Search blog and all transcribed records


You can now search all the transcribed parish records from right here !
You can search by surname or  location.

You can browse parish transcripts here :

You can see a list of the parishes where we have transcribed records in column on right.

Free find search : this is a secondary search engine for transcribed records.
index sitemap advanced
site search by freefind

Farnham -main street photo


The Rev. James Reid, D.D., 1780-1865 by Richard Worden

THE REV. JAMES REID, D.D., 1780 – 1865

James Reid was a man with three careers. He was born near Dunkeld, Perthshire, Scotland, located in an area known as “Big Tree Country” to Gaelic speaking Presbyterian parents. When he was a young man he began to follow an evangelical Congregationalist missionary movement. Before being sent to Glengarry, Upper Canada, Reid received limited theological training followed by ordination in 1806. He found the area already well served by clergy and moved to Martintown, Upper Canada where he built a church and gathered a small congregation. Reid soon faced financial difficulties and took up teaching in Cornwall, married (1810) Isabella McDermid, 1786-1868, and the first of eight children was born. A meeting with a friend resulted in Reid being recommended to take a school in Frelighsburgh, Lower Canada (1812) where he came under the influence of the Rev. James Stewart of Holy Trinity Church. Rev. Stewart encouraged James Reid to consider the ministry of the Church of England. Reid was prepared for Anglican ordination (1816) by the Rev. C. C. Cotton, of Dunham and was appointed as Rev. Stewart’s curate and two years later was given the appointment of Holy Trinity Church and the church at Philipsburg. Reid’s third career spanned fifty years. He died following a stroke two years before the birth of Canada.

Rev. Reid’s ministry took place in the old church built by Rev. Stewart. The family lived in a drafty cold parsonage which Rev. Reid personally spent his own money to maintain. Clergy salaries were paid out of a fund which was slated to end and congregations were expected to financially support their clergy – a task which was completely foreign. The Reid family had a modest farm operation, held investments in stocks, and shopped wisely.

Rev. Reid was an avid reader and writer. He subscribed to newspapers (both church and secular), read novels, published three books, and a host of articles, essays, comments to newspaper editors, letters to family members, fellow clergy, politicians, and sermons. He also wrote a journal in which he recorded daily events and his own thoughts about a wide range of topics. The journals numbered 36 and only four survived his death as he burned them thinking they were of no value. Reid’s writings show him as the chronicler of his age – an age of population influx into the Eastern Townships mainly from the U. S. A., a time of indifference to the church, religious rivalry from Methodists and Adventists, uncertainty for the survival of the Church of England, extreme weather conditions, alcohol and opium abuse, the War of 1812, the Rebellion of 1837, and a lack of respect for conservative values. The writings also portray Reid as a generous supporter of his family to whom he lent money and assisted with the gifts of farm animals. He kept in constant contact with his children: Charles Peter, 1811-1888, who was a Church of England minister at Sherbrooke; John Hugh, 1813-1864, who in 1863 joined the US Union Army as a wagon master and died in the prison at Andersonville, Georgia; 1817 infant daughter died; Isabella Christina, 1818-1819; John Malcolm, 1820-1850, who died at Copper’s Well, Mississippi; James Stewart, 1823-1866, who farmed at Brome; Jane, 1825-1901; and Nancy, 1828-1856.

Rev. Reid was guaranteed a pension if he retired; however, his successor’s salary would be totally raised by the congregations. The fear of such a loss and burden kept Reid working until he died though he did have an assistant which helped the congregations in the transition of the minister’s stipend coming from missionary support to total local support. Philipsburg eventually acquired its own minister and Holy Trinity was expanded by two school house congregations.
The wooden church building of Rev. Charles Stewart was removed in 1880 and replaced by the magnificent brick building that graces the Town of Frelighsburgh. Rev. and Mrs. Reid’s daughter, Jane, gave the church a gift to purchase chairs thus avoiding the practice of families paying an annual rent for a pew in order to attend worship. She wanted people of all means to be able to freely worship. Jane Reid knew intimately the financial worries of her father. The life span of the Rev. Dr. James Reid began with the American Revolution and ended just as Confederation was dawning. He witnessed the growing communities of the Eastern Townships and many world events: the abolition of Christianity in France, the abolition of slavery, the Battle of Waterloo, the Millerite prophecy, the Irish Potato Famine, the first postage stamp, the choice of Ottawa as a future capital city, Darwin’s Origin of Species, Abraham Lincoln, the American Civil War, and in 1864 thinking that his life was uneventful he burned 32 volumes of his diary.

Brief History of the Bishop Stewart Memorial Church Frelighsburg, Quebec.

Reisner, M. E. The Diary of a Country Clergyman, 1848 – 1851 James Reid. Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2000.

In the desert places of the wilderness: The Frontier Thesis and the Anglican Church in the Eastern Townships,1799-1831

Reid's Experiences

Priest Cotton of St. Armand and Dunham, 1804-1848 by Richard Worden


   The 150th anniversary of Canada celebrates the efforts of many men, women, children, soldiers, politicians, and visionaries. Spectacular events also contribute: the Wolfe – Montcalm face-off on the Plains of Abraham, the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the Fenian Raids, the Lower Canada Rebellion, and the frontier settlers of the Eastern Townships. The settlers were branded as squatters but they insisted that they were not sojourners. The resolve to create a new life was supported by the presence of the church through courageous clergy – fine buildings would come later.
    Among the clergy who came to Missisquoi Bay was the Rev. Charles Caleb Cotton of the Church of England (Anglican). It was over twenty years since the first families arrived in the Bay area and many newcomers were arriving. The area was briefly served by two short terms missionaries (Robert Quirk Short and James Marmaduke Tunstall) with little success. Cotton held church services wherever it was possible, boarded with a family, and found the people to lack interest and piety. He lasted four years and moved on his own volition to nearby Dunham. The move brought a reprimand from the bishop whose duty it was to transfer the clergy.
    Charles Caleb Cotton was born July 31, 1775 in Eton England. He was the oldest of thirteen children born to his school teacher father and Swiss mother whose father was a French professor at Oxford. Cotton graduated in 1797 and was immediately ordained a deacon. He soon moved to the United States where he taught school but the pay forced him to find church work which took him to New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. 1804 found Cotton in Quebec City and the first priest to be ordained in the new Holy Trinity Cathedral. He was immediately assigned to work in the area of Missisquoi Bay (St. Armand and Caldwell Manor).
    The move to Dunham was a challenge for Rev. Cotton. He encountered competition from Methodist and Baptist itinerant missionaries. He boarded with a family of eight in a two room cabin; cleared three homestead farms; a church building (All Saints) was erected in 1821.He established a Sunday School, baptized 617 people, married 656 couples, and buried 187 people. He tutored two men for the ministry (Rev. Micajah Townsend and Rev. James Reid). However, his 40 year ministry in Dunham was not without controversy as he once refused to bury a lady who received baptism from some other denomination and was thought to be eccentric in manner and speech. He was one of the few clergy to receive a stipend which meant that he did not have to depend on what money was locally raised.

  Rev. Cotton married Drusilla Pettis (June 22 1814) with whom he had seven children. A son, Charles Edward Cotton, was a physician in Brome. Rev. Cotton baptized his grandson, Charles Stuart Cotton, in October 1842. He died October 9, 1848 and was buried in the cemetery of Holy Trinity Church, Cowansville.
References Brome and Knowlton Church of England in Canada St John & St Peter 1842- 1879, Image 12, Folio 6. Millman, Thomas R. “COTTON, CHARLES CALEB,” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 7, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003–, accessed April 26, 2017,
Thanks to Richard Worden

The Eastern Townships, a pictorial record : historical prints and illustrations of the Eastern Townships

A few images are from the Missisquoi county area,  the entire book may be viewed here 

Missisquoi Historical Society Yearly report for 1965: Century Property Owner's Certificates


This list appeared in the Missisquoi County Historical Society 8th Yearly Report for 1965 here is a transcription of the names.of certificate recipients

                An attempt has been made by the Missisquoi County Historical Society to honour the pioneer families of the county. Those who own property which has been in the continuous possession of their families for at least one hundred years are eligible to receive Century Property Owner Certificates.
                 At the opening of the new museum in July thirty-three certificates were presented by Mr. J. J. Bertrand, M.L.A. for Missisquoi. Since that time fourteen more have been awarded.
                 Mr. Clifford Rhicard and his committee have tried to contact all who might qualify for these awards. This has been done by newspaper publicity and by the sending out of application forms. It is hoped that others who are, or who may become eligible, will contact an official of the Society and ask for an application form.

Those who have already received certificates are listed in the following table.
Recipient of Certificate  Original Owner  Relationship to present Owner  Date
Miss Violet Armstrong --Dunham --Captain Robert Small-- Great-grandfather-- 1834
Mr. Arthur Beattie-- Sweetsburg-- James Beattie-- Great-uncle-- 1850
Mr. Lynn Bell Brigham-- John Bell -- Grandfather-1840
Mr. Murray Blinn-- Stanbridge East-- James Blinn--Great-great-grandfather --before 1807
Mr. Basil Callaghan --Stanbridge East --Alonzo Harris-- Grandfather--before 1850
Mr. Burton Carter-- Cowansville--  Absalom Carter Father--1840
Mr. Cyril Chrysler-- Stanbridge East-- William Chrysler--Great-grandfather --1840
Mr. Gardner Chrysler --Stanbridge East-- Alfred Russell--Uncle --1884
Mr/Mrs. Stanley Cochrane-- Bedford-- John Sornberger--  Great-grandfather-- Mrs. Cochrane -- 1853
Mr. & Mrs. Fred Cook--  Bedford-- Lindol Corey-- Great-great-grandfather of  Mrs. Cook -- by1849
Mrs. Frank Corey-- Bedford-- Lindol Corey II--Husband's grandfather--1859
Mrs. Earl Cornell-- Stanbridge East-- Matthew Saxe -- Husband's great-grandfather--1830
Mrs. Richard Craighead --Bedford --  Benjamin McDonald-- Great-grandfather --1815
 Mr. Archie Dryden-- Cowansville --Thomas Dryden-- Great-grandfather -- 1840
Mr. Earle Dryden-- Cowansville-- James Humphrey-- Great-grandfather -- 1850
Mr. Floyd Fadden --Noyan --Daniel Fadden--   Father --1857
Mr. Donald Gardner --Stanbridge East --Lester Gardner --Great-grandfather-- 1855
The Hall Family-- Dunham-- William Hall --Great-grandfather-- 1835

Mr. Norman Hanigan --des Rivières-- Patrick Hanigan --Great-grandfather--1832
Mr. Junior Harvey--Dunham--Hiram Harvey--Great-grandfather--1856
Mr. Clarence Hawley-- Clarenceville -- Peter Hawley -- Great-great-grandfather --1777
Mr. Victor Jenkins --Bedford -- Frederick-- Primmerman -- Great-great-grandfather -- before 1792
Mr. Ellis Jones -Bedford -- Jonas Jones -- Great-great-grandfather --1858
Mr.  & Mrs. Amos Laduke-- Stanbridge East -- Wilber Corey -- Grandfather of Mrs. Laduke --1849
Mr. Albert MacCallum -- Noyan -- John MacCallum -- Great-uncle --1845
Mr. Donald MacCallum-- Noyan -- Daniel MacCallum -- Great-great-grandfather --1784
Mr. Glendon MacCallum -- Noyan -- John MacCallum -- Great-granduncle -- 1845
Mr. John MacCallum -- Noyan -- John MacCallum- Great-great-granduncle -- 1845
Mr. Arthur Mahannah -- Brigham --Frederick Mahannah -- Grandfather --1840
Mr. John McAleer -- Bedford -- Miles McAleer -- Great-grandfather -- 1834
Mr. & Mrs. Sinclair/McIntosh, Bedford -- Benjamin MacDonald -- Great-grandfather --of Mrs. McIntosh 1815
Mrs. Mitchell Mill -- St. Sebastien -- Patrick Neville's -- father -- Great-great-grandfather before 1846
Mr. Gordon Miltimore --Sweetsburg -- Archibald Miltimore -- Great-grandfather --1836
Mr. Hugh Monaghan -- Clarenceville -- John Monaghan Sr. -- Grandfather -- 1843
Mrs. James Moore -- Cowansville -- Michael Hearne -- Husband's grandfather --1846
Mr. Walter Neville -- St. Sebastien -- Patrick Neville's -- father -- Grandfather -before 1846
Mr. & Mrs. Jack Pattenden -- Bedford -- David Vaughan -- Great-great-grandfather of Mrs. Pattenden -- 1809
Mr. Ralph Perkins--  Sutton -- George Perkins -- Great-great-grandfather -- before 1848
Mr. Calno Primmerman -- St. Armand -- Frederick -- Primmerman --Great-great-grandfather- before 1792
Mrs. O. C. Selby -- Dunham -- Levi Stevens -- Grandfather -- before 1859
Mrs. Florance Simpson -- Noyan -- John Derick -- Grandfather -- before 1834
Mr. Byron Smith -- Stanbridge Station -- Rev. Bernabas Hitchcock -- Great-great-granduncle--about 1800
Mr. & Mrs. Asa Stote -- Stanbridge East -- Asa Westover --Great-great-great-grandfather of both -before 1843
Mr. Kenneth Tree --Stanbridge East --Caleb Tree --Great-grandfather -- 1796 
Mr. Alexander Walbridge  -- Mystic -- Solomon Walbridge -- Grandfather-- 1849
Mr. Raymond Westcott -- Stanbridge East --John Sweet -- Great-great-great-grandfather --1803
Miss Grace Wilson -- Mr. Fred Wilson -- Noyan -- William Wilson -- Grandfather--1850

 Transcription of list from MHS year book #8 19656

Resource Guide to Canadian Genealogy

Do you have any Canadian genealogy in your family history? Many people do, especially in North America and the United Kingdom. Being on the same continent, quite a bit of travel and immigration between the United States and Canada, and even Mexico and Canada has taken place over the centuries since European colonization began.

Bedford - main street photo


Grantees of Farnham

The written history of the West Part of Farnham Township is fragmentary and often contradictory.  There is a real need for some student of history to make a search of original sources in order that authentic records may be gathered into something resembling a connected story of the area before the Township was divided into two parts for electoral purposes in 1855.
    It appears that the boundaries of Farnham Township were surveyed by Ephraim Nash in 1796, as his Field Book of Survey, bearing that date, is in the files of the Brome County Historical Society at Knowlton.  The Township was set up by proclamation Oct. 22, 1798, and on that date roughly the eastern half of the
Township was granted to Samuel Gale and 22 others, his “Associates”, with the usual 2.7 reserved for the crown and clergy.
    Those receiving the “A” grants at that time were, Samuel Gale (1200 acres), Oliver Wells and Samuel Wells (1200 acres),Robert and Richard Wells (1200 acres), David Wells (1400 acres),Nathaniel Church (2400 acres), Reuben Church (2400 acres),Abraham and Jacob G. Cuyler (2200 acres), Cornelius Cuyler(1200 acres), Micah Townsend (1200 acres), Ephreim Nash (1200acres), John Jones (1140 acres), James Sutherland (200 acres),Alexander Shut (200 acres), John Goudy (200 acres), John Goudy Jr. (200 acres), A. Howe (200 acres), John McBris (sic) (200acres), Wm. Matheus (sic) (200 acres), John Steel (1200 acres),Charles St. Ours (3000 acres).
    It was not until Sept. 9th, 1805 that the “B” grants were made to the following persons.  These lots were in the western part of the Township.  
Jane Cuyler, Lots 28, 30, 31, 34, 35 in Range 1. (1200 acres).
Cathalina Cuyler, Lots 29, 30, 32, 33, 34, 36, Range 2. (1200 acres).
Heth Baldwin, Lots 40, 41, 43, 44, in Range 2.  Lots 45, 46, in Range 3.  (1200 acres).
 Elizabeth Cuyler, Lots 27, 28,29, 31, 32, 34, in Range 3, (1200 acres).
    There are contradictions in the historical reports of grants to the Allsopp family in 1809.  Mrs. Day, in her History of the Eastern Townships, says “an extensive tract of this wild land was made to George Allsopp Esq. for government service, but years elapsed before it was claimed by the heirs of the grantee.”
    Rev. E.M. Taylor, in his History of Brome County, lists, quoting from “Bouchette’s History”, “John Aslopp (sic) and others” as receiving grants of 10,176 acres of land in Farnham on Feb. 11th, 1809.
    M. L’Abbe St-Pierre, in his Histoire de St. Romuald de Farnham, repeats Mrs. Day’s statement.    However, another publication entitled, “Lists of Lands Granted by the Crown in the Province of Quebec from 1763 to Dec. 31st, 1890.” published in Quebec 1891, gives the following detailed information which appears to derive from the official records.
    February 11th, 1809, “C” grants.
    John Allsopp – Lots 44, Range 4; Lots 39, 40, 42, 43,
Range 5; Lots 37, 39, 40, Range 6; Lot 39; (1800 acres).
    Carleton Allsopp – Lots 39, 41, Range 3: Lots 38, 40, 41,
42, Range 4; Lots 36,38, Range 5; (1600 acres).
    Robert Allsopp – Lots 41, 42, 43, Range 7; Lots 42, 43, 44,
45, 46, 47 and 48, Range 8; (2000 acres).
    James Allsopp – Lots 45, 47, Range 4; Lots 45, 46, Range
5; Lots 41, 43, 44,46, Range 6; (1600 acres).
    William Allsopp – Lots 48, 49, Range 4; Lots 47, 49,
Range 5; Lots 45, 46, 48, Range 6; (2000 acres).
    Anna M. Allsopp – Lots 35, 36, 38, Range 3; Lots 31, 33,
34, 35, 37, Range 4 (1800 acres).
    August 24th, 1834, “C” grants.
    Sax Family – Lots 37, 38, Range 1; Lots 37,39, S 1/2 46,
Range 2; Lots 47,48, Range 2, (1100 acres).
    There were a few more grants in 1832,1837, 1847, (to the British American Land Co.) and 1855.
    It would be an interesting exercise for some researcher to determine who, among these grantees, actually settled on their grants in West Farnham.  We do know that Samuel Gale and several of his Associates in East Farnham did so.  None of the Cuylers appear to have lived on their grants.  The Saxes did settle in Farnham.  They were the descendants of the Saxes who were pioneers in St. Armand.  John Saxe had a sawmill.    The Allsopp family evidently considered their lands in Farnham hardly worth exploiting before 1840, when James Carleton Allsopp, John Bonfield Allsopp and John Charles Allsopp commenced to liquidate their holdings.
    In 1847 Col. James Allsopp gave land in Farnham for the establishment of an Anglican church.  At that date he was still living at Cap Sante’, Que.    Space limitations now force me to curtail this line of inquiry.  It would be elaborated with information now at hand.
                                                                                       G.P. Hawke
MHS#6 1960