John & Elizabeth Simpson lived in Red House, Long Marton near Appleby in Westmorland, England. Of their 15 children, at least 7 of them emigrated to Canada. In descending age order they were Jane (with her husband John Robinson and family), John, George, Edward, William, Isaac> & Margaret (with her husband Mathew Mitchell). Some 41 letters, mostly from the children to their parents have been preserved and are presented as transcriptions in chronological order.(Credits, Transcription Notes, Consolidated Text File


October 22, 1833. Letter from John S. Simpson to his father in Longmarton. John S. had been sick for several months but is now healthy. He had been reluctant to encourgage his brothers to come to Canada and warns them of the hardships of settling in Canada. John S. wants a farm and mentions future marriage.

May 11, 1834. Letter from George Simpson describes his journey from Carlisle to Liverpool where he booked passage on the Constitution of Pittston to New York.

June 22, 1834. Letter from George Simpson and John Strong to friends. Gives brief description of passage from Liverpool to New York. Minor collision with other ship. Through quarantine and passage to Albany, NY.

February 15, 1835. Letter from George Simpson to Father. Recounted John's visit and talked about John's wife and daughter. George says he is treated well by his master, Mr. Pearce who is a framer and lives near St Thomas. George helped John clear land and build a house. George provides a description of Mosa Township and says he has bought 100 acres near John's place. (This letter is not part of Warner Collection).

March 4, 1836. Combined letter from George & John Simpson. George: Cost of his land. Additional farm. Working for Mr Pearce. John's new daughter. John's father-in-laws farm. Buffalo flooded. Thames River surveyed for canal. Cost of postage. John: Mr. Tomlinson (father-in-law) would be glad to see you. (This letter is not part of Warner Collection).

July 24, 1836. Letter from Edward Simpson. He arrived in New York and went on to Albany. Met with brother-in-law John Robinson. Continued journey. Working for Mr. Tomlinson, but will be quitting.

October 8, 1836. Combined letter from George, Edward & John Simpson home to England. George working out to pay for farm. Getting ready to build house. Edward arrived. Found job for Edward. Survey for railroad 1-1/2 miles south of them. Sorry John Robinson not doing well. Edward wrote arrive safely. John wrote thank you for present - I've been sick for two summers. Good year for crops.

March 1, 1837. Letter from John Simpson Sr. (in England) to George. Gave condition and prices of some agricultural produce in England and production of John Sr.'s farm. Family news and news that influenza is bad in big towns. Sending money for George, but some intended for Edward and John S (Jr). John Sr. is anxious for news of his daughter Jane, who together with her husband John Robinson, sailed to N. America. Updated local news since Edward left for Canada.

July 9, 1837. Letter from George & Edward to parents. George working for long-time resident, Mr. Pearce. Geo. will not move onto his farm for another year. John is now doing well on his farm. George's father-in-law struggling on his big farm in the States. Canada can be a good country, but it is hard and not for everybody.

November 15, 1837. Letter from John Robinson to parents and siblings. He and Jane [nee Simpson] arrived in New York after somewhat eventful passage across Atlantic. Travelled to Schenectady, NY to work. Some information on his domestic economy (prices, customs, etc.) and his master's farm and business. A second letter of the same date with an envelope addressed to John Simpson. Content of the letter very similar to the first, but much poorer spelling and more people greeted in the ending. It too was signed as John Robinson

November 20, 1838. Letter from John & Jane (Simpson) Robinson home. Jane misses family. Women should learn to write. Jane's children attending school. Weevil makes flour scarce. Brother George is married. Great disturbance in Upper Canada.

December 2, 1839. Letter from John Simspon to parents. What did Edward say? Edward bought land. Our children. School Trustee. Robinsons not doing well. Lord Durham Meetings. Crops. Mary adds note - Please write - John, George & Edward look forward to your letters.

January 17, 1841. Combined letters from George & John Simpson. George mentioned Cousin John Strong, Mr. Joseph Pearson Lawson (a joiner), depressed produce prices and identified his wife and 3 children. John mentioned farm assets, scarcity of money, John Strong & location of his sister Mrs. John (Jane) Robinson and Mr. Tomlinson.

January 20, 1841. Letter from John & Jane (Simpson) Robinson to her parents. John & Jane have suffered illness. Planning to move to Canada in May. Expecting William (presumably Simpson) to come in the spring.

May 18, 1841. Letter from William Simpson. Arrived safely in New York. Ship over crowded, one child died. Other ships' passengers talk of broken masts, people washed overboard and being amongst huge icebergs.

July 18, 1841. Letter from William Simpson to parents. Daily notes on voyage to New York and on to his brother George's farm in Mosa Township. Will stay at John Simpson's farm. Mentions friends & relatives seen in Canada, also stories of difficulties of ships crossing ocean.

December 20, 1841. Letter from William Simpson. Been in Canada one year. Provisions for crossing ocean. How George got into money troubles with farm. Edward Simpson & John Strong have farms near Woodstock. John Robinson looking for small farm in Mosa. John Simpson bought sugar bush. Farmers can be comfortable. George will host Christmas for family.

February 5, 1842. Combined letters from Edward Simpson to his parents in England and his cousin John Strong to his friends in England. Both have bought farms in Zora Township near Woodstock, Ontario. Edward complains he sold his old farm in Mosa Twp. too cheap to his brother William. John Strong determines he will find running a farm too hard without a wife.

[August] 10th, 1842. Letter from E. Simpson to his father John Simpson. Please forgive me. Work on my farm. Crops. Seen some family. Hard life and future plans.

October 26, 1842. Combined letters from John and William Simpson to their brother Isaac Simpson (then residing in England). John Robinson working John's neighbour's farm on shares. Late frost & terrible hailstorm. William works on farm near Woodstock. Edward Simpson & John Strong live nearby. Farmer's need of a wife. Also short letter of friend, Benjamin Armstrong attached.

March 14, 1843. Letter from Issac - he is in Liverpool waiting to leave for N. America on the ship "Sherting".

January 14, 1844. Letter from William Simpson to his father John Simpson explaining the details of the bargain for George Simpson's farm and with Edward Simpson.

January 20, 1844. Letter from Anne Robinson, grand-daughter of John Simpson of Longmarton. Doesn't like Mosa compared to United States. Made flannel, grow flax. Her father, John Robinson, looking at land on Talbot Street.

May 20, 1844. Letter from William Simpson asking his father's advise concerning money owed, but not paid, by George to himself.

June 14, 1844. Letter in which John & Isaac separately try to persuade their father to help George pay his debt and keep his farm.

June 6, 1845. Combined letters from John and Isaac Simpson to relatives in England. Details of payment for (John or George's) land. William living in London. John & Mary visit Lockport. Great fire in London. Edward had the fever. Isaac describes fever he had for five weeks. Short description of his farm and Mosa Twp.

November 21, 1852. Letter from Isaac to family in England. Plea for letters. Prices of produce. Purchases of stock. Construction of Great Western Railroad. Betsy Ann Simpson working as his housekeeper. Churches in Wardsville. Saw that brother Richard married Mary Bellas.

1857. Letter from Ann Clements to her grandparents John & Elizabeth in England. Identifies her children. Mentions inflation of land and food prices with the coming of the rail road.

April 4, 1860. Letter from William Simpson thanking his father for checks to him and his brothers. Was on jury duty.

December 25, 1860. Letter from John Simspon home to his Father and siblings. Offer's consoling words to his father about the death of his mother about 1 year before.

March 7, 1861. Letter from Isaac Simpson to Father and siblings. River flooding. Maple sugar. Farm produce and prices. Remembering dead mother.

May 28, 1861. Joint letters from John Simpson to brothers & sisters and from his daughter Harriet to her cousin Mary (prob. dau. of John's brother, Thomas Simpson, in England). Family updates and sending photographs with Thomas Burridge (John's son-in-law) who was going to England to visit friends.)

July 27, 1862. Letter from Isaac Simpson to unidentified brother (presumeably in England). Thanking brother for sending John Robinson more money. Some crops damaged by a wevil. Isaac, John Robinson and John Simpson having new houses built.

September 27, 1863. Letter from John S. Simpson to brother Thomas. Brother George dead. Sister Margret and her husband Mathew Mitchel bought land near Wardsville. Son Thomas bought land near brother Isaac's. Son Thomas & John Robinson busy building houses. John S. wants copy of his father's will.

June 6, 1865. Letter from Agnes Simpson (daughter of William & Catherine) to unidentified uncle in England. John & family, Isaac & family, William & family, John Robinson & family all well. George has been dead for 2 years, but his family is well.

March 1, 1867. Letter from Isaac Simpson to brother in England. Mention of Fenian uprising, his trip to Lakes Huron & Superior and prices including timber & staves.

April 6, 1870. Letter from Isaac to Brothers in England. Long trip of men from Kirbythore, England, farm prices, Sarah Simpson, George's widow is well.

July 30, 1870. Letter from W. Elgey to his Sister, Nephews & Niece. Voyage across ocean. New York to Pittston, PA. Believe Elgey may be uncle to Simpson siblings.

September 14, 1870. Letter from John Simpson. Mentions marriage of his brother Isaac to Miss Pearce, death of his brother Thomas in England and the marriage of his daughter Harriet to Mr. Coyne as well as survey for another railroad.

Undated. Short letter from John Simpson to parents. Asking for news of family. Remarks river (probably Thames River) being surveyed for navigation.

Undated and incomplete letter from William Robinson (probably son of John & Jane Robinson) probably to his Simpson relatives in England. His parents would like to receive a letter. Gives price of produce and mentions lumber needs of railroad company.

Credits Thirty-nine of the letters were brought to Canada by Thelma Warner (nee Simpson) when she and her family visited Canada from England in 2004. Dennis Simpson scanned the letters and posted them on his website Two more letters that Dennis had previously posted on his web site, were also included with the transcriptions. With the exception of Dennis' two letters, the transcriptions were prepared by E.D. (Tedd) Brien. [ Top ]

Transcription Notes With the exception of adding blank lines for readability, the letters have been transcribed, to the extent possible, as written. As such, they often contain spelling errors, inconsistent capitalization and have little, if any, punctuation. Illegible words have been usually signified by five dashes (-----). Missing text due to a tear or a hole in a page is denoted by [**]. Transcription comments or notes within the text are enclosed within square brackets. The "Reference" at the end of each transcription refers to the series of file names assigned by Dennis Simpson to the page scans on his web site. Links to the page scans appear immediately below the "Reference."   [ Top ]

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Last revised 2005-05-03