Historical Plaque Properties


David Blane - Farmer
297 Cobourg Street
Stratford, ON

David Blane’s parents, David senior and Margaret Kennedy were born in Scotland around 1820. His father was a blacksmith which at the time was a profession with a wide array of demands that ranged from making door and carriage hardware to metal wheels and horse shoes. In 1841, David senior and his wife are listed in the Wednesbury, Staffordshire, England census.



By 1847, David senior and Margaret had emigrated from Scotland to Canada and were living in Vaughn, York County. According to the 1851 census, David was making his living as a blacksmith and the family had four children.


The 1861 census shows the family had moved to a farm near Tavistock. Two more girls and on July 26, 1859 David junior had been added to the family for a total of seven children. David senior had taken up farming. More changes had occurred in the family by the time the 1871 census was taken. Elizabeth had married Charles Dawson and left the family home to settle in Ellice. David senior had returned to blacksmithing while the oldest son, Robert, had taken over farming.



By the 1881 census, we see that Robert has bought his own farm while William and Stewart are working the original farm. Their mother, Margaret has died and their father is still working as a blacksmith. David and his two single sisters are still living with the family. David soon bought his own farm in South Easthope near Harmony and David senior died in 1889. In the 1891 census, David’s nephews, Benjamin and John were helping him on the farm.


In 1893, David Blane married Margaret Blain.  Margaret was the daughter of John Blain and Mary Campbell who had both emigrated from Scotland with their respective families.  John and Mary were married in 1858 and settled into farming in South Easthope near the Fryfogel Inn. Margaret was born there in June 1864.



After their marriage, David continued farming and their family grew to include four children by the time the 1901 census was taken. The same census shows David’s sisters Mary and Margaret living in Stratford and earning their living as dressmakers. His sister, Elizabeth Dawson, now a widow, had also lived in Stratford for a time.


In 1906, David Blane and his family which by then consisted of one boy and four girls moved into the newly built house at 297 Cobourg Street. According to the city assessment, the Blanes rented the house until 1908. The family moved to Russell in Manitoba to start a new life farming there. They are first recorded there in the 1911 census. The 1916 census shows David’s brother, Stewart, living with the family. He was working as a shopkeeper. David Blane died on April 25, 1939 in Russell, Manitoba at the age of eighty.