Dr. William John Roe was born in Ontario on the 3rd of January, 1842. His parents were William Walker Roe and the former Ellen Doherty. His parents were married in Dublin, Ireland in 1841 and his father was an auctioneer. Mrs. Roe died on the 29th of September, 1843 when Dr. Roe just a toddler. She was buried at Trinity Anglican Church Cemetery in Peel County. Mr. Roe married Diana Culver and they had two children; Emma Dorothy Roe and Charles Culver Roe.
According to the 1872 Ontario Medical Register, Dr. Roe joined the College of Physicians and Surgeons in Canada on the 14th of June, 1869. He obtained a licence in midwifery at the Coombe’s Lying-In Hospital in Dublin, Ireland in 1864.
Dr. Roe married Margaret ‘Maggie’ Adelaide Campbell on the 6th of March, 1866 in Chatham. Mrs. Roe was born on the 15th of July, 1842. While living in Bothwell, Dr. and Mrs. Roe became the parents of two children; George (born November 24th, 1866) and Eleanor “Nellie” (born abt 1868). Dr. Roe advertised his medical practice in the 1867 Kent, Lambton and Essex County Directory. The publication records that his residence was on Oak Street.
According to the 1871 census Dr. and Mrs. Roe were living in Chatham with their children. Nellie Roe died of diptheria on the 16th of November, 1874. She was buried at Maple Leaf Cemetery in Chatham. According to the 1874-1875 Kent County Business Directory Dr. Roe’s practice was located on William Street. In the 1876 Chatham Business Directory, Dr. Roe is listed as the President of the Chatham Medical Society. Further it states on page 66, that the Society meets monthly. In the 1877 publication of the Chatham Business Directory, Dr. Roe’s office was listed at 119 Queen Street.
By 1880, Dr. and Mrs. Roe were living in Georgetown, Ontario and Dr. Roe, had his medical practice on Main Street. Dr. and Mrs. Roe’s 13 year old son George, died in Georgetown on the 3rd of March, 1880 of peritonitis. He was buried at Greenwood Cemetery in Georgetown. Dr. Roe advertised his medical practice in the 1885 Halton County Directory and Gazetteer under Georgetown. His brother Charles Roe also appears in the same publication as a clerk. Dr. Roe was still practicing medicine in 1901 according to the census of that year.
Mrs. Roe died on the 3rd of March, 1907 in Georgetown. Dr. Roe died in Georgetown on the 1st of November, 1912. Dr. and Mrs. Roe were also buried at Greenwood Cemetery.