MBM: Born 10Nov1821, twin to Janet Brown. Died 1863 at Dumfries. An address in Aunt Jessie Walker's notebook of a Mrs. Henderson, Contreville, Bedeque, Prince Edward Island. We have written to the secretary of the local cemetery at Bedeque last week (Nov 1970). Married Henderson and went to Prince Edward Island.
All we knew of Ann Brown, twin to Janet, was that she married a man Henderson of Dumfries and sailed with him in 1842 to Prince Edward Island and farmed in a place called Bedeque. So we wrote to the Secretary of the Cemetery there, to enquire if her name was on a tombstone. Months passed before we had a reply and then it said as deep snow had covered all the cemetery he could not find the stone, but eventually when it cleared he gave us the dates of Ann and her husband's deaths and informed us that he, Arnold Henderson, was a direct descendant of the said Ann.
In 1979 we visited Nova Scotia for the Gathering of the Clans in Halifax, staying at Truro with Reay and Doreen. We subsequently went to Prince Edward Island to meet Arnold Henderson at Charlottown. He told us of the early struggles of Ann and her husband, who landed on the Atlantic Shores of P.E.I., built a shack and had a son. Later they moved to a more fertile pasture on the West Coast at Bedeque, where they farmed very successfully, calling their property "Applegarth".
In 1982 and 1983 I revisited P.E.I. from Truro, meeting Arnold again, and exploring the Island. In 1983 he took me to see the farm "Applegarth", which was sold by him to a young family Munroe. Some of the original buildings were still in use. This farm which Ann and her husband built and worked had been in the Henderson family for four generations. Arnold and his wife farmed it until recently, but had to sell out of completely mechanise the place at great cost. Arnold's wife died in 1979, so we never met her.
Winters in the Island are usually very severe, with much snow. Most folks have two jobs, one for summer and one for winter. Arnold worked as an accountant at a huge store where he was in charge of Finance in a sub-Post Office for Calldeck Co. now run by son and daughter of the original Calldeck. This store catered for everything for building and furnishing a house and for the occupant's attire.
Prince Edward Island is a beautiful island, with on the West coast estuaries or rivers harbouring yachts and fishing boats. The Eastern Atlantic coast consists of sand-dunes, which are subjected to storms and drifting sands. No wonder the young couple from Dumfries failed to make a living there. Icebergs from Greenland come floating along between the island and the mainland, necessitating and icebreaker type of ferryboat on the Northern route. P.E.I. supplies the mainland with potatoes. Lobster fishing is another industry. One sees wooden cradle-like lobster pots outside houses for sale, made during the winter months. Breeding of foxes for their pelts used to be prevalent. Names of places make on realise where the first settlers came from, e.g. Arisaig where in the eighteenth and nineteenth century a whole village from the West Highlands of Scotland migrated, coming by sailing ship to the New World, bringing with them their plumber, carpenter, blacksmith and minister (R.C. and Presbyterian) to begin a new life.
At Iona on Cape Breton Island I spoke to the President of the Clan McLellan by telephone from Halifax in 1979, when we attended the Clan Gathering in Halifax. Antigonish, a stronghold of Catholicism, has a splendid University, which we visited in the same year. We found a Hall there devoted to the Clans, whose shields decorated the walls. In the library we found a copy of Alan's book of Quotations and RLM's History of the Clan Mackay.