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BOOK - Obituaries From Canadian Presbyterian Periodicals 1872-1896
By Donald A. McKenzie
Published by Global Heritage Press, Ottawa, 2016
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Obituaries provide interesting and valuable information, often including the names of family members, familial relationships, places where people have lived, and details from the life of the deceased.
This volume contains data that has been carefully transcribed from the two main Presbyterian periodicals published in Canada:
- British American Presbyterian / Canada Presbyterian, published weekly in Toronto 1872-1896
The weekly paper from which the majority of the data in this volume is derived started its life in Toronto in Feb, 1872 with the title British American Presbyterian. It seems to have been started by the Canada Presbyterian Church but continued without interruption after the union of Presbyterians in 1875. In Nov, 1877, the name was changed to Canada Presbyterian. The new name
was shorter than the previous one and did not have colonial connotations. However, it also preserved the name of the denomination which had become part of the Presbyterian Church of Canada only 2 years earlier. The holdings of the Canada Presbyterian at Library and Archives Canada end Dec. 23, 1896. The paper itself seems to have continued a few months longer, then merged with a small monthly called The Westminster.
Transcribed data that is included in this book was extracted from:
- death notices which are usually only 2 or 3 lines long
- obituaries which are much longer, and which, at their best,
give a good summary of the person's life plus information about
their parents (sometimes grandparents also) and their children
- news items, often copied from other papers, and which frequently
give additional data re the person's life and the circumstances
of his or her death. If you happen to be interested
in Jeanie Langton, wife of Rev. J. Campbell of Harriston, yo u
will be glad to read the long news item about her on page 40
of this volume . It tells of a brave woman who tried to reach
her parents' home in North Dakota, but only got as far as her
sister's place in Minneapolis when she died, probably from a
disease she had contracted during a 6 - day lake voyage from
Owen Sound to Duluth.
Presbyterian Record, published monthly in Montreal 1876-1896
As noted earlier, the Presbyterian Church of Canada was organized in 1875. In Jan., 1876, the Presbyterian Record started as a monthly paper serving Presbyterians throughout the Dominion of Canada. In 1925, when the majority of Canada's Presbyterians joined with Methodists and Congregationalists to form the United Church of Canada, the Presbyterian Record continued as the organ of the Presbyterians who stayed out of union. In 2016, 140 years after it was founded, the Presbyterian Record still serves the Presbyterian Church in Canada. Since the issues of the Canada Presbyterian available in Ottawa (LAC) end in Dec., 1896, this book includes Presbyterian Record obituaries that end at that date.
Transcribed data that is included in this book was extracted from
a section of the Presbyterian Record simply headed "Deaths", although some items are the equivalent
of obituaries. Most of the Atlantic Canada references are from this periodical, but it also includes material regarding Ontario, Quebec, and the western provinces. Many entries in this volume are based on several references to the same person, one of them being from the Presbyterian Record, two or more of them from the British American Presbyterian or the Canada Presbyterian. Usually the references compliment one another, but sometimes there is conflicting information.
Notes on Presbyterianism in Canada
- Obituaries (listed alphabetically by surname of deceased)
- Index of People (Index of those mentioned in obituaries of others. Insofar as the obituaries themselves are organized alphabetically, the deceased do not appear in this index)
- Index of Places
Men and women have always been on the move. The patterns of their migration are certainly reflected in the Index of Places which occupies 27 pages at the end of this volume. Roughly 1400 place names are listed. About two-thirds of them are Canadian, and half of the rest are from Scotland, the original home of Presbyterianism. The remainder are from England, Ireland, the U.S . and some 30 other countries.
- Atlantic Canada
- Western Canada
- United States
- 30 other Countries
For most of the 19th century, Presbyterianism was divided into several sects. In this volume, one reads about people belonging to such groups as the Secession Church, the Relief Church, the Morrisonian body, the Covenanting Church and the Old Light Burghers. The most important division in Presbyterianism occurred in 1843 when Dr. Thomas Chalmers led a large group out of the Church of Scotland and formed the Free Church. The main reason for this disruption, as it is often called, was that the Free Church people rejected the practice of patronage that was common in the Church of Scotland. They insisted that a local church should be operated and the ministers chosen by all the members, and not by a rich landlord who would then treat the minister as his employee.
Because of the close ties between the church in Scotland and in Canada, the disruption which had occurred in Scotland in 1843 took place in Canada a year later. For the next 3 decades many Canadian communities had two Presbyterian Churches. There was the Presbyterian Church in connection with the Church of Scotland, which was nearly always called St. Andrew 's and a Free Church which was usually called Knox.
In 1861, there was a merger between the Free Church and another small group known as United Presbyterians. After the merger, the group was called Canada Presbyterian. Then, in 1875, the separate Presbyterian groups throughout Canada amalgamated to become the Presbyterian Church of Canada. In many communities, the 2 separate congregations also amalgamated at this time.
In this volume, you will read about a number of ministers who resigned in 1875 to facilitate the merger of the 2 congregations in a town. In other places where there were enough members to support 2 Presbyterian Churches, both would continue, but as part of the Presbyterian Church of Canada.
7 X 9.75"
Published by Global Heritage Press, Ottawa, 2016
ISBN 978-1-772240-047-2 (Hardcover)
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