John Wanless

John Wanless[1]

Male 1830 - 1919  (89 years)

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  • Name John Wanless 
    Born 18 Feb 1830  Longformacus, Berwick, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Gender Male 
    Census 1851  Longformacus, Berwick, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • With father: John son, 20, carpenter

      He may also be the Jno Winless, 22, working on the farm of his married sister Jean Brack in York Co, Ontario. Perhaps he immigrated between the Scotland and Canada censuses ? In 1901, he says he came over in 1851.
    IMMI Est 1860  Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Census 1861  Sarnia, Lambton Co, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • with (brother) William:
      John Scot 30 FC $1,200 invested, 1 horse worth $85, 1/4 acre
    Census 1871  Toronto, York Co, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • St. Andrew's Ward, subdistrict B, district 46 West Toronto, Division 1, page 92
      Wanless, John male, age 41, b. Scotland, S. Presbyterian, Scotch origin, occupation: jeweller, married
      , Susan age 39, b. England, S. Presbyterian, English origin, married
      Kinsman, Joanna female, 80, b. England, Wes. Meth., English origin, widowed
      Bell, Elizabeth A. 21, b. Ontario, S. Presbyterian, Scotch origin, single
      Bell, Janet 16, b. Ontario, S. Presbyterian, Scotch origin, single
      Wanless, John 8, b. Ontario, S. Presbyterian, Scotch origin, at school
      Wanless, Alexander 6, b. Ontario, S. Presbyterian, Scotch origin, at school
      Wanless, Margaret [may be a G. or C. written above her name] 4, b. Ontario, S. Presbyterian, Scotch origin
      Wanless, Clara D. fem, 2, b. Ontario, S. Presbyterian, Scotch origin
    Census 1881  Toronto, York Co, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • St Andrew's Ward, Toronto, York, Ontario, Canada
      Source: FHL Film 1375883 NAC C-13247 Dist 134 SubDist G Div 1 Page 65 Family 320
      John WANLESS M M 51 Scottish Scotland Occ: Merchant Religion: Presbyterian
      Susan WANLESS F M 51 English England Religion: Presbyterian
      Elizabeth BELL F 27 English O Religion: Presbyterian
      Janet BELL F 22 English O Religion: Presbyterian
      John WANLESS M 18 English O Religion: Presbyterian
      Maggie WANLESS F 14 English O Religion: Presbyterian
      Clara WANLESS F 12 English O Religion: Presbyterian
      Bella WANLESS F 9 English O Religion: Presbyterian
      Joanie KINSLEN F W 90 English England Religion: Methodist
    Newspaper 3 Jul 1884  Toronto, York Co, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Winnipeg Daily Times 
    • Crooks At Work - Toronto, July 3d
      A large number of robberies were reported yesterday. Wanless, the jeweler on Yonge street, was knocked senseless in his store by three thieves and considerable jewelry carried off. John Ellis of Detroit and Dave Leavitte of Cleveland are among the crooks arrested.
    Census 1891  Toronto, York Co, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • St. Patrick's Ward, Toronto, Ontario (district 119 Toronto West)
      John Wanless, 60, self & parents b. Scotland, C. Presby., jeweller, 6 employees
      Susan, 60, wife, self & parents b. England
      John, 28, son, b. Ont., jeweller
      Margaret, 22, dau, b. Ont.
      Clara, 20, dau, b. Ont
      Isabella, 17, dau, b. Ont
      Elizabeth BELL, 38, stepdau, b. Ont
      Jenny BELL, 31, stepdau., b. Ont
      Alex DUNLOP, 38, groom, self & parents b. Ireland, groom
    Newspaper 3 Mar 1895  Toronto, York Co, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    New York Times 
    • A big fire started in Simpson's dry goods store and spread to "Wanless's big jewelry establishment" on Yonge street. [full article available at Wanless Web under Canada, newspaper extracts]
    Newspaper 28 Mar 1895  Toronto, York Co, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Toronto Star 
    • Court case re the Simpson fire, against the Holmes Company, insurers; testimony from James McConachie about how he had (under instruction from Holmes Co) bored holes in the door of the Wanless jewellery store to make the proprietor believe burglars had sought entrance, the object being to make Mr. Wanless a subscriber.
    Newspaper 11 Mar 1896  Toronto, York Co, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Toronto Star 
    • Abstract: John Wanless lost a court case he had brought against Lancashire Insurance to recover on a fire policy. The case involved how much co-insurance existed and what the co. would pay.
    Census 1901  Toronto, York Co, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Toronto West, ED 118, subdist b-47, ward 4, page 5
      Wanless, John Head, Md, born Feb 18 1830, Scotland, age 71, immig. 1851, Presbyterian, occupation: jewellery store
      Wanless, Susan Wife, Md, born Nov 18 1827, England, immig. 1845, age 73
      Wanless, Margaret Daughter, Single, born Jun 9 1867 in Ont., age 33
      Wanless, Clara D Daughter, Single, born Aug 6 1869 in Ont., age 31
      Bell, Elizabeth StepDaughter, Single, born May 12 1855 in Ont., age 45
      Bell, Jeannette StepDaughter, Single, born Oct 16 1861 in Ont., age 39
      Johnston, Peter Servant, Single, born 1860 in Scotland, immig. 1890., age 40
    Occupation 1871-1901  Toronto, York Co, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    jeweller 
    • He is listed in 1871 Canadian Dominion Directory as:
      Wanless, John jeweller, 172 Yonge, Toronto
      and in sister Jessie Brack's bio in 1900
    Death Notice 22 Feb 1919  Toronto, York Co, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • At his residence, 760 Spadina avenue, Toronto, on Saturday, Feb. 22, 1919, John Wanless, sen., native of Berwickshire, Scotland, in the 90th year of his age. Interment Monday Feb. 24th at 2:30 o'clock. Funeral private.
      [death notice in Pringle scrapbook in possession of Sally Hunter]
    Obituary 22 Feb 1919  Toronto, York Co, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • John Wanless Passes Away
      One of the oldest residents of Toronto, in the person of Mr. John Wanless, sen., died early this morning at his residence, 760 Spadina avenue, after a brief illness from pneumonia. Deceased, who was for many years, one of the best-known jewelers in the city, contracted pneumonia last Sunday. He was in his ninetieth year. The last Mr. Wanless was born in Berwickshire, Scotland and came to Canada in 1851. Practically all his life had been spent in Toronto. He was for many years connected with the well-known jewelry firm of John Wanless & Co., which was for a long time in the old Simpson block. It was about twenty years ago that he retired from active business. He was an elder in the Knox Presbyterian Church and was the oldest living member. His wife predeceased him about eighteen years ago. Surviving him is one son and two daughters, John Wanless jun., Mrs. A.C. McMaster, and Mrs. J. McP. Scott.

      [This was in the Pringle scrapbook in possession of Sally Hunter. Written alongside in Mr. Pringle's handwriting is "son of Wanless, schoolmaster of Longformacus" and "Uncle James Pringle md. his sister"]
    Died 22 Feb 1919  Toronto, York Co, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Notes 
    • Mentioned in sister Jessie Brack's biography in "Scottish Canadian Poets".

      Gilbert Wanless (b.1886) of the John Wanless/Isabella Ewen line was first apprenticed to John the jeweller in Toronto before becoming a pressman. [Elaine Smyth-Bogumil]

      From the biography of William Elliott, jeweller:
      1884: worked for the Wanless Co, in the old Simpsons block for 29 years, Toronto
      His son William J. Elliott, also a jeweller, has this event:
      1898, jeweller with John Wanless & Co., residence in Norway, Ont

      Head of the oldest jewellery firm in Toronto. He or his son was an alderman on the city council, was elected to the Board of Education, and John Wanless Elementary School in Toronto is named after him..
    Person ID I4356  2: George Wanless & Bessie Cairns of Auchope Farm, Yetholm Parish, Roxburghshire, Scotland
    Last Modified 10 May 2011 

    Father William Wanless,   b. 29 Mar 1797, New Edmiston, Roxburgh, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 25 May 1866, Longformacus, Berwick, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 69 years) 
    Mother Margaret Graham,   b. 28 Oct 1803,   d. 2 Nov 1847, Longformacus, Berwick, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 44 years) 
    Married Est 1818 
    Family ID F1435  Group Sheet

    Family Susan Kinsman (Bell),   b. Abt 1832, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 1901, Toronto, York Co, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 69 years) 
    Married 2 Oct 1861  Toronto, York Co, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [5, 6, 7
    Children 
     1. John Wanless,   b. 28 Aug 1862, Toronto, York Co, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     2. Alexander Wanless,   b. Abt 1865, Ontario (probably Toronto), Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     3. Margaret Wanless,   b. Abt 1867, Ontario (probably Toronto), Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     4. Clara D. Wanless,   b. Abt 1869, Ontario (probably Toronto), Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     5. Isabella "Bella" Wanless,   b. Abt 1872, Toronto, York Co, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
    Last Modified 4 Feb 2006 
    Family ID F1486  Group Sheet

  • News
    Great fire in Toronto destroys Wanless's big jewelry establishment on Yonge street (1895)
    Great fire in Toronto destroys Wanless's big jewelry establishment on Yonge street (1895)
    New York Times, 3 March 1895
    John Wanless Jewellers on Yonge Street in Toronto is closing
    John Wanless Jewellers on Yonge Street in Toronto is closing
    30 Dec 1918 Toronto World - Only 3 days more - Wanless Co. Sale by Auction - The balance of the fine stock of jewellery and silverware must be sold at once as well as the fixtures and safe. Store for rent. The John Wanless Co., 243 Yonge Street near Shuter Street
    Ad for Wanless & Co. Jewellery in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Ad for Wanless & Co. Jewellery in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    3 July 1884: Robbery at Wanless Jewellers in Toronto
    3 July 1884: Robbery at Wanless Jewellers in Toronto
    Crooks at Work - Toronto, July 3 - A large number of robberies were reported yesterday. Wanless, the jeweler, on Yonge street, was knocked senseless in his store by three thieves and considerable jewelry carried off. John Ellis of Detroit and Dave Leavitte of Cleveland are among the crooks arrested.

  • Sources 
    1. [S41] Oral, LETTER 6/2000 , SHARON WILBER (Reliability: 1).

    2. [S142] Surname Index to Christenings in Berwick, Scotland, C117504 FR 349 (Reliability: 3).

    3. [S42] Scottish Canadian Poets, Caledonian Society of Toronto, (Toronto, Canada 1900), SISTER JESSIE BRACK'S BIO SAYS HE IS A JEWELLER IN TORONTO, PUB. 1900 (Reliability: 3).

    4. [S148] Obituary.

    5. [S159] Sarnia Observer, (extracts of mrgs, brths, deaths in the Sarnia, ONT newspaper), FRIDAY, OCT 18, 1861 (Reliability: 3).
      Marriage: At Toronto, on the 2nd inst., by the Rev. D. Barclay, Mr. John Wanless, of Sarnia, to Susan, relict of the late William Bell, Watch-maker, of Toronto.

    6. [S30] Marriage Register.
      Groom: age 32, b. Scotland, lives Toronto, parents William & Margaret
      Bride: age 29, b. England, lives Toronto, parents David & Joanna Kinsman

    7. [S219] Landmarks of Toronto, (http://www.grl.com/), (PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH RECORDS) (Reliability: 3).
      At Toronto on 2 Oct 1861, by licence, John Wanless of Toronto, bachelor, and Susan Bell, widow of the late Daniel Kinsman of the county of Cornwall, England, by me, John Barclay, in the presence of Edwin Gledhill & Daniel Kinsman.
      [Note from Holly: This information doesn't match several other sources that indicate she was Susan Kinsman, daughter of David Kinsman and widow of Wm Bell.]