Saturday, May 31, 2008
Letter 1 of 5 of the Ahab Jenks letter collection.
Delaware, Jany. 30 1850 (no corrections to the original text-transcribed as seen)
Mr. Joel Jinks (Jenks)
Sir, I am making preparations to go to California in the spring with a company that is going there from here. They intend to go over land route. I can take a hand with me and if you wish to go along you can have the privelage, furnishing your own clothes, which in the outfit is estimated at fifty dollars.
The conditions of the outfit of those two hand that I now have there is-- after furnishing there entyer outfit cloths and all--- which amounted to some two hundred dollars a pese. They are to give me on half of all they make for two years.
Now, if you can furnish your clothes which is one fourth of the whole outfit for one man an give me one half of all nete prosedes for eighteen months from the time we start from here. I should like to have you go along with me. I make you the first offer for there has been at least one half dozen applied to me all ready for the chanse to go. Perhaps you can arrange with your wife’s brothers to keep your wife untill youcould send something home for her support which you can do before the end of the first year. Come over or let me know immediately.
(Storm was married to Joel Jenks Sister.
Joel went with this outfit. Apparently his first wife had passed away
and he had remarried Minerva.Joel Jenks was married a second time to Minerva Hoover who is the stepmother of Sarah Jinks (Lake).The Post Mark on the letter (the back of the Page reads:
Mrs. Minerva Jinks
Licking county Ohio
There is no stamp on the letter.
(Written with a quill pen with great flourish)
I found J Jenks in a Book of Wagon Train Manefests from Independence.The book was in the Apple Valley, CA Library. The Mormon Geneologist showed me the book and helped me find the record of the trip.
This is the travel record (by letters written) of one Joel Jenks who went to the gold fields of California, and died in Rough and Ready, California.
Submitter: Donald "Spencer" Deal email@example.com
Friday, May 30, 2008
Mrs. Mary Richards (1)
January the 30th 1817
To The Care Of ???? Allen (3)
???? Street, Wexford, Ireland (4)
Mary my dear loving wife.
This goes from me with my dearest respect to you hoping to find you in good health as it leaves me at present. Thank God for ??????? after ?????? a very heavy ???? of sickenings in ???? but thank God I have received it and was never better in health in all my life anymore than the loss of your company creates a great deal of uneasiness in my mind for fear that things do not go on to your satisfaction which would break my heart. I am not fit to be out of your sight more than a day my dear.
Day and night you are in my mind. All the world I would give to have my little darling with me this night. Mary my dear I am going to ????? the ????? And I hope that it will not be long before that I will be home again to have a happy meeting with my dear little wife.
My dear Mary I am ?????? ????? and for ever ????? I hope that you heard from your uncle (5). Hoping they are all well and my dear give my love & best respects to them. Hoping that we will meet and have a pleasant week together.
I am bound to Lisbon (6) and will be home in the first of April. ???? God to carry ??? more passengers. Write to me the day you get this letter and do not mind the expense for I would pledge my shirt to ???? your loving letter. Give my love to my mother (7) and sister (8). Hoping they are all well and wishing you may all live in peace is the only wish from your loving husband.
My dear I hope that you will ???? Nesbit Butteright (9). W. Allen (10) will tell you where to direct it to Mr. Joseph Williams (11), Puding Lane, No. 24. ??? yourself with every necessary and do not want for anything while I am able to earn a shilling. You will have your loving husband that adores you above all the world. Remember me to my uncles and aunt (12).
I have no more to say at present but will wait impationate for your answer. No more at present from your loving husband Wm. Richards (13). Til death do us part.
Mathew Walsh (14) desires to be remembered to his wife and family and he is well as all the crew (15) . Oh Mary my dear, but had I one sight of you this night I would be happy.
(1) Mary Richards Mary Richardson-Richards (c1791-1861) married sea Captain William Richards (c1790-1854) in about 1815, in Ireland. She was the daughter of Dorothea Blake-Richardson-Greenley (????-1828) by her first marriage. After being widowed her mother Dorothea married John Greenley (1775-1854) in about 1801, at Ferns, Wexford County, Ireland. Although unproven, a candidate for Mary’s father might be the William Richardson listed among the “Protestant Inhabitants Of The Parish Of Ferns” (National Library of Ireland, Dublin) – Richardson, William, parish clerk and schoolmaster of Ferns, killed at Enniscorthy, 28th May (1798), widow and five children left. If so, the other two children have not been identified.
(2) London London, England. Captain William Richards seems to be in London, between sea voyages, at the time he wrote this letter.
(3) Allen Unknown. Probably the W. Allen noted in #10 below.
(4) Wexford, Ireland Mary Richards was born somewhere in Wexford County, Ireland … Wexford also being the origin of the Richards and Greenley families. The address suggests Mary Richards was living in the city of Wexford in 1817.
(5) Uncle Uncertain. This could be a reference to any of Dorothea Blake- Richardson-Greenley’s brothers; Cuthbert, John, Joseph or Robert. All were born at/near the Townland of Balligen, Preban Parish, County Wicklow and later moved to the Townland of tomdarragh, Derrylosary Parish, County Wicklow.
(6) Lisbon Lisbon, Portugal. In 1817 letter writer William Richards is believed to have been the master of a merchant sailing vessel trading between London, Lisbon and the West Indies. (See H.R. Moran, “The First Tay Canal”, Ontario Historical Society, Vol. 29, 1933).
(7) Mother Captain William Richards’ mother, name unknown. This passage indicates that the H.R. Moran paper (see # 6 above), recounting that Captain Richards was an orphan due to the murder of both his parents during the 1798 Irish Rebellion is, at least as far as his mother’s death is concerned, untrue. Captain Richards’ mother was apparently alive in 1817.
(8) Sister Possibly Elizabeth Ann Richards-Busher (c1794-1875), author of the 1837 letter to Captain Richards (see notated 1837 letter). William Richards could well have had more than one sister, but in the letter he uses the singular suggesting only one sister. (9) Nesbit Butteright Unknown. Handwriting difficult to decipher, but it looks like Nesbit Butteright. (10) W. Allen Unknown. Probably the Allen, living in Wexford City, Ireland, through whom the letter was addressed.
(11) Joseph Williams Unknown, but the man through whom Captain Richards received mail in London so possibly a ship broker, owner or trader associated with the Lisbon & West Indies trade.
(12) Uncles & Aunt Probably Dorothea Blake-Richardson-Greenley’s siblings; Cuthbert, John, Joseph, Robert and Ann.
(13) William Richards Captain William Richards (c1790-1854). Born in Wexford County, Ireland. Seems to have gone to sea around age 12, served in the British Navy during the Napoleonic and American wars, and later became a merchant ship captain. He married Mary Richardson in about 1815. They moved to Nova Scotia Canada in about 1817 and to New Brunswick about 1818. From the east coast of Canada he sailed a schooner in the West Indies trade and later built and commanded his own brig, the “William & Mary”, in the same trade until the brig and her cargo were lost in a storm. He and wife Mary moved to Perth, Ontario sometime prior to 1832. William built and commanded the Tay & Rideau Canal steamer “Enterprise” until 1836 and then another steamer on Chats Lake for a year or two.
(14) Mathew Walsh Unidentified. Apparently a crewman on Captain Richards’ ship with a wife and family living in Wexford, Ireland. (15) Crew This reference to “the crew” tends to confirm that Captain William Richards was the master of a sailing vessel
Submitter: Ron W. Shaw
2N8 Mrs. Richards & Captain
Care Of Mr. Peter Morris(?)
29 Duke Street
(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
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Dear Children, Mase and Arvilla
Your welcome and kind letter dated March the 25th was rec'd yesterday.
Thank you very much for that. Hope you will favor me with another when
convienient. I have entirely given up hearing directly from Mase or your
Uncle Charles or any others from that section of the country. Nothing
could have been more welcome or acceptable than your letter informing me
how you have all getting along. Making your passage ( and by the way,
most of us are compeled to take a deck passage and that on what the
mariner calls Hurricane Deck) [in] this truthfully called this dark and
unfriendly world. Arvilla I often feel as Alexander Selkirk express
himself "I am out [of] humanity's reach I must finish my journey alone
We have all had a glorious this winter Maria, Charley and little Lura the
hired girl and myself all sick in the house together. A very interesting
time I assure you. We are all improving in health and poverty I think.
I am still with Hull & Whitney in the music store at a salary a little
less than $50 per month. If my expenses are not awful I might lay up a
I wish I could see that sweet little Emma and little Wille. Kiss each of
them a dozen times for me. If I can get away from the store long enough
to slip down and see you all one of these days perhaps I may.
I sent Samuel Nuntty a book of Sabath School songs. Has he rec’d them if
so, please say to him I would like him to acknowledge it by letter. All
business in this section of country is dull to quiet. My kind regards to
Mase, to your Uncle Charles and family also our friends up on the hill
and others who may take the trouble to enquire about me. Tell little
Emma for me that she must be good girl and learn rapidly and in a few
years after your nice house is built and properly furnished and her
Father will furnish a part of the money that Grandpa will do something
towards procureing for a splendid piano. I can get them at first cost
any one of the best and most popular makes of pianos.
I would really like to send a good No. 3 Florence Sewing Machine to
Ellicottville and sell it to Aunt Em’s next door neighbor with a tip top
operator with it. Compare the stitching and work of each together and
she would not want a Grover & Baker as a gift could she see them tested
by competent operators. But it is all right as it is. Goodbye to all.
Write me again when convenient.
As ever your affectionate Father,
W. E. Harrison [William E. Harrison]
A letter from William E. HARRISON (b.1817 d.?) to his daughter Arvilla ALLEN(b.1842 d.1932) and her family then living in Ellicottville, NY. The spelling is the original. "Mase" is Mason Hicks ALLEN (b.1833 d.1905), Arvilla's husband.
"Uncle Charles" is Charles GALLOWAY who resided with the ALLEN family and was related to William and Arvilla.
"Alexander Selkirk" was the real-life model to Defoe's book, ROBINSON CRUSOE.
"Maria" is William's second wife. (William's first wife and Arvilla's mother Lydia Fish died in 1858.)
"Charley and Lura" are probably William's and Maria's children.
"Emma" (Emma I. ALLEN b.1860 d.1934) and "Willie" (William C. ALLEN b.1866 d.1892) are Arvilla's and Mason's children.
Submitter: David A. WOOLLEY firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Feb 8th 1835
I take the opportunity of writing you a few lines tho’ not the pleasure of informing you of good health. But still we have reason to thank God that we are still in the land of the living, when we have seen so many of his deliverances by sea and when so many of our countrymen have suffered by the hand of death this year. Death is awful in any form but more so on steam boats and wharfs in a strange land, not a bed to compose themselves on. (Note: There were cholera epidemics amongst the settlers in both 1832 and 1834).
As for my part I think if people saw the hardships I do not think so many would take the road if they saw five or six hundred packed on a steam boat like as many hogs. But it is wonderful how soon they forget all this, when they have good health afterwards. I received a letter from my brother Thomas (3) informing me of the state of health he is now in. He is now a little better. He has not shaked with the ague this two months but complains of pain in the small of his back and is swelled over the body. (This is probably a description of malaria, which was common in
southern Ontario in the early 19th century).
He is stopping with Thomas Haig (4) and his sister Margaret (5) at Coborg (6) and he says he has suffered much from the cold of the season and trouble. He has not done anything for 20 weeks. He was three weeks very bad and got something (7) from the doctor that removes the trembling and when we took our journey up the country (8) he thought that the changed air could do him good but he could go no further than Coborg and when we came back he was much worse and could not come back with us. I have not seen him since but he says little about the country. He is very dull.
He cannot advise James Purves (9) to come out. Miller’s wages are good if they can get them paid. Peter Haig (9) has 45 pounds per year but he was a month before he fell in. Places are not waiting on people here any more than at home. I received your letter on the 12th December at Gananoque and sent it up to Thomas (11) and George Mitchell (12) as he is there this winter and told him to answer it as I did not think of writing before I was a year in the country.
I am happy to hear that you are all well and was highly pleased with your arrangement of country news. I showed Alexander Lindsay (13) the letter and he was highly pleased with the news. I received in my brother’s letter a draft bill from George Mitchell (14) to be sure and write home immediately with this bill in my letter and tell them who I sent my letter to, and give it to his mother, Christian Mitchell (15). He says he wrote a month ago and sent one bill but as the Bank gives two this is the second and I hope this will reach you before she starts.
John Haig (16) wishes me to tell his brother Joseph (17) to send out with her a set of harrow teeth and sharp them, one set of best traces, and kitchen tongs. He has bought another farm of 50 acres for which he pays 6 dollars an acre, a good house and barn, mostly cleared, and 100 fruit trees on it. Near about where he is John Fish (18) has bought land in the London district (19) very cheap. I hear there is no fear of a man that has got money to spend here. He will get land for anything if you can let them see the cash.
I am to receive a letter from George Mitchell (20) in March to let me know whether I am to go up the country or them to come down concerning Christian Mitchell (21) coming out. I hope George will have given her proper directions. Bring plenty of flour (for the boat), you can bake it. It is better than so many biscuits, and pot barley, and if you sail from Berwick a few Swedish turnips is good for broth. Anyone coming on the halving system ought to bring a good spade and shovel with him as I have never seen any good ones here. Plenty good scythes here and axes are far better than the old country. I see nothing as much wanted as scythe stones. If Mitchell could bring out 3 of them and three straks they would be very useful.
I come now to give you my thoughts of America. There are a great difference betwixt those that go out to spend money and them that go to make it. You say that John Haig (22) still gives good accounts of the country but it is all about land buying. He spoke of his family all getting good wages but he will not have told you where your money is tocome from. His son Thomas (23) told me when I was up that he had not got
one pound of American money yet.
As for my part I cannot complain for I have had plenty work and as goodwages as any I hear of in the country and our money sure. But the work isvery rough here; a man has everything to find, clothes and lodgings arehigh 9/- and 10/- a week for board and you will wear as many againclothes here as at home. Besides you undergo a scorching sun in summer;you work from daylight to sunset, and a dreadful frost in winter. I haveseen it that strong this winter that the cup and saucer froze together
the time we were at breakfast.
We have not seen the face of the earth this 10 weeks. I like the climatemore than anything. I have not seen yet what place a working man can havehere. Robert Waddy (24) and I have been threshing a lot all winter, a jobI would not have done at home. We have the 8 bushel of wheat. It is 3/- abushel 2s cheaper than ever it was known so I conceive we are working for2s a day less than men did last year.
There are the good times in America so much spoken of. This is a goodplace for tradesmen. As yet their wages are much the same as they used tobe reported and women servants are well off here … 4 dollars a month arethe common wages. I have spoken on the men with money and the poor man,and will leave you to guess which gets best on at home.
Concerning farming a man with a small family can make a living byindustry, but the land takes a deal of labour before it will grow much. Ithink it is 8 years from cutting before you can plow much of it. You canget hay off it all the time. The people here are mostly very poor. I donot think much of them at all. People does not think like George Mitchell(25); he lies the country well and I hope he will take good care of hismother when she comes out. He wishes to have a farm.
Isabel Waddy (26) wishes me to tell Abraham Waddy (27) to send her out aquantity of needles and a chamber pot as she can get none here. When Ihave told you all these stories you will say he has got that sicknessthat Robert Lister (28) speaks of, but give my best regards to R. (29)and Alistair (30) and tell them I am much obliged to him for his advicebut we have been up the country and have seen many of our acquaintancesthat have the sickness and knows the cure ( 7) that they cannot pay the
doctor for. But of that voyage I have said nothing as you had a fullaccount of it in Robert Waddy’s (31) letter.
Give my best wishes to my brother Joseph (32) and all my sisters (33) andthey are to think no more about America; to James Haig (34) in Duns andsay that they are as well at home for anything that I have seen. TellJohn Martin (35) that I think he could not drive oxen for they are mymaster-piece. I just had them one half day and I was that hoarse that Icould not speak. Give my respects to all my old neighbors and friends.Charles King (36) and family, not forgetting Jennet (37), and if youhave an opportunity of seeing her tell her that George Mitchell (38) andI drank tea with her old neighbor Mrs. Fish (39) at Coborg and had somechat about old country affairs.
We have never seen anything of Hugh Crow (40), but we hear that he is upthe country. We were surprised to hear of Andrew Waddell (41) in thiscountry. We saw a man last week who said he was working at the canalbelow Prescott (42). Thomas (43) has his best respects to you all, totell his old masters that he has had very little pleasure in this countryand to William Martin (44) and happy to hear that he landed safe. Waddey(45) has well wishes to you all. I can do no more as my candle is done
and my ink is hard frozen. I remain your friend and well wisher,John Haig (46)
(1) Gananoque Town on St. Lawrence River, in Leeds County, Ontario,Upper Canada. Between Brockville and Kingston.
(2) Sir Letter was written and addressed to Mr. David Gray at Preston,Dunse (Berwickshire, Scotland), grandfather of the Miss M.D. Gray ofBarnton, Eyemouth who found it among family papers and published it inthe Berwickshire News (c1953) from which it was later picked up andpublished in the Gananoque Reporter (c1954). There is no trace of a DavidGrey in Berwickshire in the 1841 Scottish census.
(3) Thomas Thomas Haig born 17 Aug 1803 at Buncle & Preston,Berwickshire, Scotland, son of John Haig (b.1765) and Margaret Sligh(b.1769), married Margaret Woods (1818-1881), died 25 Nov 1887 in LeedsCounty, Ontario. Brother of letter-writer John Haig (#46).
(4) Thomas Haig Most likely the Thomas Haig listed in the Dictionary ofScottish Immigrants to Canada (Vol-1), born c1807, Berwickshire, brotherof James Haig (who also came to Canada), arrived in Seymour Township,Northumberland County, Ontario in 1836, discharged soldier. Later marriedMargaret Buchanan (b.1821 in Canada) at Burnbraie in 1841; Children -Samuel, John, Thomas Allan, William, Peter, James, David, Isabella,
This Thomas Haig (#4) was probably the son of John Haig and Agnes Craig(#16). If so, however, the 1836 arrival date would be in error as thisletter was written in 1835 and the Dictionary of Scottish Immigrants ToCanada records that Thomas Haig, son of John Haig (#16), arrived with hisparents in 1833.
No other possible Thomas Haigs have been indentified. Relationship toJohn and Thomas Haig of Leeds County unknown.
(5) Margaret Margaret Haig apparent sister to Thomas Haig (#4) livingat/near Coborg. Thomas Haig (#4) and his sister Margaret were probablythe children of John Haig (#16) and Agnes Craig.Relationship to John and Thomas Haig of Leeds County unknown.
(6) Coborg Town on Lake Ontario in Northumberland County, Ontario,Upper Canada.
(7) Malaria/Quinine The “Ague” referred to is malaria, common insouthern Ontario in the 1830s. The “something” provided by the doctor toThomas and the known “cure” is a reference to quinine. Quinine becameavailable in Upper Canada in 1825 but was at first available only throughdoctors and very expensive at 1/6 d per grain. Later, however, it wassold directly through shops and the price by 1832 had dropped to a pennya grain. Why John suggests quinine was very expensive in 1835 is unknown.
(8) Up the Country Refers to traveling west from Gananoque, Ontario,i.e. up-stream along the St. Lawrence and Great Lakes system.
(9) James Purves Unknown: Possibly a brother to Andrew Purvis (b. c1805)who married Agnes Waldie (1806-1892) and emigrated to Leeds County.
A James Purves was born to parents James Purves and Margaret Fish (#18)on 26 May 1769 at Foulden Parish, Berwickshire.
In the next generation a John Purves (b. c1833), the son of Andrew Purvesand Agnes Waldie, married Agnes Haig (1842-1928) the daughter to ThomasHaig (#3) in 1861.There was a large clan of Purvis/Purves familes at Duns & Puncle/Prestonin Berwickshire during the early 19th century. As this James Purvis seemsto be a miller by trade, he may be connected to Purvis/Purves familyassociated with a mill at Chirnside on the Whiteadder River,Berwickshire.
(10) Peter Haig Uncertain: Possibly Peter Haig (b.1811) son of John Haig(# 16) and brother to Thomas Haig (#4) and Margaret Haig (#5 above).Relationship to John and Thomas Haig of Leeds County unknown.
(11) Thomas Thomas Haig (# 3).
(12) George Mitchell George Mitchell (1799-1886), later settled in LeedsCounty. Married Jane Brown (1824-1908), daughter of George Brown (1796-1881) and Janet McDougal (1798-1869) and sister to Anne Brown (1818-1904)wife of John Haig (#46), the letter writer.
(13) Alexander Lindsay Alexander Lindsay (1775-1866), settled at LindsayPoint, on the St. Lawrence River, Leeds County, Ontario, Upper Canada.Married Marion Murray (1782-1847). Father of Isabella Lindsay (# 25).(14) George Mitchell See (# 12).
(15) Christian Mitchell Mother of George Mitchell (#12). She did emigrateto Upper Canada as discussed in the letter.
(16) John Haig John Haig, listed in the Dictionary of Scottish ImmigrantsTo Canada (Vol-1) as born c1780, probably from Preston, Berwickshire andemigrated to Colborne, Northumberland County in 1833 with children;David, Joseph, Thomas, James, Samuel, Alexander & John. Wife isidentified as Agnes Craig in the appendix to Vol-2 of the Dictionary ofScottish Immigrants.
In the IGI this John Haig (#16) is listed as the son of Thomas Haig andJulian Cowin, who were married 15 May 1778 at Westruther, Berwickshire.He was born 16 June 1779 and married Agnes Craig 19 Jan 1810 at DunsBerwickshire; Children – Margaret (b.????), Julian (b.????) Thomas(b.1811), Agnes (b.1815), Janet (b.1815), John (b.1818), James (b.1821)Peter (b.1823) and David (b.1826).
Note: Sons Joseph, Samuel & Alexander listed in Dictionary of Scottish Immigrants but not on the IGI list. Daughters Margaret, Janet & Julianon IGI list but not on the Dictionary of Scottish Immigrants list.Place of residence uncertain in 1835, but letter says has purchased landsomewhere in/near the London District (# 19).Son Thomas (b.1811) must be Thomas (#4) and daughter Margaret (b.????)must be Margaret (#5).Relationship to John and Thomas Haig of Leeds County unknown.
(17) Joseph Joseph Haig brother to the John Haig of Coborg (#16).John Haig (#16) was the son of Thomas Haig and Julian Cowin, who weremarried 16 May 1778 at Westruther, Berwickshire, and there is a “oneWorld Tree” record for a Joseph Haig (b.1784) to parents Thomas Haig andJulian Cowin, but no other documentary support.This is not likely the Joseph Haig son of John Haig (#16) because,according to the Dictionary of Scottish Immigrants, that Joseph Haig cameto Canada with his parents in 1833.
(18) John Fish Uncertain. Lives near John Haig (#16) somewhere in theLondon District (#19). Apparently married (see #39).No one named Fish is listed in the Dictionary of Scottish Immigrants toCanada nor in the Duns or Buncle/Preston OPRs. However this is probablythe John Fish, aged 91, born in Scotland, who appears in the Ontario census of 1871 resident in Burford Township, Brant County (near Brantford and about 70 Km east of London, Ontario) A James Purves (see #9) was born to parents James Purves and MargaretFish on 26 May 1769 at Foulden Parish, Berwickshire … confirming there
was a family named Fish in Berwickshire.
(19) London District The London District of Ontario in 1835 comprised the modern counties of Middlesex, Norfolk and Oxford. The town/city of London was the District headquarters.
(20) George Mitchell See (# 12).
(21) Christian Mitchell See (# 15).
(22) John Haig See (# 16).
(23) Thomas Probably Thomas Haig (b.1811), son of John Haig (#16).
(24) Robert Waddy Robert Waldie (c1803-1887), son of John Waldie &Elizabeth Hoggarth of Ayton Berwickshire, brother to Abraham Waldie
(#27), William Waldie (1798-1805) husband of Isabella Lindsay (#26) andAgnes Waldie ( 1806-1792) who married Andrew Purvis (see # 9). Waddy andWaldie are variations of the same surname.
(25) George Mitchell See (# 12).
(26) Isabel Waddy Isabel Lindsay-Waldie (1805-1893), wife of William Waldie (1798-1896), daughter of Alexander Lindsay (1775-1866) and Marion Murray (1782-1847). Waddy & Waldie are variations of the same surname.
(27) Abraham Waddy Abram/Abraham Waldie (1804-1892), son of John Waldie &Elizabeth Hoggarth of Ayton Berwickshire, living in Scotland, brother toRobert Waldie (#24), William Waldie (1798-1805) husband of Isabella Lindsay (#26) & Agnes Waldie (1806-1792) who married Andrew Purvis (see #9). Waddy and Waldie are variations of the same surname.
(28) Robert Lister Unidentified.
(29) R. Unidentified.
(30) Alistair Unidentified.
(31) Robert Waddy See (# 24).
(32) Joseph Joseph Haig (1793-1882), eldest brother of letter-writer John Haig (#46). Joseph was married twice, first to Mary Aitken and then Isabella Grey and is, therefore, most likely the Joseph Haig who appearsin the Scottish census of 1842 living at Bunkle with wife Isabella andchildren Christina, Margaret and Jane. In that census he is living nextdoor to a Peter and Margaret Sligh. According to his death registration,signed by his daughter Jane as reporter, Joseph Haig had worked as a carter.
(33) Sisters Sisters of letter writer John Haig (#46) – Isabel (b.1767) &Margaret (b.1770), living in Scotland.
(34) James Haig Unidentified living in Duns, Berwickshire. This could be letter writer John Haig’s (#46) brother James (1763-1840) but, if so, it is curious that he refers to him by his full name rather than as “my brother James” as in the case of “my brother Joseph”. This could be the James Haig aged 50 (b. c1791) who appears as resident at Duns in the Scottish census of 1841.
(35) John Martin Unidentified. Probably related to William Martin (#44).
(36) Charles King Charles King (1776-1846), married to Janet Sligh (1769-1846), sister to Margaret Sligh (b. 1769), mother to letter writer John Haig, and therefore his uncle. Most likely the Charles King aged 60 and Janet King aged 70 of Preston/Bunkle appearing in the 1841 Scottish census … and on the same page (apparently neighbors of) Joseph & Isabella Haig (#17). The 1841 census rounded ages to nearest 5 years.
(37) Jennet Most likely Janet Sligh-King, wife of Charles King (#36), the letter writer’s aunt. Alternately may be Janet King born 07 April 1807 at Duns, Lanton, Berwickshire, daughter of Charles King (# 36) and Janet Sligh-King. Janet King (b. 1807) married John Brown on 26 Feb 1836 at Duns, Berwickshire.
(38) George Mitchell See (# 12).
(39) Mrs. Fish Apparently wife of John Fish (# 18).
(40) Hugh Crow Unidentified. A Julian Crow (1751-1821) and her husband Thomas Haig (1753-1818) are buried in Preston Churchyard. A George Crow (1786-1843) and his wife Alison Purves are buried at Chirnside. (See Purvis # 9).
(41) Andrew Waddell Unidentified
(42) Prescott Town on the St. Lawrence east of Gananoque, Ontario. The canal in question would have been the Lachine Canal constructed around the rapids of the same name in the 1830s.
(43) Thomas Thomas Haig (# 3), brother to letter writer John Haig (#46).(44) William Martin Uncertain. May be the William Martin, age 40 (b.c1801), who appears as a bookseller resident at Shamble Wynd South Side,Duns, Berwickshire, in the 1841 Scottish census.
(45) Waddey Probably Robert Waldie (# 24).
(46) John Haig John Haig, born 17 May 1796, Buncle & Preston Parish,Berwickshire, Scotland, son of John Haig (b.1765) and Margaret Sligh(b.1769), emigrated to Leeds County, Ontario, Upper Canada 1834, married Anne Brown (1818-1904), died 02 April 1880 at Gananoque, Ontario.
Submitter: Ron W. Shaw
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
I reached home 10.20 Monday and I tell you between Troy & Sohen... dy it was a breezy ride the old gent had retired he is quite calm. I think it done him good to let him see that there was not rope on one .. staid on the oar and rode down to the marting room I got off at Harlett St so there was about half hour difference in our return did you know you put your comb in my back hair and I have it when I go down St. I will get you one like they wear here do not go and buy one.
Saty hon I wish you were here this morn and I would let the ironing go and we would go on the trolly to Ballston spa and look around then take another trolly and go over to Saratoga Springs and have a days outing or hire a horse and wagon and drive over to the burrying plot where the Hubbells lay for the last two centurys where your
great great and your great grandfathers have lain and rested in there last sleep your great great grandfathers name was Joseph and his wife was Ruth and your great grandfathers name was Inessimus and his wife was Charity and your Grandfather's name was Henry and his wife Sarah now you have the names of your ancestors for 2 generations if we all live we may some time be able to visit the burry plot they all have stones to mark there resting spots now Saty I will get ready for ironing hopeing I may realize what I would like and you with me I would like to have your
children see where there way back ancestors lay to your children Joseph Hubbell down to you is 5 back of them.
I do not know wether verry many can tell back as far as that or not I will close now for this time saying everything is quiet at present yesterday morn he laid out 12
dolars for rent I put 5 with it and paid the rent for 1 more month Do not buy you a comb I will go as soon as I can to get you one Your loving Mother
Addressed to: Mrs. J.T. Carpenter, Bennington, VT. It was postmarked from Schenectady, New York on September 5, 1906. Letter writer is Mother of "Saty". Saty and her husband Jesse apparently had moved away. Mother is lonely and misses them! Mother shared that their ancestry is the Hubbell Family. Great and poignant letter. I found this in an antique store.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Sept. 30, 1898
Yours of September 20th to hand and contents noted. You did not say whether you were a son or daughter of Benjamin Fordham so I am at a loss to know how to address you. I am glad, however, to hear from one of Uncle Bill's family. This is the first letter I have ever read from any of his folks. I had a letter from Joel Fordham last spring and one from Cousin Benjamin Fordham. He is 80 years of age and son of old Uncle Benjamin. I appreciated his letter very much, indeed, and hope to hear from him again. I am a son of John Fordham. I have two brothers and three sisters living out of thirteen. We five constitute all except children and grandchildren which are right numerous. The Fordhams are very prolific stock as you are no doubt aware. My father married three times. His first wife had thirteen children, his next none, the third, my mother, had thirteen. I have thirteen living children myself and one of my living brothers C. C. Fordham, has had in all nineteen, several are dead. I have my third wife. My oldest brother has no children. He has his second wife.
Old Uncle Ben and Uncle Bill went to Georgia eighty or ninety years ago and a half brother Elias Fordham. He did not live long. He left two sons, Stephen and John. Stephen is yet living, John is dead. You no doubt know more about that than I do.
Excuse digression. Crops are poor in North Carolina, expecially cotton and the price shameful. Tobacco seems to be the coming crop, but it may be like cotton, boom a short time only.
My health is very poor, indeed. I am very nervous at times. I am sixty-seven years of age and can't live a great while at best. Hope to hear from you again at an early date. Tell me all about Old Uncle Bill's family and all others of the Fordham family that you know of. Accept my kindest regards to you and all the family or families.
A. J. Fordham, M.D.
This letter was written by Andrew Jackson Fordham (b. Jan 27, 1832 in Jones Co., NC d. May 19, 1906 in NC). The letter is obviously to his cousin, though I'm not sure what J.D. stands for. "Uncle Bill" I presume to be William Fordham (b. Apr 20,
1791). The Benjamin Fordham he refers to as being 80 years old would be Benjamin A. Fordham (b. Feb. 22, 1818 in Toomsboro, GA). There were at least six generations of sons named Benjamin Fordham. Andrew Jackson's brother C.C. that he refers to is Christopher Columbus Fordham. A.J. Fordham, as he said, was married three times. The first marriage was to Harriett Matilda Hammond, of which five kids resulted: Oscar, John Minnie, Frank, and Harriett. The second marriage was to Frances
Elizabeth Miller and resulted in 10 children: Walter, Albert, Montgomery, Ralph, Samuel, Beulah, Iola, Florence, Annie, and Hugh. The final marriage was to Carrie Pough and no children resulted.
Submitter: Jason McDaniel
Saturday, May 24, 2008
Perth (2), Upper Canada
June 7th 1837
I embrace this opportunity of riting these few lines hoping to find you
in good health as it leaves me in dispaire. At present I am all most in
dispaire. Never had the happiness to receive a letter from you these
three years past to August, which give me totale of truble to think you
would be so ungrateful to me in a strignge country.
If you would only rite to me it would be consolation to hear from you. If
I never receive the smallest favor from you I would be happy to hear from
you. Me and my children joins in love to you and Mary (4) hoping to find
you in good helth as it leaves us at presssent thanks be to God for it.
This is a poor place at present. I am sorry to inform you Captain Elgee
(5) is gone home to Ireland (6). He was the best frind I had here.
If you write to me direct your letter to Elizabeth Busher, Hopes Street,
Number 6, Quebec.
Dear brother I wish it was in my power to get home to Ireland again. I
might find some frinds there as I find none here since Captain Elgee is
This is my son Thomas (7) hand writing age 11 years next August. This is
4 letters I wrote since I had a letter from you. Dear brother I get very
No more at presssent,
from you effecttionate sister,
Elizabeth Busher (8)
(1) William Richards Captain William Richards (c1790-1854). Born in
Wexford County, Ireland. Seems to have gone to sea around age 12, served
in the British Navy in the Napoleonic & American wars, and later became a
merchant ship captain. He married Mary Richardson in about 1815, in
Ireland. They moved to Nova Scotia Canada in about 1817 and to New
Brunswick about 1818. From the east coast of Canada he sailed a schooner
in the West Indies trade and later built and commanded his own brig, the
“William & Mary”, in the same trade until the brig and her cargo were
lost in a storm. He and wife Mary moved to Perth, Ontario sometime prior
to 1832. William built and commanded the Tay & Rideau Canal steamer
“Enterprise” until 1836 and then the steamer “George Buchanan” on Chats
Lake for a year or two.
(2) Perth Military Settlement of Perth, founded in the summer of 1816.
Captain William Richards & wife Mary moved to Perth sometime prior to
1834 and purchased a 14 acre plot and house on Concession-3/Lot-1 of
Drummond Township next door to Mary Richardson-Richards’ mother, Dorothea
Blake-Richardson-Greenley (????-1828). John Greenly (1775-1854) and wife
Dorothea Blake-Richardson-Greenly had settled on Conc-3/Lot-1, Drummond
Township, in 1816 and William and Mary Richards seem to have purchased
their Perth home at the same location.
(3) Quebec City Quebec City, Lower Canada, where Elizabeth Richardson-
Busher is apparently resident in 1837.
(4) Mary Mary Richardson-Richards (c1791-1861) who married sea Captain
William Richards (c1790-1854) in about 1815, in Ireland. She was the
daughter of Dorothea Blake-Richardson-Greenley (????-1828) by her first
marriage (father unidentified). After being widowed her mother married
John Greenley (1775-1854) in about 1801, at Ferns, Wexford County,
Ireland and moved to Perth, Ontario, Upper Canada in 1816.
(5) Captain Elgee(?) Spelling of the last name not clear. The name looks
like “Elgee” but this could be George Edge who married Dorothea Blake-
Richardson-Greenley’s sister Ann, the same man referred to as “uncle
Edge” in the Dorothea’s letter of 1818 to her daughter Mary. (See notated
Dorothea Greenley letter of 1818). This man seems to be another sea
(6) Ireland The Richards, Richardsons, Blakes & Greenleys were all
natives of Wexford and Wicklow Counties in Ireland.
(7) Thomas Thomas Busher (b.1826), son of Elizabeth Richards-Busher &
Patrick Busher. Patrick and Elizabeth Busher also had a younger daughter
(8) Elizabeth Busher Elizabeth Richards-Busher, sister of Captain
William Richards (c1790-1854), see # 1 above, and wife of Patrick Busher
who apparently died prior to the 1837 date of this letter. Elizabeth
Richards-Busher died at some date prior to 1853.
Submitter: Ron W. Shaw email@example.com
Friday, May 23, 2008
I arrived safe in Calgary this morning. Don’t worry about me I am OK. Give Jim my job. We are going right to Camp the seargeant (sic) is taking care of us and everything is all right. Hoping you have no ill feelings towards me when you now (sic) I have gone.
your everloving son John
Postcard from John Elder MARTIN to his mother, Mary Martin informing her that he joined the CEF (Canadian Expeditionary Force) Canadian military forces. The postcard has a picture of the Virgin Mary and Child with the words underneath “Mother of God”
Part of the postmark says: Field Post Office Calgary. No date is shown. Probable date is August 1915 when he enlisted.
In true sibling fashion,he gives his job to his brother Jim, aka James Ritchie MARTIN.
Card is addressed to: Mrs. David Martin, Box 729 P.O. (sic), Medicine Hat, Alberta
John Elder MARTIN was born in Dundee, Scotland on March 10, 1898 to David MARTIN and Mary Wighton ELDER. They immigrated to Canada about 1912. He was assigned to the 50th Battalion, CEF, #435516 soon to be joined by his brother, Thomas Elder MARTIN, #435847. Thankfully, both brothers survived the war. John immigrated in 1923 to Detroit, Michigan. He died in Detroit on June 21, 1962. We are very proud of his service.
Submitter Donna Cromwell Kinshipmatters@twmi.rr.com