Ancestral Notes

My Family History blog

COG #84 -What The Carnival Of Genealogy Means To Me

I didn’t venture into the genealogy blogosphere until this past February, so I have not participated in too many Carnival of Genealogy events, but the ones that I have participated in have been very rewarding in several aspects.

First, I enjoyed creating the carnival posts and sharing them with everyone (although my first entry, COG #68 – A Tribute To Women – Sarah Haines UEL was not my creation, but something I wanted to share).

Another reward is that my blog got more traffic by entering the COGs. Not only was there the blogroll at Geneabloggers to find my blog, there are links to events on Geneabloggers site. Randy Seaver at Genea-musings usually includes the carnivals in his weekly Top Ten List also. I think that the reason my blog was nominated for Family Tree Magazine’s Top 40 was the exposure I got from entering the different carnivals and exposure that I got from them.

But the best reward has been meeting the rest of the geneabloggers in the community and sharing with you. I have learned a lot from you in the past nine months about blogging, researching, citing sources, and even photography!

I try and participate in every COG carnival that I have some knowledge about or information to share. These are the entries that I have had in the Carnival of Genealogy:

#68 – A Tribute To Women – Sarah Haines, UEL
#69 – What If… – The British Won The Revolutionary War
#71 – Local History – Tomato Capitol of Canada, Leamington, Ontario
#73 -The Good Earth – Vege-land
#75 – Justice and Independence – The Loyalists Viewpoint
#76 – My Favourite Summer Vacation
#77 – Disasters – God’s Wrath
#79 – Family Reunions – Our Next Family Reunion
#81 – Genealogy Blog Obit – A Short But Full Life

Thank you, Jasia, for creating the Carnival of Genealogy, I am waiting with anticipation to see the changes to come in the New Year.

Filed under: Carnival of Genealogy, Carnivals, ,

COG #81 – A Short But Full Life

Hosted By Schelly Talalay Dardashti
Tracing the Tribe

Ancestral Notes Passes (Feb. 8, 2009 – Sept. 25, 2009)

It is with deep sadness that we announce the sudden death of Ancestral Notes. It was a young blog, not even one year old, but it had quite a following by some of the leaders in the Geneablogging Community. The Canadian blog was an homage to the lives of the author’s ancestry and will live on in the memories of all who read it.

Ancestral Notes will be missed by many, but especially the author, who spent many hours, with almost daily visits, creating blog posts. Ancestral Notes was a Carnival of Genealogy participant, Smile for the Camera entrant, Canadian Genealogy Carnival enthusiast and had also had articles in the Carnival of Irish Culture and Heritage. The blog also had fun on Saturday Nights with Randy Seaver’s Genea-musings and several daily memes.

Although only seven months old, it had a strong impact on the author’s life, creating frieindships in the geneablogger community and receiving awards such as the Lovely Blog Award, The Friendly Blogger Award and the Kreativ Blogger Award. It also displayed several badges such as the Geneabloggers, Footnote and Genealogywise badges. A portait was presented by footnote Maven and was displayed at the top of the page.

Ancestral Notes can be viewed in the Google cache anytime, day or night.
Private cremation of remains. Donations can be made to the Genealogy database of your choice in lieu of flowers.

Filed under: Carnival of Genealogy, Carnivals,

COG #79 – Family Reunions – Our Next Family Reunion

My submission for the 79th Carnival of Genealogy hosted by Jane at CanadaGenealogy or “Jane’s Your Aunt” blog has a link to a previous blog post of our family reunion as I blogged about our first reunion before the carnival topic was announced.

As anyone who follows my blog already knows, we had our first Fairbairn family reunion recently and we are planning our next one in 3 years. The family isn’t located close enough to have an annual reunion, and we need a lot more than a year to prepare for one.

Our next family reunion will hopefully have better weather, so more family can attend, but you can never plan the weather, so at least we have some foul-weather experience under our belt already.

We learned quite a bit from our first reunion and the second one will be even better. We have three years of fund-raising ahead of us so we will be able to reserve the whole group site and have lots of space for activities and parking and it will afford more privacy as well. A few of the family had to park at the front entrance and walk to the group site.

We are also going to have a committee made up of a volunteer from each branch of the family, to organize the next reunion. With a representative from each branch of the family, more members will be notified of the reunion and there will be a better turnout. This year, my cousin and I organized everything, and, since I was recovering from major surgery, she did most of the work at the reunion. It was a lot of work for her and she did a great job. If there were more family there, she wouldn’t have had as much time to enjoy the reunion.

Next reunion, I think we’ll take pictures of every family separately as they arrive, so that we have pictures of all of the families attending. This year, there were group photos taken on Sunday afternoon, beause it rained on Saturday, but the family that had been there the day before and earlier in the day weren’t included.

I had a lot of fun planning my first family reunion and meeting new family. Now, maybe, I’ll get in touch with some of my dad’s side of the family and start planning a reunion with them as well!

Filed under: Carnival of Genealogy, Carnivals, Fairbairn, Family Files, Genealogy, , ,

COG #77 – God’s Wrath

My mother was babysitting her seven year old younger brother, Glen, on Friday, June 14th, 1946, the day before her mother’s birthday. She was nine years old at the time and was fairly responsible for her age. Suddenly, he ran out into the street and was struck by an automobile, and was killed instantly. She felt responsible for his death, but it wasn’t her fault, it was just an unfortunate accident.

On the following Monday, the day of his funeral, June 17, 1946, there was a tornado in Windsor, Ontario, that killed 17 people and injured hundreds. She was one of the injured, a brick wall fell on her and her knee was crushed. She had to have it surgically repaired and a pin remained in her knee for the rest of her life, as a reminder of what she’d done. She told the story many times over the years how God had sent the tornado as a punishment for her not keeping a closer watch on her brother.

Here is more information about the tornado that hit Windsor and Tecumseh that day:

Filed under: Carnival of Genealogy, Carnivals, Fairbairn, Family Files, Genealogy, O'Neil/Neil, Obituaries, , , ,

COG – #76 – My Favourite Summer Vacation

When I was young, my father always took us to historically significant vacation destinations, even day-trips. One summer we crossed the province from west to east along the lakes and St. Lawrence River to Cornwall, just about to the Quebec border. My youngest sister stayed home with my grandmother, she was just a baby. We have a rather large family so we travelled in a station wagon. As if six kids in the car wasn’t enough, my cousin and a friend came with us as well so you can imagine the close quarters, 8 kids in a station wagon!
Dad decided that we would drive all the way to Cornwall so we could see the dams, but the workers were on strike when we got there, so we turned around and headed back.
Well, it wasn’t a wasted trip anyway, on the way, we stopped at Upper Canada Village, went on the Thousand Islands cruise, rented a couple of cottages for a couple of nights in Brockville, and went swimming in the St. Lawrence River, was it cold! When we went through Kingston, we saw the Maximum Security Pennitentiary and a few miles down the road we went through a police roadblock, there was an escape and they were looking for the prisoner. Mom was really nervous after that and made us keep all the doors locked for about a hundred miles.
We stopped at every memorial marker and way sign on the highway, toured the Alexander Graham Bell House, the Mohawk Chapel, and learned a lot about early Ontario history. I think there must have been some complaints about the cramped ride and the heat, but I can’t remember anything but the best vacation of my childhood.

Filed under: Carnival of Genealogy, Carnivals, Family Files, Genealogy, Haines/Hines,

COG # 75 – Justice and Independence – The Loyalists Viewpoint

I have been reading a lot of information about the Loyalist era in history and I decided to write about the injustice that led to their eventual independence. While the newly formed United States of America was celebrating their independence from the British throne, a vast number of citizens who disagreed with the new government were not free to voice their opinions and were forced to give up their homes, never to return under full penalty of law.

The conclusion of the definitive Treaty of Peace put an end to any lingering hopes
the Loyalists may have still entertained of returning to their former homes to live,
although it contained a provision specially framed for their benefit.

General Maclean wrote on May 3rd, 1783, that Colonel Butler says that none of
his people will ever think of going to attend courts of law in the Colonies, where they
could not expect the shadow of justice, and that to repurchase their estates is what they
are not able to do; that for a much smaller sum, the Mississaugas will part with 12 Miles
more along the Lake, and that they would rather go to Japan than go among the
Americans, where they could never live in Peace.”

An Albany Newspaper of May 26th, received at Niagara early in June, showed
clearly that this surmise as to the intentions of their late opponents was fully justified. It
contained the following report of the proceedings of a Public Meeting called to consider
the terms of peace:

“At a Meeting of the Inhabitants of the district of Saratoga, the 6th of May, 1783,
the following resolutions were unanimously passed and ordered to be published in the
New York Gazette:

Resolved: that if any person who has voluntarily joined the late enemy of the
United States and who shall hereafter return to this District, such persons will be treated
with the severity due to his crimes and infamous defection.

Resolved, that if any such person has already returned since the first day of
January last and shall not remove before the tenth day of June next, he shall be treated in
like manner as those who shall presume to return hereafter.

Resolved, that it be and is hereby recommended that the Militia Officers of this
District in their several beats make diligent inquiry after such persons as are above
described, and if any are found to give notice to the inhabitants of this district that
effectual measures shall be taken for their expulsion.

Resolved, that we will hold in contempt every inhabitant of this district who shall
countenance, comfort or aid in any way, any person who has voluntarily joined the
enemy or attempted to do so.

1780 T0 1790
By Lieut.-Colonel E. Cruikshank, 1908


When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for men, in order to preserve their lives, liberties and properties, and to secure to themselves, and to their posterity, that peace, liberty and safety, to which by the laws of nature and of nature’s God they are entitled, to throw off and renounce all allegiance to a government, which under the insidious pretences of securing those inestimable blessings to them, has wholly deprived them of any security of either life, liberty, property, peace, or safety; a decent respect to the opinions of mankind, requires that they should declare, the injuries and oppressions, the arbitrary and dangerous proceedings, which impel them to transfer their allegiance from such their oppressors, to those who have offered to become their protectors.

We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain rights, that among these, are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness;

that to secure those rights, governments are instituted; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive to those ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, or to renounce all allegiance to it, and to put themselves under such other government, as to them shall appear best calculated and most likely to effect their safety and happiness;

it is not indeed prudent to change for light and transient causes, and experience hath ever shewn, that men are disposed to suffer much before they can bring themselves to make a change of government; but when a long train of the most licentious and despotic abuses, pursuing invariably the same objects, evinces a design to reduce them under anarchy, and the distractions of democracy, and finally to force them to submit to absolute despotism, it is their right, it becomes their duty, to disclaim and renounce all allegiance to such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.

Such have been our patient sufferings, and such is now the necessity which constrains us to renounce all allegiance to Congress, or to the governments lately established by their direction.

The history of Congress, is a history of continued weakness, inconsistency, violation of the most sacred obligations of all public faith and honour, and of usurpations, all having in direct object the producing of anarchy, civil feuds, and violent injustice, which have rendered us miserable, and must soon establish tyranny over us, and our country.

To prove this let facts be submitted to the candid world.

They have recommended and caused laws to be passed, the most destructive of the public good, and ruinous to individuals.

Availing themselves of our zeal and unanimity to oppose the claims of the British Parliament, and of our unsuspecting confidence in their solemn professions and declarations, they have forbidden us to listen to, or to accept any terms of peace, until their assent should be obtained.

They have refused to accept of, or even to receive proposals and terms of accommodation and peace, though they know the terms offered exceeded what the Colonies in America had unanimously declared would be satisfactory, unless the Crown would relinquish a right inestimable to it and to the whole empire, and formidable to Congress only.

They have excited and directed the people to alter or annull their ancient constitutions, under which, they and their ancestors, had been happy for many ages, for the sole purpose of promoting their measures.

They have by mobs and riots awed Representative Houses, repeatedly into a compliance with their resolutions, though destructive of the peace, liberty, and safety of the people.

They have by their misconduct, reduced us to all the dangers and distress of actual invasion from without, and to all the horrors of a cruel war within.

They have not only prevented the increase of the population of these states, but by fines, imprisoning, and banishments, with the losses by war, they have caused a rapid depopulation.

They have corrupted all the sources of justice and equity by their Tender Law, by which they destroyed the legal force of all civil contracts, wronged the honest creditor, and deserving salary man of his just dues, stripped the helpless orphan of his patrimony, and the disconsolate widow of her dower.

They have erected a multitude of new offices, and have filled them with men from their own body, or with their creatures and dependants, to eat out the substance of the people; they have made their officers dependant on their will for the tenure of their offices, and the payment of their salaries.

They have raised a standing army and sent it into the field, without any act of the legislature, and have actually rendered it independent of the civil power, by making it solely dependant on them.

They have combined with France, the natural and hereditary enemy of our civil constitution, and religious faith, to render us dependant on and subservient to the views, of that foreign, ambitious, and despotic monarchy.

They have suffered their troops to live repeatedly on free quarters on the inhabitants, and to strip them by force of the necessaries of life, and have protected them from either trial or punishment under the plea of necessity, which necessity if real, was caused by their treacherous views, or unpardonable negligence.

They have ruined our trade, and destroyed our credit with all parts of the world.

They have forced us to receive their paper, for goods, merchandise, and for money due to us, equal to silver and gold, and then by a breach of public faith in not redeeming the same, and by the most infamous bankruptcy, have left it on our hands, to the total ruin of multitudes, and to the injury of all.

They have driven many of our people beyond the sea, into exile, and have confiscated their estates, and the estates of others who were beyond sea before the war, or the existence of Congress, on pretence of offences, and under the sanction of a mock trial, to which the person condemned was neither cited or present.

They have abolished the true system of the English constitution and laws, in thirteen of the American Provinces, and established theirin a weak and factious democracy, and have attempted to use them as introducing the same misrule and disorder into all the Colonies on the continent.

They have recommended the annihilating of our charters, abolishing many of our most valuable laws, and the altering fundamentally the form of our government.

They have destroyed all good order and government, by plunging us into the factions of democracy, and the ravages of civil war.

They have left our seas unprotected, suffered our coasts to be ravaged, our towns to be burnt, some of them by their own troops, and the lives of our people to be destroyed.

They have without the consent or knowledge of the legislatures, invited over an army of foreign mercenaries to support them and their faction, and to prevent the dreadful scenes of death and desolation from being closed by an honorable peace and accommodation with our ancient friend and parent.

They have fined, imprisoned, banished, and put to death some of our fellow citizens, for no other cause but their attachment to the English laws and constitution.

They have countenanced domestic tumults and disorders in our capital cities, and have suffered the murder of a number of our fellow citizens perpetrated under their eyes in Philadelphia, to pass unnoticed.

They first attempted to gain the savage and merciless Indians to their side, but failing in making them the presents promised and expected, have occasioned an undistinguished destruction to ages, sexes, and conditions on our frontiers.

They have involved us in an immense debt, foreign as well as internal, and did put the best port and island on our continent, into the hands of foreigners, who are their creditors.

They have wantonly violated our public faith and honor, and destroyed all grounds for private confidence, or the security of private property, have not blushed to act in direct contradiction to their most solemn declaration, and to render the people under their government, a reproach and a bye word among the nations.

In every stage of these proceedings, they have not been wanting to throw out before us, specious excuses for their conduct, as being the result of necessity and tending to the public good. –

In every stage since their public conduct, began to contradict their public declarations, our minds have been overwhelmed with apprehensions; and as our sufferings have increased, our tears have flowed in secret. It has been dangerous and even criminal to lament our situation in public.

The unsuspecting confidence which we with out fellow citizens reposed in the Congress of 1774, the unanimous applause, with which their patriotism and firmness were crowned, for having stood forth, as the champions of our rights, founded on the English constitution; at the same time that it gave to Congress the unanimous support of the whole continent, inspired their successors with very different ideas, and emboldened them by degrees to pursue measures, directly the reverse of those before adopted, and were recommended, as the only just, constitutional and safe. –

Congress in 1774 reprobated every idea of a separation from Great-Britain, and declared that they looked on such an event as the greatest of evils. –

They declared that a repeal of certain acts, complained of, would restore our ancient peace, and harmony. –

That they asked but for peace, liberty, and safety. – That they wished not for a diminution of the royal prerogative, not did they solicit the grant of any new right.

And they pledged themselves in the presence of Almighty God, that they will ever carefully and zealously endeavour to support and maintain the royal authority of Great-Britain over us, and our connection with Great-Britain – and our councils had been influenced only by the dread of impending destruction.

The acts complained of have been repealed, yet how have Congress given the lie, to these their most solemn professions!

In 1774, they declared themselves concerned for the honour of Almighty God, whose pure and holy religion, our enemies were undermining –

They pointed out those enemies, and the danger in which our holy religion was by their complaints of the establishment of the Roman Catholic religion in Canada; they say, “It is a religion which has deluged the Island of Great Britain with blood, and dispersed impiety, persecution, murder, and rebellion through every part of the world.”

We find the present Congress not only claiming a new right, and hazarding every thing valuable in life, to the present and future generations in support of it, but we also find them, leagued with the eldest son of this bloody, impious, bigoted, and persecuting church, to ruin the nation from whose loins we sprung, and which has ever been the principal bulwark in Europe, against the encroachments and tyranny of that church, and of the kingdoms devoted to her;

we think it not too severe to say, that we find them as intoxicated with ambition of Independent sovereignty, as that execrable Roman Daughter, who drove the wheels of her chariot over the mangled body of her murdered father, in her way to the capitol.

We find that all their fears and apprehensions from the Roman Catholic religion in Canada, have vanished, or sunk to nothing, when put in competition with their political views, and that they have attempted to seduce the Canadian to their side, by promises of still greater religious establishments; and to shew that they were in earnest, have countenanced this impious religion by attending its ceremonies and worship in a body. –

We find them at one time boasting of their patriotic and religious ancestors, who braved every danger of unknown seas, and coasts, to preserve civil and religious freedom, and who chose rather to become exiles, and suffer every misery that must await them, on a savage and unexplored coast, than submit to civil, but above all religious innovations – at another time we find them destroying the British Constitution, the pride of their ancestors, and encouraging a religion which they held in abhorrence, as idolatrous and tyrannical. –

We find them contending for liberty of speech, and at the same time controlling the press, by means of a mob, and persecuting every one who ventures to hint his disapprobation of their proceedings.

We find them declaring in September 1779, that to pay off their paper money, at less than its nominal value, would be an unpardonable sin, an execrable deed. “That a faithless bankrupt Republic would be a novelty in the political world, and appear like a common prostitute among chaste and reputable matrons,” would be “a reproach and a bye-word among the nations, &c.”

We find the same Congress in March following, liquidating their paper debt at 21/2 per cent. or 6d. in the pound.

We should fill volumes, were we to recite at large their inconsistency, usurpations, weaknesses and violations of the most sacred obligations – We content ourselves with the above brief recital of facts know to the world and attested by their own records.

We have sufficiently shewn that a government thus marked and distinguished from every other, either despotic or democratic, by the enormity of its excesses, injustice and infamy, is unfit to rule a free people.

We therefore, Natives and Citizens of America, appealing to the impartial world to judge of the justice of our cause, but above all to the supreme Judge of the World for the rectitude of our intentions, do renounce and disclaim all allegiance, duty, or submission to the Congress, or to any government under them, and declare that the United Colonies or States, so called, neither are, nor of right ought to be independent of the crown of Great-Britain, or unconnected with that empire;

but that we do fimly believe and maintain “That the Royal Authority of the Crown of Great-Britain over us, and our connection with that kingdom ought to be preserved and maintained, and that we will zealously endeavour to support and maintain the same;” and in the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other, and to the crown and empire of Great-Britain, our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.

The Royal Gazette, (New York), November 17, 1781

Filed under: Carnival of Genealogy, Carnivals, Genealogy, Loyalists,

COG #73 – The Good Earth – Vege-Land

I don’t know how my dad did it, but he worked at Ford’s Motor Company all day and came home and took care of the garden after that. As it happened, a work-related injury at Ford’s enabled dad to buy a “hobby farm” in the early sixties. Dad bought three acres in town, about half of which was supposed to be the vegetable garden. It was really overgrown, the property belonged to an elderly lady who just kept the front lawn cut, everywhere else it was over my head, being only five at the time. Dad took a scythe and cut the grass back enough to get a lawnmower through it. The garden was almost a meadow, it was years since it was worked. Dad tilled the whole garden with just a roto-tiller and planted all kinds of vegetables. He was proudest of his Spanish onions and tomatoes, but grew corn, beets, carrots, beans, peas, peppers, cucumbers, spinach, radishes, lettuce, cabbage, chard, squash, melons, and occasionally tried something different, like peanuts or popcorn for us kids.
Dad built a fruit stand in the front yard and mom painted a great big mural of our garden on a sign and called the stand “Vege-Land”. She put in every row of crops and the small cherry orchard. We took turns watching over the stand and helping harvest the crops. We picked and sold beans, beets and tomatoes by the bushel and 50lb. bags of Spanish onions.
During the summer months we ate a lot of fresh vegetables, sometimes we would just have one vegetable for supper, most of the time it was corn, but mom cooked up a big kettle of beans or chard or asparagus and we would feast. We lived on bacon and tomato sandwiches too, we could get 4 or 5 sandwiches from one tomato, they were big!
After a couple of years, the farmers with stands outside of town got a by-law passed so that fruit-stands had to have room for vehicles to be able to pull off the shoulder of the road. Since we were in town, the sidewalk was next to the shoulder of the road, so we would have had to put a driveway in our front yard, which wasn’t very big. So that was the end of the stand, but not the garden. Dad had regular customers just come around to the barn to pick up their produce. We also loaded up the station wagon with baskets of tomatoes and took them up to the gate at Ford’s and sold them as the workers changed shifts. We would do this a few times a week and we always sold out.
In 1974 my dad broke his ankle and had to have surgery and was off work for a few months. Since the injury didn’t happen at work, he had to go on sick benefits, which was not enough to take care of a family of nine, so he decided to sell the farm before he lost it. My dad wasn’t able to do much gardening after his injury, he couldn’t be on his feet for any length of time or his ankle would swell up. He was always eager to hear about what crops we planted in our gardens and was a well of knowledge about farming, we always went to him for advice. Since he’s been gone, I’ve taken over for him in the advice-giving department, my brothers and sisters always come to me now.

Filed under: Carnival of Genealogy, Carnivals, Family Files, Genealogy, Haines/Hines, ,

COG Local History – “The Tomato Capital of Canada”, Leamington, Ontario

Essex County was at one time, completely under ice, and when it receded the first bluff of land to emerge was the Ridge, just west of the town of Leamington, which was made as the glaciers receded. The inhabitants of the area were Iroquois Indians, who were a warring nation. Essex County was one of the last areas in the province to be settled for this reason. Samuel de Champlain made raids against the Iroqois in 1609 and 1615 and was able to penetrate the lands as far as the Detroit River. Lake Erie was the last of the Great Lakes to be explored and charted, early explorers bypassed the lands and used a northern route to the upper lakes. Militia from France arrived in 1666 and the Iroquois threat was neutralized. The first white men in the county were Robert Chevalier de LaSalle accompanied by, Rev. Francois Dollier de Casson, a Sulpican priest, and deacon Rene Brehant de Galinee, who camped at Point Pelee in the spring of 1670. Galinee called this region “the Terrestial paradise of Canada”. Essex County was a “no-man’s land” between the British and Iroquois on one side and the French, Algonquin and Hurons on the other. In 1701 Cadillac founded the settlement on the “Straits” which later became Detroit. By the 1730’s the voyageurs were using the fort at Detroit as their headquarters, while the Canadian side was still populated only by Indians.
After the British victory in the Seven Years War, and later, the Pontiac War, the area was still not attracting settlers. It wasn’t until the end of the Revolutionary War and the influx of United Empire Loyalists to the country that the Indian threat was reduced. The threat was not gone, however, and many early pioneers had to ransom their wives and children from the natives.
The first town plan in the county was Colchester, in 1787. Southwest Ontario was then known as the District of Hesse. Upon the arrival of Lt.Col John Graves Simcoe from England, in 1792, the region was renamed the Western District. The boundaries were Lake Erie on the south, the Detroit River on the east, the Thames River on the west and four miles south of Lake St. Clair on the north. These boundaries were expanded to the north, in 1800, to Lake St. Clair.
The first Loyalist settlers to come, Captain Mathew Elliot and Captain William Caldwell, arrived in 1783 to Malden Twp. The land on the Canadian side of the Detroit River was given to the military officers and Indian interpreters, so the land on the north shore of Lake Erie was purchased from the Indians in 1787 and named the “New Settlement” to distinguish it from the ‘Old Settlement” in Amherstburg and Sandwich on the Detroit River. In 1790, the name was changed to the “Two Connected Townships” and twelve lots were added to the eastern border. The entire area was open for settlement by 1788, when Point Pelee and Pelee Island, the last two parcels of land still held by Indians was leased to settlers for 999 years, but it wasn’t until the 1820’s that the Ridge leading to Leamington started to see settlers, the section was opened as Talbot Road.
The Loyalists who moved here had to cut through the thickest forests in North America. For fifty years the pioneers of the county fought to clear the dense virgin forest. Fire was the quickest way to clear the land, and the glow of lumber burning could be seen as far as Chicago, 300 miles away. Leamington was the last area to be tamed, remaining unsettled until the Talbot Road and Middle Road opened it up in 1823.
The first settlers to clear a farm in the area were Alexander Wilkinson, John McGaw and Thomas Quick. Ralph Foster came in 1826 and built a log cabin and cleared 164 acres along with his sons. In 1852 he noticed the odour of natural gas on his farm and later oil was discovered and the Leamington oil field was developed.
The first post office and store was opened 1n 1833 on Talbot Road, near the Four Corners, later Wilkinson’s Corners.
Leonard Wigle, born in Gosfield Twp., Essex County in 1804, bought a bush farm of 200 acres and cleared the land. He was a prosperous farmer and opened the first tavern in the area in 1836. His tavern was a popular stop for travellers along Talbot Road. In 1845 Eli Deming opened a store near the tavern .
With the growth in transportation and population, there was a land boom, and Essex County was the first in Canada to be affected by speculative values which led to price increases in other areas. In 1855, eggs were 25 cents a dozen, while in 1850 they were only 5 cents a dozen.
William Gaines opened a grist and saw and carding mill in 1855 which gave employment to labourers, who in turn began putting up their own houses. Warren Kimball was the first Postmaster on June 1, 1854, with the office adjoining his shoe shop and house. He also built the first house in Wilkinson’s Corners. When the first Post Office was set up, the name of Gainesville was given to it, in honour of William Gaines, but, since there was already a Gainesville post office, the name was changed to Leamington, after Royal Leamington Spa in southern England. By 1860 the village of Leamington had a population of 75, with small commercial and industrial businesses, farms, mills, and Baptist, Methodists and Anglican churches and stagecoaches ran on a regular schedule from Leamington to Windsor.
Alexander Wilkinson and John McGaw made the first survey of the community in 1855.
After the outbreak of the civil war in the US, the farmers started raising livestock, to sell to the US. army. After the Civil War, the US ended the pact for foodstuff crossing the border without tariffs from Canada and the farmers were forced to go into specialized farming of fruits and vegetables.
After the railway service was extended to Leamington, markets in Windsor and Detroit were more accessible and the agricultural industry flourished. Before this the area had excellent dock facilities and an active shipping trade in timber, lumber and agricultural goods. Tobacco was being grown with 10,000 pounds exported annually.
At this time, the settlement had a grist mill, owned by John Askew, a sawmill operated by Russell and Wigle, saddlers Pulford and Sherwood, two carriage factories of W.S. Pulford and W.F. McKenzie, sash, door and blind factories, a telegraph office and four teachers in a public school.
The community was incorporated into a village on Nov. 26, 1874 with George Russell as it’s first reeve and John Selkirk as it’s first village clerk. Members of the first council were Charles H. Fox, William Hazelton, John Setterington and Peter Conover.
John Askew built the first flour mills in 1868 and in 1884, remodelled them with a complete modern roller system. He bought and brought the first Hungarian system rollers into the country. In 1872, after the great Chicago fire in 1871, Leamington developed it’s first fire department, which was a volunteer bucket brigade. The population at this time had reached 300. In the late 1870’s the department got it’s first pump. On May 14, 1883, the main business section was destroyed by fire.
Leamington’s first electrical lighting plant was set up in a saw-mill in 1888.
In January, 1890 Leamington was incorporated as a town. The first concrete sidewalks were starting to be constructed in 1895. By 1899 water-mains were installed and fed by Artesian wells.
The marshland around the area was drained to provide more fertile land by the turn of the century. The area was producing grapes, peaches, and other vegetables.
In 1905, a report in the Toronto Globe and Mail described Essex County as “Eden without the serpent”. the report lists corn, wheat and tobacco as the three major crops. A Leamington dispatch of that year states “South Essex puts crops first on the market before any other part of Ontario. New potatoes, peas, beans and tomatoes are being shipped out, cherries on the market for some time and strawberries about due”.
On November 16, 1908 the town purchased the Henry Ward Tobacco Co. building and turned it over to the H. J. Heinz Company along with free water as incentives to relocate here. The H.J.Heinz Company established a food-processing plant in 1909 which was the most important single event in our economic history. The greenhouse industry was introduced to the area in the 1940’s to extend the growing season for tomatoes to supply H.J.Heinz Company, and by 1959, Leamington was the source of 2/3 of the tomatoes produced in Canada.*

The Leamington area boasts one of the world’s largest greenhouse industries and is still growing. The Tomatofest is held in August at the start of the processing season.
Pelee Island Winery is world-reknowned and Point Pelee National Park has been recognized as one of the best places in the world for bird-watching. The population in the town has increased to over 20,000.

*Source: Leamington’s Heritage 1874-1974 – Compiled by Francis Selkirk Snell

Filed under: Carnival of Genealogy, Carnivals, , , ,

COG #69 – What if….the British won the Revolutionary War?

What if…Moses Doan’s message was read by Colonel Rahl, instead of being stuffed into his pocket to be read later…would Washington have surrendered?

“Doan and the British suspected that Washington might attack Trenton but they had no idea when, and felt confident that the British and the Hession reinforcements there would prevail. Moses and Abraham were in Newtown on Christmas Eve day and noticed that preparations were underway for marching the troops. They also noticed ferry barges assembling near McKonkey’s Ferry (Washington’s Crossing, PA). Actually, in the weeks prior, General Washington had ordered that all the boats North and South of the ferry to be confiscated for their use or destroyed. Moses sent Levi with this news to General Grant via New Brunswick and then returned to his Jericho Mountain cave and planned to scout the rebels the following day. That morning he disguised himself as a local farmer and took Old York Road. towards New Hope. He passed the Buckingham Friends and eventually took the Ferry Road to Coryell’s Ferry. It was here that Moses saw that the troops and usual sentinels were gone and preparations were being made to dismantle the fortifications. He rode to Bowman’s hill where the main rebel encampment was and realized that something very big was happening. At this time a Nor’easter had begun to blow and sleet and snow were falling. Moses suspected that the rebels were heading for Trenton and knew his only chance to help the British was to warn them himself. He went north past Coryell’s to Howell’s Ferry which was run by a loyal Tory. There he crossed the ice choked river in what had become a raging storm.. Securing a horse, he rode south into the near blizzard. The howling wind, the pounding of the river and cracking of the ice floes was incredible as was the near zero temperature but he kept on. He encountered no one on the road and considered turning back, thinking he may have been wrong about the Americans’ intentions.

In an incredible historic moment, as he passed the embankment across from McKonkey’s (now Washington Crossing), he heard and saw the rebel barges filled with soldiers pushing through the blizzard towards the Jersey side. He was now sure that their objective was Trenton. Moses Doan was, at that moment, in possession of one of the greatest secrets of the war.

There are several versions of what happened next. Historians agree that Moses made it to Trenton and requested to see Colonel Rahl who was in command. The Colonel was playing cards and reportedly did not want to be disturbed. Moses wrote a note and asked that it be immediately brought to Rahl who simply put it into his vest pocket unread. It was found on his person the next day. The note read: “Washington is coming on you down the river, he will be here afore long. Doan”. The versions differ mainly on how and from whom Rahl got the note. Most historians agree that a more attentive commander may have utilized Moses Doan’s note to prevent one of the Colonial Army’s greatest moral victories.

the whole article: The Plumstead Cowboys

What if the British had stopped Washington at Trenton? Would the rebels have conceded defeat? Who would have been president? General John Graves Simcoe, Bart.? If that were the case, then the 1st first lady would have been Lady Elizabeth Simcoe, who is famous on her own as a watercolour artist, creating beautiful watercolours of her travels and sights she saw.

How much of the history would have changed? Would slavery have even been an issue in Lincoln’s time, or would it have been history? Would there have been a civil war? I know the war of 1812 wouldn’t have occurred. What else would have changed?

Moses Doan would have been honoured as a national hero, not shot dead in a tavern. His brother Levi, and cousin Abraham wouldn’t have been hung in 1788, just after the Gov’t signed an agreement not to punish crimes of war. My Loyalist ancestors would never have left their homes in New York and Pennsylvania, and I would probably not exist.

What would the United States be like today? Would it be a warring nation or a peacekeeping nation? There would probably be a prohibition of handguns, like in Canada. Would the crime rate go down? Probably. There would be a universal health care system. Would the taxes be higher? Probably, due to costs of universal healthcare. There would probably be no need for NAFTA, most of the continent would be one country, sharing in all of the resources. Would we all be better off, I dont know, I know I wouldn’t.

Filed under: Carnival of Genealogy, Carnivals, Doane/Doan, Family Files, Genealogy, Loyalists,

COG #68 – A Tribute to Women – Sarah Haines, UEL

I received this from a descendant of Joseph Haines, Jr.. The author, Pergrine Otway-Page was the son of Sarah, born 1814, died 1904.

“It was about the year 1776, after the loss of all their property because of loyalty to their King and Crown, that my ancestors on my mother’s side were forced to migrate to Canada. However, it is uncertain from what part of the United States they came. They reached Canada after a long, dangerous journey of much suffering and privation. Arriving first at Fort Niagara and there resting a few days, they were transferred to Canada under the British flag.

The family consisted of my grandfather, the late Joseph Haines, his wife, four sons, Peter, Philip, Edward* and Joseph, and two daughters Sarah, my mother, and her sister, who afterward married a Mr. Whitney. When about one day’s march from the frontier, Sarah who was but eight years of age, while bringing water from a nearby spring, was seized by two squaws and wrapped in their blankets and carried away. It was in the early evening after a whole day’s weary travel, but her brothers pursued them and shot one when the squaws quietly let loose their little captive, and she was thus recovered in perfect safety. The same gun had been their protection upon other occasions during their escape to Canada, and I have it to this day in my possession in perfect order.

My grandfather, Joseph Haines, was granted 200 acres of land on the Four Mile Creek in the township of Niagara, His son Joseph was also granted 200 acres adjoining his father. Peter received his grant in the township of Ancaster, near Hamilton. Mrs. Whitney got her 200 acres on the Humber, and Sarah was granted 200 acres in Darlington twp. My grandfather, Joseph Haines, died at the Humber at the reported age of 130 years.

My father, Thomas Otway-Page, came to Canada form England in 1792. He was highly connected by blood, the eldest brother of the eminent Gen. Sir Loftus William Otway and Admiral Sir Robert Wiler Otway, but he attached his mother’s maiden name Page on reaching Canada. In England he was a Tory and a fast friend of Gen. Maitland, afterwards Governor-General, but his fearless advocacy of free speech and equal rights to all caused a rupture with Gov. Maitland because he could not condone the outrage committed by the order of Sir Peregrine Maitland upon one Robert Randall under the form of the law. and also for having caused Mr. Forsyth’s house to be tumbled into the Niagara River at Niagara Falls, and for which Sir Peregrine Maitland was recalled by the home government.

“My grandfather subsequently became a staunch Baldwin Reformer of influence. He was inofficiously educated and a man of wide and liberal views. My mother was a widow, Bland by name, with two children, Philip and Margaret, when my father married her in 1808. In the meantime my father had bought among other lands in Bertie lot B.F.L.E., Point Albino, which was granted in 1797 to one Timothy Skinner, a U.E. Loyalist, who had migrated from the States contemporaneously with the Haines family. My mother sold her grant in Darlington, and they moved to Bertie on Lot 32 B.F.L.E., where the family has always resided since 1808.

During the War of 1812 my father joined a detachment of the 89th Dragoons, to which he had belonged in England, and while he fought throughout the war with Captain Chambers in defense of his home, King and country, my mother looked after the farm, and she even prepared and wove the clothing from the flax worn by those on the farm, in addition to her household duties, etc., and was frequently obliged to ride to Niagara in the dead of night, a distance of thirty miles, on horseback.

During one of those nocturnal trips to Niagara, taken in the evening of the 12th of October, 1812, being about to leave Niagara towards morning, having just secured her countersign, she heard the battle of Queenston going on and shortly after saw Gen. Sir Isaac Brock and his aide-de-camp, Col. MacDonnell, ride away to the scene of action, to their fate. It was she who remarked that Gen. Brock had forgotten his sword, a very strange incident, but he refused to return for it and remarked that he had a presentiment that it would be his last battle, which subsequently proved only too true. She remained at Niagara until victory crowned ore arms, and in the evening of the same day she realized how dearly that victory had been bought when news reached Niagara that the mortal remains of Gen. Sir Isaac Brock and his faithful aide-de-camp were on the way to Fort George, where, in the presence of Gen. Roger Sheaffe, both bodies were laid to rest in one grave with the tears and sorrow of the whole country.”

“In July 1814, my mother, having learned of the firing by the Americans of the village of St. David’s, promptly sent all her able-bodied farm servants to the seat of war, and the next day, the 25th of July, 1814, the terrible battle of Lundy’s Lane was fought. She also sent her only son, Philip, who was but sixteen years of age, and he was orderly for Gen. Drummond during that day and night of carnage.

My mother garnered the grain with the help of small boys that summer, and with horses all disabled by the incidents of war. I was born the 22nd of August in the same year and was named after father’s fast friend, Sir Peregrine Maitland. My father had his horse shot under him at Lundy’s Lane, and received a musket ball in his thigh which he carried with him to his grave in 1832. Three of my uncles were at the battle of Sandwich under Gen. Brock, including my uncle Philip, who was burned to death in Toronto shortly afterwards.

My father belonged to Captain Chambers’ company of fifty picked men. They were the terror of three hundred American frontier cow tails who were reputed to harass the inhabitants. They once took possession of our farm, and loaded nineteen wagons with all our grain, hay, provisions, etc., in the fall of 1814, and we were compelled that winter to pay $16.00 per barrel for our flour.

It was at this time, when I was but a few months old, they came near pelting me to death, sportively, with our fine golden pippen apples. They sacked our cellar, taking there from all our winter’s meat, including four saddles of dried venison, and stole mother’s carving knife, a relic she had brought from her home in the United States, but it was returned and is still in our possession in fair order. The soldier who took it was ordered by the captain to apologize to my mother for the theft, and was also reprimanded for using impudent language towards her.”

“I can never cease to admire the resolute bravery of my mother, who in many respects was a most remarkable woman. While father was a large and powerful man, mother was small in stature, dark complexioned, with piercing black eyes, very small feet and small slim hands. Her hair was black as a raven, and so extremely long that she could stand erect on it trailing on the floor. A fearless rider on horseback, she was as resolute as she was active. One incident proves this; about 1822, a mischievous boy set fire to a cat, which dashed up a steep ladder into the garret of our house, where father kept his store of gunpowder covered with cotton waste. Smoke issued at once. I screamed fire to my mother, and she took a two pail bucket of water and ascended the ladder and extinguished the fire, but not until three of the hoops were burned off one of the powder kegs.

After the war, times began very much to improve. My father took a position as acting sheriff under Sheriff Hamilton for the united counties of Welland and Lincoln in 1816, and acted in that capacity until 1822, the family, with my mother at its head, remaining on our lands here, My father, however, commenced a business in Toronto shortly after 1828, and while attending to his business as storekeeper he died there in 1832.

In the meantime, he had left a kind old gentleman and a fast friend to our family on Point Albino, by name Dennis, under bond to dare for that part of our estate, and as it was useless for farming purposes, he subsisted chiefly by cultivating a few acres, fishing and netting pigeons. Mr. Dennis furnished us with barrels of salted pigeons on condition that I would not destroy his pigeon business by shooting them, and so expert did he become at pigeon-netting that he considered a take on one day of less than fifty dozen during the season a poor day. He often exceeded that number very much. This kind old man died in 1834, full of gratitude to our family. In the meantime I had grown from an infant hunter of four years of age with a pack of wolf-dogs that protected me from rattlesnakes and carrying a musket with flints, to an age when I should make it the rule to shoot off the heads of wild pigeons with my rifle.”

“When I was about 10 years of age, our place being terribly infested with rattlesnakes, I was bitten by one in the top of my foot. This nearly proved fatal. It was many months before I recovered, and then I became subject to fits until I was 15.

The Rebellion of 1837 broke out when I was about 18 years of age. My mother, ever imbued with a martial spirit, advised me to turn out, which I did, and I was the second recruit to volunteer under Col. Kirby, leaving an eccentric philosopher named Brandyman, who had been my tutor from childhood, with my mother on the farm, and I was mainly instrumental in causing the volunteers to be armed with muskets, which were not at first issued to them. I had no trouble in instructing the recruits to shoot, for I was about as perfect a marksman in those days as could be found anywhere.

I was married in April, 1839, to Miss Magdaline Snider. She was a most dutiful wife and fond mother to my four children and her 19 grandchildren, but to our great sorrow and grief, she passed over to the majority in 1890, aged 75 years, regretted by all.

My mother died in 1852, full of years, aged 84, and she was laid to rest, by her special request, on the bank of Lake Erie, on Lot 32 B.F.L.E., overlooking Point Albino Bay, a most beautiful spot in front of a few garden acres which had been her delight to cultivate during her earlier years, but now for years overgrown with wild sweet balsams. This little plot had been consecrated as the burial-place of pioneers many, many years previous to 1852, and was made more sacred as the last resting-place of all that was mortal of one who was a noble heroine, and with all the attributes of the kindest mother.”

* I haven’t found any record for Edward or Peter, possibly a lapse of memory on the author’s part. Children of record are : Philip, Joseph, Jr., Nathaniel, Sarah, Margaret and Mary upon arrival in Niagara. One son was killed in the Revolutionary war.
– Loyalist Claims for Losses #988

Filed under: Carnival of Genealogy, Carnivals, Family Files, Genealogy, Haines/Hines, Loyalists, , , , ,

July 2020