Andrew McArdle was my Gr Grandmother Emily’s father. He appears to have been quite the successful man in that when he left Ireland he traveled first to South America and then up through the US to Ohio. In Toledo his brother died from a waterborn disease, Typhus maybe. In a letter to his cousin he said everyone who got sick died in just over a week. James died and Andrew saw that he had a proper burial. We have two letters written by Andrew to folks back in the old country. In one he mentions that his wife Sarah McMullin’s folks came from County Tyrone. And that his family was scattered all over the place.
Andrew settled down in Leeds County Ontario around 1840. He and Sarah had 8 children. They built a brick house at Sweets Corners which has since burnt down but from their house they could see Griffin Lake. He was a very good farmer and they had the first piano in the County and many other items only the successful would possess. He had enough money to send his children to Kingston to attend Schools there. The girls attended the Notre Dame Convent. Emily his youngest married my Gr Grandather Charles O’Connor and moved about two miles down the road to his fathers land where they built a house.
Andrew was born in 1813 in Ireland and died in Canada in 1883. His father was Arthur McArdle and his mother Catherine Skelton. Andrew and Sarah had eight children. Two of his daughters married brothers. One of them ended up moving out west in the US and ended up eventually in California when her children were grown and husband deceased. I have found that family and have their complete tree. My Dad and brother had also met this family when they were in California.
Here is a letter Andrew sent to a friend back home. We have these because it appears they made drafts of their letters before they wrote the final copy and someone found this one and the other and copied them so the family could have copies. I am not editing this letter since I don’t have a clue if there were any changes made by whomever copied it in the first place. I have tried and tried to find out information about what happened to them in their travels.. I think I would need the help of professional researchers to figure out what ship they took to where in South America and how they traveled north, did they take ships along the coast or did they travel by horse up through Central America to end up in Toledo. And why they ended up in Leeds County is another mystery and since there were many McMullins living in the area who were related to his wife, when and how did they arrive there. More research to be done this summer.
Andrew McArdle letter, April 18, 1841 to Thomas James
I take this opportunity to write to you hoping to hear of your prosperity for the past ten years.
Dear Cousin, Altho an exile thro the wilderness of South America I can say with safety that there was not one week passed were my head without thinking of you and the rest of my friends in Ireland. I may well call myself an exile. I had the misfortune to lose my friends,
I suppose you heard of the death of my father and brother. After we came out James died in the state of Ohio 1828. I had a letter from Sally about six months ago and she was living in T ( Toledo ? ).. I was with James when he died and I had him buried in a good decent manner and that is more than many a fine fellow got in this country especially in that place as it was an unhealthy place. And the death of a man seemed only like to some daily habit as it was just common to see every day more or less deaths .
The sickness when taken did not last more than nine days and there were few cases of curing. William Akron (?) made his exit from this earth in the same place a year he came to it – poor fellow he had no friend to bid his last good bye to. This place is called Toledo Ohio. I never want to see it again.
You may think it strange that I never wrote before but I was always a transient following my trade as journeyman from place to place and have traveled the United States and the Canada a great deal the last ten years and seen and heard a great thing. Thank God I always had good health and a good wife in Sarah and we have made out a decent good living . And so it is in America if you have health you have a chance. A man without land property may have it harder now poor now comfortable. We have land now a good home, pigs, cows horses and sheep. In the summer they cost little to keep but we have a hard cold winter. Spring is now opening up but 3 feet of snow in the woods and water , sap, runs out of the maple trees and people cook this to syrup and sugar. Very pleasing taste and healthy.
I note from new steam boats well make their trips to and fro over water…… so you may judge the change in climate of Canada. I have 150 acres in the County, Leeds
I am sure you know some of Sarah’s people in County Tryone and my dear cousin our families are widely scattered. There are hundreds of miles between us. I may well say
The more I can account for all but Henry (?) If you have heard of him tell me. Six years ago he was in the Island of…. Town of Port Louis, but no word since. For God’s sake do your best to let me know of him.
If Aunt Mary is living give her my love and let me know how she and all remembering friends and neighbours. Sarah joins me in love to all of them