Since it is human nature to not pause long in one spot when searching for information I will list here the main names that realate to information I have gathered or are looking for. Please read further if we can be of help to one another.

Year of present study, 15th, 16th 17th, 18th and 19th century Great Britain. The reigns of Henry VII, Henry VIII, James I, Elizabeth I
The surnames of Bridges, Bridget, Brigge, Briggs, Brycg, Brydges,Burges,Burgess, DeBrugge, Dodge, Hunter, Warren, as well as the peerage of Lords, Barons, Dukes, Chandos of Sudeley, Marquess of Carnarvon and Knights of the Garter.
The places in Ontario, Canada of Bagot and Blythfield (Blythefield) township, Burnstown, Calabogie, Almonte, Ramsay township, New Lanark, Lanark County, Renfrew County.
Places in England of Greenock, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire.
The ships of the Earl of Buckinghamshire and the David of London.
An article, Narrative of a Voyage to Quebec, and Journey from Thence to new Lanark, in Upper Canada by John McDonald, published in 1826.

Over the course of my research into my family tree I have noted that the majority of people are not overly interested to share their information. Perhaps it stems from the fact that every little tidbit of information requires a huge amount of effort on the part of the researcher. After putting so much work into a quest, some feel that those who have not helped in that research do not deserve the fruits of their labour. I can see their point. Many will show no interest in such taxing persuits but will suddenly be right there when the work is done. It's sad really. If people were more willing to share their information, unexpected leads could come from areas that one would never have thought of. That is where I am at the moment. With no family members interested in helping and least of all sharing information, I took my research in another direction. Now I am searching for the missing link. Those couple of generations that will join the past to the present. As you read on you will see why I am eager to find that link. I fear nothing short of a year long trip to the United Kingdom would help much. But then leads can come from the strangest of places.

Did you know that it is believed that the surname Brydges was originally formed from the occupation of one who stands guard at a bridge leading into his kingdom. It was his job to be ever vigilant and inquire as to a person's reason for entering the kingdom, take into custody anyone of a suspicious nature and to warn the king of approaching hostile forces. The Old English spelling of bridge was "brycg" and the Middle English spelling "Brigge", which is further evidence for this belief. Also adding to this notion is a motto on an early "Brydges" coat of arms which reads "Forever Watchful".
In my latest attempt to track the Brydges bloodline I came across some startling evidence. I was always led to believe that we were of Irish descent, which I ruled out rather quickly. Then I stumbled upon evidence that we may have descended down from a long line of knights of the British Empire. In this tree I was surprised to find the spellings of both Brydges and Bridges used by siblings. Even more surprising was the discovery that Bridges and Brydges actually came from a surname of not English, but possibly French or Danish origin depending on which the Surname suffix belonged to. I haven't researched that yet. I only assume French because of the history that they share. Could this be the actual main root of our family tree? One family in particular contains a father (sir knight) who bears a different surname than that of his two sons. And each of the two sons bear a different surname as well. One being Brydges and the other Bridges. Not so uncommon nowadays but back then? And the fact that they are so similar rules out, I believe, the possibilty of different fathers.If the father's surname was French then there could be an explanation. Could this be a French knight who now serves an English king, modifying his name to sound more English?
Much more research is to be done before I can know for sure but it will be exciting research at least!

Welcome Brydges', Bridges', Briggs' and/or relations. I've just recently started searching my family roots and thought it would be a good time to invite other branches of the one tree to get their bark in, so to speak.
No you're absolutely right, I won't quit my day job.
Anyway, my target was to go back as far as I could in the Brydges line. Unfortunately I'm stuck around 1818 but hope to be pulling out of this mud hole soon. As I was going backward I realized that at every generation there was two bloodlines I could follow and each are of equal importance. So now my search has included the tracing of the maternal side of each equation. Thus my task increases exponentially. Therefore I also invite any Dodge's, Warren's, Hunter's and Bridget's who feel they are a part of the maternal side of this tree to contact me also. Fortunately my wife's side is already done and as far back as the 16th century. Some of the perks to marrying into a French, Roman Catholic family. Send the church some money and they send you an encyclopaedia with every ancestor neatly typed out for you complete with all necessary information on each individual. Research quickly becomes Retype. Oh well, so what if the Protestants were a secretive bunch who didn't like to leave a paper trail. I'll muddle through in the dark.

If you are, think that you are, or think that you may be a part of this tree in any way I would love to hear from you. Go to the Form link and fill out as much info as possible and send it to me. I know a lot of people are reluctant to have any of their information open to public viewing, but I assure you that no information will be made public without your permission.

One of the greatest challenges in tracing ones family tree is the time required. Time to research, time to travel to different locations and pour over hundreds of barely legible documents. Time to write hundreds of people searching for clues. Every aspect of this hobby is time intensive. For this reason I would like to offer my sincere thanks to all those who give so much of their time so that future generations will know where they came from. Unfortunately I am just getting started in this area and there never seems to be enough hours in a day to accomplish what one wants. And the unfortunate fact that rural areas like my own are still trying to access the internet with "dial up" does not hasten matters much. For these reasons I am asking all of you to lend a hand. Whether you know that you are part of this particular line or not, any information we share could be instrumental in opening up a new route or show us that a particular route is not the right direction. In discussing research with my father-in-law we both agreed that the biggest obstacle in reducing the amount of work required to complete a tree is the protectiveness of individuals of what they have found. The work put into this is so great that some just don't want to share the fruits of there labours. It is somewhat understandable yet regrettable. No matter how much information I have amassed I know that one date, name or place given to me by one interested individual could open up a whole new area of research. So on that note I would ask all of you to send me anything you can, no matter how small. And if you have acquired a vast amount of information, sharing it with us will not be a waste of your time. If any of us are actively researching an area you have already covered then we could move onto other areas, increasing our total area of research. I would like to point out that all the information that I have gathered so far is free for the asking. All I would wish for is that if you know, or suspect, any information to be false that you bring it to my attention and also offer any information that you may find so that our combined database will keep growing. My mother once asked me why I was wasting so much time on trying to find out the names of my ancestors. I realize she is right in a sense. The name really doesn't mean that much, but what information that might come with that name could be quite valuable, if only in a nostalgic way. I asked her if it wouldn't be wonderful to find a diary of one of our ancestors so that we could travel back in time and see their world through their eyes. I have kept a diary since approximately 1997 now, and I know that it wouldn't be very interesting for anyone to read now, but how would my Great, Great, Great, Grandson or Granddaughter feel about it? If only I had even one note jotted down by my Great, Great, Great Grandfather or Grandmother, that would be a treasure indeed. One of the areas I am searching through now is of a line of Brydges' that held considerable wealth and power in England from around 1491-1861, give or take several decades. My mind can't help imagining that this could be one of my forefathers embroiled in affairs of state, honoured by Queens and going to battle for Kings. I never would have thought that a Brydges once bore a coat of arms let alone two or more of them. And even if my research shows that these brave and honourable men are not my immediate predecessors, I know that however far back, there is man whose blood runs through both their veins and mine. So again I ask you, for the sake of our children and their children and so on down the line, send me whatever help you can. Or write and I'll tell you what I have. And with enough of us working on it the task will become quite easy.

Below is an article, written by John MacDonald, that shares with us the trials and tribulations of a group of people leaving their homes in England in hopes of a better life in Canada. What makes this narrative special is the fact that the author and his group of immigrants meet with another group of travellers on their way to New Lanark. I have reason to believe that one of the men in this group could be my Great, Great Grandfather. And even more exciting is the possibility that the baby girl born aboard the ship on the way over, could be his future bride and my Great, Great Grandmother. Thus making her parents my Great, Great, Great Grandfather and Grandmother! I do know that they did take up farming on two seperate parcels of land that bordered each other, making them neighbors. There is still a lot of work to be done to prove this but the story does bear witness to the hardships that early Canadians had to face. It is a telling of what any of one of your ancestors may have had to endure.







Voyage to Quebec on the David of London, 1821 with mention of the passengers of the Earl of Buckinghamshire and Commerce This is taken from Emigration to Canada: Narrative of a Voyage to Quebec, and Journey from Thence to new Lanark, in Upper Canada by John McDonald, published in 1826.

Having, with many of my countrymen, determined to embark for Canada; little dreaming, from the flattering accounts which had been so industriously published respecting that country, of the hardships attending such an undertaking, I left Glasgow for Greenock, to embark on board the ship David of London, for Quebec, along with nearly 400 other passengers, where, having gone though the necessary steps at the custom-house, we left the quay on the 19th of May, 1821. A steam boat dragged the ship to the tail of the bank, and the wind being favourable we immediately sailed, and in 28 hours lost sight of land. Having a fair wind for this space of time, with fine agreeable weather, we enjoyed the pleasure of walking on deck, and beholding the calm unruffled face of the deep, which, combined with the bold, rugged, and romantic appearance of the coasts bordering on both sides of the firth, presented scenes that were truly delightful. But alas! the picture was soon reversed. The wind rose, a heavy gale commenced, and the waves rolled mountains high, and made a mighty noise. To see a ship making her way in the midst of a storm, over these lofty billows, is both grand and awful. We now became like drunken men, reeling and staggering to and fro. To walk on deck was impossible, and the places where the pots were erected for cooking, tumbled down, so that we could not get any victuals made ready, and some of our associates were compelled to mix a little meal and molasses, and use this composition as a substitute for better fare. The comparative want of food, and the storm together, rendered us very weak. This storm continued nine days. The captain affirmed, that he had never witnessed a tempest of such long continuance at that season of the year. During the rest of our voyage, we had stormy days now and then, but none to be compared to the former, either in degree or duration. Several times many of our company got themselves drenched with the waves of a heavy rolling sea breaking over the deck, and which also entering the hatch-hole, wetted us very much. On this account, we were completely shut up in the hold. At the commencement of the storm the weather became very cold. This circumstance, providentially, was greatly in our favour, from our being so much crowded together, which in several respects was very disagreeable to our feelings. This cold state of the weather continued till we approached the mouth of the St. Laurence, when it became so warm, that I was nearly suffocated from the smell and heat below deck. I was consequently compelled to sleep on deck, together with many others, who were in a similar situation. Every favourable day the Captain ordered all his passengers to bring up their clothes and air them. The sick passengers were also all ordered above, those who were unable being assisted. The Captain was much afraid lest an infectious fever should get in amongst us, and he himself, after landing at Quebec, was confined for some time by severe indisposition. Four births took place during our passage, but three of the children died, and a boy of four years old; another fell from the deck into the hold, and broke his arm; and had not he fallen upon some persons who were providentially at that time in that place, the event would probably have been much more serious. Having entered the Gulph of St. Laurence, we found it necessary to obtain a Pilot. The weather now became warmer, and as the wind was a-head of us, our rate of sailing became slower, and we had to cast anchor several times. This change in our rate of sailing, was greatly in the favour of such passengers as were sick, as they all recovered quickly. This was a very happy circumstance, there being no impediment to prevent our landing: the surgeon having declared that there was no fever amongst us. We consequently got all in at once, and having anchored, the Captain and several of the passengers went ashore, having ordered the Mate not to suffer any ardent spirits to be brought on board. Nevertheless, some of the passengers who had gone ashore, returned with some rum, which was taken from them and thrown over board. This circumstance caused no small disturbance, and produced blows between the sailors and the passengers, and even also amongst the sailors themselves; and till the scuffle terminated it was indeed a very disorderly night. We arrived at Quebec on the 25th of June, when we were all inspected by the surgeon, and then passed through the custom-house. We all slept that night on board, and by 6 o'clock in the morning the steam boat was laid alongside of us, when we all set to work to get our luggage on board of it. We continued all that day at Quebec, and then went off in the steam boat at 11 o'clock at night. As we were setting out, a tremendous storm of thunder and lightning came on, the most dreadful that ever I either saw or heard; the rain was also uncommonly heavy. There were nearly 400 people on board of the steam boat, the greater part of whom were obliged to sit on deck all that night. Reader, you may easily guess our situation. I can assure you, I myself and the greater part of all who were on deck were as thoroughly drenched as water could make us, and we all had to remain drenched as we were, in our wet clothes, till they dried on our backs. We had no alternative, access to our chests being impossible, as they were all locked up in the hold; and in this state we continued till we reached Montreal.

Here we arrived in 24 hours, a distance of 190 miles. Having stated our difficulties on the passage from Quebec to Montreal, I may add, that this was the first of our trials in going up the country; and I can safely aver, to my certain knowledge, that it was the source and cause of their trouble who are now no more in this world. Nay, to show you further our distress, the beds of those passengers who were stationed on the lee side of the boat, between the engine-house and the paddles, were made literally to swim with the rain water. Every thing was spoiled, our very meal and bread being reduced to a state of dough. We now began to carry our luggage from the steam boat, Government having provided waggons in abundance. We mutually assisted each other in loading them with the women and children; and all who were unable to walk got on the top of them as far as the village of La Chine, ten miles up the St Laurence from Montreal. Here we arrived on the 28th of June, and remained 4 days; till we got as many boats as we required. We then set out all together in 15 flat-bottomed boats. Our number amounted to 366 persons. Here a very difficult part of our journey commenced, namely, the passing the rapids of the St Laurence. Some of these have a very strong current, and as the stream is very shallow and stony, the boats sometimes grounded. Then all the men who were able were necessitated to jump into the river to haul the boats wading up to the middle of their bodies, and sometimes deeper. At these rapids the women and children were obliged to come out and walk; and in several places, the rapids run with such a force, that we were compelled to get 2 horses to haul every boat. None but those who have experienced it, can conceive the difficulty of ascending these rapids. To me it seems wonderful how they can surmount them. Many of our unhappy countrymen suffered extremely from these hardships, on account of the intense heat of the season, and drinking too freely of the river water. In addition to these difficulties, being destitute of dry clothes, we were obliged to continue in this uncomfortable situation night and day. Many of them took badly on the road, and were obliged to remain behind their families many days. This became a very distressing circumstance to them, in going up the river. When night came, we remained on the river side. Sometimes we got access to farm houses, and sometimes not. Others lay in the woods all night, where, having kindled a fire, they would have cooked their supper in the best way they could, and spread such clothes under them as they had, for a bed. In which situation I have found in the morning my night-cap, blankets, and mat, so soaked with dew, that they might have been wrung. One may easily conceive that this was very prejudicial to our health. Some of the passengers indeed got into barns, but by far the most part of them lodged out in fields for six nights, in which space of time we made our journey from La Chine to Prescot, which is 120 miles. There we had to pitch our tents in the best way we could, in the open field-wretched dwellings indeed! One may easily judge of our situation, from this circumstance, that frequently we were under the necessity, many of us, of spending the whole night in laving the water with dishes from around our tents, which literally ran below our very beds. Here we began soon to feel the effects of our river journey, and of our lying out in the fields. There were none, I believe, but felt these in a greater or less degree. Many were afflicted with the bloody flux, some also took fevers, and many died of a few days illness. Our situation now became very alarming, the people generally complaining of indisposition. I continued here three weeks. This was the end of our water conveyance. The cause of our delay here arose from the great multitude that were lying at this place before our arrival. Here we found one half of the passengers of the Earl of Buckinghamshire, all those of the ship Commerce, and including us, the passengers of the ship David of London, the whole exceeded 1000 people; and it took a long time to carry their baggage along a road of 74 miles to New Lanark. We all had, each society, to wait its turn in getting away. Many were obliged to remain here on account of sickness, and many died. William Purdie, agent for the Trongate Society, died here, and two families were left orphans; the one belonged to Bridgeton, the other to Bathgate, of the name of Dick. This man was bathing in the St Laurence, when he first stopped at La Chine. He had gone beyond his depth into the stream, and the velocity of the current swept him away. He left 9 or 10 children,[sic] The former family consisted of two children, whose mother died on the passage in the ship Commerce.

Prescot is a fine little town, and daily increasing-it is a military station. Two churches are building here, the one an episcopal chapel, the other a presbyterian meeting-house. The only place of worship, as far as I could learn, which previously existed, was a school-house, the master of which gave a discourse in the forenoon to the few who attended. It is, however, seriously to be lamented, that the Sabbath, the holy and honourable of the Lord, is so little respected there. Many were employed in singing, in playing on flutes, and drinking. A few of us asked the school-house for the purpose of religious worship, which was readily granted, and each took his turn. We met here three Sabbath-days, and sung the Lord's song, read his word and approached his throne of grace, pleading the fulfilment of his gracious promise that where two or three are met together in his name, and according to his appointment, he will be in the midst of them to bless them and to do them good. We found those days to be the most pleasant of all the days we spent in a foreign land. The majority of the inhabitants are Irish and French, and increasing fast. Here the mail-coach stops, this being the only road to Kingston, which is 62 miles straight up the river. We left Prescot on Monday the 30th July at 9 o'clock, and travelled six miles that night, and stopt at an inn. Here we took in our clothes, and slept all night on the floor. Got up next morning by break of day, and arrived at Brockville, 9 miles distant and breakfasted there. This is another little neat town on the river side, and said to be advancing in population. It contains several fine buildings, some of wood and others of brick. We stopt one hour only at this place. We went no farther up the river, but struck back through the country. The next night we stopt at a farmer's house, where we slept in the barn, amongst new hay, in which we felt some reptiles, and were afraid of snakes, having seen many of them on the road.

Next morning we got up early, and again set forward, hastening to the end of our journey. When we came again to the road, it appeared so very bad, that it put us to a complete stand, seeing no way of getting through it. We at last concluded, that the only alternative left us was to pull up the farmer's fences, which we did in two places, and thus got through, and then closed them up again. This was a new mode of travelling to us, but the only one by which we could at all hope to get through. Every now and then we were compelled to cut down the fences, as it was wholly a region of woods through which we had to pass, except some places occupied by farm-houses; spots cleared here and there in the midst of this immense forest. Wherever there was a spot cleared, there was commonly a farm house near it, the one indicating the other, and what was still more fortunate, a house or inn. As we approached New Perth, the road gradually improved, and the driver of course, desired some of us to go up into the waggon, and get a ride, which I accordingly did, being much fatigued. But as I was standing in the waggon, the horses advanced a step, and I fell out of the vehicle on my back, and broke one of my ribs by lighting on a small stone. By this accident I was very much bruised, and it was a great mercy that I was not killed on the spot, the road being stony. In such a piteous plight, I arrived at Perth, and immediately applied to a surgeon for medical aid, who advised me to bathe the injured part with vinegar, and bind it close and hard, which I did, and slept all night in a stable, the only convenience we could procure for that purpose. A great many of my fellow travellers to this land of promise, remained here, some on account of sickness and fatigue, and others because the horse being knocked up could go no farther.

Perth is a thriving place, and daily increasing in population. Here are two churches, the one a Presbyterian meeting house, and the other a Roman Catholic chapel. There are also two bakers, several store-keepers, two or three smiths, and a post office. I read a very long list of names affixed to the door of the office, mentioning those for whom letters were lying there. The post goes no farther than this place, but a similar list, for the same purpose, is also affixed to the door of the King's store at New Lanark. In such a thinly peopled district, and where other means of communication are so difficult, such a practice is absolutely necessary. We left Perth next morning, which is 14 miles from New Lanark, and came to a large stream, called the Little Mississippi, over which we had to ferry. I then saw a tent, the people of which told us, that the reason why they were stopping there, was the superior salubrity of the situation, it being on the river side, and thus enjoying a freer air.

Having advanced within two miles of New Lanark, on the 4th of August, we were informed that the settlers were getting a deal worse, and that no less than four of a family were sick at the same time. I have known a whole family afflicted with the fever successively before it left them. The reason of this is clear and obvious to those who will be at the necessary pains to think and investigate, namely, the immensity and closeness of the woods that surround them. Through these impervious forests no wind possibly can penetrate, and there is consequently no circulation. The people live in the midst of a stagnant atmosphere, never rarified by the solar rays, and never replaced by a purer current, thus continually inhaling a corrupted atmosphere, fevers and agues are the inevitable result. Instead of wondering why so many are thus afflicted, and that so much misery and distress prevail, the wonder ought rather to be, that the half of them, at least, are not dead. Reader, pause a little whilst reading this tale of woe, and consider, for a moment the deplorable state of your unhappy, unthinking, and deluded countrymen, thus exposed for 8 weeks to the noisome exhalations of immense woods, the excessive and rapid variations of a Canadian climate, and the excessive humidity of an American atmosphere; without any shelter from the inclemencies of the sky, the heavy and unwholesome dews, and the rains and the winds, (to which latter there is nothing of a similar nature parallel in this country) but such as a few posts driven into the ground, and then wrapped together with the frail branches of trees, could give. Wretched habitations indeed! and utterly insufficient to prevent the torrents of rain, (for the rains in that region are not showers, but literally torrents that plow up the very ground) from penetrating these temporary tabernacles. Such substitutes, when the branches wither, are almost completely open at the sides. Some, who are able, cover them with blankets, or whatever else they can obtain, on the roof; others have them covered round about. This will not, however, prevent reptiles, such as snakes and lizards, from getting in. I saw a snake myself sucking a frog nigh my tent, but we killed it, and when it got a stroke on the head, it shot out its poisonous fangs. After this we grew more afraid of the venomous reptiles. We saw numbers of squirrels running about our beds; and we were frequently deprived of sleep from the unwelcome intrusions of oxen and cows, which, straying from their owners, came close to our tents, and we were much terrified, lest they should have pulled our tabernacles about our ears. The swine would come to our very heads, and take away any thing they could find or see; and they seemed to be very fond of their own flesh, seizing what flesh meat we had, and running away with it in their mouths, so that we were obliged to pursue them, in order to recover it.





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