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Notes from the Chairperson
In 2017, 1.2 trillion digital photos were taken thanks to the smartphone. Did you know that a whopping 8,796 digital photos are shared on Snapchat every second? Mind blowing, isn’t it?
I love to pull out the box of old family photographs taken 150 years ago – cabinet cards, cartes-de-visite, and panel cards. They were produced with large 10-lb cameras, and 8”x10” glass negatives. Even if you look at them with a magnifying glass the details are still tack sharp. Generation after generation has gazed on these images. They have safeguarded them and treated them as heirlooms to be passed on to the next generation.
And that is when I inhale sharply at the thought that comes next: of the 1.2 trillion photographs taken in 2017, how will they be viewed by a generation just 50 years from now? Technology changes so rapidly. Will Facebook, social media, or the computer as we know it now be around 50 years from now? Not likely. Already our VHS tapes, and Super 8 home movies can’t be played anymore because technology has moved on. So, who will be able to access the photos on your computer, iPad, on-line family tree, or even your DNA results?
My Mom still prints her photos and puts them in albums. Maybe she’s got the right idea. Makes you think doesn’t it?
Roots 2018 International Conference on Family History
The Quebec Family History Society (QFHS) is celebrating their 40th anniversary with Roots 2018 International Conference on Family History at McGill University in Montreal on May 18th, 19th and 20th, 2018. As QFHS is the major English language genealogical Society in Quebec, all presentations will be in English. Speakers from Canada, United States, and the UK will be presenting over this three-day period. Full information on the conference will appear on the Quebec Family History Society website in January www.qfhs.ca.
There are obituaries, and then there are OBITUARIES, those with many details which can lead researchers to other records which they had not realized might contain information. Additionally, one should always check to see if an obituary might have been published in more than one newspaper, with slight variations in the wording – a task made much easier with the Huron Digitized Newspapers website.
Huron News Record – Mar.14 1888 p.8 c.6: Mr. Wm Marten, for a great many years following the peddling business, died at his residence in Clinton last week, at the good old age of 75 years. Mr. Marten was a gentleman of more than average intelligence, of remarkably active temperament and until last summer preserved his vitality to a wonderful degree. Up to that time his step was as elastic and his intellect as acute as the average man of only half his age. He was a member of the Church of England and Conservative in politics. He had been fading gradually for the past few months. The burial took place on Monday.
Clinton New Era – Mar.16 1888 p.8 c.2: Obituary – Mr. Wm Marten, an old and esteemed resident of Clinton, died on the 9th inst., at the age of seventy-five. He was born at Southwell, Eng., in 1813. He received a fair education, and at the age of thirty entered the London police-force as a detective. His ability and efficiency secured him promotion, and he was finally appointed to the responsible office of Police Superintendent at Tunbridge Wells. He resigned this office to take charge of a business enterprise in Belgium, which proved unsuccessful. In 1853 he came to Canada, and settled in Norwich, where he was for eight years salesman in a dry-goods store. The confinement proving injurious to his health, he removed to Clinton, and started an out-door business of his own. He travelled through the counties of Huron and Bruce, buying and selling goods, and soon, by his industry, carefulness, and probity, gained the confidence of a wide circle of customers. He was an attached member of the English church, a constant attendant and a liberal contributor. About a year ago his health began to fail. His sufferings were latterly severe, but were borne with Christian fortitude to the end. Our community loses in him a worthy and useful man of business, a kind neighbor, and a faithful servant of Christ. He leaves a widow and three daughters – Mrs. McLean, of Paris, Mrs. Hessian, of Wingham, and Mrs. Bentley, of Clinton.
Clinton New Era – Oct.21 1904 p.8 c.3: Laid to Rest – Our paper of last week recorded the death of George Bentley at the age of sixty-nine years and five months. But few of the present citizens of Clinton can recall the bright, active man who landed in their midst in 1857. Though but young he had many and varied experiences. Born in old London, with his father in well to do circumstances, nothing would satisfy him but to go to sea. One of his first trips was to York Factory, Hudson Bay. He served some time in the Royal Navy, and spent weeks in the hospital at Kingston, Jamaica, suffering from yellow fever. Like many another young sailor, “Ballaratt” gold diggings in Australia attracted him and when tired of them he returned to England and finding some of his friends had come here, followed them out. In 1879 he married a daughter of our old townsman William Marten, and had left two daughters to mourn the loss of the kindest of fathers. For many years he was sexton of St. Paul’s Church. Always ready to do a kind turn to a neighbor, to sit up all night with a sick friend, and to help anybody in trouble, the death of our old friend has left a gap which cannot basily [sic] be filled. The funeral was held on Friday afternoon last, services being conducted by Rev. C.R. Gunne, assisted by the choir of St. Paul’s church, and the pall bearers were S.G. Plummer, C. Helyar, F. Evans, Geo Davis, J.S. Sheppard, C.B. Hale.
The Huron Expositor – Mar.9 1888 p.8 c.2&3: A Melancholy Event – It is not often we are called upon to chronicle an event so inexpressibly sad as that which we have this week to record. Husband and wife stricken down almost at the same time, lying helpless under the same roof and in adjoining rooms, each unconscious of the dangerous condition of the other and ultimately both falling under the cold hand of death within a few hours of each other. We refer to the death of Mr. and Mrs. S.G. McCaughey, of this town, the former of whom passed away at half-past seven o’clock Monday evening and the latter about the same hour Tuesday evening. About four o’clock last Saturday afternoon the citizens were startled by the report that Mr. McCaughey was seriously ill, that two doctors were in attendance upon him and that they despaired of his recovery. It was known he had been indisposed for a few days but it was generally supposed that nothing more serious than a cold was the matter. It was also announced that Mrs. McCaughey was indisposed and was confined to bed. Pneumonia was the disease with which both were afflicted. Mrs. McCaughey had been complaining of a cold for several days but was not confined to bed until Friday evening or Saturday. On the previous Monday Mr. McCaughey came down to his office as usual and in the forenoon he took a severe chill. Not getting over it he started to go home and on the way he got so ill that he had to go in to Dr. Scott’s office to rest. The Doctor gave him some stimulants and he soon recovered sufficiently to be sent home. Although not well he was able to be about the house until Friday night when, soon after retiring, he grew much worse and the doctor was sent for. From this out, the disease developed very rapidly and from Saturday night until the time of his death he was unconscious the greater part of the time. He was not aware of his wife’s serious illness, and after his death she was so low that the friends thought it best not to acquaint her of the fact and so both passed away in ignorance of the condition of the other. Mr. McCaughey was one of the oldest residents of this town, having located here 25 years ago. He was born near Ballymena, County Antrim, Ireland, in the year 1830 and received his education at the Royal Belfast College. He was educated for a clergyman of the “Old Kirk,” but afterwards turned his attention to law. In company with his brother, the late James McCaughey, of Ingersoll, the deceased came to Canada in 1854, and after spending some time in the Lower Provinces he came to Ingersoll where he remained some years with his brother who was practising law there. In 1863 he came to Seaforth and commenced the practise of his profession here on his own account. Soon after he took into partnership with him Mr. Holmstead, and the firm having gained the most implicit confidence of the people, did a large and profitable business. About four years ago he retired from law and engaged in the private banking business with Mr. Wm. Logan and he was still connected with that business at the time of his death. He was a remarkably successful business man; he rarely engaged in any unprofitable business speculation and it night be said of him that everything he touched seemed to turn into money, and as a result he had amassed a large fortune. For many years he was solicitor in turn for the Consolidated Bank, the Royal Canadian Bank and the Bank of Commerce; he was also Reeve of Seaforth for many years, and was a member of the High School Board from its formation until the time of his death, and for the past eight years he was an Elder of the Presbyterian church, in the affairs of which he took a deep and active interest. He was possessed of excellent literary tastes, and always took a deep interest in all educational matters and was a warm friend of the Mechanics’ Institute. In politics he was a Liberal, but never took any very active part, being always of a retiring disposition, while his habits of life were of the plainest and most unostentatious. Mrs. McCaughey was a daughter of Rev. Robert Ferris, Presbyterian minister of Fethard, South of Ireland, and chaplain to the Presbyterian soldiers stationed in that town, and a neice [sic] of the late Dr. Ferris, of St. Catharines. She was married to Mr. McCaughey in 1868, and at the time of her death was only 44 years of age. She was a kind, amiable lady, and was beloved by all who knew her. In her death the poor and unfortunate lose a good friend. She was an earnest worker in every good cause, and her death is a great loss to the community in which she lived, and of which she was so worthy and so well-beloved a member. They had a family of four children, two sons and two daughters. One of the sons died in infancy; the second died about three years ago of the same disease as that which cut down the parents. The two daughters, the eldest about sixteen years of age, survive to mourn the loss of a loving, tender mother, and an ever kind and thoughtful father. They will receive the heartfelt sympathy of all in this their sudden and severe affliction. The remains of both Mr. and Mrs. McCaughey were deposited in the Maitlandbank cemetery on Thursday afternoon last. The funeral services were conducted in the church and the business places in town were closed and the schools dismissed for the afternoon out of respect to the memory of the deceased.
The Huron Signal – Nov.12 1868 p.2 c.4: Death of a Pioneer – On Friday the 6th inst., Mr. Hugh Chisholm Sen, of Goderich township, in the 77th year of his age. Deceased was a man well-known and highly respected in the township. He emigrated from the County of Glengarry to the Huron Tract in the year 1828, in time to assist two other men in putting a bark roof on the first shanty ever built in this town. Taking a farm in the township, he raised a large and respectable family, lived at peace with all about him, and has now passed away at a good old age. The body was followed to the Catholic Cemetery on Monday by a large concourse of people.