A Journey to Remember
In 1882, my great-great-grandfather James Frys Hindmarch was a stone mason in Newcastle-on-Tyne, England. He and his wife Ann Appleton Hindmarch, and their five children, Thomas, Annie, Henry, Mary and George (pictured) came to Canada to homestead. The following are excerpts from James’s diary, from the family’s departure until their arrival at the site of their homestead, east of Moose Mountains, N.W.T. (now part of Saskatchewan).
We board the vessel in Liverpool. We leave behind two graves which hold two small sons, James and Fred. The distant horizon looms prospective in our new-to-be homeland, Canada.
Rain and snow are falling, and the deck is covered in ice.
We meet another family headed to Ft. Garry. His wife expects to deliver about August, the same time as Ann.
There is a vessel in distress nearby. We take on 90 immigrant passengers to lighten their load, and will have slower progress to allow the “crippled” vessel to follow.
We sighted the first iceberg. Huge structure that glistens in the sun! The children are elated at the volume of it.
Our friend’s twin boys are delivered. Not much hope for them at 6 1⁄2 months. We pray for them.
They passed. How sad to see two small bodies, wrapped in white, slide into the engulfing waters of the Atlantic. One wonders how many graves its water have held.
A huge birthday cake, honouring Queen Victoria’s birthday, is served to all the passengers.
Land ahead! Many icebergs, we make our way slowly.
Boarded an immigrant train. They appear to be assembled to shake all the “old country” notions out of the immigrant, just to prepare him for his new life!