Mum’s goal was to have the Spring housecleaning finished before the end of April.
Gram, Aunt Sadie and Mum worked together to do the wallpapering
of the kitchen. Gram sat at the old work table and spread flour and
water paste on the back of the strips that Mum and Sadie had measured
I really liked this wallpaper with the red geraniums and the ivy.
Mum noticed me standing there gazing and immediately came up with a job - which was not unusual.
She said, “Find Cliff and the two of you go upstairs and clean
out the old steamer trunk as I want to store the heavy tied quilts in it
that I made during the winter.” “There is not much in it, but if
you find anything that looks like it should be saved, put it in the tea
box until I have time to look it over.” “There are two or three grey
camp blankets that have had their day, so take them to the hay mow in
the horse barn as they will make a bed for old Mother-Do and her soon to
We were not very happy with the assigned task but that really did not matter to Mum as the job had to be done.
When we took out the old blankets from the trunk, we spotted a
chocolate box. Upon opening it, we found a bunch of letters with
some having strange looking stamps. We each removed one from an
envelope and tried to read the tiny writing. Mine was from Gardner, Mass
and from what I could make out the writer was Dora, who felt homesick
at Christmas time, but doubted the lady she worked for would give her
time off to come home on the Boston boat but maybe during the
Cliff’s letter started out with, “Dear Rill, I was counting on
coming home for two weeks as I so want to see you and Mama. I am really
lonely and miss everyone so much, but the woman I work for says she will
need me all summer to look after the children.” By the time Cliff
finished reading, I had tears in my eyes and felt so sorry for Dora, who
had signed the letter with, “Your loving Sister who thinks of you and
home, every minute of the day.”
It would be interesting to know if any children found the
letters written by relatives of the Taylor Family back in the 1830s. I
certainly enjoyed reading them in the publication, “Taylor Village” by
Edith Gillcash that she compiled in 1988.
George Taylor, arrived on the Albion from the Port of Hull on March 7,
1774 and gave his name to this little village. He stated, he left
England to seek for better livelihood. In 1780, he married Mary Chapman.
Their son Stephen went to Upper Canada. In a letter to them written in
July, 1838, he too expressed a longing to be home but told his parents
of the wonderful land. The winter had been mild and they started plowing
on March 27. A disturbance had given them an idea to return home but at
the same time he tells of all the fruits and vegetables that grow
Probably unknown to him for several weeks, his father died on November
01, 1838 and was buried in Coverdale while his mother died in 1857 and
was buried in the Taylor Village Cemetery.
A letter written in 1869 from Sarah Taylor to her son Melbourne is one filled with concern.
Samuel Taylor’s letter in 1869 to his brother Melbourne is filled with information on business and where friends are working.
A sad note - Melbourne Taylor was made captain and in 1872 the ship with
all hands was lost in the Atlantic with nothing ever heard of the ship
or any of the men. One of the crew, John W. Dixon wrote a letter
to his mother from New York before leaving and enclosed his cheque for
fifty dollars and the news he will be going to school on the other side
of the Atlantic. The Captain wants him to try for a First Mate
A few pages from the Log Book of Schooner CAPELLA commanded by Alfred
Taylor with Chief Mate being John Cook and Second Mate - David Taylor
from June 31, 1869 to Feb 27, 1970 tells of the trials and worries of
Like the many waves that ripple through the water from the ships, Edith
Gillcash’s TAYLOR VILLAGE (1984) gives us ripples of insight into
establishing a community and the following of the lives of the families
who lived there.
By the way, many a box of letters, stored in the attic or in an old
trunk holds gems of genealogical history that are a treasure trove to
the family researcher.
Fortunately many letters and postcards have been preserved by a family
member who might be considered a hoarder or a pack rat but to me that
person is the keeper of the past for future generations.
Letter from Pennsylvania written by John McInnis to his mother in Kings County,
New Brunswick in the 1870s - which gives a glimpse of the loneliness of a son
when he must leave home to seek work.
Scroll down for queries.