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Snake Island Lighthouse Keepers
And Their Genealogy

Copyright 2004 by Pat McAvoy-Costin. All rights reserved.

(Photos at bottom of page)

List of Keepers for Snake Island and Four Mile Point





Additional Information



Simcoe Island, an Eves Perspective

Before the year was up, he gave up the job.



Simcoe Island, an Eves Perspective



Nathaniel Taylor ORR

1881 Census and Sam Orr email, British Whig—salary information, also Simcoe Island, an Eves Perspective

He is listed as age 56 at the time of the 1881 census.  His occupation was listed as a light keeper.  He is listed as living with his wife Eliza DERYAW and 6 children ranging in age from 16 years old to 5 years old.

One son, William Braden ORR (a later keeper) was listed as 14 at the time.  Another son Alexander was 10.  Four daughters were listed on this census.  Mary—16, Sarah—13, Henrietta—8, Maude—5.  There may be additional children but they were not on this particular census.

In 1883 his salary was listed as $495. 

Henrietta—later married Charles Victor SUDDS (a later keeper).  Two of the other sisters, Mary and Sarah married two EVES brothers—Dexter and James.  Proving the families were close knit, the EVES sister, Louisa Mae—also married a SUDDS—Charles V’s brother, George.

Nathaniel and his wife Eliza died in 1888 and were buried at Trinity Anglican.

The area for the lighthouse was small, Orr brought some land on Simcoe Island in 1874.  There he raised his family.



Euphrem Keady

1881 Census

He was listed as 43 and a member of N.T. Orr’s household.  My guess is that he was an assistant.  I can find no further records on Euphrem.

After 1888-1899

William Braden Orr

Bob Crawford email;

Sam Orr email; County of a Thousand Lakes, The History of Frontenac 1673-1973.

Simcoe Island, and Eves Perspective

After his father died, William Braden ORR took over as keeper.  He was married to Eliza BURGESS. According to Russ Waller—they had 5 children—Myrtle b. 1892, Charlotte, Luella b 1885, William b. 1897, and Mabel b 1899.

By 1901, William was listed on the census with the occupation of “cheesemaker”.  Must have turned the lighthouse over to his brother in law, Charles Victor Sudds

During his tenure as keeper, a new lighthouse was built on a pier nearer to the ship channel.



Simcoe Island, and Eves Perspective, 1901 Census, C Watson

On the 1901 census—the family of six was listed as:

  • Edwin John WHITMARSH b. Dec 5, 1861 in New Brunswick.
  • Wife, Mary Jean (DONNELLY)b. July 5, 1862 in Ontario.
  • Son, William, b.1880 in Ontario
  • Son, John Edward b. Oct 18, 1884 in Ontario.
  • Daughter, Jane Elizabeth b. Nov 20, 1886 in Ontario.
  • Daughter, Francoise (Francis Mary) b. April 6, 1893.

The John was the son of Frederick and Sarah Whitmarsh.  The family had lived on Wolfe Island as far back at 1851.  John and Mary Jean Donnelly married on Sept. 24, 1879 in Kingston. 


Charles Victor Sudds

Sam Orr email, descendent of N.T. Orr and Simcoe Island an Eves Perspective.

Son-in-law of Nathaniel Taylor Orr.  He married Henrietta ORR (daughter of Nathaniel Orr) in 1890. They had 11 children according to Russ Waller. Charles V. SUDDS was the son of Charles SUDDS and Sarah Jane ORSER.

Three of their eleven children also married members of the EVES family.  One married a DERYAW. The children were:

  • Florence b 1892,
  • Charles V. 1894,
  • Delbert b 1896,
  • Nathaniel who married Mary Eves,
  • Jack V.,
  • Wallace,
  • Clifford b 1898,
  • Dexter b 1899,
  • Ethel who married George EVES, 
  •  Edna who married Overton SCOTT and later Harry DERYAW, and
  • Lillian b 1903 who married Robert EVES.

Charles Victor operated the lighthouse until it was discontinued in 1941.  The building sat idle until 1958 when it burned down.


Simcoe Island, An Eves Perspective by Sanford Sydney Eves is a new source was helpful with new information. The book is available at the Wolfe Island Library. See the related story.


Nathaniel Taylor Orr
b. 1825 d. 1888
Buried Trinity Anglican Church, Wolfe Island
Later picture: Could this be the outfit he wore when he
manned the light? It appears to be a uniform of some sort.

Eliza Jane Deryaw
Wife of Nathaniel Taylor Orr
Daughter of John and Maria Deryaw.
Birth: 28 Oct 1841 in Hill (LaRue) Island
Death: 27 May 1888 in Simcoe Island
Burial: Trinity Anglican Cemetery, Wolfe Island
Resident, Simcoe Island
Courtesy John "Sam" Orr

William Braden Orr & Eliza May Burgess-Wedding
William Braden Orr:
Son of Nathaniel Orr and Eliza Jane Daryaw
Birth: 28 Sep 1866 in Ernestown, Ontario
Death: 8 Aug 1924 in Gananoque, Ontario
married 11 NOV 1890
Eliza May Burgess:
Birth: 28 Nov 1869 ,Enterprise, Lennox & Addington Co.
Courtesy John "Sam" ORR

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