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 Poem about Millburn School abt 1823-Students names
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6 Posts

Posted - 20 October 2012 :  22:50:17  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Source: Gananoque Reporter dated Saturday, February 18, 1888. Published at Gananoque, Leeds and Grenville county, Ontario, Canada. Transcribed on 20 October 2012 from a microfilm of the original newspaper.

Auld Langsyne

The Berwickshire (Scotland) News of Jany 24, contains the following poetical enumeration of the pupils attending the School at Millburn in 1823. We copy it, as quite a number of the names mentioned are those of boys who afterwards, as men, immigrated to Canada and settled in and near Gananoque. The lines are written by John Aitkin, of Dunbar, who is now over 70 years of age, and who was one of the pupils. He says he was not a regular attendant, as, when 11 years of age he “took half a turnip drill with the workers, and they had only 8d. per day.”

There were four came from Preston,
And five from Primrosehill,
Three came from Cumledge,
And three from Cumledge Mill,
And then also four from Oxendean
We had the Dempsters three,
And Alex. Shannon from Gateside
Lived up beside yon tree.
We had Brown’s from Prestonhaugh,
And three the name of Steeles-
George and Peter after wrought
With their father ‘mong mill-wheels-
Yes, William Steele, the mill-wright,
Was keen to make things fit,
His sons and grandsons in Chirnside
Carry on the business yet.
We also had four Henrys
Their father a blacksmith to trade,
They all learned it except William
Who took a gardener’s spade.
He made a right good use of it,
And this is the truth I speak,
For who could turn out a cabbage like him,
Or yet much less a leak?
From Castlemains there Thompson’s came,
And none came from The Knock-
The men they all were bachelors,
So there were no young folk.
From Chapel there were Darlings,
Lindsays, and also Woods,
And three fine bonnie lasses
Bessie, Jane, and Agnes Dodds.
George Mitchell, too, and James,
With their fair sister Sarah,
Who, when she grew to womanhood
Farmer Bertram she did marry.
John Allan came from Kidshielhaugh,
He once got into grief,
And get his forty “palmies”
For working some mischief.
Three Rutherfords from Windshiel
They brothers were I ken-
The eldest one his name was John,
At that time as big as men.
Three brothers Virtue from Windshiel too,
Peter, Robert, and John –
I’ve often wondered these fifty years
Where all these lads have gone.
Three also came from Oatleycleugh
Who had the name of Grieve,
I can’t mind of another family
So that would be all I believe.
There came also from Burnhouses,
Three names were G. S. J. Brown,
I was long well acquaint with them,
All in their graves laid lown!
Thomas Johnston, shepherd, Cockburn,
Had two daughters I well knew,
And they some brothers also had,
At least, I think, one or two.
There were Lauders, Flemings, Rentons,
McLeans I think, and – wait!
I think there was another family-
But for the name I’m beat.
From Cockburn Eastfield we had a boy,
John Cockburn was his name,
Who aye came slowly to the school
Although he was not lame.
Being very late one morning,
The master asked the cause-
If he had been chasing rabbits?
“Yes,” said John, “I was.”
“And did you catch one?” the master asked,
“Yes,” said John, “I did;”
“And where is it?” asked the master-
And this is what John said-
(For mind, he was a canny boy,
And always spoke out plain)-
“Said I to myself, I’ll let her lie
Till I come back again,”
This only made the master laugh,
The whole school was in laughter,
And John, he got the “Rabbit Catcher”
For a title ever after.
Now, kind respects to Millburn.
Its inmates and its callers,
And truly I may style myself,
One of Millburn’s oldest scholars.


56 Posts

Posted - 25 October 2012 :  17:54:00  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
What a wonderful find and thankyou for posting it here.

Millburn was a lovely wee school. Can't remember when it closed but it has since been converted into a house. I'll need to look for the Millburn school records - hopefully, the Admission registers still exist. It would be nice to find the same people in the registers

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6 Posts

Posted - 28 October 2012 :  02:44:18  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You are very welcome. I hope it will be of use to others. I just happened upon it while reviewing microfilm of the Gananoque Reporter looking for information on my ancestors.

Family story is that Alexander and Marion Murray Lindsay emigrated from Scotland to Canada about 1834 with several other Duns area families including: Thomas and John Haig; William, Thomas, John and Robert Waldie and George Mitchell. There are also Darlings in the Leeds county, Ontario area during that time.

If you find the school registers, I would be very interested to know if any of the above names are mentioned.
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3 Posts

Posted - 14 June 2013 :  14:52:13  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I find it interesting since my mom was there. Hope someone find the registered record.

For me, topics writing essays, prose and fiction is a great way to be self-indulgent.

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