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Fonds Level Description


Accession Number: 11-005


Stewart family fonds. -- 1791-1902. -- 12 cm of textual records and other materials. -- 1 photograph. -- 1 sketch. -- 1 map.

Biography / History

Several generations of the Stewart family have lived in the Peterborough area. Thomas Alexander Stewart and his wife, Frances, were prominent and influential early citizens of Peterborough. Extensive biographical information on the Stewart family, plus friends, neighbours, and associates, may be found in 02-001.

Scope and Content

Fonds consists of correspondence, journals, and newspaper clippings related to the family of Thomas Alexander Stewart and Frances Stewart. Many papers originate from the family of their son, Henry Louis Stewart. Also included is one photograph, a sketch of Auburn, the family homestead, and a hand-drawn map.


Custodial History: Fonds was in the custody of Richard Stewart Kelly before it was donated to Trent University Archives in 2011.

Condition: All items are fragile.

Immediate Source: Fonds acquired from Richard Stewart Kelly in 2011.

Related fonds: 74-1005, 74-1006, 77-1006, 78-008, 92-1002, 94-1001, 94-006, 94-007, 97-023, 98-005, 02-001, 02-017, and 05-013

Restrictions: N

Finding Aid

Box 1


1. Correspondence:
1824: John Stewart to Thomas Alexander Stewart re Tom's invitation to John to settle in Upper Canada

1826: copies of letters dated 1826 which Harriet Beaufort wrote to Frances Stewart (these are in a booklet format and the pages are numbered 104-119)

1829: Thomas Sutton to Thomas Alexander Stewart re Frances's marriage settlement

1859: W.A. Scott, Captain Commanding: form letter announcing a full dress parade of the 1st Volunteer Militia Rifle Company, Peterborough, to be held October 27th 1859

1862: Charles Stewart (son of Frances and Tom Stewart); a note re the election for school trustee for Douro Township

[1866 or 1869]: a partial letter by Frances Stewart (pages missing)

1869: Frances Stewart to her son Henry; a short note re some missing books that she found for him

[1874]: Cecil Brown to his cousin Dunbar Stewart (grandchildren of Frances and Tom Stewart) re school matters

[187-]: Edward S. Stewart to his cousin Dunbar Stewart (grandchildren of Frances and Tom Stewart) re family greetings

1878: one two-sided page of a diary; re trip through Manitoulin Island

1902: J.K. Stewart of The Stewart Society, Edinburgh, re membership

n.d.: Emilie S. Mathias re visit to Plymouth Armistice Service

2. Accounts of family deaths:
Thomas Alexander Stewart: "Death of T.A. Stewart Esqr. 1847"; an account by his daughter Ellen Dunlop

William Stewart: "Death of William Stewart Esqr. Killed by a gunshot 8th September 1864 at Stony Lake - Mrs. Ralleston's account"; written in the hand of Ellen Dunlop

Frances Stewart: "Death of Mrs. T.A. Stewart, Feb'y 24th 1872"; an account by her daughter Ellen Dunlop

"The Late Mrs. T.A. Stewart, written from the Review, Friday, March 1st 1872"; a handwritten copy of the Peterborough Review obituary by Catharine Parr Traill; this copy was made by a grandchild of Frances Stewart who writes: "G'ma was taken ill February 19th and died February 24th 1872 and was buried February 26th 1872 on Monday"

3. Mathias account of the Stewart's early years in Upper Canada (multiple pages); transcription available in folder

4. Handwritten sermons, prayers, writings with a religious focus, poetry, most of which seem to have originated in Ireland; some are addressed to Frances Stewart from Maria Noble; others appear to be in Frances Stewart's handwriting; some items include:
• one booklet of handwritten prayers with the name Ro't Evans Ellis, 1791;
• an account of the London City Mission, n.d.;
• The Reformation in Ireland, 1843;
• minutes of Navan Church Mission meetings, 1832;
• a religious narrative by Mrs. Charles E. Stewart (daughter-in-law of Frances and Tom Stewart), 1869

5. Indenture between Henry Stewart (son of Frances and Tom Stewart) and Joseph Spenceley re Douro Township "Mill Reserve" property, 1857

6. Photograph: "Camp at Indian Hill near Coldwater Ontario Sept. 1871"; a camp scene with several men, tents, and survey equipment. Among those identified are G.A. Stewart and H.L. Stewart.

7. Ink sketch entitled "Auburn 1845"; artist unknown

8. Broadside: Auction sale of house and lot located on Ellen Street, Port Hope and owned by H.L. Stewart, 1878

9. Map: Linen map depicting townships with lots and concessions in counties of Northumberland, Durham, Victoria, and Peterborough, n.d.

10: Bound journals:
1. Cover title: "Tho's A. Stewart Cash Book 1807"; contents include an account of a trip [from Ireland] to Lisbon, Portugal via the "East India fleet", 1812 - it is not indicated who took this trip; also included is one page dated 1826 of financial accounts relating to "Peterborough School House"
2. Exercise book of someone who had read a number of books by famous naturalists and explorers; notes about specific books, i.e. by Charles Darwin, Sir James Clark Ross, William Moorcroft, etc., notes on Scotch Horticultural Tour, n.d.
3. Diary: inside the front cover is inscription "Charles Dunbar Stewart, Port Hope, Ontario, Canada West" (1862-1944); as the diary is dated 1869, it may be assumed that the contents, except for a few pages in a child's hand, are not written by Charles Dunbar Stewart as he would have been four years old; although the author of the diary is not indicated, contents suggest that it may have been kept by Henry L. Stewart, father of Charles Dunbar Stewart

11. Newspaper clippings: re death of Rev. J.C.S. Mathias, 1930; death of Robert Chambers, 1888; visit of Mrs. A.E. Kelly, daughter of Henry Louis Stewart, to Port Hope, [1944]; visit of George Stewart to Peterborough, 1895

Loose in box:
Book: The Story of the Stewarts. Printed for the Stewart Society, Edinburgh, 1901
Book: A Sketch of the Early Settlement and Subsequent Progress of the Town of Peterborough' by Thomas W. Poole, 1867. Inscription reads: "Henry L. Stewart from E.S. Dunlop" (cover is missing)