William Umlach

Researched and compiled by Iris V. Shea
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William Umlach was born 14 March 1770 and baptized at St. Stephen's Anglican Church in Chester, Nova Scotia, the son of John and Isabella Umlach of Scotland. At the age of ten years he moved with his parents nine siblings to the east side of St.Margaret's Bay, in the area known as Seabright. "Umlah Road" in Seabright is located on John Umlach's original land. While his two older brothers, John and James, followed the sea in their younger years, William stayed on the land, helping to run the family farm until he married and established his own farm in Goodwood, Halifax County, N.S. The spelling of the name changed frequently, but it was not until after William's death in 1839 that "Umlah" became the accepted spelling for future generations of this line. Another spelling, "Hemlow," was used by the descendants of two of William's nine sons.. William's brother, James, who had settled in St. Mary's River, Guysborough County, had already experienced a change in the spelling of his name, and that entire line continues to be known as "Hemlow".

William married (1) 16 Sept.1797 Mary Anne Wagner whose German father, Thomas Wagner, received a grant of land bordering the western side of Long Lake, near Goodwood. Mary Anne was baptized at St. Paul's Church, Halifax, 23 July 1776. Her mother, Barbara Wilt, was born in Lunenburg. Mary Anne died 18 Jan.1822 at the age of 42 following the birth of her fourteenth child. Her fourteen children inherited a portion of the Long Lake grant which her father had received in 1773. Mary Anne's brother, John Wagner, married William's Umlach's sister Mary. They had no children and John sold his portion of the Long Lake Grant, in addition to land he had purchased, to his great nephew, John Umlah. The Umlah heirs remained on the land until 1954 when it was expropriated by the Public Service Commission. John Umlah and his wife, Ellen (Drysdale), named one of their sons "John Wagner" Umlah.

William married (2) 26 March 1824, Mary Ann Schwartz, widow of William Schwartz. Two more daughters were born, but there is no record of their survival beyond birth. Mary Ann died 4 May 1827, age 42 (St. Paul's, Halifax).

William married (3) 22 June 1829, Mary Ann McGrath, widow of John McGrath of St.Margaret's Bay, and d/o Joseph and Mary Ann Peters. Mary Ann McGrath was the mother of eleven children, ten of whom were living at the time of her marriage to William Umlach. She died 10 June 1857 in Goodwood at the age of 78. Three of her children married three of William's Umlach's children.