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Notes on Early Hatt Ancestors

These notes are extracted from the Geneology Database that is the foundation of these Hatt Web pages.  The names are links to their position in the database and the notes are the same ones that are linked by the "note" links on the Web Pages

HATT, RICHARD (b. abt 1736, d. 18 NOV 1797)

Note: Notes from Family Stories: For detail references on Historical Facts, see notes on Richard Hatt II - founder of Dundas, Ontario.

Richard Hatt senior, was a London Woolen Draper who, in 1775, moved his family to Wormley, Hertfordshire and became a tenant farmer with substantial acreage [ on the estate of Sir Abraham Hume]. Although only a tenant farmer, Hatt senior enjoyed a measure of prosperity. Local taxes indicate that he paid L26.16 on his land; most paid a few shillings only. Moreover between 1775 and 1795 he held several local offices and attended faithfully almost every parish meeting.
Spurred by the death of his wife in 1791, the expiration of his lease, and the spectre of increasing costs, Richard decided to join his son in Upper Canada.He was decidedly unlike the usual settler. He desired a "considerable tract" to farm and was willing to expend as much money as would obtain a good settlement.
In the fall of 1796, Richard Hatt I arrived in Upper Canada with his family bringing letters of introduction from the Duke of Portland and the Marquis of Salisbury. The Hatt's, Richard I, Richard II, Samuel and Augustus were granted 1200 Acres each by the Government. Richard II and Samuel chose their land in Glandford, but later in 1797, moved to land which they purchased in Ancaster. Here they opened a General Store and in 1798 they built their "Red Mill" [ a grist mill about halfway down stream from Ancaster Village] near a hilly road called Devil's Elbow.

Occupation: Miller/Farmer/Draper


HATT, RICHARD (b. 10 SEP 1769, d. 26 SEP 1819)

Note: Excerpts of information has been taken from Family Records and Stories over the many years. Should anyone wish to read the Historical details of this area and its people, I would strongly recommend the following publications:

o The History of Dundas-Part 1 to 3, published by the Dundas Historical Society and compiled by T Roy Woodhouse [1965]
o Dictionary of Hamilton Biography, Volume 1
o Wentworth Landmarks - published by the Spectator Printing Company LTD.[1897], Chapter VI
o Ancaster's Heritage, Volume 1&2, published by the Ancaster Historical Society - 1973
o St.Catharines Public Library - private special collections on the Hatt Family

Richard Hatt - 3rd Great Grandson

Richard Hatt II was a Businessman, judge, office holder, militia officer, postmaster.....the recognized founder of Dundas.
Richard emigrated in March 1792 arriving in Canada that June. He moved to Upper Canada and by December 1794 was engaged in the Mercentile Business.

Richard Hatt's father [ Richard Hatt I] , told his son that to be 'Industrious, obliging, and to act with strict fidelity', was the key to success in life. At the time of his father arriving in the spring of 1796, Richard was a partner of McKay & Co. Almost immediately, Richard decided to move out of Niagara on the Lake, and as early as 1796, settled in Ancaster Township and opened a General Store. He seemed to be more interested in processing goods rather than just provisioning.

In Ancaster, Richard & Samuel built a mill just below the village - the so-called Red Mill, just below the the Village and near a hilly road called the Devil's Elbow - [ 6 acres on lot 47, concession1 ]. It was completed in 1798. Its three run of stones turned out 20 bags of flower and 30 bags of pot barley per day. The water wheel generated 15 HP.He also built a distillery to use up the mildeweed or smutty grain. The Hatt brothers [Richard & Samuel] cleared a road from Ancaster to what is now known as Dundas to gain more customers. This was only modestly successful.

Richard turned his attention to Spencer's Creek, rich in milling sites and largely undeveloped. He purchased, from Edward Peer, along with his brother Samuel, Dundas Mills - its dam and its 2400 foot long flume. South of his 'New Dundas Mills', Richard built a new and larger cooperage, and about 100 yards upstream he built a distillery where moldy and smutty grain, unfit for flower, could be fermented and distilled into whiskey. He also built hog fattening pens where the mash was used for feed.
In this decade, Richard was appointed Justice of the Peace, and he became a Major in the Lincoln Militia in 1803.
In 1804 Richard Hatt provided the money for clearing the debris from Spencer Creek and for deepening the channel in places, so that barges with heavy loads could be poled up in the Town plot. In 1805 he opened up Hatt Street. About 1805 he changed Peer's Dundas Mills to an oatmeal mill and built a stone store just east of it. This building is now known as #2 Hatt Street, was later used as a blacksmith shop for nearly a century and a quarter, then changed into a residence in 1943, and in 1961 it was remodelled into an electrical store.
Hatt's Mill became the centre around which developed the community that would in 1814 adopt the name Dundas. As it grew, it would engulf the earlier village of Cootes Paradise. All roads led to the mills. For his own home he chose the site on which the House of Providence is now located. He called his home Ogilvie Terrace, and today's Olgilvie Street was his front driveway. Here also he built, about 1807, a log building which he as a magistrate used for trying cases, and for jailing those whom he found guilty. This building has been called the first courthouse in Wentworth County. The Magistrate, Richard Hatt, presided at all meetings of Dundas and was one of the principle creators of Dundas. By 1808, he owned all the water rights and mills on Spencer Creek from Websters Falls to Main Street. He, more than any other individual can be credited with creating the Town of Dundas. For two decades he was the community leader, and the prime moving force behind all community projects.

In 1817 Richard and Mary Hatt sent to England for a Silver Communion Service for the use of the church in the village of Cootes Paradise. Since there was no church in the village at that time, the service was used at fireside meetings for years, and was not actually presented to any church until the opening of St.James Anglican Church on December 31, 1843. John Ogilvie Hatt ( Richard's son ) presented the GIFT to the Reverend William McMurray. It was inscribed,"The gift of Richard and Mary Hatt". It is still preserved by the Church Officials, but has not been used for many years.

An outstanding event in 1818 was the publication of Dundas' first newspaper. It came about as follows: A man named Joseph Willcocks, in July 1807, started publishing the province's fourth newspaper, The Upper canada Guardian or Freeman's Journal. When he became a fiery critic of the government, Richard Hatt tried to silence him by purchasing his printing plant in early 1812. When the war broke out, Willcocks became a traitor to Canada by joining the invading Americans. He was killed on September 5th, 1814, while leading a company of American troops at Fort Erie.

It was not until after the war that Richard again thought of his purchase. Remembering the surveyor, Richard Cockerell, who had taught Rosseau's children in Ancaster twenty years earlier, and had been publishing The St.David's Spectator for the last 2 years, Richard Hatt hired him to do 2 jobs:........to teach the Hatt Children and to publish his newspaper [ the first in Gore District and the fourteenth in Upper Canada.

Richard Cockerell published the first edition of the Upper Canada Phoenix on February 3rd, 1818. [ issue # 66 dated May 4th, 1819, hangs in the Dundas Historical Museum ] The last known issue was dated September 28th, 1819, in which is chronicled the death of its owner. This was a real tragedy, because Mr. Hatt had just reached the peak of his career, having been elected to the House of the Assembly in 1818, taking his seat on February 6th. Hatt's most important activity in the assembly concerned the public accounts. Besides findingseveral irregularities in the contingent expenses of the government, Hatt's committee demanded that all public funds be subject to the scrutiny of the assembly 'according to the usage of the British Parliament it constitutionally should be'. Richard Hatt was the first judge in Gore District in 1816.

Richard Hatt's tombstone reads,"To The Memory of Richard Hatt // A Native of Middlesex England // born the 10th of Sept. 1769 // died the 26th of Sept. 1819 // A TRIBUTE OF AFFECTION ERECTED BY HIS SON - THOMAS HATT"
This marker was discovered in 1947 on an Ancaster farm by Jim & Bill English. This tombstone was brought to Dundas where it was held until a rededication ceremony in 1967 at the Grove Cemetary in Dundas. Elsie (Hatt) Indermaur of Lakewood Ohio, Ora (Hatt) Cunningham of Syracuse NY, and Lola (Hatt) Harbison of Buffalo NY., with their families, attended this rededication of Richard Hatt as the Founder of Dundas. The tombstone was placed at the grave of grandson John Thomas Hatt, his wife Isabella Booth and their daughter Evelyn [ who died at 6 years of age ].

Richards remains lie in a recently discovered gravesite on an Ancaster Farm. [ see notes on Mary Cooley, Richard's wife, for details on the Cooley Cemetery]

Richard's last child was born after his death, consequently his estate was not divided until March 27, 1840, under the terms of an agreement written on eight large parchment sheets made from the skins of eight sheep. This agreement , preserved in the Dundas Historical Society Museum, distributed 5617 acres of land, and 414 Dundas Town lots, as well as his mills, shops, stores, houses, etc. His estate was administered by his close friends, Ralph Leeming and Doctor James Hamilton. At his death he was one of the wealthiest men in Upper Canada and one its most successful Businessmen.

Richard Hatt was only fifty years of age when he died. What might he have accomplished for Dundas and the area had he lived a longer life? We can only speculate!

Baptism: 4 OCT 1769 St.Peter, Cornwall, London, England

Occupation: Judge/Militia/Businessman

Death: 26 SEP 1819 Dundas, On.,

Burial: Cooley Cemetery, Ancaster, On.,lot48.c2





HATT, SAMUEL (b. 30 NOV 1775, d. 8 JUL 1842)

Note: According to The Hatt Family Bible - born Nov. 2nd, 1777

Note: See notes on Richard Hatt II for information on Historical Books to read on Ancaster and Dundas, Ontario. In regards to Samuel's era in Chambly, Quebec, one should read the History of St. Stephen's Anglican Church - 1820-1890.

Samuel Hatt came to Canada in 1796 with his father Richard Hatt I. On June 16 1797, he asked for lands and received 1200 acres - 800 acres in Townsend and 400 acres in Clark Township. On April 13 1804, he paid the Hon. Peter Russell 14-2-8 for surveying fees, etc. on these lands. On October 29, 1800, he received a lot in Cootes Paradise Town Plot. However, he actually settled with his brother, Richard Hatt II ( and maybe his father ) in Ancaster Township where they opened a general store and built a grist mill.
In the war of 1812, Samuel was a Captain of the 2nd York and 5th Lincoln Militia{known as Hatt's Volunteers} that accompanied Brock to Detroit in 1812. Samuel, as a Major, marched up Dundas Street with General Brock in the first days of the war and was present when Detroit was captured. He was at Queenston Heights on October 13, 1812 and a Major, wounded, at Lundy's lane in 1813. Samuel was also mentioned in dispatches on October 13th and 21st 1812. He was O/C at the Kings Head Inn when it was attacked and burned by the US Navy in 1813. Samuel was present when Brigadier General Hull surrendered to General Brock. After the war in 1815, he was appointed a Commissioner to administer oaths of allegiance.

As per info in the Source [ under Samuel Hatt ], Major James Kirby wrote to Colonel Foster re-character support for Mr. Fredk Shaver - March 14, 1815. It was not a glowing report. At the end of this note, he wrote, "Mr. Samuel Hatt will confirm what I have herein Asserted".

About 1816 or 1817 he moved to Chambly Quebec and became the Honourable Samuel Hatt. He was also one of the Commissioners to rebuild Brock Monument and was the Honorary Pall Bearer at General Brock's Funeral.
On the 1816 assessment roll, he was shown as owning 14/656 acres in Home District, 488 acres in Niagara District and 1300 acres in London District. His name is on the 1800 Rousseau Ledger, and on the 1808 Ancaster's Voters list.
On May 11, 1820, Samuel laid the cornerstone of the English Protestant Episcopalian Church in Chambly Quebec. [ St. Stephen's Anglican Church, as it is called today ]. He gave 100 pounds toward the cost. He and 4 others were on the building committee. [ Historical information is contained in the, 'History of St. Stephen's Anglican Church' by Downman (1890) Chambly Quebec 1820-1970
Samuel's son, Thomas C Hatt, was Church Warden in 1854
Philo Letitia Yule ( Samuel's Daughter in Law ) & wife of Richard Brock Hatt, gave one of the three tablets in the church and along with Mrs. Yule, furnished the Vestry Room.
The Hatt family vault is beside St.Steven's church in Chambly, Quebec. Also buried in the vault: Jemina Thompson - Born 1758 & Died 1843(Mrs. Margaret Thompson Hatt's mother) , Clara Margaret Jane Mills - died 1846 age 6 Mons., apparently a Grandaughter of Samuel Hatt.

The Ancaster Historical Society ( Jim Green ) provided a story about Samuel Hatt:

In 1854


Occupation: Miller/Militia/Business

Death: 8 JUL 1842 Chambly, Que.,[Canada East]

Burial: 11 JUL 1842 as the Honorable Samuel Hatt


HATT, THOMAS COLLYER (b. 12 APR 1816, d. 26 JUN 1885)

Note: According to Notes from Nora belle hammill - born Mar 14, 1816
Born on the site of The House of Providence in Dundas, On.,

Note: Thomas Collyer Hatt lived in Dundas, On., and was a Bee Keeper from 1833-1884. He owned 316 acres which included Hatt's Pond - a favorite skating rink for the people of Dundas. He was also a milk dealer in 1853. Thomas' home became a children's shelter in 1927.
Thomas' wife was related[through marriage only] to the famous Laura( Ingersol )Secord of the war of 1812.
Thomas' home and land were located east of the intersection of the old Ancaster Road and what is now called Mary Street. The home, known as' Ogilvie Terrace' had a long lane leading to the house. His son, John Thomas and his wife Isabella lived with them after their marriage. When Thomas died in 1885, John resided there until the property was sold.

Baptism: 22 DEC 1816 by Rev Ralph Leeming

Occupation: Merchant

Death: 26 JUN 1885

Burial: St.John's Cemetary, Ancaster, On.,


COOLEY, MARY KATE (b. 3 JUL 1780, d. 24 JUL 1843)

Note: INFO PROVIDED BY RICHARD HATT - A 3rd Great-Grandson

Cooley Cemetary: The Preserved Cooley farm on the Mohawk Trail, Lot 48/49, Concession 2.
This site is mentioned in the Wentworth Landmarks in a paragraph by Mrs Dick . She wrote this article in 1897 and refers to 2 graves being moved from the Cooley Cemetary after burials of 65 years. These were the graves of Alexander Ritchie and his wife Mary Lucia who both died on April 11, 1823 [see page 257 and appendix pg 16 of Ancaster Heritage Vol 1 ] . Jim Green of the Ancaster Historical Society, believes that the Ritchie's were probably buried here because there were no other registered gravesites in this area at this time. Perhaps the Ritchie's were labourers on the farm. According to Mrs. Dick these graves were moved about 1832 to St.John's Cemetary. There are at least 4 graves left in this site..........Richard Hatt, his wife Mary Cooley, Andrew Hatt, a son, and his wife Barbara Thorpe. As of November 1, 2001, new information from the Ancaster Historical Society suggests a Mr. Peter Gordon was also buried in this Cemetery in 1837 and, within the notes of Nora B Hammill, William Galway Hatt is buried in Cooley's burying ground - there may be many more. This information came from Benjamin Smith's Diary, placed in the Ontario Archives in 1905 by the late School Inspector, Jos.H Smith. This information was placed in the "Grand River Sachem", Wed., May 22, 1867 [The Queen's Birthday]. In these diaries, Benjamin makes mention that the first burials were at the Cooley's where they voted.

The Cemetery is located at the end of Green Ravine Drive - West about 150' along the bank just below the house on the hill. Richard Hatt's gravestone was found there and moved by Jim and Bill English in 1947 to Mohawk Road. It was finally taken to Dundas and stored in the Tombstone Shop until the rededication ceremony at the Grove Cemetery in Dundas in 1967.
Development has since threatened this site and a meeting was held on December 13th, 1999 at Ancaster Townhall to review family options regarding this significant Gravesite. In attendence were Richard Hatt - a 3rd great grandson of Richard Hatt II, Jim Green of the Ancaster Historical Society, Patrick Hennessy, Ancaster Town Planner, Ken Young, a Consulting Engr. for the developer, Edward Fothergill, a planner.
It was a productive meeting and it was agreed that an archaeological survey would be done before any development could take place. The Town was also to contact the Region and the Province in regards to experts on cemetaries that could help us in the road ahead. Because this site is historically significant, how do we go about registration and are the Federal / Provincial Governments involved in designating this type of find?
Subsequent meetings took place on December 15, 1999 at the site and January 7th, 2000 at the Town Hall. By means of these meetings, an exact location of the cemetary was mapped out with recent surveys for development. In accordance with the families' wishes and the policies of the Town of Ancaster, a phase III archeaologist survey must be performed before approval of any draft plans. Richard Hatt, the family representative, will proceed to register the cemetery site with the Department of Consumer and Commercial Relations in the Province of Ontario. He will also inform Neal Ferris, the Ontario Regional Archaeologist of the Phase III study that is to be completed.

As of May 2001, and post amalgamation of Hamilton Wentworth Region , Richard Hatt is now dealing with the New City of Hamilton and a series of meetings has started again - David Cuming - Senior Planner is now involved and has been made aware of the possibility that many gravesites exist within this Heritage Site.

October 25th, 2004 the Phase III Archaeologists Survey started and by Friday October 29th, over 40 graves shafts were identified by the developers Archaeologist. The Archaeologist, Mike Henry, expects that perhaps over 100 grave sites may be in the area. With the exact location of grave sites identified, the Cemeteries Act will now supercede any Planning Act for any potential development at this site. Family members of those interred at this site will have a definitive voice in any resolutions to this discovery.

January 2003 - #711 Rouseaux was owned by the Cooley family & the original Cooley Home was to the rear of this site - a log cabin built by Preserved Cooley. His son, Preserved Cooley JR , built the original house @711 Rouseaux (Mohawk Rd.) in 1846.

Nickname: Polly

Death: 24 JUL 1843 Ancaster, Wentworth, On.

Burial: Cooley Cemetery, Ancaster, On.,


HATT, MARY (b. 25 JAN 1800, d. 23 FEB 1876)

Note: Reference to the Hatt family Bible:

Jane Ada (Hatt) Leavers has noted that the Hatt Family Bible was left by Mary Hatt to son Thomas Collyer Hatt, then to his son John Thomas Hatt, then to his son Thomas Haroel Hatt and finally to his daughter, Jane Ada (Hatt) Leavers.
As a little girl, Jane remembers her grandfather bringing the bibles to her father. Several years ago, from the lists of names and dates in the front of the bible, Jane started a family tree. Later on , John Hamilton continued the research and brought us to this date. Jane also has the original marriage licences of Thomas Collyer Hatt & Jennet Secord, and John Thomas Hatt & Isabella Booth.
Mary Hatt died at her son's home ( R.B.Coulson ) in Toronto

Baptism: 24 JUL 1800

Death: 23 FEB 1876 Toronto, On.,

Burial: Guelph, On.,


GRANT, ELIZABETH EMMA MARY (b. 18 AUG 1848, d. 14 DEC 1931)

[ This story has been told for years in the Hatt Family ]

One of the most outstanding ladies of Spry in the early days was Mrs. Dick Hatt, who was raised a Lady in England. She eloped with their butler and came to Canada, later moving to Spry.
One can imagine the changes in store for her here in a pioneer country. But, through the long years she still kept the lady like ways and was a good and kind wife, mother and neighbour.
She raised a family of seven sons and two daughters and her husband, who for years was badly crippled with rhumatism, was more or less an invalid.
She used to carry her butter and eggs to a little store at Pike Bay - a distance of seven or eight miles. [ This was before the time of the Spry Store ].
On one occasion when she was returning, it was getting on in the evening and as she neared home she was met by one child, then another and another - they having thought that mother was a long time coming. Her husband died before the family was grown up, leaving her to carry on alone.
She was a jolly woman - always looking on the bright side of things and was an inspiration to all who knew her.
What vast changes for her from a home in England with servants to wait on her, to a pioneer shanty in a strange land...........but, she made good and might well be called Spry's Grand Old Lady.
She has been dead now for some years but through death her memory is still fresh in the minds of the people who knew her.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Elizabeth Emma Mary Grant arrived in Canada about 1864, in Fergus, with her father James Grant.