Who are the Redners of Rednersville?

The Settlement of Prince Edward County
Here's an excerpt of the book by Nick and Helma Mika, describing the pioneers of Prince Edward County.
The Redner family, whose name was originally spelled Ridenour, fled to Holland to escape persecution in their war-torn Palatinate-on-the-Rhine home which is now part of Germany. From Holland the Redners travelled to London, England, and by 1710 some of the family settled in America.

Yohann Redner was the Palatine father of Henry Redner, the man who became the founder of the family in Prince Edward County. Henry was also born in the Palatinate region of Germany, but he, his wife, Maria Jane Pollis, and their five children made their home in New Jersey until the American Revolution. Henry Redner supported Britain, so when the Americans seized his property, he and his family joined the other United Empire Loyalists who left America in 1783, and moved to Canada. Henry, Maria and their children, Henry, John, Maria, Sophia and Peter, spent their first Canadian winter in Sorel, Quebec, before arriving in Adolphustown on June 16, 1784.

The family lived in Adolphustown until 1798, at which time they moved to Prince Edward County to settle on land which is now called Rednersville. As a United Empire Loyalist, Henry Redner was granted three hundred acres of Crown Land on which he built a log cabin. Most of their personal belongings had been confiscated by the American revolutionists so, as was the predicament of many other Loyalists, the Redners had to construct their furniture with the available crude materials. The oldest son, Henry Jr., eventually acquired his own farm and sawmill, located at what is now called Allisonville. He and his wife, a Miss Ostrander, became the parents of five children: James, Henry, Phoebe, Mary and Sarah.

John, the second son of Henry and Maria Jane Redner, married Elizabeth Demille. They had seven children. John was given part of his father's land, before the death of the pioneer, but he exchanged farms with his brother Henry Jr.

The youngest son, Peter, who married Catharine Brickman, was also given land by his father. Catherine and Peter Redner had eight children: Mary, William, Rynard, Sophia, Naomi, Lewis, Henry P., and Sarah Jane. Peter Redner was a farmer and a preacher in the Wesleyan Methodist Church. He and his wife assisted with the building, in 1849, of the first Church of Ameliasburgh.

Mary Redner married William Herman, another descendant of palatines. They became the parents of three children.

Sophia was the second daughter of Henry and Maria Jane Redner. She married John Cole, and they had eight children.

The founders of the Redners of Prince Edward County belonged to the Anglican Church. Henry and Maria Jane were buried in the Old Pioneer Burying Ground, located two miles west of Rednersville. Other descendants of the Redners rest in Albury Cemetery, Belleville Cemetery, and the Old Pioneer Burying Ground in Hillier.

The third generation of Prince Edward County Redners included James, the oldest of the five children born to Henry Redner the second. James lived in Rednersville for many years and worked as a merchant and grain buyer. His brother, the third Henry of the County's Redners, became a successful farmer and the father of six children.

The children of John Redner and Elizabeth Demille include another John, who married Olive Doolittle of Prince Edward County. John Redner Jr., was a skilled carpenter who built many of the earliest barns in Hillier and , in 1858, the first ferry to run regularly from Rossmore, across the Bay of Quinte to Belleville.

Another third generation Redner was Mary, the daughter of Peter and Catharine Redner. Mary, who was also called Polly, married Henry Ainsworth, the son of other county pioneers. Mary's brother William married Rachel Outendike, and they had two children. Another brother, Rynard, married Nancy VanAlstine, also a descendant of United Empire Loyalists.

Sophia Redner, the second daughter of Peter and Catharine Redner, married the founder of another prominent family of Prince Edward County, William Burr.

Another daughter from the family of Peter and Catharine Redner was Naomi. Naomi Redner married Isaac Way of Prince Edward County, and they became the parents of Sophronia and Reuben.

Lewis Redner, a preacher, married Jane Clute. They raised four children. Lewis's brother Henry P. Redner, was a schoolteacher who left Prince Edward County and later became a merchandiser. The youngest child of Peter and Catharine Redner was Sarah Jane. She married William Stafford, the one-time owner of the tannery near Ameliasburgh.

The Redner family helped to populate Prince Edward County with their numbers, and through their enterprise they helped to develop the farmland and business of the area.
Many of the Redner family still live in the neighbourhood, including the 96 year old family patriarch, Bernard Redner, who once owned and worked in the Rednersville Country Store. His daughter Lynda and son Gord also live in the area, and we look forward to them dropping by the store for a visit. Hopefully they'll tell some memorable stories about Rednersville that we can share with our readers here at the Rednersville Loyalist.


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