Our family lived in Donegal, Ireland all Celts of the pure old race with the pure old faith. They cultivated small patches of arable land along the shore or claddagh where their cabins are built and subsist principally by rearing stock and grazing sheep. From time and immemorial, they lived in the enjoyment of these wild mountains living a most innocent and peaceful rural life,warm and faithful in their friendship while their attachment to the old faith was stronger than death.A change on these warm hearted peasants they were deprived of their land by English and Scotch landlords who doubled,trebled and in many instances quadrupled the rents on the miserable patches left them.During the penal laws we are told that Grand Jury levies were made upon Irish Catholics for loses sustained by Protestant merchants.The sum of three thousand pounds has been levied on the poorest and most miserable district on God's earth. The law officials, backed by 300 constabulary, have at the bayonet's point collected the last farthing of this levy. The poor shivering and famishing peasants, under the terror of an armed force were obliged to sell their scanty bins of potatoes and small stacks of rye and corn to meet this merciless demand.
Many went 30 miles to borrow or beg the money from their friends. Many sold their kitchen furniture and utensils and even mothers were known to have sold their cradles.
800 Families are subsisting on seaweed,crabs,cockles or any other edible matter they can pick up along the sea-shore, or scrape off the rocks.
600 adults of both sexes are now going barefooted amidst the inclemency of the season on this bleak Northern coast.
700 families have neither bed nor bed clothes, but are forced to lie on the cold damp earth in rags worn by them during the day.
800 families without a second bed fathers,mothers,sons and daughters being huddled together as best they can.
Thousands of the male population have only one cotton shirt to wear and none when it is being washed.
400 families with full grown females have only one dress among them in which they can appear in public. Mothers and daughters using this common wardrobe when they go out of doors.
600 families have now neither cow,sheep or goat and hardly ever knew the taste of milk and butter.
This fine old Celtic race is being crushed from the necessities of life.
My Great,Great,Grandfather James McBride was a cordwainer or person who works with leather and a shoemaker by trade, so he was able to obtain passage in 1832 to journey to North America in the hopes to settle land and exist in a free country.
James purchased land from John Foy a loyalist who was granted land in Queens County, New Brunswick.
This is a story of James and Lydia's settlement in Highfield, Annidale, Queens County, New Brunswick. Their family consisted of thirteen children living in the untamed land in Queens County.Their property was 100 acres which needed to be cleared of timber and brush to a distance dwelling and out buildings. The cost of clearing land and making it ready for crop is from 50s. to 70s.The log house needed to be near a spring or stream and with a cellar to keep your potatoes in winter under your house.
The first year of settlement they were required to put in a crop of potatoes and fodder for a cow. In the second year they should be able to feed their family with life and the third year you may be able to possess a cow or two and a year old calf, a couple of pigs, abundance of provisions for your family.
It must have been a very hard life for James and Lydia, but having seen the old homestead myself I would say they truly accomplished their dreams of settling this new land. They had orchards and berries and a home which looked very much like a fine old home which was very comfortable for their family.James and some of his family also journeyed to the USA to work in a large shoe factory.
This is dedicated to our hard working family who