Pioneer Life on the Bay of Quinte

Pioneer Life on the Bay of Quinte
by William F.E. Morley
Mika Publishing Co., Belleville, Ontario, 1983
pages 359-362


The Gorssline Family

John Gorssline, born on Long Island, New York, in 1769, was of Dutch descent, his father having been born in Holland. There is a tradition in the family (of which, however, only the outline had been retained), of a dramatic, even tragic character, to the effect, that his father and some brothers left America for Canada; whether they went together or at different times is unknown, but, as the story goes, his father was killed and scalped by Indians while he was on his way. Whether his brothers shared the same fate, the tradition does not say; but if they made their escape, nothing more has been heard of them.

John Gorssline is therefore the Canadian pioneer. He came to Prince Edward County and followed the trade of a weaver for some years, during which time he settled on the second concession of Sophiasburgh. By and by he dropped the weaving business and concentrated himself upon the tillage of his farm, and the raising of stock. He was one of the first to select and breed a superior class of horses; he could not be excelled at that time as a horse breeder, and his fair reputation in the breeding of horses has gone on increasing to this day. He was a popular neighbor and highly esteemed for his business capacity; in politics he was a Conservative. He married twice; his first wife was Jane, a daughter of the pioneer, Abraham Cronk, and his second wife was Sally Adams.

Jacob Gorssline is the only son of the Pioneer alive to-day, and he is now in his eighty-fifth year. He resides on the old homestead and possesses the original deed of the farm, dated 1802, which bears witness that the land was originally drawn by one William Brook. Attached to the deed is the huge seal of wax universally used at this time for attesting the Royal grants to the pioneers.

As will be seen by the table annexed, John Gorssline had fourteen children; some of them left no descendants; Catherine Gorssline, who married Danial Lucas, removed to Michigan; others intermarried with various well-known families of Prince Edward County.

Abbot Gorssline, son of Abraham and Drusilla Beech Gorssline, and grandson of the pioneer, married Sarah Way, and had two children, Euretta, who married Frank Lent, and Elgin W.

Reuben Gorssline, ninth son of the pioneer, purchased Robert H. Salyor's farm in 1882 and resided there until his death in 1895, when the property came by devise to his son, Rickerson, who married Helena C., granddaughter of Rev. Frederick Myers. Her mother belonged to the Worden family, and after her father's return from Australia, the family improved and cultivated some lands that had come to Mrs. Frederick from her grandfather, Asa Worden.

Mr. and Mrs. Rickerson Gorssline have two children; Maud who is a student of music, and Raymond, who is taking a course of instruction at the Bellevue Hospital.

~*~ END SOURCE ~*~

Notes from Lyn:
The above entry refers to the Canadian Branch of the Gorsline Family.

Thanks to Lyle Gorsline of Canada for submitting this material. Lyle is my wife's 6th cousin-once-removed and has researched the genealogy of this Canadian Branch. It's posted at a Family TreeMaker site for you to review and enjoy.

The above material highlights the family of John Gorssline (b. 1769), the son of Jacob (Gorsline Chart ID# 3-7), and grandson of Josse (b. 1701, Long Island, NY). I asked Lyle if any Canadian Gorslines still use the double 's' in their last name and he isn't aware of any. So either this branch eventually changed their spelling or this might be an error given by the person who wrote this account. The last person mentioned below, Raymond Gorssline, is Brigadier R. M. Gorsaline, (notice another variant) of Ottawa, and is the source of the Gorsline information in The Trail of the Huguenots.

We deduce that this sketch was written about 1904, based on a reference to the age of John's son, Jacob. Also, the reference to John's Dutch descent is probably an example of early historical facts gone astray. Yet the mix of myth and history often make for a good story.