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Archive for the ‘Family connections’ Category

Many families in Clyde River have an ancestral connection to Colonsay, Scotland. Immigrants to Prince Edward Island in the early 1800s sailed on the Polly 1803, Dykes 1803, Oughton 1803, Spencer 1806 and settled in Belfast, Clyde River and surrounding areas, becoming part of the Selkirk Settlers. Common family names are Darrach, MacLean, MacNeil, Bell, Currie, MacPhee, MacEachern, to name a few. Here is drone footage of Colonsay. Enjoy. If you have visited here, share your experience in the comments.

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The Friends of Clyde River Historical Committee received a donation to our archives of a small trunk/sea chest with the initials H.S.B. on its lid in brass nail heads. This trunk belonged to Barbara Stewart’s great-grandmother, Helen Stewart Birnie Stewart. It probably accompanied her in 1846 when she travelled to the Island with her husband Robert Bruce Stewart and their young children. Barbara wrote the following article to provide some background. 

My great-grandmother, Helen Stewart Birnie Stewart was born in London, England, April 20, 1815 (died 1871).

Her father, George Birnie, was born in London in 1785, the son of Alexander Birnie and Anne Bayley. Alexander Birnie and his brother James were born in Aberdeen, Scotland. In London, they became ship owners and captains of whaling ships, operating in the South Pacific. James Birnie settled eventually in Australia.

George Birnie emigrated to PEI in 1809. In Charlottetown he met and married (27.12.1810) Magdalene (“Lany”) Stewart, the daughter of Captain John Stewart. Their home was at 26 Great George Street, Charlottetown. With their first three children, they returned to London in 1813. Helen and the last two children were born in London. The Birnie family firm became bankrupt in 1838, and George Birnie returned soon after to PEI.

The Birnie children remained in London with their mother. Son George Jr. emigrated to Australia where his uncle and family were established. In London, daughter Matilda married William Johnston and they, too, settled in Australia, as did the remaining Birnie daughter, Elizabeth.

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Strathgartney Homestead, home of Helen and Robert Bruce Stewart in Bonshaw

In London, June 27, 1838, Helen married Robert Bruce Stewart. His father, David, and uncle Robert, natives of Scotland then living in London, were acquiring land on the colony of PEI. In 1846, with their five children Helen and Robert set out for PEI to settle on the property the Stewarts then owned here.

That same year, Magdalene Birnie returned to the Island to join husband George. They died here – George 30.10.1863, and Magdalene, 21.08.1865. Both are buried in the Old Protestant Burying Ground – photo of George Birnie grave here and photo of Magdalene’s grave here.

Helen and Robert Bruce Stewart had eleven children, eight of whom lived to adulthood. Helen died August 19, 1871. She was buried in the family cemetery at Strathgartney which her husband established upon her death. From then until 1931, several family members were buried there. The last was my grandmother, Anne Warburton Stewart, who died September 5, 1931.

The family cemetery is located in a grove of trees just in behind the Communication  Tower and several meters in from the new route of the Trans Canada Highway. The cemetery is maintained by the parish of St. John Evangelist Anglican Church of Crapaud. A path leading to the cemetery is accessible from the communication tower site.

My grandfather, Robert Bruce Stewart Jr., was the oldest son of Helen Birnie and Robert Bruce Stewart. My father, Walter Fitz-Alan Stewart, was the second of Robert Jr.’s sons.

The small trunk/sea chest, with the  initials H.S.B. on its lid in brass nail heads, belonged to my great-grandmother, Helen Stewart Birnie Stewart. It probably accompanied her in 1846 when she travelled to the Island with her husband and their young  children.

In July 2016, her trunk was given by my family to the History Committee of the Friends of Clyde River for their museum.

Barbara Stewart
Montreal, January 30, 2017

Thank you to the Stewart family for this donation which represents an important part of the history of Prince Edward Island.

Editor’s notes:

  • Island Magazine feature: Robert Bruce Stewart and the Land Question 
  • Link to Strathgartney Cemetery – Canada Historic Places here.
  • Public archives letters (George and Alexander Birnie), more info here.
  • Mount Stewart is named after Captain John Stewart.
  • Walter Fitz-Alan Stewart was a farmer, fox rancher and Liberal MLA, more info here.

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Millar’s Life Review was provided to us by Joanne (MacFadyen) Turner which was written by Norma Thomson (Millar’s niece, Norman’s daughter) in 1986 for a course she had taken on the Dynamics of Communication with the Elderly and their Families. Millar MacFadyen taught at Clyde River, Cornwall, Kingston and East Wiltshire Schools during his career. Millar would have been 87 at the time of this interview.

Millar, Eric & Norman MacFadyen

Millar, Eric & Norman MacFadyen

Millar was born at Kingston on June 13, 1898. He was the second oldest of a family of seven children. He traces his ancestry to the Argyles (Argyll) of Scotland. Millar’s mother descended from the Campbell’s of Mull and family history suggests he was a descendant of the 5th Duke of Argyle (or Argyll).

Millar and his oldest brother started to school the same year. He was only five years old and his brother was six. He told me back in those days, you could do that. He went to a one-room schoolhouse with approximately 40 pupils all taught by the same teacher from grades 1 to 10. The older pupils helped the teacher out with the younger pupils. He attended school for 14 years.

Norman MacFadyen, Millar's older brother

Norman MacFadyen, Millar’s older brother

By then, the First World War had broken out and his older brother had gone overseas. Millar stayed at home for two years and helped his father on the farm. During this time, he decided he wanted to become a teacher, so he wrote and passed the matriculation examination into Prince of Wales College where he obtained a teacher’s license.

From 1918-1922, he taught school at Cornwall. While there, he met and married Marion Lewis and they were married on December 20th, 1922.

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Millar’s parents: Sarah Jane (Campbell) & John Archibald

He remembers the Christmas of 1918 as a very sad time for the family, as on December 17th, his mother passed away suddenly. She was only 48 years old. The youngest of her children were twin girls, only eight years old. The first world war was just over and they were waiting for the return of the oldest boy from the war. He wasn’t able to get home until July 1920. In 1921, Eric, a brother two years younger than Millar died of T.B. He was just 21.

After his marriage, Millar moved in with his father on the home farm in Kingston. He taught school from 1922-24. He had 51 pupils in grades 1-10. In 1924, he taught at East Wiltshire for two years and then taught at Clyde River until 1932 when he returned to Kingston School and taught until 1935. He farmed and taught school for 16 years. He would get up at 3:00 a.m. and cultivate four acres before he went to school and four more acres in the evening during the busy season.

Millar & Marion (Lewis) MacFadyen

Millar & Marion (Lewis) MacFadyen

In 1941, he obtained the position of principal at Parkdale School and was there for there for 14 years. He taught grades 7 to 10. In 1955, he received a position with the Department of Education as Director of Correspondence Study and Truant Officer of Prince Edward Island. He retired in 1972 at the age of 74 years after working 17 years at the Department of Education.

When he first started teaching, his salary was $305 a year, and, in the final year at the Department of Education, $19,000 a year. When he retired, he received a pension of $3400.

Concerts were the highlight of the school year. At these concerts, they would raise money for needed school equipment. One year, they purchased a teacher’s desk and chair. Another year, it was a bookcase, and, another year, they purchased a school organ for $75. During the depression years, there was not enough money to buy paint for the school, so they held a concert to raise money to buy paint.

In those early years, grades were not mentioned, as a child started with the first primer, second primer, book I, book II, book III, and book IV. Another highlight was the Red Cross organization. He wrote a script for radio and had several people take part. This program was well received by the radio fans, In Parkdale, he organized a program where four pupils would answer questions by one of the other pupils. They had a program every Friday. Questions were asked regarding the home, marriage, boyfriends, religion, etc. The first program lasted five minutes. The final one in June was timed and it had to be discontinued after one and a half hours.

Millar said, “The students enjoyed the program and learned a great deal about Canada, people and how to conduct themselves. It was a great asset towards discipline, and it taught each one how to express themselves without fear, because they became conversant with many topics. A great need is to show that we care for other people. It also showed children that we were interested in their welfare. This is teaching democracy and that we must have as leaders people of high moral character and integrity. We must give our children the right kind of training.”

Millar emphasized that in the old days, teachers taught and did not emphasize their salary. He said, “Today, we need good leadership and the guidance. Our forefathers have left us a good heritage. We must make changes as time passes on but let us preserve the best things of the past and make changes for improvement. Remember, without a good past, we cannot have a great future. Let us remember that the little schoolhouse has produced great leaders in the past.”

Millar attended the Presbyterian Church all his life. He became an elder in 1950 of Zion Presbyterian Church in Charlottetown. He was Clerk of Session for ten years and taught bible class for 15 years. When a charge did not have a minister, he took his turn in the pulpit. He was secretary of the Men’s Association for nine years and of Presbytery for three years.

He retired in 1972 at 74 years of age, and since that time, he has written three books of poetry and several single poems. He was a member of the Gideon Society for several years and during those years preached several sermons. He was a delegate from the Prince Edward Island Teachers’ Federation to the Canadian Teachers’ Federation twice, once in Winnipeg and once in Toronto. Millar’s first train ride was in 1941 when he travelled from Charlottetown to Winnipeg to attend the meeting.

He remembers his first car ride and that was in 1916. A friend of his was driving around and picked him up to take him for a ride. He was much older when he had his first plane trip, when he travelled from Charlottetown to Toronto for a funeral. He said, “It was necessary for me to get to my destination in a hurry, so it was my only choice to go on the plane.”

I asked Millar what his favourite word was. He said “Sui Generis” which means unique, unequalled or unparalleled.

I asked Millar if he had his life to live over again, what would he do differently. He answered, “Nothing different, I have thoroughly enjoyed my life.”

Editor and family notes:

  • Millar lived 99 years, 1 month. He died July 14th, 1997.
  • Clipping about Clyde River School examinations include a thank you letter from students, click here.
  • Millar was principal of Parkdale School during his career. When some of his former pupils had a reunion at the new Parkdale School on Confederation Street, they planted a tree and placed a plaque in the front yard for Millar. It was a very special time for him. He was very proud and overwhelmed.
  • There is a book of Millar MacFadyen’s poetry in the museum collection at the Riverview Community Centre.
  • Millar was also a descendant of Thomas and Jane Beer. Their first daughter Mary Anne (Beer) married Archibald MacFadyen. Their son John Archibald married Sarah Jane (Campbell), and their son was Archibald Millar. Refer to lineage on http://www.janedyment.ca, click here.
  • Both Joanne (MacFadyen) Turner and Jane Dyment who are members of our History Committee are descendants of Mary Anne (Beer) and Archibald MacFadyen. Joanne (MacFadyen) Turner is a descendant of Millar’s older brother Norman, making Millar her great-uncle.
  • Millar was Roger Younker’s grandfather. Roger was the News Anchor for CBC Charlottetown’s Compass program for many years.
Millar's childhood homestead, Bannockburn Road

Millar’s childhood homestead, Bannockburn Road

  • Millar’s home place was on property now owned by the Dixon family on the Bannockburn Road, just a 1/4 mile past the Kingston/Clyde River border on the right-hand side. The house is no longer there.
  • Millar’s mother’s obituary stated she “was taken suddenly ill with heart trouble.” Her children were Norman, Millar, Donald (Eric) (died of T.B. at 21 years old), Margaret (Florence), Jeannette and Alexandrena. Another of her daughters predeceased her, Rebecca Louise at 7 months, 13 days. She was the daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Donald E. Campbell of Darlington. She is buried in the Clyde River Presbyterian Cemetery. More details on obituary and genealogy at www.janedyment.ca, click here.
  • When Millar’s grandparents (Campbell’s) moved to Charlottetown, they lived in a house at the corner of Kirkwood and University Avenue which is now the location of Shopper’s Drug Mart. The home was referred to as Argyle Cottage.

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Argyle - 1It’s summer in Prince Edward Island, a time when aside from all the tourism activity, Islanders travel anywhere from 2 to 30 minutes to stay at their cottages. It’s not that we don’t like our neighbours but it’s just that we have already heard all their stories over the winter and we are in desperate need of some new ones and we are drawn to the shore. We don’t want to move too far away from home because we want to make sure we actually know the characters in the stories.

I am in Argyle Shore. It’s where my parents took us to the shore as children and where my grandparents took my mother and her siblings in summers. My mother’s family went to MacDougall’s shore as they were relations. Our parents took us to Argyle Shore Provincial Park. You could park handy to the water. The Park had picnic tables, play equipment and washrooms close by. There was even a natural spring to keep soft drinks cold. We were fortunate if we didn’t have to stop at the cemetery on the way. My mother liked to walk through, linger and remember Argyle Shore people that she knew as a child.

The Selkirk Settlers’ migration extends to Argyle Shore. It’s MacPhail country for the most part. Historical ties run through communities from here to Wood Islands. In the Murray Diaries (1911-25), there is mention of family from DeSable down for a visit to Clyde River. The DeSable relatives took the Murrays for a drive in their new car in 1922. In Mary Ann MacDougall Darrach’s letters (1904-07), she wrote that she had travelled from Clyde River down to Eldon. I recall her writing how “good it was to see my people”. Grace Seller Inman-Morrison from Argyle Shore was asked what was the greatest thing that happened in her lifetime and she said it was the telephone. When she married and moved to another community, it offered her an opportunity to stay connected to her people.

I am staying on Harvey Inman’s shore, Grace’s son, right beside Argyle Shore Provincial Park. In fact, he manages the Park. On the field below his home place, he has created a small community of cottage dwellers. Many began renting a cottage from Harvey years ago and went on to purchase their own little piece of heaven. It’s a quiet place offering ample time for rest and reflection. As you travel along Route 19, you will see many similar cottage communities in DeSable, Canoe Cove, Rice Point, Nine Mile Creek, Cumberland, Fairview, New Dominion and Meadowbank where friends and relatives reconnect after long winters. There are Islanders, those married to Islanders, long-term summer residents from other parts of Canada and New Englanders for the most part.

There is little in the way of commerce here. The Blue Goose Restaurant and Bakery is in DeSable. Harvey’s store in Crapaud has the largest variety of offerings unless you want to make the trip to Cornwall. Anna’s Country Kitchen even has a drive through. Victoria offers fresh fish, theatre and artisan shops. But there is no need for much. The view of the Northumberland Strait sustains you. I recall when I stayed here years ago for the first time. Harvey told me it was so quiet you could hear the moon come up. Last night’s buck moon, the name for July’s full moon, performed a silver symphony reflected across the strait.

I enjoyed a visit with Harvey and Evelyn last evening and we talked about the Clyde River history lectures we hosted last winter. As a first cousin of Ron MacKinley, he also knows how to tell a tale and he recounted a few stories about playing hockey at North River Rink and the strict loyalties divided by the West River. He had viewed the photos on the Clyde River site and smiled when he saw the men sitting around having a good chat. He said in earlier days, they would have been fierce opponents on the ice.

That’s it for now from across the river on the shores of Argyle. I hear someone playing fiddle music in the distance. Harvey says there’s a wedding on Cranberry Lane.

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Here is a story submitted by Rowena Hickox Stinson, great granddaughter of Robert and Mary Jane Hickox (Spurgeon, grandfather; Lester, father).

John and Sara Hickox emigrated from Portsea, England (present day Portsmouth) in the early 1800’s – sometime between 1804, the last date for baptism of any of their children, and 1812, when there was a rental agreement for 100 acres of land on the Covehead Road.

John and Sara had 11 children. William, their 9th child, married Elizabeth Stead whose family had immigrated about the same time as the Hickox family had and who were probably neighbours in the Little York area.

William and Elizabeth made their home in Bungay, near Hunter River. Their son Robert married Mary Jane Andrews, in January of 1875. Mary Jane’s family had come from Suffolk in the 1840’s and settled in the Wheatley River area.

On May 28, 1878, Robert purchased an acre of land for $80 in Clyde River on the west side of the bridge from Archibald Henderson. There is no mention of a dwelling in the deed, but I suspect that the house already existed, as $80 would have been quite a bit of money for such a small piece of land at that time. Robert and Mary Jane were living at their home in Clyde River in 1879, and are mentioned on the Cornwall Church Circuit and also as a family for visitation in 1880.

They raised a family of nine children:

  1. Jane  – born Jan 20, 1876 (died Feb.)
  2. Elizabeth Jane – born Dec 30, 1877
  3. Robert Spurgeon – born May 16, 1880
  4. Sophia – born Mar 17, 1882
  5. Mary Ann Beatrice – born Mar 18, 1884
  6. Susan Leah – born Mar 12, 1886
  7. Ada Keziah – born Jan 17, 1888
  8. William Benjamin – born Mar 18, 1890
  9. Beecher – born Dec 28, 1891
  10. Sarah Mabel – born Aug 24, 1894
  11. Jessie Myrtle – born Oct 27, 1896

Robert was a butcher by trade and gives that as his occupation in his will. He was also a shoe maker. His grandson, Lester Hickox recalled seeing shoe lasts that belonged to his grandfather.

Unfortunately, Robert died at the age of forty eight, on May 13, 1897, of Bright’s Disease, a kidney disorder that today is completely curable. His daughter Ada recalled sticking needles in her father’s swollen legs to try to drain the fluid from them. She remembered her father as a very nice, gentle man and claimed that her good opinion of men came from her father.

When Robert died, he left Mary Jane all his worldly possessions – live stock, farm implements, wagons, sleighs, furniture, etc. to use as she saw fit. He also willed to her a 3/4 acre lot of land on the east side of the Clyde River with the stipulation that if at any future time his son Spurgeon wanted to build on it, he would have the privilege of doing so.

Although she inherited his estate, life for Mary Jane as a widow must have been very hard with four young children to care for, including 7-month old Myrtle. Although all the children are listed with her in the 1901 Census, by this time, at least two of the children were out of the nest. Fifteen-year-old Leah was working as a housekeeper for Hector and Bertie Murchison and their four young children (their baby was named Leah), and thirteen-year-old Ada was listed as “domestic” with the Drake family (John and Suzannah) in Pownal.

I recall Ada (Hickox) Matheson telling me that she was expected to do “hard work” even though she was really a child herself. Her first attempt at making biscuits was not successful, and she threw them into the woods so no one would know.

In October of 1905, Mary Jane married John Arthur of Mayfield. The marriage took place in her home in Clyde River, but they went to live in Mayfield. Two of the girls, Sophia and Myrtle, were living with them when the census was taken in 1911.

Mary Jane sold the Clyde River property to her son Spurgeon for $100. Two years later, he mortgaged it to Robert MacPhail. Interest was paid yearly and also an annual rent of $12. The mortgage was discharged in full, in April 1910.

John Arthur, who was 20 years older than Mary Jane, died in June of 1913 and left to his wife all his worldly possessions and monetary assets. She would have been better off than after the death of her first husband. I’m not sure exactly when, but Mary Jane moved back to Clyde River to live in the little house with her daughter Sophia who never married.

The women were active in the community and church. A report in The Guardian of December 1936 tells of a Cornwall Missionary Society meeting held at the home of Mr. & Mrs. Archie MacEachern to celebrate the 51st anniversary of the Society which honoured two of their oldest living members. One of those members was Miss Elizabeth Crosby who received a letter of appreciation and a book and the other was Mrs. John Arthur who received a Life Membership Certificate.

Mary Jane and Sophia are also mentioned in an article describing good works done by the ladies of Clyde River in collecting goods and money for the Women’s Patriotic Association during the early days of World War I, when Sophia donated $1.00 and a blanket to the effort. Her mother, Mary Jane, donated two pairs of socks, for which the soldiers in the trenches would likely have been very grateful.

Sophia was a teetotaller, and the story has been told that she would not eat rum and butter toffee because there was rum in it! When Sophia passed away in 1936, after a lengthy illness borne “with true Christian fortitude” which “beautified her soul through suffering”, her obituary also stated that she was a woman of strong Christian character, and the Clyde River Baptist Church had lost one of its’ most faithful and devoted members.

Mary Jane eventually went to live with her daughter Leah who had married Elmer MacNeill, and lived in Charlottetown on what is now Nassau Street. She passed away in 1945 at the age of eighty eight.

Robert, Mary Jane, Sophia, and Elizabeth are buried in the Cornwall United Church Cemetery. As an interesting sidebar to this, in the 1990’s when their grandson Lester Hickox wanted to buy plots in the cemetery, there were four empty graves beside the family, and so one hundred years later, he was buried right beside his grandparents.

Their son Spurgeon lived in the house for a time after his mother’s marriage to John Arthur. He had married Kate Ramsay, a Home Child from Edinburgh, Scotland. Kate had been adopted by Allan and Eliza MacLean who lived on the Meadow Bank Road. In the 1901 Census, she is listed as their adopted daughter, and the date given for her immigration is 1889, which fits with the family oral tradition that she came to Canada from Scotland when she was seven years old.

I recall her telling me when I was little about travelling with Mr. MacLean in a horse and wagon (or buggy) and being teased about her accent when she commented on the “wee block lammies” on the hillside.

The MacLeans were good to her. Mrs. MacLean recognized her musical abilities and paid for music lessons – paid by the “quarter”. These lessons stood her in good stead, and she served for many years as church organist in Bonshaw for both the Baptist and United Churches (although she was Baptist to the core!).

There is a lovely family story about Spurgeon and Kate. Spurgeon’s mother Mary Jane had been a midwife who attended the birth of one of the MacLean children – probably Catherine who was born in April of 1905.  It seems that Mary Jane left her shawl at the MacLean’s, and Kate was sent down the hill to return it. Spurgeon walked her home, and the rest as they say… but before they were married, Kate spent some time in the US and lived for a time in the unlikely place of North Dakota. It seems that she turned down the marriage proposal from a Baptist Minister and came home to Spurgeon. They married on July 1, 1908. This story of the shawl was corroborated by one of the MacLean family descendents recently.

Spurgeon and Kate must have lived in the Clyde River house for a while after their marriage, as their son (my father) Lester was born in the house in June 1909. We would say that our Dad was born in the kitchen, because there had been renovations in the house and a former bedroom became the kitchen.

Eventually, Spurgeon and Kate moved to Bonshaw, where Spurgeon operated a lumber mill on the West River. He also had a ferry service from Bonshaw to Charlottetown during the 1930s which transported passengers and freight on market days. It seems that when the Liberals were in power, Spurgeon had the contract. When the Conservatives were in power, Toff Beaton ran the ferry! Spurgeon built a lovely Arts and Crafts style house on a property near the river, off the St Catherine’s Road beside the mill, but unfortunately the house was abandoned somewhere around the 1960s and fell into disrepair – and eventually the basement.

Kate and Spurgeon were active in the Bonshaw community for many years. She organized concerts and fund raisers for the Women’s Institute and was also church organist. Spurgeon was noted as a craftsman and furniture builder, and, in later years, a builder of hand sleighs. They retired to a home in Parkdale in the 1940s where he had a workshop where he built hand sleighs and many Island children received a sled for Christmas built by Spurgeon. He never did build a house in Clyde River that his father had set aside for him.

As for the other members of the family of Robert and Mary Jane Hickox:

  • Elizabeth Jane (Libby) married her cousin George Hickox. They had twin daughters who died at birth, but they adopted two daughters later on.  Libby was living in Clyde River at the time of her marriage in 1902. She is buried in Cornwall United Church Cemetery.
  • Mary Ann Beatrice (Beatie) married Edmund Waller whose family had imigrated from Australia in 1873. They lived in Charlottetown where Edmund was employed by the Dominion Express Company and later the Canadian Express Company. (These were Bill Waller’s parents.)
  • Susan “Leah” married Elmer MacNeill from Fairview. They lived in Charlottetown on Nassau Street and raised a family of six. Elmer was a carpenter and was one of the workers who constructed the United Church in Cornwall. Leah made the best sugar cookies known to a child. (Leah’s daughter Kathleen was married to Ivan MacNevin.)
  • Ada Keziah was listed as a domestic in the 1901 Census. She had gone to live with her aunt, Margaret Heartz (sister of her father) when she was nine and lived with her for two years. She returned home for a short time and then went to live and work for her cousin, a son of Margaret Heartz, who had just gotten married. She was paid $3.00 per month, much of which went to help her mother. I recall her telling me she had to do “hard farm work”. Ada married Jack Matheson, a farmer, on June 18, 1908 and they had a large family of about fourteen children.
  • William “Benjamin” and his brother Beecher left PEI sometime after 1910 and went to the west on a Harvest Excursion. They purchased quarter sections of land there and farmed for a time near Gravelburg, Saskatchewan. Ben eventually gave up farming and became the custodian of a school in Briarcrest, about 25 miles SE of Moose Jaw. He never returned to PEI, but several years ago, his grandson Ron and his wife Bernadette came from Prince Albert to seek out some of the places his grandfather would have known.
  • Beecher went west with his brother but return to PEI and lived in Montague, where his wife Ina Halliday was a school teacher. Beecher worked as a cook on ships with the Coast Guard. He died in 1966 and is buried in Montague Community Cemetery.
  • Jessie Myrtle and her sister Sarah Mabel (Sadie) were both baptised in 1899, two years after the death of their father. She married George MacNeil and had four children. Her daughter Irene was raised by her sister Sadie, as Jessie died in 1925 of tuberculosis. (Jessie Myrtle’s daughter was Norma MacNeill Campbell, married to Heber Campbell.)
  • Sarah Mabel (Sadie) married Clint Goodall and lived in Cherryfield, NB, just outside Moncton. They had a farm and market garden, and during the Second War, Clint would take the truck into Moncton and round up service men who were there on leave and bring them back to the farm, where Sadie would have a hearty home cooked meal prepared. They were very welcoming people, and a visit to their home always began with big hugs. They had no children of their own but raised Irene MacNeil who was Sadie’s niece.

I’m not sure just when Mary Jane (Andrews Hickox) Arthur left Clyde River to retire to the home of her daughter Leah MacNeill, but I imagine it would have been some time in the early 1940s, taking away the last presence of the Hickox family in Clyde River. The family was there for perhaps close to seventy years, from the mid 1870’s to the late 1930s or early ‘40s, and from there their descendants have gone far and wide, carrying the influence of that little house with them.

The house was lived in until perhaps the mid 1970s, when it was pulled down or fell down and replaced by the bungalow that still stands on the property.

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Leonard Cusack’s presentation was excellent yesterday and we had our highest turnout yet at 70 people, including folks with ancestral connections to staff or patients at the sanatorium in Emyvale. Leonard did a thorough job of capturing this important and all but forgotten time in our history in the book, A Magnificent Gift Declined: The Dalton Sanatorium of Prince Edward Island, available at the UPEI Bookstore.

So many young lives were cut short with TB in the early part of the last century and, in some cases, parents lost many of their children. To honour their brief lives, I thought we could gather some names of those from Clyde River and neighbouring communities on our website as a memorial.

Please send information to vivian@eastlink.ca. Include their names, parent’s or spouse’s name, the year of their death and their age or as much of this information as you have. We also welcome you to send photos and add any memories or stories you know of them. Please check back to this page as we build our memorial.

Amy and Albert Mayhew-Amy Ann Beer Mayhew, died 1904, age 29, daughter of James and Mary Ann (Livingstone) Beer, and her husband Alfred Edward Mayhew, died 1900, age 29. They were married in 1895. (picture featured)

“…He was patiently and tenderly nursed by his wife. Three years later her own health began to fall and it soon became apparent that the disease which has claimed her husband had fastened itself upon her, also.” (newspaper clipping)

-Angus and Jane Darrach lost seven children to Tuberculosis: Hector (age 19 1862), Sarah (age 30 1865), Mary (age 22 1866), Jane (age 19 1866), Angus (age 19 1866), Archibald (age 19 1870) and Duncan (age 26 1875). Buried St. Catherine’s Pioneer Cemetery

-In letters of Mary Ann MacDougall Darrach, she mentions in a March 17, 1905 letter the death of Mabel Cruwys from Kingston who lived in Boston and was only married 6 months to John Edwards before she died of consumption. Buried Kingston Cemetery.

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I have been doing some research recently and taking a look at the list of passengers on the Spencer 1806, the voyage that brought my Darrach ancestors to PEI from Colonsay, Scotland. The family names are common to us in Clyde River, but many of these families settled in the Wood Islands area. The Darrachs and MacPhees (McDuff/Duffie) settled in the Clyde River and Dunedin area. We already know of Darrach descendants that went to Florida, New England states, Washington state and New Zealand.

In the age of the internet, I would be curious to determine where descendants of these families are living just over 200 years later. We invite descendants of the Spencer 1806 to connect with us either by adding a comment to this article or by emailing vivian@eastlink.ca. Please include the passenger name(s) you are a descendant of, where you live and, as Islanders, we like to hear a little interesting news. We know that we have a broad geographic audience, so this might be a good chance to hear from you. Also, if anyone knows where these ancestors on the passenger list were laid to rest, please add that as well. Feel free to forward this article to those who would have an interest in this project.

Spencer 1806 Passenger List – Names and ages at the time of passage from Colonsay to PEI:

  1. Bell, Angus 24 – son of Malcolm and Flora (McPhee) Bell
  2. Bell, Archibald 25 – Wood Islands Pioneer Cemetery
  3. Bell, Catherine 10
  4. Bell, Dougald 25 – married to Catherine McEacharn
  5. Bell, Duncan 7 – (1797-1877) – son of Dougald and Catherine (MacEachern) Bell
  6. Bell, Duncan 78 – married to Mary McDuff (MacPhee)
  7. Bell, Flora 9 – daughter of Dougald and Catherine (MacEachern) Bell
  8. Bell, Janet 18 – son of Malcolm and Flora (McPhee) Bell
  9. Bell, Janet 5 – daughter of John and Grace Bell
  10. Bell, John 3 – son of John and Grace Bell – married Sarah Darrach, Malcolm’s daughter
  11. Bell, John 40 – son of Malcolm and Flora (McPhee) Bell – married Marion Grace McCannel)
  12. Bell, Malcolm 65 – married to Flora McDuffie (McPhee) – 4 children
  13. Bell, Margaret 1.5 – daughter of John and Grace Bell
  14. Bell, Marion 34 – daughter of Duncan Bell – married to Donald McNeil
  15. Bell, Mary 13 – daughter of John and Grace Bell
  16. Bell, Mary 26 – married Hector MacMillan
  17. Bell, Nelly 12
  18. Brown, Flora 58 – married to Duncan Munn
  19. Brown, Nancy 23
  20. Buchanan, Flora 52 – married to Malcolm McEachern
  21. Campbell, Hector 30
  22. Campbell, John 1
  23. Campbell, Neil 3
  24. Currie, Catharine 22
  25. Currie, Catherine 26
  26. Currie, James 2 – Wood Islands Pioneer Cemetery
  27. Currie, James 25
  28. Currie, James 30
  29. Currie, Jane 21 – married to Dougald MacLean
  30. Currie, Janet 55
  31. Currie, Mary 7 mos. – daughter of Nancy (MacPhee) and James Currie
  32. Darroch, Angus 60 – Duncan’s father – Owned property on St. Peters Road – Old Protestant Burying Ground, University Ave., plot 42 – Descendants
  33. Darroch, Archibald 20 – Duncan’s brother – Married Jane McPhee – children were Angus (St Catherine’s Pioneer Cemetery) and Neil.
  34. Darroch, Catherine 30 – Duncan’s sister – married to Gilbert McAldridge (McAlder) – 4 children passengers
  35. Darroch, Duncan 28 – (1775-1853) – married Margaret MacMillan, oldest child of Malcolm and Grace MacMillan – first lived on Colville Road and then moved to Clyde River –  St. Catherine’s Pioneer Cemetery – Descendants
  36. Darroch, James 32 – Duncan’s brother
  37. Darroch, John 3 – Clyde River Presbyterian Cemetery – son of Duncan Darrach and Margaret McMillan – see note #3 below – Descendants
  38. Darroch, Malcolm 20 – (1786-1864) Covehead – see note #5 below – Descendants
  39. Darroch, Rachael 37 – Duncan’s sister
  40. Livingston, Margaret 32
  41. Livingston, Mary 32 – married to Malcolm McNeil – 4 children
  42. McAldridge, Alexander 5 – son of Gilbert and Catherine (Darroch) McAldridge or McAlder
  43. McAldridge, Gilbert 38 – married to Catherine Darroch
  44. McAldridge, John 1 – son of Gilbert and Catherine (Darroch) McAldridge or McAlder
  45. McAldridge, John 7 – son of Gilbert and Catherine (Darroch) McAldridge or McAlder
  46. McAldridge, Peter 3 – son of Gilbert and Catherine (Darroch) McAldridge or McAlder
  47. McAlister, Effy 60 – married to Angus Darroch – Old Protestant Burying Ground, University Ave.
  48. McDonald, Christian 36
  49. McDougald, Peter 33
  50. McDuff, Catherine 9 – daughter of Donald and Sarah McPhee
  51. McDuff, Donald 2.5 – son of Donald and Sarah McPhee
  52. McDuff, Dougald 17 – son of Donald and Sarah McPhee – later married Flora Shaw and had 11 children – lived in West River – son Donald had a shipbuilding business – McPhee’s Creek runs through property
  53. McDuff, Duncan 54 – aka Donald McPhee – married to Mary aka Sarah McNeil – 7 children, also passengers – settled in West River (Dunedin), PEI
  54. McDuff, Effy 5 – daughter of Donald and Sarah McPhee
  55. McDuff, Jane 14 – daughter of Donald and Sarah McPhee – married Archibald Darrach
  56. McDuff, Margaret 20 – daughter of Donald and Sarah McPhee
  57. McDuff, Mary 72 – Duncan (Donald) McPhee’s mother
  58. McDuff, Nancy 19 – daughter of Donald and Sarah McPhee – married to James Currie
  59. McDuffie, Flora 41
  60. McEacharn, Ann 19 – daughter of Malcolm and Flora (Buchanan) McEachern – married to Hector McNeill
  61. McEacharn, Archibald 30 – son of Malcolm and Flora (Buchanan) McEachern
  62. McEacharn, Catherine 27 – married to Dougald Bell – two children
  63. McEacharn, Donald 22 – son of Malcolm and Flora (Buchanan) McEachern
  64. McEacharn, Malcolm 58 – married to Flora Buchanan
  65. McEacharn, Malcolm 3
  66. McEacharn, Mary 28
  67. McEachern, Angus 12 – Cornwall United Church Cemetery?
  68. McEachern, Angus 32 – son of Malcolm and Flora (Buchanan) McEachern
  69. McEachern, James 1.5
  70. McEachern, Neil 7
  71. McLean, Alexander 2 – son of Dougald and Jane (Currie) McLean – Settled in Lot 16
  72. McLean, Allan 6.5 – son of Dougald and Jane (Currie) McLean – Settled in Lot 16
  73. McLean, Catherine 35
  74. McLean, Dougald 32 – married to Jane Currie
  75. McLean, Gilbert 3 mos. – son of Dougald and Jane (Currie) McLean
  76. McMillan, Alexander 14 – married Janet Bell
  77. McMillan, Betty 18 – daughter of Malcolm and Grace McMillan – married James Munn
  78. McMillan, Catherine 1 – daughter of Malcolm and Grace McMillan – married Malcolm Smith
  79. McMillan, Duncan 4 – son of Malcolm and Grace McMillan – married Mary Shaw
  80. McMillan, Flora 51
  81. McMillan, Flora 8 – daughter of Malcolm and Grace McMillan – married Magnus MacDonald – Wood Islands Pioneer Cemetery
  82. McMillan, Hector 13 – son of Malcolm and Grace McMillan – married Mary Bell
  83. McMillan, James 19 – son of Malcolm and Grace McMillan – married to Ann Munn – Wood Islands Pioneer Cemetery
  84. McMillan, Malcolm Hector 48 – aka Calum Eachan – married to Grisael (Grace) (McNeil) McMillan – 11 children
  85. McMillan, Malcolm 10 – married Christena Currie – Wood Islands Pioneer Cemetery
  86. McMillan, Margaret 26 – (1781-1853) – St. Catherine’s Pioneer Cemetery
  87. McMillan, Murdoch 55 – Malcolm’s brother – 1st person to be buried in Wood Islands Pioneer Cemetery – 1807
  88. McMillan, Sophia 3.5 – daughter of Malcolm and Grace McMillan – later married Donald Blue
  89. McMunn, Angus 31
  90. McNeil Malcolm 51 – married to Mary Livingston
  91. McNeil, Alex 26 – (1779-1863) – son of Dougald and Flora (McMillan) McNeil –  married Margaret McPhee (McDuff)
  92. McNeil, Charles 15 – son of Dougald and Flora (McMillan) McNeil –  St. Catherine’s Pioneer Cemetery
  93. McNeil, Donald 2 – son of Donald and Marion (Bell) McNeil – later married Mary McMillan – Wood Islands Pioneer Cemetery
  94. McNeil, Dougald, 60 – married to Flora McMillan
  95. McNeil, Grisael 40 – married to Malcolm McMillan – parents of Margaret McMillan Darrach – daughter of Hector and Ann (McEachern) McNeil – Wood Islands Pioneer Cemetery
  96. McNeil, Hector 27 – (1779-1838) – married to Ann McEachern
  97. McNeil, Isabella 7 – daughter of Dougald and Flora (McMillan) McNeil
  98. McNeil, John 14 – son of Hector and Ann (McEachern) McNeil – Wood Islands Pioneer Cemetery
  99. McNeil, Malcolm 5 – son of Donald and Mary (Livingston) McNeil
  100. McNeil, Mary 40
  101. McNiel, Donald 34 – son of Malcolm and Mary (Livingston) McNeil – married to Marion Bell
  102. McNiel, Dougald 12
  103. McNiel, Jennet – daughter of Hector and Ann (McEachern) McNeil
  104. McNiel, Margaret 21 – daughter of Dougald and Flora (McMillan) McNeil – married to Angus Munn
  105. McPhaden, Christine 27
  106. Munn, Ann 17 – daughter of Duncan and Flora (Brown) Munn – later married to James McMillan
  107. Munn, Catherine 7 mos.
  108. Munn, Duncan 60 –  married to Flora Brown – Wood Islands Pioneer Cemetery
  109. Munn, Effy 15 – daughter of Duncan and Flora (Brown) Munn
  110. Munn, James 20 – married to Betty McMillan – Wood Islands Pioneer Cemetery
  111. Munn, Malcolm 23
  112. Munn, Neil 28 – married to Catherine Currie – Wood Islands Pioneer Cemetery
  113. Patterson, Dolly 70
  114. Shaw, Donald 30 – married Angus Darroch’s daughter, Nancy

References and notes:

  1. They landed at Pinette on September 22, 1806 and stayed for the winter in quarters provided by Lord Selkirk. The following Spring, they moved to Wood Islands. They camped near the shore below where the pioneer cemetery was later located. Murdoch MacMillan was the first person to be buried there in 1807. – Genealogy of MacMillan Family
  2. History of Clan MacMillan
  3. More details at Colonsay Register
  4. McDuff’s and Mcduffee’s are McPhee’s
  5. Island Register – Duncan Darrach Family
  6. Could be Duncan Bell (Jr.) genealogy
  7. Malcolm Darrach’s son was a shipbuilder, built brig “Pakeha” and in December 1864, along with a crew and 32 passengers including his wife and family set sail for New Zealand. PEI Archives – Passenger List for Pakeha
  8. Wood Island’s Pioneer Cemetery
  9. Voyage of the Spencer, by Hector John Munn
  10. The Americans, the Earl of Selkirk, and Colony’s 1806 Emigrants to Prince Edward Island, John W. Sheets

Editor’s Note: Check back regularly to this article, as I will update information on passengers when I receive it from descendants. We are already receiving high interest in this project.

If this little social experiment works well, we can try this again with other ship passenger lists that have connections to Clyde River.

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