Grand River Branch

United Empire Loyalists' Association of Canada





Selected Reprints from the

Grand River Branch Newsletter, Branches

"Thomas Edison (1847-1931) Museum"

Doris Lemon, February 1996, Vol.8 No.1, Page 5


 " If I were a school teacher, I would put lazy pupils to studying bees and ants. They would soon learn to be diligent. "

- Thomas Edison   


     Grand River Branch received excellent press coverage

 - Age 5  : 1852 -
 - Age 23  : 1870 -
 - Age 46  : 1893 -

 on our August 20, 1995 meeting and picnic in the Tillsonburg News and Aylmer Press.  We were greeted by the Reeve and the curator of the Thomas Edison Museum in Vienna.  Before the tour of the museum, Doris Lemon and Bill Terry assisted over twenty visitors with genealogical queries.  Special guests from London Branch were Arnold and Barbara Nethercott, Donald and Margaret Wilson and John and Lorraine Rogers.

 Thomas Edison Museum - Vienna, Ontario

  The house, built by Hiram Balcomb in 1853 for Thomas Kerr on ground once retained by the Edison family, was donated to the village by Helen and Douglas Howard to be used as a museum.  The furniture and many artifacts were donated by the late Mrs. Nora Edison Coombe, first cousin of the inventor, Thomas Alva Edison.

  Thomas Edison gave the world 1097 patents, all but four of which are still valid today.  Many of his early inventions are on display in an upper room.

  Thomas Alva Edison descends from John Edison, born ca. 1742, married in 1765 in Hanover, New Jersey to Sarah Ogden, daughter of Samuel Ogden and Phoebe Baldwin.  They owned a farm on the location of present-day Newark, New Jersey.  Loyal to Britain at the outbreak of the Revolution, life became difficult for John Edison and he moved his family to the British stronghold of New York City.  Afterwards, John and his brother-in-law, Isaac Ogden went back to determine the status of their properties but were arrested, tried for treason and sentenced to death.  Sarah managed to have her father, a colonel in the Continental Army, intercede for the two.  They were pardoned and sent back to New York.  Their properties were confiscated and sold.

  As United Empire Loyalists, the Edison family was given transportation to Nava Scotia where they received 500 acres in Digby County, 133 acres at Marshalltown and a plot and two lots at Digby.  The muster roll of 1784 recorded that the Edisons then had four children over ten years and three under ten.

  The Edisons joined the Loyalist migration from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to Upper Canada and took up land along the lake road, "Nova Scotia Street".  They had just settled into their new home when the War of 1812 erupted.

  John and Sarah Ogden Edison's son Samuel married 1) Nancy Stimson (or Simpson) and 2) Elizabeth Cook.  Samuel I and Nancy Edison's son, Samuel II married in 1828.  Nancy Elliott, a teacher in Vienna's two-room school.  Sympathetic to the reform movement, in 1837, Samuel II fled to the United States.  Ha faced arrest and deportation as the leader of the band of Vienna and Port Burwell rebels in the MacKenzie rebellion.  Nancy followed in 1839 and in 1847, in Milan, Ohio, Thomas Alva Edison was born.

  The original Edison homestead in Vienna, built in 1830 by Samuel Edison Sr., was moved by Henry Ford to the Ford Museum at Dearborn, Michigan in 1933.  Many thanks to the staff at the Thomas Edison Museum in Vienna and also for their brochure and picture of Thomas Edison.

Thomas Alva Edison

1847 - 1931
 Edison Universal Stock Ticker

 Original Light Bulb
 Elictrical Vote Counter  Edison Phonograph

  Thomas Edison Museum - Vienna, Ontario