Elizabeth Abbey


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William James "Jim" Deyell was born February 23, 1831, in Cavan Twp., Peterborough Co., Upper Canada, and died October 4, 1905, in Bluevale, Turnberry Street, Huron Co., Ontario, Canada, at age 78. He had paralysis for 21 months. He is the son of John Deyell and Mary Unknown. James had a brother, John Deyell; and a brother-in-law, Thomas Armstrong. There was a Thompson Armstrong who married Eliza Deyell in 1854.

Mary Jane Sloan was born about 1834 in Upper Canada, and died about 1863 in Canada West. She is the daughter of Unknown Sloan.

William James "Jim" Deyell and Mary Jane Sloan were married March 16, 1851, in Cavan Twp., Wentworth Co., Canada West.

William James "Jim" Deyell and Mary Jane (Sloan) Deyell had five children:

  1. Ann Eliza Deyell: Born 1852 in Cavan Twp., Ontario, Canada; Died December 8, 1928, in Tupper Street, Millbrook, Durham Co., Ontario, Canada (age 76). Married January 1, 1873, in Northumberland and Durham Co., Ontario, Canada, to Robert Irwin: Born about 1848; Died November 3, 1909, in Lot No. 10, Concession 1, Cavan District, Durham Co., Ontario, Canada (about age 61).
  2. Sarah Jane Deyell: Born December 19, 1854, in Cavan Twp., Canada West; Died December 27, 1932, in Fort Qu'Appelle, Saskatchewan, Canada (age 78). She is buried in Lakeview Cemetery, Fort Qu'Appelle, Saskatchewan, Canada. Married June 6, 1877, in Lindsay, Victoria Co., Ontario, Canada, to Alexander Henry Melville: Born about 1844 in Burlington, Chittenden Co.,  VT; Died January 21, 1901, in Peterborough Co., Ontario, Canada (age 57), from a Cerebral Hemorrhage.
  3. William James Deyell: Born September 25, 1856, in Ontario, Canada; Died June 20, 1935, in Huron Co., Ontario, Canada (age 78). Buried in Wingham Cemetery, Wingham, Turnberry Twp., Huron Co., Ontario, Canada. Married (1) to Elizabeth Unknown: Born about 1856 in Ontario, Canada; Died July 8, 1883, in Wingham, Huron Co., Ontario, Canada (age 27). Married (2) January 13, 1886, in Wingham, Huron Co., Ontario, Canada, to Mary Jane Currie: Born July 12, 1866, in Wingham, Ontario, Canada; Died November 21, 1946, in Huron Co., Ontario, Canada (age 80). Buried in Wingham Cemetery, Wingham, Turnberry Twp., Huron Co., Ontario, Canada.
  4. Mary Deyell: Born May 11, 1858, in Millbrook, Ontario, Canada; Died January 5, 1918, in Millbrook, Durham Co., Ontario, Canada (age 59). Buried in Gardiner's United Cemetery, Cavan Twp., Peterborough Co., Ontario, Canada. Married December 19, 1877, in Millbrook, Cavan Div., Durham Co., Ontario, Canada, to George Andrew Duncan: Born May 17, 1857, in Ontario, Canada; Died December 22, 1934, in Millbrook, Durham Co., Ontario, Canada (age 77). Buried in Gardiner's United Cemetery, Cavan Twp., Peterborough Co., Ontario, Canada.
  5. David Deyell: Born September 4, 1860, in Ontario, Canada; Died May 19, 1905, in the Village of Campbellford, Northumberland Co., Ontario, Canada (age 44). Married April 26, 1887, in Peterborough, Peterborough Co., Ontario, Canada, to Catherine "Kate" Queen: Born June 1, 1862, in Scotland; Immigrated in 1863; Died April 9, 1932, at 19 Claude Ave., Toronto, York Co., Ontario, Canada (age 69)

Mary Jane (Sloan) Deyell died about 1863 in Canada West.

William James "Jim" Deyell then married Elizabeth Abbey.

Elizabeth "Eliza" Abbey was born about 1842 in Clarke Twp., Newcastle Dist., Durham Co., Canada West, and died February 17, 1873, in Welcome, Durham Co., Ontario, Canada, at about age 31. Buried in Saint John's Anglican Church Cemetery, Hope Twp., Northumberland Co., Ontario, Canada. She is the daughter of Nathaniel Abner Abbey of Dutchess County, Province of New York, and Mary Louisa "Polly" Nugent of County Cavan, Ireland.

William James "Jim" Deyell and Elizabeth Abbey were married about 1864 in Canada West.

William James "Jim" Deyell and Elizabeth (Abbey) Deyell had no children.

Elizabeth (Abbey) Deyell died February 17, 1873, in Welcome, Durham Co., Ontario, Canada, at about age 31.

William James "Jim" Deyell then married Sarah Ann (Parr) Ramsay.

Sarah Ann Parr was born June 29, 1847, in Brighton Twp., Northumberland Co., Canada West, and died February 1, 1926, on Water Street, City of Wingham, Huron Co., Ontario, Canada, at age 80. She is the daughter of Young Parr of County Cavan, Ireland, and Charlotte Ziemenia Lawson of Murray Twp., Northumberland Co., Upper Canada.

Sarah Ann Parr first had at least one child out of wedlock:

  1. William James Parr: Born August 1, 1878, at Burnside Lying-in Hospital, Toronto, York Co., Ontario, Canada; Died Unknown. His last name was changed to Ramsay. Married November 1, 1899, in Turnberry Twp., Huron Co., Ontario, Canada, to Sarah Jane "Sadie" Routledge: Born June 12, 1875, in Clinton, Huron Co., Ontario, Canada; Died Unknown. Her parents' names were given as Edward J. Routledge and Elizabeth A. Webb.

Sarah Ann Parr married the father of her child, a widower, Andrew Ramsey.

Andrew Ramsay was born 1838 in Eramosa Twp., Wellington Co., Upper Canada, and died 1880 in Morris Twp., Huron Co., Ontario, Canada, at about age 42. He is the son of Henry Ramsay of Donegal, County Ireland, and Mary Campbell of Paisley, County Renfrewshire, Scotland.

Mary Catherine McKersie was born 1846 in Eramosa, Wellington County, Upper Canada, and died January 17, 1878, in London, Middlesex Co., Ontario, Canada, at about age 32. She is the daughter of David Hunter McKersie of Pailsey, County Renfrewshire, Scotland, and Mary Osburn of Unknown.

Andrew Ramsay and Mary Catherine McKersie were married about 1867 in Ontario, Canada.

Andrew Ramsay and Mary Catherine (McKersie) Ramsay had six children:

  1. Mary Ann Ramsay: Born April 17, 1868, in Eramosa Twp., Wellington Co., Ontario, Canada; Died August 5, 1936, in Toronto, York Co., Ontario, Canada (age 68). Married May 5, 1906, in Toronto, York Co., Ontario, Canada, to Edward Albert Fitzsimmons: Born September 13, 1870, in Eramosa Twp., Wellington Co., Ontario, Canada; Died March 4, 1923, in Toronto, York Co., Ontario, Canada (age 52). He had colon cancer.
  2. Herbert McKersie Ramsay: Born November 12, 1870, in Eramosa Twp., Wellington Co., Ontario, Canada; Died 1942 in Unknown (age 72). Married (1) June 30, 1897, in Turnberry Twp., Huron Co., Ontario, Canada, to Mary Jane Murdock: Born November 8, 1875, in Lucknow, Bruce Co., Ontario, Canada; Died April 8, 1899, in Toronto, York Co., Ontario, Canada (age 23). Married (2) April 29, 1903, in Guelph, Wellington Co., Ontario, Canada, to Annie Eliza Webb: Born December 16, 1868, in Plumstead, Woolwich, County Kensington, England; Died after 1911 in Ontario, Canada
  3. Rhoda Ellen Ramsay: Born June 25, 1872, in Eramosa Twp., Wellington Co., Ontario, Canada; Died after 1930 in Michigan?. Married May 24, 1898, in Hamilton, Wentworth Co., Ontario, Canada, to John Bowers: Born April 28, 1872, in England; Died after 1930 in Michigan?
  4. Florence Adelaide Ramsay: Born October 18, 1873, in Eramosa Twp., Wellington Co., Ontario, Canada; Died after 1911 in Unknown. Never married.
  5. Martha Melina Ramsay: Born May 25, 1875, in Bluevale, Huron Co., Ontario, Canada; Died after 1911 in Unknown. Never married.
  6. Dona Belle Ramsay: Born April 17, 1868, in Bluevale, Huron Co., Ontario, Canada; Died February 11, 1956, in Seattle, King Co., WA (age 78). Married December 25, 1900, in Guelph, Wellington Co., Ontario, Canada, to Herbert Webb: Born March 27, 1878, in Guelph, Wellington Co., Ontario, Canada; Died August 3, 1953, in Seattle, King Co., WA (age 75).

Mary Catherine (McKersie) Ramsay died January 17, 1878, in London, Middlesex Co., Ontario, Canada, at about age 32.

Andrew Ramsay then married Sarah Ann Parr.

Andrew Ramsay and Sarah Ann Parr were married May 26, 1880, at Wingham, Huron Co., Ontario, Canada.

Andrew Ramsay and Sarah Ann (Parr) Ramsay had no children.

Andrew Ramsay died 1880 in Morris Twp., Huron Co., Ontario, Canada, at about age 42.

William James "Jim" Deyell then married Sarah Ann (Parr) Ramsay.

William James "Jim" Deyell and Sarah Ann (Parr) Ramsay were married March 8, 1883, at Wingham, Huron Co., Ontario, Canada.

William James "Jim" Deyell and Sarah Ann (Parr) (Ramsay) Deyell had three children:

  1. Robert Deyell: Born February 3, 1885, in Wingham Twp., Huron Co., Ontario, Canada; Died Unknown. Married September 5, 1905, in Wingham, Huron Co., Ontario, Canada, to Jessie Morris England: Born November 18, 1885, in Turnberry Twp., Huron Co., Ontario, Canada; Died Unknown. Both are buried in Wingham Cemetery, Turnberry Twp., Huron Co., Ontario, Canada,
  2. Isaac Deyell: Born November 14, 1886, in Wingham Twp., Huron Co., Ontario, Canada; Died Unknown. Buried in Unknown. Married December 26, 1922, in the Congregational Church at Stratford, Perth Co., Ontario, Canada, to Rosella Victoria (Casemore) Calvert: Born June 25, 1886, in Turnberry Twp., Huron Co., Ontario, Canada; Died 1967 in London, Ontario, Canada (about age 81) Buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, London, Ontario, Canada.
  3. John Deyell: Born August 13, 1890, in Wingham Twp., Huron Co., Ontario, Canada; Died 1951 in Wingham, Huron Co., Ontario (about age 61). Married October 29, 1912, in Wingham Twp., Huron Co., Ontario, Canada, to Sarah Adelaide Durnin: Born January 15, 1887, in West Wanawash District, Huron Co., Ontario, Canada; Died 1973 in Clinton, Ontario, Canada (age 86). They had three children: Percy Deyell, Born May 25, 1915. Married to Jane E. Johnston; Louise Deyell, Born May 13, 1917. Married to J. Wilfred Gannett, 1927-1970. They had a daughter, Mary Gannett, who married a man by the name of McArthur, residence at Brussels, Ontario; Elmer Deyell, Born June 11, 1923.

William James "Jim" Deyell died October 4, 1905, in Bluevale, Turnberry Street, Huron Co., Ontario, Canada, at age 78.

Sarah Ann (Parr) (Ramsay) Deyell died February 1, 1926, on Water Street, City of Wingham, Huron Co., Ontario, Canada, at age 80.




TIMELINE

Ontario was known as: Upper Canada from December 26, 1791, to February 10, 1841; Canada West from February 10, 1841, to July 1, 1867; and Ontario after July 1, 1867.

James Deyell was born February 3, 1831, in Cavan Twp., Peterborough Co., Upper Canada.

Mary Jane Sloan was born about 1834 in Upper Canada.

Andrew Ramsay was born 1838 in Eramosa Twp., Wellington Co., Upper Canada.

Elizabeth Abbey was born about 1842 in Clarke Twp., Newcastle Dist., Durham Co., Canada West.

The 1850 U. S. Census shows three Gage children: Walter (age 7), Phebe (age 5) and Mary (age 1). Nathanial, Loduski and Walter were born in Connecticut; Phebe and Mary in Wisconsin. Nathanial was a farmer. Elizabeth was not listed.

The 1851 Canada West Census shows William J. Deyell (age 22) born in Canada is an unmarried Labourer and is living in a shanty in Harvey and Smith Sub District, Peterborough Co., Canada West.

James Deyell and Mary Jane Sloan were married March 16, 1851, in Cavan Twp., Wentworth Co., Canada West. His sister, Margaret Deyell, had married James Fisher there nine days earlier.

The 1860 U. S. Census taken June, 1860, shows Elizabeth Abbey (age 18) born in Canada is a Servant Girl, and is living in Lomira Twp., Dodge Co., WI, in the Nathanial (born in New York) and Loduski D. Gage (born in New York) farmer household. Census images 23 and 24 of 42.

The 1861 Canada West Census shows Frances Armstrong (age 33) born in Ireland is a married male Carpenter and is living in a 1-1/2 story frame house in One Twp., Cavan, Durham Co., Ontario, Canada. Living with him is a married female, Ann Armstrong (age 29) born in England. Also living there are the following females, all unmarried and born in Upper Canada: Mary Armstrong (age 7); and Susan Armstrong (age 3).

Mary Jane (Sloan) Deyell died about 1863 in Canada West.

Elizabeth Abbey resided in Wisconsin with her sister, Sarah (Abbey) Harris, until about 1863, when she returned to Canada.

James Deyell and Elizabeth Abbey were married about 1864 in Canada West. Some researchers feel this was a coerced marriage.

The 1871 Ontario, Canada Census shows James Deyell (age 40) born in Ontario is a married Head of Household married Carpenter with Canadian Presbyterian religion and is living in Cavan Twp., Durham East, Ontario, Canada. Living with him is Elizabeth Deyell (age 30) born in Ontario, who is married. Also living there are the following, all unmarried and born in Ontario: Ann E. Deyell (age 19); Sarah J. Deyell (age 15); William J. Deyell (age 13); Mary Deyell (age 12); and David Deyell (age 10). A widow, Ann Armstrong, and her family live nearby.

The 1871 Ontario, Canada Census shows Ann Armstrong (age 38) born in England and of English Origin is a Head of Household Widow with Church of England religion and is living in Cavan Twp., Durham East, Ontario, Canada. Living with her are the following females, all unmarried and born in Ontario, Canada, with Irish Origin and with Church of England religion: Mary A. Armstrong (age 16); Susan S. Armstrong (age 12); Ida Armstrong (age 10); and Frances C. Armstrong (age 7).

The 1871 Ontario, Canada, Census shows Thompson Armstrong (age 43) born in Ireland and of Irish Origin is a married Head of Household Carpenter with Methodist U. C. religion and is living in Cavan Twp., Durham East, Ontario, Canada. Living with him is Eliza J. Armstrong (age 29) born in Ontario, a married female; Also living there are the following, all unmarried and born in Ontario, Canada, with Irish Origin and with Methodist U. C. religion: Mary F. Armstrong (age 16); William T. Armstrong (age 12);and Rachael R. Armstrong (age 9.

The 1871 Canada West Census shows James Fisher (age 31) born in Canada is a married Farmer and is living in a 1-1/2 story frame house in Cavan Twp., Durham Co., Canada West. Living with him are the following, all born in Canada: a married female, Margaret Fisher (age 30); Joseph Fisher (age 7); Clemina Fisher (age 9); and Matilda Jane Fisher (age 5).

The 1871 Ontario, Canada Census shows Robert Deyell (age 48) born in Ontario is a Head of Household married Farmer with Canadian Presbyterian religion and is living in Cavan Twp., Durham East District, Ontario, Canada. Living with him is Ann J. Deyell (age 40) born in Ireland, who is married. Also living there are the following, all unmarried and born in Ontario: John Deyell (age 21), a Farmer; Emma Deyell (age 13); James Deyell (age 11); Robert Deyell (age 9); and David Deyell (age 7).

Elizabeth (Abbey ) Deyell died February 17, 1873, in Welcome, Durham Co., Ontario, Canada, at about age 31. She was murdered, but no one was ever convicted, even though it appeared her husband was the likely suspect.

The family later learned that she had been murdered for some money left to her by her deceased brother, Isaac Abbey, who died in 1865.


The Port Hope Guide, Port Hope, Durham Co., Ontario, Canada, June 5, 1873

Body of a Woman Found!

SUPPOSED MURDER

We briefly noticed in our last issue the finding of the body of a woman in Mr. Jacobs' lot, near Welcome, but were unable to give particulars of the inquest being held that day (Tuesday) by Coroner Maxwell. From the evidence then taken it appears that the deceased was between 20 and 30 years old, and the body had laid in the position in which it was found for some months, being partially decomposed. The clothing found upon the body was plain, but clean and neat. The articles of dress consist of a large plaid shawl, a cloud with a card attached bearing the marks :1i" and "90," evidently a store ticket; a black velvet hat with feather; a silk hair net (brown); a white and brown cotton dress, faded at exposed parts; wincey skirt; home-made cotton-and-wool skirt; hoop-skirt; two pairs cotton drawers; chemise; two cotton under-garments; red woolen hose; prunella boots and rubbers. A water-proof mantle and white cotton underskirt were also found near the body; also a five-cent piece and two one-cent pieces. A short distance from the body lay a book-mark of perforated cardboard, having worked on it a design representing a harp, and the words "Meet me in Heaven." A black glass button was also found near, none like it being on the clothing upon the body. The hair of the unfortunate woman is light-brown in color, and portions of it were bleached almost white from exposure. Dr. Herriman made a 'post mortem' examination of the body, and his evidence before the coroner's jury is to the following effect: The body, particularly the face, was much altered by decomposition; height, about four feet eight; age, 20 or 30 years; not emaciated; medium size. The body presented no marks of violence, except a round hole just below the right clavicle, about one inch from the sternal end, and another upon the back part of the left shoulder, just above the scapula. The holes were about three-eights of an inch in diameter, and had the appearance of being made by a bullet ― both being of the same size. In front where the wound was, appeared a substance in streaks and patches, which made the under-garment stick to the body. The same appeared on the posterior part of the body about the wound, and extended nearly to the hips. Nothing of the kind was found on the other parts." This was all the importance evidence adduced at the first inquest, which was adjourned until Monday, last, at 2 P. M.

In the interim it was discovered that the body found was that of Mrs. James Deyell, of Millbrook, a daughter of the late Abner Abby, of Hope. The inquest was resumed on Monday, at the Temperance Hall, Welcome. The following compose the Jury: ― H. Pethick, Foreman; G. S. Thompson, J. Peacock, J. B. Pearce, F. Northcott, J. Parker, J. Kearnan, W. Smith, R. Routley, Thos. Carson, senr., Thos. Carson, junr., Thos. Wade, and Thos. Jeffrey.

Polly Deyell being sworn, testified that she was the daughter of James Deyell, Millbrook; her step-mother left home on the 16th of February, Sunday, all the family being at church; thought she had gone to her mother's, but not sure; made no search that night; her father was at Uncle John's in the afternoon; did not know where he was in the evening; he was at home when she returned from church, and under the influence of liquor; looked for mother next day; father worked at Sowden's; he went to Etcher's to look for mother, but did not find her, and looked no more; he was not in the habit of abusing her; she was a good mother, and kind to us all; father drank hard sometimes, but was not cross; don't know when he came home Tuesday night; he was a little tipsy; don't keep a horse; did not see him have a horse and cutter Tuesday; he said he wouldn't look any more for mother, have heard him say he was going to get married since mother left.

To the Foreman ― Father was home on Monday night. Witness then identified the clothes produced as those worn by her step-mother when she left home, also the book-mark.

William Deyell being sworn, testified that deceased was his step-mother; he was away from home when she left; his father told him Monday, 17th Feb., she had gone, and that he couldn't find her; supposed she had gone to her aunt's, Mrs. Irwin's, west of the Guideboard, or to some of her brothers in the States; his father seemed sorry she had left; stopped at home since his step-mother left to keep his brother and sister company; his father was not at home when he left for church on Sunday, but was when he returned; he slept on Sunday night with his father, who was a little the worse of liquor; his father wished him to go to her aunt's and see if she was there; on Wednesday morning his father again requested him to go and look for his step-mother; he got a rig, and he and his sister came to Adams' corners, where they enquired of Mrs. Greer, who said she had seen a woman pass around 11 o'clock on Monday, but was not sure whether it was the one they were looking for, and could not describe her clothing; they drove to her aunt's, Mrs. Irwin's, on the Toronto road; she had not been there; then they returned to Millbrook; Mrs. Etcher, deceased's mother, and a young man named Nugent, had been to Irwin's looking for her before them; Mrs. Etcher said to him that she would have his father arrested when she went home, as he had killed her daughter; he never saw his father beat or ill-use his step-mother; he had never heard him say he was going to get married, or that he was glad she had left. Witness also recognized a portion of the clothing produced as that worn by his step-mother, also the book-mark.

To a Juror ― His father never looked away from home for his step-mother, and that he and his step-mother always agreed well.

G. H. G. McVity testified that he is Manager of the Ontario Bank in Port Hope, also of the Savings Bank Department; did not know the deceased, Mrs. Deyell; knew that a person by that name had money deposited, and recognized a copy of her account; did not recollect her being being in the Bank of the 17th of last February; she drew $23.35 on that day, and they had her receipt for the amount she was paid four $5 bills, but could not say what the balance was paid in. James Deyell testified that he was husband of deceased; the week before she left he was working for Mr. Sowden; came home Saturday night, 15th Feb., and he and his wife went to the village, did their marketing at R. Howell's grocery, and returned home; sitting by the store she said, "Jimmy, I want you to be good to Polly"; he answered, "Elizabeth, I am always good to her"; had no words; went to bed, and got up Sunday morning as usual; he went after breakfast to see his brother-in-law, Thos. Armstrong, who was sick, returning home 11 o'clock, his wife was quite friendly, and he had no notion she was going away; young Haddad ............. over by his place and ... by his brother's, John Deyell's, slept until night; on his ... being home he stopped into Nugent's, and from there went straight home; this was about 7 o'clock; his wife was gone; the lamp was lighted on the table; thought she had gone to church with the children, so he sat by the stove for a short while; she did not return, and he went to bed and slept to morning; thought she had gone down to the old woman's, her mother's; on Monday morning he went to Sowden's and worked till noon; then came home, examined the trunk, and, found the pass-book gone, also her clothes; then he went to Mrs. Etcher's, but she had not been there, nor did they know where she was; he did not know how much money she had in the Bank, nor did he ever ask her; never heard any word of her till last Friday, when he heard she had been found dead; he was at the Bank with her once, about three years ago this fall; did not know how much money she drew; it was her own, and he did not bother with it; the money was sent to her by her brother, who was in the American army, and who has since died; and she never told him she was coming to Port Hope to draw the money; he had been in Port Hope but twice in two years, and then was working on the train; when he missed the pass-book, he thought she had gone to her brother in the States. Witness also recognized the clothing as that of his wife, and the book-mark.

To a Juror he answered that he did not intend to marry again; said so in a joke, he and his wife were always on friendly terms; he never interfered with her Bank affairs; he had written to her brother at Barren Centre, N. Y., but received no answer; he was at home Monday night, 17th Feb.; he had no knowledge as to how his wife came to her death; she was of sound mind, and healthy; there was never any jealousy between him and her, never any occasion for it; had been married about nine years.

Drs. Dewar and Powers submitted the following:

HOPE, June 2, 1873. We, the undersigned, were present when Drs. Herriman, senior and junior, exumed a body in the Port Hope cemetery today. The body was that of a female apparently below middle life, but was in such an advanced state of decomposition that we did not arrive at the cause of death. Dr. Herriman has shown me two pieces of skin taken from the body, which had the appearance of being perforated. The wounds were probably inflicted during life.

J. F. DEWAR, M. D., L. R. C. O. E.

L. W. POWERS, M. D.

The inquest was closed yesterday afternoon,, the jury returning a verdict of murder by some party or parties unknown.


The Port Hope Guide, Port Hope, Durham Co., Ontario, Canada, June 12, 1873

DEATH OF MRS. DEYELL!

Further Evidence

THE VERDICT.

The following is the remaining evidence of importance on this case (which we were unable to present to our readers last week), together with the verdict of the Coroner's Jury: ―

James Burton testified to seeing James Deyell on Sunday evening; he was then drunk or the next thing to it; didn't know then that his wife had left; didn't know they lived agreeably together or not, but it was the general talk that he did not give his wife enough to keep her comfortable; she was a quiet woman, and he supposed she had good reason for leaving; did not see him with a horse and cutter on Sunday evening, or at any time, as he had said; this was all he knew.

Susan Armstrong, who lived next to Deyell, had seen him drunk a good many times, but did not know anything of deceased's going away; recognized the water-proof.

Mary Etcher, mother of deceased, being sworn, said: ― The deceased never acted towards me as a child since she joined in the Deyell family; she was too much kept down; if I should call at her place, and her husband in, she dare not show me any kindness; she was one that kept her trials to herself, and always covered his faults; if she had told them it might have been better for her; when she left she looked like a skeleton, and I don't know how she was able to walk to Port Hope; I had not seen the deceased from the Thursday previous to her leaving, the 13th; I thought then she had a strange look, as if broken down with trouble; she had her hair down and kind of tucked up; I said, "Why, best you get a net and keep your hair tidy"; she did not say much, appeared to put it off easy, and said if she got anything new there was such a fuss about it; she left on Sunday night, the 16th Feb., and have not seen or heard from her since, although I made all necessary enquiries; I never knew of him beating her, nor did she ever say that he was cross to her; he appeared to have her so under his control that she was quite submissive to his commands and influences, and kept her from making free with her friends; I was at church on Sunday, and did not see Deyell; it was at the evening service I was I saw him on Monday; at 11 o'clock he came to our home looking for her; I saw him again at 12 o'clock, and I saw him again a little after night; I saw him again on Tuesday in company with Mr. Sowden, did not see him any more this day; I saw him on Wednesday morning about 8 o'clock; I went up to the house to see if deceased had come home; I then told Deyell I was going to look for her; he said he would go, too; I then left with my brother's son and came out to Port Hope; found she had drawn the money from the Bank on the day previous, the 17th; this is after I had come from Mrs. Irwin's, who lives at or near the Roseberry Hill, in Hope; I was also at Mr. Oliver Abby's; when I found she had got her money and was not at her friends' in Hope, I made up my mind she had gone to her brothers in the States; I wrote to them, and got answer to my first letter, saying she was not there, but none to subsequent ones I then thought they did not want me to know she was there; the letter I had the answer to was that one I had directed to Wellington Abby, my son; he lives in Wisconsin, Fondulac County, Byron P. O.; don't think he he ever resided in the State of New York; I don't know whether he (Deyell) followed her to Port Hope or not to prevent her from drawing the money from the Bank, or whether he had come out to obtain it from her after her having become possessed of it; when at Mrs. Irwin's, at Roseberry Hill, Deyell's son and daughter came there with a horse and cutter, and said they had come there looking for Mrs. Deyell; I told the boy (Willy), "Your father has killed her",; I have been shown the clothing, it is her's, the petticoat I made myself; the cloud I don't know; I never saw the book-mark, I think she must have got it sent her from the States by some of the children; she did appear to me when I saw her last, three days before her departure, a little disturbed in her mind, or, what I supposed, demented, she had that appearance; looked as if she was completely heart-broken from some cause; it was on Wednesday, the 19th Feb., that William Deyell and his sister came with the horse and cutter to Mrs. Irwin's looking for deceased, as they said.

John Owens testified to having seen a woman come part way up to his house, which is about 20 rods from the gravel road, Monday, 17th February; but he did not recognize her, nor could he describe her clothing.

Wm. Boskelly had been out hunting about the latter part of February and saw a woman sitting on a log in Mr. Brand's woods. When she saw him she rose and went on to the road near the cheese factory. He could not describe the clothing worn by the woman he saw.

William Marshall, about the 17th of February last, on his way home from Mr. John Brand's, saw a woman lying by the roadside in the snow. He passed by, and when about seventy yards from her he looked back a man get out of a sleigh, speak to her and go away. She then got up and went into the fields. She had on a white and red cloud, and he thought by her actions that she was not quite right in her head. This was about 2 or 3 o'clock. She carried a water-proof on her arm, and had a bundle under one arm. She went into Mr. Edmund Hawkins' fields, going toward Welcome. He would not know the man who spoke to her. He got out of Mr. Williams' (butcher) sleigh, the Williams boys driving. The woman was not very tall.

Albert Skitch saw the woman described by last witness walking along the Gravel Road towards Welcome, and saw William Marshall and Timothy Haskill just behind her. Did not think they spoke to her. He did say, She walked very slowly.

Charles Hutchinson, on the day of the Millbrook races, coming to Port Hope with a load of wood, found the pass-book produced on the Gravel Road a little south of Welcome, north of the hollow, on the west side of the road. About a rod south of the book he found eleven dollars in bills. He told several persons of it. He noticed a cutter track close to the fence out of the usual travelled road, near where he found the money. He gave the book and money to Coroner Maxwell, taking a receipt.

Mrs. Agnes Hutchinson, mother of the last witness, corroborated his testimony. When she found out whose book it was she enquired twice of Mrs. Deyell in Port Hope but she did not know of any person who had lost it.

Robert Little, on Monday afternoon, 17th February, (he thought) going to Port Hope on a load of wood, after passing the Guide Board, met a woman, who often stopped on the road and looked around her. He met Wm. Little and told him of the woman, saying that something appeared to be wrong with her. Next morning, Little told him he had twice asked her to ride but she did not answer. She was slim and not very tall.

Charles Hutchinson, on the day before he found the money, saw a woman a little south of the spot where he found it, going northward. He asked her to ride, but she made no reply.

William Little met his cousin, Robert Little, when returning from Port Hope on Monday, February 17th, who told him concerning the woman he met ...rv.ing, asking him to see what the matter was and ask her to ride. When he came up with her she was standing, apparently troubled, looking across the fields. He asked her twice to ride, but she gave him no answer, so he drove on. A man in a cutter came up behind him and enquired if he knew her. The man said he also asked her to ride, and she said she had no place to go. He could not describe her clothing.

John McMahon, on the 17th February, saw a woman near the culvert south of Welcome, standing on the west side of the road. As he came near she started toward him. He passed her, and she turned partly around, her back to him. She went across the culvert and went on perhaps two rods. He then met Chas. Hutchinson and another boy with a team. As they passed by she stepped to the east side of the road and got over the fence. The buildings he was passing hid her from his view, and he saw no more of her. He kept looking back, for she seemed to act strangely. He saw her hat and was sure it had something red about it, a flower or feather. He thought she had a shawl on, a light dress with dark stripes, and red cloud around her neck. He would not be positive as to the color of the cloud, but was quite sure about the color of the feather. She climbed the fence easily; he then being about 20 rods from her. The fields were nearly bare, and it was a grain field.

Luke McCormick had heard screams from a woman, one night (did not remember date) when about going to bed. The scream proceeded from a woman in a cutter just opposite his door. The cutter drove off at full speed. His wife also heard it. The scream appeared to be from a person who was frightened.

Robert Lethbridge, toll-keeper, had been told one morning by Luke McCormick that there had been murder or foul play the night before, and had made an entry of the time, "March 18,". He now knew that this was a mistake, and he should have said "February." He saw a woman pass the gate on the Monday spoken of, in the afternoon. She appeared to be in great distress, and was weeping. She wore a light striped dress, and was a little below medium height.

Charles Haskill, who lives on the Old Fox Road, one soft, dull evening, very dark, heard the report of a pistol in the direction of the ravel Road, about 10 o'clock p. m.,. Did not hear any cries, nor see anyone passing that night.

John Peacock went on Saturday afternoon to search about the place where deceased was found, thinking possibly he might find a bullet. He found a small pearl shirt-button, partially imbedded in the ground. He gave the button to Mr. McGuire, the detective, who was with him at the time.

William Hall, baker, some time in February last (did not remember the date), early in the week, saw a horse and cutter come to a stand-still before his door, the driver seemingly not knowing which way to go. He heard a woman asking "Which way are you taking me?" The man spoke so low he could not tell what he said. They turned to the Gravel Road, and the man drove the horse as tight as he could go. The woman was crying at the height of her voice, and he could hear her nearly up to Luke McCormick's. The horse had no bells on, and the snow was nearly gone around there at the time.

Mary Grimson, about the middle of April, saw on the opposite side of the creek, and near where the money was found, and near the gateway t..... into Mr. Jacob's field, tracks as if a buggy had been turned round three or four times.

This closed the evidence, and on the evening of Tuesday, 3rd inst., the Jury returned the following verdict: ― "That the said Elizabeth Deyell came to her death on Monday, the seventeenth day of February last past, or about that time, at the said Township of Hope, in the said County of Durham, having inflicted on the right breast of the said Elizabeth Deyell one mortal wound, which she died, evidently made by a leaden bullet fired from a pistol or gun by the said party or parties unknown. The above wound presents on view a round hole, just below the right clavicle, one inch from the external end, and it made its exit, which is apparent, through the back part of the left shoulder, just above the scapula. This wound corresponds and is in appearance similar to that on the right breast, both being of the same size ― about three-eighths of an inch in diameter. From these facts (circumstances connected with this case), evidence produced to the Jurors, presents and unanimously say, that the said person or persons unknown did feloniously, willfully and of the malice of forethought, kill and murdered the said Elizabeth Deyell egalist the peace of our Lady, the Queen, her Crown and Dignity."


John Deyell, residing on Lot 23, 3rd Concession, in his 95th year in 1878, was one of the first actual settlers. He came from the County Monaghan, Ireland, and settled on his land in 1816. He had four sons and four daughters by his wife, Margaret Lancashire, whom he married in Ireland. His descendents in 1878 are 74 grandchildren, and 56 great grandchildren living. Mr. Deyell assisted Mr. Wilmot in making the survey of Cavan, and also of part of South Monaghan. Mr. Deyell's experience was that of most of the early settlers - a life of toil and hardship. He says the first person born in the township was Florence McCarthy, and the first buried was Mr. Hyland. The first person married was Mr. McGuire to Miss McNeil. Mr. Thompson performed the marriage ceremony, and received the fee of one shilling. The first mill for grinding corn was a hand mill owned by Mr. Thorne. The first grist and saw-mill were erected by John Deyell at what is now called Millbrook. Mr. Deyell procured a boulder from the field, and got a stone-cutter to dress it down as a mill-stone. The first church was erected on Lot 12, 5th Concession, where Rev. Mr. Thompson, who had been sent out as a missionary, first preached. The first hotel was also built by John Deyell, on his farm, and his well-remembered sign, which hung out for 19 years, bore the motto - "Live and let Live." The first school-house was also built on Mr. Deyell's farm - to which he gave a grant of an acre of land.


The 1881 Ontario, Canada, Census shows Ann Armstrong (age 48) born in England with English Origin is a Head of Household Widow with Methodist Church of Canada religion and is living in the Village of Millbrook, Durham East, Ontario, Canada. Living with her are the following females, all unmarried and born in Ontario, Canada, with English Origin and with Methodist Church of Canada religion, and with an occupation of Tailoress: Susan Armstrong (age 22); Ida Armstrong (age 17); and Charlott Armstrong (age 15).

The 1881 Canada West Census shows James Fisher (age 42) born in Ontario is a married Farmer and is living in a 1-1/2 story frame house in Cavan Dist., Durham East, Ontario, Canada. Living with him are the following, all born in Ontario: Margaret Fisher (age 40), a married female; Joseph Fisher (age 24), an unmarried Farmer; Walter Fisher (age 20), an unmarried Farmer; Fredrick Fisher (age 18), an unmarried College Student; Matilda J. Fair (age 22), a Widow; and Eguiste E. Fair (age 1).

The 1881 Ontario, Canada, Census shows Robert Deyell (age 55) born in Ontario is a Head of Household married Farmer with Canadian Presbyterian religion and is living in Cavan Twp., Durham East District, Ontario, Canada. Living with him is Ann Jane Deyell (age 50) born in Ireland, who is married. Also living there are the following, all unmarried and born in Ontario: Emma Deyell (age 21); Anna Deyell (age 14); James Deyell (age 21), a Farmer; Robert Deyell (age 19), a Farmer's son; David Deyell (age 16), a Farmer's Son; and John Deyell (age 31).

William James "Jim" Deyell and Sarah Ann (Parr) Ramsay were married March 8, 1883, at Wingham, Huron Co., Ontario, Canada.

NAME: Deyell, Elizabeth ADDRESS: Cavan Twp. AGE n/a SEX F DATE: May 27, 1873 BOX: 51 CAUSE OF DEATH: Wilfully murdered by unknown person. RNO 718

William James "Jim" Deyell died October 4, 1905, in Bluevale, Turnberry Street, Huron Co., Ontario, Canada, at age 78.

Sarah Ann (Parr) (Ramsay) Deyell died February 1, 1926, on Water Street, City of Wingham, Huron Co., Ontario, Canada, at age 80.


WELLINGTON ABBEY, a general farmer and stock raiser, residing on section 20, in the town of Byron, was born in Port Hope, Canada, on the 22d day of April, 1840, and is a son of Nathaniel A. and Mary (Neugent) Abbey. The paternal grandparents of our subject were natives of Dutchess County, N.Y., but shortly after the Revolutionary War removed to Canada, where Nathaniel Abbey was born.

The mother of our subject was a native of County Cavan, Ireland, and in early life emigrated to Canada, where she became acquainted with and married Mr. Abbey. Unto them was born a family of seven children, five sons and two daughters. Isaac, the eldest, enlisted in the Union service during the late war, as a member of the 14th Wisconsin Infantry, and with the exception of the battle of Tupelo, participated in every engagement with his regiment until the close of the war. He had escaped death or injury from rebel bullets, but on the 9th of October, 1865, the day on which the regiment was discharged, he died from disease caused by the hardships and exposure incident to army life. His death occurred in Mobile, Ala., and he was laid to rest in the National Cemetery near that city. Wellington, of this sketch, is the second in order of birth. Orin, a retired farmer, now residing in Belleview, Kan., was also a valiant soldier during the late war, having served in the navy for one year, and as a member of the 38th Wisconsin Infantry for two years. Frank, when but fifteen years of age, responded to the country's call for troops, enlisting in the ranks of the 38th Wisconsin Infantry, in which he served two years, and is now residing in Beaver Crossing, Neb. Abner is engaged in farming near Grand Forks, Dak. Elizabeth is now deceased. She had prepared to make a visit to our subject, when she was foully murdered. She was at that time residing near Port Hope, Canada. It was known that she had money in the bank, and the assassin probably supposed that she had some about her person. For three months after her disappearance no clue was found to the mystery, nor could any trace of her be found. At the end of that time the body was one day discovered, sitting erect against a step, and on examination it was found that a bullet had penetrated her heart. Sarah Ann became the wife of John Harris, and they now reside near Sauk Rapids, Minn. The children were all born in Port Hope, Canada.

Nathaniel Abbey, the father of the family, was a carpenter by trade, but in connection with that business followed the occupation of farming. His death occurred in the month of March, 1849, and he was buried in the old cemetery near where he resided. He was a man of a quiet and retiring disposition, but received the respect of all who knew him. His wife survived him for many years. After the death of her husband she became a resident of Wisconsin , locating in Sheboygan County, where she purchased a claim, which had been entered by a Mr. Grant.


Good morning all

A brief note concerning two things

a) For anybody interested in it, the first volume of my work is finally off the press!! It is what you might call an index or directory to the 1793-1813 settlers of Durham Co. If any of you would like a copy but want more info on it, contact me.

b) You can't say I give up easily -

NATHANIEL ABBY b 1773/74 NY/CT d 1825/26 Hope Twp Durham Co UC

m Mary ?WINTERS? b Apr 11 1777 d Mar 29 1869 age 92 yr 11 m 8 d (buried Pioneer Cemetery, Whitby Twp ON)

their son:

NATHANIEL A (aka Abner) ABBY b 1798/99 d Mar 1849 Clarke ?

m Aug 5 1833 Mary NUGENT b Co Cavan Ireland d ?Millbrook ON? 1888;

their daughter:

ELIZABETH ABBY b 1845/46 Hope - went to Wisconsin but returned to Hope ca 1863, married there and was murdered by her husband, - surname was Dowall/Dowell close but no cigar: his surname was Deyell, pronounced Dee - ell. Her death notice also tells us that her father was known as Abner, not Nathaniel.

DEYELL; Elizabeth (nee ABBY) Died 17 Feb 1873 at Welcome, Ontario Age 27 years, born Durham County. Murdered. Wife of James Deyell of Millbrook. Daughter of Abner Abby of Hope Twp. - source = June 04 1873 of The Guide (a Port Hope newspaper of the day)

Note that the surname is spelled A-B-B-Y. It's been my experience that during the 19th century, in Durham County at any rate, that's how the family spelled it.

 

 

Series E : Inquests: Box 49-55, 1832-1912, Open. See Report Below.

LIST OF INQUESTS GENERATED FROM DATABASE FOLLOWS: Report gives name, address, age, sex, date of inquest, box number, and cause of death. In some instances, we have added a "Note" which gives additional information.

NAME: Deyell, Elizabeth ADDRESS: Cavan Twp. AGE n/a SEX F DATE: May 27, 1873 BOX: 51 CAUSE OF DEATH: Wilfully murdered by unknown person. RNO 718

Mill on the Brook: became Millbrook, came from the name John Deyell and James Deyell gave to their Grist Mill

Millbrook and Cavan Township

74-021

TITLE

Millbrook and Cavan Township fonds. -- [between 1920 and 1940]. -- 1 folder.

BIOGRAPHY / HISTORY

The Township of Cavan, located in the United Counties of Northumberland and Durham (previously Durham County), was first surveyed in 1817 by Samuel G. Wilmot (who also surveyed North Monaghan and Smith Townships). The land which was to become Cavan Township was virgin forest, untouched by Europeans, and no longer considered Indian territory. Wilmot was assisted by John Deyell, who, with James Deyell were two of the first settlers in Cavan Township. They established a mill on a brook in 1824, and as a result, were the founders of the village of Millbrook. John Deyell was also responsible for the name of the township, Cavan County, being a neighbour of Monaghan County, the County in Ireland from whence he came. Cavan Township was settled quite quickly. The same year it was surveyed, 115 lots were ticketed. By the next year, 1818, a further 160 lots were ticketed. The total population of the township in 1819 was 244. Many of the pioneer settlers of the new township were either military men who were given land grants for their services in the War of 1812, or Irish emigrants, many who were from County Cavan in Ireland. In 1825, the population reached 936; ten years later, in 1835, the population had more than doubled to 2,575. Cavan continued grow, and its population peaked in 1861, at 4,901.

#008975-79 (Peterborough Co.) William DEYELL, 27, b. Ontario, of Otonabee, Farmer, s/o William & Mary DEYELL, married Jane Amelia ARMSTRONG, 23, b. Ontario, of Peterborough, d/o Frank & Jane ARMSTRONG, witnesses: James RUTH & Eliza DEYELL, both of Otonabee, on 8 January 1879 at Peterborough

There was a James Deyell who died October 4, 1905, in Bluevale, Concession 11, Thornberry, Huron Co., at age 78, born in Cavan Twp., Ontario, as reported by Sarah A. Deyell.

 

Welcome Death brings life to Millbrook murder mystery

August 14, 2009

Playwright Robert Winslow breathes new life into a murder mystery that’s nearly 140 years old. Welcome Death, produced by Millbrook’s 4th Line Theatre, takes its title straight out of the headlines of the 1870s. The discovery of the body of Elizabeth Deyell in a farmer’s field near the village of Welcome was big news for local newspapers. The ensuing inquest into Deyell’s murder proved to be even more interesting for Winslow, who bases his play on the historical documents of that event. Just as the simple headline is loaded with multiple meanings, so too Winslow crafts a play that operates on different levels, serving as a whodunit, a historical fiction, and a social commentary on the Victorian era. The case of who killed Elizabeth Deyell has never been solved. The Millbrook resident left her home “in the middle of the night, in a snowstorm,” says Winslow. She walked 15 miles (24 km) to Port Hope, where she took out all of the money in her bank account. When her body was discovered three months later, her money nearby, it was evident she had been murdered, shot at close range. As with many murder mysteries, the play starts with Deyell’s dead body, says Winslow. “Then,” he says, “several scenes track her life over a period of five years.” He says he tried not to write Deyell’s character as a typical victim. “I made her a very loving person, full of life, because there’s something so dark about the story. Hopefully, the audience will want to know what happened to her.”

From a historical perspective, Winslow has taken great pains to get things right. He consulted a retired Toronto coroner. And while researching life in the 1870s, he interviewed professors at Trent University. He even retraced Deyell’s last footsteps. “I did the walk to Port Hope from Millbrook. It takes five to six hours. Being only 4’8” tall, Elizabeth wouldn’t have had a big stride. People were a lot tougher then, they walked a lot. Still, to go out at night, she timed her exit for optimum cover,” he says. Winslow bases much of the play on the actual notes of the murder inquest, which he found in the court records for the United Counties of Durham and Northumberland at the Trent University Archives. Some of the statements made by the inquest witnesses not only provided Winslow with the facts of the story, but they moved him as well. “The mother testified about her daughter’s state of mind when she left. She said Elizabeth was like a skeleton, ‘worn down with care,’” he recalls. But ultimately, while it was clear that Deyell was murdered, the evidence fell short of solving the crime. The inquest determined that she was killed “by person or persons unknown.” In the play, Winslow hopes the audience will come to a more precise conclusion. “Who knows what really happened, just try to imagine,” suggests the playwright, who is also directing the production, and playing a central character, the coroner Robert Maxwell. “The audience will be treated like the jury, so I will address them.”

The play faces some unique production challenges, including the use of a mock-up of a dead body that is so heavy it takes two people to carry it. “In those days, at an inquest, the body was right there in the room,” explains Winslow. Moreover, the play is being performed in the 4th Line’s rarely used “meadow stage.” While the audience at the 6 pm start time will be in the shade provided by nearby pine trees, the cast is in the sun all day during rehearsals. Entrances and exits from the stage also had to be carefully choreographed using a series of ring paths. “The paths were cut so they cannot be seen,” he says. “The actors have to walk a quarter mile to get back to the backstage area.” The bowl-shaped meadow is “acoustically very good,” says Winslow. A piano, violin and cello are in view of the audience, while more atmospheric music is played from backstage, behind the pines. Music director Justin Hiscox composed most of the music and arranged the rest. He will be at the piano to play period pieces from Tchaikovsky and Brahms, as well as accompany the violin for Irish fiddle medleys. Backstage, however, Hiscox has assembled a choir along with an assortment of eclectic instruments like windchimes and a large Brazilian carnival drum called a Surdo drum. “Backstage, I’ve opted for a more experimental, soundtrack-type effect, so I’ve stepped squarely out of the period into something very sinister and modern and abstract,” he says. “It sounds very creepy. It creates a dark quality.” Hiscox says he put his brother Mark in charge of the backstage music and the singers. “He’s sort of the leader of the backstage Creeptone Choir, and they sing, basically, a lot of dissonance. I think people will like being scared.” The spooky music sets the tone for the play’s exploration of spiritualism, and the Victorian era’s preoccupation with the occult. “Spiritualism was very popular at the time,” notes Winslow. “People were trying to find a link between this world and the next. Even in the realm of science, they were trying to prove life after death. Many prominent people like Susannah Moodie, Arthur Conan Doyle, and psychologist William James professed spiritualist beliefs.”

Winslow’s character, Coroner Maxwell, is a scientific man, but he is open to “trying everything he can to solve this,” according to the playwright. “There is a ghostly element to the play, a sense of the spirit not at peace due to the violent circumstances of the death. And there’s a sense of her spirit guiding the coroner to solving the crime.” “It was also a time when women couldn’t own property, and they couldn’t vote,” he says. “I hope there’s a certain educational value about women in society at the time. When you track this woman’s history, pretty much all her movements were controlled by male society. And there were no shelters for women to go to then.” The young actress who plays Elizabeth, Rachel Brittain, says that playing a person from a different era is interesting, especially in terms of women’s rights. “It’s so different from now, to put yourself in that time of such repression.” Even more interesting, she says, is playing a character who really existed, in the real place where she lived. “It’s a strange sensation, being out here and being her, and knowing that she’s still a little bit here. I mean, you pass Deyell Line on the way here. It does get you in an emotional place.” The play promises to explore “the dark night of the soul.” And perhaps it will offer enough clues to solve the murder along the way.

Welcome Death premieres at 6 pm tonight, Wednesday, August 12th at the Winslow Farm, 779 Zion Line, Millbrook. An opening night gala reception follows at the Baxter Creek Golf Club. Performances run Mondays through Saturdays at 6 pm to August 29. The production is not wheelchair accessible. For more information, phone 705-932-4445 or go online.

 

 

 

 

 

John Deyell, from County Monaghan, initially came to Canada in 1812 as a soldier, served at Queenston Heights, and then returned to Europe where he saw combat under Wellington at Waterloo. When he came back to Canada with his wife and son in 1816, Deyell and his family literally carved a new life out of the wilderness in what subsequently became Cavan Township. At the time, the area was virgin forest and the Deyells were the first European settlers. But more Irish Protestants came and by 1861 the population had grown to just shy of 5,000.

 

John Deyell was assistant to the original surveyor of Cavan Township in Durham County, Ontario, and founder of the town of Millbrook, Ontario. He was born in Drum, County Monaghan, Ireland, about 1775, and died on November 21, 1878, in Centreville, Cavan Township. A farmer who settled on 3rd Concession, Cavan, he established the first gristmill and sawmill on the stream at what is now called Millbrook. He also built the nucleus of a village called Centreville, since his farm was located on the mid-point of the Port Hope to Peterborough highway. In 1833 he endowed land for its first church, the Centreville Presbyterian Church, still flourishing today. Anticipating commercial traffic, he built a hotel/tavern on his farm, and his well-remembered sign, which hung out for several decades, bore the motto – "Live and Let Die." The area's first schoolhouse was also built on Deyell's farm - to which he gave a grant of an acre of land. While Millbrook survived and prospered, Centreville never grew beyond a cluster of houses around the church, now graced however with a beautiful stained glass window installed in 1931 in memory of John Deyell and his wife Margaret and Cavan's other early pioneers. Deyell's headstone is still visible in the church's small cemetery.

 

A quick, abbreviated history lesson may be required for Needler's Mill in Millbrook. In 1816, John Deyell came from Ireland and established himself in Cavan. Beside a little creek, he and his brother James financed and built a grist mill; and the mill by the brook gave Millbrook its name. There is also speculation the mill ground grain for the production of whiskey - hence the name 'Distillery Street'. But no definitive proof of that type of operation has yet come to light. Deyell's Mill burnt down in 1857 (a fate of many early mills) and the property was sold to Walker Needler who, at the time, also owned and operated a grist mill and saw mill on Baxter Creek in what is now Cedar Valley. Mr. Needler built another 3-story flour mill on the Deyell site as well as a home, which is still standing at 7 Anne St. This mill, too, succumbed to fire in 1909, at which time Mr. Needler dismantled the south half of the mill in Cedar Valley and moved it to the Mill Pond site. Needler's Mill is the last remaining mill in the Township and one of only a handful remaining in the Province which is salvageable and restorable. According to an historical story in the Peterborough Examiner in 1958, the mill turned out a fine quality flour with the trade name "White Rose". The flour was sold in local grocery stores and in Peterborough. In 1967 the property was sold to the Otonabee Region Conservation Authority (ORCA) who were interested in preserving the water levels. They had also hoped to restore the mill the cooperation of the Millbrook Council of the day. ORCA still owns the Mill to this day.