Early District Settler Leaves Diary Notes -
the Diary of Joseph Spencer Wilson (1841)


...from the 25 Jan 1966 Evening Guide...

     About 125 years ago, Port Hope was a thriving young town, and many families were settling on the farms of Hope Township. One of them was the Wilson family, which settled at Lot 19, Concession 7. A part of the diary of a twelve-year-old boy, Joseph Spencer Wilson [1830-1898], has been preserved by present-day relatives, and is printed below.
     One member of the Wilson family farms the north end of the lot today, although the south end has been out of the family for some years. Many direct descendants of Joseph Spencer Wilson and his brothers live in the Port Hope area.
     The family [of John & Sarah (Spencer)] came to Canada from Lindley, near Huddersfield, Yorkshire.


1841
April 14th - Sailed for Quebec on board the ship Leander. Had a fine passage of 5 weeks and 2 days and went forward to Montreal.
[They arrived at Port Hope on 02 June.]

1842
Sept. 23rd - We finished getting in our wheat and James began to fence.

Oct. 11th - Our George died aged seven years and two months.
[This was a brother who died of scarlet fever.]

Oct. 14th - John Wilson died aged 19 years and three months.
[Another brother]

Oct. 29th - The Indian summer began.

Nov. 13th - The English Church, Perrytown, opened for the first time.

Nov. 22nd - John Haigh shot an Owl.

Nov. 30th - There fell a snow which took the cattle up to the belly, and made good sleighing.

Dec. 13th - We slaughtered our pig. Cut her up the next day, being my grandfather's birthday.

Dec. 17th - This morning was the first time I could move my neck which way I chose for the last two months and 20 days, and in another week was quite well.

Dec. 23rd - A very cold day which froze some of our hens stiff as a poker, and one had some of its claws froze, which broke off.

Dec. 24th - Cut down the first pine tree and made preparations for squaring it towards the building of the saw mill.

Dec. 25th - Xmas day. One hen froze dead.

Dec. 26th - Our brick chimney fell down, but no one was hurt. J.S.W.



Peter and Barbara Bolton - Port Hope, Ontario
www.alivingpast.ca