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Notes for Charles William Meakins and Elizabeth Campbell

1832 Charles William Meakins was born on April 6 to parents Charles William and Mary Ann Meakins and baptized on May 13 at St Pancras, Middlesex, England.The family lived on Drummond Street, Middlesex, England, and Charles was a cabinet maker. [1] [2]

1866 "Chas Wm Meakins, age 32, and Elizabeth Campbell, age 23, were married on June 26 in Huron County, Ontario, by James Duncan of the Canadian Presbyterian Church. Charles William was a resident of Hamilton, C.W., and was born in England, son of Charles William and Mary Ann. Elizabeth was a resident of Stanley, and was born in Montreal, daughter of James and Elizabeth. The witness was Thos Stogdall of Stanley. [3] [4]

1879 A patent for improvements in painting brushes (CA 10699) was issued to Charles W. Meakins Nov. 27, 1879. [5]

1881 The Canada census for Ward 1, Hamilton, Wentworth, Ontario, listed Charles Meakins (age 57), occupation brush manufacture. He was born in England and was of English origin. His wife Elizabeth (age 37), was born in Quebec and was of Scottish origin. Their children Florence (age 12), Willie (age 8), Charles (age 4), were all born in Ontario. The family religion was Church of England. Also in the household were widow Elizabeth Campbell (age 70, born in Scotland) and Catherine Campbell (age 30, born in Ontario). Their religion was Presbyterian. [6]

1882 Jonathan Campbell Meakins, son of Charles William Meakins and Elizabeth Campbell, was born on May 16 in Hamilton, Ontario. The Hamilton Spectator reported on May 18, [7]

On the 16th instant, at 170 Main street east, the wife of C. W. Meakins, of a son.

1884 A patent for a brush (CA 19026) was issued to Charles W. Meakins Apr. 2, 1884 [8]

1891 Charles W Meakins (age 55) and Elizabeth (age 48) lived in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada with children Ida (age 21), William J (age 18), Charles (age 14), John (age 9), Marion (age 5), and Louis (age 3). [9]

1891 The 25th anniversary of the marriage of Charles William and Elizabeth (campbell) Meakins was celebrated.

1891 C.W. Meakins Celebrated 25 years of Marriage.
The Hamilton Spectator, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, June 26, 1891. [10]

Married Twenty-five Years.
Presentation to C W Meakins By His Employes

An event which occurred last night shows the kindly feeling which exists between C. W. Meakins and his employes. Mr Meakins was married twenty-five years ago and so that there would be no danger of him forgetting it the employes visited him last night. On behalf of the employees John Black, the foreman, read the following address: "Mr and Mrs Meakins--Dear friends: It is with great pleasure we the employes of Meakins & Sons have learned that this is the twenty-fifth anniversary of your marriage. We rejoice to know that the union has been a happy one, and we beg to offer our congratulations along with your numerous friends, and hope that you both may long be spared to each other, and that the children which have blessed your union may grow up to be an honor and a pleasure to you both in the journey of life. As an expression of the respect and esteem in which you are held by the employes of the firm we beg your acceptance of the accompanying gift and when in after years you look upon it it will remind you of the many homes which have been made happy and comfortable through the enterprise of Meakins & Sons. We hope and trust that there may be many years of happiness and prosperity in store for you both, and as time rolls on in your journey down life's vale this anniversary may be thought as one of the pleasant experiences of your life, is the wish of your employes. On behalf of the employes, C. Bourque, W. Stewart, E. Skedden, S. H. Forster, C. Luebke, J. Black."

After the reading of the address Charles Bourque presented Mrs. Meakins with an elegant silver epergne, suitably engraved. Mr. Meakins replied feelingly. He afterwards entertained the employes.

1898 On 19 October, William Grant Meakins (age 26), son of Elizabeth Campbell and Charles William Meakins, married Alice Maud West (age 21) in Hamilton, Wentworth, Ontario, Canada. [11]

1901 Charles W Meakins (age 66) and Elizabeth (age 56) lived in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada with children Charles J (age 24), John C (age 18), Louis Alex (age 12), Florence I (age 29), and Marion (age 14). [12]

1908 Charles William Meakins died on February 7 in Hamilton, Ontario. [13]

1931 Elizabeth Campbell Meakins died on October 4 in Hamilton, Ontario. [14] [15]

Research Notes:

Charles William Meakins had a brush factory in Hamilton Ontario. He was a woodcarver, made furniture as a hobby. [16]

The Dictionary of Hamilton Biography states, [17]

Charles William Meakins, cabinet maker, manufacturer, born c. 1833 in Rumford, London, England; m. Elizabeth Campbell, and they had four sons and two daughters; died 7 February 1908 at Hamilton Ontario.

Charles William Meakins, a son of Charles William Meakins, came to Canada with his parents at the age of two. In 1850, the family moved to Hamilton from Montreal, where father and sons had been engaged in the manufacture of furniture. The Meakinses established a firm in Hamilton, becoming the first cabinet makers in this city to use machinery in their business. The original factory stood on King William Street; a few years later the firm moved to King Street E. with the salesroom in the Elgin Block on John Street.

The Meakinses turned from making furniture to making brushes, and in this they were successful 'beyond their most sanguine expectations.' In 1857, Meakins, his father, and his brother, Jonathan Marshall, were partners in Meakins & Sons. By 1882 the partnership consisted of only Meakins and his father. In 1881, the firm's success necessitated the building of a new factory on King Street E. between West Avenue and Victoria Avenue.

Charles Meakins had been educated at Fitz Roy School of Design and Art and was in addition an expert in wood carving. In 1850, while still in Montreal, he designed and carved a suite of furniture exhibited in the Crystal Palace Exhibition [in London in 1851]. It was presented to Queen Victoria by the women of Montreal. In Hamilton, Meakins designed and carved patterns for the construction of the fountain that stood for a century in Gore Park. It was erected in 1860 in time for the Prince of Wales's official opening of the city's waterworks, but by 1959 it had reached a dangerous state of decay and was torn down. Meakins was an Anglican and was devoted to the activities of the Church of St. Thomas. He designed, carved, and presented the chancel chairs and altar in use today.

Charles Meakins belonged to the St. George's Benevolent Society and Barton Lodge. he lived at 314 Main Street E. He had four sons: Charles James, Jonathan Campbell and Louis Alexander, William Grant, and two daughters Ida Florence Margaret and Marian Elizabeth. William Grant joined Meakins & Sons in 1889 and eventually took over the concern, which became Meakins & Sons, Ltd. Charles James, a tenor, rose to fame as a musical comedy actor in the early 1900s.


[1] London Metropolitan Archives, p90/pan1/018, St Pancras, Register of Baptisms, May 1832-Feb 1834, London, England, Births and Baptisms, 1813-1906, [AncestryImage], [AncestryRecord].

[2] Family History Library microfilm, 0598163, Parish registers of St. Pancras Old Church, 1660-1916, [FHLFilmCatalog].

[3] Record Group 8. Series I-6-B. Vol. 20, Huron County Marriage Registers: 1858-1869 (also contains some Bruce Co. marriages), Arch. of Ont. film no. MS 248, reel 8, FHL film 1030058 Items 3, Ontario, County Marriage Registers, 1858-1869, [FamilySearchImage], [FamilySearchRecord].

[4] Ontario, Canada, County Marriage Registers, 1858-1869, [AncestryRecord].

[5] Canadian Patents Database, [Canada_Patents].

[6] Canada Census, 1881, [AncestryImage], [AncestryRecord].

[7] Gordon H. Allison, Hamilton Spectator, Deaths, Marriages, and Births January to June 1882 (Manuscript, Hamilton, Ontario, Archives, 1995), 6.

[8] Canadian Patents Database, [Canada_Patents].

[9] Canada Census, 1891, [AncestryImage], [AncestryRecord].

[10] The Hamilton Spectator, Hamilton, Ontario, June 26, 1891, page 1, [NewspapersClip].

[11] Ontario Marriages, 1869-1927, [FamilySearchImage], [FamilySearchRecord].

[12] Canada Census, 1901, [AncestryImage], [AncestryRecord].

[13] Ontario, Canada, Deaths, 1869-1938 and Deaths Overseas, 1939-1947, Archives of Ontario; Series: MS935; Reel: 140, image 76, [AncestryImage], [AncestryRecord].

[14] Ontario, Canada, Deaths, 1869-1938 and Deaths Overseas, 1939-1947, Archives of Ontario; Series: MS935; Reel: 430, image 1800, [AncestryImage], [AncestryRecord].

[15] Ontario Deaths, 1869-1937 and Overseas Deaths, 1939-1947, [FamilySearchImage], [FamilySearchRecord].

[16] Family Document, Evelyn Miles Krase Notes.

[17] Thomas Melville Bailey, ed., Dictionary of Hamilton Biography, Vol. II 1876-1924 (Hamilton, Ontario: Dictionary of Hamilton Biography, 1991), 112, [WorldCat].