Letters from Lanark–Thomas Ferguson and Mary Barr

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Letters from Lanark–Thomas Ferguson and Mary Barr

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Thomas Ferguson and Mary Barr 

FERGUSON Thomas Dalhousie con 3 lot 26E Mon 7 day 23 year 1821

Dear Brother and Sister:

I received yours on the 17th of March. I was down in Lanark when I received you letter and on the way home, I was taken suddenly bad with pain in the stomach and bowels and in that state it was tight times with me to get the home of Hugh Hunter on the night of the 17th and on the 18th we found it prudent to send for Dr. Murray for we was afraid it was inflammation but on his arrival he dispelled that doubt for he said it was a windy colic and I am getting better. Mother and Mary is in some measure of health when I parted with them on the 19th, for Mother has been with Mary since the death of our Father and for a considerable time before it. Thomas came home from the shanty on the 17th of said month and he has not been very well since for I expect that it is the cold he has caught. You wanted to know if Thomas was at home the time of the storm. No. He was at the shanty, likewise you want to know all the particulars concerning the death of our Father.

He was at Hunters all the time of his illness. He, for 2 days after he arrived at Hugh’s, his throat swelled but the swelling fell immediately after and on the Wednesday before he died he was considerably better for he was reading at Chambers Journal more than the half of the day but on the day following he was much worse for he complained of stitches in his chest and body and on Friday he was still getting weaker and Friday night Hugh left home and came up to inform us that he was making worse and on Saturday morning Hugh and I left home to go down but to our great surprise when we arrived he was gone; a lifeless corpse so there was no person there but mother and Mary and the 2 children when he died., on the night of Friday after Hugh left home, he began to think that death was approaching but had no idea that it was so nigh at hand for he was quite and considerably composed.

He would not lie in the bunk nor bed but to have his made at the fire. It was between 12 and 1 o’clock when Mother lay down to take little repose for she was tired out. Mary lay down with the children for they were both badly at the time and she spoke several to her Father but he give all at the times a sharp answer and Mother rose after Mary had spoken to him but he had drawn his last breath and this was about 2 o’clock in the morning and we removed his corpse home on the 1st of March and he was interred on the 2nd on the third line of Lanark beside his son James.

We received a letter from Aunt Love on the 28th of February. John Love is in very poor health, likewise Aunt Taylor and there are some more particulars concerning Uncle Williams’ death and widow but I have not time at present to write them down. I wrote a letter——–this time a good way on to Mysena to (Jane) Telling her what has happened likewise I sent one to George (Sheare) and one to John Love and I was going to write to Uncle Nathanial but you informed me that you was going to write to him which will save me the trouble.

I now commence to inform you that our Father died without making any will and you will be heir according to law; so I want an immediate settlement for Mr. D that is in Quebec, the creditors are pushing me pretty hard for it but I will keep them at bay till I get things settled so I only hope you will consider the matter and come up and we will make a definite settlement so I add no more at present so I remain your Brother until Death.

Alan Ferguson

At bottom of letter written with different pen and ink and maybe by a different person, Allan Ferguson of Dalhousie 1850, John Ferguson, Thomas Ferguson, James Ferguson, Sarah Ferguson, Mary Ferguson, Jane Ferguson.

The original letter is in the possession of  Grant Davis McFarlane R.R. #1, Lanark, Ontario.

Mary is in the 1851 Census, age 70, living with her daughter Mary Ann and son-in-law Hugh Hunter. In 1861 she is back on her original homestead, living with her son Allan who has inherited the farm. The homestead has returned to forest and only a small excavation remains to show where the original house stood. Flowers and rhubarb still grow in the overgrown clearing. The St. James Ferguson Cemetery is located in the churchyard of the abandoned St. James Church on Concession Line 2 in Dalhousie.

Thos. Ferguson Pioneer Cemetery

Lot 26E1/2 Con 3, Dalhousie Township

Burials – 1835 to 1860

The Thomas Ferguson Cemetery

In 1821, Thomas Ferguson, his wife Mary Barr and children, John, Jean, James, Thomas, Mary Ann, and Sarah immigrated from Johnstone, Scotland to settle on the E 1/2 lot 26, conc. 3, Dalhousie Township.

This corner of that lot became to family burial ground.

Known to be buried here:

Thomas 1783 – 1846

Son – James – 1811 – 1835

Daughter – Sarah – 1819 – 1860

Granddaughter – Mary – 1848 – 1854

It is know that other members of the family, particularly infants and small children are buried here.

Mary (Barr) Ferguson, wife of Thomas, b. 1780, d. Mar 21, 1863 is buried at the St. James Church, Hood’s.

This plaque is placed by their many descendants, to honour their memory.

Photos by Carolyn and Keith Thompson – 27 August, 2001.

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun and Screamin’ Mamas (USA)

 

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About lindaseccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

6 responses »

  1. Hi Linda, I enjoyed reading your article on my Ferguson family.I also have a copy of that letter – it was written in 1846 by my Great Grandfather, Allan Ferguson, to his brother, John, who was living in Montague township at Numogate – the story is that he named Numogate by rearranging the letters of Montague. Grant Mcfarlane is a descendant of John Ferguson through his mother, Lila. I have other information on the Ferguson family, also, if you are interested.

  2. Thanks for the interesting article about my ancestors. I would dearly love to get a scanned in copy of the letter for my records. Below is my relationship to Thomas Ferguson, have a great day!

    Me (Everett Milotte) > My Mother (Lorna Milotte nee Wright) > Florence (her mother) > Allan Ferguson (her father) > Thomas Ferguson (his father) > Thomas Ferguson (his father) – my fourth great grandfather

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