, while with her daughter, Agnes. At her wish, she was cremated and, in a family funeral, her ashes were spread over her husband's grave.

Shopland 1850-1985 by Alice Shopland
2 Rolling Hills and Whispering Pines 1986 by Nestow, Tawatinaw,    Rochester, Perryvale History Book Committee
3 Charles Shopland
4 National Archives of Canada
5 map of County of Athabasca No. 12
6 Lori (Shopland) Hodgson
7 Robert Shopland,
8 Ken Robinson
9 Rita Rainbird, UK (
11 Thomas W. Riser, Portland, Oregon
12 Athabasca Cemetery
15 General Register Office (GRO), England
16 indexes of the GRO (
171881 Canada census, transcribed by Church of Latter Day Saints (
18 Edward Anthony (Tony) Shopland Devon, U.K.
19 Transcripts of "St John the Baptist" Ashbrittle, Somerset,
Bishop's Transcripts 1601 -1837
20 International Genealogical Index from parish records (
21 IGI from individual submissions (
24 Peaceful Pines Cemetery, Rochester
30 Heather Neuman, Edmonton, Alberta
36 1851, 1871, 1881, 1891 Cornwall Census, U.K.
40 Beaford, Devon, U.K. parish records
41 Rebecca Hilton, Beaford parish clerk
42 Deanna Katona
97 1841, 1851 U.K. Devonshire census
105 1901 Cornwall census
111 1861 Cornwall Census, transcribed by
Cornwall Record Office
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