logo Thomas Tear's account of family history, 1888



as received chiefly from his Grandfathers by


With personal recollections, incidents April 17, 1888

The following pages written from memory, at the expense of considerable effort during several months past, at the request and suggestion of my daughter, are not claimed to be free from error; but they are as near truth as knowledge, I possess will permit. I might have drawn still further from the same source, but the labor and the fear that I had already overdone the thing - as it has already far exceeded what I contemplated at the beginning. But I attach a list of subjects, so that any particular thing can more easily be found than without.

I write this April 19, 1888 A.D., and if I should live a few years longer, I will be apt to fill out this book with other matters.

Thomas Tear


Origin of the name, etc.

I will here give, to begin with, a tradition or fiction, as the case may be, told to my Grandfather Tear by an old man by the name of Tear, when Grandfather was young, and by him to me. He had very little confidence in the story, but thought it agreed very well with the facts as far as he knew them. it runs thus:

A certain Scotchman, in the long, long ago who was a carpenter by trade, and had three sons - it was perhaps while the isle of Man was part of the Scotch Dominion-he being compelled to flee his country for some misdemeanor, came over to the island in an boat (the distance being sixteen miles from point to point). On the passage, as the story goes, the boat sprung a leak. The old man at the helm ordered one of the boys to look for the leak and stop it, if possible. The boy found that it was a knot hole in the plank, but could find nothing to stop it with. His finger just fit it, so the old man ordered his finger cut off and the hole stopped with it.

They settled in the parish of Kirk Andreas, or simply, Andreas, as they call it now, being at the northern end of the island and nearest to Scotland. The old man being a carpenter, they were called the "carpenter's sons" which in Gaelic, or Manx, the language of the island is "Mc-yn-Thar". [in Gaelic Mac-an-t-saoir, ' the carpenter's son.' - see Moore] The "Mc" was finally left off and the became "Thar". ("Mc" means son in that language, and "yn" puts it in the possessive case).

There, the three sons of the carpenter, the story says, settled in three farms. One of them was afterwards known as Ballakenag, from which my fathers sprang. it was near the shore. Another was Ballawhaln, of which was Dr. John Tear of Chicago, Illinois, and with which my father's place joined. The other I think was Ballathare, or Balla Tear as it is now called. This "balla" means "town" or "place". "There" was anglicized to "Tear" in some former day. Some add an "e". This farm,


In my fathers' day contained ninety acres, but has since been enlarged, by purchase to about two hundred acres, I am informed. This family of Tears have been in the habit, for many generations of calling the oldest son, William. My father found, I have understood, on examining the record, that there had been an unbroken line of heirs named William, for ten generations. This custom was followed in our branch of the family until coming to this country. Since then, I am not aware that any of the family have named a son William, though it is still followed by those on the island. When last heard from there were two generations of William Tears, waiting their turn as heirs to that farm, one being an infant.

The earliest particular account that I can give of my father's family, the Tears of Ballakenag, is that about the beginning of the last century, there were two sons, William and Philip. William being the oldest was the heir, but dying childless, the inheritance fell to his brother's oldest son, William: the brother had died before. This brother;


was by trade a weaver, having learned his trade in Ireland. He had quite a family, two of them being boys, William and John. The latter became my grandfather, the former, heir as above. Philip died while his children were young, and his wife, also, only a few weeks apart, and of the same disease - called by them "stitches," a pain in the side, and an epidemic [? pleurisy ?]. They had no doctors then. The children, all but William, had to shift for themselves, the parents being poor.


John, being then, twelve or fourteen years old, went out as a cowboy, or herd, to some of the farmers, and was knocked about until he was eighteen years old, without ever being at school a day.(He was born in July, 1760). He then enlisted in a regiment of infantry, that was raised on the island, for home protection. He remained in the service three years and was then discharged, with the rest of the regiment, at the close of the American Revolution. it was the year before he enlisted, 1777, that he heard John Wesley preach, of which I have so often heard him speak; and then, or not long after, became a follower.

It must have been not more than one of two years after his discharge, that he married. The woman that he married was considerably older than himself. Her name was Joaney (or as it is anglasized, Judy) Moore. She had a mishap, and, because of it, was turned out of her father's house, and for some years lived by herself in some small house with her son,


How old he was when his mother married, or how she supported herself, but by taking in work, I suppose. He might have been eight or ten years old, perhaps. As he grew up, he became rather unsteady, and inclined to rove around considerably, so when about fourteen, perhaps, it was thought best to send him to sea, and he was put on board a merchant ship, as an apprentice. After some time his friends lost track of him. The ship men knew not what had become of him. He had been sent ashore at some place with a boat, after water, but never returned, and it was some years before anything more was heard of him.

But when he did turn up, his story was that he was kidnapped and taken to Boston, Massachusetts, and there bound to a blacksmith, some distance up the river until he should be of age. Here he stayed some two years learning the blacksmith trade. He, then one night, took possession of a boat, and with the aid of a bed blanket for a sail, he made down the river and in due time, reached the harbor. He got aboard an English merchant ship, and was headed up in a large cask, the boat was in some way disposed of. In due time pursuers followed. The ship was searched, that cask, being moved around a number of times, but no John Lawson was found.

Some time after this he was taken off by a press-gang, on board his ship and put onto a war ship, where he spent the remainder of his life. The ship, on which he was, was sent to India, and engaged in destroying Malay pirates for some years. They would catch them and string (hang) them up, to one of the yard arms, without a judge or jury, the captain saying, "We will hang them today, and try them tomorrow."

In India at that time there was an old ship, that needed repairs, the "Centurian". Volunteers were called, for those who had longest in the service, to take her home as she was hardly thought seaworthy. He volunteered. it was during the French war, and as they were getting homeward, they encountered a French ship, of their own rate and gave battle. Then came another of the same rate, and still another of double their rate, so that they were opposed by four times their own rated strength. They, even badly crippled, managed to get away, and get back to England with the old ship. Their captain, being very sad after this, explained, that he had forfeited his life in fighting such a superior force.

As the story goes, he was tried for his life, and condemned. But the execution of the sentence was placed so far ahead, that he would never live to have it carried out. This ship had been used in some distinguished service, (taking William, Prince of Orange to Ireland, I think,) the saving of her was deemed a worthy and valuable service. After his return he,(Lawson) was permitted to go home on furlough and see his friends.

A neighbor came to my grandmother's one day, accompanied by a strange sailor. The neighbor talked in their own language, of course. The sailor said nothing - he could not speak it but, he could understand. The old lady, it seems, was a little suspicious and said, "I wonder if, it isn't my Lawson? I would know him by a scar on the back of his head". Upon this the stranger arose, laid his head in her lap. and lo, there was the same scar. When a boy, he could speak nothing but Manx.

He now, could speak, nothing but English. My father was then young, and had thoughts of going to sea, and asked his advice. His reply was, "Hang yourself!" When he returned to the service, a few years more, would finish his 21 years service, and entitle him to a discharge and a pension.

After this, he was at the Battle of Trafalgar, in 1805, with Lord Nelson, when the English scooped the French and Spanish fleets. But some time later the ship, on which he was, ran on a reef of rocks and all on board, save one or two, and with the rest, he perished. There was a mortgage on the place, that he offered, when at home, to send money to pay off. He did then, after he was drowned, for there was money due him from the government, which his mother got. How much it was, I cannot tell, but I am of the opinion, that it was used to pay for a couple of spots of ground that were afterward given, one to Uncle Philip, the other to Uncle Thomas Tear, that helped them come to America,

This man Lawson, having to some extent learned blacksmithing in America, occupied the position of a gunner on ship board (or armorer). That is, because he was a blacksmith, he did any repairing required on the guns, or elsewhere, I suppose. Some time after his return from India, I think, there was a general mutiny in the British Navy, a strike for higher wages, it would be called among us. Every ship struck on the same day all over their Dominions, and elsewhere, right in time of war. So the demand had to be compiled with, and the wages were doubled, I think. Lawson was the leader on his own ship, so after a while he was arrested and imprisoned on board the ship on some pretense. A number of attempts were made to take him away, but the crew, interfering, each time prevented it. The cry would be raised by someone, "Lawson is a-going", and they would rush for the scene of action, with whatever they could get hold of, and put a stop to it. But at last, on some notable occasion, a general pardon was proclaimed, which included him, and so he went free.

I have written this much about Grandmother Tear and her son, John Lawson, in part because I have heard so much about them, and, in part, because it was through her and partly through him that the property came, that brought my father and his family to this country and brought the land I now live on.


I will mention, what I ought to have gotten in before perhaps, that Grandmother Tear was the oldest of three sisters.

They had one brother, whose name was Thomas. He inherited about twelve acres of land. The other sisters were called: June and Ann, or Sis and Nan, as they were commonly known. One married a Hampton and left no posterity, the other married a Garrett and left one daughter and not more, so far as I know. She was the wife of Robert Harrison, the local Manx preacher and blacksmith, who formerly lived in Concord, Ohio, but moved to northwestern Indiana over 50 years ago, and left a numerous posterity.

Of my grandmother's ancestors, I know nothing, not even their given names, or the time of their death. The brother, Thomas, died when my father was about 15, and leaving no heirs, being an old bachelor, the place fell to my grandmother and the sisters had to leave for other quarters, She, who had once been expelled from it, now took full possession. But the sisters were a little crafty, and got the place mortgaged for quite a sum of money before the brother died, which they had. it was said further that the brother was too far gone when the papers were made out to do any business. This is the mortgage I have before referred to. it was thought unjust, and a want of good feeling between the sisters resulted.


My grandfather was married when about 23, spent several years in various kinds of labor. He helped dress grave stones. Later worked at making kelp; done by, burning sea weed, then working the ashes until liquefied, then standing until solid, this being an alkaline, was used in making soap. For a long time he was a porter, as it was called, in the town of Ramsey, that is, aiding to unload vessels by carrying the freight on the back to, where ever wanted. Coal was much of it.

He spent a year or two, also, farming on some highlands, with very poor success. When about 35, he again enlisted in a force that was being raised for home defense, called the Royal Manx Fencibles. They were 600 strong. He served here for ten years. His pay was a shilling a day, but he had much of the time to himself, when he could work out for other people. There were a number of small allowances for various things besides the shilling, that was quite a help. I think he was about 37, when his wife fell heir to her childhood home.

He had three children, all boys: William, Philip and Thomas. Although he had not a word of schooling himself, and nothing but his hands, to do with for many years, he sent his boys to school until they had learned to read, write and figure a little, which was far from the general rule there at that time. Schooling had to be paid for, mostly, by those who enjoyed its benefits. He sent his boys to trades, also, which had to be paid for, besides the five to seven years services. William went to sail-making; Philip to weaving; and Thomas to coopering.

But William was called home after being at it a year, when the place fell to his mother. He would be the heir and would need no trade. Fishing was a very general business there, on the island, with three hundred herring fishing vessels, carrying seven or eight men apiece. Grandfather had but very little to do with it. Although holding no church office, he was quite prominent in gatherings,etc. a sort of exhorter, and prayer leader. He was cautious and careful. He looked out well for his own interests, too well perhaps sometimes, and a little to much inclined to scold, and be peevish. His wife was of the slow and easy kind, and her sons after her, at least those, I knew best.

WILLIAM, my father

His eldest son, married in 1807, then about 23 years old, to Joaney (Judy) Gawne, of the adjoining parish of Jurby. Mother, both grandmothers, and my sister were all of the same name. it was very common there, but my sister, because the name Judy, and because Robert Harrison, the Manx preacher, said that Judith was the proper name, spelled her name after that Judith, but on the parish record my mother's name was Joaney. it was pronounced, just as it is spelled, or rather, Juney. Father and Mother had seven living children: Judy, William, John, Thomas and Ann. These last two died in infancy, then Thomas, Margaret, James and Daniel. James was 7 weeks old, when starting for America. Daniel was born, between 4 and 5 years after getting here. The ages of the others will be found, in my family Bible.

Mother had 20 pounds dower: that is, she had that from her father. it was partly in the rent of a couple of acres of land some ½ mile west of where my father's folks lived, and where I was born, and the rest of the family, older than myself. This was their home for some fourteen years, I think, until some time after father's mother died and he got half possession of the place; his father holding the other half, as his widower's right. it was on these two acres, that mother's sister, Jane Quine and her husband afterwards lived, and it was the price of it that took them to America. These 20 pounds dower were then quite a sum, where 18 years later men worked in the harvest field, for sixpence a day, and their board, which would buy little more than, a peck of potatoes.

As Uncle Philip lived at his father's, and wove, when not away fishing, and his mother had the power to make him her heir, if she chose, and he, it was thought, was working in that direction. There was some uneasiness on the part of father and mother, lest it should be so, and was a whip in the hands of the old people, to keep them to duty; and my mother, as she thought, became almost a slave to them, which she never forgot.

Grandmother, finally became sick, and long sick, one side became paralyzed. Mother, with a child in her arms and outdoor work to do, (father being away fishing), would have to watch, night after night, sometimes for days together, without a bit of sleep. But when the old lady died, the thing was all changed. Father's title to the place was then made sure, but with only half its use, so long as his father lived. This death, occurred sometime in 1818, the same year that my mother's father died. So the place was used between them, for about eight years, until starting for America, but this divided interest led to some friction. The old man didn't like to give up any of the control and it resulted in father and mother leaving the Weslyan Society, and joining the Ranters (Primitive Methodists). Each of them kept a cow, and a horse or pony, these together formed a team for plowing. For everything else, I think, the horses were used single, or tandem. Straw was mostly relied on for fodder.

When brother William was three years old, and his brother John was born, Grandfather urged to have William given to him. They had two boys, and he had none. This was finally yielded to, but it caused mother such pain. He took also another elder boy, not very far from the same time, who lived with him quite a number of years. it was Thomas Radcliffe, who came to this country and had lived a couple of miles south of this for many years, but has now passed away. He was said, to be a very selfish and disagreeable boy.

It was some four years, after his mother died when father moved onto his own place, he then fixed up a building, that had been used for a barn. in this he lived about two years. Here was where my sister was born. in the course of this time father had built a new stone house, in which we lived about two years, until starting for America, about the first of May, 1826. The place was sold for about $100 an acre, to the late John Callow of Leroy, Lake County, Ohio.


What led to emigrating to America, was as follows: Father's business in the summer, for many years, was fishing, herring fishing mainly. He was with his father-in-law, much of the time, who owned an interest in a number of fishing vessels and who, was quite successful in the business. Father was wanted because he could speak English, after a fashion, and figure a little, neither of which the father-in-law could do, though he was a very superior character. Father was a good hand, also, but the fishing failed, and for a number of years father, instead of making, sunk money. The enormous beer drinking of the fishermen helped to this end, as well as the tobacco, which seemed to be regarded, as one of the necessities of life. Grandfather Gawne was free from the drink habit.

A few years before leaving the island, father stopped herring fishing, and went to huxtering, on a small scale. He would gather up all the butter and eggs he could, and sometimes, fowls, sending out his children with baskets for that purpose; giving in exchange, when practicable, tea, spices etc., already weighed and in small packages. This the children hated, because of the taunts and jibes they received, all because it was unfashionable there to do so, and the ignorant thought it was out of character. This made the children (Judy and John) especially the oldest, glad to leave.

Father had an Irish wheel car, made because it was cheap. it consisted of: two plank wheels, quite small and solid on a shaft, with iron gudgeons, set on the outside on which they turned, with iron tire. The box or body, extending out over the wheels, with bearings to rest on these gudgeons. He went to Douglas once, in about two weeks, and got about a pound, for his trouble. His trip was made mostly, in the night. This was thought some better than fishing, but they were still loosing ground, financially.

Father had a few books, and did some reading. He had one, he called Geography, in which he got some knowledge of America. Paper, I think he had none, unless it was an occasional stray copy, yet he was much more intelligent, than the average of the men around him. Some four years before, I think it was, two families, not far away, had gone and settled in Cross Creek Township, Jefferson County, Ohio. They wrote back, of the state of things, but it was very little heeded. Finally, father began to talk about going to America. it would have ended in talk probably, but mother, seeing that they were constantly losing ground, concluded that something must be done. Unlike many other women, began to favor it, and urge it on. But there was an obstacle in the way. Grandfather's half interest, during life, in the place, if he remained unmarried. (He would have married again, probably, were it not for this).


had always made his home at his father's, say, while learning his trade. Then he worked at weaving, when not away fishing, in which latter employ, he was quite successful. He had married a consumptive wife, from the south part of the island, who had died a few months, after the marriage, and he again married, a sister of the late John Quirk, of Madison, Ohio. This last marriage was in 1822, I think. She did the housekeeping for some four years. But Grandfather became dissatisfied, with the way things were going, and with her, and concluded to cast his lot with Billy, as he called my father, and sell out, and go to America.

Philip made no claim to religion, or his wife either, so far as I know. He got drunk sometimes, and was noted for his fighting. Father, drank, but was a very peaceable man, in the community, though pretty severe at home in his younger days.


had married a near neighbor's daughter, by the name of Ann Tear (Nancy John, who was commonly called John's Nancy). This took place in 1817, I think. He lived in a little house nearly a mile away, on a piece of land, a part of the estate, at the sea shore. The place was offered for sale, and finally sold to John Callow, late of this Leroy Township, Ohio, who, in a few years followed us to America.

This deprived Uncle Philip of a home, and he concluded to go, and started some two weeks, before our folks did. His wife was offended and refused to wait till they were ready. He, in stead of going to Ohio, went to New Brunswick, because of the fishing there, and it was a long time before my father knew what had become of him. Nothing had been heard from him here, or any of them, for more than twenty years, The address was then Point Wolf, Alma Parish, Albert County, Nova Scotia.

I return to my subject, the place was sold for about $1200. but now is worth three or four times that, I am told. Callow left his brother on the place, but he is now dead, and a nephew lives on it. The land lays altogether, except two small pieces, on that I have before mentioned, at the shore, at a place called the Blue Point, and another across the road, about a rifle shot to the west, opposite the schoolhouse in which I took my first lessons. These fields all had names, as had every other field and farm, and that man was often called after the name of their farm.


I will say here about Uncle Philip, what I should have put earlier. After he reached New Brunswick, he heard about a letter from the island where we were, and wrote to father, sending his address. Father answered, and answered again, but to no purpose, so he stopped writing, under the Impression that through carelessness, he had not given the proper direction. in the year of 1866, after father died, I determined to try to find him. As I studied over the matter, I was handed an unlooked for letter, from him, to a relative across the ocean, giving his address. So I wrote a short letter and received a lengthy reply. I wrote again at some length and sent his letter around to my brother Thomas, who was then alive. I think each one or at least a number, wrote to him, but so far as I know, no more was heard from him.

He and his wife were then alive, but he had not done a day's work for twenty years. He had raised a number of children, but the oldest one, a child of three years, when leaving the island, had died. They then had only the one, I learned from Rev. Foshay who lived here some years ago, and who knew the place, that it was a very low whiskey hole. His account reminded me of our Fairport.


I will now turn to the family of my great-uncle and then to my mother's family, before giving an account of the passage to America. He had three sons: William, John and Thomas, and two daughters: Ettie and Joaney Tear. Joaney married Mark Joughin: had four children, who came to maturity. Ettie married Philip Tear, a near neighbor, had seventeen children, ten of them coming to maturity, (five boys and five girls,) one of which is the present Mrs. Hannah Shiman, of Cleveland, Ohio (she tells me this). The oldest son, William, called while young and long after, the Lord Bog [sic Beg ] (or little Lord), had 3 sons and at least one daughter. The sons were: William, Daniel and Robert Tear. William, the heir married, but died, not many years ago, childless. So his next brother, Daniel came in heir, but he is an old bachelor and without lawful heirs. His sister and brother-in-law are now dead, I learn. Robert, the youngest of these brothers, was sent to learn the grocery business. He became a Weslyan preacher and married the only daughter, of a rich English Methodist preacher, that had come to the island to live, and they, of course, got the property and, consequently, some prominence. He did live in the town of Ramsey and figured as a merchant, preacher, ship owner etc., and built a large hall in the town for meetings etc., under his own control. He, of late, belongs to no church organization. This is the way it was, three or four years ago. The farm was likely to fall to his son, William Tear, when the present heir died, and as also having a young son, William, the William Tears are likely to continue in this old homestead.

Thomas, the brother of the "Lord Bog", learned the joiners trade, married and lived for some years, near the parish church: had two girls, finally parted with his wife, took one of the girls, and set up housekeeping by himself.

Of John, the youngest son of my grandfather's brother (Jondyn, yn Lord, as the Manxmen called him). I need say but little as he and his family have been so well known here. He learned the joiners trade, married my mother's first cousin, Catherine Clark, followed us to America in 1827. He worked for the Geauga Iron Company many years, 40 perhaps; bought land, a mile and a half south of father's; raised a family of 4 girls and 3 boys; where now his daughter, Elizabeth and husband Angus M. Cole live. His other children were: John, Ettie, Catherine, Lace, James and Mary.

John married Betsy Brakeman, a girl in our neighborhood; lived in this town for a number of years, where Stefen Thayer, now lives, and worked on the furnace. He finally sold out his 200 acres, and bought with the money several hundred acres in Warren, Jodavls County, Illinois. He left two sons and 4 or 5 daughters. He died some years ago. Ettie died when not more than 12, I think. Catherine married my oldest brother when 16 years old. Lace worked in the furnace molding; married, fell off the railroad bridge at Geauga Furnace, in the winter of '50 or '51, was killed, leaving two children, Charlie and Rettle, (now Mrs. Rogers in Painesville, Ohio.) James went to Iowa, about '57 with some $500.00 invested in town lots. The town failed, and he lost his money. He married, had quite a family, and very poor health, was almost blind, and little to do with. Mary married James Edgell, went west, and had something of a family, but died some time ago.

Now back, to the family of Tears, of Ballakanag, who were distinguished from the other Tears, by the name of, "Lord." it was seldom, or never used in English, or in writing, but they were seldom called anything else, in their own language. it was not used as a title, though it had that form, and it had been in use, so long, that no one could tell what the origin of it was. it was said that in olden time, they had held some office under the Lord of the Manor, and that in some way, it arose from that.


The farthest back I can trace my mother's family is to her Grandmother Gawne. She was a widow, with three sons and one daughter, and some acres of land, but not very many, I think.

The oldest son, then a small boy, was drowned by reason of being placed on a horse, against his will, that was then sent out in the sea to swim, by some man. He fell off, in the sight of his younger brother, Thomas, who then became heir. The youngest son was called Dan, or Daniel. He was lame from some cause. He learned the shoemaking trade, and was commonly called "Dan-Bog-Croobagh", (Little Lame Dan). He was the father of John Gawne, "Joney Dan". He moved to Lorain County, Ohio about 1830, and lived near the lake shore, a few miles west of the mouth of the Black River, and did considerable fishing for many years. Some of his posterity remain in that region, I think, at present. John Gawne's brother, known in the island as, "Dan Bog Dan", came to this country, I think. What came of him, or whether he left any posterity, I cannot tell. His sister called "Nancy Dan", married a man by the name of Hampton; came to this country, and had 3 boys. She took sick and died, and, as he was not very smart, the boys were taken by neighbors, and a relative John Tear (Jondyn Lord). The two youngest, were Thomas and Henry. Henry soon died, in 1848. The oldest, whose name John was taken by John Tear, (the son of Jondyn Lord). Where these two Hampton boys are now, I have not been able to ascertain.

The sister of my grandfather Gawne, whose name was Mary, married a man by the name of Clark, and had two sons and two daughters. Thomas and Charles, never came to this country, but the two daughters did. One was Catherine, (called in Manx, Karry,) wife of the late John Tear, and mother of the present Mrs. A. Cole. The other's name, I have forgotten, but think it was Joaney. She married a man by the name of Christian, heir to a farm called Ballowanthan. The farm was used up by profligacy. He was not very smart, and she was a little too smart. She came to this country with a daughter or two, and went to Wisconsin, and left him in a but by himself, a pauper.

My grandfather, Thomas Gawne, married a woman whose name, I think, was Karen. Of the family 1 know but very little. I remember that a cousin of my mother's came to see us, over 45 years ago, by that name, from Sandusky, Ohio. His given name was Stephen. He was of this family, and a tailor by trade. One man murdered another in his shop, right before his eyes, with no provocation. He was mad, for some cause, and struck this man with a knife, one blow sending it to the heart. Then throwing down the knife, saying, "Now take me". Kneen was so overcome with it, that he shut up shop and came down here a-visiting. We never heard any thing more from Kneen or about the murder. This was his story.

My grandfather Gawne was born in 1748, and died August 18, 1818, aged 87 years, and seven months, as represented to me by his son, Thomas. He was a man of very remarkable character. Although he had no education, and could speak only his mother tongue, yet he was wise and prudent, not only in things of the world, but also in the things of God. He was one of the first Methodists on the island, and a class leader for many years. Although I never heard a word from anyone, that I understood, of a second work of grace in the heart, called entire sanctification, until I was 20 years old. in spite of the drinking around him, he seldom if ever touched a drop. He was more indulgent to his children, than the mother was, but severe, it was said on offenders. it was thought, to be a thing of note, that on the night on which he died, he told those around him, to keep still that night. He would have gone the night before, if they had not made so much noise.

He left 3 sons and 4 daughters; Daniel, John, Thomas, Joaney (Judy), Ellen (Nelley), Ann (Nancy) and Jane (Jinney). Daniel (Dan) was the heir. He married a woman, who was heir to a small piece of land, near the town of Ramsey, in a street called Sandy Road. She was aunt to the present William Radcliffe (mason), of Hambden, Ohio. She was raised in a tavern, or where they sold liquor, and would take too much sometimes. He sold his own place, which was not too large, to build on his wife's land. She died childless, and he was left with only a half interest in the place, whilst a widower. He married again and held some small office, in connection with Ramsey Harbor. I have his house, but the dates of his marriage, death etc., I don't know.

Uncle John Gawne married a woman with a small home, in the parish of Kirk Bride. it joined Kirk Andreas on the west. She was Aunt to the present Edmond Callow, Senior, of this township. He had three children, that grew up: John, Thomas and Ann. John married a woman, that was a milliner. They bought a stock of goods to set up shop. She suddenly died, so the goods had to be sold at public sale, fetching very little. The balance had to come out of-the small estate, using it up. He married again, and ran a vessel built, by his father and Uncle Dan, some 45 to 50 years ago, in the boating trade.

His brother, Thomas, married, and died leaving two children. Ann was an old maid, and kept house for her father, after her mother died. She helped raise these two children, that her brother, Thomas, left. On Uncle John's family, I had from his brother Thomas, who visited the island, it may be 15 years ago.

Uncle Thomas Gawne, was the youngest child of the family. Born in 1800, he gave me my name, and was about 7 years old, when my mother married. He was married a short time before he left the island, and visited us. Some years later, he came to this country himself. He had to wait there a whole year, for his money that was due him, from his brother-in-law, Quayle. The most miserable year, he said, that he ever spent in his life. His money carried him to some place in eastern New York, where he stopped to work. He was night watchman in a large machine shop. He finally learned the trade of machinist, came to Fredonia, New York. He lived there, and raised his family of 8 children: James, Thomas, Delta, Caroline, Eleanor, Elizabeth, Margaret and Henry. The first four died between 20 and 30 years ago. The last four, were alive, about seven years ago, the last I heard, from any of them.

He died, at his daughter's, Margaret Schultz, in Versailles, Cattaraugus, County, New York, 18 of August 1880. He was nearly 90 years of age. His wife died many years before, and he had spent his time, here and there among his friends doing chores for his board. He was a man slow of thought, very absent-minded, but of good judgment, and excellent Christian character. I am of the opinion, that his wife was anything but an agreeable companion. She was very selfish, self-minded etc., and that his married life was not all that could have been wished.

My mother's sister, Ellen, who was thought not to like work, very well, was very smooth and agreeable in her ways. She married a man on the south part of the island, by the name of Thomas Lewin. The acquaintance came through one of her brothers. He was thought to be a man of property, and so the match was urged by some of her friends, for she wouldn't do for a poor man's wife. There was another that she was attached to, and he wanted her, but he was poor, so the former prevailed. But he proved to be an ignorant brute, with less property than he was supposed to have. So she found little room for love of ease, but much for smooth deceitfulness, in order to get along with him. They came to America, a few years after we did, bought a farm a few miles from Rochester, New York, lost it through a bad title, then went to Hudson, Michigan, or near there, and bought again.

His son Thomas, having grown strong, put his shoulder to the wheel, had the farm after the old man had gone. He is in it now, I suppose. He was a pronounced rejector of Christ, and a great lover of money. it was here that Uncle Thomas Gawne, spent a number of his last years. There were four girls, two of them died, I think, in Rochester, New York when young people. The other two married, Ellen married Thomas Bates, Catherine to Mr. Hill. This was the last I knew of them, when in or near Hudson, Michigan, where their parents died. These two daughters, I had seen many years ago in Buffalo, New York. That is all I had ever seen of the family, even the parents.

Mother's sister Ann (Nancy), married Philip Quayle, a young man of considerable property; smart, intelligent, stylish, I might say, but wasted his substance by proliferous living, and became very poor. They had 6 children; 2 boys and 4 girls. He went to Douglas, New York [sic surely IoM], after his property was gone, and worked at sail making. Most of them were still there, 25 years ago. He died about 1848 and his wife about 3 years later. His oldest son, came to this country about 1850 and worked in Albany, New York, at shoemaking. He went out to the steamer with an old friend, that was returning to the island, and neglected to take a hat or coat. He stayed on the steamer too long, catching a cold, in that condition was carried back to New York, which ended his life, leaving behind a wife. From an old letter of 1863, I learned two of his girls were then keeping some kind of inn, in Douglas, New York [sic surely IoM], one had a milliner's shop, one was at service (as they call it), in Manchester, New York [sic ?] and the youngest son, shoemaking.

Of Jane, Mother's younger sister, and her family I need say little, they were well known here. They lived within about half a mile of my father's, both here and on the other side of the water, from the time they first kept house. Too near, for them to always be on good terms perhaps. She married James Quine in 1817 or 18. My father and mother opposed it, this was long remembered. His mother died when he was quite young, leaving him without a steady home. He was industrious, a good manager of his business, and a tailor by trade. They left 6 children, 2 girls and 4 boys: (two died quite young), Jane, (Mrs. Ed Callow), James, Henry, (now dead), Mary (Mrs,. Thomas Duke), John and Thomas. The latter two, are somewhere in the western part of this state, and are married, but I know very little about them. The others, and their families, are well known here. Having given an account of the relatives, I come to the preparation and journey to America.


After the family was fixed up with clothes, shoes etc. I remember a shoemaker coming to the house with a string of shoes on his back, the first shoes I ever had, were in that string. I remember also two suits of clothes, one of fustian and one of corduroy. The pants, buttoning onto a waist, which were the first pants I ever wore. Also there was a Scotch cap, checked with white, and blue around the crown, and an enameled leather peak over the eyes. This was the costume, in which I came to America.

Father had persuaded John Gawne, my mother's first cousin, to go with him for company. He had enough to carry him to New York, and Father supplied the rest. He had a wife and four children. in our family were: Father, Mother, Grandfather and 6 children: Judy, William, John, Thomas, Margaret and James. The children ages were: 16, 15, 12, 6 and 3 years, and James the youngest being only 7 weeks old. Also, with us, Grandfather's, two year old black dog Coley, who, when the talk of going to America began, seemed to understand, that he was to be left behind and would howl nights. As soon as it was concluded to take him along, all the howling stopped.

A public sale was made, and what was not sold privately, was left for the relatives, to divide among themselves. This of course, made some dissatisfaction. Mother wanted to take her crockery along, but father said, "No, we will get a crate of new in Liverpool." None was gotten, when they found that they must pay here 6 times the worth there.

When time to leave arrived, two neighbors, with their carts, were procured. There had been no wagons, or even carts for over a generation or two. The goods were put aboard, in the evening. I wondered why in the evening, but now I understand, it was because of the tide. The vessel must sail at night, while the tide was in. There was quite a company of neighbors starting from the house, to see them off. Mother, in the excitement, supposed one of the other women had the babe, on reaching the road, when she found, he had been left in the cradle. This made considerable talk, with some enlarged versions of it. in later years, sometimes, the other children would taunt him (Jim) with, "You had better been left in the cradle.

The neighbors felt as if it was the funeral of their friends. The company went along some of the way, some weeping, never expecting to see any of their faces again. Astonished that people as well off, as they were would think, of going to a far off and unknown land, of America, which was very near being outside the world.

It was thought also, by some, that the island was the paradise of the universe. There would be some consistence in the poorer ones going, but they could not go. But strangely, the very next year a large share of that company were, themselves in America. I am inclined to think there were few, if any, of them but said, "Come sooner or later".

After getting to Ramsey, it was found it was two days, before the vessel would be ready to sail. it was a small, decked vessel, of- about 30 foot keel, owned and run by an old acquaintance. We went aboard near night, and salted into Liverpool early next morning. it was the worst part of the passage to America. it was quite rough. The women and children were stowed below with the baggage, without proper care or attention, it was thought, were all sick. The men were more used to the sea. in the morning, whilst sailing up the river towards Liverpool, with others, I was taken up on deck, and put into the small boat. I distinctly remember, seeing the windmills on Mount Pleasant, lazily moving around.

The distance from Ramsey to Liverpool is 60 Miles, I understand. And we must have started sometime around the 25 of April, to the first of May. We were in Liverpool waiting passage some 4 or 5 days. Luggage and people were put into an empty loft, and pick up any necessity of life as best they could. We were not in a first class hotel. it was called a hotel, of some kind, l think, but the place was without a bit of furniture. A sign at the door of this house was the Image of an Indian, with a pipe in his mouth, and on Sunday the pipe was taken out of his mouth. I remember also, a number of the sights in Liverpool.

Some of them were: the equestrian monument of Lord Nelson, surrounded by dogs, enclosed in an Iron railing; the Immense dockyard gates; the cobblestone pavements; the high buildings and narrow streets; the Immense loads carried by ponderous horses on two wheeled drays of great length; the amounts of raw cotton scattered in handling; which it was said must, not be picked up. There was The New Market, as it was called, where people were selling potatoes plied up on the ground, with a quantity on the top boiled to show their quality, and other things like manner, all covered with awnings.

We were finally put on board a small brig, if I remember rightly, of 200 tons, but seems wrong, to me, as she had on 200 passengers, mostly Irish. Her name was Amelia of Liverpool, at the helm was, Captain Tagert. They had no such accommodations, as they advertised. We occupied what was called the second cabin, with some English people, and a few better class Irish, on the opposite side of the cabin. But it was not separated from the steerage, as I think it was called, by any door, which was on the same deck, and just forward of us, and was filled with Irish. it was separated from the cabin by a rough board partition, with cracks that the children could peek through.

The passenger quarters had three rows of berths all around, and there were two low benches, which was all the furniture there was, in our part. There were two hatches over the passengers, affording all the light and ventilation that passengers had, and if it was rough, these were partly closed. There was a coal fire, in a grate on deck for the passengers to cook by. One man died on the passage, but to ma, the wonder, is that half of them were not dead. The scent down there in that dirty, ill-ventilated hole, was anything but sweet. Mother was sick all the way, also Mrs. Gawne, but the rest, stood it well. The burden of cooking fell on my oldest sister, but she seemed to benefit by it. The passengers carried and cooked their own provisions, and as the fire would not accommodate them all at once. This made considerable dissatisfaction, eating was done, without setting of tables, and just as you could catch it.

After being out to sea, a couple of days or so, and although the vessel had been searched for stowaways, before starting, there came to light 3 or 4 men who hide themselves somewhere, to steal their passage. They were called resurrection men, and were made to do all the drudgery, pumping ship, etc.

Father and Mr. Gawne, being seamen, told the captain whenever he wanted any help, they could do on deck, they would help him, but would not go aloft, not being used to it. So they would be called on occasionally, even in the night sometimes. He would come to the hatch and yell, "Manx men turn out." Because of this, they were thought to be favored, more than some of the other passengers. The dog used to provoke the sailors, sometimes, by dirtying the deck, but he belonged to the old man, and there was never any extra charge, made on this account. The passage money, it seems to me, was 3 and a half pounds sterling: small children half price.

There were but two days, of what they called fair wind, on the whole voyage. Then they would set all sail, which carried away some of their student aids. Father dreamed, whilst on the ocean that he had reached New York, and was writing back that he had gotten across in 40 days, which was just the time it took.

I will mention here, before reaching Liverpool, they expected to take passage to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Then travel by wagon, across the country to Jefferson County, Ohio. Two families were there, who had left the island some 4 years before. At Liverpool, they were informed of the recent completion, of the Erie Canal, enabling them to reach Ohio by way of New York, by water, which was far more preferable. So they went to New York.

The excitement, at the first discovery of land, is still pretty clear, in my mind. it is hard for those who have never been in such circumstances, to conceive the pleasure such a sight gave to those who have been shut up so long, in such narrow quarters, with nothing in sight or around them, but water. My father went up in the rigging to see better, the only time on the voyage, I think, that he did such a thing.

The Sight of Land

When he got ashore at New York, the dog was so happy that he acted as though he was mad, running backward, and forwards like a crazy thing. We were in New York only a few hours, before starting for Albany, on the river. We were on some kind of boat, that was fastened to the side of a steamer, and drawn along, or towed. The boat was open and there were two boats on one side and one on the other side of the steamer. Thus we went up the Hudson River to Albany, in not over 24 hours.

There were seven families, that left our part of the island, that year, for America. There were two families, in our company. Two others had preceded us a little; Uncle Philip going to New Brunswick, we learned afterward, and Don Quirk going to Philadelphia. Three others in one company, came a month later: Patrick Tear, a brother to Joan Tear's mother; William Kelley, who married his wife's sister; and a brother or brother-in-law of their wives. The first two, settled in Newburg, Cuyahoga County, Ohio; the latter continued his Journey, to Jefferson County, Ohio, being a relative of the two Manx Families that were already there.

We had gotten to Albany and while waiting on the dock, for a canal boat, on which to take passage, there was a great strife among the boats for the passengers. A man from Ohio came along inquiring of the passengers, if any of them wanted to buy land. This man was Ellakim Field, the builder of the old Concord Furnace. He was on his way to New York to contract pig iron, also engage a man (who was the late Jonathon Stickney) to run his furnace he had just built. My father took his address, and afterwards bought the land on which I now live. He led us to come to this place. The land was $325. an acre, a high price for those times. Better land could be bought, long after, right beside it, for $250.

We finally got aboard a boat, and reached Buffalo in a week. Along the river and the canal, all eyes were open, to see how it was in America. Whether the cattle looked like those they left behind, etc. etc. But why the people were so wasteful, was a thing not easily understood. as to leave such quantities of timber rotting, in the corners of their fields.

At Buffalo, we were put aboard a schooner called, "The Lady of the Lake"; because of foul wind, the flat bottom of the vessel, and the unskillfulness of the seamen, we were two weeks in reaching Fairport, 160 miles. We landed early in the morning, before sunrise, on the 5th of July, 1826. A boat came from shore to take us in, the schooner was not able to enter the harbor, because of a bar. The first meal in Ohio, was taken on the dock around the pile of goods, in some respects as Christ and the Apostles took the Last Supper, a loaf of bread passed around and a cup of milk - buttermilk, I think.

An empty house was soon procured, right under the hill, where two days were spent, but the people said, "If you stay here you will have the ague". Another house was procured in Painesville, the house had been used for a small glass factory, with a number of very curious ovens in one end of it. it stood not far from where the Episcopal Church stands now. Here, four weeks were spent, by that time Fields had returned. A hundred acres, where I now live were bought of him, and we moved to Leroy, Ohio. Going into a log house on the purchased possession. Sometime between that and winter this house built.


The story of Richard Ashworth, I give, because of the immense amount of trouble and expense it caused.

Richard Ashworth was an Englishman, we first met on the shipboard, going to some place in America. His berth was near ours. He was unmarried, and rather an old bachelor, and by trade a calico printer. He kept in our company until we got to Painesville, without giving a reason for it, or making any apology. He appeared to be a sober, steady man, and a Freemason. While at Painesville, he became sick with disentery. When our folks left Painesville, he was taken to a man's house nearby, whose name was Poloc, and a short time later, he died.

Doctor John H. Matthews, who lived nearby, father of Sam Matthews, who lives in the same house, was called to see him. He continued to make daily visits, for about three weeks while the patient was getting worse, all the time. Before Ashworth died, he sent for father to come and see him. it was evident then, that he would die. He told father to take his money, and things, to keep them till he called for them. Father got some witnesses, went to his chest. He found it had been broken open, and considerable of the money missing, that Ashworth claimed it contained. How much or how much was found, I don't remember. The money was done up in small bunches consisting, of British sovereigns, and was all through the chest. The money was all counted, and the address of his mother taken. She was a widow, Mary Ashworth.

He soon died, and father, without taking advice, supposing he knew what to do, went ahead and buried him, paying all the expenses. The doctor demanded and received 21 sovereigns, for his services (nearly a hundred dollars). After a while, father received word that Mathews had applied to be appointed Administrator of the estate. Father was advised, by some of the people in Painesville to oppose him, but it was too late. The appointment was made. He claimed the estate owned him, and the gold he received having fallen short in weight. This was his excuse for asking to be appointed.

Father then sent to England to the Mother and bought a power of attorney, to act for her. When it came, there was a charge on it nearly $5.00 postage. Every separate piece of paper then, was charged full letter postage, and if it went 300 miles or more 25 cents. The department sought to make it a source of profit. This letter had in it a good many pieces, certificates etc., to show, she was the proper heir, to this property. Concord then was our nearest Post Office and the Postmaster, one of the Wilsons, came on horseback to bring the letter, thought to be of such importance.

Father, by advice, refused to turn over the money and property, to Mathews Father's lawyer, James N. Payne as Mathews would not account any of the money Father had paid out, not even what he had received himself.

So Mathews brought suit to recover it. The power of attorney was offered as evidence in defense, but it was decided that as the right of Mathews, was the oldest, he must have the effects first delivered to him. Then he was to surrender it to Father, after he had taken out all he wanted, of course. So Judgment was given against Father, the amount from 5 to 7 hundred, I should think.

Father's land was made over to Grandfather, and then to brother William and the claim that of right it belonged to him. it was grandfather's money that paid for it. it was levied and appraised, but never sold. The suit was carried from common please to chancery, lost there, then carried to the circuit court and there decided in favor of our folks.

The struggle was about the rightful ownership, of the land.

This lasted 7 years, causing a great deal of expense and trouble, beside much pain and anxiety. The judgment always stood against father, making it necessary that he should hold nothing in his own name. How all the money was disposed of, I don't know. Some of it, I know, went into the hands of persons, who never paid it. None of it or any report of the results, ever went back to England. Father never wrote to the mother, after he got the big letter. This I think was not right. This thing I think, on the whole was a great loss to our folks, and I don't wonder that they remained so poor. Mathews made nothing out of this. He was smooth as oil, made considerable property by his dealings, but his son Sam, now his only representation, spent it all.


Bought of Fields, or rather, of Hinkley, who was an agent, for Fields, on the north end of Lot No.12, Leroy Township. Twenty acres were partly cleared the year before by the Wedge Family, (father, grandfather and uncle, of the present Ed Wedge) of this town. Much of the large timber was left standing. The hemlocks and whitewoods in particular, and much of the smaller lay, still on the ground. it was all grown up to fire weed, like a young forest. They had gone over the very poorest par, of the place.

This land was unwisely bought, before sufficient knowledge was obtained of the country. Grandfather's caution demanded it, lest the money should be spent and no land secured. it would have been much better, to have worked at one of the furnaces for a while as others did, than had them get going here, who had no money. Then buy, an Improved farm, of less dimensions. Land might then have been bought, on the lake shore sands, quite reasonable, with British gold. Father thought, from his former experience, that clay land was much the best. Money here was then exceedingly scarce, almost everything had two prices a cash, and a dicker price. The dicker price, first mentioned, which would be much higher than the other. By offering cash it could be gotten much lower. This, they did not understand at first, as it was quite different. Where they came from, it was there all cash, and one price. Considerable loss was sustained because of this Ignorance.

Through the need of skill, to manage a new-timbered farm, the lawsuit, and loss of cattle they were kept very poor for many years, and their money was soon gone. Every year cattle would be-lost in the bloody murraine, sometimes it was a hollow horn. Murraine took the cattle that were in the best condition usually, and it worked quickly. At night they would be well, in the morning, perhaps dead, with blood all through them, in the bladder, in the intestines, and outside of them. No cause or remedy was known, for this disease that I ever knew. it lasted for many years and none were exempt.

After father got here, wrote back describing the state of things here and wrote repeatedly. it was father's letters, that I always heard spoken of as stirring the people up there so much. it seems there was almost a panic the next year, by a middle class going to America. it was supposed here to have been largely from the fact, that a man could get, a bushel of wheat for a day's work, in the harvest. While there, he could get about a peck of potatoes (for an English sixpence and board). People, it was said would come from far and near to hear father's letters read. Once a company had gathered, a man took the letter and got up on top of a sod hedge, and read it for the crowd.

One letter, it was said, was published in the papers. Some would come from a distance, for the privilege of taking a copy home with them. into some of these copies crept extravagant statements, that were not in the original. And so some of those, when they came here charged father with lying. These errors were put in for fun. The next, spring so many were selling and going to America, that it caused a stringency in money matters. How many came from there the next year, but 1 have heard it was way up in the hundreds. A good many came anyway, and most of them for their good, but not all, I think. Those who were best off there, generally did the poorest.


I will now take up each one separately. Sometime, after coming here, the furnace man, Fields wanted a girl to help his wife. My oldest sister went there, while there, had two very singular experiences. it was a log house and stood near where Peter Sweet's house does now. in what is now Drake's Hollow. On a certain windy night, a tree fell from the bank above them onto the house, and smashed the roof all in. She slept upstairs in a bunk, as it was called. A rafter fell right across her head and pinned her down. The side of the bunk took the greater part of the weight, but it seemed to her, as though her head would burst. She was hollering for help, but could hear nothing, but the whine of the wind. The people below could hear her, and were trying to get up there. The stairway was filled with brush, and pieces of the roof etc., and the wind would blow out their candle. Finally, they got there, and the stick, that lay across her head was lifted off by one man. This, he could not lift at all, the next day. She was not in any way injured that she was aware of. Forgetting that she was in her night clothes, she hopped out.

At another time, she had some fat over the fire in a spider, that caught fire. She was thoughtless enough to throw water in it, to put it out. it popped like a gun, the fat flew and went all over her face, turning it completely red, her eyes escaping. She came home and her face was poulticed with curd. She had been pockmarked, but this took all the skin, the pockmarks and all off. it left it like the skin of an infant. So, in after years she appeared younger than her years. (This was in 1827). She worked for Fields, and for one or two others, and in the furnace boarding house, until the latter part of 1829, when she married Theodorus Peck, of this town. Before this she came near marrying another, but because hearing he had been drunk, she dismissed him, through he stoutly denied the charge.

She lived with Peck between 2 and 3 years and had a pair of twins the first year, a boy and a girl. The boy died when a month old. Peck's father took a notion to sell out, and go to Illinois. They had always been moving about, and as they were old, he must go along and help them. He would return in a year, after his wife and child. She had a little log house built for her, a few steps from father's, and very little left to live on.

There was no door or window, on the house, the holes were cut for them. Neither, was it noted, the child was also sick when they left. They intended to take it along, but a few day experience with it before starting changed their mind. His sister, a young girl, was then with them.

She (the wife) waited to get a letter, but none came. She heard that a sister of his, had a letter from him, and she walked over 4 miles, myself, a little boy in company, to learn of them. She got the address, and wrote to him. He claimed to have written, and then some letters were exchanged. He wanted one of her brothers to take her out there. Her parents and friends, couldn't see it, by this time, had learned that she had not been treated very well, and persuaded her to refuse going to Illinois. So she wrote to him that she would live with him here, but would not go to Illinois. She wished to be where she had other friends to fall back on, so the correspondence ended. She raised the two girls at home, one was born some months after Peck went away. The girls were Catherine and Clarissa E. Peck.

I could tell much more of Peck and his people, their character and his treatment of her, but for time and space. My sister, after some 15 years, when her daughters were nearly raised, married again in 1847 to William Atkinson, of Willoughby, Ohio. During these years, she had occupied herself with hard work: spinning, weaving, knitting and finally, for a good many years, with making men's clothes, for this, when she went out, she got 25 cents a day. Atkinson, was, all things considered, about the best man, I think, I ever knew. He was about her age, had twice been married, and was now a widower, with 6 children. She had four by him, three girls and one boy. The boy died when an infant. They moved to Saybrook, McLane County, Illinois in 1853. Her Peck girls married there; Clarissa to James Stansberry, and lives there now with a number of children, and Catherine to John Hanston, a widower and much older, with quite a family. She had 10 children, she writes. Some of them are dead. They live in Dayton, Cass County, Missouri. Of her 3 Atkinson girls, the oldest married Dr. Harry Winter, but is now dead, leaving a child, a boy. The other two, Armanie and Emma both married, I don't know very much. Before marrying Atkinson, a divorce was procured from Peck, but it was ascertained afterwards that he had married, and died, before all this.


As I have before mentioned, my oldest brother, was given to grandfather when 3 years old and lived with him. But after leaving for America, he and grandfather, became part of our family. He was a thickset, slow growing boy, and quite stout. Not long we were here, he commenced working in the Concord furnace, first cleaning ware, and then doing what was called gutter work, wheeling out the Iron and cinder etc., that the furnace made. Doing a man's work when he was not much over 16. He felt quite proud of it and would sometimes do his day's work by noon, that he might have time for play.

After awhile, he got a moulding job and earned what seemed great wages, but high priced dicker, store pay etc., one-eighth money was all he got. He was a little proud and dressed in the finest cloth; $10.00 a yard for double width was the common price of his Sunday suit. He was very kind to the folks at home, and I don't know what they would have done without him, for much of his wages went to support the family. He was very free with money, also, in other directions, so there was little of it left. He was rather proud and wished to eclipse, in appearance etc., those, who he felt were his adversaries. Then he became subject to fits of the blues, when everything wore a false coloring, and his friends appeared to him like enemies, and at these times he would take it out on the folks at home, pretty hard.

The farm had been put in his hands, with grandfather keeping a life lease. He was the biggest man in the meeting, worshiped almost as much as feared. He learned at the furnace, to talk unbelief, which annoyed the people at home, then tell me, when by ourselves, that he was only talking, for he did not believe what he was saying himself. However, this was his ruin, he always kept it up too far. He thought a good deal of me, thought I should be sent away to school.

At 25, he thought he was getting pretty old and must marry, so he took up with his relative Catherine Tear, a girl 9 years younger than himself, and married. Then he wanted a house to live in, decided to build a frame house, drafted and figured it all out. But tired of that Idea and decided to make it of split logs. He did considerable work in that direction, but got discouraged, gave it up, and finally built a house of round logs.

The winter I was 17, I stayed from school to draw the logs, the house was raised, roofed and cut for door and windows. Then stood there, for about 8 years, before anything more was done to it. The next harvest, he and father quarreled about some no account-thing. I heard the whole thing., and oh, how it made my heart ache. One was about as much to blame, as the other. He [suddenly left] soon after that, , without saying a word to anyone. He went to his father-in-law's, stayed there till the next spring, then went west 70 to Vermillion furnace. Where he stayed some 7 years. He lost his health, and through the urging of his wife she returned to her father's, with two children. Finally he came, fixed up the log house, near where Dr. Crellin is now, and lived in it for 10 years. His disease was a nervous mind. He did but very little himself, in these years, his wife sewed, and paid people to work the place. He seemed consumed, with hate against somebody.

Before he left us, and went to his daughter-in-law's, he gave father and mother a life-lease of the west half of his place, in exchange for a quit-claim from grandfather, of the east half. in '55, he sold his place to John Crellin, for one thousand dollars. He had gotten in debt, about 60 dollars building a larger barn than anybody else had about here. The old log house was getting pretty bad and he could not build a new one, so he sold and built a house at Bostwick's Corners, in Thompson, for a grocery. He did as well in it, as they expected. But he got sick of that after a year or two, and on going to Painesville, with $60.00 in his pocket, to replenish his stock, took the cars for Iowa.

He bought no stock, but sent a note to his wife, saying he had gone and, would explain when he got back. in some weeks he returned, with the Iowa fever bad, sold his house and lot. Got an old horse and wagon, and started for Iowa, taking along the Irons for a machine, for steaming and cutting shingles. He got there, set up his machine, did a few days work but he got sick of that. Then, wrote to brother John, in Chicago, for to give him a chance to keep a boarding house. He left Quasquetan, Iowa, his machine unsold, his old horse out on the prairie, the harness on the fence, unsold and two acres of timbered land, not much better.

He came to Chicago, with his money all gone, and was helped by his brother to get and furnish a boarding house. He ran that for a time, but he would bore his borders, what few he got, with politics, so that they would not stay. His brother John, then got him a chance to keep a boarding house, for a sawmill establishment in Michigan. To be furnished with a house and a good number of boarders at a good price. The boarders, not coming as soon as expected, he was provoked and pulled his goods out, into the street one Sunday morning, so his wife said, without knowing where he was going, or what he was going to do.

Sometime after this, he bought 40 acres of land, half of it swamp, with a log house on it, from an old bachelor who had gotten gold digging fever. He got it for 40 or 50 dollars. it was paid for with the money, I sent him in payment for his interest in the 35 acres, of this place. I bought it from him in '58. Here, they stayed awhile, but his wife had to go out to work, by the week, to get something to live on. He wouldn't, or couldn't, do anything. She finally earned a little money , came home to her father's a-visiting, leaving home something of a supply. She was persuaded, without much trouble, not to return again.

She procured a divorce, after a while and married Mr. Boyd, William stayed on his place, (he had everything left him, that was in the house) for awhile, then he left it, undisposed of. it was somewhere, in the region, of Grand Rapids, Michigan. He went north some 60 miles, to Mason County, took up 50 acres. He then went to Ludington, the County seat, where he worked in a sawmill. For a time was " round" among the people, doing odd jobs for subsistence, and finally landed in the county house. Where, after 5 years he died, after years of suffering from inflammatory rheumatism. His death took place November 15, 1885.

He did not let any of us know, that he was in the county house, but we suspected it. He was very square in his dealings, and few men more honorable, but he was badly deranged. This was, heightened, I think, by his rejection of Christ.

He had three children, all girls: Esther, Martha and Adella. The latter died, when less than 2 yours old, and is buried between the graves of my grandfather and my mother. Martha was married to James Bettin, and died, leaving two 2 children: Kitty and Fred. Esther married Alonzo Brown. He died, leaving her with one child, a boy which she gave away, and is now Waldo Parmaley of Mentor. She again married Willard Day of Mesopotamia, Ohio. Then had two children, both of which, are now dead.


was 12 years old, when we came to this country. A very ungovernable child: he had very little fear, shame, or bashfulness. Always ready for adventure, he received more floggings, than any other child in the family, more, I suspect that all the rest. He was not particularly quarrelsome, cruel or ugly, but always kind and tender hearted. He saw great sublimity in things, that others couldn't see. But he wouldn't mind, would run away to play with other boys, etc.

Soon after landing at Fairport, we were met by a man from Madison, in this county, on horseback. He wanted a boy, to do chores. So John went home with him. He was the grandfather of

Otis Warner. John was there until, we moved to Leroy. His oldest sister, then went from Painesvllle to Madison, 14 miles on foot, to have John come home, and go with the rest of us. He was at home, perhaps a year, but getting into a disagreement with his oldest brother, he ran away. it was some time, before it was known where he was, but was finally discovered, that he had gone to Warner's again. Warner wanted father to bind him to him, until he was of age, but this was not done. John spent some time after this, at Warner's and some at the Arcole Furnace, doing chores in the boarding house.

The winter, of '27 and '30 he spent at home, going to school, and learned very fast. He had learned very little before this, although, there was a school but a little ways from his home, in the island. But he would not learn, and this was all gotten, in this country. He could just read and write a little. it was not long after this that he went to learn the Blacksmith trade, with Robert Harrison, then of Concord. He stayed with him some weeks, or months, thought he was not well treated. He left, and worked at the Geauga Furnace for a time, in the blacksmith shop and elsewhere. Then he went to Cleveland, and was there, three years or more. He went west from there, about time of the first cholera, going with some family. They all died of that disease. He helped them, and saw the last one buried - a little boy. Then he came home, sick with the ague. He had been away about 4 years, while in Cleveland, he had professed religion.

He stayed at home all winter, shaking with the ague, and looking, like a shadow. in the spring, he and his father disputed, about a thing of no importance and quarreled. John left and went to work in the then, flourishing little town of Richmond, a mile above, and on the opposite side, of the River from Fairport. He worked at his trade, for men that were building a vessel there.

He remained here, a short time, then went to the city of Rochester, N. Y. We didn't see him again, for more than seven years. When there, a year or two, maybe, he married Catherine Hunt, a Protestant Irish girl, had a number of children. Some died in infancy, but two who grew up. One of them died, while young, and one still remains, Mary Deal of Chicago, who had a family of 3 or 4 children. in the spring of '48, having had much trouble with his wife, he was determined to leave her. So settling up his affairs, he started westward.

I had been in Rochester, since the fall before, and we started together, as far as this. He stopped a few days, and then went on, and landed in Chicago, and got work there. in the spring of '47, the California Fever running high, so he joined a company, that were going overland, to California. But after they had started, he was offered the use of an old shanty in a ship-yard, to carry on blacksmithing on his own, for he was found to be an excellent workman. This was a great chance, so he sold out his interest in the California company, to another party. He won a lawsuit over it, and went to blacksmithing. After awhile, he moved his wife, and children to Chicago, Illinois.

He had been the leading man, in a small Wesleyan Church in Rochester. Brother James had gone there, in the fall of '47 to learn the trade of him, and he became a member of the same church. When John's left, James went to work with another man. John, in leaving his wife, left his religion also. He allowed himself to get so tired, and in Chicago, for a time the flesh triumphed wholly, over the spirit. But he rallied again, and joined an Methodist Episcopal Church. At a prayer meeting sometime after this, while he was drawn in prayer, he received a wonderful blessing. He called it "entire sanctification," being encouraged by others, though he was not looking for this, in particular. it was all that, I wouldn't question it, for a moment. The letters I received from him, about that time were remarkable, for their devotion. I visited him, it may have been a year later, and I never saw a greater change in a man. He used to be great for fun, but now it was all changed. God and holiness, seemed now, to be the burden of his conversation. I think, he continued this, clear through life, though not always with the same fervor. His wife became a thorn in his side. There was a problem or other, and he not so wise, and prudent perhaps, as he should be. She professed to be a Christian, having lived with them, I Judge. She finally proposed to leave him, if he would give her on thousand dollars. This he agreed to do, if she would stay away, and no more trouble him. She agreed to this, received the money, and left for the city of Rochester. This was about half, of all he was worth, at that time, and she had a few hundred, in the bank beside, which he said she got mainly, by picking his pockets. She went to Rochester, to her brother's, built a house, stayed there until after the Chicago fire. Then she returned, and lived with her widowed daughter, leaving her property, to her daughter, who with her husband, had latterly taken her part.

But it was said, that she admitted later, that when she offered to take the money, she didn't think she would be taken at her word. I never saw a person so constantly unhappy, as she was. She was complaining of something, much of the time, charging him with most of it, so that it made the house a very undesirable place to go.

He had varied fortunes in Chicago, during some 23 years. He was quite well off at two different times, but through his great generosity, adventurousness and incaution, the great fire etc., he was left with little or nothing. He procured a divorce, from his first wife, after that married twice, to excellent women much younger than himself. He lived with the last one some 14 years. He died at Elburn, Illinois, on the 9th of August, 1887, after an Illness of some time, two weeks, in which it was said he suffered but very little.

Not long before he died, when his wife was about to write, to his friends of his condition, he said, "Tell them that I am peacefully waiting". For 15 years he had lived near inglewood, at Geneva, and finally at Elburn, Illinois. He wrote me the year before he died, that he thought he could do as good a day's work as he ever did. When died, he was 73 years old.


was born in 1823, remained single until 1854 or 5. She worked at the tailor's trade in latter year, her home was with her parents. Then she married Augustus Harrington, of Mentor, a widower with three children. He was much older than she was. She had two boys, John T. Harrington, and the other died quite young. She and her family are so well known here, that I need say little more.


was born in 1826, and lived at home until 18 or 19 years old. He worked here and there, his headquarters being at home. He hadn't the best temper in the world, when young a little quarrelsome. His father, and he couldn't agree at all. He went to Rochester,N.Y. in '87, in the fall, to learn the blacksmith trade of his brother John. John leaving in the spring, he got a job with another man, remained there for a time. Then followed John, to Chicago and worked with him there, how long I can't tell, but not over a year. He left because he was sick with ague. After he recovered, he worked for some years, in Chardon, Ohio, where he married about '54, to Sophronia Smith. He had 3 children, all girls.

The oldest one died in infancy, the other two grew up, and are now well, married in Illinois. He moved to Saybrook, Illinois, in '56, worked at his trade there, in '61. He enlisted in the 37th Illinois infantry. He served during the war, and a,year after, without getting a scratch. The last year, doing post duty in Texas, which he very much disliked. He was in the battles of: Pea Ridge, Prairie Grove, the taking of Vicksburg, and one or two other engagements. He served as Orderly Sergeant.

While in the army, his wife died. Sometime after his return. He married again, and in about a year was again, a widower. He married still once more, had a son, and after a number of years, was again left, a widower. Now able to labor, but little, lives by himself, on a pension. He was remarkably slack, in his business.


The youngest of the family, was born February 11, 1831, in a log house. Number one, on the old homestead, where I now live. He stayed at home until he was twenty-one, and was a remarkably good boy, the best in the family, I suspect. He married, soon after he was of age, to Julia Scribner. He worked the farm that year, and the year following of '53. He worked by the month, for Howe and Roger, of Concord, Ohio. He was at home, building a wagon during the winter. On the 18th of March, 1854, he started for Illinois, wife and child, horses and new wagon, and with a hundred dollars in money. His child Ellen was a year old. The roads were then dry and dusty. He went to Cheneys Grove, now Saybrook. He remained in that community, until 1876, with not very good success financially. He had so many children, and his wife's health was poor, besides building a new house, and its burning down before the carpenters got away. He had to build again, going in debt, both timesfor want of sufficient caution.

This year he exchanged his interest in a quarter section of land, a farm in Illinois, for an equal quantity of new land in Sedgewick County, Kansas, but unencumbered. He moved there, and has now added another 160 acres, but is somewhat in debt for it. His wife died, between '70 and '75, leaving him an infant, and a house full of older children. in a year or so he married again, a woman of Irish Protestant parentage,a woman of excellent reputation, a teacher, as was his first wife.

When his first wife died, she left 8 living children, and 3 or 4 dead ones. The two oldest of the family, are now married. Ellen has a number of children, and John has one. He is a prominent school teacher, and is now Principal, in one of the public schools of Chicago. l have learned recently, that another son and daughter are married. His second son, Charles G. had been through West Point Military Academy. He served in the regular army a few years, resigned, studied, and is now practicing law. Daniel Gawne's second wife has, 4 children by him, all girls.

Dan, as he was called at home, came along much later than any of the rest, and under Improved circumstances. He chance for schooling etc. was much better. He was the tallest of the family and his figure was the best, He was less cautious and a little more selfish than some of the rest.


The date of birth, was February 5, 1820, but that this was the exact day of the month is in no way certain. The people there had a way, as had the disciples of old, of paying little attention to such trifling matter, as the particular day, a child was born. That he was born, and baptized, and a record of the baptism entered on the parish church books, was enough. The baptism usually occurred, on the following Sunday, after the birth. if the child was feeble, or his life in doubt, the minister was sent for, and the child was baptized right away. He could not be buried in the Church yard, as the burying ground, which surrounded the church, was called. This was holy ground, and none but Christian people, could be put there. They must be baptized, and free from any outbreading sin. One who had committed suicide, or murder etc., could not be admitted. This was a remnant of Catholicism. When my people arrived in this country, where the children were taught, to know a day, and month, of their birth or otherwise, was not fashionable. So they went to work, as well as they could, fixed a day. it would be so many day, or weeks before or after, some of the numerous festivals or holidays of the Church of England.

I was told, by Uncle Thomas Gawne, that I was a weakly child, and was baptized, before the usual time (taken to the Church). He standing, as one of my Godfathers, as was their custom, and gave me, my name. I have been told that I was a very still infant, seldom ever cried. My mother would take me to meeting, and the people inquire what she had, for they heard not a whisper.

I remember nothing, before I was three years old. I grew up slow of speech, slow of thought, very bashful, absent-minded, and rather free of temper. Neither, was I strong of body, all the

boys, my own age could throw me. But there were few, that could beat me at a foot race. At 6 years old, I was thought to be a good scholar, and 1 could read some. There being a school, almost at the door, and the teacher took quite a fancy to me. For 3 and a half years after this, I had no school privileges. I did not go to school a day. When I returned to school I proved to be a very dull scholar, in everything that depended simply, on memory. My schooling was Irregular, when I went at all. in spelling and reading, I was miserable, then I quit going to school.

When near 18, I commenced studying arithmetic, picking a bushel of hickory nuts, and carrying it a mile and a half on my back, in exchange for an arithmetic book. I made very good progress, the third winter, I outstripped others, who had been at it much longer. I took no back steps, I commenced each winter where I left off, the winter before. Whatever depended, on the reasoning faculties, I found few who could beat me. I studied surveying and grammar some.

I was not strong, and unfit, for a farm hand. I had tried it, as a hired man. I desired lighter employ, and thought of school teaching. But doubted my ability, to qualify, for that business. My brother, John, had come home for a visit, after 7 years absence, and urged me to come to Rochester, to learn the machinist trade. it was light, paid well, and, he could get me into some of the shops there, since he was acquainted. it was the summer of '41, and I was then attending a 10 week term, of select school,in the little red school house, back in the lot, now Thomas Murrey's. I could tell many things, of the persons and the things, that happened in this school.

I decided to learn the machine trade. After the school was out, I helped do the haying at home. Then built, an addition on the backside of the house, to be used as a parlor. Having the "other room", as it was then sometimes called, was quite fashionable. I put up the frame, and enclosed it, making the shingles myself. This forms the wing, to my present house. The old house was made, of large split white wood logs mostly, built, in '33 and '34, finished in '35.

In November I left home for Rochester, N.Y. with five dollars in my pocket. I took the steamer, Dewitt Clinton, down the lake, stopped a day or so, at Buffalo, at a cousin's house, Mrs. Ellen Bates. Then, to the canal, to Rochester, arriving at 10 P.M. one of the darkest night I ever saw. Without money enough to pay, for one night lodging. But I was so well informed, that I found my brother's house, that night, inquiring only twice. There were no street lamps there then, of any kind. it was so dark, that I had to feel the house, when I got to it.

In about two weeks, I had hired to a man, for three years, to learn the trade. I was to receive $50.00, and board for the first year. But in five months the business, and the firm had so changed, and there was no longer a chance for me. After a few weeks, I again hired to another man, for 2 and a half years, to work at the same business. I received $120, besides board and worked, for the entire term. (Of the religious experience, of this term, I have written another paper). it was the trade that I was after. in his shop, the building of hand fired engines, was the leading business. in the other, machinery for manufacturing wood. After going into the shop, my health was poor. My nervous system, which before this had been very steady, became woefully deranged.

During my absence, I had two narrow escapes, it seems to me. When going there, I Jumped from the canal boat, to the dock, the distance being more that I supposed, and nearly fell in, this was at Blackbrook. Also on the 4th of July 1844, I went into a large water wheel, of which I had charge, on business. it unexpectedly started with me, fortunately, it stopped after one revolution. The buckets had filled and it started, and I couldn't get out till it stopped, I was pretty roughly handled.

After I was through, in December 1844. I started for home, to which I was attached. I had visited home before, after being away. I had saved over $40 of my wages. I came to Buffalo by stage, as navigation had closed. I stayed home through the winter, then in the spring got work, in Cleveland, in the city furnace, where the gas works are now, near the lighthouse. I had a dollar a day, and paid two dollars a week for my board. The common wages for an old hand, was then $1.25. I worked there for perhaps three months, but my health was so poor I was advised, by the foreman, to go to Dr. Johnson. He told me, I must quit my business. A young fellow that had left the shop a year before, died of quick consumption. I was advised by the doctor, to go to Wisconsin. The charge for service was $2.00.

So I quit, went home and waited a year, to get the 25 or 30 dollars due me. Three years learning the trade, was gone, my health, and the future, looked very dark. Sometime the following February, Watson Fitch, of Thompson, Ohio, came along and urged me to go home with him, and help him in the shop. He was a wagon maker, and had more to do, than he was capable. I was afraid, lest that would not agree with me, any better than the machine shop. But I went cautiously, as an experiment. I worked for two or three weeks, with no mention of pay. He then gave me wagon wood to make. When that was made he wanted me, to take 6 more on shares. I did this, and completed them in about 3 months, besides some repairs. He wished me to hire for a year, but this I would not do. My health and strength evidently Improving, my lungs getting stronger. I felt well much of the time.

Toward the middle of July, I came home, to help with haying. (At this time, I first heard, Joshua R. Giddings speak, in the Old Presbyterian house, in Thompson Center.) I was very pale, yet, when the time came, I took my scythe and went into the field with three others, and kept up with them all day. This was not expected. it was the first I had mowed in nearly 5 years.

I now judged I could work at wagons, there were no wagon makers in Leroy, Ohio. 1 decided to build a shop, and go at it. From boyhood, I had been inclined to ingenuity, and invention. Wagons were then built at home. So I went to work, made a frame, got the shingles, and lumber in exchange for work in the future. I raised the frame, and covered it, in the winter. I had very little money. But with what was due me in Cleveland, I got nails, glass, and what few tools, I needed. This was in '46, while the Mexican War, was in progress. I got all I could do, with working the farm some. The business was done in my name, and my work was paid for mostly, by kind of barter. in the fall of '47, 1 decided, to try the machine shop again for awhile, to get some money. So I went again to Rochester and worked there all winter, returning in the spring.

In the spring of '47 the smallpox broke out at East Claridon, Geauga County, Ohio, supposed to have been introduced, by a doctor. it got into the family of C.C. Field, and my oldest sister was persuaded to go there and help them, as she had, had it. The patient, a school teacher, had it very bad and died. A number of others had it also. Sister got through, and came home, taking all the precaution, that was thought necessary. Yet her youngest daughter, came down with it after her return, which made great excitement, in the community. Some of our neighbors acted as though, they hadn't an ounce of sense. There were grounds, for strong suspicion that the pox matter was introduced instead of vaccine, but by an unprincipled doctor. But no one else took it, and our neighbors fright was for nothing, although it was a pretty hard case.

The spring of '48 was made notable, by the great revolutions in Europe. in '50 we had finished the home, projected in '41, the same, I now live in. The cellar was built some 16 years later. There were then half a dozen young people, in the family. This probably, had something to do with building the house. it cost about $300.

Thomas Tear

1894, Children: Clara Tear, & C.W. Tear.


Ref. Historical Notebook Pg. 50 Morely Library. Painesville, Ohio He was the son of William Tear, born in Kirk Andreas, Isle of Man, in the year of 1821, he came with his family, including grandfather, John Tear, and settled on a farm in Leroy, Township, Ohio, in 1853

Thomas Tear died December 10, 1894 in 1853 he married Mary A. Searl, Children Clara Tear C.W. Tear

John Gawne was the son of Daniel Gawne, commonly known as "Dan-Bog-Croobagh" (Little Lame Dan) from Jurby. Daniel's parents were Daniel Gawne and Catherine Stephens/ Stephan and his brother Thomas was the father of Joney Gawne who married William Tear and were the parents of the author Thomas Tear.

 [Genealogy Index]


Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
© F.Coakley , 2003