“Old Deed Cited - It is interesting to note at this point, that an old deed, dated 1807 in which Colonel Compton leased lands to James and Charles Cresswell that he reserved to the French the right of egress and regress to their burial ground. An illustration showing the Church and its bounday is in the corner of the deed. This is in the possession of Mrs. Henry W. Compton a great grand-daughter of Colonel Compton. This was the Mission Church, which was afterward moved to Miscouche.”
In the process of this investigation, we became interested in other families including the CRASWELLs who bought land from Harry COMPTON and later his son Thomas. This led to scouring the old PEI newspapers for real estate ads and sales, and it fact any news at all relating to the familiar surnames in St Eleanors and Richmond Parish, PEI. We came up with quite a number of death and marriage notices, and I ended up expanding my CRASWELL trees (even though most are not related to me) so I could better understand relationships and possible reasons for land transfers. William CRASWELL who was the father of James and Charles (and who had bought a couple of larger plots of land from Harry COMPTON in 1809), had another son Robert who married a Catherine COMPTON, a niece of Col Harry Compton.
Having the old newspapers available online is a real benefit to long-distance researchers. Yet finding information in these files can still be a challenge. The newspapers have not been transcribed by human hand. As is frequently done for large collections, documents are scanned using OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software that tries to convert the graphic image to text automatically. Success varies widely depending on the clarity of the printing in the image, the varieties of fonts used, and the sophistication of the algorithms used by the software. Too often the text results are unreadable. And as these text files are the ones searched in response to a query, you can appreciate why many actual articles are missed by the search engines. So it pays to search using a variety of different search terms, and even browse the images directly in search of noteworthy items, especially if you have at least an approximate date in mind. Even better, have a friend like Mike who is so much better at finding old articles than I am - don't know how he does it!
It was this combination of tactics that helped me find some old news articles on the history of North St Eleanors, written by Hubert George COMPTON (my 3 times great uncle who died in 1915), the grandson of Colonel Harry COMPTON. He obviously had a keen interest in local and family history, and a gift for writing. In 1937, the Summerside Journal republished his 4-part series entitled "The First Settlers of St. Eleanors". Part 2 includes mention of William Craswell buying 208 acres in 1809. I have also found other articles by Hubert printed in the Charlottetown Guardian in 1905 and 1906, entitled "A Short Sketch of North St Eleanors" (several installments), and "French Settlers at St. Eleanors". Places are described, people and land owners are named, events are mentioned and colourful stories are told. They are wonderful resources! I'm sure there are more I have not yet found, so I'll keep looking.
Sydney RICHARDSON was also mentioned in:
1909 - Elected as Vestryman, and Delegate to D.C.S. as a member of St John's Church, St. Eleanors
1915 - "Western Personals… Messrs. Sydney Richardson and Bruce Bernard, St. Eleanor’s, were on a trout fishing excursion to Freetown Tuesday evening and returned with a fine lot of speckled beauties."
1921 - Honorable pall bearer at the funeral of Thos Andrew
1926 - Foreman of a jury at the inquest into the death of Anthony Mitchell, killed by his son
1928 - Member of the grand jury for the November term of Supreme Court in Summerside
1947 - A reprint of an old article from 1897:
"Cheese-Makers From Ontario
“Of the 32 cheese-makers engaged on the Island last year, twelve were Ontario men, as folows:- Hazelbrook, Joseph Bur;gess; Baram’s Village, W. J. Stevens; New Glasgow, J. W. Hesseltine; Marshfiled, W. T. Leslie; Stanley, James Bristoow; Orwell, B.F. Dingman; Vernon River, S. T. Wallace; Kensington, Albert Raby; Cornwall, C. J. Brown; St. Eleanor’s, Sydney Richardson; Montague, E. L. Head; Hillsboro, Fraser Morrow. Most of these mentioned have spent two, three or four years in their present positions. Mr. Richardson has been at St. Eleanor’s for 15 years. A number of the Ontario boys have taken unto themselves fair daughters of our Island Province, and are settled down in matrimonial bliss in the land of brilliant cheese prospects.” - Daily Examiner. 1897
1951 - Death and funeral notice.
I'm sure there is lots more to unearth in these newspaper archives!