Letters from P.E.I. - Letters from Harry Melvin Hyde to Raymond Clare Archibald, 1906/08

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Transcribed by Gary Carroll, [email protected]

Source: Both the Harry Hyde letters and Percy Pope letters from the R. C. Archibald papers at the Ralph Pickard Bell Library at Mount Allison University, Acc 5501/2/4/8 and also Acc 5501/2/4/9

Raymond Clare Archibald (1875-1957) wrote a book called "Carlyle's First Love" and this was part of the research he did.

Letters from Harry Melvin Hyde (Feb 27 1883 - Nov 08 1962)

Cornwall, P.E.I.
April 9th, 1906

Dear Sir:--

I am enclosing the questions which you left with Mrs. Ayers my sister some time ago and which you wished to have answered. In answer to the first question I would say that the three persons mentioned were daughters of Anna (Brown) and Thomas Hyde. Mother says that she was personally acquainted with those women and that there was another daughter married to a Mr. Shoultz from Nova Scotia and she thinks that they lived in Truro, but whether her name was Elizabeth Ann or not she is not sure. Of course these were old women when Mother was young and there may have been others of that family for what she knows.

We wrote away about two months ago to a family descended from that branch of the Hyde ancestors asking for further information. We just got a letter yesterday from them and we did not get any of the information we asked for. Of course there has been a death in that family and perhaps that accounts for the neglect of answering the questions we asked but if I get any information of value I will be pleased to write you at some future date. By the way, we have a letter in our possession from a relative in Ireland dated Belfast May 20 1850. It was written by a Mr. Thos Wilson to my grandfather and as grandfather died soon afterward the letter was never answered. I wrote to Belfast a month or so ago to try and hunt up some of our relatives there but as yet have not received any answer. I also have documents showing the appointment in 1810 of my great grandfather William Hyde to the commission of Lieutenant in the Queens County Militia commanded by Colonel Thomas DesBrisay. He was afterwards appointed a Captain. He was elected a member of the House of Assembly in 1812 and again in 1824. We have documents showing all these appointments. Since writing the above I found an indenture showing his appointment to the House of Assembly in 1818 also.

I have also an order from Governor Patterson for produce dated 15th March 1787 and numerous other old bills &c.

Hoping what I have written may be of some interest to you I will now draw this communication to a close.

Yours truly Harry M. Hyde


Cornwall P.E.I.
May 27th 1908

Mr. R.C. Archibald
Wolfville N.S.

Dear Sir:--

I am in receipt of your letter dated April 14th and have postponed answering all the information you asked for, but as I have failed to do that I will answer what I can as best I can --

1. The 3 married daughters in my grand- fathers family were -- Margaret who married Thomas Todd, Ann who married John Cameron, Mary who married Allan Stewart

2. As to the sisters of my great grandfather you know more about them than we do, for we did not know their maiden names before; of course we knew they were married to Messrs. Wilson, Bearsto, Seeley and Stewart. We do not know anything about the other two sisters. The house in which the 3 single Sisters of my grandfather was burnt and as it was the old home I think the family records must have been burnt too. At any rate I have not found out any of the dates of birth marriage or death of my great grandfathers sisters.

3. I hardly think that the Thos. Wilson who sent the letter from Belfast married one of those sisters. From his letter I would gather that he was not married at all (in 1850 at any rate) for he says "my two sisters live with me and assist me in the business". Mother says that this Thos Wilson's mother was a sister of the first Thomas Hyde who came to the Island.

4. According to the Irish letter the date of emigration would be 1770. I will copy some of the letter and you will be able to gather some more information for yourself

32 High St.
May 20th 1850

My Dear Sir

I am in receipt of your kind letter dated 20th July last and feel much pleasure in perusing its contents. I can at once clearly see from your explanation of family that we stand related as second cousins. It seems also strange after a separation of the families for 80 years we should be again able to recognize them. Regarding your relatives in this country my history of them will be short as the most of your grandfathers with the exception of my grandma are gone to that home from whence no traveller returns. The farm on which your grandfather was born is still in the possession of the Wilson family. You will likely be aware that your great grandmother was twice married first to Mr. Hyde and secondly to a Mr. Watson which second marriage led to the emigration of your branch of the family. I have many old letters of your grandfather -- for 40 years to my grandmother and father mentioning relatives of the name of Mitchell and who I now find on enquiry are all long since dead. My grandmother had 4 children which lived to the age of maturity, Mary afterwards Mrs. Young and Alice afterward Mrs. Hall. They are both dead but their families live within a mile or so of Brookhill Thomas and Samuel. My uncle Thomas is dead about 8 years and also his children 3 in number. My father had 8 of a family one died in infancy, the rest are all living 4 daughters and 3 sons. My father is dead about 16 years, my mother lives still on the farm with the youngest son and one daughter. One of my sisters is married to a Muslin Manufacturer here, my brother William is married about 2 years since and left this last month to push his fortune in the land of liberty he sailed for New York. My other two sisters live with me and assist me in the business. Our ages average from 18 to 38 this compared with the ages of the rest of my 5 grandmothers family here can be easily accounted for when you know that my father was not married until he was nearly 50 years of age. I shall now drop family matters and say a few words relative to the country."

There are several pages more but I have not the time to copy them now. This letter was written to my grandfather William Hyde and as he died soon afterwards it was never answered. We have had lovely here during May and the crops that are sowed are doing fine.

My mother and I live alone on the old place known as "the point". I was over to Truro last winter attending the short course at the Agricultural College 6 and would have liked to have seen you. I may go again next winter. Wish I was going to Great Britain too in June. I am enclosing a little picture of myself and if you find any of my relatives in Ireland you may leave it with them if you like, or keep it yourself.

Ring up the Postmaster in Belfast and ask him what he did with the letter I sent him and see if he ever took the trouble to make any of the enquiries I asked him to.

I would be pleased to hear from you when you are in the old country. I hope the quotation from the Irish letter will be of use, or at least of interest to you.

Would like to know your object in gathering information concerning the Hydes; are you going to publish a history or is there that (Hyde fortune) in view. Hope you will surprise us with that some time.

Well! The hour is getting late and as I am the only man on a hundred acre farm and have lots of work to do I must get to bed before the wee sma hours overtake me.

Yours fraternally
Excuse haste and poor writing
Harry M Hyde

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