Robert Simpson was born 18 Oct 1829 in Mono Township, Dufferin County, Upper Canada. He was a son of James and Susanna Simpson. In 1852 the 22-year-old Robert was living with the young family of Mark Crooker Cummins in southern Nelson Township near the Lake Ontario shore. Robert was described as a single, Canadian-born Methodist. He was apparently learning the wagon-making business from Mark Cummins who was a nephew of Rhoda Hardbottle nee Crooker. Mark was also a son of John Angle Cummins who had started Cumminsville in 1832. By 1861 Robert was described as a 30-year-old married carpenter living with his 30-year-old Irish-born wife, Mary Ann Flanagan. They had no children and were living with the family of another carpenter, Charles Stuart and his wife Sarah. All in that household were described as New Connexion Methodists. Robert Simpson and Mary Ann had no children together. However, in 1871 census it was apparent that they had adopted 11-year-old Annie Best, a daughter of Robert Best and Ann Boyce, after Robert Best had died in 1867. Annie would live with them for the rest of their lives except for the months between November 1889 and October 1895 when she resided with her short-lived husband, William Philip, who died in 1895 in Bruce County. Mary Ann died on 18 Apr 1910 and Robert Simpson died on 7 May 1916. They were both buried in the Bethel Methodist Cemetery on Britannia Road. When she died in 1939, their adopted daughter Annie, was buried near them in Bethel Cemetery.
Contributing Author: W. Raymond Cummins