Canniff Papers G5

Dr. William Canniff Papers

22 Interviews, Folder G5

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This folder contains unnumbered loose pages of notes taken during interviews mostly in 1864. The pages are transcribed in the order as found in the folder.

Thanks to Carm Foster and Doug Smith for doing much of the transcription work. Transcribed as spelled with some punctuation added for clarity.
Source: Dr William Canniff Fonds, Archives of Ontario, F1390, MU 490, G5
Randy Saylor, Feb 2014

Use these links to those interviewed on this page.
  1. Martha Devlin, dau of James Wilson
  2. Samuel Shelly Wallbridge, aged 51, born of Mass[assauga] Point
  3. William Ketcheson Sidney Born in Sept 1782
  4. Mrs Walter Ross nee Boselly
  5. Geo Bleeker was born in Ameliasburgh in 1791
  6. Billa Flint, Born 9 Feb 1805 some five miles back of Brockville
  7. Rev Michael Brennan
  8. Samuel Nicholson aged 62 Born Fredericksburgh
  9. William Anderson Sr. Aged 80 years, Resident of Ameliasburgh, Native Monahan Co, Ireland, Born 1787

  10. William Brock. Born 1715. Native of Scotland (a Lowlander)

  11. Mrs Wonnocott aged 54
  12. Asa Worden near East Lake
  13. Miss Clara Ripsom of the 4th town
  14. Original settlers on farms along the Bay
  15. John & Elizabeth Ham family lineage
  16. Stephen Burdett & Jane Steel family lineage
  17. Thomas Starrow Brown
  18. Elijah Sills
  19. John Howell, Demorestville, 56, Sophiasburgh
  20. David Lockwood Carscallin [Carscallen] Aged 51
  21. Mr Asa Youmans & Mrs Y[oumans] born Herchimer
  22. William Ketcheson [again]

[page 1]

Mrs Devlin - Martha Wilson 64 in a few days, born in Sop??? daughter of James Wilson, who was born in Ireland, came into Canada during the Irish Rebellion, and married Mrs Sarah Roblin, widow of John Roblin, Mrs Roblin’s maiden name was Wessels.  Has heard her mother talk about the Revolutionary war.  She with her husband John Roblin lived in New Jersey had 2 children (Roblins forefathers were Welsh or English).  Her father took no part as she knows in the war, lived at home.  During the war a scouting party - or of lawless men attacked their house in scouring the neighbourhood for plunder.  Roblin was sitting in the door 14 shots fired by them at the house, he was wounded in the knee, Mrs R. looking out saw her brother-in-law Stephen R. suspended by his two thumbs to a sappling by the Rebs.  They were doing it to compel him to tell where money and valuables were hidden - They came to the house stripped the wounded man of all but his shirt and trowsers - leaving him breathless.  The house was completely pillaged what they did not want they wasted, flour was thrown out, provisions and furniture destroyed & c.  One of the men placed his bayonet & musket to Mrs R. heart and dared her to call George her King.  She would not obey him; but said he was once why not now the ruffian was in the act of firing when one of his comrades struck aside the gun telling him he had made her suffer enough already. They could not find the money which was hidden. (The rebel army was near at hand) for the wounded man was soon after cared for by them. Mrs Roblin went to nurse him[.] The Doctor it seems was cruel  and performed unnecessary operations in opposition to the wishes of Mrs R[oblin] - in consequence of which Roblin was lame all his life - (had no use of the joint because a tendon was cut) (Now Mrs Roblin was a most truthful woman, and Mrs D[evlin?] gave a touching account of the tribute paid to her virtue when she died, by her husband Jas Wilson after a married life of upwards of 40 years) Mrs Roblin complained to Gen Washington about the treatment they had received from his troops[.] Washington had her to search among the men to see if she could see any of the men, or anything  belonging to her, and declared if he could ascertain who it was he would severely punish them. Mrs R[oblin] could find nothing. After this they as soon as could get away came to Canada by way of Oswego.

Roblin drew land in 4th town. After his death Mrs R[oblin] left the land and removed to Sophiasburgh, bought 100 acres of land off Dr Dunham, a Epis[copal] Methodist preacher[,] at ⅛ an acre, and paid for it in weaving. She cut down the trees for her house. The neighbours put up the logs. She then chinked it in and plastered it with mud, Mrs Devlin has seen the house, it is now gone. Mrs D has often heard her mother talk of the scarce year, with tears in her eyes - especially when any of the children were dissatisfied with what they were eating. Being out of flour, sent money to Quebec for some. The money was sent back, there was no flour there. She then bought bran at a dollar [a] bushel and tried to make bread of it, but couldn’t so made a stir about it. She would gather greens in the woods Indian cabbage, or sometimes called cale. A plant with a large page - also wild

[obverse page 1]

Potatoes, or ground nuts, Mrs D says are good. (This must have occured before Roblins death, for in the spring when it was time to plant potatoes, they cut off the outside of the potatoe including the eye, and planted it while they eat the inside, one of Mrs Devlins half sisters in her hunger went to dig up these thick potatoe rinds and was caught by her father who seized her by the arm to punish her but the light emaciated form of the half starved girl palsied him, and he could not say a word to her. During this “scarce year[“], one of the settlers in 4th town who had a field of rye growing  as soon as it was in the head, sent word to all the people to come and cut what they wanted to boil to make a milky kind of food. Fish were scarce some way could not be caught. Mrs Devlin knew Elder Ryan, and Coats and Mat Stelle [Steel?], and his brother Daniel the latter was a railling preacher. She saw Bishop George when in from the States, at Picton ordain John Reynolds. Flauder? Smith, Benson Smith, McKenzie Smith, these Smiths were not related.

Mrs D[evlin]s father Jas Wilson, was [a] member of Parliament for 22 or 24 years during this time was defeated once? or twice. First elected in 1808 or 9 was a steadfast reformer. Mrs D[evlin] knows of 4 Roblins who originally settled on the bay, John & Stephen brothers. Philip John “Crazy” Owen, and “one eyed” Owen, brother or cousins all related.  Used to call Oswego, Oswaygo.

Samuel Shelly Wallbridge, aged 51, born of Mass[assauga] Point.

Fathers name was Elias.  Grandfather Elijah - born in Duchess Co., were not U. E. Loyalists.  Grandfather came into Canada in 1804 he thinks, bought 1200 acres on Massassagua Point.  Moved the family in 2 years afterward.  (This land, all of it, still belongs to descendants of his.)  Came in winter with what Mr. W. [Samuel Wallbridge] called French horses and French train composed of a rude sleigh with the horses in tantrum [sic] style.  When his grandfather came in there were but a few settlers along the bay opposite Roellville? but were of little importance.  He bought the land of Smith.  His grandfather was perhaps 60 years old when he came lived to be 95 or 4. & 8 m and was buried in Belleville on the day of the fight on Belleville hill at the election in 42, or 3.  His uncle William Lewis Wallbridge’s father lived 7 years opposite Belleville, then moved to Belleville, made potash, and had a distillery.  He did first where is now the Empire hotel.  His grandfather has an uncle who peddled in Canada many years before.  He planted nurseries and set out nurseries often for the sole purpose of doing kindness.  The old orchards were planted by him, brought seed from the states.  Collect them of apple trees -

[page 2]

William Ketcheson Sidney Born in Sept 1782

at Bedford near New York, about a year before the close of the Revolutionary war.  [His] Father William was born in England, whose father died when he was young.  He came to America with his grandfather.  The great grandfather of that one settled in South Carolina lived there until the war broke out.  His father then was perhaps about 16 or 17.  He entered the British army as a dragoon. In Lord Cornwallis’[,]continued in during the war[,] was in many fights, wounded in the leg thigh.  A little before the close of the war married to Mary Bull daughter of John Bull[,] British Subject.  At the close of the war the British Subjects had choise [sic] to go back to European home or to Nova Scotia, or to Canada, at the expense of the Government, in the mean time being supplied with rations for 3 years.  These rations consisted of about the same as soldiers rations.  Pork, peas, principally and some flour.  So much for each member of family.  His father chose to go to Nova Scotia.  Became partners in a fishing boat for a while.  Bought lots in a place called Portoon? [Pictou] calculating for a town, rock bound place.  The family consisted of wife and child (himself about 18 month) laid in a shanty as did some other families.  A fire happened to break out which spread over the place burning up everything.  Was carried with a little dog, put into a wet place, with clothes and articles of furniture.  But mostly everything was burned.  The fire however came to them, he escaped by running away but the pup and things were burned.  - has often heard his father and mother talk about it.  The wife and child were put on board a boat and sent to New York.  Father remained to settle up business.  Was in U. S. the greater part of a year.  The following year came to Canada by way of Oswego in [a] flat batteaux boats.  Doesn’t know much about the way they came.  Arrived in Canada in time to get the rations for the last year from Government.  Settled in 3rd town, worked on shares, a farm belonging to John Miller.  Afterwards when he got a little - fear things ??? a train? to work with moved to Spencers? farm which he also worked on shares.  His father drew the Dunham farm - Drew land for himself, his wife and what was called family land.  Had two children when he came into Canada.  Had altogather, thinks, 11 children.  His father came in first and put in grain, and made arrangement[s] for family then brought them out.  The following year was the “Scarce year”.  It was a scarce year because the settlers for 3 years supplied by Government had not been induced to make the necessary efforts to raise grain to seek their living.  They thought the Government would continue the supplies, but were grievously mistaken not the Government had not plainly told them at

[obverse page 2]

the first that they should have only for 3 years.  Ketcheson having put in grain raked it in the year before, (which, perhaps he brought with him W. C.) had during the scarce year enough to eat and something to spare, and the narrator remembers living next?  to his mother, although he was very young (about 3 or 3 perhaps more, he was 2 yrs old in 50. and more the inhabitants lived far apart apart. W. C.) to take provisions to such as were the want of.  This was some brave generally.  Remembers it well because the people were so glad to get it.  (Here is light Ketcheson who had been in Nova Scotia and had lost much or all of his things, and who had then come to Canada probably believing that upon himself everything depended, at least convinced that only for one year could he obtain Governmental supplies.  This one just by putting in a little grain - raking it in, no doubt with one made ??? and of rough form, has, during a famine which affected a whole community enough and to spare.  A covenant in itself on the inadvisabilty of Government affording supplies for a length of time, - a proof, that Government assistance is not calculated to arouse those principles of manhood and self-dependence which lie at the foundation of a peoples welfare.

His father left 3rd town in 1800, and settled in Sidney in the 5th concession lot No 27. The land, 400 acres, was bought of Martin hawley, who lived on Napanee River. Paid one dollar an acre. The family moved up in batteaux, used to call them Canadian Boats, landed on the front of Sidney, where Jacob Jones’ place ---. There was then no houses in Belleville, some shanties, Simpson live in a little log shanty which had no floor. So Mrs Ketcheson says stopped there all night. Simpson had a barrel of beer in the middle of the house and he sat by it all night drinking and singing. The beer was home brewed but it was intoxicating. There were no roads then. Worked for father one year after come up, was married before this to Nancy Roblin, daughter of Elizabeth Roblin, who afterwards married John Canniff. She was born in Adolphustown in 1784. Is now in her 79th year. During this first year he had to go every Saturday afternoon to the Bay 7 miles through the woods , swamps, etc sometimes no drink to be got by the way always a hard walk and carry home enough peas pork flour etc for to last 3 men for a week. These were stored there which had been brought from Adolphustown. Used to use an ox sled to travel through the woods. At Smithville in the river was a scow, built by themselves. This was the only way they had of crossing the river. Should one go to the place find that it was on the other side  of the river would have to wait (or I suppose swim for it). His father when he first came up brought a span of horses. The British Government had commisarys [sic] to give out the rations during the 3 years. John(?) Carscadden was the commisary for 3rd town, Major VanAlstine for the 4th town. But Mrs Ketcheson says it was Mr Emery and that he cheated the people.

Was in the war of 1812 and also did duty in the Rebellion in 37 & 8. Am shown the several commissions received.

[page 3]

Mrs Walter Ross nee Boselly was born in Kingston (correct statement elsewhere) She remembers playing on the battery which the English erected in one night by which they frightened the French into surrendering. The English came in by Herchimers Point nose? (Upper Gap) In the morning the guns were ready to open upon the French garrison. This battery stood where the Market building now stands. The children would run down the steep grassy sides but could not get up it. [Note: see a second interview of Mrs Ross in Folder G6 (2)]

[page 4]

Geo Bleeker was born in Ameliasburgh oppo? [torn]] ?ruitore, in 1791.  Fathers name was John, bo? [torn] in Albany.  He was for some time with Capt Singleton? before his death, always engaged with in the fur trade with Indians.  He was married to the 2nd child and oldest daughter of Capt Myers.  Mr Bleeker gives the names of the 1st Settlers on the Front from Moira to Trent.

On On Warings hill was Conrad Frederick, next John Chisholm.  The next was long time vacant, at last settled by Dr Meacham.  The next was settled by Alex. Chisholm, now known as the Spence farm.  Spence bought it of Chisholm.  The next by David Palmer a very old Settler.  Next David Harris, brother of Harris the hatter in Belleville.  David married Palmers daughter (The Davis place) Next by one German.  The next Boocres? settled by John W. Ferguson.  Called her Fergusons Point.  Lawrence afterward bought this of now called Louines? Point.  The next 200 by Byron Cranford, who willed it [to] nephew Robins.  Next Caleb Gilbert.  Next Matthews or Goldsmith but Matthews lived there.  It was his eldest son who was hanged. [Peter Matthews hung, at 8 A. M., 12 Apr 1838, with Samuel Lount] ??? rebel in 37-8.  Used to play with him when boys together.  Next Hennesey.  The next long vacant, where Elijah Ketcheson now lives.  Next Ralof Ostrom.  Next John Chrysler.  Next Gilbert Soo?, next Cotter, who sold to McMaster, next not settled for a long time, at last by two brothers Geo. & Jacob Finkle, next Wm. Kelly, next Marris Simmons, next Laudsbury.  Next Wm Smith Geo Taylor place, next Geo Smith this is Sheriff Soy???, next Hagerman, next Joseph Rosebrush

[This loose page, not numbered, is found out of place in folder G6 (8) and the transcription is inserted here because it fits.]

next - David Simmons, next Abram Simmons, next Timothy Porter, Hagerman and Porter sold to Lott, Simmons sold to White. The next lot 11 was vacant. The next John Lott. Next was old Capt Meyers 300, next his son George 200, Next Paul Gruber, next Mathias Marsh, next Leonard Soper. Thinks the next settled by Young. Among the very first who settled along here were Meyers, Chrysler, Ostrum, Gilbert.

On this side of Trenton the first lot in Sidney, not the Gore. Judge Smith settled. Had two sons Peter & John who drew the Gore owned by Doct Strachan. On the other side of Trent River the broken front was settled [by] his father John Bleecker, next by Wm Abbotts. next ?? Weller, next John McArthur, next Mathew Howell, next Thomas Calhoun. This is the last he remembered, and up to Dead Creek so called from the muddy & sluggish current. There is an exterior marsh here.

On Mr Smiths old place is the English Church which was built under the care of Rev Mr Campbell of Belleville. It was never very well attended for there were but few church people among the settlers.

Capt Myers when he first came to this part squatted on Lot 7 in Thurlow stayed there perhaps a year before he was up the bay , built a log hut. Always understood that River Moira so called from its resemblance to [torn away]

[loose page - reverse side of the above page from G6 (8)]

the proper noun of the old Captain. The indians called the premises of Capt Myers where the first dam was built Cals Junk? signifying first-stoppage in the river.

Zwicks island thinks always belonged to indians. Zwick bought the traded land opposite the way it came to have his name.

Smiths island took its name in the same way. Also Capt Myers island. The Capt for a time paid rent to the indians for it; at last he did not.

At first to grind corn they sometimes used a spring pole. That is a contrivance like the well pole. In the first place a large oak or maple log was sawed about 4 feet long; one end of this was hollowed out , deeply, by burning. The corn was put in this, not too much or it would fly out. A hard weight fastened to the pole was made to fall into this by the hands, and there the weight of the other pole would assist to raise it as water is raised by the poles out of the well.

Has heard that during the scare year Mr Smith used to have persons come and work for a little to eat. Crysler bought a cow of Smith for 8 bushels of potatoes.

Indian island above Trent, so called because of severe & bloody battle once upon a time between the Massassauga & Mohawk. The Mohawk had possession. The Massay [torn]liked them and nearly thoughted the [torn - can’t read]

[cardborad glued to obverse of page 4]

Autobiography of old settlers

Feb 4th 1865.

                W. C. [William Canniff]


[page 5]

16 Sept 1864 Billa Flint Born 9 Feb 1805 some five miles back of Brockville. His father was born in Connecticut while it was yet a British Province. The Grandfather started to come into  during the Rev War - but having “Continental” ways he had to stop so lived and died in Vermont. Came to Belleville in 1829. There were at that time about 700 inhabitants. Belleville was a sorry looking place no large buildings only two or three painted. The streets were very muddy muddy in the rainy season. There were no ditches and no sidewalks. There was no sidewalk until’06. The stone was brought from the river below the farthest dam. Grandfather threatened to prosecute them.

Has heard the Indians say that the river Moira was called by them “Iagonoscokou”. The pagan Indians when starting to for the Hunting grounds up the river were accustomed to deposit in the water just below the the pier of the bridge on the east side a piece of tobacco as offereing to their God. The same offering was made on their return.

Rev Michael Brennan

Rev Mr McDonnell from Glengarry who is now Bishop of Kingston was the first R. Catholic Minister who preached in Belleville, came about once a year. After him Rev Wm Fraser visited here twice a year. Bishop McDonnell came to Glengarry after the Irish Rebellion from Scotland in charge of some soldiers who were discharged. Had been their Chaplain. The Rev. Mr Brennan was the first R.C. Priest located in Belleville, came in Oct 1829. The lots on which the Methodist, The Kirker and the R. Catholic churches stand was granted granted by Government. Neither would have that where the C Church stands - so they walk?. The first church was a building standing on the lot where house now stands, which lot had been in possession of Harris. The building was moved on the church ground and fitted up for worship. There were no more than 10 or 12 families of Catholics in the place. The present church was commenced in 1837 and finished in /39

[obverse page 5]

Sept. 9th/64 Samuel Nicholason aged 62 Born Fredericksburgh

Father’s name was Alexander. Born in Scotland. Came to America when a youth a short time before the Rev War broke out. Joined the British Army as a private. Became an Adjutant, was at the battle of Bennington. His company was annihilated, remained with his Colonel until he was shot through and fell from his horse. Nicholson tried to get him on the horse again, but the Col. told him it was no use, that he must look out for himself. So he ran. Jumped into a corn field, a ball struck him in the hand as he was getting over. Many were firing at him. Ran with difficulty through the cornfield came to “Casock” river, an Indian (British) on the opposite side fired at him by mistake, made sign to him, forded the river - escaped  He and others were in the woods for days, scouts searching for them Friends would bring them provision for meals in the woods. Woke up in the morning and found hair frozen to the ground.

Thinks he came into Canada in 1779. Was one of the first settlers on Mohawk Bay. Settled with Woodcock, Peterson, Campbell, Richardson. Cleared first year an acre and a half. Put in grain with an iron rake. Built a small log house. Had to go to Montreal for stores.

His father brought the 1st horse into that settlement from Montreal. Neighbours bought cows at same time. Had to make bridges along as came to cross rivers. The horse was grey in color. Remembers well her appearance.

Father married Sarah Huff near Bath. Had 13 children.Was a Presbyterian. Removed to Thurlow in 1809. Died in 1820 aged 66.

His father did not suffer during the Hard Summer. Had double rations. (Probably because he was an officer WC)
His mother mother used often to stand in the door and cut bread by the loaf for the starving neighbours. Would have starved only for greens and fish. A plant called Butterrut, another Pig weed.

When came to Thurlow there was no village back in the concessions. When they spoke of coming to the Bay at the mouth of the river, said was going to the Front. Remembered when Belleville was named, his father was present. [ ??] The naming took place at widow Simpson’s. Named by Capt McMichael the McNabs Wallbridge, Levens, Nicholson

Tells a story about Johnson and Dodge living near Belleville. Settled together, cut trees down together, cut round the tree one following the other. Dodge ran, the boughs switched his posterior department.

[page 6]

March 1867

Genealogies Historical Sketches etc. of the inhabitants of the Bay of Quinte

William Anderson Sr. Aged 80 years, Resident of Ameliasburgh, Native Monahan Co, Ireland, Born 1787.

Emigrated to USA 1793, Removed to Canada 1803 his parents having died in NY State in 1798. Obtained a livelihood at lumbering and divers other employment and finally settled at Massaga Point in 1806. Married about this time to Polly Way. Removed from M. Point to a farm 2 miles west of ferry in 1855

William Brock. Born 1715. Native of Scotland (a Lowlander)

Was taken by a press gang when 18 years of age and was forced into the Navy where after serving several years, he was taken prisoner by the French and was afterward exchanged for other prisoners at Boston, which was then a British Colony. He was then set at liberty as a civilian and shortly after settled at Fish Kill on the Mohawk N.Y. State. Shortly after he married and became the father of two sons Philip and John. His wife dying he married one Polly Ray by whom he had 8 children visj; William, Ruth, Neoma, Iabel? Deborah Catherine, Samuel and Garrett ( who being a strange genius was given the comical name Crawd) and Lucretia who is still living.

On the breaking out of the A. Revolutionary War he left his comfortable home on the Mohawk and came to Canada, where he settled at Adolphustown a stones throw of the site of the old Court House. He drew a number of lots in different parts (as a U.E.L.) among which was one adjacent to the Lake on the Mountain in P.E. Co, although he lived on a single acre in Adolphustown. He was not long on so small a plot before two of his neighbours made him a present of two acres each giving an acre. In time the large tracts of wild lands which he drew (as a U.E.L.) in the west, were taken charge of by his sons.

One of his sons became a Captain in time of the American War. The letter which I mentioned to you once, which was written by General Brock to this Capt. Brock just a few days before the General’s death, is in the keeping of one Resin, a grandson of Capt. Brock who lives in Linsay. It would be quite difficult to get it as we do not know where this Resin lives, only that we know it is somewhere near Linsay [Lindsay?].

Of this Brock family only one survives the rest having past away some time since and this survivor is my mother’s mother, Lucretia Watterberry.

She left Adolphustown when a girl and came over to Sophiasburgh (then 6th town) as a spinster. She is now 82 and was the 15; so that it was the year 1800 when she came to 6th town. She tells many funny stories of “balls” and “private sprees” that they used to have [words torn off] at Isaac’s (Isaac Hall an indian chief who had a  

[obverse page 6]

(which is still occupied) and which appears to have been [torn] Sepes? “hops” etc. They could have a wild dance at Capt. Isaac’s and it would not [torn] much, hence, the 6th town “youngsters” seem to have delighted in patronizing his [torn]

In time she married one Mason (my mother’s father) and lived opposite Belleville (then Meyer’s Creek) in the 4th town. (1805)  Society here seems to have been in its elements, though the most of the lots in the 1st & 2nd Concessions were quite well settled.

The inhabitants of 7th town seems to have been regarded by their neighbours (the 6th towners etc) as being “rough”. This I have from a number of old persons; and they were regarded as being such, until quite recently, say 1845 or /60. My father states that though he used to be invited to a number of weddings etc, when he came from the 6th town to live in the 7th town he never took any hand in their “frolicking”, but would join heartily in the 6th town “sprees”, when he could get a chance. This he attributes to a wide difference in the morals of the two places.

A story is told of an incident which happened at a “bee”, which well illustrates that the “7th towners” were possessed of uncommon combative propensities.”Bees” were great institutions in those days. Every settler seems to have been licensed to make 2 or 3 each year providing he furnished a good “pot-pie” and plenty of grog and never made any objections to his “guests” fighting. The latter was liable to be commenced at any stage but was always supposed to reach its height about supper time, after work was left and while the matrons were providing supper.

At this place (Old Johnny Coles, who lives 2 miles west of the ferry) the women were obliged on account of the large number of helpers to spread the board in the door yard. On this being announced by the Mistress, a little girl of the house, say of 12 summers, fearing that she was a going to miss the usual scenes, inquired of her mother, that if she set the tables in the door yard, where were the men a going to fight!

Such scenes are more the exception.

Getting married in those days was a “small time” with the 7th towners. The Carrying Place was the usual place of resort. They placed in a lumber waggon a number of chairs and each gallant was supposed to support his “partner” on his knee and thus economize room. Bitters was freely drank but no fighting allowed; any person trying that was put out. Keeping good natured on such occasions seems to have been a great point. No old persons went off to the wedding but they freely joined in the dance when the youngsters got back.

A wedding without a “dance” was certainly an insipid affair; dancing being generally kept up two or three successive nights at different places.

Francis Moses was a “half way house” between Rednersville (then McMan’s Corners) and the Carrying Place. He (like Capt Isaac) was a great fiddler and the wedding parties frequently stopped with him the first night.

A yoke of steers, a cow, 3 or 4 sheep, with a bed, table & 2 Doty chairs was supposed to be a very decent “setting out” for the bride; and if the groom was acknowledged heir of 50 or 100 acres of land with a little cleared, he was supposed to be possessed of sufficient worldly gear to constitute “a first rate match”.

Ball playing was considered a good sunday entertainment, which frequently “wound up” with several trials of main strength, by way of fighting [blot] unseating the [unfinished]

[page 7]

Mrs Wonnocott aged 54

Capt Myers had a flour mill near Trenton which was brought to Belleville after the war. Her father was Jacob the youngest son of Capt Myers. Father was Capt of a company raised in Sidney in 1818. Was altogether in Kingston 2 years.

There was a race course on the plains, such as at some plumb trees.

During the Rev war Capt Myers went with 10 men to take Schuler. On entering they saw him through the window but when entered could not find him. Searched everywhere. In the garret were a number of puncheons [large cask] turned upside down. Turned some of them over but he was not there so left the house without finding him. After the war the son told Myers that he was under one of the puncheons he did not happen to turn. A negro wench hid him there.

The Capt had given orders to his men to take nothing out of the house. When got away from the house found that one of his men had a silver cup. He sent it back to the son.

One day of the races on the Plains there was a great eclipse. (This was in 1806 W.C.)

In the scarce year in Lower Canada roast corn was meted out by the spoonful. They also had flour made out of Millet seed. The bread was sweetish but good.

Jalin Frederick was very fond of cakes. Somebody was baking some when they were scarce. He happened along and the cakes were hid. It was thought he took? them.

Capt Myers in L Canada 3 years 1st mill in Belleville was a grist mill

[on the right margin overwritten]

Capt Myers used to pick those who came to get grist ground at his house. And his house was the one of note between Kingston and Toronto. Officers used to stay there

[page 8]

Asa Worden near East Lake

The old gentleman, a fine one, is not well, is not able to give me much information. Talking about Major Young, was Ensign in S J Johnson’s Regiment. On one occasion was going from the head of Picton Bay to South Bay. He was a great hunter  and could follow a track, or any line. Started from a land pullar? on the east side of the Bridge at Picton, where it now is. On this occasion he went out of his way and instead of going to South Bay stumbled on East Lake. Was so pleased with it that he settled there.

He had two sons Daniel & Henry. Henry died in Kingston during the war of 1812 while on duty. They all drew land and got rid of it. Young was born in the city of London, but was of Dutch parentage. In the States before Rev lived in a place called Husock, a little below Albany. He was in the battle of Bennington. Died at about 80. Was a famous hunter. Could always get a deer. Had half pay. (Wm Aylesworth raised $1000 worth of produce. Did not have much education. East lake is 15 miles long and 1 broad.

[page 9]

Romance in truth among the 1st settlers

Miss Clara Ripsom of the 4th town, daughter of a UEL was possessed of more than usual beauty. She belonged to the second generation of U. Canadians. She had reached the interesting age of 15, when there came to her father’s neighbourhood a middle aged man in the Quaker garb and speaking in the mode practiced by that sect. He had a large trunk and Portmanteau of remarkable weight, and which he led to believe contained solid money. His manner as well as his boasted wealth mov[ed?] the father’s heart. Wm Penn Huntington, for that was the name he bore proposed to the father for his flowering daughter. The father having swallowed the bait, promised to obtain the consent of his daughter. After some trouble she consented. The “honest Quaker desired that no time should be lost fixing the nuptial ties, and the following sabbath the banns were published in Bath. But the fair Clara’s brother residing here came by this rucous to inquire into  the character of his future brother in law. This cruel proc? resulted in the discovery that Wm P. H. was an imposter and scoundrel of the blackest kind. His portmanteau always as? heavy with supposed gold was left behind when he left his landlord, and after some [time] the landlord felt it his privilege to open the trunk and take enough to pay himself for his loss, but the portmanteau was found to contain only hard stones.

[page 10]

Original settlers on farms along the Bay

4th town        Three Petersons then settled in

Judge Fisher Judge of the Co.

On Huffs Point Angel Huff, William, and John

         Richard Bugle

James Knox, a Quaker preacher

Philip Dorland, and Thomas and John


Benj Clapp

Geo. Rutledge

Cornelius Vanhorn

David Barker

Owen Roblin

The above came about the same time. (Probably before the close of the war)

“Old” Paul Trumpour

“Billy” Munroe

John Roblin

James Canniff

Phil Flager

Counhaus? [Cornahaus?]

Rob Shorts

6th town        Osbornes. 3 families

August Shorts

         Buy Brown

H. Trumpour

Isaac Cole. across the bay

Richard Davenport

Peter Cole

James Cole

Henry Barse

Joseph S.

Daniel Abbott

Mathew Cronk

James Way

Abram Cronk

Nicolas Lazier

John Spencer

Wm Foster

Jacob Cronk

[page 11]

Henry Basker

James Peck

Richard Morden

Saml Way

James Meargeiu? “again”

Isaac DeMill

Peter R

Wm Fox

Henry or Geo Parliament

Henry Spragg

The above settled in order along the marsh front

Guillaim Demorest

In the 2nd concession a few families

2 Fosters

John Goslin

Israel Tripp

Isaac Mowers

John Way

Rheuben Way

Philip Roblin (Gore)

[leaves 12 and 13 not transcribed]

[page 14]

[John & Elizabeth Ham family lineage]

John Ham was born 16th July 1754 Senior

Elizabeth Ham was born 20th September 1763

John Ham was born 20th September 1786

Henry Ham was born April 3rd 1789

Peter Ham was born November the 26 1791

George Ham was born 19th September 1793

Mary Ham was born 6th November 1795

Jacob Ham was born 11th August 1797

Philip Ham was born 28th March 1800

Benjamin Ham was born 4th April 1802

Richard Ham was born 13th September 1804

Elizabeth Ham was born 7th August 1808

Mary Perry 28 July 1862

[page 15]

[Stephen Burdett & Jane Steel family lineage]

Stephen Burdett married Jane Steel, issue

1 Nancy B

2 Mathew Steel B

3 Elizabeth B - now dead

4 Jane Uretta Vichionia? B

5 Synthia

1st Nancy Burdett married A. Cronk, issue

Abraham Cronk

Cronk died and Nancy Burdett alias Nancy Cronk then married James Grooms, issue

Betsy Jane G

Hannah Mary G

Edward G

Sarah G

Asa G

Synthia G

Rena G

Betsy Jane Grooms married John Steven[s? torn], issue

Thomas S?

John S

Hannah Mary Grooms married Duncan Campbell, issue

Helen C

2nd Mathew Steel Burdett married Sarah Dingman, issue

Minerva Ann B

Henry Dunning B

Samuel Barton B

Daniel Rodman B

William Trian B

Mahald Jane B

3rd Jane U.V. Burdett married Henry Burdett, issue

Trian Manson B

Trian Manson Burdett married Elizabeth Fry, no issue

[obverse page 15]

4th Synthia Burdett married Thomas Lyons, issue

Mahala Jane L

Lawrnce L

William Rylea L

Almida L

Abraham L

Thomas Edmund L

Maria L

Nancy Hellen L

Mahala Jane Lyons married William Dafoe, issue

Hiram D

Hellen D

Lawrence Lyons married Elizabeth Platt issue

Caleb Everett L

Sarah Jane L


Oliver Burdett married Hannah Douglass issue

Caroline B

Angeline B

Ann Eliza B

Oran B

Elizabeth B

Jane B

Angeline married Wright, issue

3 children name unknown

Ann Eliza married McFarlane

issue -----

Elizabeth married Root [or Boot]

issue -----

Oliver Burdett after the death of Hannah Douglass married Nancy Fretz [or Frety] and died without issue by her

[page 16]

Thomas Starrow Brown in the NDM? in an account of “183- and my connection with it” that he was Born in St Andrews, Province of New Brunswick.

I am of a “good Tory” and not of a Revolutionary stock. My father’s father, a Boston merchant, sacrificed his all for the Royal cause, and left for Halifax with General Gage, when Boston was evacuated, in 1776.

My mother’s mother emigrated from Portsmouth to New Brunswick, and with a daughter married to Captain Starrow, of the British Army, from whom my name was taken. She was a Wentworth, cousin to John Wentworth  (afterwards Sir John, Governor of Nova Scotia), the last Royal Governor  of New Hampshire; niece to Sir Benning his predecessor; and granddaughter to John Wentworth who preceded him. These three “Wentworths” - father, son and grandson - having governed New Hampshire for more than forty years.

When, at fifteen years of age, I came to Montreal, in the year 1818, I was already a politician from much reading of newspapers; but forming my ideas of what was right in men and things mostly from the lessons contained in “Plutarchs Lives.”


[page 17 not transcribed]

[page 18]

Elijah Sills

John George and Lawrence Sills came to Canada immediately after the war. Were Dutch. Their father came in also, named Conrad. The company to which Conrad belonged to, drew land in Fredericksburg. The company was promised that all should draw land together in Fred. But the town was not large enough so there was [land] taken from Adolphustown 13 lots to supply the quantity required. This was called Fredericksburgh additional. Bell, who became Col Bell, acted as spie for one occasion was caught and put in Albany jail. There was one Ryckly , also a spie, arrested near Still water, was in marching?, was brought to Bells house[.] The grandmother though was known to her  harbor Britishers. She taunted the guard who had R well till toward night. Filled their canteen with whiskey or rum. When camped at night R wanted to go to a spring, was accompanied to the spring by a soldier. The soldier stooped to drink when R both his two hands hand-cuffed and gave him a strong blow and even went back to Mrs Bell who filed off

[obverse of page 18]

John Howell, Demorestville, 56, Sophiasburgh, Fathers name Griffith Howell From Dutchess Co., was born in Oswego while it was yet held by the British. Mothers name Freleigh, it is the same as Fralick, grandfather John Fralick held a commission in the British Army. Came in after the war settled in Kingston, built there the 4th house that was erected.


1812 The woods all around Kingston was cut down that might see the approach of enemy.

[page 19]

July 12/64 David Lockwood Carscallin [Carscallen] Aged 51

Born in Addington, fathers name was Edward who was born in Fredericksburgh. Grand fathers name was Luke, who was born in Ireland. Great grandfather with family removed to America[.] Mothers name was Lockwood or Fraser born in Adolphustown. Her fathers name was was David, of Welsh descent UEls. Grandfather also UEL and father Carscallin had been in B. Army an officer. When the war broke out in the Colony, he worked to remain neutral pronounced to be so, but the Rebels said to him that he had been in the army and understood the tactics of war and must come with them unless he was a Kings man. At last he said had fought for his Majesty and would do it again. Thinks he was Lieut in ?? Well he had, after he declared himself thus, to hurry away quickly. By so doing he sacrificed much, he owned a great deal of land[,] has always understood about 12 000 acres. This was all confiscated. The great grandfather was concealed somewhere and the Rebels were after him. Caught his son, a mere boy, who would not be forced  to tell where his father was. They said we will hang you then, the boy replied hang a way, and he was hanged 5 times till nearly dead but would not tell. The last time  when taken down one of the ruffians  kicked him, the boy said if I am to get to Canada  and grow to be a man and you dare to come there[,] I will be the death of you. The story goes that in after years this man did wish to come into Canada; but remembered and feared the boys threat. Mr C’s father was told so in Canada by a man relative of the man who was on a visit in to Canada. His grandfather said that he meant it when he said; but now he did not know as he would do it. But the man now dared to come in. Great grandfather settled in Fredericksburgh. Grandfather afterwards settled on south side of Napanee River. At first the settlers had to go to Kingston to mill. They used wooden mortars to bruise their peas. His mother (or grand mother) name was Fraser with whom the narrator was brought up.  Her fathers family stayed some time at Sorel while he came to see the family county and get his land has heard his mother say that when she came to Rieston? there she was only 12 or 14. There were only 3 houses there. No buildings  along the bay up. But the UE’s had encamped along the shore and were finding out there lots, and making ready to build log shanties. The 7 sons landed at Mill Creek, camped there till the shanty was ready. Brought with them a certain quantity of provisions of peas & flour, not sure about meat. Langhorn has always heard was the first Eng clergyman in Canada. Dunham the first Methodist minister thinks he  was

[text written vertically on edge] called Dr Dunham seen him when young. Has seen old Dr Chamberlain

[page 20]

Mr Asa Youmans & Mrs Y[oumans] born Herchimer

Mr Youmans came to Belleville 50 years ago. His grandfather came from England to Massachusetts. Afterward settled in Colchester, New London County. He was at one time an officer, Capt., under George III. When the Rev. war commenced bought himself the liberty to keep neutral; paid a good deal.

When came to Belleville he was opposed by Coleman because he was an American. Coleman was an Englishman direct to Canada. Had to go to Kingston and take oath of allegiance before could buy land. But it was not necessary had he known it. But few good houses in Belleville.

The MacNab’s widow Simpson, Wallbridge had a trading house a little below Capt. Myers house and the hotel on Hotel St. The hotel was occupied by Everett , thinks he built it. When the town was surveyed the position of this Hotel made the street crooked or not in a line. This Everett, youngest son of one of one who settled in Kingston during the Rev. war, [He] made money by dealing in rum. During the war brought it up the Bay transported it across the Carrying Place and up the lake shore (Wilmot Surveyer, no doubt displaced stakes for Coleman?)

Knew Capt Myers well. He was an ignorant man but a daring one. When he went to court his last wife, a Davey, he carried his oats on his horses back. Had a schooner Knew John Tailor, was a stern man. Had two brothers hung. He went with a despatch from Quebec to Nova Scotia on foot following the shore all around the Bay of Fundy. Was nearly killing a Walrus. This was told by sailor, whose word was good. (When was it and what for?)

48 years ago put up the form of the building now occupied by the Wallbridge’s for Widow Simpson. Stood some two years. Wallbridge bought it, one part a store. It was expected that here would be the centre of the town. Tried to get a bridge across there.

Mars Youman’s father lived at Herchimer Point, named after him, off the Three Brothers islands. His christian name Nicholas. Born she thinks in Dutchess Co. somewhere on the Hudson. Came in with family during the Rev. war John Joseph or Han Yost. 1st settlers in Kingston

He was a Capt. (Probably in 1812 WC) Brother one of the 1st merchants in Kingston.  Mother’s father named Purdy also a U. E. He went from home on sea board a Ship Carpenter and was killed during the war. And the family lost everything by the Rebel Army. Their stock was all driven away. Had to make their escape. There are Herchimers in the State of N. York, a Herchimer Co. Has heard mother’s brother tell of an occasion when in a Fort were short of balls and put stones in stocking and fired them.

A route by which came in was up North river, Oaks creek, Onondagua Lake and down Oswego river. Difficulty of passing the falls. One way could ruin Boats too heavy to carry. Coast around by Socket’s Harbour and across [upside down] Salyer Reed

[page 21]

William Ketcheson

I first see a certificate of Capt. Myers, as follows

“I certify that William Ketchison Junior Th___ of Sidney, has subscribed the oath of allegiance as required by Law, before me, this fourth day of June in the year of our Lord 1801

John W. Myers

C. P. [Commissioner of the Peace]

The first Commission was first in writing, and issued by “John Ferguson Lieut of the Court of Hastings in the Midland District”.  Ferguson Peterson the younger, Great Ensign Authorized by “ Francis Gore Esquire” 9th Sept 1804”.  It would appear that he afterward received a regular Commission from Governor Goer, which I saw W.C.  The second Commission was from Governor “Isaac Brock” esquire Lieut Gove. dated 1812.  At the close of the war 2 ys he got the commission for Captain (this is not a guess) In 29 Sept 1831 received his Commission as Colonel. In 1838 was promoted Major, Gov Collborne

In the War of 1812 was appointed to the Flank Company, they were first called out and submitted to a thorough drill was 9 months in Kingston, was in no battles. There was no fighting at Kingston where he did all his duty. The American Fleet approached Kingston once for the purpose of destroying the Royal George the only British war vessel in the place. It was brought under the American guns of the batteries. Firing was kept up for a while. The American vessels on the Royal George[.] The batteries on the American vessels. One of the American vessels was disabled at least had to draw off. The Royal George was too far off to be injured; believes a few shots struck the vessel. The Americans finding they could not accomplish the destruction of the R[oyal] G[eorge] retired.

The UE Loyalists to draw and had to show their certificate of discharge. These were sometimes lost. To meet the wants of such as well as those others entitled to draw land, a Board was appointed by Government to examine applicants claims, and grant certificates. Thinks there was a board for each town (that’s for 1st 2nd 3rd etc towns.) But perhaps one board for 2nd or 3rd towns. These certificates were called “location certificates.” Thinks that these boards may have been in existence for a year or two.

These “location certificates” were often sold by the holders, perhaps several times, thinks likley the transference consisted simply in writing the name of the holder on the back of the certificate. Some confusion arose out of this, when parties presented their certificates to government to obtain the deed for their land. These certificates were often sold for little or nothing, often for a calf or a sheep or even less.

Related an anecdote about Capt Meyers who while acting as spy for the British, had a faithful dog which accompanied him. On one occasion, he was for a long time in the woods without food for himself or dog. The dog was (sick or) starved, the Capt carried

[obverse page 21]

him on his back for days, probably with the idea of killing him if necessary to save life. They escaped. Afterwards: the Capt was called only his General Schuyler. The joke was[,] the Capt said to the General this is the dog etc. To those present it seemed like a formal introduction of the dog to the General and the Capt was afterward rallied for it.

The first surveyor of 8th town was McDonald who surveyed to the 5th concession, and then died. It was found that he had made a mistake. There was a board composed of Forsyth, Cartwright, McLean, they would seem to have been a kind of executive. Atkins was the next surveyor. He surveyed it all over again, as noted by one Jack Collins --

Saw Mr Ketcheson  on the 13th July 1864. Just after dinner. He was at the time taking a snoring nap on a lounge. My voice at once awoke him. I was greeted with the greatest kindness. Although almost 82 he is quite brisk. When I left he came out took the fork to go into the field to work. He does not look to be over 75. Tall. Think 6 ft erect, a very little corpulent. Noble head and brain. One that would suit a nobleman. Neither his body nor his mental faculties are seemingly in the slightest degree impaired. Memory good reasoning ?? the same, a reason for everything. Received from the most satisfactory statement I have had (He had a large keen eye, brown more JC)