Sunday’s Obituary – Philena Ninetta (Carpenter) English (1827-1915) – 3rd Great Grandmother (Blog 18)

Philena Ninetta (Carpenter) English, the daughter of Austin Burk and Catherine (Sprague) Carpenter was born on July 15, 1827 in Ontario, Canada.  Philena was 24 when she married Rev John English in Newcastle, Durham, Ontario on June 22, 1852.  He was a Methodist minister who moved many times serving many churches across Ontario — Newcastle (1853), Stoney Creek (1854-5), Grimsby (1856-1857), Milford (1860-2), Marysburgh (1861), Madoc (1865-7), St Patrick (1871), and finally before 1881, Cobourg where they settled for a longer period of time.  During these many moves, Philena cared for at least ten children and filled the important role of pastor’s wife.  After John died in 1903, Philena stayed in Cobourgh but later moved to Dayton, Ohio where she resided with her son until her death at the age of 85 of bronchitis on January 4, 1915.  She was buried at the Union Cemetery in Cobourg, Canada.

A very elegant picture of Philena, a copy of her marriage certificate, and other documents can be seen at Ancestry thanks to other descendents.  We do note that some Ancestry users have attached this couple to an 1855 census in Cattarus, NY but do not believe this is correct as that couple is showing born in that town and the census is not showing Ada Kate and Augusta who were already born but does list a different child.

We wish to thank the Cobourg library for sharing a copy of Philena’s obituary which listed the names of seven of her children who were living at the time of her death.

Obituary Mrs John English

Cobourg World, 22 Jan 1915

The Late Mrs. John English
Mrs. John English, widow of the late
Rev. John English, passed into Life
Eternal on Monday, Jan 4th, 1915. She
was in her eighty-eighth year and far
a goodly number of those years she had
lived in Cobourg. She is the last of
the family of the late A. B. Carpenter,
who was one of Cobourg’s oldest resi-
It would seem as though Our Father
had granted her all she wanted. About
a year ago while visiting some of the
family in Lakewod, Ohio, she was ill;
at that time she expressed the wish
that she might be spared to go to the
homes of the rest of the family. Her
wish was granted and then without
suffering she went to that Home where
there is no more pain or death.
She passed away at the home of her
son, A. C. English, Dayton, Ohio. She
is survived by seven children (Mrs.
A. K. Densmore, Mrs. A. Allen, A. C.
English, Mrs. W. B Miller, J. Engish,
C. F. English, and Mrs T. G. Hayes).
A funeral service was held at the
house at which Mrs. A. Allen, Mrs. W.
B. Miller, Mr. and Mrs A. C. Eng-
lish, Mr. and Mrs. C. F. English, Mrs.
W. A. McBurney, granddaughter, and
the children of A. C. English were
present. Her favorite hymns were
sung, one “Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God
Almighty,” took most of us back to
the old Methodist church, Cobourgh,
where we had sung that hymn so often.
Rev. Mr. Dunham conducted the ser-
vice after which the body started on
its last trip to Cobourg. According to
her wishes the daughters were not to
take the journey to Cobourg. She felt
it would be a sorrowful journey and
the sons were better able to take it.
She has now entered into that life
for which we all live.


Ada Kate English (1853-1943) – married Levi Benson Densmore – moved to Michigan – my family line – Ada passed her mother’s name to her daughter — Eleanor Philena Densmore

Augusta English (1854-1938) – married Francis J Allen, moved to Cleveland, Ohio.

Austin Carpenter English (1856-1947) – married Bessie S Sellman, had interesting occupation in the 1881 census – exploring Co N West.  I share DNA with some of his descendents.

Agnes Philena English (1858-1944) – married Ward Beecher Miller, moved to Michigan, Ohio, Florida, then Andrews, North Carolina

John English – (1860-????) – farmer, then civil engineer, may have moved to Chilliwack, British Columbia

Charles Forsythe English (1862-1928) – married Frances Lewis, moved to Traverse, Michigan

Minnie English (1864-1869)

Margaret English (1866-1943) – married Thomas George Hayes, moved to Michigan – I share DNA with some of her descendents.

Etta English (1868-1886)

Frederick English (1874-1891)

All posts on this website are a work in progress.  We’d love to learn of any corrections or additions to the information shared.  Also we’d love it if  you’d like the post here or at as that helps share the post with others. Thanks!


1871 Census, Quebec, population schedule, St Patrick, Montcalm, Page 53, dwelling 164, family 164, John English; digital images, MyHeritage Library Edition ( : accessed 27 February 2018).

1881 Census, Ontario, population schedule, Cobourg, Northumberland West, enumeration district (ED) Cobourg, Page 51, dwelling 245, family 261, Rev John English; digital images, MyHeritage Library Edition ( : accessed 27 February 2018).

“1891 Canada MyHeritage,” digital image, MyHeritage ( : accessed 27 February 2018), Rev John English; dwelling 241.

“Canada Census 1901,”, database, FamilySearch ( : accessed 14 February 2018), Philana English.

“The Late Mrs. John English,” Cobourg World (Cobourg, Ontario), 8 January 1915; digital images, Cobourg Library (index) ( : accessed 14 February 2018); thankfully, a copy shared by Cobourgh Library.

The Minutes of Twelve Annual Conferences of the Wesleyan Methodist Church in Canada from 1846 to 1857 Inclusive, Vol II (Toronto: Anson Green, 1863), 222; digital images, HathiTrust ( : accessed 18 February 2018.

“OBITUARY The Late Mrs John English,” Cobourg World (Cobourg, Ontario), 22 January 1915; digital images, Cobourg Library (index) ( : accessed 14 February 2018); Cobourg Library.

Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953, , Philana Nancy English, 4 January 1915; digital images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 14 February 2018).

“Ontario Census, 1861,” database, FamilySearch ( : accessed 15 February 2018), John English.

Copyright 2018 Joanne Shackford Parkes  (sharing a link to this post is appreciated but please do not copy this material and paste it elsewhere.