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Research Note: Memorandum from the Crown Department
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Title: Research Note: Memorandum from the Crown Department
Identifier: 2005.1.123.23
Donor: Geoffrey and Kathleen Sayers
Item Date: 1970-1975
Creation Date: 2011
Location: Benares Historic House

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Description: The front contains typewritten information from the Ontario Archives about Captain James Harris' land holdings in England, Canada census of 1851, and 1871. The memo lists J.B. Harris' land holdings for the Crown Department after the fire at Benares which destroyed his original grants and deeds. Listed are 200 acres in North Dorchester; 40 acres in East Oxford; over 200 acres in Camden West on the north side of the River Thames. These were lands granted "to me for my services on leaving the Army - deeds given about 1839". The reverse is blank form F. 1073 Div. from North American Life Assurance Company.

This item is part of a box of original papers, transcripts, research notes, and newspaper clippings compiled and transcribed by Geoffrey and Kathleen Sayers between 1970-1975. The notes and transcripts were written on the backs of papers related to Geoffrey’s job in Insurance.

Geoffrey's great grandfather Captain James Beveridge Harris purchased Benares in 1837. Captain Harris and his wife Elizabeth (nee Molony) had 8 children but only one surviving son; Arthur, who inherited the house and property. Arthur and his wife Mary (nee Magrath) had two daughters, Annie and Naomi. While Naomi spent her entire unwed life at Benares, Annie was married to Beverley Sayers. Their three children, Geoffrey Harris Sayers, Dora Sayers Caro and Barbara Sayers Larson, donated the home and many of the original furnishing to the Ontario Heritage Foundation (now Ontario Heritage Trust, or OHT) upon the death of their aunt, Naomi Harris in 1968. It was restored and fully furnished with Harris Family items and opened to the public in 1995.
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Related Links:
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