Charles Wieland was born in Germany in 1827 and immigrated to Upper Canada sometime before 1861 when he appeared on the Waterloo Census of Canada working for an upper class family as a labourer. The family was neighbours with William Jaffray. He continued to work for families around Berlin for over a decade. In the 1870s, he met Margaret Becker (1856-1915) and they were married in 1876. They moved into their own house in Berlin and began having children a few years later. They had five children together: John Carl (1879-1935), Sophia (1880-), Henry (1884-), Charles Jr. (1890-1951), and Wilkeninna/ Minnie (1891-1971). During the 1880s, Charles was working as a mason in Berlin. In 1891, John, who was 12 years old at the time, was working as a buttermaker. At the time of his last child, Minnie’s, birth, he was listed as being a labourer, suggesting that he lost his job as a mason and was now doing odd work where he could find it. 

A part of the Wieland family- Charles (#1395), Margaret (#1396), Charles Jr. (#1397), and Minnie (#1398)- entered the Poorhouse due to being “destitute” on April 25, 1894. They remained in the House until they were discharged on May 15 of the same year. It is unclear where the family stayed over the next several months, but they re-entered the House on March 30, 1895

Charles and his family returned to the Poorhouse March 30, 1895, this time bringing their other son, Henry (#1452), with them. This time Charles was committed for intemperance. His wife and children were discharged from the Poorhouse together on May 13, 1895.


From logbook

Register of Paupers, Vagrants, and Idiots received at the House of Industry and Refuge; Source: Region of Waterloo Archives


Charles stayed in the Poorhouse for two years after this and was discharged on December 1, 1897.



Register of Paupers, Vagrants, and Idiots received at the House of Industry and Refuge; Source: Region of Waterloo Archives


In 1901, Charles was living with his family for a while in Berlin and working as a labourer. He was listed on the 1901 Census of Canada as living with his family and working as a labourer. Both Charlie and Margaret were recorded as being of “unsound mind”. He re-entered the Poorhouse on November 11, 1901 for 19 days and then was discharged. He returned a final time to the Poorhouse on December 1, 1902 and spent a few months at the House before he died on February 17, 1903 from  “cancer of the face”.


Charles Sr.’s Death Certificate 1903; Source:


Margaret continued to live with her son, Charlie Jr., who was working as a labourer at a tannery in Berlin. Margaret died in 1915 and was buried in Mount Hope Cemetery. Charles Jr. eventually married in 1919 and began having children in 1921. He died in Waterloo in 1951.

Henry moved to Vancouver, British Columbia sometime after 1901. He immigrated to Seattle, Washington, USA in 1913, after which point it is unclear where he went or when he died.

Sophia was married in 1903 and had four children. It is unknown when she died.

Minnie immigrated to Detroit, Michigan in 1912 and married there. She appeared on the 1940 US Census as divorced and living as a lodger in a house with a family. She was working at a factory as a cutter and had been employed there for over a year. She died in 1971 in Michigan.

John Carl was married in 1900 and was the first of his siblings to immigrate to the United States in 1902. He moved to Detroit, Michigan, where his sister, Minnie, would eventually meet up with him about a decade later. He was drafted in the United States army two months before the end of the war in 1918. John Carl first worked as a cabinet maker, then in a factory as a machinist, and later as a woodmaker in construction. He died from angina pectoris, which is heart pain caused by heart disease, in 1935. He left behind his wife and children.