J.J. Elder, New Brunswick, Canada, to J. Caldwell, Belfast.

Back to Search View Transcript
Document ID 8850004
Date 24-04-1890
Document Type Letters (Emigrants)
Archive Public Record Office, Northern Ireland
Citation J.J. Elder, New Brunswick, Canada, to J. Caldwell, Belfast.; PRONI T 1320/1; CMSIED 8850004
Bond's Hill,
Woodstock, New Brunswick, April 24 1890.

My Dear Uncle,
        I am informed by mother that you were not aware that
you had an Uncle Sam, until I recently wrote you about his
descendants.  Though amongst his near relatives out here for
four years, I never heard of him until last September, when I
spent a week at Florenceville and Mount Pleasant.  During my
visit, I pencilled down in my note book numerous genealogical
details which I picked up in conversation with your Aunts
Jane (Mrs Casper) and Mary (Mrs John) Caldwell.  I put down
these items in the first instance to pass the time, and as a
matter of curiosity; but I found that both ladies,
especially your Aunt Mary, knew such a lot about the Caldwell
family, that I thought it better to preserve all the
particulars they could give me with the intention of sending
them to you at my leisure, when I could properly arrange
them.  If your Aunts were removed, a bit of genealogical
information might be removed with them, which could not be
supplied by anyone else.

        I expected to get time during the winter to arrange
the materials for sending to you, but I did not obtain a
proper chance until about three weeks ago, when I set to work
at the book of genealogical trees which I am sending you by
mail under seperate [separate?] cover.  It seems a small job
to have occupied my leisure hours for three weeks, but then
the work is all done with the pen, and besides my leisure
hours are very few, and are frequently interrupted.
Sometimes I work half an hour before breakfast, twenty
minutes or so at noon, and occasionally an hour in the
evenings.  I had no idea when I began the work that I would
make it so extensive, but it grew on my hands.  My intention
was to send you a "Tree" of all your grandfather's
descendants, and then to give you the skeleton "trees", (so
to speak) or outlines, of the family connections; but when I
commenced the latter portion of my task, I felt in a
difficulty as to which portion of the materials I should give
you & what portion I should not enter.  I solved the difficulty
in a peculiar way, and that was, by giving you all the items I
had obtained regarding the family connections, and accordingly
the charts I send contain almost as full particulars regarding
the Cunningham, Kilpatrick, McCain, Mackay & Stephenson
families, as they do regarding the descendants of your
grandfather.  Much of it you will, no doubt, consider
unnecessary, useless, and uninteresting; but if you should ever
visit your relations in New Brunswick, or Maine, or the Western
States you would find the charts and maps not quite an
unnecessary incumbrance [encumbrance?] on the journey.  There
may be some relations of the Stephensons or McCains in Ireland
who would like to hear of their friends out here, Andy
McClintock's name you will find on page 9.  His Uncle
Andrew Stephenson who lived at the Flush in the House now
occupied by Alex McCormac, had three children who married
first cousins of yours - one of them Sarah, married a son of
your Aunt Katie's: another, Matthew, married a daughter of
your Uncle Casper's: and a third, James, married two
daughters of your Uncle John.  A granddaughter of this Andrew
Stephenson (who is not to be confounded with your Aunt
Katie's husband, of the same name), namely Margaret
Porterfield, married Basil Caldwell, son of your Uncle
Casper; and a great-grandson of Andrew S., namely Henry Cook
was married last fall to Mary Kinney, a granddaughter of your
Uncle Casper.  You will also find a "Tree" of the
Lieutenant's family (supplied by your Aunt Mary, with some
assistance from C Caldwell, of Toronto): and of his brother,
Sam's descendants.  I intended getting particulars of the
Hemphill family (from Charlie Caldwell) for page 12 of the
book, but as this would delay the matter another ten days,I
did not mind it.  You or Charles could put on page 12 such
items as you can find regarding the Hemphills - that is, if
you care to take the trouble.  I would like you to send me a
tree of the Hemphill family for your Aunt Mary.  Also, if you
find any more, no matter how slight, in the tables I send you
(and there may be many errors), would you kindly tell me of
them, & give me any further information.

        The chart is badly colored.  I had only red & green
ink & a piece of yellow water color.  When the colors fade,
Sissie could touch them up again.  By having the space
covered by descendants of your Uncle & Aunt colored in the
way I have done, you can more easily find from whom any
person mentioned on the chart is descended, and besides you
can see which branch has got the most members.

        You will find maps on page 3, and also a map of part
of Carleton Co [county?] at end of book [., at the end of
the book:?] these give nearly all the places mentioned on the

        On pages 10 & 11, there is some account of the Elder,
Stuart, Lecky, and Mathewson families.  I give particulars of
a branch of the Mathewson family of which I knew very little
until recently - that is, descendants of Matilda Mathewson,
(aunt of my grandmother Elder), who married John Harpur, of
Aghadulla.  I am informed that her daughter Anne married "Ct
Ed Sproule" whoever he was.  Have you any idea what the
letter [letters?] "Ct" mean?  Do you know what branch of the
Sproules he belonged to?  A niece of his wife's, namely
Matilda Robinson, (sister of the late Dr A H Robinson, of
Fintona), married a Mr Sproule, nephew of Ed Sproule, and one
of her sons is the present A H R Sproule, of Fintona who
inherited 22,000 [$? £?] on the death of his Uncle, Dr
Robinson (see page 11).  Charlie Caldwell says that A H R
Sproule is not (paternally) descended from the Sproules of
[Burrell's?] Folly or Grennan.  Kindly find out about Ct Ed
Sproule, and A H R Sproule.

        Your Aunt Mary also supplied the following:-

                        m       CALDWELL
Mathew                  Casper                  James (d)
m Elizabeth Sproule     (d in Scotland)         of Castlederg
  and had issue         m Mary Anne Hamilton    m ... Russell
                          and had issue              |
Thomas       John         Robt       Jane       Eliza
(Emig. to    (D unm.      [Robert?]             m ... BRADLEY
America)     in C.derg)                         Russell(dead)
[Emigrated?] [Died

If incorrect in any particulars, kindly let me know.
I should be obliged for any information you can give me
regarding Sproule Genealogy.  I sent a copy of "Fragments of
Sproule Genealogy ["?] to mother, & asked her to hand it to
you.  Can you give me any more "Fragments"?
Have you learned anything about the money which your cousin,
Robt [Robert?] A Caldwell, of Blaine, Maine, alleges should
belong to him?

        Also, is there any prospect of getting the Caldwell
arms?  I am really anxious to have them for Mrs Holly

        The ice "ran out" in the river last Thursday.  The
snow has nearly all melted away, and we are having fine,
sunshine weather.  The river is rising rapidly, snow being
only now thawing away in the woods to the north.  The river
flows 300 miles before it gets here.

        Spring trade has fairly begun.  I shall be very busy,
if spared, from this forward.  For over 12 months I have had
an extra department to attend to - namely, Electric Light -
the books of which have had to be kept quite separate from
those of Conwell Bros.  I expect soon to get rid of keeping
the books of that department, as my boss and some other local
men, are promoting a bill in the N B [New Brunswick?]
Parliament at Frederickon [Fredericton?], for the
incorporation of the Woodstock Electric Light Co. [Company?]
The bill has passed the Lower House, and is almost certain to
pass the Upper.
I shall probably have to transfer the a/cs [accounts?] to the
new Co [Company?] and perhaps open the new books, but I hope
to get rid of the job after that.  I don't know anything of
Bookkeeping for Joint Stock Companies, so will not object to
open the books for them so as to get some experience for

        Mr Connell has been trying to sell out the foundry
for some time.  It has been reported that he was going to
take Mr George Shea (pr Shay) into partnership.  Shea was
foreman here when Grieves was book-keeper.  After I came,
they bought a foundry in Houlton, Maine, 12 miles from here.
Grieves died a year ago.  Shea carried on the business, but
his foundry was burned down a few months ago.  Mr Connell
(who has been absent from the office for a week through
illness & who only returned today) told me this morning that
Shea was coming here as his partner at the first of May, &
that I would require to order a complete set of books for the
new firm, which will still be known as "Connell Bros".  This
afternoon I will be busy selecting what kind of books to
order.  The old books will be kept while the a/cs [accounts?]
owing the expiring firm are being paid in, & these amount to
over $40,000.  Donald Munro, who has been foreman since Shea
left here in 1886, will be without a job after 1st May, but I
have got no intention that my services will not be required.
I shall have some heavy bookkeeping to do, keeping books for
old & new firm, but I think a few months will suffice to wind
up the former.  I shall have some useful experience in
opening a new set of books.  As I will only have time to send
mother a postcard this week, would you please tell her the
substance of this paragraph and the preceding one.

        I am in good health, I rise early and go to bed
early, & take regular gymnastic and walking exercise.  I have
kept out of society for nearly 3 years.  I don't attend any
parties, balls or theatres, but I go to Odd Fellows Lodge.
They are going to have an anniversary supper tonight.  I am
annoyed frequently with catarrh in head and throat, a
prevailing disease in this country.

                With love to all.  I am your grateful nephew
                                        J J Elder
John Caldwell Esq

PS - As you know, the chart I sent you 4 years ago, only
contains descendants of your Uncle Casper & your Aunt
Catherine, whereas this contains descendants of all your
Uncles & aunts.

        At end of book, you will find some ruled paper for
recording any births, marriages, or deaths in the Caldwell

        I got the following account of the Porterfield family
from John Porterfield, of Mt [Mount?] Pleasant, whose father
occupied Allison's farm in Collumstown, & who himself often
raised stones in the "Quarry Hole" at the roadside.

                PORTERFIELD, of Ballymagorry
        m Janie Lindsay (After his death, she came to
Robert       James      John          Sally        Mattie
m Clemens    m...Blair  (of           m ANDW       m JOHNSTON
(Removed to             Collumstown)  [ANDREW?]    (Donagheady)
Collumstown)            m Nancy       COWDON
    |                   McLaughlin    (Castlefin)
    |                   (of
    |                   Burndennet)
Matthew                    John
             John (of Lifford Common)      Jane
             m 1st Anne Jane Arbuckle      m JOHN CURRIE
             m 2nd Rosanna McClintock      (Clady Hill)

                   (Son)   (Dan)
                   by first wife      Nancy
                                      m ANTHONY THOMPSON
                                      near Raphoe
                                 (Dan)     (Son)
                                 m MOODY

P     O     R    T     E     R      F      I      E     L      D
Matthew  John      Alex     George   James    Jane     Fanny
(d unm)  of Mt     (d unm)  (d unm)  (d unm)  m WM     (d unm)
[died    Pleasant  [died    [died    [died    STEWART  [died
unmar-   NB        unmar-   unmar-   unmar-   (of      unmar-
ried?]   [NEW      ried?]   ried?]   ried?]   McCalls  ried?]
         BRUNS-                               -town?]

As the above particulars were very remote from your family
connections here.   I did not put them in the book.

        Excuse this disconnected letter.  It has been very
hurriedly written.  I wrote the first two pages in the
morning, the third at dinner hour, and this page after
supper, just before going to Lodge Room.