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The Gooderham & Worts families emigrated from the Scole / Bungay area of England in the early 1830s, arriving in York, (now Toronto, Canada). First came James Worts, accompanied by his 13 year-old son, James Gooderham Worts. They built the windmill near the mouth of the Don River. They were followed in 1832 by William and Ezekiel Gooderham, their sister, Elizabeth (James Worts' wife) and 54 extended family members. Over the following 75 years, these families created the largest distillery in the world, as well as contributing to milling, banking, railways, shipping, farming and other essential components of the growing industrial country. They were active in the church and in various communities, as well as in health care and even in our political institutions. In 2013, descendants of the Gooderham and Worts families created an online website that includes a family tree with photos, documents and stories.


1965 Dean Gooderham Acheson RSVPs to the family reunion

In a previous family story, we wrote of Dean Gooderham Acheson’s rise to prominence as Secretary of State in the US.

Years later, Dean responded to the invitation to our 1965 Gooderham reunion in a very amusing fashion, remarking, “I suspect that these reunions are merely a cover plan behind which to plot the Gooderham putsch. When the hour comes let me know so that I can delay the American intervention until we are firmly in the seats of power.” (See full RSVP here)

So how is Dean connected on our family tree? Let’s start with his father, Edward Campion Acheson, who was born at the Aldershot Arsenal, in Great Britain. He had an uncle in Canada, and after his mother died Edward went off to live with him in Canada and studied for the clergy at what is now the University of Toronto.

In 1883, Edward enlisted in the Queen's Own Rifles and went out to fight in the Northwest Rebellion. His unit was ambushed in a place called Cut Knife Creek. Under heavy fire, he rescued two men who had fallen in a clearing and was later recommended for the Victoria Cross.

Edward subsequently finished his studies at Wycliff College and served his diaconate as curate at All Saints Church in Toronto where he met George Gooderham’s daughter Eleanor who he married in 1892. He was transferred to Manhattan and then to the Church of the Holy Trinity in Middletown, Connecticut where Dean was born and his two younger siblings.


We ask you to help! If you are a descendant, historian or some other person with relevant information or material, please get in touch. Nothing related to living descendants will be available to the public. In fact, public information will be limited to people who died in the 19th or early 20th centuries.

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