Note: Spelling varied wildly before the 20th century. Anyone searching for ancestors in this family should consider alternative spellings: Clazey, Clazie, Clazy, Clezie, Clezy. The name has even been found as Clacey, Clacy, Claisye, Claise, Clasey, Clasie, Cleasie, Clisy, Clize, Clizzee.
John was born about 1829 in Berwickshire, southern Scotland, the exact date and place unknown. He was the son of William Clazie and Isabella Purves, who were farm servants, moving from place to place, wherever work was found. The 1841 U.K. census showed John was age 12 and lived with his parents at Hutton, Berwickshire.
In April, 1842 John sailed from Liverpool on the ship "England" to New York. What were the circumstances? The ship's list showed "Jno. Clazey, 13, male". No similar surnames found on the ship. Was he sent by his parents, or was he a runaway? Perhaps he was a cabin-boy, working on the ship?
The "England" arrived in New York on 9 May 1842. But John seems to have later returned to the UK. The 1851 census showed him, age 22, living with his parents at Whitsome, Berwickshire, as farm servants. So, it seems to make most sense that John had working on the ship; we don't have all the facts.
About 1852, John's elder brother, William Clazie and his wife Jane Grieve, migrated to Canada, where they settled in southeastern Ontario. And that is where John was next found: the 1861 census showed "John Clacy", a servant for a Wallace family, at the town of Cobourg, Ontario.
At Cobourg, John married another servant, Martha Smith, on 26 March 1861. Their first child was born in January 1863, a daughter, Isabella, possibly named jointly after John Clazie's mother, Isabella Purves, and Martha Smith's mother, Isabella Grant. Their only son, born in 1864, was called James - not reflecting either grandfather. Two further daughters were named Martha, 1867, and Margaret, 1869.
The 1871 Canada census showed this family at Maryborough North Township, in southwestern Ontario. But the census mistakenly called the husband "James" - that was actually their son! So much confusion over names.
They moved further west, to Port Elgin, on the shores of Lake Huron. John Clazie passed away there in 1875. The circumstances of his early death are unknown. He was buried at Sanctuary Park, Port Elgin, where the inscription says:
"In memory of my beloved husband, John Clazie, who died June 3, 1875, age 42 years, a native of Berwickshire, Scotland”.
His widow, Martha, remarried in 1880 to Samuel Evans but had no more children.
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