|Wilmot (Willempje) Van Patter
27 February 1801 - 21 December 1878
Wilmot, the daughter of Nicholas J. "V.P.", was born on February 27, 1801 in
Rotterdam, Schenectady, Albany County, NY and died on December 21, 1878 in
Malahide Township, Elgin, Ontario, Canada. After coming to Malahide with her
family in 1819, she became the first teacher at the Centerville (Luton) School
because she "could read and write a little" - - teachers were indeed hard to come
by at that time. On March 11, 1828, she married Gilbert Miller who was born
about 1796 in Ballston, Saratoga County, NY and died on August 28, 1834 in
Malden, Essex, Ontario, Upper Canada, who petitioned for and received 200 acres
of land two miles east of present day Aylmer.
In 1834, Gilbert took a load of hand hewn shingles to Malden, Essex County,
Ontario by boat in trade for a team of horses, despite warnings of an epidemic of
cholera*. He contracted cholera and quickly died. After Gilbert died, Wilmot
travelled to Malden, against all family opposition fearing the epidemic and returned
safely with Gilbert's team of horses and his will. Although he was only able to
write the letter "G" as his signature, the Will was honored.
* There was a severe epidemic of cholera in about 1834, spread from immigrant
ships mostly from Ireland with great loss of life on the ships, on arrival at Montreal
and Quebec and as far west as to Windsor, Canada.
* Photo owned and contributed by Marcus Miller