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The following comes from Eunice Deverell (1883-1978) and her sister Maud Van Iderstine Deverell (1876-1964), daughters of Joseph R. Deverell (1842-1892) and Mary Ann Brown (1848-1933), granddaughters of Mark Brown 1822- and Eliz. Stratton 1826-)

Mark Brown Family History 
by Unice Deverell Hill

I, Eunice Deverell Hill, have put down some of the things Mother told me about her father Mark Brown, herself and family, starting with the early days near Simcoe, Ontario.

In England, a scheme had been started to send men out to Canada to settle the country in Upper Canada. These head men were to help settlers to their land and generally look after them, while getting used to their new homes.

My grandfather, Mark Brown, and his brother George, immigrated from England as 'head men' in 1832. George and his wife settled near Paris. Grandfather and his wife settled miles south, near Simcoe, which was nearly all woods, cleared a farm and built log houses.

The local natives were friendly, and Grandfather was good to them. One stormy winter night, several natives came to the door, wanting to sleep there. Grandfather took them upstairs near the big chimney. They wrapped their blankets around themselves and slept on the floor. Grandma wanted to lock the stair door but grandfather said no -- the Indians would not like that. Early next morning they went out quietly. 

Another time a lot of them came and wanted to cook a meal. An old squaw put all kinds of vegetables and meat in a huge iron pot over the fireplace. When it was done Mother, about three or four at the time, said she wanted to sit up at the table with them and have some stew.

Some years later when her brother Albert was sick, Grandma heard a lot of Indians coming up the road from Simcoe, drunk, shouting and singing. Grandfather was away, so Grandma and mother put out all the lights, and went down near the road to hide. The Indians wanted to go to the house, but the Chief said over and over "No, sick boy there", until he got them turned up the side road and away. Mother said that there hadn't been an Indian around for some time and wondered how he know about a sick boy.

Many times earlier the wolves looked in the windows at night.

The first big log house was destroyed by fire. It had a huge fireplace, that took logs three or four feet long, also a big back oven above it. Mother remembers her half-sister Sarah lifting her up to see 24 loaves of bread baking, also 24 pigeons roasting. They had long wooden shovels to reach in to put the pans in or take them out.

A long-handled brass bed warmer filled with hot coals was used to warm the beds at night in winter. It was like a good sized deep pan with a cover, and hung up by the fireplace during the daytime. 

Later grandfather had the first iron cook stove, and people came from miles around to see it. There was a large cooper shop near the house, where a lot of hired men worked, making barrels and other things they needed.

Mother's half-sister Sarah married Giles Dennis. Mother was about 2 years old and was sitting on Giles lap after the ceremony. Someone said Giles was taking Sarah away and Mother cried about it.

Nearly everyone around kept sheep and had a loom to weave cloth for their homespun dresses, blankets and quilts. We had a blue and white woven spread, a wonderful pattern! They dyed the wool yarn after spinning and carding it. I don't know what became of these old things. They used butternut to dye dark brown and other such things for dark blue and reds.

When George and Mark left England with their wives, their mother gave each son a case of silver with the initials G.B. and M.B. on every piece. These pieces of silver were divided amongst the families in later years. I have a tablespoon that mother had, Aunt Carry had a tablespoon and teaspoon, which was given to her granddaughter Eva Wade, and when she married Howard McIntyre in 1947, she gave them to my grandchildren, Shirley and Donald Duncan.

One of George Brown's great granddaughters, Edna Balkwill Mussett, was visiting us a few years ago. I showed her my tablespoon and told her the history. She said she had one like it, but had thought it belonged to her her grandfather, George Balkwill. Her grandmother was Sarah Brown, second oldest daughter of George Brown.

When George Brown and family were coming over on the boat, which then took several weeks, their two year old girl took sick and died. She was buried at sea.

They had to make everything. Mother told me about a candle maker they had. A large iron affair that held twelve candles. The round deep sockets were 1.5 feet deep and about two inches across, and had a thick wick or cord about the size of Mother's little finger. It was threaded through holes to go down into the sockets, where mutton tallow was poured while hot, then allowed to set. Mother did this after school and other chores when she was older. There was also a candle snuffer.

White sugar came in bee-hive shapes a foot or so high, round at the base as large as a dinner plate. They had sharp iron clippers, something like a pair of shears with small rounding blades, to clip pieces of sugar from the mound. Grandma had a pair that her Mother's (my great Grandma Stratton) had. She gave them to Maud years ago.

Speaking of dinner plates, Maud and I have 'Blue Willow" ones, Large size, deep in the centre, from Grandma's old set. All their dishes were very large c. 1850.

There used to be a tollgate, a short way from Grandfather's on the gravel Talbot road. A Mrs. Babock was hired to collect the toll. Mother's two brothers. Will and Steve liked to go evenings to her home and listen to her read Scottish poems and prose. There were children, Ruth was near mother's age, who later married a Mr. Coates in Simcoe and had a daughter Cora, who married a Will Brown, a son of Henry Brown. Will and Cora had several children, Roy and Viola being the only ones I knew. Roy died in 1955, Viola , Mrs. Robert Gillespie, lives in Seattle. She is a great granddaughter of Mark Brown.

A family named Mills, who lived a half mile or so from Grandma's, gave a piece of their farm on the gravel road for a cemetery. One of the daughters, visiting in the States, brought back a shrub to put at the head of one of their graves. It spread all over, and grew into a small tree with thorns, and in time became so locked that no one could get in. Slab tombstones were pushed down, but nothing could be done about it. The farmers around the fenced cemetery had to plow all the time to keep the thorny trees out. Years after (when we moved  from Marquette, Michigan) after Father died, it was still there, dark looking and dense. I do not know what ever was done about it.

When Mother went to school, the monetary sysyem was changed from pounds, shillings and pence, to dollars and cents. Mother was born in 1847, so it must have been in 1855 or so.

Grandpa's first wife was a Caroline Bannister. Her sister, a Mrs. Kent lived nearer to Simcoe. Years later they gave a piece of their farm for a road that branched off the gravel road, to enter into the heart of Simcoe. It used to be called the Kent Road. Other roads around the County, through swampland, were called cordurey roads, as there were logs laid crosswise and were they ever bumpy!

A brother of Mrs. Kent, Billie Bannister, an older man, came out from England, travelled from coach, after he left the boat to Simcoe. He was sick with typhoid fever when he arrived, and was delirious for weeks. When he got better, he asked for his money belt, and was told he never had one on when he arrived there. Mother said he always blamed his brother-in-law for taking it, but someone may have robbed him on his trip when he was sick. 

Mother remembers seeing her father's linen money belt hanging in the kitchen. It was long enough to buckle around his waist and under his clothes. It was stitched in two rows of squares to hold gold pieces of considerable value.

A few years after Uncle Billie Bannister came to Canada, a relative died in England and left a lot of money. Uncle Billie thought as he was the oldest, he should be the one to do the business of getting all the names and dates of birth of the ones in Ontario. Apparently he was too old but would not let anyone help him or see the papers. The result was, although all the names were correct, in his excitement he left his own name off the list and the lawyers in England said it couldn't be the right people, and threw the money in Chancery. 

For years they wrote and some went to England, but there was nothing anyone could do. Uncle Billie was so upset over it all, he died a year or so afterwards. Lawyers had often tried and one in Simcoe said it was no use trying anymore. But a year or so afterwards, this lawyer seemed to have a lot of money, brought a property, built a large house and made a 'good fellow' of himself. The relatives of the Bannisters always thought that he got some or all of the money from England in some way.

Mother went to learn dressmaking at a Miss Glover in Simcoe, in her late teens and her half sister Cary learned tailoring. One winter Mother went to visit Aunt Brown in Paris, Ontario. George Brown had died so his wife and daughters Cartherine and Elizabeth lived in town. A son George on the farm. Sarah, an older daughter was married to George Balkwill, and they had a son Robert.

Mother froze her foot and could not get her shoes on for the rest of the winter. The two cousins were getting married, so wanted mother to stay with their mother, which she did. Mother lived there for several years, sewing for people. It was while there, she meet Joseph R. Deverell, as he was a nephew of Aunt Brown. They were married Dec 27th, 1871, and a year later, moved to Marquette, Michigan.

Earlier I spoke of the Cooper shop, where all kinds of tools were kept. There was a teenaged boy living in the neighborhood who wasn't quite bright, but no one thought him dangerous, so didn't pay much attention to him when he was around. One day he went into the shop, as he often did. Grandpa had his back to him, the boy picked up an axe and struck him on the head. He died some hours later, June 11th, 1870 -- 73 years old. Mother had to come by stage coach from Paris, Ontario to Simcoe. When the policeman took the boy to jail and asked him why he killed Mr. Brown, he said he didn't know, but he was going to kill some little girl, also a lady who lived in the neighborhood, They finally took him to Hamilton Insane Asylum.

About this time or earlier, Henry, Mother's half brother, who had been in Michigan for years with his wife and children, developed consumption, as it was called then. He came home for a visit with his parents. He was sitting on the porch, so white and thin. An elderly Indian came up to the porch, and after looking at Henry for awhile, pointed his fingers at Henry and said "you Mark Brown's boy, you sick?" Henry said yes. "You like to fish?" Henry said he did, but they were not in season just now. "Indian can fish anytime." So away they went and came back with a fresh white trout.

Henry died in 1871. Their children were Carey, Cecelia, and Will. Carey married a Mr. Adams, no children. Cecelia married a Mr. Dennison, their two children, Earl & Mona. Earl was killed in the first war, Mona married a Mr. Sanborn and lived at Ilderton near London, Ontario. They have two sons, Tom and Earl.

When Joseph Deverell was a child, someone said the world would come to an end in 1892. Father said he often wondered if it would. For him it did, as he died at noon, Dec. 31, 1892, in Marquette, Mich!

When Father, Joseph R. Deverell, was a young man, he was a Corporal in a Brantford military regiment. We think they were sent to Ft. Erie when a Fenian Raid was feared in 1866. One time at a military ball in Brantford, Father and a young lady won first prize for the best dancers in Brantford. Years later, on a holiday in Brantford, I told them about Father. We went to a dance in Brantford and George Hearne and I danced. Two by two the other couples dropped out, but the music kept on and so did George and I. All the dancers got up again, and finally dropped out a second time. George asked if I wished to stop. I said "I can keep up as long as the music goes", so we kept dancing until the music stopped. Everyone cheered and applauded. When I was told that I was the best dancer in Brantford, I thought Father would have been so pleased.

I visited Nan Wilson that summer, and her father said, "used to know a Joe Deverell years ago in school, we were school friends." I said "My father attended school in Brantford." Mr. Wilson said "I have often wondered what became of Joe."  What a coincidence!

Our Memories of our Father

Father was always so eager to have us see everything of interest. In 1882, he got us all up in the middle of the night to look out the window to see the great Comet. A neighbor shot a wolf and he took we three older children to see it.  Father got permission to take Wallace and me, on the first trial trip to a new R.R. as far as Au Train, all through the woods from Marquette. Just one coach with about six men and we two children. He also took us aboard the first "Whaleback" or "Cigar" tanker, which berthed in Marquette.

He took us for long walks, often a ten mile stretch, through the woods surrounding Marquette, always pointing out everything of interest. Other times along Lake Superior shore, always hunting for agates. Father was always interested in collecting minerals or anything of interest.

In the early 1880's Father took Wallace and me to see Sam Lee, the first Chinaman to come to Marquette, who started the first laundry in a little house on South 4th St. He had a long pigtail, and his shirt was outside his pants. He was ironing a shirt, and then filled his mouth with water and sprinkled the shirt. He asked Father if I was a girl, and then said, "A nice girl," and I was elated.

Father made one most unexplainable act of thoughtlessness, when he had my birth registered. He never mentioned the name "Deverell." I figure he must have known the Registar, and not thought it necessary. He just gave the name "Maud Van Iderstine", with father "Joseph Robert", mother "Mary Ann". So I became "Maud Van Iderstine", father "Joseph Van Iderstine" and mother "Mary Ann". The Van Iderstines lived in Marquette, and the Registar would be familiar with the name.

Then, in transferring it to the records in the Capitol in Lansing, the name "Maud" became "Amanda", no doubt due to poor writing. So I was legally "Amanda Van Iderstine" for sixty-five years. It was only in 1941, when attending Alvina Helen Deverell's funeral in Marquette, that I wrote to Dr. Van Iderstine asking him to please get my birth certificate. That's when the mistake was discovered. It took a lot of writing and legal work to get it straightened out. Poor Father would have been so chagrined.

Father had a keen sense of humor. He was fine looking man, tall and straight. He had light brown hair and short auburn beard and mustache. A neighbor, Mr. Gregory, was all red, and they used to joke each other about their coloring. One day when they met, Father said, "Oh, it's you, is it? I thought it was a light house coming up the hill."

Father was manager of a heavy hardware store, through five changes of personnel in the company. He held the position from the time he went to Marquette from Paris, Ontario, until the day of his death. He had a heart condition and should not have been doing any lifting, but with a family to support, he felt he could not stop working. He never told Mother about his condition and sacrificed his life for us.

Father was a great reader and very fond of books. He was also very appreciative of anything one did, especially Mother's work and cleverness. He once described a man as reminding him of three pianos. "Grand", "Square" and "Upright". And these three words best describe Father. He was respected and liked by everyone. A good friend, he was "an honest man, the noblest work of God."

compiled and written by Maud Van I. Deverell in 1961