Letter #23 March 25, 1866: Handkerchiefs and Homesteading

This letter from John Kaine to Aunt Bess is full of so much information that it sent me to search the internet for a few days. I looked at Victorian hankies, Canadian militia, background of the Fenians and land clearing in the pioneer days to name a few topics. It was so sweet of Aunt…

Letter #20 February 17, 1865: Let Me Take You on a Sleigh Ride

The last letter I shared from Ann's husband, James Fraser to Aunt Bess was written in 1862 when he was a newly wed. https://acompellinglifeblog.wordpress.com/2020/08/19/letter-9-march-30-1862-anns-man-has-no-news As previously, James is brief in his communication but he gets his point across in this letter in his rather formal and flowery way of writing, "we were led to believe…

Huron County Here We Come!

My pioneer Kaine relatives settled in Huron County, 60 miles north west of London in Southwestern Ontario. This post shares some things about the location and history of Huron County. But first, I want to relate how this part of Ontario has personal significance to me. The fondest memories from my teens are from Huron…

B. Hidden in the Closet

"Where did you ever get these letters?" This is the question I am often asked when I describe my project of organizing the family archives and transcribing the letters Aunt Bess brought when she emigrated from Ireland. The experience of touching these fragile sheets of paper containing messages written over a hundred and fifty years…

10. The Whole Turkey

As mentioned in a previous episode, after Gramp stopped being a Presbyterian minister and became a hearing aid salesman, life changed for Nan. Around 1963, Irving and Jean Kaine, my maternal grandparents, rented out their home in Toronto and moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for a time where Gramp got a job at Gimbels Department store.…