I found this shoved in a bookcase in Dad’s office, aka my bedroom, aka Grandma’s bedroom. I have no recollection of having given her this book – I was 13 at the time – but I’m so glad I did. I’ve always been interested in our history, probably the reason why I have this ever so useful history degree. Anyway, this is kind of interesting and I had no idea, besides being from Ontario, of any of this history.
I figure Dad must have put this all together but I’m not sure when. It certainly wasn’t 1984 because he was clearly on the internet, but it also wasn’t 2014 because he used MapQuest (although my parents loved MapQuest). Either way, I’m glad he did it. It looks like he’s put together some of her relatives. I really knew nothing about Grandma’s lineage, so it is really cool for me to read a bit about about where she came from.
September 27th, 1984
Melissa gave Grandma a “Grandma Remembers” book for her 76th birthday and Grandma wrote in response:
September 27th 1984
Thank you Melissa Ramsay for this thoughtful and flattering book for my birthday. For me, the title should be “Grandma Forgets”. Is it because I’m now 76 years old? I don’t think so. I’ve always been mentally lazy – a dreamer. I will do my best to fill it with facts.
My parents were both the youngest in their family and each family had nine children,. My mother lost her mother when she was two years old and was raised by her maiden aunt, Miss Betsy Thompson, and her bachelor brother Uncle William Thompson who lived with their widowed mother on a farm out at Westmeath near Pembroke Ontario. My mother had very fond memories of her grandmother being very loving and kind to her and her little brother Thomas who also lived there.
Her grandmother was a pioneer and lived there when the Indians were still unfriendly. Her grandmother was very popular for her skills in setting broken arms or legs and helping sick people. Her grandfather helped the Rideau Canal in “Ottawa” when it was still called “Bytown.”
Aunt Betsy used to tel her she could remember when they would put a few sacks of wheat in canoes and take it down to the Ottawa River to mill to grind it into flour. Aunt Betsy remembered as a small child being terrified of the forest fires when they would go to the river for safety sake.
My Great Aunt Betsy was a popular member of the Ladies Aid in the local church. I remember seeing a very beautiful hanging lamp above her organ which the church group had given her; it had a beautiful flowered globe with prisms hanging around it and a coal lamp under it. The organ was very beautiful too and she left it to me when she died. It is now in the Pembroke museum. Uncle William Thompson gave my mother a beautiful piano when she got married and your aunt Sheila Burger has it now Melissa.
My Mother’s father went to New Westminster British Columbia when it was called Port Moody. He went there int eh 1870s thinking it would be the terminal for the CP Railway and would become a big sea-port city, but Vancouver became that. He bought many lots in Port Moody and was preparing to reunite his family there in a home he built but he got sick and died there. I have a letter which he wrote to Great Aunt Betsy saying he bought a piano for Mattie (my mother) and there was a piano teacher there to continue her lessons but of course that never came about. You could perhaps someday try and find his grave in the oldest graveyard in New Westminster, BC.
My mother’s mother “Margaret Ruth Sullivan” was also from near Pembroke and her relatives ware still living there. There is a placebo n the Ottawa River called “Sullivan’s Point”, named after her people. My spelling is terrible Melissa, check it and correct it.
My mother’s youngest brother was a reporter on the first steamship to sail Lake Superior and it was caught in a bad storm and all aboard were lost. Another of there brothers was drowned when the ship he was on went down coming from the gold mines in Alaska in the early days.