ID: I00662
Name: Joseph ACHESON
Sex: M
Birth: 20 JUL 1827 in County Down, Ireland
Death: 29 JAN 1912 in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba
Occupation: Weaver
Religion: 1901 Presbyterian
Immigration: 1880 Ireland to Ontario, Canada
Residence: 1901 With daughter, Annie Maria (Hornsby)

1881 Census
  • Joseph ACHESON M Male Irish 61 Ireland Weaver Presbyterian
  • Eliza Jane ACHESON M Female Irish 52 Ireland Presbyterian
  • John ACHESON Male Irish 24 Ireland Farm Labourer Presbyterian
  • Joseph ACHESON Male Irish 20 Ireland Farm Labourer Presbyterian
  • James ACHESON Male Irish 20 Ireland Farm Labourer Presbyterian
  • Annie Maria ACHESON Female Irish 26 Ireland Presbyterian
  • Sarah Jane ACHESON Female Irish 17 Ireland Dress Maker Presbyterian
  • Martha Eliza ACHESON Female Irish 15 Ireland Presbyterian

Census Place Egremont, Grey South, Ontario
Family History Library Film 1375896
NA Film Number C-13260
District 154
Sub-district E
Division 1
Page Number 58
Household Number 241

Patterson Letters

These are a sample of the letters sent from Ireland and of the journal kept on the voyage from Ireland.
Donated by Margaret McMillan (Orchardville, Ontario) through Walter Proctor (Calgary, Alberta).

Oct 6, 1849

Letter from J. Nolans, New York, America
To John Patterson, Glenloughan, Ireland

Letter from apparently earlier emigrant friend, advising John of employment prospects in New York. Makes reference to John's prospects as a "Presenter", which is a person who led the congregation in hymns and responsive Bible readings.

April 25, 1850

Letter from George Burrows, Wesleyan minister, Gilford, Co. Down
To Rev. D. Robinson, Port Jefferson, Long Island, New York

Bears testimony to the good character of John Patterson, and his talent for the singing of sacred music. "He is the first singer in our country" and "has .... taught numerous singing schools throughout the country" (Later letters from others suggest that the term "country" was used in the sense of "surrounding area", not in the sense of Ireland as a country)

March 7, 1851

Letter from Samuel Patterson, Glenloughan, Ireland
To John and Mary Patterson, in New York State (possibly Albany)

Samuel Patterson is the father of John, Hugh, Eliza Jane, and Mary Ann John and Mary Patterson were both born in 1820.
Acknowledges John's letter of Oct 13, 1850 ...... which indicates John and Mary emigrated sometime between Apr 25, 1850 and Oct 13, 1850 (via New York City). Samuel and his wife are not well. Hugh, Eliza Jane, and Mary Ann are in good health. Eliza Jane was married to Joseph Acheson Dec 31, 1850 ..... without the assent of either set of parents. Joseph's father and friends apparently did not approve. Samuel did.
Eliza Jane and Joseph are living with her parents, and Samuel has set up a loom for Joseph to work at.
Following were all well: John Brothern and family, Thomas Acheson and family, Aunt Jane, John Patterson, of Banbridge, Old Mrs. McCaldon, Samuel Acheson, William Acheson, James Balie and family.
Following were not well: Uncle John .... poorly but still alive, James McCaldon ... pleurisy, but better now, Joseph Balie .... dead of consumption, Thomas Kennedy and Susan .... dead of consumption.
Samuel now has six cows, five of which will calve in March, Wheat has been sown, and hayseed will be sown. Expect to plant one half acre of potatoes, 50 pounds remains owing to the landlord (out of an original amount of 100 pounds).... payable at 5 pounds/year for 10 years. Was able to pay all debts and demands during the year past.
Since John left, there has been no vocal music taught in the neighbourhood

March 11, 1851

Letter from Thomas Acheson, Egremont Township, Ontario
To John and Mary Patterson, in care of Mr. Joseph Strain, Albany, New York

Thomas Acheson is Mary Patterson's brother (John Patterson's brother-in-law).
According to Marg MacMillan, John and Mary Patterson's first child, Samuel, was born in (probably) Albany area on July 11, 1850. Thomas Acheson's wife's name is Mary .... children Samuel, Stewart, John, and James.
First page talks of the duties of his sister as the wife of John Patterson, and also her duties as a mother.
Thomas has delayed responding to John Pattterson's letter of Dec 15 until after he has gone to see Thomas's brother John (in the latter part of Feb.), who they have not seen for 18 months.
John Acheson and his wife now have a five month old son, Samuel. John is on a farm, and has 70 or 80 acres cleared, and it is pretty well stocked.
Thomas describes the countryside around Durham, in response to John Patterson's request, and asks if they will be coming.
Thomas writes a long paragraph detailing the vagaries of the international postal system, counselling John on how much to pay whom and when on letters between New York and Ontario.

July 13, 1852

Letter from Samuel Patterson, Glenloughan, Ireland
To John and Mary Patterson, Egremont, Bentic Post Office, Owen Sound Settlement, Upper Canada, America
Postmarked at Loughbrickland July 15, 1852 and at Bentic August 5

John and Mary moved to Egremont Twp in 1852 from the Albany, N.Y. area. Mary's father and family are well, as are James (?) and his family, Aunt Jane Brotherton in improved but not in good health, John (?), John Acheson and family, and James Acheson and his family are in good health.
HUGH PATTERSON has married ELIZA BLACK, July 9, 1852 and both are in good health. They were married at the Loughbrickland Presbyterian Church, located to the south-east of the town of Loughbrickland. (Location per letter and map from Banbridge Heritage Ltd).
Joseph Acheson and Eliza Jane are in good health, and their daughter Anna Morria is learning to walk. David Wilson is dead. Aunt Jane that was married to Clark was left to fend for herself after Clark ran through her dowry of 30 or 40 pounds, and then deserted her. Mary Ann Moore has married the old soldier James Patterson. The mare has had a fine colt and the cattle are well ..... except one heifer died. The potatoes are rotten again this year ... earlier than in the past.

July 19, 1854

letter from Samuel Patterson, Glenloughan, Ireland
To John Patterson, Egremont Twp

Was expecting some money for allowing a rail line (Scarva to Banbridge) to go through his farmland, but plans have not yet materialized.
Samuel and his wife are not in good health, and do not appear optimistic of a long future ahead.
Hugh, Eliza, and "little Mary" are in good health ....(no mention of Joseph, born 1854, who must have been still in utero). Joseph Black and Eliza Jane and their little family are in good health.
"Your father-in-law" and family are in good health, and are waiting for your letter. (overdue). Aunt Jane Brotherton and John are in good health .. .. John has married a girl of about 20 from the Adamson family, and Aunt Jane, John, and his bride are living together. "Your cousin" John Patterson is in good health ... His sons James and William have married. James Acheson and his family are in good health. "Your cousin" Nancy Acheson is well, but her youngest child has died of brain fever. Joseph Derbie has left the congregation at Loughbrickland, and has joined the Bruins of Banbridge for the gain of 4 pounds a year. William Fealor of Breague is in his room in Loughbrickland. Archie McCrearey and his family are in good health.
James Patterson was called to serve in the Army, and has left the pension with Mary Ann to keep her and the two children until he returns.
Samuel thanks John for his invitation to join him in Ontario, and declines the invite ... as it would be folly for he and his wife to go on the sea, and they might not survive the voyage.
Crops are doing well ..... except for the potatoes.

July 22, 1854

letter from Mary Patterson, Egremont Twp
To John Patterson, care of Mr. Hugh Patten, South Dumfries, St. Georges, Canada West (Marg MacMillan indicates John was working in Hamilton at the time)
Mary received his letter of July 9 on the 20th

Mary and the children are well. She had heard that the cholera was bad around Hamilton, and was worried that John might catch it. Crop report ... wheat, oats, potatoes all good .... turnips thin due to dry weather.
Neighbours are wishing that they had gone with John, on account of the good wages he is earning.
John Acheson left for Adjala on July 13th. Margaret and children are staying with the Thomas Achesons. Thomas and Mary are well. (Adjala was a township in Simcoe county). Thomas Fleming and family are well.
Let me know when you are coming home.

October 23, 1856
letter from Samuel Acheson (Mary Patterson's father), Mullabrack, Co. Down, Ireland
To Mary and John Patterson, Egremont Twp

Acknowledges receipt of their letter of June 12, which included news of illness (John? Mary?) and he was glad to hear they were still alive.
Sarah came to stay with us until her confinement was over .... she had a daughter two weeks ago, and intends to go home shortly. She had a letter from (husband) Samuel, and he is well.
Have received a letter from your brother Robert (Acheson) who is working in a factory in Limerick City.
Your mother and I are in good health, considering our time.
"Your father and mother are still able to stir about. (Your) brother Hugh and wife and child (singular ???) are all well". (John's father/mother/brother) (Several key words missing due to holes worn in the letter).
Uncle William is still living.
William Acheson and Glenery and Betty are all well. Wm Acheson and Samuel Acheson "still continues to Clark in Scarva first Sabbath in our communion and we expect Mr. Read down then. He is placed near Balibay. Young Mr. Brison is now in the fourtons congregation. It is not unlikely that you will hear Mr. Hume, as he and his sister has gone out to Canada, he as a missionary".
Samuel laments not having any family to speak to now, after having had so many at home at one time.
Sarah is enclosing a note for Mary.

April 24, 1857

letter from Samuel Acheson, Mullabrack, Co. Down, Ireland
to John Patterson, Egremont Twp

"Your mother-in-law" has been very poorly this winter, but is now stirring about again, but greatly fatigued.
Bella and James are well, but have got no letter from their father yet whether he will send for them or not.
"Your mother is still alive but has been very poorly this winter" (One must assume here that John's father is now dead). "Hugh and his family are all well. He had a good deal of trouble with Mr. Reily, who was going to put him out of his place (farm) last November without any remuneration. They have come to a settlement ..... Hugh has to leave the place again November 1st(1857), and Mr. Reily has to pay him all the money that was given for it and according to your father's will the third of that is to go to your mother, that is if the place was ever sold". Joseph Black and his family are well. Joseph Acheson and his family are all well, as are Robert Acheson and his family. Samuel W. Flynn is much as he was. He is able to stir about. Sarah and little Mary are well.

August 21, 1858

letter from Joseph and Mary Ann (Patterson) Black, Terryhoogan, Co. Armagh, Ireland
to John Patterson, Egremont Twp
(Mary Ann is one of John and Hugh Patterson's sisters)

Delay in answering John's letter of March 6 was that they wanted to wait until they had heard that Hugh Patterson and family had safely made the trip from Glenloughan to Ontario.
Hugh has written to his mother that they had experienced a rough voyage, but had arrived safely at Egremont. Thomas Acheson has also written to Joseph and Mary Ann Black to advise of the safety of Hugh and family. John Brotherton has been delicate for a while with pleurisy. His mother, Aunt Jane Brotherton's condition is unchanged since the time Hugh left Ireland. Mr. Joseph Black (Eliza's father) wants Hugh and Eliza to write and tell him the full particulars of their place in Canada. "Mother" wishes to be remembered to Hugh, and to little Joseph. Mother has not been well, and doesn't expect to be "rid of her complaints until the almighty be pleased to call her to himself". She wants to be remembered to John's wife Mary and their family, and also to Eliza (Hugh's wife) and Mary (Hugh's daughter). Hugh is to be mindful of Mary, and if she wants any more of the (missing word... probably "medicine" ) that she had with her, (presumably for the voyage), it is called Saint Wealem.
"Your father-in-law" (Mr. Acheson) and family are in good health. He had a letter from Thomas Acheson four days ago. Joseph and Eliza Jane (John and Hugh's other sister) and their family are in good health. James and Martha (Acheson) and Robert (Acheson) and their families are in good health.
Eliza's (Hugh Patterson's wife) father, Joseph Black and his family are well.
The Orangemen marched in some places on the 12th and they had the sham battle at Scarva as usual, but they did not come into town with it.

September 27, 1864

letter from Joseph and Eliza Jane Acheson, Mullabrack, Co. Down, (mailed from Portadown)
to Mary and John Patterson, Egremont, Ontario

Joseph and Eliza Jane (one of John and Hugh's sisters) are well. Eliza Jane's mother is delicate since she came to live with Joseph and Eliza Jane, but she is able to be up for some part of the day.
"My mother" (Mrs. Acheson) is delicate, but more so in the winter. "My father" is still able to go about and do the chores. Mrs. Flynn has had a daughter on the 16th of Sept. James and Martha, Robert and Elizabeth, Joseph Black and Mary Ann (John and Hugh's other sister) are all well. Joseph Hunter and Isabella are in good health, but their child has died. Hugh was to have sent his mother enough money to keep her for the rest of her life. It could not come at a better time than at the present, as she finished her own money a year ago, and I am not able to give her much as trade is "off" due to the US civil war. There are nine of them, and Joseph is the only one able to earn anything. He says that he is not as stout-hearty as he used to be. Joseph Black (Mary Ann Patterson's husband) has no spare funds for his mother-in-law's keep, as his father left a great burden on him. "You can read this to Hugh and see if he can send something" (could Hugh not read?) to help to keep his mother in the decli ... life. Let not Hugh think that I have any interest in asking for the money .... it's for his mother.
John Brothern had four children the last time Joseph and Eliza Jane heard from John and Mary's friends in County Armagh. Comparison is made between state of the country USA vs Ireland , as the Romanists are causing as much disturbance as they can think of. In Belfast, they came and wrecked Protestant houses, and there were a great number killed and wounded in the ensuing confrontations. The blame for it all has been put at the door of the Protestants by the other side. Crops are pretty good. There was a windstorm on the 9th that did damage to the standing corn. Potatoes appear to be better this year than in the past. "Vittling" (?) is not so high at the present, if there was any trend to make money at it. "You might let us know where Mary Quinn and the man is living as the last letter that came from her father she was never named in it came to James Ruddock." Our youngest is now able to walk about. Apologies for penmanship, due to lack of practice.

Diary written by Joseph Acheson (Eliza Jane Patterson's husband)

When the family emigrated to Canada (year unstated), Joseph Acheson kept a diary of the trip.

  • June 4 Arrived in Derry about half past three o'clock on the throw. Paid for board and lodging and for porterage. Left Derry at half past two (must be in the a.m.) to meet the Moravian in the tug belonging to the company.
  • June 5 Met the vessel and left the Sough about six o'clock.(probably a.m.) Was a little sick that night, but is all right today and is getting along first rate. Is able for the grubb that we get. It appearst to be very good stuff that we got to our diner. Today plenty of potatoes and beef with soup.
  • June 6 Sunday .. was a little sick most of the day as it was a little rough, but is all right.
  • June 7 Today has got breakfast and is prepayring for to go out on the deck.
  • June 9 Wednesday ... Saw some ice in the forenoon, and at night there was an iceberge. Went by the side of the ship. There has been a fog this two days and they are constantly blowing the fog horn and two men on the look out for ice or danger.
  • June 12 Saturday ... a death of one of the crew.......saw a light house on the left of the ship.n Sunday was a fine day up the ? Finer banded on (orr) ?
  • June 14 Monday ... about nine in the morning and is now in the train for Toronto. She is to leave about three o'clock. Left Point Levi at four on Monday and arrived in Toronto at 10 0'clock on Tuesday night. Left on Tuesday at 8 o'clock for Mount Forest. (Timeline problem.... must have left on Wednesday at 8 o'clock) ( These dates are coincident with these days in the years 1869, 1875, 1880, and 1886)

The last page of the diary reads:
In memory of Mary beloved wife of John Patterson, Aged 53 years also seven infant children.

A loving wife with children dear ( ? )
she loves all ( ? )
All lie sleeping
How great is the loss that we sustain,
But hope in heaven to meet again.

A copy of "Valuation of Tenements", (1860), obtained from the Irish P RO by M. MacMillan shows Joseph Black living on a plot 1 acre, 2 roods, 0 perch, in the townland of Terryhoogan, Armagh.
The Duke of Manchester was the lessor. The total value of land and buildings was 2 pounds, 5 shillings. The buildings were valued at 1 pound.
Joseph Black was married to Mary Ann Patterson, one of John and Hugh Patterson's sisters. His sister, Eliza, was married to Hugh Patterson.

Joseph Acheson and Eliza Jane (Patterson) Acheson most likely sailed to Quebec aboard the SS Moravian in June, 1869. Joseph Acheson's diary of the trip identifies June 6 as a Sunday. This date/day coincidence occurs in 1869, 1875, 1880, and 1886. As per extracts (below) from reference books, the ship first sailed for Quebec in 1865, and was out of service in 1874/1875 for rebuild, after which she sailed the Liverpool to Portland route, and was wrecked Dec 30, 1881.
Internet sources confirm sailing date ex- Liverpool as June 4, 1869, and allowing one day for transit to Londonderry, the ship would have been prepared to board passengers at 'Derry on the early morning of June 5, 1869, as per the diary. It would therefore appear that 1869 is the only year that fits the scenario of the Joseph Patterson diary.

The SS Moravian, Allan Line, 100 saloon berths.
Years of service 1864 - 1881.
2500 tons, 320 x 39 feet, lengthened to 389 feet, 3300 tons in 1874 / 75.
One funnel, three masts, iron hull.
Wrecked on Flat Island, off the Nova Scotia coast, Dec 30, 1881.

The SS Moravian was built by R. Steele & Co., Greenock, in 1864 for the Allan Line. This was a 2481 gross ton ship, 320.9 ft x 39.5 ft, clipper stem, one funnel, three masts (barque rigged for sails), iron construction, single screw, speed 11 knots. Accommodation for 80 - 1st class and 600 - 3rd class passengers. Launched on July 5, 1864, she made her maiden voyage from Liverpool to Portland on Nov 10, 1864. On May 11, 1865, she commenced her first voyage from Liverpool to Quebec and Montreal, and in 1875 was rebuilt to 3323 tons, 389.3 ft in length, and compound engines fitted by Laird Bros., Birkenhead, after which she resumed sailing from Liverpool to Portland. On Dec 7, 1881 she left Liverpool and was wrecked near Cape Sable on Dec 30, 1881, with no loss of life.

Death Index of Manitoba:
DATE OF DEATH: 01/29/1912
AGE: 84

Father: Samuel Thomas ACHESON b: 1788 in Mullabrack Townland, Markethill, Co. Armagh, Ireland
Mother: Isabella DAVIS b: ABT 1785 in Ireland

Marriage: Eliza Jane PATTERSON b: 1824 in Co. Down, Ireland
Married: ABT 1844 in County Down, Ireland

  • Annie Maria ACHESON b: 15 JUL 1847 in County Down, Ireland
  • Samuel ACHESON b: 1851
  • Joseph ACHESON b: 12 APR 1856 in County Down, Ireland
  • John ACHESON b: 1857 in Mullabrack/Mullaghbrack, County Down, Ireland
  • James ACHESON b: 1861
  • Sarah Jane ACHESON b: 1864 in Ireland
  • Martha Elizabeth ACHESON b: 27 APR 1866

Original Internet source at:

-- JimBenedict - 08 Jan 2007

Revision: r1.1 - 22 Jan 2007 - 19:43 - Main.guest
Acheson > WeirAcheson1781CousinLetters