Revisiting the Waltham, Sheen, Mansfield & Chichester 1848 Petition

December 18, 2014

In my post of July 10, 2014 titled “A 1848 Group Land Petition from Waltham, Sheen, Mansfield & Chichester,” I shared about a petition that was done by the citizens of those townships.

I found the petition at the Library and Archives in Ottawa in 2012 but the film was very dim, fuzzy and my copies were not great.  I was unable to read all the pages but managed to at least transcribe one of the documents which is the petition signed by the settlers.

Well, I found another copy at the Archives of Ontario on the York University campus in Toronto and this copy was much better so I was able to get more documents.

The petition is still hard to read but you will find a few changes to the post I have mentioned above, where I attempt to read the names again. I will not repeat the petition here but add more documents.  There was another letter, and the jacket of the court document.

  • Canada Land Petitions
  • “W” Bundle 5, 1848-1850
  • RG 1, L3, Vol. 540 (a)

 1482

Petition of the inhabitants of the Township of Sheen

For reduction in the price of land

 The only good

Land in the Township lies along (on the left side of the page)

 Agreably to the returns of Mr. Joseph Macon the Surveyor who has been employed in the subdivision and laying out the Arable part of the Township of Sheen, it appears that the settled partion thereof, which is the line of Chichester between the Ottawa and the base of an elevated and rugged range of Hills, which traverses the Township along Downey’s Creek to the foot of the Deep reach, and thence along the immediate banks of the Ottawa in front of Sheen. This tract is however of limited extent containing only eighty five lots, averaging about 100 acres each, and is in many places uneven and of inferior quality besides, that the merchantable timber has been almost totally cut away in the extensive lumbering carried on in that section of the County of Ottawa.

 The above description of the land in Sheen, would apply equally to the Township of Waltham, Mansfield and Chichester, wherein the land fit for settlement (and which is in Chief part settled by squatters as in Sheen_ extends from the Ottawa back some two or three ranges to the base of the chain of Mountains above mentioned.

 C.L. O. Surveying Department

Montreal 7 June 1848

 As specifications of the surveyed parts of these Townships, are new prepared for the _____ it would be desirable (should a reduction of price be deemed advisable) that the new rate should be fixed upon in time to appear in the list of lots advertised for sale.

 The price of land in the old surveyed Townships on the Ottawa, Litchfield included which adjoins Mansfield, is [9] per acre.  The lands in the Grant Calumet and Allumette Islands have been advertised at the same _____.  The price suggested by the Petitioners is 3f per acre.

[T. Boutlaittie]

======================================

Right side of the jacket

 1434 W4 Report of the W172 Commissioner of Crown Lands.

 Referred to the Committee of the Honourable the Executive Council.

C.L.G  and other signatures.

 Note:  There is very faint writing below – unreadable.

 The left side of the Jacket.  Note:  This is very dark….

 __________________28 June 1848

The committee [recommends] that the price of the land in question be reduced to the rate of 3 shillings per acre.

Approved in Council 1 July 1848

___________________7 July 1848

 The Committee 19 July 1848

 The Assistant Commissioner is in doubt whether he is to consider _____minutes above referred to ____the price of land, as confined solely to the Township of Sheen or as comprising also the Townships of Waltham, Mansfield and Chichester.

 As the Report state the land in those three Townships to be of similar quality to that in Sheen, and where fit for settlement ____, chiefly occupied by squatters also.

The committee are of the opinion that the price of land should be priced to the __________in Sheen of three shillings per Acre.

 Approved in Council 22 July 1848.

_____________________C.C.L. 25 July 1848

I wish the documents were easier to read, I gave it my best try.

When I visited Ontario and Quebec in 2012, I really tried to dig into the records to try to get as far back as possible for the Sheen and Chichester area or Pontiac County for that matter.  I believe this is one of the oldest documents for the settlement of the area.


A 1848 Group Land Petition from Waltham, Sheen, Mansfield & Chichester

July 10, 2014

In 2012, when I traveled to Canada, I visited the Libraries and Archives in Ottawa for one day. Before I went, I of course studied the land petition indexes online at the Libraries and Archives website, and found a very interesting piece of documentation.

Upper Canada Land Petitions 1763-1865 Index:

  • Name:  Inhabitants of Waltham, Sheen, Mansfield & Chichester
  • Place:  Waltham, Sheen, Mansfield, Chichester
  • Year:   1848
  • Volume: 540A
  • Bundle: W4
  • Petition: 172
  • Microfilm: C-2964
  • Reference: RG 1 L3

From this information I pulled the microfilm while in the research room and took a look and photos.

Apparently the inhabitants of the whole community at that time in 1848, banded together and signed a petition for a land patent.  I share this because I am trying to get back as far as possible in the Chichester, Chapeau, Sheen area with the inhabitants.

Unfortunately, the microfilm is dark, fuzzy and difficult to read and interpret.  It looks like there were two letters submitted and a decision by the council for 3 shilllings.

Here as at least one of them with the list of the petitioners and again I did my best:

Inhabitants petition 1848

Inhabitants petition 1848 – a portion of one of the letters written in the file

1482 Petition – Inhabitants of Sheen C. _______

For a reduction in the price of their lands  (some intials) 18th April 1848

To his Excellency the Right and Honorable ___ Everts of Elgin and _____Governor General of the British North America……

In Council.  The petition of the undersigned settlers of the Township of Sheen county of Ottawa Canada East Hunbley Heweth. 

That your petitioners generally, recently migrated from Great Britain and Ireland, that from the great depression in the Lumber trade, the partial and in many cases total failure of the potatoe crop, has plaud your petitioners with their large, and helpless families, into circumstances from which, many years of prosperity will not essace from their recollection.

That the land we now occupy has been surveyed during the past winter – the ___ discription of  soil in which it has pleased Providence to cast our lot, and the peculiar circumstances of our situation, in this remote section of the Province, combined with the fact that all the merchandable timber has, from time to time, been taken away, by lumbermen, and others, under our possessing of little value.  

That our petitioners would therefore suggest, and pray for a reduction in the price of land, your petitioners are of the opinion  3 k p acre is the utmost value of that which they ___and under the  made favorably circumstances, the utmost they will be able to pay.  And as in duly bound, your petitioners will even pray. 

I transcribed these names to the best of my ability but I could be incorrect.  Some names might be French and I am not familiar with them and the person who transcribed the names didn’t spell well. I am particularly interested in the Ronald Roy McDonald.

  • 1. James W. Juston
  • 2. Daniel Ferguson
  • 3. Patrick [   ] Flinn
  • 4. John Murray
  • 5. Alex McGilverey
  • 6. Jonathan Perrault
  • 7.  Thomas Maher
  • 8.  Edward Rennick Resnick
  • 9.  ______ Tracey
  • 10. Ranald Roy McDonald
  • 11.  Tim Crinaw
  • 12. H….S. __________
  • 13. David Ferguson
  • 14. ________
  • 15. John Ferguson
  • 16. John Downee
  • 17. Richard Michael Hayes
  • 18. Owen Levine
  • 19. Thomas Harington
  • 20. Ra___Oatchern Rafrared Oatchern
  • 21. John Ferguson
  • 22. John McCormick
  • 23.  David Ferguson
  • 24. John Sturis
  • 25. Charles Hutchison
  • 26. John Wall or Sewll
  • 27. Mathe Ryng
  • 28. Peter Costille
  • 29. Gory Mars
  • 30. Richard Mackey
  • 31. John Walchome
  • 32. James ____
  • 33. Patrick Kelly
  • 34. Richard O’Brien
  • 35. Bryan Goletere
  • 36. George McKnay
  • 37. Edward Kelly
  • 38. Rutt Patt Bray
  • 39. William ____________
  • 40. Patrick Matheson
  • 41. Michl Michelson
  • 42. James Walker
  • 43. Samuel Hutchinson
  • 44. Patrick Kelly
  • 45. Thomas Kelly

UPDATE 12/17/2014:  In September 2014, I was able to obtain another copy at the Archives of Ontario of this petition and have transcribed more of what was in the file.  See my 12/17/2014 posted titled:  Revisiting the Waltham, Sheen, Mansfield & Chichester petition of 1848.  Note that anything in read is an an attempt at updating.  Unfortunately the actual petition is still difficult to read.  

If you would like a copy of this file, leave a comment and we can make arrangements for me to send you one.  It will be difficult to read.  On the other hand, if you know of this petition and have a better transcription I would be very interested.  Thanks.


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