Edward  Pherrill

Edward Pherrill (1844 - 1934)

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Edward Pherrill
Born in Ontario, Canadamap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married in Oshawa, Ontariomap
Descendants descendants
Died in Collingwood, Ontariomap
Pherrill-10 created 27 Jan 2013 | Last modified
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Edward was born about 1844. He married Eliza Ann Burrows in 1871. After something happens to his wife, he is living on the farm in Reach in 1891 with his sister, Sarah and three of his boys. His only daughter, Charlotte is living somewhere else, possibly as an apprentice seamstress with Charlotte Whitney of Whitby Town. Edward's other son, Charles has apparently run away from home by 1891.

Edward Pherrill - Teenage Cattle Rustler

As a very young man of sixteen or seventeen, it would appear that Edward got off to a rough start on the wrong side of the law. His father being a lawyer himself, he apparently procured for him the finest legal representation around - a Queen's Counsel, Member of the Legislative Assembly and former Solicitor General of Upper Canada no less. But apparently to no avail. The following is verbatim from the Whitby Chronicle for October 10, 1861:

Ontario Fall Assizes 1861
The business of the Court concluded on Thursday last. The following are notes of the remainder of the cases tried.

The Queen vs. Edward Pherrill
The prisoner in this case was put upon his trial for cattle stealing. It appeared by the evidence that several cows and other cattle had lately, very suddenly disappeared from the neighborhood of Whitby, and afterwards were found in the yard of a tavern keeper in the city of Toronto, who it appears had purchased them from the prisoner, who represented himself to be the servant of a drover living near Whitby, who, the prisoner said had authorised him to sell them. The prisoner also falsely represented his name to be Peardon. The Hon. J.H. Cameron Q.C., who ably defended the prisoner, contended with much eloquence before the jury, that even if the cattle had been stolen, there was no evidence that they had been taken within the County of Ontario, and therefore the prisoner should not be convicted in this county. John Duggan Q.C., who prosecuted for the Crown, contended on the other hand, that the prisoner's own admission that he brought them from the Township of Whitby was some evidence against him, that he had taken the cattle within the County of Ontario, in which latter view of the case the jury seemed to coincide, and they brought in a verdict of guilty.

The Queen vs. Edward Pherrill
Just as the prisoner's trial on the first indictment against him was finished Mr. Wm. Coe of Toronto, an important witness against the prisoner, arrived in Court and the prisoner was then put upon his trial on the second indictment found against him for cattle stealing. Mr. Coe proved that finding the prisoner trying to sell some cattle near Toronto, at a price much lower than what they were worth, and the prisoner not giving a satisfactory account of how he got them, Mr. Coe had him arrested, when the prisoner immediately confessed that he and one Huston had stolen the cattle together in Whitby, and the prisoner had gone to Toronto to sell them while Huston was trying to steal more. When this evidence came out the prisoner's counsel abandoned the defence and the jury at once found the prisoner guilty. The prisoner was then sentenced on the first conviction to two years imprisonment at hard labor in the Reformatory Prison for Upper Canada[1] , and on the second conviction to one year's imprisonment at hard labor in the same place, to commence at the expiration of his former sentence.[2]

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  • 1861 Census of Canada, Canada West, Ontario County, Image 768 of 969.
  • 1871 Census of Canada, Ontario, Ontario South, Whitby West, pg. 17 of 86.
  • Ontario, Canada, Marriages 1801-1928, Ontario County 1871, Image 35 of 112.
  • 1891 Census of Canada, Ontario, Ontario South, Reach, Image 72 of 91.
  • Cited in Ontario, Canada, Marriages 1801-1928, York County 1905, Image 198 of 762.


  1. See Our History, Hospital for Sick Children, entry for 1859. Two years before Edward's trial, Upper Canada had instituted the creation of the first facility designed specifically for young offenders. This was where Edward was sentenced to.
  2. Whitby Chronicle, October 10, 1861.


Thanks to Dave Rutherford for starting this profile.

Click the Changes tab for the details of contributions by Dave and others.

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DNA Connections
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Edward by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with Edward:

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Images: 1
Edward Pherrill Court Documents
Edward Pherrill Court Documents


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