George Wanless

George Wanless

Male 1802 - 1882  (80 years)

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  • Name George Wanless 
    Born 1802  Roxburghshire, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2
    Gender Male 
    Occupation Abt 1827  St. Andrew's, Argenteuil, Quebec, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    schoolmaster/headmaster 
    • ----------------------
      Excerpt from Memories of Old St. Andrews
      ------------------
      The Pedagogue

      Among the worthies of the old town none was more deserving of remembrance that George Wanless, the Scotch Dominie. He was a kinsman of Thomas Wanless, the pioneer who arrived in the district about 1812.

      Oliver Goldsmith's description of the “Village Schoolmaster” could be very well applied to Mr. Wanless. “A man severe he was and stern to view; I knew him well and every truant knew. Well had the boding tremblers learned to trace The day's disasters in his morning face; Yet he was kind, or if severe in aught The love he bore to learning was in fault.”

      The range of his knowledge is revealed in the accompanying circular, for the copy of which we are indebted to Mr. Henry Barclay of Carillon:

      “Mathematics & Languages Carillon Academy

      At this Seminary are taught the English, French, Latin, and Greek Languages, Mathematics embracing the Elementary and Higher Geometry, Plane and Spherical Trigonometry, Algebra, and the Differential Calculus with their application to Engineering, Geodetic Surveying and Nautical Astronomy, also Architectural Drawing, Perspective, and the Construction of Maps and Plans.
      Likewise An extensive Course of Commercial accounts, Book-keeping and English Composition, Mr. George Wanless Author of a Tract on Practical Astronomy Instructor. Terms For Tuition 5 Pounds per annum For Board and Tuition 30 Pounds per annum Carillon (on the Ottawa) November 1853”

      George Wanless made the Lower Ottawa Valley a recruiting ground for the Old McGill, and his diploma assured his pupils of admission to the University. Among his students were Sir J.J.C. Abbott, the Hon. John Hamilton, William Robertson, Henry Barclay, Thomas Kains, Henry Mayrand, the Simpson brothers, George Jones, Harry Abbot, Thomas Noyes, Thomas Lamb (uncle of our present mayor, W. J. Pitcairn), and many others.

      Mr. Wanless came to St. Andrews about 1827 and his first schoolhouse was on Wales Street (River Rouge Road) at the foot of the first hill, where he taught for several years. In 1834, when the Reverend William Abbott moved into The Priory, which he had built in the previous year, the abandoned Rectory became the St. Andrews Academy until the substantial stone building which still stands on the outskirts of Carillon, was erected for Mr. Wanless.

      When the Academy was moved from St. Andrews to Carillon, deep disappointment, not unmixed with resentment, was felt by some of the residents of St. Andrews, who resolved to erect a school building that would surpass the Carillon Academy in equipment. They also resolved to find a principal who would equal George Wanless in scholastic attainments. The outcome of this decision was the building of a two storey brick school house, long since demolished, behind what is now the St. Andrews Inn. Many excellent teachers such as Messrs. Walker, McIntyre, McArthur, and McIntosh were employed here, but no one was found to rival Mr. Wanless. He had a commanding presence and his success was enhanced by his methods as a disciplinarian. He was a terror to unruly pupils who complained that his birch rods were more stinging than a cat-o-nine-tails, but he was no tyrant. On one occasion he apologized to one of his wayward pupils for inflicting punishment that was not deserved, and assured the victim that the chastisement in question would answer for the next offence.

      Mr. Wanless was a great chess player and many of his pupils learned the royal game from him. In answer to the question, “How did you come to be a chess-player?” it is interesting to receive the answer, “My father” (or some other relative) “taught me, and he went to the Wanless Academy.”
    Residence Bef 1827  New York, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Residence Aug 1834  Montreal, Quebec, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Occupation Est 1844-1854  Carillon, Argenteuil, Quebec, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Postmaster 
    • Index to Post Offices at Nat'l Archives:
      George Wanless (connu comme M.P. en 1844) vacated 1854-09
      -- this post office was called Chatham until 1841
      Listed as postmaster in 1851 directory.
    Residence 1857  Carillon, Argenteuil, Quebec, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Wanless, George proprietor of academy and agent for Equitable Fire and International Life Assurance Companies
      [Source: John Lovell's 1857 Montreal directory]
    Census 1881  Chatham, Argenteuil, Quebec, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Chatham, Argenteuil, Quebec, Canada
      Source: FHL Film 1375860 NAC C-13224 Dist 96 SubDist C Div 1 Page 51 Family 229
      All entries in this household are listed as Winless with a note that says "or Wonless". Note the youngsters are grandchildren, sons of John G. who died. Their remarried mother is a few houses prior.
      ----------------
      George WINLESS M M 79 Scottish Scotland Occ: Teacher Religion: Church of Scotland
      Hellen WINLESS F M 77 Scottish Scotland Religion: Church of Scotland
      George A. WINLESS M 20 Scottish Q Occ: Merchant Religion: Church of England
      William WINLESS M 18 Scottish Q Religion: Church of England
      John E. WINLESS M 15 Scottish Q Religion: Church of England
    Occupation After 1834-abt 1882  Carillon, Argenteuil, Quebec, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    schoolmaster, headmaster 
    • -- Not sure exactly when George moved the school from St. Andrew's to Carillon. Will keep looking.

      From "History of Argenteuil" - note the authors got George's name wrong, listing him as John:
      -----
      p. 191
      Among the several fine stone dwellings of Carillon is that of T. Fagan. This was erected about 1830, by Rinaldo Fuller, contractor, for an academy, and soon afterwards was bought by John Wanless, who lived in it, and conducted a private school for many years.

      Mr. Wanless was from Scotland, and was a graduate of one of the Scotch Universities. On coming to America, he was first employed in teaching in New York, and afterward, about 1827, came to St. Andrews, and for a year or two conducted a private school in the building which is now the Anglican parsonage. While there, he married a cousin named Wanless, and moved to Carillon. He was a fine scholar, a strict disciplinarian, and his school was highly popular, being patronized by the sons and daughters of all the leading citizens of this section, the late Hon. J.J.C. Abbott being of the number. He died in 1882, and his former pupils, from respect to his memory, erected at their own expense a tombstone at this resting place in the St. Andrews cemetery.
      -----------
    Died 20 Apr 1882  Carillon, Argenteuil, Quebec, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried 22 Apr 1882  Carillon Hill Cemetery, St. Andrews, Argenteuil, Quebec, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [5, 6
    Notes 
    • George was in the original handdrawn family tree, but we have found no christening record for him. Parents were proved by his brother John's will, which named his brother George of Carillon.

      The book "Who's Which" says Ellen married her 2nd cousin George Wanless from Inverness, Scotland. Elsewhere the book says that "Wanless of Inverness" was a cousin to George Wanless (Ellen's grandfather). However, there are no Wanless entries in the Inverness OPR index which starts in the early 1800s, and his death record & tombstone refer to him as a native of Roxburghshire.

      George educated at the University of Scotland and started a school of which he was headmaster: the Carillon Academy, also called the Wanless Academy, at Carillon, Quebec. The Carillon Academy is now a museum.

      Not listed in 1851 Quebec directory or 1851 census.
    Person ID I48  3: George Wanless & Mercime Riddell of Yetholm, Roxburghshire, Scotland
    Last Modified 9 Oct 2012 

    Father John Wanless,   b. Abt 1759, (probably) Roxburghshire, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Mother Isabella Ewen,   b. 1764, Heiton, Roxburgh Parish, Roxburgh, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Marriage Notice 17 Apr 1789  Kelso Parish, Roxburgh, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • banns proclaimed
    Married May 1789  Roxburgh Parish, Roxburgh, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location  [7, 8
    Family ID F78  Group Sheet

    Family Ellen Wanless,   b. 8 Aug 1804, Yetholm Parish, Roxburghshire, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1 May 1884, St. Andrew's, Argenteuil, Quebec, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 79 years) 
    Married 15 Aug 1834  Montreal, Quebec, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [9
    Children 
     1. John George W. Wanless,   b. 5 Aug 1835, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 24 May 1871, Ottawa river near Carillon or Grenville, Quebec Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 35 years)
    Last Modified 22 Dec 2002 
    Family ID F19  Group Sheet

  • Photos
    George Wanless (1802-1882), master of Carillon Academy, Carillon, Argenteuil, Quebec, Canada
    George Wanless (1802-1882), master of Carillon Academy, Carillon, Argenteuil, Quebec, Canada
    est 1860s-1870s (from the book Memories of St. Andrews)

    Headstones
    George Wanless (1802-1882) & son John (1835-1871), Carillon, Argenteuil, Quebec
    George Wanless (1802-1882) & son John (1835-1871), Carillon, Argenteuil, Quebec
    Large white marble headstone, erect, located next to large pine tree

    In memory of George Wanless
    Teacher
    Scotland
    Born 1802
    Died 1882

    John Wanless
    Who died May 24, 1871
    Aged 35 years, 9 Months

    News
    1843 Ad for Carillon Academy run by Mr. George Wanless in Carillon, Argenteuil, Quebec, Canada
    1843 Ad for Carillon Academy run by Mr. George Wanless in Carillon, Argenteuil, Quebec, Canada

  • Sources 
    1. [S132] Burial record.
      was 80 at his death in Apr 1882

    2. [S3] Tombstone.

    3. [S22] Memories of Old St. Andrew's, PAGES 115-119 (Reliability: 3).

    4. [S55] Marriage record.

    5. [S132] Burial record.
      Death record from FHL Film #105973 (St Andrews parish records):
      Wanless buried: George Wanless, a native of Roxburgshire, Scotland died at Carillon, aged eighty years, on the twentieth day of April Anno Domin?? one thousand eight hundred eighty two, and was buried on the twenty second day of same month by me.
      R. L?????? Rector of Christ Church St. Andrews
      Witnessed by Martin Wanless
      ----Martin was George's nephew by marriage...

    6. [S22] Memories of Old St. Andrew's.
      Mr. Wanless died in 1882 and was buried in the Carillon Hill Cemetery. His tombstone bears the following inscription:
      "Nubem Pellente Mathesi Psalm 36:9 John 3:16 In memory of George Wanless, Teacher A native of Roxburgh-shire, Scotland Born 1802, died 1882 Erected by the contributions of his grateful scholars."

    7. [S103] Index to Scottish GRO (online), MARRIED: JOHN WANLESS & ISABEL EWIN OR HEWIE AT KELSO, ROXBURGHSHIRE, SCOTLAND. (Reliability: 3).

    8. [S100] Old Parochial Registers.
      Film 1067946 Frame 1741 "John Wanless in this parish [Kelso] and Isabel Hewie [which is crossed out and then written on top "Ewen"] in the parish of Roxborough gave in their names for proclamation in order to marriage this 17th April 1789. Witnesses Richd Henderson Andw Lillie"
      Film 1067951 Frame 466 gives marriage as May 1789

    9. [S10] Parish Records, FHL 1684034 ITEM 2 (INDEX) (Reliability: 3).
      From an online lookup volunteer with a book of Christ Church (Anglican) marriage transcriptions:
      15 August 1834 Helen Wanless & George Wanless, teacher maths.
      Groom of New York now of Montreal.
      Bride of St. Andrews, Argenteuil.
      Wiitnesses John Wanless, Christy Stevenson.