County Limerick, Ireland to Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

November 25, 2001:

Dear Al,

You have put together a most interesting web site on Bytown or Bust.  To it 
I would like to add my family in general and Agar Yeilding (b. 1814, 
Bellevue House, Glensharrold, Co. Limerick) in particular (I have attached 
a photo of his grave marker in the Beechwood Cemetery, Ottawa).  Perhaps 
with your resources you can add some information on his wife, Mary Campbell.

About the time of the completion of the Rideau Canal (or perhaps just 
before - 1830), the Yeilding party from Glensharrold (west Limerick 
townland), Co. Limerick sailed up the St. Laurence to Montreal, which at 
the time was the home of a large Irish (mostly Catholic) contingent. 
Thousands of whom helped build the Rideau Canal.

Family lore has the arriving party consisting of only Agar, and his brother 
Richard Massy. However, according to the 1850 census of Batavia, New York, 
Richard had a son, Richard Jr. (21 at the time of the census) who was also 
born in Ireland. Thus, I believe the infant Richard Jr. was with Agar and 
Richard Sr. when they arrived in Montreal about 1830. Perhaps Junior's 
mother died during child birth. There is no record of her at all.

In about 1834, apparently while in Montreal, Richard Massy, and in 1836, 
Agar married - Richard to Margaret Blake (of Ireland), and Agar to Mary 
Campbell (also of Ireland - probably Co. Antrim). Richard Sr., Margaret, 
Richard Jr., their two new children, William Massy (b. 1835) and Fannie 
Belinda (b. 1837), made their way to Batavia, New York by 1838. My 
Grandfather''s father, Alexander Tallis Yeilding was born there in Batavia 
to Richard and Margaret in August of 1838, their third and last child.  The 
timing of this migration leads me to believe it had to do with the 1837 
Revolt, however I don't have any evidence of that.

Agar stayed in Canada and moved to Bytown. There he acquired some land 
where he raised beef cattle and opened a shop offering groceries and 
leather goods. This store is listed as being located in "Lower Town" (a 
blue collar, mostly Irish. section of Bytown) on Rideau Street in the 1851 
directory. The actual location was only about 400 yards from the canal 
across from which in now the location of Canada's Parliament buildings.

In 1874 (one year after Agar's death), William Pittman Lett, the son of 
another Irishman - not on your list, by the way - published a book written 
entirely in prose entitled "Recollections of Old Bytown and its 
Inhabitants". In it he had this to say about our Agar:

". . .
And Charles Baines, an old time lawyer,
Stood here professional top sawyer;
He owned a bull dog, arrant thief!
Who plundered Agar Yeilding's beef;
And when friend Yeilding sought for law,
To deal with canine of such maw,
'Why, there is just one simple way,'
Said Charley, 'Make the owner pay;'
'I thank you for your judgement brief,'
Said Agar, 'pay me for the beef,
Seven and sixpence worth of prog,
Was bolted by your big bull dog.'

" 'All right,' said Charley, like a flash,
And quickly handed o'er the cash;
But as friend Yeilding turned to go,
'Come back', said Charley, 'for you owe
Just seven and sixpense for advice,
So hand it over in a trice.' "

In 1854, Agar stood for election to Parliament to represent Bytown. Agar 
was nominated to represent his party (Conservative or Tory) by, Nicholas 
Sparks (a rich and very influential man of the time who it is said made his 
money by discovering gold on a plot of land he bought for only 60.) and 
seconded by Alexander Gibb, publisher of one of the city's newspapers. The 
opposition (the Liberal or Reform Party) was divided by the fight between 
to eventual Members of Parliament, R.W. Scott, and H.J. Friel (one of 
Ottawa's first mayors. In 1854 Parliament consisted of 40 of the Reform 
Party, and only 15 Tory.

There exists today two streets named after Sparks in downtown Ottawa today, 
Nicholas Street and Sparks Street. But sadly no Agar Street or Yeilding Street?

Agar and Mary had nine children, one, John, was to take over Agar's 
business in 1869 only to have it closed by 1879. I don't know where John 
went from there, maybe Toronto. The other son, was W.R. (probably William 
Richard after Agar's grandfather in Limerick) Yeilding, a Colonel in the 
English military who served in India. A girl named Eileen Geraldine was 
born to him in Punjab, India (now part of Pakistan).  Only one of Agar's 
six daughters married.  She (Alexina) remained married only 5 years then 
divorced and moved back into the family compound. . . curious.

In 1869, Agar had acquired a commission as an "Issuer of Marriage 
Licenses," a lucrative operation which his oldest daughter, Fannie, would 
inherit upon his death in 1873, and enjoy the rest of her life. This was 
likely a political consideration, or preference, much like the appointment 
of a Post Master's Commission was in the U.S. Until the family died out in 
1932 with the death of Mary Massy Yeilding, Agar's daughters worked mostly 
as clerks in the Department of Indian Affairs.

By the way, if you ever come across a photo of Agar in the Bytown museum I 
would love to get a copy.

Rgds, Howard Yeilding

Agar Yeilding

Note: Howard Yeilding has a full colour original of the above picture ... Al

March 3, 2003: The Yeilding family were Protestant and Tory. For some reason however, three daughters of Agar Yeilding and Mary Campbell were baptized into the Roman Catholic Church on May 11, 1845: 11 May 1845 Baptism of Maria Belinda, aged about 5 yrs., daughter of Agar Yeilding and Mary Campbell of Bytown Witness: James Campbell, the child's uncle 11 May 1845 Baptism of Anna Agnes, aged about 4 yrs., daughter of Agar Yeilding and Mary Campbell of Bytown Witness: Js. Campbell 11 May 1845 Baptism of Elizabeth Richardina, aged about 3 yrs., daughter of Agar Yeilding and Mary Campbell of Bytown Witness: James Campbell Source: Drouin Records for Notre Dame Cathedral at .

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