John Michie

Born 17 Oct 1813, Pettymuik, Udny, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Died 15 Feb 1900, Greenbank, Reach, Ontario, Canada

Brother of Robert Michie

John MICHIE and his wife, Barbara Agnes FOWLIE

Thanks to Elaine Ellington of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, for sharing this history, and to Mary Ann Richardson of Lindsay, Ontario, Canada, for sharing the family photos.

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JOHN MICHIE

by Mary Annie Michie, Little Britain, Ontario

Mr. John Michie was born in 1818 in a place called Pittymuick, Aberdeen, Scotland. He was the oldest of six children. When he was old enough, he was sent to the parish school where the Bible and shorter catechism were the principal textbooks and which had a great influence on his future life. Here he learned to read, write and cipher, which was considered a good education in those days. There were few public schools then and what the pupils learned in those schools they never forgot. In his later years he was extra good at reckoning mentally as he was when he went to school. When he had acquired a fair education he was hired out to work for a neighbor, either as a land laddie or to help with the farm work.

When he was 27 years of age he married Barbara Fowlie, daughter of a shoemaker from a neighboring parish. Having heard in glowing terms of the success which others had had in the New World, he took his wife and child, left his home in Scotland and came to seek is fortune in Canada in 1846 in July. After a tedious journey of nine weeks, they landed in Montreal, stayed there a day and night and then went on to Kingston on a small sailboat which was towed up the river by horses. From Kingston they went to Whitby and then on the way their daughter died and was buried in an Anglican Church cemetery just north of Whitby. From there they went to Darlington Township where they settled on a farm owned by Peter Leask - stayed there a little over a year and then moved on to Brock Township and in 1850 bought a farm on Con. 10, Lot 17, Reach Township which became the Michie homestead.

There they built a house of sorts. After clearing a piece of land they built a better house, not much, but it was a home and a roof over their heads. For nearly a week, Mrs. Michie and her then two children slept in the open with trees around them and mosquitos and the sky above them. Mrs. Michie worked with the men to clear the land and build some kind of shelter for them. As their family increased they built a larger house and in ten years built a house, where it still stands. By this time Mr. Isaac Truax had moved into the neighborhood and, being a carpenter, helped them build the house and a small barn.

Many changes took place in a few years. Even the people who had moved in, moved on, mostly farther north where the farms were better, but Mr. Michie stayed on where he was. There was a good spring on the place and that meant a lot in those days. He was a strong temperance man, a staunch Reformer, and a strong church man.

At that time the town consisted of a small tavern and a few houses. It was called Gimlet town but later the name was changed to Smiths Corners and, because of its situation, the name was later changed to Greenbank. The school was a few miles away from Mr. Michie's farm. The roads were not good for traveling so the children took advantage of this and some days didn't see the teacher. This didn't disturb their happiness, as the teacher ruled not with a rod of iron, but with a strong birch gad.

There was no church in Greenbank, but a Methodist church and a Presbyterian church a short distance away. Soon afterwards there was a new Methodist church built, but as more settlers came a larger one had to be built, and as the Presbyterians grew, they too had to build another church. Later on the third Methodist church was built on the corner. Mr. Michie was the first elder to be elected in the Presbyterian church and, according to his diary, he took an active part in the work of the church, setting a good example to those who followed him.


John and Barbara MICHIE's children:

William John, born 27 May 1842, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, died 31 Dec 1891, Reach, Ontario

Agnes, born 24 July 1844, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, died 30 Aug 1846, Ontario

John Andrew, born 23 Nov 1846, Greenbank, Ontario, died 19 Oct 1888, Ontario

George, born 31 Mar 1849, Greenbank, Ontario, died 17 Nov 1932, Ontario

Barbara, born 27 December 1852, Greenbank, Ontario, died 30 May 1935, Ontario

Margaret, born 15 November 1854, Greenbank, Ontario, died 5 January 1938, Canada

Robert Gordon, born 2 Dec 1857, Greenbank, Ontario

Agnes Ann, born 18 July 1862, Greenbank, Ontario, died 1 Sep 1942, Canada

Home of Robert and Jane BELL MICHIE and their family.

Robert Michie, son of John and Barbara. Jane Bell, wife of Robert Michie William Michie (grandson of John and Barbara, son of William John Michie and Elizabeth Ackhurst) and his wife, Elizabeth Forfar, on their wedding day.


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