Celebrating an early Black educator and his roots in King Township.
Walter Rolling was born in 1873 in Laskay. His father, Benjamin Rolling Jr., was a well-known pedlar, store-keeper, and post master in the town.
In 1895, Walter became the school teacher at the Kinghorn School in the township, where he taught for over forty years. He was extremely well respected, so much so that when he retired, they held "Walter Rolling Day" in his honour. There were more than 2000 people in attendance, including the Minister of Education.
A life-long resident of King Township, Walter died on June 10, 1943 and was buried at the King City Cemetery.
Click a link below to learn more about Walter Rolling:
|All About Walter Rolling||Rolling Family Timeline|
|Walter Rolling Day||Journey to Ontario|
|Rolling Family Tree||Rolling Family - Living in King Township|
The King Township Public Library, located in York Region, north of Toronto, has produced Walter Rolling Online to record and tell the remarkable story of this man and the known history of his family which in many ways serves to document the early African Canadian experience as connected with King Township. African Canadians have played a pivotal role in the history of many of Ontario's small towns, but all too often their contributions have gone unrecognized. The King Township Public Library, with support from the King Township Archives and the King Township Museum, felt that the story of the Rolling family was one of importance and worthy of recognition. It was essential that this story be documented and told before it was lost to history. Fortunately, the story of this family was able to be reconstructed through a variety of records and memories of local towns' people which have been scattered across the township and beyond its boundaries. This will enable future generations to come to learn about an important African Canadian family who enriched the lives and community of King Township.
The King Township Public Library would like to thank the King Township Archives and the King Township Museum for their support on this project. This has enabled the library to gather a wide range of information, photos, and materials to develop a cohesive history of the Rolling family. The collaboration between our community groups has made this project a great success. Mr. Carl Finkle, township resident and member of the King Township Historical Society who has been researching the Rolling family for over 15 years, has made a tremendous contribution to the success of this project by sharing his research and knowledge of the family. The Township of King was additionally a great help with information, specifically Chris Somerville of the Clerks department. This project was made possible with the continuous support from the King Township Public Library Board and the King Township Council.
With a grant from the Government of Ontario, through the Ministry of Culture, Library Strategic Development Fund, the King Township Public Library was able to hire Special Project Librarian Patricia Aspinwall to research and co-ordinate this project .The Library can now share the collective research about the Rolling family with the entire community in a more permanent and accessible way. Along with producing this webpage Walter Rolling Online, designed by Fenside Consulting Ltd, a print version has been assembled. The booklet, Walter Rolling and his Family, can be found at the King Township Public Library branches in the local history collection.
A Note on the Research and Terminology:
The information on this webpage is constructed on research, new and old, on the Rolling family. Where documentation was sparse, we may have had to assume certain events and conclusions but this was done to provide an understandable narrative. What is written is based on the best of our knowledge and we know there is more information to discover.
In the censuses, tax assessments, and vital records reviewed, there have been variations found in the spelling of the family name Rolling including Roulen, Roland, Rulen, Rollin, Rowland, and Rowling.
Terms such as Negroes, Blacks, and Native American Indian have been used because they are the terms used in the historical records of the day, and for historical accuracy. These terms were considered as acceptable during the period of time that is documented. We ask the reader to adopt current terminology and graciously forgive us of any errors or omissions unknown to us at the time of this publication.
Research done by Carl Finkle, a board member and past president of the King Township Historical Society, who has been researching the Rolling family for the last 15 years.
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