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The Wixsons
of Claremont, Cannington, and Toronto Junction

Table of Contents

Discovering the Earliest Wixsons My mother's mother, Marion Morton (nee. Wixson, 1909-1996) would laugh if she knew how differently her ancestors spelled their surname through the ages, as people were so apt to spell her's incorrectly. Indeed, except for the attempts by census takers, the spelling of Wixson has remained as such for over 200 years. It is commonly known, however, that over the years the spelling of a given surname drifts with the sounds of the language and the ability of the ancestor to write it down. Wixson wasn't always spelled this way. A spelling considered more correct was used in the compilation of "Wixom Family History" by J.H. Wixom and R. Widdison in 1966.

Their research, suggests that all the names of Wickson, Wixson, Wixon, Wixam and Wixom, found in the United States and Canada, originate from the most ancient ancestors William and Thomas de Wykeham of Oxfordshire, England back in the middle 1300's. Though the ancestral connection between these most distant references and our Wixsons has not been found, it is clear that our Wixson lineage can be traced back, at least, to the 1600's. We have found the Wixsons of Toronto Junction in the 1890's, are the Wixsons of Cannington in the 1870's, from Vroomanton in the 1850's, and before that: Claremont, Pickering Co. ON, Steuban Co. NY, Dutchess Co. NY, Barnstable Co. MA, and finally from England in the 1600's.

This history begins with our earliest Canadian pioneer -- the earliest record of a Wixson in Canada is a petition for land from the Crown, in the colony of Upper Canada, by Joseph Wixson, living in Scarborough in 1802. He was granted that land and given permission to settle there on the 7th of December in the same year. The property was about 30 kilometres from his recorded residence, deep in the northern forest of Pickering Township, a 200 acre lot -- number 18 in the 9th concession. Today, on the south-west corner of this property, is the crossroads of the village of Claremont, in the Regional Municipality of Durham.

Discover the origin of our Wixsons, and know their early years in Canada, with the entry for Claremont in Nick and Helma Mika's Places in Ontario. This was my first indication of the history yet to be told:

    "Pioneers of the area were the Wixson brothers, Joseph and Joshua, Americans who came from Steuban County at the close of the 18th century. Closely involved with the Baptist Church, the brothers took an active roll in the political and religious life of the community. Joshua was voted Elder of the first Baptist Church of Christ in the township and services were held in his house. A Baptist church as built at Claremont in 1851, a year after Joshua Wixson's death. It was replaced in 1866 and this house of worship is still being used today." (1)

Joseph & Joshua Wixson's
origins in USA
The brothers, Joseph and Joshua Wixson were the first members of our family to arrive in what was then Upper Canada. They were born in the new United States of America on the very heels of the Declaration of Independence, during the American Revolutionary War. Their father was Solomon Wixson.

At the birth of our pioneers, the Wixsons, or Wixams as it was often spelled then, had been in colonial America since the settlement of Massachusetts in 1630. The first Wixam in North America was Robert Wixam.

Begin with the story of Robert Wixam earlier story
or Solomon Wixson continue this story.