I shall now endeavour to make a reply to your letter which I acknowledged briefly a few weeks ago. I hope it will be to some extent satisfactory. I at least will tell you what I know regarding our genealogy and I hope you may be able to secure the necessary additional information. I am glad that someone has taken the initiative to find out, for, as you said, if it is to be done at all, it must be done soon.
I shall not deal with the Angus MacIvor line to which you, yourself, belong, as you will know it better than I.
I am a grandson of the brother Neil (whom you mentioned) who came to Cape Breton in 1823. He had a family of four sons and two daughters. I am a half-brother of "Peggy" (Mrs. MacLeod), whom you know. Her father, Malcolm, was married twice; first, as you said, to Bella MacDonald. To them were born three daughters -- Peggy, Mary and Ann, and two sons -- Neil and Angus, all of whom are now dead except Mary and Ann. Their mother died in 1834. Seven years later my father was married for the second time, his wife being Catherine MacAulay. I, the eldest of this second family, am now in my 80th year. In my father's second family were five sons and three daughters, three brothers and one sister of whom are still living. All but two were married and have had fairly large families.
My brother Malcolm who, besides myself, lives on a part of the old farm, has four sons and two daughters. One son, John W., is a minister in St. Louis, and another, Angus, is a doctor in Ohio. I shall give you his address, as he, too, is intensely interested in the following up of the pedigree of the family and would likely be able to give you some valuable information. There are now quite a number of the third generation of my father's family, but I shall not dwell longer on them. My father died in 1868 at the age of 68 years.
My father's brother, John, who was the eldest of that family, was with my father, the first settler on this Point where we are still living. He had a family of five sons and six daughters. He was the father of Captain Henry MacIvor to whom you referred and the grandfather of Dr. J. A. MacIvor to whom you also referred. whose father's name was Malcolm and who died about ten years ago. Now as to further information regarding my grandfather's family; I don't know that is necessary to go into it more fully. As I said, there were four sons and two daughters, all of whom had large families.
Another member of the original family, who was a brother of your grandfather and mine was Donald MacIvor who remained in Scotland but four of his sons came to Canada, John and Mal settling in Quebec and Angus and Norman in Cape Breton. This Angus was the father of Angus MacIvor, the teacher to whom you referred. He died some fifteen years ago. He was a man of remarkable intellect and had powers of memory far above the average. Were his resources but available now for this work, there is no end to the information that might be secured, but we shall still do our best to gather up the remaining fragments of the story.
There is still another son of this Donald, named Murdoch, who remained in Scotland. There is still another brother of my grandfather whose name I do not know. Neither he nor any of the immediate members of his family came to Canada, but a grandson of his, Neil MacIvor, a few years my senior, is still living not many miles from here. A first cousin of his, Rev. Angus MacIvor, of Scotland, visited his relatives in this country some fourteen years ago. He has since died.
That, I think, is almost all the information I can give regarding the original family. If there are any other questions I may be able to answer, I shall be very glad to do so.
I feel it would be unfair to the memory of those men to make no reference to their religious life. Many of them were outstanding examples of faith and piety. Of my grandfather's family, all unquestionably died Christians, and two were notably pious. My father and Uncle Angus were what might be called great Christians. If you can read Gaelic, I can send you a poem composed for my father which would be a splendid contribution to their story.
Rev. Peter MacLean, the first minister in these parts, came out from Scotland in 1834. He watered the seed already sown and great souls developed. You have no doubt heard of Rev. Mr. MacLean, as he also went up to the Gulf Shore and later returned to Scotland, but this is away from my subject. I shall not write more this time. I wish you every success in your venture and again I promise you any assistance I may be able to give.
I have nothing to add at the present, except that sixteen of my grandfather's grand children served overseas in the late war.
I am, yours sincerely,
1. - Angus MacIvor (your grandfather)J. MacIvor
2. - Neil MacIvor (my grandfather)
3. - Donald MacIvor (who remained in Scotland)
4. - One whose name we do not know, grandfather of Rev. Angus MacIvor, and also of Neil MacIvor who lives not far from here.
'S mor a dhith air a' Sgire
Mac Iomhar, am firean
Fear urnuigh, cho dileas
Bhi na shineadh 's an uaigh.
'Nuair a chromas mi'n fosal,
Chi mi Rudha Chloinn Iomhair,
'S falas dorch air a chliaradh
On a thriall thu d'on uir.
Bha do chairdean gie bhronach,
Ri taodh do leaba gun solas,
Nuair a chuireach fo'n bhord thu,--
Fo na fodan san uaigh.
Cha bu choir dhoibh bhi bronach,
Mar dhream bhitheadh gun dochas,
'S tu fein a seinn air an oran,
Bhios na cheol dhut gu buann.
'Nuair a dh'eirerdh to dh'urnuigh,
Bhiodh'n ola-ungaidh ro chubhraidh
Air a taomadh as ur oirt,
'S t-aghaidh dhruidhteach ri neamh.
'S e bhi iriseal gradhach,
An trusgan fad' a b'fhearr leat,
'Us mhair i ghut san fhasach,
Gus and' rainig thu cheann.
Ch'a bhriste a chulle bhruit leat,
No lion dheth'm biodh an smudan,
Luchd nan cridheachan bruite,
'Us nagluitean bhoidh fann.
Sann a labhradh tu sith dhoibh,
Le gealladhain o'n fhirinn,
'S ged bha satan ga'n diteadh,
Cha robh firinn na chainnt.
'S gu'm b'fhearr leat focal no'dha,
Na'm biodh e chanan Chanaan,
Na'n creideamh sin, ro laidir,
Bhiodh a shuath anns a cheann.
Bha na gibhtean 's na grasan
Sin, a fhuair thu o'n Ard Righ,
Ri toirt barrachd air nadur,
'S lad a ghnath ri toirt buaidh.
'S lionmhor trioblaid 'us amhgar,
Bha gad' leantuinn san fhasach,
Ach fhuair thu dhachaidh gu sabhailt,
Do'n Chanaan tha shuas.
'S ged bhiodh amannan cruaidh ort,
'S iomadh amhgar 'us cruaidhchas,
Bha iomhaigh ghlormhor'n Uain ort,
A thug buaidh dhuit troimh ghras.
'S ged bu sheanair san aite thu,
Do chlainn lag agus laidir,
Gu'm b' fhad'e bho do nadur,
Gu'n cain't Babvhi riut fein.
'S tu na' d'gheug sa chraoibh mheasail,
Dh'fhas a mach a bhonn Iese,
Air a ceangal le creideamh,
'Se gun teagamh a' fas.
Bha do dhiadhachd's do tohrrdh,
'S iad ri faicimn ort coltach,
Ri meanganan troma,
'S iad a cromadh gu lar.
'Si mar sgail bho'n teas dhoibh,
Mar shruth uisg' ann 'n tir thartmhor,
'S mar dhion o'n an doinnin,
'S cha'n'eil comheas rithe ann.
Tha thu nis anns an aite,
Far nach coinnich-riut amhghar,
'S nach abair, am fear aitich,
Gu brath, tha mi tinn.
Seinn an orain's binn fuama,
Nach tuig son neach dheth an t-siuagh,
Ach na dh'fhoghlum o shuas e,
'Sa bhios gu buadhach ga sheinn.
Faotainn beatha agus arach,
Ann san raon san dh'fhuair cach e,
'S tha mar dhilib, air fhagail,
Gu brath aig a chlainn.
Bha do chreideamh's do dhochas,
Co sheashamh riut comhla,
Dh'fhag sud ola nad'lochran,
Doi gu Iordan a bhais.
'nuair thanaig gloadh'n fhir nuadh phosd,
Theich gach codal 'ns sgleo dhiot;
Bha na soithichean comhla,
Ris an lochran, 'siad Ian.
Air leam gu faic thu comhla
Ri cuideachd do dh'oighean,
'S tu deasachadh do lochran,
Gu dol an codhail an Uain.
'S mor a chaill sinn am bliadhna,
Donnochadh Caimbeul, a cheud fhear,
Aonghas Domhnullach, diadhaidh,
'Us Mac Iomhair nan deigh.
Triuir dhaoine a bha gaisgeil;
Luchd urnuigh a bha tapaidh.
Gu togail suas na brataich,
Fo cheannard na slainte.
O na dh'fhalbh luchd na h-urnuigh,
Tha na neoil air fas dumhail;
Cha'n'eil teachdair sa'n cubaid
Gu stiurreach nan dall.
Bithibh a giarraidh's gach aite,
Gu'n eirich solus nan gars,
S gun tuit falluinn an fhaidh
Air pairt da na chlainn.