My Connections to the Andrews, Day, and Smith Families


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Submitted by Andrew Hinshaw - ajhinshaw@cox.net


My Connections to the Andrews, Day, and Smith Families

This was written in late life by Eda Pearl (Nicholson) Pursey, Eda was a daughter of Mary Ann Andrews (1855-1927) and Alexander Nicholson b. abt 1857). (Items below in parentheses are inserted for clarity).

It recounts Recollections about her grandparents (James Catchpole Andrews-Mary Anne MacDonald) and great-grandparents (John Andrews - Mary Catchpole who arrived in Canada from England in 1826). It includes marriages to the DAY Families.

Further information on the DAY family can be found in Dana Ryderís extensive history on The Island Register.


"They and their large families were born in Suffolk, England. I got to know my grandfather, James when he was seventy (1895) until he died at the age of eighty-seven years.(1912). His family were all married and had children, with the exception of two sons who died at the ages of 21 and 22 with what was called inflamation of the bowels. Now they call it appendicitis. My mother (Mary Ann Andrews, born 1855, PEI, Canada) told me how they were all grieved they all were. He (grandfather) lost his wife also (Mary Anne MacDonald), at the age of sixty-seven years (1889), The reason I remember my mother had the breastplate that they placed on the casket in those days. She had been bedridden for years with rheumatism.

"However, he got married again (1892), though many of the family did not like the idea, especially my mother. He was smart to buy a house in Hunter River, PEI. His second wifeís name was Ann MacDonald. I was about 10 or 11 years old when they came to Hunter River. She was twenty years younger than he was. I loved him and liked her too, though she would not let us call her grandmother, just plain Ann. He felt rather bad about that. My, but she loved to get the news though she never told us anything only gave a hint that she was well informed. That just about killed my imaginative mind wondering what she did know.

"My grandfather spent one day a week with my mother to read the bible and to talk. I had to stay home from school those days to run errands and to make supper for my father (Alexander Nicholson) and brothers, but I still absorbed the talk and as I have a pretty knowledge of the bible and loved to debate on the subject.

"Now, I shall continue with some of the tales of his life in dear old "England". James Andrews was the oldest of the family of seven or more. His father and mother (John Andrews and Mary Catchpole) had selected him to be an Episcopal Minister. He studied hard. James felt he should follow his parents wishes although he longed and yearned for a big farm. He told me they had a garden and lots of cherry trees in England and lived on the outskirts of town. He recalled that he got ten cents a day when a youngster to keep the birds away from the cherry trees to save the cherries.

"Now one day he was going downtown when he noticed a man talking with a large audience, on the street and decided to find out what and whom the excitement was all about. The man telling about the selling of leased land on an island flowing with milk and honey, the ĎMillion Acre Farmí. He was aghast with the whole story, and asked lots of questions about how and when to start proceedings etc. etc. Next I recall the family at home fell for the story hook, line and sinker.

"They made plans all right, good bye to college and the same to England. I regret now that I do not remember how many came on the first boat (emphasis added) that he spoke about. He noticed that some were from Scotland too, one older lady gave him a bunch of twigs of heather. So being a man now and a new life opening up to him he took the heather and methinks he looked around to see some pretty girls. Finally he spied a lonesome lass not interested in any one at all, but he was determined she would look his way. He threw the heather in her lap, she merely smiled at him at first. He tried to introduce himself but she could not speak English, and knew only Gaelic from the Island of Skye, Scotland.

"He loved to repeat that story to me. It seemed to me it took a long time coming over on that boat, also he must have taught her some English. It seems to me she must have been an apt pupil as he asked her a very important question before they landed on Prince Edward Island (What other Islands are there?) However, he said boldly, "marry me Mary?" She in turn said "I am willing Jamey." (This had to be a grandfatherís romantic Ďtall taleí; he was only one-two years old and she was but four. BUT they did marry in 1847.) I always think of that, she became his wife, my grandmother that I never saw or knew. Her name was Mary MacDonald, She and Jamesí second wife were MacDonalds. I think he was very romantic, but work and the farms he bought over the years were more important.

"I shall continue:

"After they (the emigrants) arrived on P.E.I. they had agents helping them to select land they were looking for. Some stopped at Cape Breton Island first or for good. My grandparents selected land enough for two farms together two miles from Hunter River and two from New Glasgow. It was all forest then, maple, ash, willow trees, They had a few neighbours that settled there. He (James C. Andrews) and they worked together at first. I think it was a beautiful spot with a spring in the center of the farm. He built a home there. I can recall that house when his younger son Donald took it over when grandfather moved to Hunter River. I spent many weekends there with my cousins as I thought they worked very hard. I did not know very much about a farm as I had hints to stay away from the cattle especially a prize bull. However, I forgot the orders and was chopping turnips in front of the stall where the prize bull was. Somehow I chopped of a portion of his prized nose. I shall never forget it or live it down. ĎI am telling you for the last time keep away from my cattle.í I was still thankful to visit the lambs and pigs. That was my uncle Donaldís orders and I obeyed them as I grew up, They had ten children, six girls and four boys, The four boys all died from appendicitis from ages four years to over twenty. The eldest had plans for marriage that year to a school teacher. They all had expert care and the best Doctors.

"Now coming back to my grandfather. He and his wife bought with the help from his sons five grand farms for the boys. They knew how to work and plan from 4:30 in the morning Ďtill dusk. They all had homes to be real proud of. Now, my grandmother told me my grandfather never once mentioned the building of a school for his large family of six boys and two girls. But when the neighbours decided he went along with it although he did not know how he would get his work done. Now he was a scholar and acted as Judge and Jury for the poor and uneducated people but not a word about school. My mother (Mary Ann (Andrews) Nicholson) and two or three of her brothers were in their teens when they started school and two miles from their home. Some of the neighbours picked up the children and also took them home. She also took spells at going after them. She told me that she worked well into the night to get ready and get the kids off to school. She had much work to do also.

"My mother did not have the best education. Mother was the second oldest and Aunt Maggie (Margaret 1861-1910) was the third youngest. That was Viola and Bob Smithís mother, she was well educated. She had a chance being one of the younger ones.

"**** This part is about the family of Sally Bailey (canít identify) that sent me this information.****. NOT our family!!!! Now I shall jot down some about your great-grandmother (Mary Ann Andrews 1831-1904). She married Simon Day and her sister (canít identify) married Archie Day. So that leaves your grandmother a double first cousin of the lady I will talk about.

"Archie Day and his wife Emma (canít identify) had a daughter by the name of Sarah (canít identify) that I knew for years. She married a Mainer, my husband (Harry Pursey) and I went to a lot of dances in those years. We went to down east dances P.E.I. and Maine. There we were another dance hall that the Cape Bretonerís ran. We preferred the Maine and P.E.I. hall. But as the man who was head of it was from Hunter River, and was a great violinist. One night (in 1923) we decided to go to the Cape Breton dance to see if we might know someone there.

"All at once I saw Harry dancing with a lady around fifty years old. I was in my late twenties and Harry about thirty-five. She sure could dance the light fantastic like a sixteen year old girl so Harry took her over to meet me. She thought she knew me so we started talking about our names etc. and found we both had Andrews mothers and became fast friends until she died in her late eighties. As I say her husband and son (canít identify) had the same name Elvin Lindsay. Her hubby was born in Maine and worked for the city of Boston, yard and stables for the horses they had in those days. Mounties for traffic and cars etc. Her son married a lovely girl I believe she was Probate Secretary for a few years before they married. They had two sons both graduates of Annapolis Academy. One got married the day he graduated. It was quite a beautiful affair. But grandma Lindsay was there, as years went by she was in a lovely nursing home that her son could well afford. He was a banker and in insurance since he was a kid. He owned a number of large business buildings. My cousin helped him do all the important insurance etc.

"Mrs Lindsay (canít identify) had a sister Emma, Mrs. Day Keasley, she was handsome with the most beautiful golden hair. They had two sons in Nova Scotia. I can not just recall why she came to Sommerville (Lincoln County, Maine, population 509 in year 2000) where Mrs. Lindsay and I lived and got herself a job. Her husband drank too much and they both agreed to disagree. Her boys were in Nova Scotia, she had them in good hands I presume. I lost track of them after Mrs. Lindsay died.

"Mrs. Lindsay was a Christian Scientist also, belonged to Eastern Star and Orange Lodge. She was always busy.

"Her brother Frank (canít identify) lived in Kensington, I expect he is gone by now. He was a grand person. I have often heard my uncle Robert speak of him as he lived near. His wife was a daughter of a Methodist Minister. They had one great heartbreak that I recall. His sonís marriage was quite an item they had such a large crowd, stylish and up to date wedding. Mrs Lindsay could not attend. After the wedding they were going to have pictures taken when a car came at full speed and ran into the car where the bride and groom were, she was unhurt but he died. I was so glad that Mrs. Lindsay had not attended as she might have felt worse. I forgot the sonís name.

"I also met Norman Day (canít identify which one) (her brother) he often came to see us, I think he married twice.

"Well, I will write more if you find it interesting. I hope you can read it. I would like to write it over or have it typed. I hope you enjoy my ĎRemindings of Auld Lang Syneí.

Best Love, Eda"


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Last Updated: 3/21/2005 4:04:22 PM
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