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.
1831 The Adventure Begins
Through out Britain during the 1820s, ‘industrial revolution’ was transforming society. Machines were increasingly displacing the vital work of labourers. As a result, social stresses and economic hardship ensued, affecting large sections of the population, especially in rural areas. It is hard to say what prompted James Worts and his brother-in-law, William Gooderham to plan to uproot their families and move to the ‘new world’ from the Suffolk/Norfolk region of Britain. Were they feeling the pressures of profound societal change, or were they simply following their adventurous spirits that locked onto a vision of the great potential of life in Muddy York?
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.
If you have any questions or comments about the information on this site, please contact us. We look forward to hearing from you.