I reunite identified family photos that I find in antique shops and second hand stores with genealogists and family historians. If you see one of your ancestors here and would like to obtain the original, feel free to contact me at familyphotoreunion [ at ] yahoo [ dot ] com. I also accept donations of pre-1927 images to be reunited. I hope you enjoy your visit!
~The Archivist

Saturday, March 31, 2012

A Letter from Lake Opinicon, Ontario to Dear Daughter Effie, 1917

I found this letter with a handwritten poem by Julia Hughson Simpson (1863-1928) of Seeley's Bay, Ontario.  Julia was the daughter of Cornelius and Johanna Hughson of Storrington Township, Frontenac Co., Ontario.  The poem was written to be read at Cornelius' funeral in September of 1900.  I reunited this poem with a family member over 10 years ago.  However, they did not claim this piece of correspondence.

The letter is addressed "my Dear Daughter Effie," and is signed, "Mother."  It is dated August 2nd, 1917, Lake Opinicon.  At first I thought Effie was Julia's daughter, but I have searched the censuses and various family trees online and could not find a daughter named Effie, or anything similar.  I do believe that Effie is in some way related to Cornelius and his daughter, Julia, but I have yet to discover how.

One of Cornelius' daughters, Emily Jane Hughson, married John Linklater and resided in Lake Opinicon.  They had a daughter Margaret Johanna Linklater, b. 1887, Lake Opinicon.  Again, I haven't been able to make a connection with "Effie."

I turned to the letter for more clues.  Effie is apparently living in the city because the mother writes, "I feared this awful heat might make you sick. I am sure it must been terrible in the city for it was terrible here."  Effie's father is alive at the time this letter was written.  There are names mentioned:  "Maggie is still sticking to the berries & the hayfield.  Dorothy brought the cow down two nights.  John went to meet her one night and she wouldn't let him drive her.  She would run in front of him and say, no I am going to take this cow to grandma.  So I gave her a piece of cake and .5 cts and she started home as proud as a peacock.  I hear Edna has the mumps...."

"K. Darling & the Royal Family were to the city again yesterday quite sporty as K. will soon have the big end of the boodle [?].  James Smith arrived home alright.  Mr. Auston is here again staying at H. [hotel?]  Dr. has been up here twice he is changed a lot looks sorrow stricken. He is still greaving for Myra.  He had his one Mrs. Auston's Miras & Harolds pictures.  Myras was so life like & Harold looks fine, is not married yet."

The mother goes on to talk about life on the farm, evenings at the lake and a skunk getting into the chicken coop.  She signs off, "...write often, I would like to hear every day if I could.  Good-bye Dear one, XXXXXXXXXXX from Mother."

So, what can we glean from this letter?  We know the writer of this letter has a daughter named Effie. She was married, lived on a farm or acreage near or on Lake Opinicon in 1917.  Lake Opinicon was a small town on the lake with the same name, and is now a ghost town.  The letter writer also seems to have had a grand-daughter named Dorothy.

If you can provide more information about the identity of Effie's mother, I would love to hear from you.  


  1. Effie was a likely a nickname, I wonder what is is "short for", Euphemia, Evelyn?

  2. This family might be Ira Alexander Darling's family - wife Mary Abigail. Their son Kora Nelson married an Evelyn Hunter (or it might be Evelyn's mother Agnes Ann Freeman that wrote it) - the Hunter family moved to BC.


  3. Thanks, I.G!
    As far as I know Effie was short for a whole bunch of names: Euphemia, Evelyn, Elizabeth, Ethel, and E.F. Combos, like Emma Florence, etc.

    Great detective work on the Darling family! I contacted Brant to see if he knows of any Effies in his line. Keepin' my fingers crossed!

  4. I heard from Brant. He offered this suggestion: "Ida Estella Lyon was a niece of Julia Hughson, and she had a daughter
    that my source (second hand only) named as Effa Blanche Teeple. The mother, her husband Ezra Wilson Teeple, the daughter Effa Teeple, and Julia Hughson would all have been alive in 1917."

    I found someone researching Ida and her family on Ancestry and have asked them if they think it fits with the letter. We'll see!

  5. I believe the letter is refering to Kora Darling who married Evelyn Hunter 1918. We are living at Lake Opincion and would love a copy of the letter. It may take sometime but I may be able to come up with the answer you are looking for. Thanks Trent

  6. Hello Carol, I still have the letter and have just gotten back into working on my family tree. The Dorothy and John mentioned are my Aunt and Uncle, Maggie would be my grandmother, Margaret Linklater Ennis. She did have a daughter Effie but she was not born until 1919.