Recently we asked our readers about sharing their family’s early ties to St. Marys. Here are two of the responses received:
MITCHELL FAMILY, as told by Murray Mitchell
“My great-grandfather John Mitchell came from Aberdeenshire, Scotland in 1847 at age 16. He was a pattern maker and brought with him many of his patterns. He also brought with him a perfect working model of a windmill which he hoped to use as a sample of windmills he was hoping to sell. He settled on the 8th concession of Blanshard which is still the Mitchell homestead. One of his two sons was William (Willie), my grandfather, and Willie’s son George was my father.
On my mother’s side, James Brine, one of the six Tolpuddle Martyrs, was my great-great-grandfather. He came to Canada along with four of his comrades from Tolpuddle, England (which is about 16 miles from London) in the spring of 1844. They landed at New York, then by train to Buffalo, by ship to Port Stanley and to London, Ontario by oxen. They all chose the London area to settle. James Brine homesteaded two other farms before he settled one mile west of Rannoch and he and then one of his sons and then his son in turn all farmed there until their deaths. The farm is now owned by Kiestra Farms. My great-grandfather John was one of James’ sons and Vera Brine Pringle was my grandmother. I have three sons and seven grandchildren to carry on the lineage.”
IREDALE FAMILY, as told by Bruce Iredale
Bruce Iredale, along with all who currently carry the Iredale surname in St. Marys, trace back to his great-great-grandfather Joseph Iredale who arrived here in 1844, coming over from England. The original Iredale in Little Falls (as it was known at the time) secured a position as head miller with the Huttons in their grist mill along the Thames River near Victoria Bridge. Joseph married Ellen Barron, who later died. Joseph then married Jane Tracy (daughter of George Tracy ) and the couple would buy a farm and sawmill up Trout Creek, later converting the operation into a flour mill. Joseph and Ellen had a son named Joseph, who would go on to marry Mary Ann Todd. Their son, Orville Clarence Iredale, would marry Mary Ann Longhurst and the couple would have a daughter and three boys that would have descendants in St. Marys to this day. Wilfred Newton Iredale (who married Ida Smith) is the father of Bruce Iredale, while Orville Clarence Iredale is the father of Norman Iredale.