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Article Published July 14, 2001
By: Rick Roberts,
University of Waterloo Receives Archives of The Petworth Project
WATERLOO, Ont.-A historical account of the emigration of venturesome
people to Canada in the 19th century has now found a home at the
of Waterloo's library.
Susan Bellingham, head of special collections, said the University of Waterloo library is
pleased to announce that its Doris Lewis Rare Book Room has received the
family history archives of a major research project entitled "The
The official presentation will took place on Friday, May 25, 2001 as part of
opening session of the Ontario Genealogical Society's 40th Annual
which was held on campus from May 25-27.
These papers document the Petworth emigration scheme which, in the 1830s,
saw more than 1,800 people, sent out from Sussex, England, to Canada.
Centered in the Petworth, England, and established under the auspices of
third Earl of Egremont, the scheme sponsored emigrants to many parts of
Upper Canada (Ontario) including the Waterloo area.
Leaving behind a life of hardship and poverty, one of those emigrants,
Thomas Adsettt in 1833 described his experience in Waterloo as follows:
"My children is in good place: my two girls is in as good places as the
world can afford, and they are bringing them up like two young ladies.
my boy is at another place, about three miles from my girls, and he is
to learn to be a tanner and currier, and I think that it is one of the
places in the country. The people is so agreeable here. The people I am
among is Dutch (i.e. Pennsylvania-Dutch) and English, in general. The
is called Waterloo, where I live and my children."
This major research project has been undertaken with researchers working
England and Canada for the last 10 years.
They have studied the details of the emigration scheme as well the
families, their reasons for leaving England and their new life in Upper
Canada. The donated collection contains the working papers of the
researchers, copies of documents relating to the emigrants as well as
details about many of the families.
The Petworth Emigration Project was sponsored by the Reverend Edward J.R.
Jackman, himself a descendant of a Petworth family, and the project is
supported by the Jackman Foundation.
Recently, two books have been published documenting this research
"These papers will add substantially to the library's holdings in local
urban history and will complement the papers of emigrants to this area
both Germany and Pennsylvania which are already present in the collection
housed in the Doris Lewis Rare Book Room," Bellingham said.
Contact: Susan Bellingham, (519) 888-4567, ext. 3122;
Source: Press release.
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