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Research Note: Strachan to Owen Chap. X
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Title: Research Note: Strachan to Owen Chap. X
Identifier: 2005.1.81.25
Donor: Geoffrey and Kathleen Sayers
Item Date: 1960-1975
Creation Date: 2011
Location: Benares Historic House

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Description: Single-spaced typewritten notes in red ink . The top proper left corner has the words: "Strachan to Owen" The extracted notes begin on p 212 as follows: "Capt. John Skynner built the Anchorage & lived there". This is followed by notes on the marriages between the Hector and Parker families. Then there is quite a lengthy account of Vincentius Ferrerius Mayerhoffer, M.A. whom Rev. Magrath hired as his assistant. This is followed by a bit on Rev. Saltern Givins and his background. Givins' grandfather "sent to Canada during the Rev. War as commissioner of the Kingston Royal Dockyards, built a two-gun brig, H.M.S. Ontario, & hoisted his pennant as commodore of Lakes Erie & Ontario. In 1783, with Capt. Bolton's detachment of the 8th Regt. and Lieut. Douglas's company of Royal Artillery, he embarked in a November gale for Fort Niagara. Nothing was heard of him or his passengers. A drum & a gold laced hat, washed ashore, alone told the tragic story". Early in his career, Givins served for a score of years as missionary to Quinte Mohawks. During his incumbency at St. Peter's, a dispute arose over the use of a musical instrument called a melodeon or seraphim between the Church of England and the Methodists who were using the abandoned Mississauga Indian chapel at Port Credit. Notes on the incumbency of Edward Denroche and T.P. Hodge follow. These are followed by accounts of William and James Magrath. There is mention of the Schreiber family and their home on the bank of the Credit. The last page covers the fire at Erindale and the rebuilding of a new Erindale. Much of the content is the same as Mary Magrath Harris's childhood memories. The second last paragraph is a summary of the character of the Magrath's and the kind of home they had built. "The generosity & thoughftullness of the Magraths for their retainers & for the poor sick of Erindale is still a legend in the parish. At the jolly Xmas season the Magrath box sleigh or, in later years, the boys' dashing cutter, would go whirling over the snowy roads laden down with goodies and necessities too, that made the venerable rector seem a veritable St. Nicholas. His daughter Anna was the Lady Bountiful of the neighbourhood. His sons took very seriously their position as sons of one of the wealthiest land-owners in the district and assumed, as a matter of course, responsibility for the work of church, militia, municipal polities & similar undertakings".

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

The original St. Peterís Church was built in 1826 and demolished in 1887. St. Peterís Church had many ties with both the Harris and Magrath Families. The Harrises were strong supporters of the Church with Captain James B. Harris (1797-1884) acting as a church warden from 1838-1860. Arthur B. Harris (1843-1932) was on the building committee in 1886 and also served as a church warden and had agreed to assume some of the debt over and above the amount contributed to the Building Fund of the new structure. Reverend James Magrath was the first Rector of the church and his family continued to support it after his death. Many members of the Magrath and Harris families were married at the Church; including Mary (nee Magrath) and Arthur Harris, Annie (nee Harris) and Beverly Sayers and Kathleen (nee Colloton) and Geoffrey Sayers. For more information on the history of St. Peterís Anglican Church, see: Thompson Adamson "175 Years of History" (Erindale: St Peterís Anglican Church, 2000).
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