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Fonds Level Description


Accession Number: 78-010


Cameron family fonds. -- 1852-1931. -- 0.9 m of textual records.

Biography / History

Charles Cameron was born July 29, 1830 at Lossiemouth, Scotland. In 1856 he emigrated to Canada West and opened a business in the town of Peterborough. Three years later, Sophia Barron, also of Lossiemouth, followed Charles Cameron to Canada West, and they were married at Kingston, February 22, 1859. Together they raised four children: Annie Walker, b. 1859; Alfred and Albert, twins, b. 1864, and Sophia, b. 1868. Two other children, Clara, b. 1861 and William, b. 1866, died in infancy. In 1860, Cameron formed a business partnership with Donald McKellar, and as the firm of McKellar and Cameron, they opened a general store at the corner of George and Hunter Streets, Peterborough. They sold groceries and hardware, and acted as commission merchants. On December 8, 1869, the store was destroyed by fire. In 1869, Sophia and the three youngest children went on a visit to Scotland. Charles and Annie later joined them for Christmas in the same year. In the new year Charles returned to Peterborough and became an insurance and steamboat ticket agent. He continued in this line of work until 1903. He died a year later on February 25, 1904. His wife Sophia never returned to Peterborough; she died in Elgin, Scotland, April 29, 1873. It is unknown as to when the children returned to Canada. Albert Cameron went into a curtain and draperies business called Rumsey and Cameron. His twin brother Alfred became a Provincial Land Surveyor. Alfred married Jennie Rose on November 2, 1895 and together they had 8 children. Their first born died at the age of two. Three of their daughters, Jessie, Margaret and Jean remained in Peterborough throughout their lives, and they are responsible for the donation of this fonds to the Trent University Archives. The Cameron home on Chemong Road was dedicated as a women's shelter in 1996.

Custodial History

The fonds was previously in the custody of descendants of Charles Cameron before it was donated to the Trent University Archives by Alfred Cameron's daughters.

Scope and Content

The fonds consists of personal and business correspondence and papers for several members of the Cameron family who lived in Peterborough, Upper Canada. It includes correspondence between Charles Cameron and his wife Sophia (Barron) Cameron, 1852-1881; business correspondence, invoices, receipts, and accounts for McKeller and Cameron Dry Goods Merchants, 1861-1870; Charles Cameron business correspondence, invoices, receipts and cancelled cheques from his years as an insurance agent, 1871-1903; Alfred Cameron personal and business correspondence, 1886-1908; Alfred Cameron survey reports for various townships, towns and villages in Peterborough County, the United Counties of Northumberland and Durham, Simcoe County, Nippissing District, and Cochrane District, 1894-1931; Alfred Cameron insurance policies; and a Chas. E. Goad fire insurance plan of the town of Peterborough and the village of Ashburnham, 1882, revised 1889. Genealogical resource.


Title based on the family which created the fonds.
The fonds was donated by Misses Margaret, Jessie and Jean Cameron, daughters of Alfred Cameron, grand daughters of Charles Cameron.
Restrictions: Y No copying of the fire insurance plan without permission of the University Archivist. No reprinting of the fire insurance plan without the permission of the Underwriter's Association.
Finding aids: Y
Additions to the fonds include 84-010, and 86-004
For related records see: 71-006 (Huston), 77-012 (Reid), and 77-1016 (Roche).
The fire insurance plan is located in the Map Cabinet - Drawer 4.

Finding Aid

Box 1


1: John, William, Alfred, Albert and Annie Walker Cameron, miscellaneous family correspondence (letters received) 10 October, 1863 to 18 May, 1881

2: Charles Cameron, personal correspondence (letters received) 2 September, 1852 to 18 August 1859 -letters mostly from relatives and friends in Scotland -a letter dated 17 April, 1859 congratulating Mr. Cameron on his recent marriage

3: Charles Cameron, personal correspondence (letters received) 22 June, 1860 to 2 November, 1869 -letters mostly from relatives and friends in Scotland -The letter of 23 June, 1869, mentions the arrival of Mrs. Sophia Cameron and her younger children in Scotland; letter of 2 November is from Sophia to Charles.

4: Charles Cameron, personal correspondence (letters received) 8 February, 1871 to 19 August 1879 -letters mostly from relatives and friends in Scotland -there are no letters for 1875-1877. -one letter dated 22 March, 1871, contains a description and discusses the results of the Ontario general election of 1871 in Peterborough and surrounding country.

Box 2


1: Charles Cameron, personal correspondence (letters received) 1880; 1881; 1882; 1886; 1887; 1898; 1900; 1902.

2: Charles Cameron, personal correspondence (letters received) undated or unidentified -miscellaneous material

3: Charles Cameron, correspondence and papers relating to -Peterborough Chapter, Masonic Lodge -Minute book of the Peterborough Branch of the St. Andrews Society, 1859-1896

4: Sophia (Barron) Cameron, correspondence (letters received) 7 May, 1858; 3 April, 1859; 2 December, 1861; 6 February, 1862; 11 January, 1869 to 5 November, 1870 -includes letters from Charles Cameron in Canada to his wife Sophia in Scotland -Charles' letter written from Peterborough and dated 18 January, 1870, notes "Severe snow storm last week with considerable drifting." The same letter mentions the 8 December, 1869, fire which destroyed Charles' store and business.

5: Sophia (Barron) Cameron, correspondence, (letters received) 25 October 1871 to 9 April, 1873 -also includes 11 undated letters at the end of the file -includes letters from Charles in Canada to Sophia in Scotland -in his letter of 20 December, 1871 Charles notes that on 21 December, 1871 it was a fearfully cold morning, the temperature reported variously at 20 degrees, 28 1/2 degrees and 38 degrees below zero. A sunny, beautiful cold day. -in the same letter he mentions some of the detail of his and Annie's trip to Scotland

Box 3

Note: The folders in this box include documents such as the following: 1872 concert programme for performance by Miss Dora Gerrie at the Music Hall, Peterborough; business receipts for W. Cluxton, Nicholls and Hall, John Erskine, Peterborough Literary Club, Peterborough Art Union Club, Peterboro Petroleum Company, Frontenac Brewery, Gooderham and Worts, Port Hope and Peterborough Railway Company and Kingston City Brewery.


1: Charles Cameron, business papers, invoices, receipts, 12 April, 1850 to 15 December, 1860 -the earlier papers to 1856 pertain to Cameron's activities as a merchant in Lossiemouth, Scotland, before he left for Canada

2: McKellar and Cameron, business correspondence, (letters received) invoices, receipts, accounts, February, 1861 to 19 December, 1863 -a letter dated 22 October, 1861, from Donald Stuart describes a journey from Cobourg, C.W., to Charlottetown, P.E.I., stopping at Montreal, Quebec City, Bathurst and Shediac. The vessel in which he travelled was damaged in a crash against a wharf and some of the passengers left it. Stuart had many relatives settled in P.E.I. and he stayed with them for a while. He describes an evangelical church service in vivid terms. Discusses farm prices and the ship-building industry on the Island

3: McKellar and Cameron, business correspondence (letters received, one sent) invoices, receipts, accounts, 5 January, 1864 to 23 December, 1864

4: McKellar and Cameron, business correspondence (letters received) invoices, receipts, accounts, 2 January, 1865 to 21 December, 1865

5: McKellar and Cameron, business correspondence (letters received) invoices, receipts, accounts, 5 January, 1866 to 30 October, 1866; 22 February, 1867 to 21 December 1867; 2 January, 1868 to 15 November, 1868; 14 May, 1869 to 23 November, 1869; 7 January, 1870 to 2 December, 1870

6: McKellar and Cameron, undated business papers and miscellaneous material

Box 4


1: Charles Cameron, business correspondence (letters received) invoices, receipts, cancelled cheques, relating to his insurance business and his activity as ticket agent for steamship lines, 1 April, 1871 to 22 December, 1886

2: Charles Cameron, business correspondence (letters received) invoices, receipts, cancelled cheques, relating to his insurance business and his activity as ticket agent for steamship lines, 28 February, 1887 to 1 June, 1903

3: Charles Cameron miscellaneous material -Peterborough, Ont: Insurance plan, 1882 revised 1889, filed with the bound fire insurance plans 1882; Chas. E. Goad Key plan 1:500 other plans 1:50 -10 sheets. (see bound fire insurance plans in Northway Reading Room)

Box 5


1: Alfred Cameron, miscellaneous personal and business correspondence (letters received) 7 April, 1886 to 23 September, 1908 -the 1905 correspondence contains three letters from Alfred's brother Albert who had recently gone into a curtains and draperies business (Rumsey and Cameron) in Reading, Pennsylvania. -Correspondence from H.M. Fowlds and Sons, Hastings, 1907

2: Alfred Cameron, survey reports, plans, maps affidavits, accounts, 6 November, 1885 to 27 November, 1911, relating to Anstrother Township, Aphrodel Township, Ashburnham, Balsam Lake, Belmont Township, Big Cedar Lake, Black River, Buckhorn, Burleigh Township, Byersville -since the Burleigh Township file contains material relating to the survey of islands in Jack's Lake, it should be used in conjunction with the Methuen Township file which contains similar material

3: Alfred Cameron, survey reports and affidavits, 9 February, 1894 to 2 February 1906, relating to Cavan, Chandos, Clergue, Douro and Dummer Townships

4: Alfred Cameron, survey reports, affidavits, plans, sketches, 29 October, 1890 to 23 October, 1909, relating to Edward Township, Ennismore Township, Hamilton Township, Harvey Township, Hope Township, Innisfil Township, Lakefield, Mattawa, Methuen Townships and Mortimer Township -much of the material on Methuen Township concerns the survey of islands in Jack's Lake. For related material the Burleigh Township file should also be consulted. -the Methuen Township file contains a list of citizens of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, for whom the surveys appear to have been undertaken

Box 6


1: Alfred Cameron, survey reports, affidavits, plans, sketches, 8 August, 1903; 9 November, 1931, relating to North Monaghan Township, Oak Island and Otonabee Township

2: Alfred Cameron, survey reports, affidavits, plans, sketches, April 27, 1900 to 23 October, 1909, relating to Peterborough and Smith, Feefy and Walker Townships. There is much on a proposed map of the City of Peterborough and plans and sketches for the development of the city.

3: Alfred Cameron, miscellaneous unidentified survey reports, affidavits, maps and plans, 30 May 1897 to 20 October, 1900. -unidentified photo of woman

4: Alfred Cameron, miscellaneous unrelated and unsorted papers -contains some material relating to the family and Peterborough cultural life -unidentified photo of woman

5: Alfred Cameron, field notes, maps, plans made by other surveyors on whom Mr. Cameron has drawn for information They are: -Clements, V.M. -Douro and Harvey Townships -Fitzgerald, J.W. -Burleigh Township -Gilbraith, W. -Mortimer and Edward Townships -Hewson, Thomas R. -Stony Lake Islands -Huston, John -Cavan and Ops Townships (See also the John Huston Papers 71-006) -Patten, T.J. -Walker and Wilkie Townships -Reid, John -North Monaghan Township, Peterborough (see also the John Reid Papers 77-012) -Roche, J.K. -Hamilton Township (see also G.M. Roche Correspondence 77-1016)

Box 7


1: Alfred Cameron, insurance policies

2: Alfred Cameron, insurance policies

Box 8

4 account books, 1 survey plans book, 3 note books, 1 sketch book -9 items in 2 boxes, 1-4 in box 8 and 5-9 in box 9  

Map Cabinet - Drawer 4

C.E. Goad insurance plan of Peterborough, August 1882, revised to June 1889. Bound volume of 10 sheets. Key plan scale 500':01"; scale of plans 50':01". Index to specials.