Blog

 

Sometimes sharing my work, sometimes musing on topics that have come to my attention, I blog about my life as an artist at Diane Duncan Art. Part diary, part conversation, I welcome the response of readers to my words.

I have recently added a new page and category Looking Back – Family & Community especially for those who might be interested in genealogy, family history and local history. It springs from a deep interest in the lives of those who have gone before and a desire to preserve their story for future generations.

John Holliday-Rev. Bell’s Nemesis

Posted by on December 22, 2021 in Blog Posts, Community & Family History, Featured Flag | 0 comments

John Holliday-Rev. Bell’s Nemesis

The Reputation of John Holliday The following insights were gleaned from Rev. William Bell’s Journals and from John Holliday: A Forthright Man, Clarence Halliday, Cobourg, November, 1962. John Holliday was officially recognized as the schoolmaster promised to the settlers before leaving Scotland and was officially granted an annual salary of L50. He sailed with the settlers. Rev. William Bell and John Holliday had many disagreements with Rev. William Bell penning the following comment: “Some of (the Scotch Settlers) were of a very...

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Life in a New World

Posted by on December 22, 2021 in Blog Posts, Community & Family History, Featured Flag | 0 comments

Life in a New World

In this article, designed to provide information to the prospective immigrant, Dr. Bell addresses the physical environment of the new community. In many ways, the flora and fauna around Perth has changed only a little. Wherever cultivated crops are grown, the battle between the farmer and insects, birds and wildlife continue. Although the trees and wild fruit were similar, European varieties had been cultivated for generations and the quality and size of produce differed. Many of the immigrants were labourers, weavers and wage earners before...

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First Impressions of Perth 1817

Posted by on December 21, 2021 in Blog Posts, Community & Family History, Featured Flag | 0 comments

First Impressions of Perth 1817

Perth on the River Tay in 1828, Archives of Ontario Rev. Bell’s First Impressions Rev. William Bell’s diary helps us to visualize and understand the community our ancestors called home when they settled in Upper Canada. Writing about his arrival and first impressions of the military depot of Perth, he notes: “Perth is pleasantly situated on the banks of the Tay, formerly called Pike River. The length of the town is 7/8 of a mile, the breadth, somewhat less. The streets are regularly laid out, and cross each other at right...

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More on the Edinburgh Settlers

Posted by on December 20, 2021 in Blog Posts, Community & Family History, Featured Flag | 0 comments

More on the Edinburgh Settlers

In his letters to Scotland Rev. William Bell provides additional details about the 1815 settlers who arrived in Perth in the spring of 1816 as the village was emerging from the forest. To reach Perth in March 1816 the settlers had to cut a path for the wagons carrying their luggage The Sponsored Settlers of 1815 ” In the year 1814, the attention of His Majesty’s government having been called to the tide of emigration, at the time flowing from Great Britain to the United States, the following plan was adopted to direct it to...

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Edinburgh Settlers to Perth 1816

Posted by on December 19, 2021 in Blog Posts, Community & Family History, Featured Flag | 0 comments

Edinburgh Settlers to Perth 1816

From Scotland to Upper Canada The following commentary was collected from 1815 settlers by the Rev. William Bell and recorded in his diaries. The original diary, comprised of fifteen volumes, is now held in the Douglas Library at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. At the age of sixty-six William Bell sat down and wrote a digest of his diaries, condensing them to two small volumes of about 180 pages each. Several sites provide a copy of condensed version on-line. In the forward it is noted that the two volumes of the condensed diary...

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Weather Report in 1825

Posted by on December 18, 2021 in Blog Posts, Community & Family History, Featured Flag | 0 comments

Weather Report in 1825

from Rev. William Bell Diary Rev. William Bell, First Presbyterian Minister in Perth Ontario The diary of Rev. William Bell provides a wealth of information that I feel has been neglected when researching the settlement period of Lanark County. So much of what has been referenced from his diaries has focused on his personal moral standards and his often-critical commentary about events in the new settlement of Perth. One topic of interest to me was his weather report for the summer of 1825. The following excerpt made me think of recent...

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