Dr. William Stephen was born in Blanshard Twp (Perth County), Ontario on the 22nd of August, 1864. He was the 2nd of 7 children born to John Stephen and the former Isabella Forrest. His parents were farmers and his siblings were; Jane Stephen, John Stephen, Mary Ann Stephen, twins James Alexander Stephen and Margaret Isabella Stephen and lastly Robert Milton Stephen.
Dr. William Stephen attended The University of Toronto and graduated with an arts degree in 1886. In 1891, Dr. Stephen was listed on the Strathroy (Ontario) census as being a “druggist”.
Dr. Stephen married Margaret Johnstone Irving in New Zealand in 1891. Mrs. Stephen was born near Otago, New Zealand in 1865. She was the daughter of Richard Irving and the former Margaret Johnstone. Her parents were born and raised in Scotland and her older siblings, Thomas, Jane, Agnes and Robert were all born in Scotland. According to the 1861 census in Middlebie, Dumfriesshire, Scotland, Mr. Irving was a ploughman and once he immigrated to New Zealand he farmed there as well.
Dr. and Mrs. Stephen had a daughter, Margaret Johnstone “Zealand” Stephen who was born in Toronto in 1892.
Dr. Stephen graduated M.B. from The University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine in 1894.
Dr. Stephen set up his medical practice in Wallaceburg. His son John Forest Stephen was born in Wallaceburg, on the 21st of August, 1894. Dr. Stephens appears in the 1895 Farmers and Business Directory as practicing medical in Wallaceburg. In the 1897 Farmers and Business Directory, Dr. Stephen appears as practicing in Wallaceburg in partnership with his cousin Dr. William Hird.
Around the turn of the century, Dr. Stephen and his family moved to Vancouver, British Columbia.
Dr. Stephen died in Vancouver on the 19th of October, 1908. He was buried at Mountain View Cemetery in Vancouver.
Mrs. Stephen married William Astley in Vancouver on the 10th of October, 1910. William Ashley was born on the 9th of December, 1874 in Wolverhampton, England. He was the youngest of 3 sons born to Warren Astley and the former Ann Moore. His father died in Wolverhampton on the 31st of May, 1890. According to the 1891 census in Wolverhampton, William Astley was a blacksmith. William and his 2 brothers, John and Joseph immigrated to British Columbia in 1896. Once the boys were settled their mother joined them in 1899. In 1901 they all lived together in Rossland City, British Columbia.
In 1921, William and Margaret (Stephen) Astley resided at 1386 Arcola Street in Vancouver. William Astley died on the 9th of September, 1942 in Essondale, British Columbia. Mr. Astley was buried in a family plot near his mother at the Pacific Heritage Cemetery in Burnaby, B.C.
Mrs. (Stephen) Astley died in New Westminster, British Columbia on the 6th of May, 1954. She was buried at Mountain View Cemetery.
*Dr. Stephen’s grandson, Warrant Officer II John William Stephen, Royal Canadian Air Force, 272 Squadron was killed during WWII on the 14th of February, 1943. He was the 21 year old son of John Forest Stephen and his wife the former Dorothy Edith Heddle.
**Dr. Stephen’s daughter Margaret Johnstone Zealand Stephen married Dr. Oliver Sydney Large. Dr. Large practiced medicine in Vancouver.
***Dr. William Hird also appears on the Chatham-Kent Physician Tribute website.