Contributed by Beverley Straub Watkins, email@example.com
The letters were originally sent to my great-great grandparents, James and Lilly Brander at Willow Cottage, near Northport, NS. They were kept at Willow Cottage for years and were in the possession of one of his descendants, Donald & Joyce Brander
1. The first letter is from Archibald Brander, Third Pond (PEI), August 27, 1831, to his sister Lilly who had married James Brander of Huntly, Scotland and Northport, NS.1 (Archibald and Lillyís parents were Ann (Taylor) and James Brander of Third Pond, PEI. I believe Branderís Pond was named after James2.)
Third Pond (PEI), August 27, 1831. Dear Sister and Brother. I embrace this opportunity of writing to you to let you know that we are all well thanks be to God for it. Mountain3 has been very poorly but he is mending. Father and Mother have been in very good health since you left us. I have nothing in particular only James and me expect to go over in three weeks time. We never had an opportunity of writing till now. I should be very glad to hear how you all enjoy your health. You will kindly give my respects to Mr. and Mrs. Cooper4 and my kind love to Miss Margaret Dickie. I hope I shall give you a true statement of things when we see you. No more for now. Young Archie Brander5
2. The second letter is from Ann (Taylor) Brander, dated New London, 20th January 1838, to her daughter, Lilly, and her son-in-law James Brander of Northport, NS.
"Dear Son & Daughter, I am happy to announce to you that my son George was married to Ann Dickie6 on the second inst. and Ann Wall to John Adams a few days priorly and James Wall to a sister of Ann Wallís husband ...and Margaret wife of my son Archibald has lately had son to be named James and is now well herself and all her family and I myself and all near friends here are well and I beg to be remembered to Mr. & Mrs. Cooper. Before closing my epistle have to narrate a melancholy circumstance which hath happened in the neighbourhood. A son of Mr. William Clark by name James Clark left his fatherís house at Darnley in chase after a fox some days ago and hath not yet returned according to my knowledge. Several of the men in the place have been in search after him for a part of three days. Should be happy on the receipt of a letter from you and let me know if you have heard anything from Shemogue this winter. And I am Your most Obt Sevt, Ann Brander. P.S. Since the above was written James Clark was found dead. His death was occasioned by his own gun. He had been going through a thicket of bushes and was dragging his gun after him. It went off and the contents of it went in his side.
3. The the third from Ann Brander to James and Lilly; written from Third Pond, PEI, May 22, 1843.
Dear Daughter, I take the opportunity of writing to you to let you know that we are all well at present thanks be to God for it and I hope that these few lines will find you and family the same. We received a letter from Shemogue from Donald Taylor7 that his family is down in the fever and all very well at the present time. I have nothing very strange to write to you. We have had a very hard winter but a fine Spring. Grass & grain is very forward at this time. Send us a letter by the first opportunity you see coming over to let us know how times is with you all. Give my kind love to Mr. Cooper & his wife. So no more at present. I remains your loving Mother, Ann Brander. Your sister Miriam and family sends their kind love to you and all the family and they wish you to send them a letter as soon as possible you can for they think long to hear from you.
1 James Brander, bachelor of Nova Scotia and Lilly Brander, spinster of New London. Marriage license dated 1 August 1831 directed to John Keir, JP.(Marriage License Book 1831-1843). "August 2, 1831 These are to certify that James Brander of Nova Scotia and Lily Brander of New London, P.E. Island were married by virtue of License granted under the hand and seal of J. Brady, Lieutenant Governor of Prince Edward Island on this second day of August in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and thirty-one by me John Keir, Minister. In the presence of the following witnesses: John Cooper, Jonathan Tindall, Archabald Brander."
2 James Brander of PEI was born c. 1765 in Scotland, d. 3 Sept. 1831. He married Ann Taylor (b. c. 1771, d. 18 May 1860) on 22 January 1789 in Malpeque Presbyterian Church.
3 William Mountain Taylor, 28 April 1828, twin of Huw Craig, and son of Archibald Taylor.
4 "Mr. and Mrs. Cooper" are John Cooper and his wife Elizabeth Innes of Truro, NS. Johnís sister Margaret Cooper was James Branderís mother (stayed in Scotland). But I believe there is a Cooper connection in Malpeque?
5 Archibald Brander, (12 April 1809 Ė 1 January 1871) married Margaret Dickie (1812-20 April 1896) a month later on 28 September 1831 in Malpeque Presbyterian Church. Their children were: Janet; John; Ann; Archibald; James.
6 George Brander (15 May 1813-13 March 1848) married Ann Dickie (c. 1822-5 January 1908) 0n 2 January 1839 in New London, PEI. Their children were: Margaret Ellen; James; George. Were Margaret and Ann Dickie sisters?
7 My understanding is that Donald Taylor was Ann (Taylor) Branderís brother; born in Campbelltown, KinTyre around 1769 and died 1846, Little Shemogue, NB. He married Mary McKay about 1789 in PEI. I believe that Donald, Margaret, Ann and John were children of the Donald Taylor and Maureen McBride who came from Campbelltown KinTyre on the "Annabella" in 1770. (Plaque in Cabot provincial park near Malpeque.)