William Alfred and Dora (Tinley) Douglas Grimshaw

Immigrants From Ontario to Detroit, Michigan

William Alfred Grimshaw was born in East Gwillimbury, Ontario in about 1850. His parents, Abraham and Sarah Grimshaw and their family (see companion webpage) migrated to East Gwillimbury, a Quaker settlement area, from Yorkshire. Abraham Grimshaw was descended from the Edward and Dorothy (Raner) Grimshaw line. Dora was apparently married to a Mr. Douglas before marrying William, but no information on him has been found.

William married Dora Tinley on July 1, 1875 at Bradford, which is located near East Gwillimbury. By the 1881 Canadian Census, the family was living in Tecumseh, Ontario, which is just across the border from Detroit. Subsequently the family moved across the border to the Detroit area in about 1882. William and Dora had four children (Albert Edward, George R, Sarah Ann, and John Lester Grimshaw) and possibly a fifth child (Chester?)

William and Dora’s oldest son, Albert Edward Grimshaw, was a prominent merchant in Detroit. He specialized in mens’ furnishing goods and had at least two stores in the downtown area.

William and Dora Grimshaw may have had connections to the GR (probably George R) and Ellen Grimshaw family as well as John Thomas and Arvilla (Whitesell) Grimshaw and their children (see companion webpage). The exact nature of the connections is not known; it was previously hypothesized on this webpage that William Arthur and GR Grimshaw were brothers. However, there is no indication of a George or GR Grimshaw among William’s siblings born in about 1836 (there is a Joseph), the approximate birth year of GR Grimshaw.


Webpage Credits

Information on William and Dora (Tinley) Grimshaw from the “Grimshaw Origins” Website and Other Sources

Descendant Chart for William and Dora Grimshaw

William Grimshaw’s Parents Were Descended from the Edward and Dorothy Grimshaw Line

Albert Edward Grimshaw, Son of William and Dora Grimshaw, Was in the Mercantile Business in Detroit

Obituaries for John Lester Grimshaw, Youngest Son of William and Dora Grimshaw


Webpage Credits

Credit goes to Mitchell, Koczma, Taylor, and other family trees on Ancestry.com. Obituary information on Albert E, Anna, and J Lester Grimshaw was obtained from the Detroit Public Library on October 15, 2005.

Information on William and Dora (Tinley) Grimshaw from the “Grimshaw Origins” Website and Other Sources

Several sources of information have contributed to this webpage on William and Dora Grimshaw. They are described below.

“Grimshaw Indications” webpage (click here):

William and Dora Grimshaw of Michigan

In connection with the above postings, James Pillon posted the following message on the Grimshaw Family Genealogy Forum in June 1999:

My mother was a Grimshaw from Detroit. Her Father was George and he was born in Aurora Canada about 1878. My Grandfather had a Brother Albert E. and a sister Anna Sara Lisa who married a Charles Kimmel. My great grandfathers name was William and he was married to a Dora Tinley. I do not know if William had any siblings or not. He died in 1911 in Detroit. Don’t know if this fits with what you have but, who knows we may be related.

David J. Grimshaw responded in July 2001 with the following:

The information shown on the 1900 Census of Michigan shows the following;
William Grimshaw (Head) Born May 1845 in Illinois
Dora (Wife) Born Apr 1853 in Canada
Albert E (Son) Born Aug 1876 in Michigan
Ches? R (Son) Born Aug 1879 in Michigan
Annie (Daughter) Born Jan 1881 in Michigan
Lester (Son) Born Sep 1890 in Michigan

Dora arrived in USA in 1875 and had been living in Michigan 25 years at the time of the census.

Marriage Record from Simcoe County, Ontario

The Ontario Vital Statistics Project, Ontario Marriage Registrations, Part 2, 1869-1917 Ontario Archives, microfilm MS 932, by Mary Crandall (Simcoe County)


008467-75 (Simcoe Co.) William A. GRIMSHAW, 25, painter, East Gwillimbury, County of York, s/o Abraham and Sarah GRIMSHAW, married Dora TINLEY, 22, Bradford, Bradford, d/o George and Sarah TINLEY, witn; Thomas KILKENNY and Ann DOUGLAS, both of Bradford, 1 July 1875 at Bradford.

For these entries the following format is followed – registration #, groom’s name, age, occupation, his birth place, his residence, his parents’ names; bride’s name, age, her birthplace, her residence, her parents’ names; witnesses, date & place of marriage

1881 Canadian Census Record


Household Record  1881 Canadian Census
 Name  Marital Status Gender Ethnic Origin Age Birthplace Occupation Religion
 William GRIMSHAW   M   Male   English   35   O <Ontario>   Painter   Methodist Canada 
 Darah GRIMSHAW   M   Female   English   27   O <Ontario>      Methodist Canada 
 Albert E. GRIMSHAW      Male   English   4   O <Ontario>      Methodist Canada 
 George R. GRIMSHAW      Male   English   2   O <Ontario>      Methodist Canada 
 Sarah A. GRIMSHAW      Female   English   <1 Born: Jan; 3/12   O <Ontario>      Methodist Canada 

Source Information:
  Census Place Tecumseth, Simcoe South, Ontario
  Family History Library Film   1375886
  NA Film Number   C-13250
  District   138
  Sub-district   A
  Division   2
  Page Number   69
  Household Number   334

John Lester and Ada Ebling Record from FamilySearch:

Family Group Record
John Lester Grimshaw Pedigree
Ada Ebling Pedigree
1.   William A Grimshaw  
Birth:  18 SEP 1915  , , Michigan
Death:  15 DEC 1970   

Descendant Chart for William and Dora Grimshaw

The information above, and from several family trees on Ancestry.com, has been put together to create the following descendant chart, which starts with William’s parents – Abraham and Sarah (Anderson) Grimshaw.

Abraham Grimshaw (12 Oct 1812, Yorkshire – 2 Dec 1867, Ontario) & Sarah Anderson (5 Jun 1811, England – unknown, York, Ontario). Married 29 Jan 1834, Brighouse, Yorkshire.

|–William Grimshaw (ca 1850, East Gwillimbury, ON – 16 Jan 1911, Detroit, MI) & Dora Thera (Tinley) Douglas (Sep 1853, Bradford, ON – 1927, Detroit, MI). Married 1 July 1875, Bradford, ON

|–|–Albert Edward Grimshaw (21 Aug 1875 or 1876, Orangeville, ON – ?, Detroit, MI) & Emma Nollett (15 Jun 1879, Chesterfield, MI – ?). Married 11 Aug 1903, Detroit, MI.

|–|–|–Frederick J Grimshaw

|–|–|–Carmen Marie Grimshaw

|–|–George R Grimshaw (ca 1878, Canada – ?) & L Julia Josephine Murtagh (6 Aug 1876, Detroit, MI – 25 Mar 1962, Detroit, MI). Married 5 Sep 1900, Detroit, MI

|–|–|–George Richard Grimshaw & Margaret A Kuehnel

|–|–|–Dorothy Josephine Grimshaw & Frank Pillon

|–|–|–Josephine Marie Grimshaw  & Mervin George Hohner

|–|–|–Charles William Grimshaw & Eileen Donellon

|–|–|–|–Doreen Grimshaw

|–|–|–|–Charles Grimshaw, Jr

|–|–|–|–Mary Delores Grimshaw

|–|–|–|–Jacquelyn Grimshaw

|–|–|–Richard Lester Grimshaw & Mildred Marie Schmansky

|–|–|–James W Grimshaw & Elizabeth Olivia Lamminen

|–|–Sarah Ann (or Annie Sara Lisa) Grimshaw (Jan 1881, MI – ?) & Charles Joseph Kimmel


|–|–|–Shirley Emma Kimmel & Lewis Easton Hill

|–|–|–Marion Dorothy Kimmel

|–|–|–Lester Kimmel

|–|–|–Eleanor Ruth Kimmel

|–|–|–Grace Marie Kimmel 

|–|–|–Frank William Kimmel & Helen Agnes Tofel

|–|–John Lester Grimshaw (Sep 1890, MI – 16 Apr 1940) & Ada Ebling (8 Oct 1885, MI – 13 Mar 1973, Detroit, MI)

|–|–|–William A Grimshaw (15 Sep 1915 – 15 Dec 1970)

|–|–Ches? R Grimshaw (Aug 1879, MI – ?)

William Grimshaw’s Parents Were Descended from the Edward and Dorothy Grimshaw Line

William’s parents, and therefore William also, are descended from the Edward and Dorothy (Raner) Grimshaw line. The ancestry diagram is shown below. 

Edward Grimshaw (About 1559 – 22 Jun 1635) & Dorotye Raner

|–Abraham Grimshaw (1603 – 1670) & Sarah ( – 21 Sep 1695)

|–|–Josias Grimshaw (25 Apr 1658 – 15 Dec 1722) & Sarah Ibbitson (25 Dec 1647 – 15 Feb 1741/1742)

|–|–|–Abraham Grimshaw (24 Feb 1691/1692 – ) & Elizabeth Sandall (5 Dec 1701 – 13 Apr 1787)

|–|–|–|–Aaron Grimshaw (14 Dec 1722 – 8 Oct 1777)

|–|–|–|–Elizabeth Grimshaw (19 Jan 1724/1725 – )

|–|–|–|–Mary Grimshaw (29 Mar 1727 – ) & Samuel Cooper

|–|–|–|–Sarah Grimshaw (20 Feb 1729/1730 – )

|–|–|–|–Abraham Grimshaw (7 Nov 1731 – 7 May 1786) & Ellenor Whalley (24 Aug 1744 – 28 Oct 1841)

|–|–|–|–|–Joseph Grimshaw* (5 Apr 1765 – 27 May 1841) & Margaret Wetherald

|–|–|–|–|–Aaron Grimshaw* (23 Nov 1778 – About 1834) & Mary Lister (11 Feb 1776 – 5 Aug 1826)

|–|–|–|–|–|–Abraham Grimshaw (14 Dec 1801 – )

|–|–|–|–|–|–Josiah Grimshaw (29 Jul 1803 – )

|–|–|–|–|–|–Eliza Grimshaw (22 Feb 1806 – )

|–|–|–|–|–|–William Grimshaw (14 Jun 1809 – )

|–|–|–|–|–|–Mary Grimshaw

|–|–|–|–|–|–Henry Grimshaw (7 Dec 1810 – )

|–|–|–|–|–|–Abraham Grimshaw (12 Oct 1812 – ) & Sarah

|–|–|–|–|–|–|–Mary Jane Grimshaw (15 Dec 1834 – )

|–|–|–|–|–|–|–Joseph Grimshaw (17 Jun 1836 – )

|–|–|–|–|–|–|–Anna Eliza Grimshaw (15 Dec 1838 – )

|–|–|–|–|–|–|–Abraham Grimshaw (13 Aug 1840 – )

|–|–|–|–|–|–|–Joseph John Grimshaw (24 Aug 1842 – )

|–|–|–|–|–|–|–Sarah Grimshaw (1843 – )

|–|–|–|–|–|–|–William Grimshaw (1850 – )

Albert Edward Grimshaw, Son of William and Dora Grimshaw, Was in the Mercantile Business in Detroit

Albert Grimshaw was apparently a succesful businessman and prominent citizen in Detroit according to a biography published in a book on the city. Extracts from the book are shown below.


ALBERT EDWARD GRIMSHAW. One of the more popular and attractive mercantile establishments in Detroit is the men’s furnishing goods store owned and conducted by Albert Edward Grimshaw. In fact he is proprietor of two establishments of that character and his business methods are of a character that makes patronage of his stores a pleasant experience to those who give him their trade. Mr. Grimshaw is of Canadian birth, the place of his nativity being Orangeville and the date August 21, 1876. His parents were William A. and Dora Tinley (Douglas) Grimshaw and his grandparents came to the new world from Leeds, England.

When but six years of age, A.E. Grimshaw was brought to the United States, the family home being established in Detroit, where he pursued his education. He earned his first money as a newsboy, beginning to sell papers in 1888, when a lad of but twelve years. He spent four years at that task, thus making a start as do so many successful business men for there are comparatively few city boys who do not at one time or another sell papers. His next step in the business world was to enter the employ of Van Gallow Brothers, hatters and furriers, with which he continued in 1892 and 1893. Through the succeeding two years he was with the J.L. Hudson Company. Constantly he was learning more and more about business methods and the trade that was to claim his attention later. He was from 1895 until 1909 in the employ of F.W. Baumgartner, hatter, furnisher and clothier, and during this period, possessed of a laudable ambition, he accumulated the capital that enabled him to engage in business on his own account in 1909 as senior partner of the firm of Grimshaw & Stevens, of which he is president. The house deals in all kinds of men’s furnishings except shoes and the business is one of extensive and gratifying proportions. With the development of the trade, a second store was opened, the two establishments being located, one at 34 West Grand River avenue and the other at the corner of Woodward and Charlotte. Mr. Grimshaw keeps in close touch with the market as well as the trend of business in other particulars and has been able to buy advantageously and sell profitably. He belongs to the Detroit Credit Men’s Association.

On the 11th of August, 1903, Mr. Grimshaw was married to Miss Emma Nollett and they have become parents of a son and a daughter, Frederick J., born August 6, 1904, in Detroit; and Carmen Marie. Mr. and Mrs. Grimshaw are members of the Presbyterian church and he also is a follower of the high standards of Masonry, belonging to Palestine Lodge, A.F.&A.M.; King Cyrus Chapter, R.A.M.; Monroe Council, R.&S.M.; Michigan Sovereign Consistory, A.A.S.R.; and Moslem Temple, A.A.O.N.M.S.; and Detroit Commandery, No. 1, K.T. He belongs to the Detroit Board of Commerce and he is a member and one of the directors and charter members of the Canopus Club; a member of the Associated Retail Credit Men of Detroit; a member of the Detroit Yacht Club; and a director of the General Discount Company. His elegance of manner, his cordiality of address and his thorough reliability make for popularity both in social and business circles. Well defined purpose has characterized him since he sold newspapers as a lad of twelve, and commendable ambition has guided his course until he is now occupying a place of leadership in mercantile ranks in Detroit. Mr. Grimshaw’s residence is at 2963 West Grand boulevard.

Source: Biography in City of Detroit1, Volume 4, p. 528-531:

Albert Grimshaw was born at Orangeville, Ontario, which is about 40 miles southwest of East Gwillimbury. Perhaps his parents had begun a gradual move westward toward Detroit as the time of his birth. 

Albert Grimshaw’s stores were at 34 West Grand River Avenue and at Woodward & Charlotte in Detroit. 

Store at Woodward & Charlotte

Albert Grimshaw’s residence was at 2963 West Grand Boulevard.

Obituaries for John Lester Grimshaw, Youngest Son of William and Dora Grimshaw

The following undated (and unsourced to publication) obituaries for John Lester Grimshaw were found on one of the family trees on Ancestry.com


1Burton, Clarence Monroe, 1922, The City of Detroit: Detroit, Chicago, The S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, 5 volumes.


Webpage posted October 2005. Upgraded December 2005 with addition of section on Albert Edward Grimshaw. Updated July 2014 with webpage completion and addition of information on William Grimshaw’s family and origins.