A Letter to Campbeltown dated September 1835

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A Letter to Campbeltown dated September 1835

Postby cgms310 » Tue Jun 03, 2008 10:34 pm

During renovations at the home of my brother John in Essex, England, his wife came across the following letter from a Hector Kelly to his brother Peter Kelly of Darlochan, Campbeltown. This was e-maled to me less that 30 minutes ago.

If anyone knows any of the folk mentioned or is related in some way, PLEASE let me know, as the village where Hector wrote this letter from is only an hour from my front door and I am sure their ancestors are still here.

It seems that a large number of "Campbeltonians" emigrated to Canada as a group and started a small community together here in Ontario. Hector is the local school teacher and is reluctant to charge the families the full tuition price, because he knows them all!!!! He also makes mention of my great great grandfather Alexander and his wife Catherine (nee Kelly) who was Hector's sister.

OK, the letter:

Faded double page letter written to Peter Kelly, Darlochan, Campbeltown, folded and sealed with wax.


Township of Vaughan, Lot 30 Concepcion
The 21st September 1835

My dear Brother and Friends,

No doubt but that you are surprised that you had no answer to yours of 22 of July 1824, but it happened to be in the post office of a small village called Loyd for the space of seven months as it appears that all the letters for the township of King is sent to the said post office, it was the month of June before it came to hand and it was the 5th July ere I had the pleasure off seeing it. I have been in the Township of King on the 4th of this month seeing Archibald who was that day housing the first of his wheat, and got two stacks in that day, and has the making of another stacks to first cut and about the making of another two stacks to cut. These were two acres of wheat destroyed by the frost on the 11th August, not worth the shearing also a part of his potatoes was destroyed at the same time as the harvest has been twenty days later the wheat has in consequence, on the 24th and 25th of August we had 48 hours of a thick fog accompanied with rain, the wheat in general received considerable damage, particularly the wheat that lodged and even the wheat that was standing upright began to spring and grow. I had seen Archibald on Saturday the 13th of Sept. at our meeting house who told me that he had all his wheat secure, and by this time I think that he will have all his oats secure, which consisted of 3 acres and one of Peas and half acre of barley, these 6 years, had they good weather in the harvest time. I am sorry to inform you of the death of Catherine, Archibald’s daughter, who died on 16th August 1834 and was buried in his own land. Mary Mitchell was in bad health for the space of seven months in consequence of having an untimeous birth in the month of January last, but she is getting pretty stout and is again in the family way. On that account Archd. did not get on with his chopping in the winter and spring as he would require, but he chopped 5 acres which is clear and ready to sow and he was speaking of burning the stubble of 5 acres where he had the wheat sown this harvest and sow it again which will give as good wheat perhaps as he had this year.
I know some that had excellent wheat on what they had burned and sown last year, he has not yet built a barn but intends to have one built next summer, they build their barns in this County that large as to contain their whole crop. He has a shade thatcher with straw and a dale floor that may do him this season, but I do not consider that this is the greatest difficulty but sending his grain to market, the nearest place that he can drive to k is at least 18 miles and that same is during the snow and the cold of winter, in fact that is the only time that the roads is good and that they can send their goods to market, it is tiresome having to drive with oxen until they can come the length of having a pair of horse, and a wagon, a pair of horses and a sleigh brings a good load to market, and runs on the snow with amazing swiftness, even when loaded and all the horse must have bells on them on account of the furious driving and the sleigh having no noise to warn the travellers. I have been in this town ship since the 1st of July 1834 keeping a school. I had not thought of applying at the time, but I was sent for repeatedly and I consented to see the place, and before I returned I agreed to give it a trial, and have been here ever since that time; they are people from Kintyre in general that is in this neighbourhood, and I am boarded with a Mr Donald Cameron who is from Southend and his father was with Carskey, and is by a second marriage married to a daughter of Alexn, Armour late in Kelchusbanach, they are in very good circumstances and a respectable family, he is meeting Elders and Treasurer in our Church, the church is about 4 miles from the Schoolhouse, he is Mr McSaughton from Perthshire that is our Minister, preaches Galic this forenoon and English in the afternoon. In the month of Dec. or the last Monday of December, I went to Toronto and applied for the Government money, and am being examined in part, I received £5 and on being examined again on the last Monday of July for the finishing Examination I received £6.5 which made in whole £11.5 currancy and I am now on the 3 half year which ends on the last Monday of December. The Board of Education consists of three of the Gentlemen of the Legislative Council, the Hon. And Very Rev. the Archdeacon of Toronto, the Hon. Col. Allan, VGS. The Archdeacon is the one that examines, he is a nice well disposed gentleman, he is from Aberdeenshire. The teachers I understand have got a bill passed, but not as yet payed the Superior Council. We are obliged to five in quarterly reports every quarter with the number of Scholars and their age and signed by the three Trustees of the School board, School wages per quarter runs with me from 7/6 to 9/6, I charge according as they are able, some charges 10/- for each Scholar per quarter, but as they are generally from the old country and some of them old acquaintances, I do not wish to charge more. I have no reason to complain of my health, I have no cough and I feel a little short of breath some mornings, but I can get good food and rest at night, I complain very much of the rheumatism in both my knees, but I consider it is owing in a great measure to the severity of the cold we had in this country last winter, they way it exceeded the worst that has been these last 23 years, it has not been much warmer last summer that it is generally in Kintyre with the exception of a few days that has been very hot. I have seen Doctor Allison and his wife from the village of Southend they live about 8 miles from where I lodge, they are both well and had a part of the news from the old country. Where I am is 23 miles from Toronto, Archibald’s place is seven miles to the north of the Schoolhouse. John Mitchell Archd. brother-in-law was uncommon ill with the cholera and had not been very well during the Winter and Spring, he is aboard a steamboat since the month of May on Lach (lake) Ontario and is quite well. Cholera made a great havock in this country last year and there was a great many deaths within a mile and a half of where I stop. There has not been anything of it in North America, the season of ague is very prevalent just now in this Township. I concluded, May the great God bless you all, If Dugald has wrote, I have not received any letters when you persue this please forward it to Alex’r Stewart in Glasgow, who will forward it to Girvan. Archibald and his wife wished to be remembered to the friends in Kintyre, Glasgow and Girvan, I sincerely do the same. I hope to hear from you all as soon as possible and direct to me, as the letter will come from Milburn to this township. I am sorry to hear of what has happened to the Rev. Mr. Kelly and would be happy to hear what is became of him, any of you that wishes to write please direct H.K. Teacher, Township of Vaughan, lot 30 Concepcion, c/o Mr Dug. McMillan, Smith, Milburn by Toronto. I remain with my kindest wishes and respects to you all, and I remain My Dear Brother and friends Yours Sincerely, Hector Kelly.

Appended at the end of the letter.

Price of wheat 5/-
Whiskey per gallon 2/- but bad stuff
Brandy per gallon 7/-
Butter sevenpence halfpenny
Eggs 6d
Oats 2/2 per bushel
Potatoes 1/3 per bushel
Payment of wages per year £24 - £30
(Some items illegible due to fading)
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Re: A Letter to Campbeltown dated September 1835

Postby Bobbie En Tejas » Wed Jun 04, 2008 1:25 pm

What a find!
Some people die at 21 but aren't buried until they are 65.
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Re: A Letter to Campbeltown dated September 1835

Postby cgms310 » Wed Jun 04, 2008 3:25 pm

Hi Bobbie,

Yes what an amazing letter eh?

After I received it last night I stayed up until past midnight researching all of Hector's brothers and sisters. I came up with 12 children born in Campbeltown to Andrew Kelly and his wife Mary (nee: McMurchy)

Catherine Kelly b. 1800 ( my g.g. grandmother)
Jean Kelly b. 08/11/1801
John Kelly b. 30/12/1802
Donald Kelly b. 20/08/1804 (may have died as an infant because the name was used again 10 years later *)
Alexander Kelly b. 18/03/1806
Andrew Kelly b. 29/03/1808
James Kelly b. 20/04/1810
Grisell Kelly b. 02/04/1812
Donald Kelly b. 28/04/1814 *
Hector Kelly b. 18/07/1817 (author of the letter)
Mary Kelly b. 30/11/1819
Peter Kelly b. 13/11/1822 (original recipient of the letter, later forwarded to my g.g. grandfather Alexander Stewart in Glasgow)

Footnote:

Here are some of the Campbeltown names from the letter, which when seen apart from its content, may jog someone’s memory:

Archibald (a farmer) appears several times within this letter, but I do not know of whom he speaks. There is no Archibald Kelly so it must be a close family friend. When I find out, I will post it right here.

Donald Cameron of Southend. His father's second wife is a daughter of Alexander Armour of Kelchusbanach.

Anyone know what "Carskey" was? Could it be a local business or farm name?

Dr. Allison and his wife were from Southend village.

John Mitchell. Apparently struck with cholera but recovering on a boat in Lake Ontario!

The Rev. Kelly. Apparently had some type of accident and Hector is asking how he is doing.

Regards,

Charles.

PS:
This morning, I found an an old survey map of the area dated 1878. Lot 30 (from his address) can be seen south of the main road to Toronto. Lloydtown (he called it Loyd)is also clearly marked.

I next went to MapQuest only to find Lloydtown "is no more". It is now part of a town called Schomberg. I did however find a current map of the area and low and behold, the streets match exactly! Even the road names have remained (Queen Street, Victoria Street and Centre Street) which was another great find.

I guess I know where I am going this weekend!!
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Re: A Letter to Campbeltown dated September 1835

Postby sooze » Wed Jun 04, 2008 7:31 pm

Carskiey (as it is spelt now) is an estate with a large house and home farm south of the village of Southend and land extends towards the Mull of Kintyre lighthouse.

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Re: A Letter to Campbeltown dated September 1835

Postby cgms310 » Thu Jun 05, 2008 3:38 am

Hi Sooze!

Many thanks for that. It makes sense from the way in which it is used in the letter.

Regards,


Charles.
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Re: A Letter to Campbeltown dated September 1835

Postby cgms310 » Thu Jun 05, 2008 3:16 pm

OK same letter, different question.

This letter was addressed to Peter Kelly. Darlochan, Campbeltown

Is Darlochan also a farm? I ask, because I see a large number of Stewart's in the 1841, 1851, 1861 and 1871 census living there and these may well be the missing "link" to my Campbeltown family.

One of the other letters addressed to Mrs. Archibald Stewart shows the address of Kilkenzie c/o Andrew Kelly, Lochend, Campbeltown, which if I am not mistaken is also close to Darlochan?

Regards,


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Re: A Letter to Campbeltown dated September 1835

Postby Mary G » Thu Jun 05, 2008 3:53 pm

Hi Charles

Darlochan is a farm name. You can often get good results like this from Google maps: http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?sourceid=navclient&hl=en-GB&ie=UTF-8&&q=darlochan

Over the years many farms have been subdivided, or merged with neighbouring farms. So while the farm name may be maintained, it might not operate as a self-contained farm, as is the case here ... I think ... I am sure someone will keep me straight on this ;-).

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Re: A Letter to Campbeltown dated September 1835

Postby Mags B » Thu Jun 05, 2008 4:08 pm

Darlochan is a farm very near Kilkenzie. If you go on to Google Earth, and search for Campbeltown, you can then scroll west a few miles to see the airport runway. Darlochan is very close to it, and you can see the village of Kilkenzie less than a mile to the north.

If you scroll south you can find Carskiey marked, unfortunately covered by cloud, but if you click on the blue dots you will find photos of Carskiey beach. Amazing!!
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Re: A Letter to Campbeltown dated September 1835

Postby Mags B » Thu Jun 05, 2008 4:15 pm

Great minds think alike Mary!! I must have been browsing Google Earth while you were making that post.

Also, think that Darlochan as marked on Google Earth is actually West Darlochan - and East Darlochan (known as Rhoin Farm) is the next farm to the right which can also be seen on Google Earth but is not named.

Hope I am right with this!!
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Re: A Letter to Campbeltown dated September 1835

Postby cgms310 » Thu Jun 05, 2008 5:43 pm

Many thanks Mary and Mags!

I will check out the Google earth link, thank you.

As for Darlochan, the census of 1841 and 1851 show their abode as Darlochan, however in the 1861 census it is shown as West Darlochan, so you are correct , once again!!!

Best regards,



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Re: A Letter to Campbeltown dated September 1835

Postby Mary G » Thu Jun 05, 2008 8:23 pm

Mags B will know what she is talking about here!

I had half a clue about the whole East/ West Darlochan thing, however, wasn't entirely sure.

There is a whole different - yet related - topic here, of farm names, and how they have evolved over the centuries. One of the key movers in the Kintyre Antiquarian & Natural History Society has made a study of this. She herself is a farmer's daughter, and knows the script, so to speak.

The usual contacts, including the ubiquitious Angus Martin, would put anyone on the right tracks on this topic - if you find that you need to explore more. http://www.kintyremag.co.uk/#For
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Re: A Letter to Campbeltown dated September 1835

Postby History » Thu Jun 05, 2008 8:58 pm

Hi Charles

The Stewart family farmed at Darlochan in the 1800's. I believe the wife's maiden name was McKinley. There were 6 children.

The farm was sold some time in the 1950's and the remaining 3 descendents moved into Campbeltown. I know they had a relative who went to Ohio and settled in Cincinnatti.

Not sure if any of that is relevant to your story or your search for the Stewarts.

The 3 remaining descendants were called William, Katie and Archie

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Re: A Letter to Campbeltown dated September 1835

Postby cgms310 » Thu Jun 05, 2008 11:15 pm

Good evening "History"!

Thank you so very much for the information concerning Darlochan.

Is there somewhere I can view your findings or are they from the general Scottish Census records? The names certainly "fit" into the family, who were swamped with Archie’s and the like!!! William is less popular, but then again, just when you think you have found all you can, something else pop's up out of nowhere!

The Ohio is interesting also. Do you happen to know what time period that event took place? I ask only because the US is "swamped" with Stewart's and half of those take their name (God love them) from their slave masters! It could take me another 25 years to sort them all out!!!

Best regards,



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Re: A Letter to Campbeltown dated September 1835

Postby History » Fri Jun 06, 2008 7:15 am

Charles,

Agnes McKinley** married Alexander Stewart in 1872 and farmed at Darlochan.

They had six children. Agnes, Archy, Catherine (Katie), Jessie, Mary and William.

Katie, Archy and Willie retired from the farm and moved to a house in Kilkerran Road in the 1950's Neither of the three were married.

** It was Agnes's brother Archy McKinley who went to America in 1853 so there is no connection with the Stewarts that I am aware of other than his daughter who was born during the American Civil war was sent home from ohio sometime in the 1860's to be brought up at Darlochan farm by the Stewarts. She was married from there 20 odd years later.............but that's another whole different story and not related to your own :D ? (I don't think??)

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Re: A Letter to Campbeltown dated September 1835

Postby cgms310 » Fri Jun 06, 2008 2:07 pm

Good morning History!

Thank you again for all the information. You are someone I would like to talk to regarding the area and the families. If you would like to send me a PM with your phone number and I will give you a call when convenient!

I did look at the following census records for 1841, 51, 61and 81.

1841
DARLOCHAN
Archibald Stewart b. 1791
Mary Stewart b. 1801
Children:
Robert Stewart b. 1821
Dugald Stewart b. 1826
Alexander Stewart b. 1827
Duncan Stewart b. 1829
Catherine Stewart b. 1831
Isabella Stewart b. 1834
Archibald Stewart b. 1837
Mary Stewart b. 1839

1851
DARLOCHAN
Archibald I must assume has passed.
Mary b. 1801
Children:
Robert b. 1822 (1841 shown as 1821)
Dugald b. 1824 (1841 shown as 1826)
Alexander b. 1825 (1841 shown as 1827)
Duncan is not shown.
Catherine b. 1832 (1841 shown as 1831)
Isabel Stewart b. 1834 (name spelling differs from 1841 but date is a match)
Archibald b. 1837 (match to 1841)
Mary b. 1840 (1841 shown as 1840)

1861
WEST DARLOCHAN
Mary b. 1800 now aged 61
issue:
Robert aged 39 b. 1822
Dugald is not shown.
Alexander aged 33 b. 1828
Catherine aged 28 b. 1833
Isabella aged 26 b. 1835
Archibald aged 24 b. 1837
Mary aged 21 b. 1840

I was unable to locate a census record for 1871, so I moved onto the 1881 records:

1881
WEST DARLOCHAN
Mary I must assume has passed.
-------------------------------------
Archibald aged 44 b. 1837 (shown as a crofter)
Malcolm aged 42 (a cousin?) b. 1839
Mary aged 31 (should be 41) b. 1840 (I guess a lady never tells!!!!)
Hugh aged 36 (another cousin?) b. 1845

Please let me know if this fits into what you have, or perhaps opens other doors, particularly with regard to Malcolm and Hugh, who are “new to me”.

Best regards,


Charles.
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