Thanks to Melanie Johnston Mason for sending and please note that Grant McFarlane in Lanark is the owner for credit purposes
The letter writer Alan, was writing about his father Thomas’ death which occured in 1846.The letter writer Allan also had a brother named Thomas and this brother had a son named Alexander……And Alexander had a son named Allen. I am not related to the Ferguson’s but I have studied that lot, lot 26E, Concession III Dalhousie – and those are my findings thus far without delving into the genealogy of the family.
Info provided by: Melanie Mason –
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.
Gloria Currie13 hours
Thanks, also to Amelia Jean ( Ferguson ) Allen, who transcribed the original letter, and to Lila McFarlane, who brought the original letter to her attention. This letter describes the death of Thomas Ferguson, who arrived ( from Scotland )with his wife, Mary Barr, and their children in 1821. It should be noted that the cemetery beside St. James Church is actually called the Ferguson Cemetery and the cemetery at the original Ferguson Homestead is the Thomas Ferguson Cemetery.