Friday, May 30, 2008

Dorothea Greenley Letter 1818 Perth Military Settlement Upper Canada

Letter: Dorothea Greenley Letter of 1818 With Notations
2N8 Mrs. Richards & Captain
Care Of Mr. Peter Morris(?)
29 Duke Street
Nova Scotia
(Readdressed to St. Johns, New Brunswick)
May 1, 1818

Perth (1), on the River Taiy

My Dear Mary (2): I am thankful to heir that you and William (3) are well as I have never heird from you since you left me. I would rote to you before now but I have had a sore finger that prevented me. I got my health better than I formerly have done. We have met with heavy aflictions since we came hear(4). I thank the Almighty we are all in good helth. The children (5) grow surprising big. John (6) is very licke you. He constantly speaks of you. William Staycey (7) remains with us still, he intends to settle in this village (8) and is bilding a house for himself. He had become very clever at bilding and has behaved very well to us.

We have got a great dail of ground cleared, so much as 30 acres. Your sister Ann (9) and John Wilby (10) is settled 40 miles from this on the Kinston Road (11) and is doing very well as I have haird. Had a letter from John Blake (12) which lets me know(?) that they are all well. Mary Blake (13) has been very sickly this(?) winter. John (14) & Joseph (15) buried 2 sons(?). Cuthbert’s(?) (16) wife (17) is the same way. Your sister Besy(?) (18) is very desireis to come out and I rote for her to come if she choosed. I desired her to go half a year to a miliner as it mite serve her.

There is a grant (19) from Government that brings out wives and children free. John Greenly (20) has obtained it for her if not to late as she mite be redy earlyer in the spring. If you receive this letter, rite to me and let me have how you are getting on as I wish very much to heir from you and William (21). Let me now what kind of a place & situation you are in, this settlement is supposed(?) to be the best in Ameraca.

John Shaw (22) is formally of Clonganny (23) has come out and is settled 30 miles from us. Ned (24) came out 1 year before them and we have never heird from him. Dick (25) came to see us and desired that when I should rite to you I would let you now of Ned (26) expecting that William (27) might heir something from him.

John Greenly (28), William Steacy (29) and all the children (30) join me in sending there love to you and William I remain impeatient till you rite to me. I hair that your Uncle and Ant Edge (31) is gone to Tomdarragh (32) to live and Johnny (33) is gone to his Uncle John (34).

I remain your Affectionet Mother until death
Doth D. Gr (35)

(1) Perth Military Settlement of Perth, founded in the summer of 1816 and where John & Dorothea Greenley settled on Conc-3/Lot-1, Drummond Township, in the same year.

(2) Mary Dorothea’s daughter (by her prior marriage) Mary Richardson (c1791-1861) who married Captain William Richards (c1790-1854) in about 1815, in Ireland. In 1818 Mary and William Richards were living on the east coast of Canada. Dorothea apparently thought they were in Nova Scotia when she posted the letter to a Halifax address but the markings on the letter indicate it was forwarded to St. Johns, New Brunswick.

(3) William Captain William Richards (c1790-1854), husband of Mary Richardson (c1791-1861), Dorothea Greenley’s daughter (by her prior marriage). He went to sea about age 12, served in the British Navy during the Napoleonic and American wars, and later became a merchant ship captain. In time he invested in his own vessel but it was wrecked and he and wife Mary moved to the Perth settlement some time in the 1820s. In 1833 William Richards built and became master of the Tay & Rideau Canal steamer “Enterprise” operating between Perth, Bytown (Ottawa) and Kingston.

(4) Heavy afflictions This may be a reference to the very difficult winter & spring of 1816/1817 when the “year without summer” of 1816 left the settlers with little or no food on which to survive until the crop of 1818.

(5) Children The children of John and Dorothea Greenley who came to Canada with them in 1816; Elizabeth Ann Richardson (c1794-1875), John Greenley (1801-1850), Robert Greenley (1806-1889), Charlotte Greenley (1808-1828), James Greenley (1810-1893) and Jane Greenley (1813-1844).

(6) John John Greenley (1801-1850) son of John and Dorothea Greenley. Married Charlotte Brown in 1840.

(7) William Stacey The passenger list for the 1816 voyage of the ship Betty & Mary (via which John & Dorthea Greenley arrived in Canada) records passenger William Stacy who was granted a location ticket for Conc-5/Lot-6(SW) of Beckwith Township on 30 Nov 1816. This letter would suggest, however, that this William Stacy was living with John and Dorothea in 1818 (and had been for some time). Also, as his name does not appear on the 1820 census for Beckwith Township, it may be that he never settled on his grant. According to this letter William Stacy is engaged in building a house for himself and Jean S. McGill records in her “Pioneer History of Lanark County” that in early 1818 Rev William Bell purchased a house in Perth (at a cost of 30 pounds) constructed by William Stacey and George Graham … an indication that Stacy was indeed a “clever builder” as Dorothea notes. Although the land grant recorded William Stacy/Steacy as being of Scots extraction, it is almost certainly in error. The Steacys appear to have resided in the Townland of Tomgarrow, Wexford County, just a few kilometers north of Peppardscastle. It seems very likely the Stacy and Greenley families were acquaintances/friends in Ireland (in addition to William Stacy being a fellow passenger of the Betty & Mary). The connection could again be that William Stacy’s father and John Greenley were “brothers in arms”. Two men named Stacy were killed at Vinegar Hill in 1798, a George Stacy, a wheelwright from Enniscorthy, left a widow and six children and a Benjamin Stacey of Templeshannon, left a widow and four children (perhaps one of those children was William). William Stacy is believed to have married a woman named Barbara and had at least one son, George, who moved to Ogdensburg, New York, USA.

(8) This Village Perth, see #1 above

(9) Ann Ann Richardson (c1792-1872), Dorothea’s daughter (by her prior marriage) who married John Willoughby (????-c1830) in Ireland in about 1815. John and Ann Willoughby arrived in Canada via the ship “Atlantic” in 1817, the year following John and Dorothea Greenley, and settled on land on Con-2/Lot-21 of Landowne Township in Leeds County. When John Willoughby died in about 1830 Ann was remarried to William Biggar (????- 1862/63).

(10) John Wilby John Willoughby (????-c1830), husband of Ann Richardson (c1792-1872), see # 8 above.

(11) Kinston Road As Dorothea’s daughter and son-in-law, John and Ann Willoughby, had settled in 1817 on Con-2/Lot-21 of Landowne Township in Leeds County they were very close to what was then the Kingston Road, a track joining the older settlements along to the St. Lawrence River and leading to Kingston at the foot of Lake Ontario. Modern day Ontario Highway # 2 generally follows the route of the old Kingston Road.

(12) John Blake Dorothea Blake-Richardson-Greenley’s brother, born at/near the Townland of Balliglen, Preban Parish, County Wicklow, Ireland and later moved to Townland of Tomdarragh, Derrylosary Parish, County Wicklow. Dorothy had at least four brothers and a sister; John, Joseph, Robert, Cuthbert and Ann. (Their parents are unknown). A William Blake (c1810-1882), possibly the son of Dorothea’s nephew Cuthbert, erected a stone in Preben Parish Cemetery memorializing his wife Jane Wallace (c1813-1878) and their children Robert (d.1875) Charlotte Barbara (c1826- 1873), Elizabeth (c1848-1874) and Hendrin George (c1851-1881). A nearby stone memorializes a Sarah Blake (c1820-1856).

(13) Mary Blake Unidentified. Possibly wife or daughter of John Blake (#11 above). Whether in Ireland or Canada is unclear.

(14) John Likely Dorothea’s brother John in Ireland. There may be a surname in the letter but the edge of the page is cut off making it impossible to decipher.

(15) Joseph Likely Dorothea’s brother Joseph in Ireland. There may be a surname in the letter but the edge of the page is cut off making it impossible to decipher.

(16) Cuthbert(?) Most likely a reference to Cuthbert Blake, Dorothea’s brother. (Difficult to decipher, could be Cottsworth, Cottiforth or Coatsworth).

(17) Wife Unidentified wife of Cuthbert Blake # 15 above

(18) Besy Elizabeth Ann Richardson (c1794-1875), Dorothea’s daughter (by her prior marriage), who came to Canada with John and Dorothea Greenley in 1816. Elizabeth Ann (Besy) married James Braiden (????-1865) of Conc- 1/Lot-5 Lanark Township in 1823.

(19) Government Grant Under the terms of the Edinburgh Proclamation of 1815 (see transcript) all those taking passage to Canada were offered free land and rations for a period of six months, but had to make a deposit against travel costs which was reimbursable to those settlers who stayed on their land for two years. This may be the free passage Dorothea refers to … John Greenley (see # 19 below) having “obtained it for her” by paying the deposit.

(20) John Greenly John Greenley (1775-1854), husband of letter writer Dorothea Blake-Richardson-Greenley (????-1828). Born in Wexford County, Ireland he married Dorothea at Ferns, Wexford County, in 1801. John was the first Greenley immigrant to Canada, arriving in 1816 via the ship “Betty & Mary”, with his family of seven and settling on Con-3/Lot-1(SW) of Drummond Township. (21) William Captain William Richards, see # 3 above (22) John Shaw Unidentified. From Clonganny, Wexford County, where Greenley family lived before emigration. May be a relative of the James Shaw who was killed, together with John Greenley’s presumed brother George Greenley, during their return journey from having escorted a Sgt. Stanley to Enniscorthy during the Irish Rebellion of 1798. On the list of “Protestants Massacred in the Diocese of Ferns – Rebellion of 1798” (National Library of Ireland, Dublin) a John Shaw is listed as “piked on Gorey-Hill of Clough” and two unnamed Shaws are listed as “shot 27 May, of Kiltrish”.

(23) Clonganny Clonganny Townland, place of origin of John Shaw # 22 above. Also where John Greenley lived according to 1811map of Peppardscastle area. Clonganny House, Kiltrish Parish, near Peppardscastle, Wexford, Ireland, was a property of Hawtry White who commanded the Ballaghkeen Yeomanry Dragoons in which John Greenley served (together with George Greenley and James Shaw) during the 1798 Irish Rebellion and on which land John Greenley and the Blake family were tenants in Ireland.

(24) Ned Unidentified. Edward/Ned Shaw (?). May be relative of John Shaw # 21

(25) Dick Unidentified. Richard Shaw (?). May be relative of John Shaw # 21

(26) Ned Unidentified. Presumed to be same as # 23 above.

(27) William Probably Captain William Richards # 3 above.

(28) John Greenly John Greenley (1775-1854) see # 19 above.

(29) William Steacy William Stacy see # 6 above. This greeting on behalf of William Stacy may suggest that Mary Richardson-Richards (and perhaps the Greenley and Blake families) knew this man from Ireland.

(30) The Children Children of John and Dorothea Greenley, see # 4 above

(31) Uncle/Aunt Edge George Edge and Ann Blake-Edge (Dorothea’s sister Ann). They were married in the Diocese of Ferns in 1798. George Edge leased a parcel of land on the north side of the Peppardscastle manor house. Dorothea was born in Preben Parish, Wexford County, and, although of no proven connection, a stone in Preben Parish Cemetery, placed by one John Edge, Incumbent of Calary, memorializes his father Isiah Edge (c1780-1866), of Askakee in Preban, the son of John & Sarah Edge of Preban and grandson of David and Margaret Edge of Cullentragh Parish, Rathdrum.

(32) Tomdarragh Tomdarragh is a Townland in the Parish of Derrylossary, Baronly of Ballinacor North, Wicklow County.

(33) Johnny Unidentified. Son of one of Dorothea’s siblings.

(34) Uncle John Probably Dorothea’s brother John Blake or brother-in-law John Edge. Living in Ireland.

(35) Doth D. Gr Dorothea Blake-Richardson-Greenley (c1765-1828), wife of John Greenley (1775-1854). She was born to unidentified parents, at or near the Townland of Ballinglen in Parish of Preben, Barony of Ballinacor, County Wicklow, Ireland. Before her marriage to John Greenley, Dorothea was married to a man named Richardson and had at least three daughters by him. A possible (but unproven) candidate for Dorothea’s first husband is listed among the “Protestants Massacred In The Diocese Of Ferns” (National Library of Ireland, Dublin); William Richardson, parish clerk and schoolmaster of Ferns, killed at Enniscorthy, 28th May, widow and five children left”. If this is Dorothea’s first husband, the additional two children have not been identified.

Submitter: Ron W. Shaw

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