Name: Catherine BELL
Given Name: Catherine
Birth: 1821 in Nelson Twp., Halton Co., Ontario, Canada
Death: 1 Jan 1852 in Nelson Twp., Halton Co., Ont.
Burial: Mt. Vernon Pioneer Cemetery, Burlington, Ontario, Canada
Change Date: 16 Jun 2005 at 11:45
CATHERINE BELL VAN NORMAN
She being dead yet speaketh
The Burlington Historical Society gratefully acknowledges a grant in aid of publication
from the Ontario Heritage Foundation, Ministry of Culture and Recreation.
The diary of Catherine Bell Van Norman has had a strange odyssey from 1850 when it was written to its present published form. Prior to the summer of 1977, its very existence was unknown to her 20th century relations. To my delight, one evening in the summer of 1977, Dr. David P. Hilberry, a distant relation in the American branch of the Van Norman family, showed up on my doorstep with a copy of the diary. The original diary (since lost) was still extant in 1898 when it was copied in the office of Dr. Horace Black Van Norman (the eldest son of Catherine s brother-in-law William) in Cleveland, Ohio. Although Horace had moved to the United States some years before he maintained a regular correspondence with members of the family, and even, on occasion, revisited the home of his youth. His copy of the diary came into the possession of David Hilberry of North Webster, Indiana. Intrigued by its contents and interested in his family history, he was spurred by the diary to visit Burlington that summer in search of his family s Canadian roots. He was unaware of any local relations but, fortunately, inquiries at the Burlington Central Library led him to me.
I have long been interested in local history and my family s genealogy and was , to say the least, greatly excited by this unexpected discovery. My first concern was to get a copy for my own use and in January 1978 David Hilberry provided me with a hand-written copy. I was convinced that Catherine s diary held a wider attraction than just to the members of the family, so I decided to test my supposition on several friends inter-ested in local history. Buoyed by their unanimous concurrence, I approached the execu-tive of the Burlington Historical society (of which I am a member) to sponsor the printing of a book. They agreed and at a meeting of general members in the fall of 1980, the pro-ject was approved.
The next task was to ready the manuscript for submission to the Ontario Heritage Foundation, Ministry of Culture and Recreation, for a grant in aid of publication. To this end, a typed copy of the diary was prepared and the process of annotation begun. A com-pleted manuscript with pictures and genealogical tables and an application for a grant was sent to the foundation early in 1981. Several months later, we were pleased to receive a letter from Mr. John White, the chairman of the foundation, notifying us of an award on condition that the manuscript be edited. It was suggested that Dr. Robert L. Fraser, a specialist in Upper Canadian history and an editor, might be interested. A meeting was arranged and subsequently Dr. Fraser was hired to assist me with every aspect of pre-paring the manuscript for the printer. We decided that the published diary must be a faithful rendering of the first transcription made in 1898 and arranged to borrow it from David Hilberry. In early September editorial work began; finally, on 23 October, the manuscript was turned over to our printer W.L.GRIFFIN limited.
ETHEL V. GUDGEON
Lowville, October 1981
Several people have provided assistance, advice, and encouragement during the preparation of this book. First and foremost, I wish to thank Mr. and Mrs. David P. Hilberry who brought the diary to my attention and have since then responded graciously to all requests for aid. For their interest and support, I am particularly grateful. Sorting out family relations and neighbours who appear in the diary was an arduous task, the bur-den of which was made easier by Mrs. Helen Langford who shared her extensive know-ledge of Nelson Township. Prior to submitting the manuscript to the Ontario Heritage Foundation, Ministry of Culture and Recreation, Mrs. Langford assisted with the annota-tion. In this regard too, I should like to thank Mel McBeth who provided information on Van Norman relations in the Unite States and Mrs. Doris Dafoe who typed the manu-script. Mrs. Marie Ireland Bush has been particularly helpful. She gave advice in the early stages and in the final stages graciously opened her historic home for the launching of the book. It was decided to submit the diary to the Ontario Heritage foundation for a grant in aid of publication and I should like to thank Mr. Lorne St. Croix of the founda-tion for his advice and support. Dr. Robert L. Fraser was hired to edit and assist in all aspects of preparing the manuscript; his efforts are appreciated. My niece, Miss Joan E. Lewis, did not even flinch when asked to draw a map on short notice at the last stages of editorial preparation. For her contribution, I am especially thankful. Finally, I should like to acknowledge the patient support and helpful advice of the staff of W.L.Griffin Limited, particularly Mr. James DesJardins.
ETHEL V. GUDGEON
Diaries tend by their very nature to emphasize the daily preoccupations of the writers and it is only rarely that a diary breaks the dominant pattern of everyday comings and goings. In the cases of the famous, the great, the talented, or even the gossips, the patina of their day-to-day scribblings can make fascinating or illuminating reading. At the other end of the spectrum, however, are the terse records of meetings and/or weather. The latter example abounds; although it is sometimes useful to historians, it is for the most part, mercilessly dreary and of little interest to anyone else.
The diary, or journal as she referred to it, of Catherine Bell Van Norman is neither the stuff of compelling literature, nor is it a mere catalogue of the daily tedium of an ordinary life. It falls between the two. To be sure, the movements of friends, servants, and family loom large in the narrative, but then, the horizons of Catherine s life were marked primarily by farm, family, and faith. Writing during one of the most exciting by-elections in Ontario s political history, she is unmoved by the drama that fascinates her husband Abner. Politics was a male domain beyond the spheres of her immediate interests. It affected her only insofar as her husband had become preoccupied by meetings, and consequently their leisure time together was reduced. Commenting on the punditry as to the probable winner of the election, she noted, I am very sure I do not care if he does [win]. I wish that all will be done for the best and for the good of the country. I think our people ought to be contented under whatever government they have to lie. She could not help adding acidly, I think that our preachers in general have too much to do with politics.
The perspective of her journal is then almost wholly domestic; one only wishes that her husband had left a similar account delineating the daily contours of his life during the same period. The comparison would no doubt be instructive. If there is a criticism of the diary that deserves to be made, it is its brevity. Begun on 1 January 1850, it ends without explanation on 6 June. Catherine started to write, possibly as a New Year s resolution, but more probably as a result of her near death during a lengthy bout of illness (from which she never recovered). She was well and thankful to God for it. One conjectures that she wanted to leave a mark, something permanent. Her journal was an attempt to improve her writing she gloried in the ability to read and write but it was also an exercise bent on improving her spiritual welfare. There are hints scattered throughout that her hopes were disappointed. Poor health intruded on what she had hoped would become a daily habit and even when her health was good she often was preoccupied by the burdens of daily toil and the incessant demands of family life. She tried setting aside different times of the day for writing but it seems that all too often she was much taken up with worldly affairs. More importantly, her earnest intentions floundered on the shoals of her own sense of inadequacy. She scolded herself for failing to read the scriptures more, found to her dismay that she needed to study more, and was disappointed by her husband s unwillingness to join in her literary devotions. She wondered withal if this scratching will ever interest any person and saw little improvement in [her] writing or anything else. But in spite of such declaimers, she found that writing did have some benefit, for my mind is constantly trying to think some good thoughts to write down, so I do not keep many bad thoughts.
The real hold of the diary is Catherine s struggle with piety one of the foremost characteristics of 19th century Protestantism and the inspiration of her personal strivings and her desire for spiritual preparation and betterment. But it was not an easy road. Abner did not share her concern, at least not to the same extent, and he was unwilling to devote time to her devotional exercises. More trying were the physical circumstances of her surroundings. She lived in the same house on Mellrose Farm as her in-laws. Her husband s father, Isaac Van Norman, built the house in 1824 and the young couple had the addition built on to the back of it. Isaac was a revered figure in local Methodist circles. A lay preacher, he laboured incessantly nearly every Sabbath in a cottage, barn, or chapel, proclaiming Christ and His salvation to sinning men, and beseeching them to the reconciled to God. He was the paragon of the industrious, indefatigable, virtuous, upright, and pious Christian. Whether it complicated matters or not, Catherine was brought up within the Church of England. But compatability with her in-laws on religious matters was not at issue and it does not seem to have occasioned any friction. What bothered Catherine was too many people living under the same roof and not having a home of her own she was dissatisfied because we are so close to the old folks. Obviously this state of affairs caused her greater distress than her husband. It is clear from the diary that Abner was rarely home for long periods during the day. His daily tasks and interests took him from the home; Catherine s confined to it. On occasion they bickered and although she was sure there was no need for anger she lamented it seems impossible&in this house.
The diary abounds with insights into her reading habits and the routines of Methodist life. Abner was politically involved and more active in associated organizations such as the Sons of Temperance. And the tendency to reform, or even radical, politics (for which Halton County was noted) can be seen in his life. Catherine, however, wished the men would talk more about religion in a personal sense and become less involved with politics. She cherished attending church and church meetings. Her concerns were more bound up with the routine of church life and the solace it bestowed. Her faith inclined to a personal emphasis upon spiritual and moral preparation for the
life beyond the grave, and piety. Upon learning that a friend whom she thought was a good Christian was going to a dancing school, Catherine reacted with astonishment. Oh, how awful and horrible is this! she exclaimed, Well, there is a day coming when there will be no dancing and when we have to give a strict account of our works done in this world. Although she strove to emulate the Christian life evoked in John Bunyan s classic account, Pilgrim s Progress, she did not turn from the world. She was, for instance, sympathetic to the trouble and misery endured by the participants in the rebellion of 1837, but her own religious impulses could, and did, have social limits. When her husband hired a black man and wished to bring him to the supper table, Catherine was adamant and would not consent.
The family, both immediate and extended, dominated the pattern of daily routines. More than any other though the focus of Catherine s hopes and wishes was Abner. As she informs us at the outset, she could have married a rich Irishman for money. Instead she married for love and had no regrets. During her illness she had grown more closer to her husband. Afterwards she cherished their personal time together and it was when she was alone before the fire on cold winter nights that she especially missed her dear, off at some meeting or other. She was anxious lest he worked too hard or too long and thought that she might even spare him to the California gold rush, but only if he returned alive, healthy, and wealthy. Riches would bring relief from his toil and allow them to give all their children a good education.
Intruding constantly upon domestic life was the spectre of sickness and death. With the attendant pain and suffering, mortality had an immediacy, a presence in day-to-day life, difficult to grasp in the 20th century. Moreover these burdens were the almost exclusive trial of one s family, friends, and neighbours. Death had taken one of Catherine s children at an early age and when sickness threatened another, she immediately assumed the worst possible scenario. Medicine provided scant relief. Few
scenes in the diary are as compelling or as pathetic as the cumulative effect of the entries detailing the slow death of her ailing brother-in-law, gradually being bled to death by his attending physicians, and eventually succumbing in great pain during an operation. What sustained this Methodist community, and Catherine s world was almost exclusively Methodist, was no different than what sustained most Canadians, whatever their denomination, in the 19th century the belief that all change, no matter how trivial or personal, was directed to divine ends by the superintending hand of providence. These were not 20th century moderns, able in their pride to take refuge in secular beliefs emphasizing the primacy of man s ability to make the world as he will. Rather in a world beyond human control, a world of mutability, disease, and death, consolation was found in the divinity that shapes man s ends. Catherine s own spirit was almost obliterated by the death of her child, she did not know how I could part with the little dear but I was enabled ; the enabling power was her belief in a kind and loving providence.
Towards the summer of 1850 the entries become increasingly sporadic and fitful. There are only two for May and another two for June. Whether the good weather increased her burdens and lessened her time to write, whether her health was failing, or whether her health was temporarily better, we do not know. In June she took what seems to have been a second honeymoon with her husband to Niagara Falls where they revisited old haunts. She left her journal at home but kept notes which she intended to enter in it later. Instead the diary ends abruptly leaving us with an amusing comparison of the virtues of an honest Dutch woman, or a warm hearted Canadian and the hauteur of Yankee ladies.
The diary provides little by way of thought or incidental description of the area Catherine lived in, Nelson Township, Halton County. This agricultural community, numbering 18,322 in 1851, at the head of Lake Ontario was dominated by the commercial presence of nearby Hamilton. Nelson contained small villages, the most important of which was Wellington Square (Burlington). The dominant activity of the county was farming, increasingly of a mixed variety; the major products were wheat, oats, peas, and corn. Livestock were also raised and some vegetables, mainly potatoes and turnips. There were 16 grist mills, 60 sawmills, and 6 woollen mills, and as might be expected, the most important refined products were lumber, flour, butter, flannel, and wool. Whereas iron foundries were beginning to dot the landscape of Hamilton and the Dundas Valley, in Nelson, industry and manufacturing were notable only for their absence. There were 16 schools in the county, 46 churches (45 of which were Protestant), and more than 5,000 Methodists. By 1851 most residents were Canadian-born; emigrants comprising only about one-third of the total population. But none of this figures in Catherine s diary, it formed on the back drop to the boundaries of farm, family, and church. It is this world that her diary addresses what was important in her own life and that is what makes it worth reading.
She died on 1 January 1852, probably of tuberculosis. On her gravestone is engraved a poem ending in a line that best catches the impulse that led her to write She being dead yet speaketh.
The published diary is an exact transcription of the 1898 copy. The wording, spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and paragraph structure have not been altered unless necessary for meaning, in which case the changes are made within square brackets. Occasionally where the transcription has been in obvious error this has been preserved with the correction made in the appropriate endnote reference. The one significant departure from the original copy is the daily heading. Here we opted for a standard format giving only the day of the week and the date, followed immediately by the first paragraph. This decision avoided the inconsistency of the headings, and the needless repetition of redundant information such as Mellrose Farm, Nelson. Moreover there were errors in dating which, whether the fault of the original or the copy, would have only served to confuse the reader and to clutter the copy with corrections. All such errors have been corrected with reference to a perpetual calendar and the internal sense of the diary itself. (E.V.G.)
VAN NORMAN GENEALOGY
Joseph Van Norman (1741-1824) New York
m. c. 1761
| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |
| | | | | | | |
Ephraim Isaac Daniel John Sarah Jesse Benjamin Aaron
Van Norman Van Norman Van Norman Van Norman Van Norman Van Norman Van Norman Van Norman
(1762-1851) (1764-1850) (b. 1766) (1768-1831) (b. c. 1770) (1773-1851) (b. 1775) (1778-1861/62)
| m. Sarah Depew
| | | | | Joseph Benjamin Whiting | Van Norman Van Norman Van Norman | (b. 1796) (b. 1800) (b. 1806) | | | | m. Elizabeth Minor m. Harriet Tilson | | | | | Johnson | Van Norman
| | | | |
Isaac Ruth Joseph Jacob Abram
Van Norman Van Norman Van Norman Van Norman Van Norman
(1784-1877) (b. 1788) (1783-1844) (1791-1878)
| | | | | Caleb Hopkins | Van Norman | (1819-1905)
m. Catherine Cummings
------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------
| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | William Elizabeth Sarah Daniel Dr. Jonathan Ambrose Jane Mack Abner Hannah |
(Sally Ann) Cummings |
Van Norman Van Norman Van Norman Van Norman Van Norman Van Norman Van Norman Van Norman Van Norman |
(1807-1850) (1815-1886) (1817-1882) |
m. m. m. m. m. m. m. m. |
Gills Black Ira Bullock Miles Luke Maria Sarah A. D. Catherine Alexander |
Spencer Emery Emery Bell Black |
b. 1750 New Jersey
Dr. Nathaniel Bell
m. Sarah Cline
------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------
| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | Catherine John Cyrus Sumner Elizabeth Robert Kerr Celeste Springer Parmelia Delos Cline Mary Huron
Bell Bell Bell Bell Bell Bell Bell Bell Bell
(1821-1852) (d.1879) (1823-1902) (1824-1848) (1827-1849) (b. 1835) (b. 1836) (b. 1837)
| m. | Abner | Van Norman
Abner Van Norman
| | | | |
| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | Marshall Eugene Earnest Melvin Edwin Marcus Eva Melissa Claredon Bell
Van Norman Van Norman Van Norman Van Norman Van Norman
(1842-1868) (1844-1846) (b. 1845) (b.1847) (b. 1849)
Tuesday 1st. Well! This is the commencing of another year and I am alive yet! Oh, what a wonder it is that I did get well after being ill so long! How shall I be thankful enough to my Heavenily Father for his goodness and tender mercies! Oh my god, may my heart swell with gratitude more, and may my heart be singing thy praise daily, and may my evidence grow brighter, in hopes of receiving a crown of bright glory. I must now write something about my temporal affairs. My dear husband (1) went with me to my father s (2) yesterday. The sleighing was very poor. I am very much afflicted with sores which are very painful, but I think that they will soon be better. Abner is very busy today, killing his beef. He has to work very hard, poor fellow. I often feel sorry for him but it is all for the best. My hand trembles very much so I think I had better draw this to a close for today. I hope I will be better tomorrow.
Thursday 3rd. My dear husband has gone to Hamilton (3) today and I think I shall be very lonesome. Our children have the whooping cough very bad but I think with care they will be better soon.
Marshall Eugene, was born Feb. 16th, 1842
Earnest Melvin, Mch 4th, 1844
Edwin Marcus Sept. 25th, 1845
Eva Malissa Dec. 5th, 1847
Claredon Bell was born Mch. 21st, 1849
Earnest Melvin died Jan. 16th, 1846. Poor little fellow, he died of erysipelas (4). His suffering was very great but it seemed as if the Lord was with him, he was so very patient in all his sickness. Only a few days before he died he saw his pa s coat hanging up and said, Pa s coat and whip , but we must remember that the Lord giveth and the Lord hath taken away and blessed be his holy name forever. I did not know how I could part with the little dear but I was enabled by the assisting grace of God to keep silent and submit to his hold and righteous will. He can all our sorrows heal, there is nothing too hard for Him to perform. Blessed by His holy name. Amen.
Saturday 5th. I have not much news to write this morning, only that they are going to election (5) today. I expect they will have great times. I have not written as much as I wanted because I have been so much taken up with worldly affairs. Well, I must try to do better in the time to come. They all went to meeting (6) last night and the meeting was very good. I hope there will be very good times. The Lord is very good to us. Bless his holy name.
My Dear is out in the pelting of the storm. Oh, how I wish he was here just now. We have such a nice fire. Oh, my dear, I wish you were here. May the Great God on High comfort and support him through all of his afflictions. God grant that his may be the case. I am reading the Christian Pilgrim s Progress. (7) I like it very much. Oh, how I wish I was such a Christian! My dear friend, I very much fear that when it is well with you it will be ill with my. Miss Bell (8) is here to nurse my dear little baby. She has been a kind mother to him this summer. I feel very sorry for her some times.
I commenced writing this journal thinking that I would make some improvement in writing but I think it will prove a failure. Well, it may make some improvement in my spiritual welfare. God grant that by His assisting grace this may be the case, for I think there is plenty of room for improvement. Oh, Lord, wilt thou bless my dear husband and I together. May we be a comfort and support to each other through the afflictions of this unfriendly world. We have been called to endure many severe trials since we were married. Oh, what a comfort and pleasure to have a friend who can sympathize with you in all your afflictions. I can safely say that I have never had the least cause to regret my marrying when I did. I married a Christian and I would like to be good one myself. I often think how different would have been my situation if I had married some one else. It was for love, not for money, that I married. I could have had a very rich Irish man but the Lord was so good to me that He assisted me.
Tuesday 8th. We were visiting at Mr. Douglass (9) yesterday and enjoyed ourselves very much. It is snowing some now. I do wish there was good sleighing for I want to have a good ride if I am able and if it is the will of Providence.
My dear sister is here. What a consolation it is to have a near relation in whom you can place confidence. I hope and pray that the Lord will reward her in heaven. God grant that this may be the case. She has been very good to poor little Claredon. He is about nine months old, he was born March 21st, 1849 at Nelson.
Mrs. William Van Norman (10) is very unhealthy. Oh, what a melancholy thing it would be if she should be taken from her little family. Oh, Lord, prepare her for the change. They have just moved into their new house. It is very nicely finished off. I hope they will see a great deal of pleasure and comfort for many days to come.
This is very poor writing to day.
Wednesday 9th. I have just returned from the shop where they are making a buggy. I hope I will be able to take a great many rides next summer if my life is spared.
Dorah is going to school (11) to Miss Good, (12) this winter. She is learning quite fast. I hope she will make a good woman.
We have a young woman here, by the name of Miss Margaret Cambell, (13) to work. She has been here some time and is a very good girl.
I do say that I have very little to write today. What the reason is, I can not tell. I had a very strange dream last night. If I did not think that it looked superstitious I would write it down. I wish that I could get some one to interpret it for it has made an impression on my mind. If it is a warning to prepare for death may I be ready. Oh, my God, may my heart be prepared to meet Thee when Thou dost call. Lord, if it is thy will may I still be spared to be of some use in the world as I have not been very useful yet, I am sorry to say. But, I suppose, if I were to live to be as old as Grandfather Cline, (14) who is 96 years of age, I expect I would be of no more use. He was my dear mother s (15) father. She died in her 39th year and was buried at the Middle Road May 16th 1841 and I was married just one year from that day, 1842, by the Rev. Alexandor Menah. (16) We were married at ten in the morning and then left for the Falls. (17) We took our dinner at Mr. James Lewis . (18) Jane (19) and my brother Robert (20) rode together. Hopkins Van Norman, (21) Sally Ann Van Norman, (22) Abner and myself in the carriage. We had a very fine time. We went to see the whirlpool which is a very dreary, dark looking place. The water looks quite blue, you can hardly perceive the water move. I did not care about staying long there. The steps that we descended were very bad, almost rotten. We stopped at a house called the pavilion, (23) a very grand house and we had everything that heart could wish. We went to see the Museum. (24) It is filled with all descriptions of things, chiefly birds and animals. I never saw on before. I can assure you it was a great thing for me to see.
Oh, how I was delighted at the Falls. I was almost bewildered at the first sight. I do wonder who would dare to presume to say, There is no God. It makes my blood run chill to think of such a thing. Oh, Thou Great and Holy One, where, where shall I begin Thy praise. Our hearts swell with gratitude when we think of Thy great and wondrous work. Could man have made the falls? No! what a nonsensical idea. Or, did they rise by chance? Impossible! We cannot see anything but the wonderful hand of God in all His works, even the meanest objects that exist. Who can number the sands of the sea, or who can count the starts of the heavens.
I am reading the Life of Rev John Summerfield. (25) I like it very much. Oh, how I wish I could become as good a Christian as he was. This work is a production of John Holland. I think, if I can, I will read a gread deal for the improvement of my mind. How pleased I would be if my Dear would join me, and I think he will, surely he will. May the Lord assist him to do so. We have plenty of time.
I thought that Elizabeth would have had a chance to teach Marshall this winter but I am afraid it will prove a failure altogether. I think I can not write more today as I do not feel very well, but think I will feel better tomorrow.
Friday morning 11th. Mr. and Mrs. Luke (26) are here today. They live in Oshawa. (27) Mrs. Luke is a sister of my dear s. She is a fine woman. She has one little girl. She lost a fine little boy last summer. We talk of going up to Derham. (28) If I am able I would like to go very much to see the furnaces as they are going to give it up soon. We have a great many friends there, and some first rate ones too.
Gills Van Norman is very ill this morning. I am really afraid she will never get well. Abner is over to William s (29) helping them to move some buildings. We think of going up to see Jane this afternoon. She is another of Abner s sisters and is teaching school this winter. She married Mr. Emory. (30) I wish I could see Sarah Eliza. (31) She has had a very bad hand but I believe it is getting better now. She is living with her grandmother this winter.
My sister received a letter from Jane McMasters. She says that Cyrus Sumner (32) has arrived in California. (33) He left last summer. Lord wilt Thou preserve him and may he return soon, safe and sound. Oh, I wonder if he will present us with any of his gold. Well, well if he gets to be a better man that will be gold enough for me. His friends will be very glad to see him. He has lost some dear friends since he left home.
Maria Van Norman (34) is living with her Uncle Isaac Van Norman. (35) He is Abner s
Father and lives in the same house with us.
Well! I do say that I have not written one word about my dear father. His name is Jonathan Bell. (36) (Explains this error in the NOTES) He has married the second time, the first was Sarah Cline, next the widow Nellis. They have a large family, all together. I hope that they will have no more for I think Father cannot live much longer. Oh my God, receive his soul at last. I hope he will meet his dear wife that has gone home before. There may they meet all their children. Friday evening It is raining. Oh, how it is raining. It is very curious winter weather surely.
Mr. and Mrs. Luke are up at Mr. Emory s[.] How in this world will they get home for walked up last night.
I think there will be no school today. We intended to go this morning to see Betsy Bullock. (37) She is Abner s sister, a fine woman she is too. She has a very large family to take care of. She married Ira Bullock, (38) a very pious man, I believe. Oh, dear, I wish it would stop raining, but then, it is all for the best. God knows what will do us good, so, we must submit if possible.
I think I will get to see Sarah Eliza now. She has come from the lake. She had a felon on her thumb. She plays very nicely on the serephene. She has taught Minerva to play very well this summer.
Maria and John Peacock (39) were down to the square (40) to a donation party which was for the purpose of making Mr. Booker (41) a present for his services last summer, and richly do our preachers deserve all that they get. I think it is a great pleasure to wait on them. We have two very fine preachers on our circuit this year; Mr. Jeffers (42) and Mr. Cosford. (43) I hope and pray there will be a great revival here this winter. We have a very nice brick chapel (44) which we attend.
Saturday 12th. I was at the sawmill (45) today. My Dear is attending it which is very hard work.
Mr. and Mrs. Luke have gone to the city today. I think they will have a very cold drive. They intend coming home on Tuesday. Mr. and Mrs. Emory went with them. Sarah Eliza has just gone home. She is to be married in the spring to Jonathan Van Norman. (46) He is in Montreal this winter. He wrote home saying has to buy every drop of water that he uses which is very bad, I think this a hard fare. We have plenty here of everything that heart could wish.
Mrs. Gills Van Norman is not much better yet. This is such a cold day, it must have some effect on her. The children are some better. I do hope they will be better soon for they are very troublesome.
I am reading Charlotte s Elizabeth s letters from Ireland. (47) I think they are a very good work, indeed, it gives the true characteristic of them to a nicety. I thought that I would surely devote my time to reading the scripture more. I am not able to accomplish it myself but I hope that the Lord may grant to assist me in reading them. I got a large Bible, purposely.
John Peacock is going to school and boarding here this winter. The teacher s name is Mr. Day. (48) There is going to be a singing school here tonight. It is kept by Mr. Lash. What a curious name. When we think a little we find some very curious names and a great many curios things.
I think that I will not write any more today. Oh, my God, grant that tomorrow I may make great progress towards thy heavenly Kingdom, which is the Sabbath, a day of rest prepared for us.
We have just returned from William s. Gills is not much better. She is learning to play on the Melodian and so is William. Minerva (49) plays very fine. Maria thinks of staying all night and sewing for Gills. She has been ther some time.
Eva, my little daughter, is very poorly, but I hope that if it is the Lord s will, or, if not, may He enable me to bear patiently. May all these be granted me.
Abner talks some of getting a Melodian so that he can learn to play. Oh, music, thou charmer! Last summer when I was so ill, if I heard music it would quiet me immediately and often hush me to sleep. Oh, how surely and soundly will the smallest babe sleep to the sweet lullaby. Abner was at meeting today. They have a newfashioned way of singing in this country, invented by Mr. Atkinson, (50) two tunes to one verse. Pretty well done, I think.
Oh, my soul, what progress hast thou made today. Not much, I am afraid. May God forgive this carelessness. I have not commenced reading my Bible.
Sunday afternoon 13th. My dear has gone to shut up the cows. We milk four cows and make a good bunch of butter. We have a very large family.
Old Richard Densmore lives in a little house by himself and has everything that he wishes[.] He is an old soldier and gets his pension every three months, then has a great spree which makes him very sick. What is a drunken man? He is worse than the very brute itself. Oh, how thankful I ought to be to my heavenly Father that I have not a drunkard.
Tuesday morning 15th. Elizabeth (51) and I were visiting yesterday. We had a first rate dinner. I walked home and was quite tired.
Mr. Marshall, the tailor, is here making an overcoat for my dear husband.
I received a letter from Jonathan and intend writing him today if I can find time. I wanted to take a ride today but will have to give it up. I just came from the shop where my Dear is painting his buggy. It is almost finished. I think it will be quite fine and I anticipate the pleasure of taking some fine rides next summer if the Lord spares my health. I find that it is improving some I am taking Cod Liver Oil which is very disagreeable indeed, but it is a great cure for the consumption.
Mr. and Mrs. Luke have not returned from Hamilton. We are going to have a little party tonight if they come, which, I hope, will be well improved for our eternal good and happiness. Well, what is to hinder. We have good and kind friends and if we were Kings and Queens it would be the same if our hearts were right with our God and King. Glory be to His great and Holy Name. Amen
The Banters (52) had a Missionary Meeting last night. Our youngsters went and were much pleased. They cannot do much in these parts because I do believe they are not the Lord s people and cannot prosper.
Oh dear! Granny Preston has just arrived here. Poor old thing! How tired she must be. She walked here[.] She is an old woman that lives on the charity of the neighborhood. She has a nice little frame house at Mr. Douglass and has been living there a good while. Her husband was killed by a tree falling on him and then the old lady kept herself by washing for the neighbors.
Oh, I wonder when I will see my brother, Delos. (53) He is in Hamilton with a Mr. Reed, painting. He is doing very well. He has painted my old grandfather s portrait, my Dear s and mine and the children s, which are very nice indeed. I think I will get the baby s taken. He is very small yet. He is only nine months old and weighs twelve pounds but I hope he will live to be a great comfort to his pa and his ma in their old days. This is looking a great ways ahead but still, I hope the Lord will grant a long life and abundantly bless our basket and store. May this be the Lord s will to us. I should like to see all my dear children grown up and settled in life and may they be prepared to meet us in heaven. I hope the good Lord will grant this and more too.
We expect Lucy Fleming tonight. She is an old friend of Mrs. Luke s. She used to live with us. She has three very interesting children. She married a sailor. He is a Scotchman, I believe. She lives at the Lake.
Well, I say, I have not said one word about my brother Robert. Poor Fellow! His race was short in this world. He died at the age of twenty four at ten o clock on the 6th of July. Funeral sermon was preached by the Rev. W. Willoughby. (54) He was buried at the Middle Road graveyard by the side of my dear mother. He was married to Miss Celeste Springer, daughter of David Springer. They were married just fourteen months when he died at the residence of his father and fourteen months from that day his wife died of consumption at the age of twenty one, at the residence of her father, and was buried at the side of her dear and much beloved husband, in September, the day of the mouth [month] I can not tell.
This is a very warm day for the 15th of January. There is no snow but the ground is covered with white frost so it is almost as white as snow. I think that the reason we do not have more snow is because the country is more cultivated, the woods have all disappeared and the wind has a free and full sail. The snow will not stay in such a place.
Margaret (55) is going to make some pies this afternoon. There has been none made this long time. It will be quite a treat I suppose. Well, I think I had better stop writing today or I will have nothing to write tomorrow.
Oh, what a great mercy to be able to read and write. I often feel very thankful for this privilege. When I was so ill little did I think that I would be able to write again. My hand trembles very much. Oh, I feel my heart to swell with gratitude this very moment for this mary [mercy]. I hope to be some use to my children in writing this journal, if I can. Oh, Lord, assist me. I have no one else to go to but Thee. I think that I would like to become the author of some useful work, but this will not be if I do not study more than I do at present. Oh, I must try and be more faithful for the time to come. May God enable me to do so. Amen.
Friday 18th. My journal has not increased in writing last week. We went with Mr. & Mrs. Luke out to Gras, on Wednesday last. Had a first rate dinner, stayed there all night and in the morning went to Uncle Jacob Van Norman, (56) took dinner, and then came home. I was very much pleased with my visit. Uncle gave me a nice piece of beef. I would be very sorry if any of my friends would not treat us kindly or if any of them should not be saved at last. Daniel Bullock is a very wild boy. I am very sorry for his poor mother. It makes her feel very bad. They sent for Sarah (57) and Mr. Hershey. (58) She is a daughter of Betsy. Mr. H. lives out in Barkers settlement, (59) in a little village called Lowvill. (60) He is a tanner and is doing very well at present. He is what they call a Menese. (61) I rode home with Mr. Luke. He and I got to arguing his sect of people who call themselves Disciples. (62) They have some curios ways. They commemorate our Saviour s death by breaking bread every Sabbath. They take of whole and say that it is the unbroken body of the Saviour, which was broken for us. They have no rules or church government but take the Bible for their guide and act according to the dictates of conscience. They do not believe in infant baptism saying that it is popery. Luke said that it was an institution formed 300 centuries after the Christian Era, which seems so absurd to me that I said but little more. He says that Baptist Noel (63) has come out against infant baptism, has written a work on it and is taking hundreds with him wherever he lectures and was baptised himself after preaching a lifetime. He has acknowledged his error. I think he might have found it out before if this was the right way. Why would we not have heard this news before. Sarah Ann was baptised an infant but when she married this great Disciple she was immersed, as they call it. Well, I hope she has not lost her enjoyment. I am very sure that she had religion if ever any person had.
We went to Mr. Emory s on Friday to dinner with Mr. & Mrs. Luke. William and Gills were there, and Sarah Eliza Emory, and old Granny Pettit (64) which was a great wonder for she never leaves home. She does all her work in doors and out. She is Sarah Eliza s grandmother. Her daughter was Mr. Emory s first wife. He has been married three times. On Saturday morning, Mr. And Mrs. Luke left for home. Hope they arrived safely. On Saturday we went to Mr. Smith s, had a nice dinner, chatted a while and then had a pleasant ride home.
We heard that Mrs. Black received a letter from her husband in California. He left here the 20th of March. He sent some of the gold. I saw some of it that William Van Norman had. Gills is a sister of Sandy Black. In all probability she will get some of the gold. Sandy gives a pleasing account of the place, says he can get an ounce a day, which is worth sixteen dollars. He made $300 in three weeks. He says he has not seen anything of the McQueens since he left home. They left before the first of March and went by land. There have a good many gone from different parts of Nelson, thinking that they would soon make their fortune, but I think they will find their mistake, some of them at any rate. I pity their wives. I should not like to have my husband go there. I think he can get plenty of gold if he tries. I hope that this place may satisfy him as long as he lives. May the Lord prosper and comfort him through all his conflict with this unfriendly world. Sometimes I get dissatisfied with this place because we are so close to the old folks. Our house is joined to theirs. I know when I reflect a little that if we were to go away it would be worse for us. Oh, my Lord, make me more contented and happy and may I be a help to my husband and may my love and affection increase more and more. Some do not believe that this can be the case but I know that it is my own experience and more particularly during my illness I could not bear my Dear to go out of my sight a moment and I am almost as bad yet but I know that this will not do for me to keep my Dear from his work, when he is our great and mainstay. May the Lord be his support.
Mr. & Mrs. Wallace were here yesterday. They used to live in the next house and then he became dissatisfied and went off to the Jersey settlement. I think they are doing very well now. They are nice people. They sold their farm to Thomas Atkinson.
We had a letter from Jonathan Van Norman of Montreal. He went down there last fall. He is studying medicine. He is coming home in the spring and then will get married. He is the youngest son and he is Abner s brother. He is going to live in the yellow house up at the roadside. He has hard times down there. He pays for every drop of water that he uses. I wonder what we would think if we had to do the same, but through the great blessing of kind providence we are not denied this privilege. Oh, we do not know how to prize our privileges until we are deprived of them. Lord make our hearts to swell with gratitude more and more. May all our afflictions tend to work out for us a more and eternal weight of glory, and may our souls be prepared to meet our God when He has done with us here below. This ought to be our constant and uppermost thought, day and night; but how may there are that never think one thought of this kind but the time will come when they will wish they had. May the Lord have mercy upon them.
Tuesday morning 22nd. My dear husband has gone down to the Square and it may be that he will go on to Hamilton. There is a donation party tonight for the benefit of Rev. Mr. Webster (65) for his services. This is a new thing, lately got up. Every generous one can give just what she thinks best. They have a supper or tea and whatever they choose is placed upon the table and they all stand up and partake. I expect there will be a great turn out at this one in Hamilton. They send a ticket to the friends, wishing them to invite their friends.
I have invited Mrs. Lucas here tonight to visit, to please our young folks. There is nothing that pleases them better than to visit until ten or eleven o clock every two or three weeks. Well, I am willing they should enjoy themselves all they can while they are young for they will soon have to bear hardships and trials as well as the older ones. I hope that amid all their gaiety and mirth they will not forget the one thing needful for the salvation of the souls, but may all their recreations be innocent and may they all meet us in a better world at last.
I think that every new page I commence I will not make any mistakes or blots, but it seems to be impossible for me to do so. I have a very miserable pen just now and do not see any sign of getting a better one today.
Elizabeth is trying to teach Marshall. They get along as well as can be expected. He spells in two syllables and reads some. Eddy does not study. We cannot keep him quiet long enough. I wish I was well enough to teach but I must wait patiently, perhaps I will be able next summer. I have been very much afflicted with large boils which are very painful but they say they are healthy. A hard way to get health, I imagine.
The little ones are getting some better of their cough. They have been a great trouble. Elizabeth has had to sit and watch them nights. She will be used to nursing. I hope she will be happy in this world and God grant that we may all meet in heaven. May all our afflictions and troubles draw us nearer our God who can support us and this is the prayer of Kitty V.
Wednesday 23rd. My dear husband has gone to Hamilton today. He did not feel very well, had a pain in his head. I hope that he will be better tonight, and be in a better humor. I do wish that things would always go so that there would be no occasion of getting angry, but it seems impossible to be so in this house. Well, what is the use of letting every little thing make us angry, there can no good come to any person or to ourselves, we are only worse after we reflect a little and feel ashamed of our conduct and vow this shall be the last time. Oh, I wish we could keep our vows.
Mr. John Bickle came here yesterday and took dinner, then left for home. He is a great little fellow. He married Miss Mary Johnson. They have a young son of which they feel very proud. Mary has gone to the head of the Lake and is going to stay three or four weeks. I hope she will be a good girl. Well, I do say, this is curious weather. The sun is shining beautifully. The roads are the finest, very smooth, and it is beautiful riding in the buggy.
One of Abner s horses is sick. He thinks she will not get well. He lost a horse before in Toronto. I hope that she will get well.
I thought when I commenced this that I would let no person see it except my Dear, but Libby has so much curiosity that she wants to take it out of my fingers before I am done writing. She has one that I wish she would commence and then I think I would return the compliment. I wonder how she would like that. Not very well, I think. She will surely hide it.
I saw poor Ben have a very hard fall this morning. He was coming in with a pail full of water, when he fell down on the stoop, and then had a fit. My Dear got him in the house and laid him on the floor. He laid there as much as half an hour. He seemed quite sick all day He has them very often, worse at night. Poor fellow! I suppose he thinks but very little about death when he is sensible. He will surely die in one of those spells. I often think that I will talk to him, but again think it will be of no use as he is so foolish. It is a great wonder that he is not more foolish than he is. I hope he will not be lost. The Lord who is too wise to err and to good to be unkind knows what is best for us. Perhaps if Ben were like us he would be very wicked.
Thursday 24th. William and Abner went to Hamilton, together on business. I hope that they will soon be home. It does seem so lonesome when my dear husband is away, although there is plenty of company, but still there is no one like a kind dear husband and he went away this morning without giving me one sweet kiss, which has made me feel quite badly today, but, never mind, I will make up tonight. I think I have been quite industrious today; darned all the socks, made baby a cradle blanket, and fixed a cushion for my arm chair. I am getting so that I can do a little every day and I do feel very thankful for this great blessing. I have gotten so that I feel pretty comfortable.
Elizabeth is not well. She has not had much rest at night for some time with little Claredon. He coughs greatly at night and Eva has been quite sick.
It is too bad, I do say, that I have not received a letter from Jonathan and all the rest have. Well, it may be that there is a long one coming and that will make up. Oh, I will be very glad to hear from him.
I wrote a short letter to my brother Delos yesterday. It was the first one I ever wrote him but I hope it will not be the last. He is in Hamilton yet. I hope that he is doing well.
I expect that my dear will go to the Burlington Academy (66) to dinner today. The Principal is my Dear s brother. (67) His name is Daniel C. He was named after Grandfather Lumens [Cummings].
Daniel has been teaching for some time, taught previously in Coburg. (68) There is some talk of his leaving Hamilton and going to the Falls to raise an institution there. If he does, I think that we will visit the Falls if all goes well, which I hope will by the blessing of Divine Providence.
Hopkins Van Norman is steward at the Academy. They like him very well. He has been there some time. He is a cousin of Abner s and son of Abram Van Norman. (69) They used to live down here but they took a notion that they would do better at Durham where their daughter Christiana lives. She married a Mr. Hogan. They have two children.
Our grandfather Van Norman (70) lives with Uncle A. He is upwards of eighty years and is quite smart, makes brooms, weaves, and makes baskets. I do wonder if I will live to be so old. I think if we do we will not be quite so smart for the old saying that every generation gets older and wiser , I think they ought to get better but this is not the case for they seem to get worse.
Really, this is an age of wonders. Who would have thought ten years ago of communicating by electricity. (71) Why, they thought it impossible. Well, well, what will be the next invention, I wonder.
I suppose we will have all the news tonight from the Provincialist, the paper edited by Mr. Kingston. (72) He was a teacher of Abner s at Coburg Academy. I think that I had better leave off writing now for I am very tired. Oh, what miserable writing! I can not help it. I must try and make better improvement in writing or else give it up as a bad job.
Friday 25th. Oh, this is such a beautiful day, the sun shines so beautifully! A person can hardly stay in the house today. I went up to the mill today. They are repairing the mill. My Dear has to work very hard in the mill. I wish that he could live without working so hard but, I suppose he would not be satisfied or contented. Well, perhaps when his boys grow up he will get some peace. It will not be long, time goes so fast. Oh, I hope they will be good children and be a comfort to their parents and friends.
I thought I should not be able to write today for the pain in my stomach but took a little walk in the fresh air and felt some better. Oh, what a privilege it is when a person can have the benefit of the pure air and not be cooped up in the house. How must those poor miserable wretches be that are confined in prisons for years. Death would be more desirable to some of them I suppose.
I am reading a work written by Miller on the Canadian Rebellion. (73) They were prisoners some time in Quebec, but they made their escape at last. Poor fellows! They suffered a great deal for nothing. What a sight of trouble and misery was caused in that Rebellion. (74) I shall never forget the time that my dear Pa was called to go to Toronto as Military Physician. We were in bed. Mr. Cooper came and told pa that he must get ready immediately. I was called on to make some cakes for pa to take with him and to help get him ready. I remember that he took a table cover to put around the box that had the amputating instruments in.
He told us to take all of the papers and deeds that were of use if anything was to happen that we would have to leave the house. Sure enough, in about three or four days we were very much frightened and left the house at night. There were two men came running into the house and wanted all the firearms that we had. They said the McKenzie (75) was going to burn every house on Dundas St. Robert got the books and things out of the desk and as many other things as he could carry, in fact, we all caught up something and off we started for a little log house down in the woods. We did not make much delay or noise. I had one of the little ones on my back and came very near tumbling into the creek. Mother had a babe in her arms. She was so much frightened and being very weak could hardly walk. When we got into the house we prevailed on her to lie down and then Robert and I, and an old man went up towards the house to see if it was on fire. When we got to the barn we saw that it was not on fire but we saw a light so went on. Some of the neighbors were on guard armed with axhandles, pitch forks, and everything that they thought would be best to defend themselves with. I think I will never forget that night as long as I live. Everyone was looking out for themselves and poor little McKenzie was a goods ways from there. It was thought that his friends made up the alarm so as that he could get out of the way when they were all gathered together in bunches, watching him.
I wonder if this scratching will ever interest any person. It may be that my children will see it some day. Well, may they pick out the good, if there is any, and leave the bad. I could write a good deal more about the Rebellion, if it would be of any use, but, I think I will not this time.
I suppose our young ones will all go to the Singing School tonight and I will be quite lonesome. Libby want to go too, but who will take care of little bubby for he is a great trouble.
They have received a letter from Cyrus Sumner, have not heard the particulars. I heard that Walter Sumner (76) is going to the mines. Poor fellow! He lost his wife last fall. I suppose he thinks he will forget his troubles. Well, I hope he will take his dear wife s advice. She was a fine woman. He was a Universalist (77) in principle. I hope that he is reformed. Since his wife s death he married Olivia Nellis, (78) daughter of old Colonel Nellis.
Walter is a son of old Doctor Sumner, (79) who married my Aunt Mary. They had a very large family[.] Aunt died a few years ago. She was a fine person but had a great trouble in raising her children as Uncle Cyrus died some years since. He was a Universalist and died so. Walter was the only one that adopted his principles and he was one too many. This used to grieve his mother so much. She saw her children all grow up and some of them married and doing well.
I received a letter from my brother Delos last night. He said he is coming out to make us a visit. Surely he is welcome here. I expect that we will have a fine visit. What is to hinder if we are all in a first rate humor which I hope will be the case.
We are going to have a good supper tonight. We are going to have a johnny cake which Margaret is making. It is very healthy.
I think that I will draw this to a close for tonight. I hope I will have a good night s rest and pleasant dreams.
Saturday 26th. I had a jolly ride today, in the lumber wagon, up to my Father s. My dear husband went on to Mr. B k s [Bullock]. Their little babe is very ill. They sent for the doctor. My dear thinks that it will never get well. Poor B [Betsy]! How bad she would feel if the Lord should take it home, but she should not for He is the only one to whom we can go in our troubles and if we come aright he will heal all of our wounds with a sovereign balm. They have lost three children, one was a young man. He died very happy and to think that my Dear was by the assisting grace of God the means of his being saved. He sent for his Uncle to come and pray with him, which he did and Isaac got very happy and remained so until his death of consumption, that treacherous disease. It generally does its work sooner or later. I have often thought I would rather die of consumption than any other disease for then a person can prepare for death but we ought always to be prepared, for we do not know what death we may die. Oh, my Lord, prepare us for that awful event whenever it takes place.
I read a letter from Cyrus Sumner to his brother, William. It was published in the Spectator. (80) It was very interesting. We can place some confidence in what he says. He made a hundred dollars in three days, which he had to work for. He says, tell the Ladies that I rock the cradle to keep the baby warm.[ ] This letter is so encouraging that I expect my Dear will get the gold fever. I have been trying to make him believe that I want him to go next Spring but I think that I would not like it very well. Sometimes I think that I could spare him if I was sure that he would have good health and come back alive with plenty of money. It is not so much for myself as for the children and himself for then he would not have to work so hard and we could give all of our children a good education which would be the best way of spending the gold.
Sunday morning 27th. William and Gills went out to George Calverts. (81) He lives in Nassagua. (82) He married Mary Black, Gills sister. They have an old crazy woman living with them by the name of Husband[.] When William & Gills came home they found two of the children sick. I hope they will get better soon. Abner is there tonight. They sent for him today. They were very much frightened. It seems to be very unhealthy around little children. Poor little things! What a pity it is that they should suffer so much when they are so innocent. It generally tends to lead the parents hearts to reflect on the goodness of God in taking the little innocents who are prepared and leaving them more time for preparation and it also drives them to cast all of their trials and cares before our Blessed Redeemer who has died that we might live. And great indeed will be our joy and happiness when we arrive at the mansions on high to be met by our little children, perhaps the first ones at the gate. What a beautiful thought this is! Who would have their angel babes here in this wretched and unfriendly world when there is a strong binding link in the chain for to draw us to that blessed abode. I know that I have a little sainted babe in heaven, who will be among the first to welcome me there. I am determined by the assisting grace of God to make one for the kingdom. Let others do as they will, I will serve the Lord.
Mr. Douglas is here. He took dinner with us. He came home with my Dear from meeting. I wish I was able to go to meeting once again but pa says that I must not go yet for it is not good for sick persons to be in great crowds. I think there would be too much excitement, myself, as I am very nervous yet. It may be that I will be able to go to the Quarterly Meeting which will take place on the 10th of February in the brick chapel.
Margaret has gone down to the Lake to see her Aunt Lucy, today. She will have a very muddy walk.
Dorah (83) has gone over to see how Byron (84) and Bertha (85) are. I hope they are better.
Little bubby is very good today.
Sunday evening 27th. I think that my dear husband is not very much interested this afternoon. I think that if they would talk more about religion they would enjoy themselves more. There is going to be preaching tonight by a supply from Brother Biggar. (86) I hope that he will not disappoint them. It is not very pleasant to be disappointed.
Elizabeth has gone out to get a little fresh air. Poor girl! She needs it. She is very much confined. I hope when warm weather comes bubby will be able to be drawn by Marshall in his little wagon, a good deal.
Well, it will soon come. Three months will soon pass by. Time, thou destroyer of all things, wilt thou not wait for any thing.
I wish I knew which would be the best time for me to write in my journal, morning or night. Perhaps night would be the best and then all that has happened in the course of the day could be put down.
One of our cows has a calf. We will make plenty of butter now. Oh, if I were only able to see to it myself, but what am I talking about. I must wait patiently the Lord s will. I ought to be thankful for the health I enjoy at present.
Dorah is home. The children are some better. My dear had a curios dream last night about the errors of the church. He thought that the faults of the church were going to be defended or all covered over by Brother Wilkinson. (87) There were a large number of persons present and when he arose to make the speech he ordered all of the females to retire and there were a few old men left and this aggravated my Dear so much. He thought that if the world know of the disgrace of the church that they should hear this all cleared up. He began to talk very loud and the preacher had to sit down and consent to the people coming in again and he went to the door and called so loud that he woke up and lo and behold it was nothing more than a dream. He dreamed this the 26 of January.
Monday 28th. I suppose that there has been a great deal of work done about the place. Abner and Mr. Douglas were setting the tires on new buggy wheels. They were not long about it. My Dear has gone to William s to see the children. I was very industrious today; made three towels, spun a little and nursed the baby a long while and got him asleep. Poor little Dear! He is much better now and is quite good. This is very cheering to us all. Margaret thinks a great deal of him and I do not know who could not love him for he is so little and so nice. His Aunt Elizabeth thinks a great deal of him. Elizabeth is very anxious to go over to the Fortys (Grimsby) (88) soon. I wish ther would be some more snow. It has been snowing some today.
I think I am some benefited by writing this journal for my mind is constantly trying to think some good thoughts to write down so I do not keep many bad thoughts. Lord, grant that I may make a great progress in the divine life. May I make sure work and not be deceived at last. May all my children and friends meet me in heaven at last. Oh, my God, grant it al last.
Wednesday 30th. We have just heard sad tidings. They have sent for Abner and his father and mother to go out to Betsy s. Their youngest child is about dying. Poor Betsy, what will she do for she takes anything like this so hard. Well, the poor little thing will be freed from all its suffering and be at rest. How could she wish to keep it when the Lord saw fit to take it to himself. Oh, Lord, may she be resigned to Thy holy and righteous will. May she say from the bottom of her Heart the Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away. Blessed by His holy name.
Delos came out from Hamilton to make a long visit. He is going to paint Mrs. H. L[Z]immerman s (89) portrait and likewise the children. I hope that he will do them well. He has been painting for a lottery since he went over but did not make much at it. He is going to try again soon. He walked out to Mr. L s [Zimmerman s] today.
We heard that Betsy s child is better. My Dear went up there.
My dear husband is drawing saw logs today. He has a great boil on his right hand. It is very painful and his hand is much swelled. He has met with a very serious loss. He sold an ox to a man at the Square and the fellow paid him by running away.
Old Fuson became very hungry for some mutton today, so he satisfied himself by killing no less than six sheep. They had better kill him at once for he has got a taste of meat now and it is very likely he will do more murders. The scamp! I could almost shoot him myself. The children thought that it was curious time. Sis almost cried. Richard brought in some wool and said that he meant to have a pair of stockings of it. The first one that saw the dog was Mr. Nelson. He lives in the old chapel (90) on the hill. Tom Colder lives in one part of it. A jolly mess I think.
Thursday 31st. This paper is very badly ruled. What shall I do?
William is very sick. He sent for the doctor. My Dear was there most of the time today except when he went to Bronte.
Delos came here today. He is going to paint four portraits for Henry L [Z]immerman. He is getting the frames to paint them on. Pas is not very well.
Doctor Weeks (91) came over to see me and gave me six pills to take, for to cure a pain in my side.
Mr. Emory and Jane were here, as smart as crickets. She is writing to Jonathan.
Friday 1st. Breakfast is ready and so I must stop writing for the present. Oh dear! I have hurt my finger very much. I am afraid that I can not write much.
Really, it is too bad, another month has gone and I have made very little improvement in writing or anything else, I am sorry to say. I thought that surely I would make a greater progress in the divine life, for I have great reason to do my best for my blessed Saviour. Oh, where shall I begin His praise. He has raised me as though it were from the dead. One evening when they all thought that I was dying, and I thought surely that my time had come and wondered at the little fear I had of death, I wanted to say a great deal and did say all that I could until they made me be quiet for they thought that my talking so much would make me worse. It seemed that they had not given up hope of me. I believe that I thought that I must say something to all that belonged to our clan. I thought of the responsibility resting upon my dear husband and I thought that we had been married only a short time and had had a good deal of trouble but had also some happy times too, and I thought that I would not exchange my lot for all the world if I had a good deal of trouble. I wanted them to have Mr. Wiloughby come and administer the sacrament to me and baptize the babe, but they thought not until morn. He came down in the morning. I was some better so they thought they would not disturb me as I had fallen into a slumber. Oh, what a change there would have been in this family if it had been the Lord s will to take me then. I am spared a little longer. May my days be employed in getting and doing good. Oh, Lord, help me to put my vows into practise, and keep me, by thy love, from going astray. This is my sincere prayer. Amen. Catherine Van Norman.
Sunday 3rd. William is worse this morning. My Dear Husband had to go after the doctor. He had a cold ride for it is very cold this morning. It snowed some last night but not enough to make sleighing. My Dear is at William s most of the time. I feel afraid that it is beyond human skill to raise him. If he is only prepared that will be the greatest satisfaction to those that he leaves behind, more so than if he left a portion of gold to everyone of them. Oh, my God, grant if it is Thy will that he must die, may it be in peace with Thee and may his companion and his children be so happy as to meet him in thy heavenly kingdom. May we all meet him there. And if it is thy holy will that he should be raised again, grant that his afflictions may be sanctified to his good. May he Kiss every twig of the rod and say thy will be done, not mine. I feel very much for poor Gills. May the Lord support and comfort her and may she bear all patiently. My Dear talked to him last night about his spiritual affairs. He did not give him much satisfaction. I suppose that he had so much pain was the cause.
My Dear said that Gills was very much affected and left the room weeping when he was talking to William. Last night Sarah Eliza walked from her Grand-mother s to William s. She thought that she would be of service there. As she could not be of any use she came over here. Last night Mr. Douglas and his sister were here and so we had quite a little company. Delos was one of our company. I walked over to Williams on Friday, was there a little while when my brother Cyrus S. came over for me with the sleigh for Ma, and Mela (92) and Mary Huron Nathaniel (93) were here. They came for six bushels of apples. They staid a little while and then left for home. Pa was quite sick. I feel very sorry. There is one thing that I would like and that is to be present at his death if this should happen in my time. I think that it would be a great satisfaction to nurse and attend him in his last sickness and make some return for his kindness to me.
Betsy s little babe was buried yesterday (Saturday) at the graveyard on the hill. (94) There were quite a number attended. There was no one could go up there but pa as Abner had to be at William s most all day. Oh, I do so hope and pray that Betsy will be resigned to the will of God. How could she murmur when the babe is better off than it ever could be in this wicked world, and the joy and comfort of thinking that she has another sainted babe in heaven and it will be among the first to meet her when she gets home. She would not wish it back in this world. No, she will be glad that it made its happy escape. I can sympathize with her for I have had the same trial but I now can thank the Lord that he did not take me instead of it that was prepared and left me more time to prepare. Oh, Lord, may this be my single steady aim to prepare to meet my sweet babe in heaven and there may we ever sing thy praise. There is nothing that I desire more than that we may all meet in heaven.
Monday 4th. It is with a sorrowful heart that I have to write that William is about dying, so near it that he is making his will. My Dear is there at present. Mr. Douglas is writing his will. They have sent for another Doctor [Carter}. (95) He has been attended by Dr. Weeks, a very skillful man, but I fear all the doctors in the land cannot save him now. Weeks bled him again today and found that inflammation had taken place. Poor Gills! What will become of her and her large family? Oh, what a sweet promise there is for us in the sacred Scriptures where the Lord says He will be the widow s God and a father to the fatherless. God is so good and kind that He will take care of them all, if they ask His assistance, which I sincerely hope they will do.
Elizabeth and Delos went home today. Delos went to Mr. L [Z]immerman s to paint and Cyrus drove Elizabeth home tonight. Pa is some better. He went down to the barn. I hope the Lord will spare his life a long while yet.
Tuesday 5th. I walked over to William s today. He is not much better. Drs. Weeks, Carter and Hunter (96) were there today. They all agreed in opinions concerning his case. I hope that they will not be deceived in thinking that he is better.
We had a rather serious time with Gills this morning. We had prayers and when we rose from our knees, she remained on hers with her eyes set. They carried her out and laid her on the settee and rubbed her with camphor and got her feet in hot water. It was some time before she came to again. She sent for Miss Magee. She lives at John Lucas and was there in a short time. She sent for her sister, Mary, to come out from Nasagua to assist in nursing her companion. Mr. Lucas went for her. Sarah Eliza is here. Mr Emory is going to sit up with William tonight as my Dear is almost worn out. Poor Dear. He has quite a time of nursing the sick. I hope the Lord will reward him in heaven and I hope that he may not be afflicted with sickness in this world and may he be blessed with a long life. May he live to see his dear children well educated and all of them on the road to heaven. God grant it for Thy name sake.
My Dear has just received a letter from Ottawa [Oshawa], from his sister, Sarah Ann Luke. She says that are all well and got home safely. She says that Olive Wheeler has quite a large school and is going to a dancing school. Oh, how awful and horrible is this! She who once professed to be a good Christian. I really do pity her from my whole heart. Surely we can not tell who is pious or who is not. What will the world come to at last. Well, there is a day coming when there will be no dancing and when we will have to give a strict account of all our works done in this world.
We received a letter from Uncle Abram tonight. He says they are all well. They are living by themselves at last. Grandfather (97) lives with them. He makes brooms. Uncle says Aunt Charity is as fat as a well fed porker . This is good news. Her eyes are much better. She had very sore eyes when they lived down here.
They entertain a hope that Jonathan is going to settle himself there in Tilsonburg but I think they will be sadly mistaken for once. I think of writing to Jonathan some time soon and see what he thinks on the subject. I think there is more than one concerned in the decision. They want him to go down to Ottawa [Oshawa] to settle. My Dear has gone over to Wood s tavern to look after old Richard. He got his pension today and will soon have it all spent in drink: He owes Abner some and he wants to get it before he spends it. He gets about sixteen dollars a quarter. They have just come home[.] He is quite drunk. Found him at the shoemakers.
Sarah Eliza and Margaret are going to wire Daniel to come from Hamilton with Doctor Hunter to see William.
I must write to Sarah Ann so will have to stop writing.
Wednesday 6th. It is with great sorrow that I write in my Journal tonight for it is very likely that before the morning has dawned William s soul will be launched into eternity. Oh, my God, may he die in peace with God and man. Robert Husband has gone to the city for William s brother Daniel to come to see him once more before he leaves this world. I was over there today and tried to say some words of comfort to him. He gave me much satisfaction. He said that his mind was settled and resigned to the Lord s will. Oh, what a comfort and consolation this will be to his friends that he leaves behind. May they all follow his example. Oh, Lord, grant that we may prove faithful so that we may all meet around Thy throne, for Thy name s and mercy sake. Oh, Lord, this is my only wish and desire. Catharine Van Norman.
Poor Gills! I am afraid that she will get quite crazy yet. She had a very bad spell today. Her sister Mary is there and she talked to her and got her to go out in the air, and she got better. Mary is a good nurse. I hope she will stay as long as it is necessary. The Doctor thinks that no human art can save him. My dear, poor husband is almost worn out by running backwards and forwards, God of my life, support and comfort him in his dear soul: for surely he needs a balm for his wounds.
Poor Marshall feels very bad tonight. He is weeping about his Uncle and wants to see him. William has truly been kind to all. The neighbors will feel his loss greatly. Old Granny Preston walked all the way there to see him. She said that he had been a kind friend to her. He seemed very glad to see her and said, Well, Granny, you will out live me yet.
Margaret and Dorah are going over to see him. Dorah feels bad. She knows what it is to be fatherless. Maria came home tonight. She went to William s and when Gills saw her she threw her arms around Maria s neck and began to weep very hard. Oh, Lord, pour a cordial in her wounded heart that she may not grieve herself to death. For the sake of her dear little children, do support her.
Thursday 7th. Well, really, it is astonishing to think that William is alive yet. He has outlived all of our expectations but still the doctor thinks there is no hope of his recovery. Daniel came out last night, in the night, stayed with him all day. He will stay as long as he lives. Mrs. Black, Mr. and Mrs. Cornwall were over to see William today. Mr. Emory and Sarah Eliza went down to the lake today, Mr. E. took me over to William s today and brought me back again then took Elizabeth over as she had not been over since William was sick.
I was very busy writing a little note to my Dear as I did not expect him home tonight for William cannot [bear]to have him a moment from his bedside; well, I was writing away when all of a sudden somebody s lips kissed my cheek. I was astonished but very well pleased when it proved to be my dear kind friend and husband. He came over to get some vinegar and said that the doctor said William was a little better. I do hope, if it is the Lord s will, he may recover. He called all of the children to his bedside today, bade them farewell, and gave them some good advice. Oh, it was an affecting scene. He told them that he was going to die and hoped to meet them in heaven.
Friday 8th. William is some better. We have hopes of his recovery. Gills feels much better. The Doctor left for home today. My dear is there, almost worn out. He sent Horace over with the buggy for me today, said it was quite lonesome there without me, and tonight Horace (William s oldest son) (98) brought me home again and took Margaret over to sit with Abner tonight. Sarah Eliza is there. She received a long letter from her intended, Jonathan. He has been quite sick for about two weeks with an inflammation on the lungs.
Maria sent him a paper today by Robert Husband when he went to take Daniel home today. He thought that William was so much better than he would go home. I intend writing Jane S. A. as soon as we see a more favorable change for the better.
Maria and Dorah have gone to singing school. It is very muddy. The dogs worried and killed 13 sheep yesterday. I wish they would kill the dogs. If they do not they will kill the whole flock I am afraid.
Marshall has fine fun with a buzzer, as he calls it, a round piece of wood or leather will make one with a hole and a string through the middle, then it will make a great noise and go a long while. Elizabeth sat up last night with William. She feels rather slim today but I hope that she will sleep to pay.
Saturday 9th. William is alive yet but there is no hope for his recovery. They have had to give him injections. They sent for Pa three times. Robert went for him tonight. They could not get the cathartic to work right.
This is very stormy weather and there is quarterly meeting in the brick Chapel. There are two preachers at Pa s tonight. My dear husband will have to stay with William tomorrow, so he will be deprived the glorious privilege of attending the quarterly meeting, but I hope that God will bless his soul in performing the duties in attending his sick brother. Ira Bullock is here tonight. He thinks that the decree has gone forth that William shall die and not live for he says that before a death he sees something white and says that is a token of death. He said that about ten minutes before he knew that William was sick at all he saw something at the barn and that it was like something covered with grey cloth. He said that he was some surprised at first but in about ten minutes Phoebe came running to tell him that he must come down here to see William. Gills gets along pretty well now. I hope that the Lord will make her bed in all he [her]afflictions, for the sake of the children who, I hope will be a comfort to her in her old age. Elizabeth has gone over to sit all night. I do not know how we will get along with bubby tonight. John Peacock has just returned from the West[.] He went to see some land that he bought of Abner.
Sunday 10th. It is with feelings of great sorrow that this evening I have to record William s death which was last night about 10 o clock. Poor Gills bears this affliction better than we all expected. It is by the assistance of the God. William suffered a great deal before his death as the doctors were performing a surgical operation on him. My Dear said that his heart was sick, hearing him moan and groan so much. Poor William, his peace is made with God and he is singing. His sufferings are over in the mansions in the skies. He is to be buried on Tuesday. They are to meet at the house at ten o clock. He wished to have Rev. Peter Kerr preach his funeral sermon. He wished to be buried decently, he said, without any show or pride and to avoid all unnecessary cost. My Dear went to Bronte (99) today to get the mourning and Elizabeth and Mary Douglass and several others are there. Daniel and Maria came out today but did not stay long as they had not heard of his death until they got here, and so they went home so that they could come out to the funeral. Delos came today. He has taken a sketch of William s face. It is like him, they say. I did not see it. I was there today and came home with Cyrus Bell. Pa staid there all night and took breakfast, then Robert took him home. Marshall and Edwin went to see their Uncle. Marshall was much affected but Eddy was not so much. Eddy touched him on the face but could not persuade Marshall to do so.
My dear husband is very tired tonight. He is lying on the settee, asleep. I went to wake him up and he seemed quite wild, thought he was at William s for he asked me how I came here, so he talked. Really, I am afraid that he will be down sick but he is in the hands of a good God who is too wise to err and too good to be unkind. Blessed be His holy name. He will never leave nor forsake us if we cleave unto Him and put out trust and confidence in him. What a great consolation and comfort this is when we are in trouble and afflications. He will comfort and support in all of our troubles, and the best of all is that he will make us happy at last, forever and ever. I hope and pray that we may one and all be so happy as to be admitted into His holy kingdom where we will be met and welcomed by our friends who have gone before. We have another binding link in the chain to lead us on to God. Who would wish to live always where there is such a glorious prospect ahead. May our motto be Upward and Onward and may we be making some advance every day, and learn by daily passing events, that there is nothing in this world worth living for, only that we may escape the death that never dies. Oh, Lord save by Thy own Almighty power and bring us to that blessed and eternal rest that remains for the people of God, and may this always by the prayer of Thy servant and handmaiden, Catherine Van Norman.
Monday 11th. This is the last day that poor William s body is to remain on earth. Oh, it is a solemn thought that after toiling and slaving himself almost to death, for the comfort of his family, he built a fine brick home and lived in it five months when he was called to meet his God and to leave all behind. It is thought he took cold two weeks ago when he and Gills went to see Mary. He went to a wood bee at Mr. Tindal s (100) and came home quite sick. Gills made him sweat himself, but when he felt a little better he was taken with pains in the back. They sent for Pa as soon as they could but he was sick and could not come, so they sent for Dr. Weeks. He bled him and continued to come every day until his death. They are almost through making the mourning. Abner went to Bronte again for gloves. Elizabeth and Mary Douglas are here. They are asleep. They sat up all night last night. They are going to make some things for me. I hope that is will be a fine day tomorrow so that I can go to the funeral.
I made myself a handkerchief today and fixed my black dress, put crape around the bottom. I suppose that there will be a very large funeral. Delos went to Hamilton today. He sat up last night with the corpse.
Phoebe Black, Gills sister came out today from Hamilton. She and Gills are bad friends. They met today and never spoke to each other. How could they do so under existing circum-stances. It is a shame for them both. If they cannot love each other in this world, how can they in the next! Surely they cannot be admitted until they repent and seek forgiveness from God for their conduct. I feel very sorry for them but I trust they will make up the breach before they part.
I received a letter from my brother Jonathan. He says I must walk two miles every day. I think this will be pretty hard work, but I will try and do it for my health. He says that I must take Cod-Liver Oil. I have been taking it and it is doing me good. He says that he is going to write William. Poor Jonathan, does not know he is no more. They are going to telegraph Sally Ann. She will hardly come. The roads are so bad and the weather so cold. She will feel very bad, but trusting God she will have a helper, one who will heal all our sorrows by a sovereign balm, a cordial for all our fears. He will wipe away all our tears and make us happy in eternal happiness. May our souls willingly submit to all that he calls us to bear in this unfriendly world. Amen.
Tuesday 12th. We have just returned from the graveyard where we deposited the remains of William. Heard a sermon preached by the Rev. Peter Kerr, (101) from Luke XXII:31-32. Gills bore the trial much better than we expected, but I fear the worst is to come yet. My Dear and Uncle David (102) and Jacob (103) went over there. She could hardly speak to them, she felt so cast down. Horace is to take charge of the farm. There is a great responsibility on him now. May the Lord assist and support him.
Daniel and Maria were here today. Mr. Mason and Rev. Peter Kerr were here to dinner. Mr. Emory and Jane came afterward. They were going to prayer meeting at the school house. I can not see what Gills will do when Mary leaves her which will be tomorrow. I think we will have to try and keep her cheerful if we can at all. Little Byron is quite sick. They sent here to know if the Doctor was here. They think that he has an inflamation on the lungs. I hope that it will be nothing serious. Margaret went over to see her aunt, Mrs. Lucas. She is quite sick and has had the Doctor to see her. He and his wife were at the funeral today. The bearers were John Lucas, Ralph Bracken, [Breakon], Robert Douglass, James Dynes, Jacob Cline and Hiram Walker.
There were upwards of one hundred wagons.
Wednesday 13th. Well, having taken my pen again, and seated by my Dear husband, I hope that I may make some improvement in writing and composition. He is writing to his brother Jonathan who has not heard of William s death yet.
We were over today and heard the will read by Mr. Douglass. It was not very long but was very suitable. The farm is to be divided between the two eldest boys and they are to pay the rest a legacy.
Gills is much better and has been setting up the drawers and the dishes. I hope that she will have good health and then she will get along better but with all these she will feel the loss of her beloved companion. Mr. Emory, Jane and Abner s Pa and Ma were there to hear the will read, and Mary was there too. George Calvert and Phoebe Black went home today. Mary is going to stay a week. Byron is quite sick. I am afraid he will be the next one to go as he has inflamation, they think. The children are going to school tomorrow to their Aunt Jane. They have not gone any since their pa was taken so bad.
I have got a good deal better than I was, walked over to the other house today. I am taking Cod Liver Oil. It is doing me good.
Thursday 14th. Well, we have lots of snow at last. The snow has been falling very fast all day. I hope that we will have some nice rides.
It seems poor Gills is destined to have trouble. Byron is very sick and there is but very little doubt that he will follow his father soon. Gills sent for my dear husband today to come over and see Byron. They think that there is something wrong with his head. Margaret went over to-night to sit up with him. I hope, if it is the Lord s will, that he may be spared to be a comfort to his widowed mother.
My Dear is very busy reading. He has commenced a book and I hope will read it through. It is Canada in 37 and 38 by Theller, (105) one of the refugees in the rebellion.
Elizabeth and Claredon are playing on the floor. They cut quite a swell.
We expected some company tonight but the storm prevented them from coming. They were Mr. John Lucas youngsters.
It seems as if my dear husband has all the trouble that is going, both at home at Gills , but I hope and pray that the Lord will support and sustain him amid all of his trials and difficulties. May he get his reward in heaven. Surely all of his kindness and trouble will not go unrewarded. He was my only comfort and hope in my sickness. I love him more and more.
Monday 18th. As circumstances would not admit of my writing for several days past, there will be quite a blank in my Journal. I can remember some but not all. Task came here on Friday and the young ones went to Singing School. Daniel and Maria and Miss Wright (106) came here in the evening, then on Saturday we went to Hamilton and after dinner they mustered up eight sleighs and there were eight or nine in each sleigh. They drove about eighteen miles, going to Flambourgh West, (107) came home about seven clock, and then had supper which consisted of chicken pie, cold ham, bread and butter, several kinds of cake, tea and coffee. We stayed there all night, slept in the stewards room which was very warm. The house (108) is warmed by hot air. There are about sixty boarders.
My dear husband had a very severe headache until after supper. They all left the dining hall and went to the drawing room and Maria (109) played on the piano, and they seemed to enjoy themselves very well.
On Saturday morning they had a class meeting, then a Bible class, then dinner after which we left for home. It was a beautiful day. We soon reached home and found all well. Aunt Hannah Everett was here. She is my dear husband s mother s sister. Uncle Abner, her husband , has been dead fourteen years. She has seen a great deal of trouble with her children. She has a grandson living with her.
Tuesday 19th. Having walked over to pine hall (110) and back again, I feel quite tired. Mrs. Bracken and Mrs. G. Lucas came there this afternoon and stopped a little while. When I came home I found Elizabeth, Margaret and Sis had gone to Mrs. McReed s. She is Margaret s aunt.
Mr. Emory was a part of today drawing sawlogs but is most done. They had four teams today. Maria went to the lake with Sarah Eliza to collect money for the Missionary cause, and will not come home tonight.
There seems to be great times now. They are going to have another election in the county of Halton. (111) Wetenhall (112) and Hopkins (113) are the candidates. They think that Hopkins will go in. I am very sure I do not care if he does. I wish that all will be done for the best and for the good of our country. I think our people ought to be contented under whatever government they have to live. I think that our preachers, in general, have too much to do with politics. Sometimes I think that if our leading members were as anxious about saving souls as they are about electing members there would be better times. I hope that my dear husband will not trouble himself more than is necessary about politics, for what good it will do him. Catherine.
Wednesday 20th. Our young folks and Mr. Lucas are in the parlor enjoying themselves very well but my dear husband is so tired that he cannot join them. He has been working very hard today. Elizabeth and Robert went up to get Mrs. Douglass youngsters to come down but did not succeed as the old folks were not at home.
Maria came home today. She has been collecting missionary money and got five dollars. She got a letter for Pa from Jonathan. He wants about thirty pounds before he gets his profession. He intends coming home in May, and then I suppose we will have a wedding. Well, I sincerely hope that they will do well. Surely, there is nothing to hinder for they will have a good beginning, and there is no doubt but what Jonathan will get plenty of practise. I firmly believe that it was through his means, by the assisting grace of God that my poor and worthless life was spared a little longer to my dear little family. I must try and use all of my influence in getting the friends to employ him if he stops in this part of the country. They want him to settle in several parts of the western country but he thinks some of residing in Hamilton. He is in the hands of the all-wise God who will guide him aright if he only keeps aright. I sincerely hope that he will be a pious doctor, for it is a very rare thing, but they might do a great deal of good.
Friday 22nd. Yesterday was a beautiful day. I spent it in reading and knitting. Elizabeth went over to see Gills, stopped there all day. She made Eddy a coat. Mr. Joseph Freeman came there and Johnny Ware was there, then came here and staid all night. He is a very pious young man and is not married. His mother keeps his house. He is a great person for attending protracted meetings and has been the means of saving many souls and it is no doubt but what he will do all that he can all of his lifetime. He went to England last summer. He has a great many relation there. He was very much pleased and said that they were very kind to him. He said that if he was a preacher he would go there and do all the good that he could. He says that they will go ten miles to hear an American preach. We were very much interested in hearing him relate circumstances that transpired while visiting his friends.
My dear husband, Maria and Dora have gone to singing school. The sleighing is about done or I think Elizabeth would have joined them. Horace took Mrs. C back of the street then she was going to get a chance to her place. Maria went with them as far as George Hershy s.
My dear has paid pa, but had some trouble with him. He hired with William for a year and after his death pa thought he would leave, and so they thought they could keep him out of his
Money because he did not stay him time out. Abner went to Mr. Meloy. He said that could get it if he had not left of his own accord.
We went to Bronte today, stopped a[t] Charles Sovereign, then came to Mr. Emory s took dinner, then came home. I forgot we went to Mr. John McKee s and took Margaret ther as they were going to move to Glanford and she wished to go with them. They took three loads today when we left there. We got capsized, but fortunately received no injury. I was very much frightened. It is the first upset that I have had this long while. When we came home we stopped at Gills and there we saw Mrs. Sandy Black. She drove the horse herself and was putting the harness on him. She says that they call her a grass widow. Gills seems quite lonesome and disconsolate since her sister left, but I hope she will go to the Great Comforter that is on high. If she does he will not cast her away. What a glorious thought is this. We may come if we are ever so great sinners. If we come aright and humble ourselves He will hear and answer our prayers. Catherine.
Saturday 23rd. It is a beautiful day. I went to the woods with my dear husband, walked part of the way, then rode back on a load of wood. He has two teams drawing wood. I hope he will get his work done for I want to have some sleigh rides before the snow goes off.
Pa (114) went to Hamilton and when he came home he had Cousin Benjamin Van Norman (115) with him. He is going to Toronto. He rode all night on a stage coach, on which there were nine or ten persons who were going to California.
I came upon a first rate chance for Marshall to study. I have Willie to come over and they read and spell. I hope that they will both make more progress in their studies. Willie is a little boy that lost his father and mother and pa took him to raise. He is a quiet little fellow. Abner hired Robert Husband for nine months and give him twenty five dollars. He is a first rate boy.
Dorah is making some cakes. Emma Babcock is helping her. We took tea in the other house and had a first rate tea. I had some ginger tea made and slept well all night. I feel very thankful that I am spared through another week.
Sunday evening 24th. This is the holy day of our Lord. I hope I will have no sin to answer for. I have tried to keep my mind stayed on my blessed Saviour. I have read five chapters of His holy word. I went over to see Gills after meeting. Abner and Benjamin Van Norman came, then we took dinner. We heard Minerva play on the Melodian then they went home afterwards my Dear brought Betsy over and took me home. We found tea ready. George Shipman and Margaret Cummins and a Miss Washburn were here. After tea they went home and our folks went to meeting. Mr. Cosford preaches. I wrote a letter to Aunt Charity today and tonight my dear is writing some.
Cousin Benjamin lives at Durham so he is kind enough to carry our letters.
Betsy is going to stop with Gills a few days as she is very lonesome since Mrs. Calvert left. Elizabeth was there and I think she must go again and stay a while if she can. Gills went to class meeting today. She had not been there in a long while. I hope that she will be blessed with health so she can attend regularly. May God bless her and comfort her in all of her trials. This is my sincere wish. Catherine.
Monday 25th. My dear husband went to the lake to take Cousin Benjamin there to meet the stage for Toronto. He called at Lucy Fleming s to get M. to come home.
I went down with my Dear for a load of wood and took Edwin and Sis. We saw a large tree fall, which astonished the children very much as they had never seen one fall[.] After dinner I laid down to rest and fell asleep and did not waken until four o clock, had a first rate nap. Then Mr. Emory and Jane came to the other house. Betsy came after a while from Gills, then we took tea with them in the evening. We had a pleasant visit, then about nine o clock, being very tired, went to bed after committing our souls welfare to the great God, for the night and I hope for ever and ever. I do feel to thank God that I can rejoice in his love and favour. He often blesses my soul, unworthy as I am. I have some precious seasons in secret. God grant that I may always have those sweet moments, if I am deprived the privilege of meeting those of Thy people that worship in Thy house. I hope that I can go to the Chapel next Sunday, if it is the Lord s will. I expect my dear husband will be much pleased if I could go again.
Tuesday 26th. Margaret is washing. I am working a collar for myself. Elizabeth is making a little coat for Eddy and my children are all playing and enjoying themselves.
Tuesday evening. After dinner I went to the mill where my Dear and Mr. Nelson are at work. The little ones went with me. It was so very muddy that it was very hard work to get along. Bubby began coughing after I came in, held his breath so long that I thought he would never come to again.
Mr. Emory took Mrs. Bullock home this afternoon.
Wednesday 27th. My dear went with Mr. Emory to Dundas, (116) to the election, this morning and a few hours after they left there was a man came from Dundas, to let us know that old R. Densmore was drowned in the Dundas Creek. It was R s son-in-law. He started from here on Saturday morning for his daughter s and started home on Sunday morning about eight o clock, stopped at a tavern, spent two and a sixpence in liquor, and then the tavern-keeper started him off about six o clock, then the poor fellow lost his way and fell in the water. His daughter is to have his chest. It is worth a good deal. The son-in-law and I went down to look at his things. It seems as he thought that he would never return as he told them of several things he had and even told them where to find the key, but it was not quite in the same place. Poor old creature! He did not think much about the salvation of his immortal soul. He has passed through many hard scenes and came to a dreadful end at last, but he is in the hands of a wise and good God so it is not for us to judge.
Margaret cleaned the kitchen today. Elizabeth was to go to Uncle Jacob Cline s but got disappointed and I was not sorry for little bubby had a curious spell today.
Abner saw Walter Sumner today, in Dundas. He is going to California before a great while.
Mr. and Mrs. Emory and my Dear are at Gills tonight. I do wish Abner would come home. I am most sick with a toothache. It will have to be extracted.
I think there are a couple of Disciple, as they call themselves, going to preach at the corner.
Thursday 28th. This has been a dark and gloomy day as it had been raining quite bad most of the day. Grandpa went to Hamilton today. I do not envy him his journey. I went to see the calves this morning. They are thriving nicely. Then I went to the place where old Richard lived, came in and suffered greatly from the toothache until after dinner, then my dear husband extracted my tooth with the hawksbills or nippers.
I am reading The Wives of England, written by Mrs. Ellis. (117) She is a beautiful writer. I hope I may profit by the reading of it. I have become a member of the Calopean Library Society. They have a great number of good books, about one hundred volumes.
The saw mill has been going all day and they think they will have to saw tonight.
As I was writing I was much startled to see it lightning and hear a clap of thunder. How much we ought to love and fear that great being whose voice is heard in the thunder storm. Oh, what marvellous works the hand of the great God have made. Blessed be his hold name forever.
Friday 1st. Father came here yesterday, stayed to dinner. Gills came in the afternoon, stayed till after tea, then Margaret took some things to granny, staid at Singing School awhile, then staid with Gills all night.
Robert was sawing when the mill broke and then my Dear had to arise very early in order to get it repaired.
I was much grieved with Marshall last night. Edgar Vernon and Arthur came here and they were all in the kitchen. Dorah was giving out spelling. E. and M. were scuffling when E. hurt M. on the back, which made M. feel very angry. I made him come into the dining room and after a while I talked to him very seriously. I do not like the idea of reproving children when they are angry and irritated, but it is the best that we can do. It is a hard task unless we ask assistance of the great God on high. I hope that my God will enable me to fulfil my duties to my children, and may he grant to put it into their hearts to do what is right, and I hope that they may never have to reflect that they were naughty to their parents and grandparents, who all think so much of them and do all they can to make them happy and comfortable. I am very sorry to say the Dorah has caused me some trouble, but I hope that she will try and do better for the time to come. It has been a very stormy and blustering day.
Saturday 2nd. Got up early this morning, read some, then after prayers went down in the field to walk, stayed a little while when the[y] began to look all over for me as I did not let them known that I was going. When I came in I had a good appetite for my breakfast, after which I went into the other house, knit a while, then walked to Gills . She was getting ready to go to the Square. She took 34 lbs of butter. I staid until noon. Mrs. Atkinson came in. She had been to see Granny Tindall who is sick and Grandfather Lucas (118) who fell and hurt his arm. He is a good old man. I wish I were half as good.
Mary Magee came here this afternoon for some butter. I am going to let her have butter for a month.
Elizabeth is going to stay with Gills tonight. It may be that she will stay longer. It is a nice day. They are sawing. I think if it is fine tomorrow and I am well enough, I will go to meeting. Oh, how glad I will feel if I am blessed with another privilege of meeting the people of
God, in his holy temple, to worship at His feet. I feel that I am a poor and helpless creature[.]
Without the assistance of God, I can do nothing; with His help oh, my Lord and Saviour, do not withhold Thy love from me at any time. I do feel to thank Thy Holy Name for what I do feel at this time. May I ever feel thus. My whole dependence is on Thee. Oh, do support and comfort me all the days of my life, whether they be many or few. Catherine.
Sunday 3rd. I went to meeting this morning, rode with ma in the buggy, had a very good time. I felt so thankful for this great privilege of meeting with the people of God. May I still improve upon those blessings, and may I put my vows into practice.
Mr. and Mrs. Fisher (119) were in our class. They spoke very interesting, indeed. I introduced myself to her and invited them to come to dinner. After dinner we went to see Gills. Elizabeth was there all night, but she came home, and Robert took her to Uncle Jacob s. (120) She is going to stay this week. Poor Gills feels very much cast down. She wants to be talking about William all of the time, and cries and mourns a great deal. Mr. Emory, Jane, Abner and myself were there this afternoon and did not leave until Abner prayed with her. I hope that they will discharge this as a duty imposed upon them by their dying brother, and my God grant to assist them in all of their duties as class leaders. May they watch the spiritual welfare of their flock, with a watchful eye, and when they have done with all below, may they meet them all above in our kind and heavenly Father s Kingdom, where congregations never break up and Sabbaths never end. Amen. C. Van Nor
Monday 4th. We have had sad news from Ottawa [Oshawa], this afternoon. Little Ida Jane is dead. Died of scarlet fever and was buried last Thursday. Poor Sally Ann! How disconsolate and lonely she must feel. I hope that she will be enabled to submit to the afflicting dispensations of an all wise and righteous God. She has another little saint in heaven, and may she be so unspeakably happy as to meet them in heaven.
Mr Emory got the paper at Bronte, that gave an account of her death. He came down as soon as he could to let us know. It is likely pa will go down soon to see them, perhaps before the close of the month. We all think that someone ought to go, for she is so far from her friends that they cannot afford he much comfort or consolation.
Bubby has been very good all day. Margaret has been washing so I had to take care of him. My Dear undertook to extract a tooth for Harriett Emory, but did not succeed. She much frightened. Mr. Emory and Jane staid until after tea. Mr. Douglass came to the other house to talk politics. There is to be a meeting at Hannasville (121) on Wednesday (on politics, of course).
I expect my Dear will attend.
Old Granny Preston is at Gills tonight, walked there. Gills mourns very much. We went there today.
Tuesday 5th. I walked over to the other house. Granny was there and Mrs. George Lucas. About ten o clock Aunt Isabell and Mr. Cotter came there. Mrs. Cotter knows by experience how to sympathize with Gills. Her husband died suddenly, and now her children are very unkind and saucy to her, which grieves her sorely. She was well acquainted with the family of Black s, in New Brunswick, and lived there when Gills father was drowned. She came to this country with them. My dear husband came in the evening, staid until after tea, then went to prayer meeting at the other corner. I staid there until he came, then he walked home.
Wednesday 6th. This has been a stormy day, sometimes raining and sometimes snowing and blowing. It is blowing at a fearful rate just now. Oh, how thankful we ought to be that we have a comfortable house to screen us from the fretings of the storm. I think that I always think of the poor creatures that are perishing in the storms, and feel very sorry for them, but this can avail them nothing, so I must try and always pray for them. This is the Singing School night. I think there will be a small number in attendance. I have another book from the library. It is called Sabbath Day Miscellany. It is very interesting. May I improve by its reading. I am very tired tonight. Kitty.
Thursday 7th. I feel much out of humor today. I cannot tell why, without it is my own fault. I have not performed my secret duties, as I have days that have passed, but I hope that the Lord will forgive.
Mrs. Magee came here this morning for some buckwheat rising. Elizabeth has not come home yet, is enjoying herself. Aunt said that she went to Mr. Camplise to a tea party. As there has nothing transpired of much account, I will not write anymore today.
Friday 8th. I rose this morning early, then after breakfast, we went up to see my father s. My Dear and Mr. Emory went to the Election at Hannasville. The candidates are Wetenhall and Hopkins, Reformers. After taking dinner at father s, went to the Trafalgar election. They think that W. will run in. I am very sure I do not much care. Father does not take any part in either side. Hellen Nellis (122) is at home now. She has been at Hamilton some time.
Delos and Mr. Reed came from Hamilton today, then went to Hannasville, then came to father s, (while I was there), took their tea then we came home.
This is most all that I can remember of this day s work.
Saturday 9th. I rose at seven this morning, read until breakfast, after which read again, then laid down to rest until eleven.
Delos came here about noon, accompanied by Mr. Reed, then Mr. Emory and Jane came, all stayed to dinner, after which Delos and Reed went to Hamilton and my Dear and Mr. Emory to Hannasville to the Election. They saw Uncle William Nixon (123) from the Forty. Abner had some talk about the Sumners. They have received another letter from Cyrus. Gives rather poor encouragement respecting the good diggings. Walter has given up going. The young man that was with Cyrus has been very sick of the fever.
They think that Wetenhall will get in. He is in Toronto very sick. They are expecting to hear of his death. If he should die there will be another election soon, which will make exciting times, in this county.
Well, another week has passed into oblivion, to be no more. The things that have been done this week, will all be registered on high in the Lamb s Book of Life. I am sorry to say that I did not spend this as I should have done, but I hope that the Lord will forgive me.
Sunday 10th. It is nine o clock and I am not in bed. Did not think of being out of bed this time of the night. I did not go to meeting this morning as is so blustering and cold that my Dear thought I had best stay at home, so I improved the time by writing to Jonathan.
We went to see how Gills is getting along. Mrs Magee is there stopping. Elizabeth has come home. Bubby is much pleased to see her. She came to meeting with Uncle Jacob tonight, then rode home with Ma. Mr. Jeffers preached. I could not go tonight. As it is very late and I am very tired, I must write no more at present.
Monday 11th. This has been a pleasant day. The sun shines nicely. Margaret is washing. Elizabeth is getting dinner. Sarah Eliza came home with Maria. She went to the other house tonight.
My Dear is not in a very good humor from some cause. Oh, I do wish we could live so that every little gust that comes would not destroy our peace and comfort. I think that we could live so if we would shut our eyes and hold our tongues if anything goes astray.
I received a very kind letter from Sally Ann. It gave an account of little Ida Jane s death. Poor thing! She feels very much bereaved. I hope that kind Providence will support and comfort her.
My Dear went to Gill s to read my letter. He had one for her, which I hope will yield her some support and consolation in all of her trials. God grant it for Thy name and mercy s sake.
Tuesday 12th. I have answered Sally Ann s letter today. Old Jacob Hummer came and he is to put it in the office for me. We are quite alone today as My Dear has gone over to Mr. White s place to hew timber for to build a shed next spring[.] Poor fellow! He will be very tired tonight. He is going to have several men with him. They took their dinners with them.
As I have been writing all this morning I feel very tired, so I think I will stop writing for the present.
Wednesday 13th. As my dear husband went to the woods with the wagon; I rode as far as Mary Magee s, staid there until they came back, then it was raining very hard. Mary put a bed quilt around me for fear I would get wet.
In the evening, Mr. Wadsworth came home with pa, expecting to have a temperance meeting, but it had not been appointed, and it was so rainy that there was no meeting.
Thursday 14th. My dear husband and Gills went to Hamilton, accompanied by Mr. Douglass, to get the will recorded. Abner said that Gills could hardly sign her name, she felt so bad.
Friday 15th. My dear husband got up this morning, very early, and went sawing after breakfast. I took sis up to the mill. She is not well. There is something the matter with her knee. Little bubby is very sick.
Tuesday 19th. As I did not feel very well, I neglected writing in my Journal; and little bubby was so sick that I did not think much about it. He has been so sick that Elizabeth had to sit up with him all night, and Edwin and Eva have been very sick.
Mrs. Magee and Mrs. Van Norman came over today, on the ox sled, for it has been snowing enough to make it muddy and wet, so they could not walk here. Gills asked me for the sketch that Delos took of William. She took it out in the kitchen and cried as if her heart would break. Poor thing! There is a wound made in her heart that never can be healed but by the sovreign balm of the Lamb s blood. God grant that his blood may be applied and heal her soul.
Little bubby is very sick yet. Elizabeth has gone to bed as she was up all night.
My dear husband has been working in the saw mill all day and is very tired. They are going to saw tonight as there is so much water. The mill keeps them busy day and night.
Sunday 24th. I went to meeting. We had a good prayer-meeting, conducted by D. Barnum, a member of the Wesleyan Methodist Church. He is traveling about trying to get a great union of all the branches of the Methodist Church. He came here at dark last night, is here yet. Dr. Weeks came here to get dinner, and John Lucas came here for meeting, staid to dinner.
Margaret walked down to the Lake this morning. This is a beautiful day. The sun is shining most beautiful. I feel quite well at present. I hope that the Lord will bless my soul and heal my body, and spare my health for the sake of my dear children.
Elizabeth and bubby and John Lucas are in the kitchen chatting very happily together.
This Mr. Barnum is a very curious person. He is showing my Dear a map of the Church on a little piece of paper about the size of his hand and telling him a dream.
I think I will go to meeting tonight.
Wednesday 27th. This has been a very happy day to some of our family as an old quarrel has been settled to the satisfaction of all parties concerned, which were Mr. Emory, Mr. and Mrs. Lucas, and Mrs. Emory, Abner and myself, I feel very thankful that I had not much to say in the matter. Brother Cosford was present. He opened the meeting with reading and prayer and at the conclusion closed with singing and prayer. Mr. E. Mr. L. and A. and Mrs. E. and Mrs. L. prayed, It had a great affect upon all present. To show that all is fairly settled Mr. E. is going to give a dinner next Wednesday. Mr. Wm Lucas made a party tonight, and Elizabeth and Margaret are gone. They had not been gone many minutes before Mr. Fritter and Mr. Smith came here. Dorah got tea for them, after which they went to Singing School.
Now, as E. has gone, we will have to take care of the babe. He is not well yet, has the whooping cough.
I wrote a letter to Jonathan yesterday. Pa got one from him the other evening. Pa is very unwell, has a bad cold.
Thursday 28th. My dear husband went to Hamilton and I rode with him as far as Uncle Jacob Cline s. They had gone to Hamilton too, so I made a visit with old Grandfather Cline. He will be ninety seven years old, if he lives until the second day of February. He is as healthy as any man can be. He sleeps a great part of the day. He can shave himself quite well. He says he is only waiting for the call of his heavenly Father. He is very happy sometimes. He has often awakened the family in the night, by his singing and shouting and clapping his hands. I got some of his hair. It is quite white. He says that is was a sandy color once. He sang some verses in Dutch for me. He had a Dutch Bible which he gave to a German family that were Roman Catholics. They lived by Uncle John Cline s, so Grandfather heard from Uncle John that the Dutch Bible had been the means of saving the soul of the man that got it, Uncle Simeon (124) has a Dutch hymn book of Grandfather s. He told me a couple of dreams, that he dreamed; one about six or seven years ago, and the other, last summer. As they are lengthy I will not write them today, but take a new leaf and a new day, and besides, I am very sleepy and tired.
I received a paper from Jonathan tonight.
Tuesday 2nd. On Sabbath I went to meeting but was so warm that I thought I would have to come home, but I did not like to leave the class although I was unable to speak yesterday, which was the first of April. I went with ma to see Jane. She was very sick on Sabbath. They sent for the Doctor. He gave her an emetic which relieved her immediately. When we went there, she was washing dishes. She made us an April Fool, for we expected to find her in the bed.
When we came home, I stopped to see Old Granny Tindall, while ma drove down to Mr. John Lucas for a sheepskin that was there. I spoke to Mrs. Tindall about her feelings. She said that sometimes she had so much pain that, she could scarcely stand it. I told her to put her trust in the Lord and he would enable her to withstand and bear. Yes, oh, yes, she says, He is my only support and comfort, Poor old lady, she has suffered a great deal.
Last evening Mr. George Crooks, (125) the assessor, came here and took tea. He lately married Miss Margaret Smith.
Mr. Day, the schoolmaster, came here and staid all night. He and the girls sat up until about eleven o clock, for which my Dear is much displeased, as he was disturbed of his rest. He had to get up and go sawing. He got up and went upstairs and slept, until Robert came in.
I walked over to the grave yard today. I had some serious thoughts while there. There lies my Grandmother, and by her side, my own dear mother, and my dear brother Robert, the companion of my youthful day, and there, as it were in one grave, lies his wife, the young and blooming Celeste, and there is my own sweet babe s resting place; and there my dear and kind brother-in-law, William. I look on all sides and behold some of my dear friends graves. They had trials and afflictions many, but now they are at rest in the Lord. Oh, glorious hope that I have of one day landing my weary soul in that starry mansion on high, where all tears are wiped away from our eyes. Sometimes, I feel that there is something whispering to me that my days are but few, something that says, be also ready, for ye know not the moment when ye, too, shall be lying mouldering in the graveyard on the hill. But, I can say with a thankful heart that I feel resolved to spend my remaining days more to the service of my dear Master. Yes, I feel thankful that the Lord has given me this desire, and may this be my only study, to be resigned to my Heavenly Master s will.
Monday 8th. Last Thursday, Mr. Lash, the singing master, undertook to mesmerize Elizabeth and myself, but failed to put us asleep. I felt the effects of the flud , (126) as they call it, very much and was almost asleep, but was a little frightened in the bargain. Mr. Winters came here with Mr. Lash. He is a writing master. He is trying to get a school in this neighborhood. If he does, I will try and learn, if I can.
I went to meeting yesterday. There was a very good meeting. At night, I went again to hear Mr. Jeffers. He preached from Paul s first Epistle to the Corinthians, 12th chapter and 15th verse. I was very good. He staid here all night. Today I walked over with Mr. Jeffers to see Gills. He read and prayed with her.
Old Mrs. Tindall died this morning after a long sickness. She is relieved at last by death and I hope her soul is at rest. I went to see her the other day. She spoke very satisfactorily as to her future happiness. Mr. Jeffers is to preach her funeral. I pray God to make is a solemn time, long to be remembered.
This is a very cold day and my Dear has to work for all.
Wednesday 10th. I attended old Mrs. Tindall s funeral yesterday and heard Mr. Jeffers preach a very good sermon. Poor old Father Tindall feels the loss keenly. She was a faithful and kind wife to him, but she was also a very great sufferer, but now her sufferings are over and she has gone to meet her reward. May we all be careful and not forget the warnings that are presenting themselves to us every day. Mr Day came here after school this evening to go with my Dear husband to the Square, to a lecture on Temperance, given by Mr. Dicks. They will not be home until it is very late.
Elizabeth went over to Pine hall today and she and Gills walked to Mrs. Lucas , who is very sick with inflammation on the lungs, the doctor says. I hope she will get well soon for the sake of her family, which depend on her very much. Miss Magee is there. She is a faithful old nurse as any one would wish to have. She was very kind to me and my little babe in my sickness last summer.
I received a letter from Sarah Ann, the 8th, and I must try and answer it soon as she must be anxious to hear from home. Pa is going down soon. She wants me or Gills to let her have one of our little girls. She thinks that they would be of some comfort to her as she feels very lonely.
Elizabeth and Margaret have gone to Singing School. Robert Husband is quite unwell this evening. Eva went with her aunt to see Bertha today, was much pleased, and very tired tonight when she came home. I went with my dear husband last night, to see Mrs. Lucas. She was better. Dr. Carter had been there and bled her. My dear went to prayer meeting in the school house. We took tea and then came home.
My dear husband had a very severe pain in his head last night. I felt much alarmed about him but he was better this morning and went to work as hard as ever. They were thrashing oats today. Poor dear, he will not take much comfort tonight, for he will be so tired. May God bless him and all of his. Catherine Van Norman
Tuesday 16th. My dear husband and Mr. Day have gone to the Square tonight, to their meeting of the Sons of Temperance ,[.] (127)
My brother, John Bell, came here to make us a visit. I am very glad to see him. He will be good company for us.
Little bubby is very unwell. I fear that it is the eriseplas. Oh, I do not want to think about this dreadful disease as my poor little Earnest suffered so much, and then, at last, died of it.
We hired a black man yesterday, for two weeks, at four dollars. I will never forget the feelings of myself and my dear husband, on this occasion. My dear wanted to take the black man to the table with the family and I would not consent. But rather than have any fun my dear husband gave up and so I hope that we will get along first rate.
I received a letter from Cousin Jane McMasters. She says that she received a letter from Cyrus, from California. He is well and doing well.
Gills is very poorly. She wants Abner to see the Doctor.
I wish that they had ambition enough in this neighborhood to form a Society of the Sons of Temperance , so that the folks would get home in time, as it is not very pleasant to be up all night.
Mr. Douglass was here on Sunday. He had just come from Toronto the day before. He said that he went to the Lunatic Asylum to see Mr. Wetenhall who has been deranged ever since Election. It is likely he will never recover.
Sarah Eliza was here a few days.
Yesterday, Mrs. Crooks, (128) William Smith and his two sisters, Huldah Ann and Sarah, came. Huldah Ann staid all night. Today, Miss Emory and Miss Smith walked down to the Lake to Mrs. Petit s.
Mrs. John Lucas has been very sick, but is much better tonight. I hope that the Lord will spare her a long while for to watch over her large family.
Margaret is going to leave the last of this month, and then, I do not know how we will get along, but I hope that Dorah will try and be a good girl.
John is looking at the pictures. Libby and Margaret are reading in the American Courier. They want John to stay and go to Singing School but he thinks he must go home tomorrow. He lives in the Jersey settlement.
Monday 22nd. I attended the Quarterly Meeting yesterday. I was very much interested in hearing some good Christians relate their Christian experiences. I have not been at such a meeting in more than two years. I could not refrain from weeping to hear some tell of their happy experience. Some had been in the service of the Lord for forty years and found that it was as good as ever. After meeting we went to Mr. Absalom Smith s and took our dinner, then started for home. We met Mrs. Harwood and family, who wanted us to stay for tea, but we declined.
This morning we went to Mrs. Ira Bullock s and took dinner. Then my dear husband went to John Campbell s and bought a yoke of oxen. He is to give sixty nine dollars for them.
When we came home, we met John Lucas, Miss Campbell, Miss Van Norman, and Miss Bell going to Mr. Smith s to spend the evening.
Mr. Day was nursing bubby when I came home. Dorah got some supper and then Mr. Day and Abner left for the Square to attend their meeting.
Mr. and Mrs. Emory and Sarah Eliza came. Sarah E. stayed all night. She has three sore fingers. Poor girl, she has suffered a great deal.
Monday 6th. My dear companion has gone to the meeting of the Sons of Temperance at the Square, and will be away until late so I think that I will go to bed as I feel very tired.
Monday 13th. I have worked quite hard as it is wash day and there was a great deal of work to do.
Delos is painting William s likeness, from memory and is succeeding well. May it please Gills is my constant wish, for I know that she will derive great comfort in gazing upon the portrait of her Kind and beloved husband. Oh, how lonely and desolate she must feel. It is thought that she will not survive him long for she is grieving and mourning and will not be comforted.
Pa is going to Ottawa [Oshawa] and Gills thinks of going with him.
I went to meeting yesterday, and heard Daniel Van Norman preach a while, but I was very warm and had to leave before the meeting was closed. They left for home this morning, had little Spencer with them, and Mrs. Wright.
My dear husband and Mr. Day have gone to the meeting at the Square.
Sarah Eliza came here yesterday and is here yet.
Tuesday morning 4th. Abner and I started for Sugar Loaf, (130) and went as far as the Forty, (131) took dinner at William Sumners. After dinner we started for Smithville. (132) On our way we stopped to enquired the road of some men, when two men came riding by and said that Ralph Walker s man had hung himself. So, when we came to the place, my dear companion went to the house and enquired the particulars, but no one could give the reason why one so young and, seemingly, so contented and cheerful, should put an end to his existence.
We arrived at Smithville at five o clock and there I met one of my Cousin s wife so she made us promise to come to their place and take breakfast, which we did and had a good one. Then we went on to Uncle David Morgan s a cousin of Abner s, and a first rate fellow he is. Then we went back and staid at Uncle David s all night.
Thursday 6th. We went down to Henry Dichout s. He lives in Berta. We had quite a laugh at Abner s cousin, Phoebe, for not knowing him, but she found out after a while. When we drove up to the house, Abner went in to see if it was the place, and Mr. D. came out and said that his wife was not at home, so he took our horse and buggy and went for her. When she came she did not know us, but soon found out, for she thought Abner was some of Uncle Isaac s family. We had a first rate time when we became acquainted.
The next day the Governor was to be at the stone bridge and at Gravely Bay, so Mr. Dichout said that we would all go up and see him, but we were disappointed in seeing his Lordship, but we made all right by going to see the hill that is called Sugar Loaf . The country all around is very level, and it is about a stone s throw from the shore of Lake Erie. This hill is round and tapers gradually to a point on the top, which place we gained after much laughing, and falling, and puffing, and blowing, for it was very warm. I was much disappointed when we got to the top, as it was so misty we could see but a short distance around. Well, we left this pretty hill for Berta, where our cousin lives, and on our way called at a Mr. Teeds. They would have us take some dinner, so, at last, we consented, and really it was laughable to see how hard those Yankee ladies tried to carry out high life in their conversation and actions. After all, give me an honest Dutch woman, or a warm hearted Canadian, who are just what they appear to be and nothing else.
Well, the next morning we started for Buffalo, through the rain. We thought that it would cease to rain, but as the day advanced, the rain came in torrents. Sometimes we thought of turning back, but as the old saying is that a faint heart never won a fair lady , we kept on. When we came within six or seven miles of the Ferry we took Cousin Phoebe with us and Cousin Henry was to go down to the fort and go across in a little boat, and we were to go across at the Ferry on a steamboat, but unfortunately we did not think to have a place appointed to meet, as we ought to have done, so we had a great time at the Ferry. We were almost wild, thinking that Cousin Henry was drowned, because he did not come to the Ferry. At last the horse boat came and so we went on board, running the risk of meeting Henry, and crossed at Black rock. (134) I wished that I had taken my Journal with me so that I could have put down all of our great travels and adventures. I put some in my pocket-book, with a pencil, and I will transcribe them in my Journal. So, here they come on the other side.
1. Abner E. Van Norman (b. c 1817, d. 1882). He married Catherine Bell on 16 May 1842.
2. Nathaniel Bell (1790-1859) was born in New Jersey and came with his family to Upper Canada in 1792. He studied medicine with Dr. Cyrus Sumner and Dr. Robert Kerr. During the War of 1812 he served as assistant-surgeon to Kerr. In April 1819
he passed the Upper Canada Medical Board. He lived at St. Ann s, Halton County where he carried on an extensive medical practice. He was surgeon for the Gore militia and a member of the Church of England. After the death of his first wife, Sarah Cline, he remarried in June 1843 to Mary Ann Nelles, nee O Reilly.
3. Hamilton. The town site was laid out in 1816 in Barton Township. Although
the population then was only about 800 (for the township) and the village grew slowly, by 1850 the population had risen to over 10,000. the completion of the Burlington Bay Canal gave the town access to Lake Ontario. Well-situated at the Head of the Lake, it became a commercial centre and banking and railway head-quarters.
4. Erysipelas is a local inflammation of the skin.
5. In 1850 John Wetenhall, member of the Legislative Assembly for Halton County,
joined the cabinet of Robert Baldwin s and Louis-Hippolyte La Fontaine s Great
Ministry. By law, Wetenhall was forced to seek re-election; a by-election was held
in March 1850.
6. Meeting was the term usually used for Methodist church services. It could also refer
to an evening tea meeting a church supper followed by morally uplifting speeches.
7. A classic of Christian literature written by John Bunyan (1628-88). An English
Puritan minister and preacher, Bunyan s work secured him an enduring reputation.
His book, like the Bible, was a commonplace in the homes of the ordinary people
during the 18th and 19th centuries.
8. Elizabeth Bell (1823-1902) was a younger sister of Catherine Bell Van Norman and
Abner Van Norman s second wife.
9. Thomas Douglas was a local farmer and blacksmith from Ireland. He was a
10. Gills Black (1814-85) was born in New Brunswick. She married William Van
Norman, Abner s brother, and they lived on a 200-acre lot just east of the Isaac Van
11. A log structure built on the farm of John Lucas (near the present-day site of Burloak
Drive and the QEW). Later a brick school was built on the northeast corner of
Appleby Line and the QEW.
12. Miss Good was a local teacher who lived with the family of Aaron Dunham Emery.
13. Margaret Campbell was probably the daughter of John and Elizabeth Campbell. She
was about 21 years of age.
14. John Cline Sr (d. 1854) was Catherine Bell Van Norman s maternal grandfather. In
1818 he bought 200 acres of land in Halton County.
15. Sarah Cline (d. 1841) was the first wife of Dr. Nathaniel Bell and Catherine Bell Van
Norman s mother.
16. We have been unable to find any reference to this minister and suspect a possible
error in transcription.
17. Niagara Falls was by this time a great tourist centre attracting as many as 60,000
visitors a year. Most of the American side of the Niagara River and much of the
Canadian side were occupied by places of amusement. In the fall of 1850 an
enormous rock fall occurred.
18. James Lewis (1792-1872) was the son of Levi Lewis Jr. and Mary Beemer. He was
married twice, first to Elizabeth Conwin, and secondly to Clarissa Gray. He had
eight children. His sister Mary married John Ryerson, brother of Egerton Ryerson.
James Lewis was a prominent Methodist in the Grimsby area.
19. Jane Mack Van Norman (1822-96) was a sister of Abner Van Norman. She was a
teacher. In 1848 she became the third wife of Aaron Dunham emery.
20. Robert Kerr Bell (1824-48) was a brother of Catherine Bell Van Norman.
21. Caleb Hopkins Van Norman (1819 1905) was a cousin of Abner Van Norman.
Caleb was the son of Abram Van Norman.
22. Sally Ann (Sarah) Van Norman was a sister of Abner Van Norman. She married
Luke Miles of Oshawa who operated a tannery there.
23. The Pavilion Hotel was one of the two principal hotels on the Canadian side of
24. One of the foremost attractions at Niagara Falls was the Niagara Falls Museum
owned by Thomas Barnett. A highlight of any visit it was described as really worth
seeing. Among other things it contained a display of over 6,000 birds, plants, and
animals, a coin collection, and a variety of Indian souvenirs for sale.
25. John Summerfield (1798-1825) was a native of England who spent most of his life
in Ireland. At the age of 19 he was converted to evangelical Methodism. In 1821
he arrived in New York. After a brief period he gained widespread recognition as a
preacher. He died four years later as a result of life-long weakness and failing
health. Memoirs of the life and ministry of the Rev. John Summerfield, A.M., late a
preacher in connexion with the Methodist Episcopal church in America was written
by John Holland (1794-1872) and proved enormously popular. It went to nine
editions and an abridged edition was published in 1850.
26. Refers to Sally Ann Van Norman and her husband Luke Miles.
27. In 1846 Oshawa contained about 1,000 inhabitants. It was a centre of small
business and located in a good farming community. Three miles from the village at
Oshawa Harbour was Port Oshawa.
28. The settlement known as Dereham Forge in Dereham Township, Oxford County
grew up around the furnace established there for melting iron ore by Joseph Van
Norman, Hiram Capron, and George Tillson. The settlement was renamed
Tillsonburg when it was surveyed for town lots in 1837. It became a police village
in 1865 and a town seven years later. In 1851 the village contained about 150
inhabitants. Its only church was Wesleyan Methodist.
29. William Van Norma (1807-50) was Abner Van Norman s brother. He was a farmer
and lived on the lot immediately adjacent.
30. Aaron Dunham Emery (1808-92) was a farmer and wheelright in Nelson Township.
His third wife was Jane Mack Van Norman, s sister of Abner s.
31. Sarah Eliza Emery was a daughter of A. D. Emery by his first wife, Catherine Pettit.
Sarah was engaged to Dr. Jonathan Van Norman.
32. Cyrus Sumner (1812-50), son of Dr. Cyrus Sumner, was lured to California by the
discovery of gold in 1849. He died in Sacramento the following year.
33. In 1848 Mexico ceded California to the United States. With the discovery of gold at
Sutter s mill in 1849 the new territory immediately acquired national importance.
That year it has been estimated over 80,000 men made their way to the coast in
search of riches.
34. Maria Van Norman was a daughter of Joseph Van Norman, Isaac Van Norman s
(Abner s father) brother.
35. Isaac Van Norman (1784-1877) emigrated from Northampton County, Pennsylvania
to Upper Canada about 1800. In 1806 he was a yeoman farmer in Barton Township
(future site of Hamilton). At that time he signed his name Vannorman. He was the
father of Abner Van Norman.
36. This is undoubtedly an error in transcription. It refers to Dr. Nathaniel Bell,
Catherine s father.
37. Elizabeth (Betsy) Van Norman, a sister of Abner s. She married Ira Bullock.
38. Ira Bullock was born about 1805 in New Jersey. He married Elizabeth Van Norman,
and they had five children. He was a Methodist and farmed in Nelson Township.
39. Maria and John Peacock lived in a house on Isaac Van Norman s farm.
40. The village of Wellington Square originated as Brant s Block , part of a tract of land
granted to Joseph Brant (Thayendanegea). After Brant s death in 1807, James Gage
of Hamilton purchased part of the estate on which he built a mill and other
commercial establishments. His mill formed the nucleus of the village, named after
the first Duke of Wellington. For many years growth was slow; in 1845 there were
only 400 inhabitants. Over the next 20 years a boom in wheat and milling stimulated
the growth of local shipbuilding and the village prospered. In 1851 the Square
contained a steam grist-mill, a tannery, a pottery, and three churches. The principle
articles of export were wheat, flour, and lumber. In 1873 the village amalgamated
with Port Nelson, ( a small hamlet at present-day Guelph Line and the lakeshore) as
the village of Burlington. At incorporation the population was 750.
41. Alfred Booker Sr (1800057) was born in England and emigrated to Upper Canada in
1842. The following year he moved to Hamilton where he served as a Baptist
minister. He died on 12 March 1857 in the train accident of the Great Western Railway over the Desjardin Canal.
42. Thomas Jeffers (1808-71) was received on training in the Methodist Church in 1841.
he itinerated at various missions in southern Ontario serving at Nelson Township in
1849 and 1850. He died in Toronto on 15 September 1871.
43. Thomas Cosford (1813-92) was received in training as a minister in the Methodist
Church in 1839. In 1849-50 he served with Thomas Jeffers in Nelson Township. He
died at London on 7 July 1892.
44. Refers to the Methodist chapel built at present-day Appleby Line and the QEW
(Middle road) in 1845.
45. Isaac Van Norman s sawmill was situated on lot 4 in the 3rd concession upon a
stream fed by spring run-off with water enough to saw about two months in a year.
In 1851 it was estimated that 40,000 feet of Lumber were cut there in a year. It
employed three men and was built at a cost of 125 pounds. The foundations may
still be see today. Part of the dam remains standing.
46. Jonathan Van Norman, brother of Abner, attended McGill Medical School in
Montreal. He graduated in 1850 and established a medical school with Dr. Anson
Buck at Bronte. He later moved to the United States. He married Sarah Eliza
Emery, daughter of A. D. Emery by his first wife, Catherine Pettit.
47. The exact nature of this reference remains uncertain.
48. James Day (b. c. 1824) was a teacher from England. He was a Methodist.
49. Minerva Van Norman (1836-1901) was a daughter of William and Gills Van
Norman. She died at Cleveland.
50. Thomas Atkinson lived on a farm at the southwest corner of Appleby Line and QEW
(Middle Road). He may have been the Thomas Atkinson who became a member of
the Methodist Episcopal Conference from 1852 to 1855 and was ordained in 1856.
this man died at Maitland on 29 December 1874, aged 50 years.
51. Refers to Elizabeth Van Norman, wife of Ira Bullock.
52. This reference may be an error in transcription. It may refer to Ranters, a mid 17th-
century Christian sect that appealed to an inner experience of Jesus Christ, denied
the authority of the scriptures and of all creeds, and repudiated the ministry.
53. Delos Bell (b. 1836, 1850-77) was a brother of Catherine Bell Van Norman. He was
a portrait painter and lived both in Hamilton and in Ottawa. One of his portraits, a
painting of Sir John A. Macdonald, belongs to the Sigmund Samuel Canadian
Gallery of the Royal Ontario Museum.
54. William Willoughby (1810-90) was received on training in the Methodist Church in
1836. He served an various missions in Ontario. He was at Nelson Township in
1847 and 1848 and nearby Georgetown from 1849 to 1851. He died in Brantford on 13 April 1890.
55. Margaret Campbell (b. c. 1829) was the Van Norman s housekeeper. She was
probably the daughter of John and Elizabeth Campbell, residents of Nelson
56. Jacob Van Norman (1793-1883) was the youngest brother of Isaac. He farmed at the
corner of Walker s Line and No. 2 side road (known at the time as Salem). He
married Mary Bennett.
57. Sarah Bullock was the daughter of Ira and Elizabeth Bullock.
58. Mr Hershey was a tanner at Lowville, a small village on the Guelph Line. The
entrance and the foundations of the old tannery may still be seen on the east side of
the Guelph Line.
59. Barker s Settlement was an area on the northeast corner of the Guelph Line at
Britannia Road. Barker was the first owner of the property.
60. A small settlement in the north of Nelson Township containing about 50 inhabitants
61. The exact nature of this reference has not been determined. Possibly there was an
error in the transcription
62. Disciples of Christ were a small sect founded by Alexander Campbell (1788-1866).
A native of Ireland, Campbell emigrated with his family to the United States in 1809.
He was a firm believer in church reform and by 1811 often preached for the Christian
Association of Washington (Pennsylvania). After 1830 he became increasingly
interested in the second coming of Jesus Christ. He disliked creeds and confessions
of faith. These beliefs were at the heart of his movement, the Christians (the name
her preferred was Disciple of Christ). In the 1840s the movement spread to Great
Britain and to Canada. After 1847 Campbell lectured in Canada.
63. Baptist Wriothesley Noel (1798-1873), a Scottish divine, was the 16th child of Sir
Gerard Noel-Noel. Baptist Noel was ordained in the Church of England and became
a leader among evangelical churchmen. In 1848 he became a Baptist. He believed
that the union of church and state ran counter to the teaching of the scripture. An
ardent nonconformist he was often engaged in controversy.
64. The wife of Ashman Pettitt she was born in 1788 and died at Detroit in 1875.
65. John Webster was received on training in the Methodist church in 1847. He
itinerated in many missions across Ontario; in 1850 he served at Markham
Township. He died at Tara on 30 June 1902, at 79 years of age.
66. The Burlington Ladies Academy was established at Hamilton about 1845 by Daniel
Cummings Van Norman and his wife Maria Spencer. Located at the corner of Bay
and King Streets it was the first school in Upper Canada for Methodist young ladies.
The building (which still stands) was very modern for its day and had central
heating. The academy closed in 1851 when Van Norman left to accept an
appointment as principal of Rutgers Female College in New York City.
67. Daniel Cummings Van Norman (1815-86) was appointed Professor of Latin and
Greek languages at the University of Victoria College, Cobourg, in 1841. Opened in
1837 as the Upper Canada Academy, the name of the institution was changed in
1841 when it was incorporated as Victoria College. While Van Norman was there,
Egerton Ryerson was the presiding officer. Van Norman left upon Ryerson s
departure in 1844.
68. Cobourg was the county town of the United counties of Northumberland and
Durham. In 1851 the population was about 3,700. It was distinguished by the
presence of Victoria College and the largest factory in the province, a cloth factory
69. Abram Van Norman (1791-1878) was born in Pennsylvania. He emigrated to Upper
Canada in 1800 and settled as a farmer in Nelson Township.
70. Ephraim Van Norman (1762-1851) emigrated from the United States to Upper
Canada about 1793. In 1800 he was at settled Barton Township as a farmer. He later
settled on lot 12, 2nd concession in Nelson Township. He was the father of Isaac,
Joseph, Jacob, and Abram Van Norman. At his death he lived in Dereham Township,
71. This refers to telegrams.
72. William Kingston (1808-87) was born in Ireland. He was educated at Cazenovia and
at Girard College in Philadelphia. He was on the staff of Victoria College as
professor of Mathematics from 1838 to 1872 except for a brief period between 1847
and 1850. In these three years he edited a reform newspaper, the Provincialist. Until
October 1848 the paper was published in Cobourg, thereafter he published it at
Hamilton. He entered the civil service in 1872.
73. Linus Wilson Miller (1817-80) was an American born in New York who
sympathized with the Patriot cause. Immediately after the rebellion of 1837 in
Upper Canada, he became a staff officer in the Patriot Army. He was with the small
band led by James Morreau captured in the Short Hills area of the Niagara Pennisula
in July 1838. He was tried at Niagara and sentenced to death. His sentence was later
reduced to transportation to Van Diemen s Land. He returned to the United States in
January 1846 and published an account of his exile, Notes of an exile to Van
Dieman s Land: comprising incidents of the Canadian rebellion in 1838, trial of the
author in Canada, and subsequent appearance before her majesty s Court of Queen s
Bench, n London, imprisonment in England, and transportation to Van Dieman s
Land&(Fredonia, N.Y., 1846).
74. The rebellion in Upper Canada broke out on 4 December 1837.
75. William Lyon Mackenzie (1795-1861) was born in Scotland. He emigrated to
Canada in 1820. In 1824 he began publication of the Colonial Advocate. A virulent
critic of government in Upper Canada, Mackenzie is best known as the fomenter of
rebellion. The attempt quickly collapsed and Mackenzie escaped to the United
76. Walter Sumner (1817-50) was the son of Dr. Cyrus Sumner. He accompanied his
brother Cyrus to the California gold fields in 1849 and died at Sacramento the
77. A sect believing in the doctrine of universal salvation or redemption.
78. May Olivia Nelles (1820-49) was the daughter of Henry Nelles, Colonel of the 4th
Lincoln Militia and Sarah Fanning. On 24 April 1845 she married Walter Sumner.
79. Dr. Cyrus Sumner (1772-1834) was born at Hebron, Connecticut and studied at
Albany, N.Y. He emigrated to Upper Canada about 1800 settling in Clinton
Township. He married Mary Bell of Grimsby Township and they settled there after
their marriage. He was a prominent surgeon and served in that capacity during the
War of 1812.
80. The Hamilton Spectator was founded by Robert Reid Smiley (1817-55) in 1846.
81. George Calvert lived on lots 19 and 20, 1st concession, Nassagaweya Township.
82. Nassagaweya Township in Halton county. It lies immediately north of Nelson
Township. In 1850 it was about the same size as Nelson but contained only half of
the population. There was no village in the township; the population was 1,868.
83. Dorah was a young servant living with the Van Normans.
84. William Byron Van Norman (1845-76) was a son of William And Gills Van
Norman. He became a doctor and emigrated to the United States. He died at
85. Bertha Gills Van Norman (1847-1904) was a daughter of William and Gills Van
Norman. She died at Wheatland, Michigan.
86. Hamilton Biggar (1804-83) entered the ministry I 1827. he itinerated throughout
southern Ontario. He served at Nelson in 1838 and 1839 and in Dumfries Township
(Halton County) in 1850 and 1851. He died at Brantford on 20 February 1883.
87. John Wilkinson (1803-74) was received on training in the Methodist Church in
1834. He served at Nelson in 1837 and 1840. He died in Norwich Township on 16
88. Grimsby was a village on the Forty Mile Creek in Grimsby Township. In 1851 it had
a population of approximately 300.
89. Nancy McKerlie was the wife of Henry Zimmerman who owned a mill, a store, and
a bank. He built a magnificent stone house on his property at No. 2 Sideroad and
Appleby Line (north of Highway 5) that still stands today.
90. This reference must be to the original meeting house built by Isaac Van Norman on
91. Dr. Weeks was listed in the 1851 business directory as a resident of Wellington
92. Parmelia Bell (b. 1835) was a sister of Catherine Bell Van Norman.
93. Mary Huron Bell (b. 1837) was a sister of Catherine Bell Van Norman.
94. Graveyard on the hill refers to Mount Vernon Pioneer Cemetery. It was located on
Isaac Van Norman s property. The entrance is marked and may be reached by the
South Service Road of the QEW, east of Appleby Line. The cemetery marks the
spot of the old meeting house erected by Isaac Van Norman.
95. Dr. Carter could not be identified further.
96. Dr. John Wilson Hunter was from Grimsby. He appeared before the Upper Canada
Medical Board in April 1839. He married Ilivia Hinds at Kingston in 1844. In 1851
he had an office on Main Street in Hamilton. That same year a Dr. Robert Hunter
practised in Dundas.
97. This refers to Ephraim Van Norman.
98. Horace Black Van Norman ((1845-76) was a son of William and Gills Van Norman.
He became a doctor and emigrated to the United States. He died in Cleveland, Ohio.
The diary of Catherine Bell Van Norman was copied in his office in 1898.
99. A small village in Trafalgar Township, Halton County. It is situated at the mouth of
Twelve Mile Creek. Settlement began to take place about 1814. Named after
Admiral Nelson who also had the title Duke of Bronte, it was about seven miles
from Wellington Square. In 1833 a town site was surveyed and with the
construction of harbour facilities after 1846, the town progressed rapidly. In 1851 it
contained about 200 inhabitants, a grist mill, and a cloth factory. A Methodist
Episcopal church was then being built there.
100. The Tindal family lived in Trafalgar Township.
101. Peter Kerr (1809-78) was received on training in the Methodist Church in 1833.
He served at Dumfries in 1843-44, at Nelson in 1845-46, and at Markham from
1851 to 1853. He died at Drummondville, Quebec on 8 April 1878.
102. David Morgan married Ruth Van Norman, Isaac s sister.
103. Jacob Cline was a brother of Catherine Bell Van Norman s maternal grandfather,
John Cline Sr.
104. The pallbearers were all farmers from the local area.
105. Edward Alexander Theller (1804-59) was an Irish teacher who emigrated to
Montreal in 1825. There he studied medicine briefly before emigrating to
Vermont two years later. He moved between Lower Canada, Vermont, and
Washington until finally settling in Detroit about 1836. When the Upper
Canadian rebellion collapsed, Theller believed it his duty to assist the cause. He
became a general in the Patriot army and participated in the attack upon Fort
Malden in January 1838. He was captured and tried for treason at Toronto on 3
April. His initial sentence death was commuted to transportation to Van
Dieman s Land. En route he escaped at Quebec City on 16 October and fled
south to the United States. He continued to uphold the cause and in 1841
published Canada in 1837-38, showing, by historical facts, the causes of the late
attempted revolution, and of its failure; the present condition of the people and
their future prospects, together with the personal adventures of the
106. Miss Wright was a teacher at Daniel C. Van Norman s Burlington Academy.
107. West Flamborough was a township in Halton County. It was first settled about
1794. In 1817 it had a population of 360; in 1841 it had increased to 2, 428; in
1851 it was 2,955. It contained two grist and two saw mills in 1851.
108. This refers to the Burlington Academy.
109. Maria Spencer was Daniel C. Van Norman s first wife. An American, she was
never happy in Canada. Her private letters indicate she thought Canadians a
rough, unrefined, and uneducated lot.
110. Pine Hall was the name of William Van Norman s house. According to the diary
(written in 1902) of William s eldest son Horace Black, the house took four years
to build. Every spring they hauled logs to the sawmill for their lumber. When
dried they used them for the doors and windows. It took one year to build the
cellar walls of stone gathered from around the farm. William s uncle Abram
built the walls. Finally there was the task of hauling bricks. The house was
completed in 1848 and still stands today in the middle of Burlington s newest
industrial park, Centennial Park.
111. In the election held between 6 December 1847 and 24 January 1848, John
Wetenhall was elected to the third parliament (1848-51) for Halton County.
Early in December 1849 Malcolm Cameron (1808-76), assistant Commissioner
of Public Works resigned his cabinet seat and was replaced by Wetenhall. As
required by law, Wetenhall resigned to face a by-election in Halton. Cameron
was associated with the radical splinter group the Clear Grits. One of the major
concerns of this group was the separation of church and state. When Caleb
Hopkins, a pre Union radical, announced his intention to run against Wetenhall,
he was supported by Cameron and the Grits hoping to embarrass the government
of Robert Baldwin and Louis-Hippolyte La Fontaine. Halton was an old, radical
stronghold. Since 1828 it had a tradition of returning candidates associated with
political opposition. On 11 March 1850, Hopkins soundly defeated Wetenhall.
112. John Wetenhall (1807-50) was the son of William Tomlinson Wetenhall a
pioneer settler of Nelson Township. An amateur artist, John Wetenhall was
Baldwinite reformer. He was elected on 24 January 1848 to the legislative
assembly for Halton County. On 2 February 1850, the Baldwin-La Fontaine
government appointed him assistant Commissioner of Public Works replacing
Malcolm Cameron. Forced to contest his seat again in a by-election, he was
defeated on 11 March 1850 by Caleb Hopkins. Wetenhall s health was poor and
he was ill-prepared for political battle. Faced by a strong opposition his
behaviour became increasingly erratic. His campaign manager, James Durand,
wrote his own insane Conduct operated against him. The day after the election
Wetenhall appeared in the office of Charles Clarks (1826-1909), a Clear Grit,
carrying a lantern in one hand and a big stake for a staff&oddly dressed in
unusual garments, and asked me to find for him an honest man. The election
defeat finished Wetenhall; he ended his remaining days in madness confined in
the Toronto Lunatic Asylum.
113. Caleb Hopkins (b. 1785 or 1786, d. 1880) was the son of Silas Hopkins and Mary
Swayze. He farmed in Nelson Township and, with his three brothers, established
the small settlement of Hannahsville. He was prominent in township affairs and
the Wesleyan Methodist Church. As a reformer, he was elected for Halton
County in 1828 and again in 1834. In the election of 1828 he was supported by
William Lyon Mackenzie. In the first election after the union of the Canadas
(declared on 10 February 1841), he was returned as a reformer for Halton. He
supported the reform administration of Robert Baldwin and Louis-Hippolyte La
Fontaine in 1842-43 but opposed removing the capital from Kingston to
Montreal and disapproved of the resignation of the ministry over their dispute
with Governor Sir Charles Metcalfe about patronage in November 1843.
Hopkins was ostracized because of this opposition and in the election of 1844
was blackballed by the reform leadership. He continued in the race against the
official reform candidate John Wetenhall. Both were defeated. In the by-
election of 1850 Hopkins seized the opportunity to even the score against
Baldwin and was elected. The old reformer sat as a Clear Grit vigorously
opposing the administration. In 1850 and 1851 he helped raise a series of
resolutions in the assembly demanding democratic reform and the separation of
church and state. On 26 June 1851 he seconded Mackenzie s resolution moving
the abolition of the Court of chancery. Although defeated the widespread
support for the resolution by Upper Canadian members resulted in Baldwin s
resignation. He did not run again in the election of 1851 and retired to his farm.
He later moved to Hamilton about 1870.
114. This refers to Isaac Van Norman, Catherine Bell Van Norman s father-in-law.
115. Benjamin Van Norman (1800-69) was a second cousin of Abner. With his
brother Joseph, Benjamin was active in the Normandale Iron Foundries.
116. Situated in the valley of the Spencer Creek, the area was first settled about 1787.
In 1800 the small settlement was known as Dundas Mills after a grist-mill built
on the creek. The growth of Dundas dates from this period and particularly the
expansion of Richard Hatt s milling complex. In 1808 a town site know as
Coote s Paradise (Hamilton marsh) was laid out. By 1814 the village was known
as Dundas. In the 1820s construction was begun on the Desjardins Canal to
connect Coote s Paradise to Burlington Bay (Hamilton Harbour). The population
in 1851 was about 2,500.
117. Sarah Stickney (d. 1870) was a prolific Victorian author. In 1837 she married
William Ellis (1794-1872) a foreign missionary of the London Missionary
Society. Mrs. Ellis was interested intemperance, moral reform, the character of
young women, and Christian missions. She wrote extensively on the moral
training and the domestic duties of young ladies. In 1843 she published The
wives of England, their relative duties, domestic influence, & social obligations.
118. Clement Lucas (1764-1855) was an American who emigrated first to New
Brunswick and secondly in 1807 to Upper Canada. He lived on a farm on Lake
Ontario at present-day Walker s Line.
119. Peter and Sarah Fisher had a farm in Nelson Township (now the site of the
120. Jacob Cline was a maternal uncle of Catherine Bell Van Norman.
121. Hannahsville was in 1851 a small village of about 100 inhabitants on Dundas
Street (Highway 5), four miles from Port Nelson. It was founded by Caleb
Hopkins and his three brothers. It was named for his wife Hannah Green and
later became known as Nelson Village.
122. Helen Sumner was a daughter of Dr. Cyrus Sumner. On 24 May 1845 she
married Adolphus Nelles.
123. William Nixon of Grimsby married Christine Cline, a sister of Sarah Cline,
Catherine Bell Van Norman s mother.
124. Simeon Cline was a maternal uncle of Catherine Bell Van Norman.
125. George Crooks (b. c. 1819) was one of the 12 children of William Crooks and
126. this word probably has some association with fluidism, a spiritualistic hypothesis
of the existence of super-sensible fluidic bodies. It assumed man had double (fluidic in nature) that gave him an ethereal dimension.
127. The Order of the Sons of Temperance was one of the many temperance societies
that spread across Upper Canada in the 1840s. The moral impulse to total
abstinence was particularly strong among the Methodists.
128. Mary Butler married William Crooks of Grimsby and they had 12 children.
After his death in 1837 she moved to Nelson Township. In 1851 she was living
on the farm of her son Walter.
129. Jerseyville was a small settlement in Ancaster Township.
130. the Sugar Loaf Hill is a well-known landmark in Humberstone Township,
Welland County, near Port Colborne. The Van Norman family probably lived in
this vicinity when they first emigrated to Upper Canada from Pennsylvania.
132. Smithville was a village in Grimsby Township. In 1851 it had a population of
about 450 and two Methodist Churches. It had several mills, a woollen factory, a
foundry, and a tannery.
133. David Morgan was the husband of Ruth Van Norman, Abner s aunt.
134. A small settlement on the American side of the Niagara River. It is now part of
Buffalo, N. Y.
buried Mount Vernon Pioneer Cemetery
Stone marker is in fairly good condition and readable but has a crack in
Grass had to be trimmed and chalk used to highlight and get a better
VAN NORMAN 875 Marshall Eugene b. February 16, 1842
b. Nelson Twp Halton Co Ontario d. February 18, 1868
VAN NORMAN 876 Ernest Melvin b. March 4, 1844
b. Nelson Twp Halton Co Ontario d. January 16, 1846
buried Mount Vernon Pioneer Cemetery
Stone ground marker is in fairly good condition
Chalk was used to get a better reading and picture
Grass has to be trimmed back as it is starting to overgrow on marker
VAN NORMAN 877 Edwin Marcus b. September 24, 1845
b. Nelson Twp Halton Co Ontario d. ?
VAN NORMAN 878 Eva Melissa b. December 5, 1847
b. Nelson Twp Halton Co Ontario d. ?
VAN NORMAN 879 Claredon Bell b. March 21, 1849
b. Nelson Twp Halton Co. Ontario d. ?
Brother of Catherine (Robert Kerr Bell)
m. 871 Susan Celeste SPRINGER b. 1828
b. ? Ontario d. September 15, 1849
buried Mount Vernon Pioneer Cemetery
Stone ground markers are still in fairly good condition and readable
Chalk was used to get a better reading and picture
Grass is starting to close in on the markers ? had to be trimmed and
Father: Nathaniel BELL b: 26 Oct 1790 in Roxbury, New Jersey, USA
Mother: Sarah "Sally" CLINE b: 2 Nov 1789 in Washingon Co. MD USA
Abner Norwood VAN NORMAN b: 1817 in Canada
16 May 1842
in by the Rev. Alexander Menah?
Married at 10 o'clock in the morning and then left for the Falls (Niagara).
Took dinner at Mr. James Lewis'.
Jane and Robert Kerr Cline shared a carriage.
The bridal pairwere accompanied by Hopkins Van Norman and Sally Ann Van Norman.
- Change Date:
18 Jan 2005
- Marshall VAN NORMAN b: 16 Feb 1842 in Nelson Twp., Halton Co., Ont.
- Earnest VAN NORMAN b: 4 Mar 1844 c: 6 May 1844 in Wesleyan Methodist, Nelson
- Edwin VAN NORMAN b: 25 Sep 1845 c: 24 May 1846 in Wesleyan Methodist, Nelson
- Eva Melissa VAN NORMAN b: 5 Dec 1847 in Nelson Twp., Halton Co., Ont.
- Claredon Bell VAN NORMAN b: 21 Mar 1849 in Nelson Twp., Halton Co., Ont. c: 11 Dec 1850 in Wesleyan Methodist, Nelson