Reference Centre, Planning

Errors in Published Genealogies,
Daniel Lane

This research was originally conducted more for the nature of an error by omission than an error by commission. However, over the years and with the proliferation of genealogy on the internet, there are now many many Lane trees that contain a fatal error in the identification of Daniel Lane.

In all of the published literature concerning Gainsborough Township, Lincoln County, Ontario, Canada, there is no definitive document that links Daniel Lane of that township to his parents. My client, being a descendant of that same Daniel Lane, came to me during the 1990s in a last attempt to identify Daniel's parents. The task was not easy and involved tracking every male member of the first and second generation Lane families that had entered Canada in the late 1700s.

Daniel Lane was not the son of Joseph Lane and Rebecca Comfort, as many researchers indicate. Joseph Lane was born circa 17601 and died 18201. His wife, Rebecca, was born circa 17651 and died 18251. From published sources2, 3 their children are well documented and enumerated arriving circa 1786 through 1809. Granted there appears to be a 'hole' in births between 1788 and 1798. However, given the ample coverage of this family in published sources and the fact that Daniel's name has not once been included together with the allowed birth year span for Daniel Lane of 1799 through 1805, or outside of the 'hole' in children's births, I have to conclude that he was not known to have been a son of this couple. The 'hole' in birth years could, however, be filled with the births of the two dangling Lanes, Ezekiel and Isaac. Neither can Daniel Lane be a son of the Jonathan Lane and his wife Hannah Horton as she died1 prior to the allowed birth year span for Daniel Lane of 1799 through 1805.

Through extensive searches of civil registration certificates, land petitions, census and statistical assessments it has been determined, where no determination had been previously successfully made, that Daniel Lane of Gainsborough Township was the son of Alexander Lane and Lana Moot on the following basis.

A number of Lane men were enlisted with the Lincoln Militia during 1812. In the Annals of the Forty series there are a number of muster rolls many of which have never appeared in print up to 1999. Among the musters in this publication I found Alexander Lane who was a sergeant in 1814 and again enlisted as a sergeant in 1818. In subsequent discussions with Mr. Alan Holden, a specialist on the history of the Lincoln Militia, he advised that in the muster of the Jacob Vaughan Company dated 29 November 1828 there were the following: Daniel Lane, aged 26 years, Joseph Lane aged 22 years, Gilbert Lane aged 30 years and Alexander Lane aged 19 years. Mr. Holden also advised that Daniel Lane had been recalled for service during the rebellion of 1837/8.

From the above information several inferences can be drawn:

1. The muster of 1828 was prepared after the assessment and census of 1828, accordingly all males who were in Gainsborough township on that assessment that were of age for service in the militia, e.g. 16 years of age or older, and had no impediments to service, should have been included as enlistees on the militia muster rolls of 1828.

2. From the assessment of 1828 in Gainsborough Township only the following had males over the age of 16 years [I have not included in the count the obvious husbands]:

a. Alexander Lane, 1 male over age 16;

b. Gilbert Lane, 1 male over age 16;

c. Joseph Lane (son of Joseph Land and Rebecca Comfort), 1 male over age 16, later identified as Jeremiah Lane.

3. Of the other Lane men of age to serve in 1828,

a. Jeremiah and Jonathan were not on the muster nor on the assessment of 1828 and therefor, must have moved away from Gainsborough sometime before the assessment;

b. Allan had not been called for service in 1828 and it is likely that he had been widowed by that time and had two very young children to care for;

c. Ezekiel is not present in the musters of 1828;

d. from the obituary of Isaac, it was learned that Isaac and Jonathan had moved away from Gainsborough township sometime after 1812 but before 1828;

e. David, Darius and Nathan Lane were the only unaccounted for males in Gainsborough township in 1828. As service age was between 16 and 60 years it is certain that David and Darius had not been born prior to 1812. As to Nathan Lane, as he had served during 1812/13 he may have acquired an injury that prevented him from serving in the militia in 1828.

4. Nathan Lane had no males in his household over age 16 years in 1828.

After accounting for all of the males in Gainsborough on the 1828 assessment, the only unnamed male aged over 16 years was found in the family of Alexander Lane and Lana Moote.

There was, however, one last possibility for the father of Daniel Lane in the person of Jonathan Lane of Oakville, Ontario. To pursue this line of enquiry I examined the Trafalgar township assessments, which commence in 1816 and are in very good order. The Lane name first appears on the assessment of 1825: Jonathan Lane on Lot 11, Concession 1; Ezekiel Lane with no land; and, Isaac, with no land. Jonathan is the only male that is applicable in this query. In 1825, aside from himself, there were two other males aged 16 years or older and one male under the age of 16 years. In 1828 the name of the assessed individual changes from Jonathan to John. In 1831 Aaron lane appears followed in 1834 by Amos Lane. Likewise, the males under aged 16 years do not increase in number but decrease in number. Accordingly it is reasonable to conclude that John, Aaron and Amos were all sons of Jonathan. Amos appears to leave the household of Jonathan in 1827 but reappears in 1834 with a family. Therefore, from the 1825 assessment Jonathan is the head of the family and the males aged 16 or over are John and Amos, while the male aged under 16 years is Aaron. During 1828 the property was transferred from Jonathan to John. During 1830 Aaron takes up his property, leaving John and Jonathan as the two males over 16 years of age in the home of Jonathan. Sometime between 1830 and 1831 Jonathan died leaving John as the only male on the property at the time of the assessment in 1831.

At no time does Ezekiel or Isaac Lane have another male aged over 16 years living with either of them.

Consequently, there are no available slots for Daniel to fill in Jonathan's family. Even removing Amos from the lineup of Jonathan's children and replacing him with Daniel, as we know that Daniel was married during 1829, at no time does the number of females over 16 years of age increase or decrease. Further, a decrease in the number of females over 16 years should have been noted in either 1830 or 1831 when two of the males decrease in number if Daniel was one of those males. Similarly, there is no change in the number of females over 16 years of age betwen 1834 and 1838, which there should have been had there been a married son living in the family household with his wife.

The 1828 muster indicates Daniel Lane's age to have been 26 which firmly places his birth year circa 1802. A small margin of error in the stated age would indicate a birth year for Daniel Lane circa 1799 to 1805. Once again, we can eliminate the brothers Jeremiah and Jonathan based on Jeremiah's year of marriage of 1814 and on Jonathan's own year of birth. Finally, as there are no other unaccounted for males among the other children of Joseph Lane and Rebecca Comfort during 1828, the preponderance of the evidence points directly at the probability of Daniel Lane having been the son of Alexander Lane and Lana Moote.

1  Powell, Janet R., comp. (1889-1966). Annals of the Forty: A history of Grimsby and West Lincoln 1783-1883, vols. 4-6, p. 10. [Grimsby, Ont.]: Grimsby Historical Society, 1955-1968, in ten volumes.
2  ibid, pp. 10-11
3  The Descendants of Jonathan Lane. Unpublished. Centennial Library, Special Collections, St. Catharines, Ontario.

Additional sources:
Muster Roll, Jacob Vaughan Company dated 29 November 1828, unpublished, in the possession of Mr. Allan Holden

Muster Roll, Rebellion 1837/8, in the possession of Mr. Allan Holden

1828 Assessment and Census Lincoln and Welland Counties

1816-1831 Assessment and Census Trafalgar Township, Halton County, Ontario

Census of Ontario, Gainsborough Township 1851 through 1881

Wesleyan Methodist Baptismal Registers 1825-1910

Surrogate Court Indices, Welland and Lincoln Counties

Wills Registered in Lincoln County 1801-1920 (929.371351 Wil)

Marriage Bonds of Ontario

County Marriage Registers 1858-1869

Civil Marriage Registrations, Ontario, 1870-1899

Civil Death Registrations, Ontario, 1869-1900

Township papers, Gainsborough Township, Ontario

Land Registry of Niagara North and Niagara South, Ontario, Memorial Books, Land Registry Deeds and Wills, numerous volumes, registers and indices

Heir and Devisee Commissions of Ontario

Taylor, Corlene, comp. Early Settlers in Niagara: Return of disbanded troops and Loyalists

Monumental Inscriptions, St. Ann's Cemetery

Monumental Inscriptions, Lane Family Cemetery

Parish Registers, Presbyterian Church Clinton and Gainsborough Townships

Parish Registers, Elcho United Church

Roman Catholic Marriage Registers of Ontario, 1828-1870

Gainsborough's Story

among many others

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