George Mitchell came from Dalbori, South End Parish,Argyllshire, Scotland. He sailed from Glasgow for New York City on the ship Eagle with Captain Blain on June 27, 1784, and arrives August 29, 1784. He came to Missisquoi Bay in 1787, having been induced to come to St. Armand to build a grist mill there, which he did that year. It was the first such mill in the area, before that time it had been necessary to take the grain to Plattsburg by boat to be ground.
He married Hannah Mock on October 5, 1790. She was the daughter of Johannes Mock, a Loyalist who had served in Jessup's Corp of Loyal Rangers and who had come to Canada in 1777 from near Rhinebeck, New York, though originally from Germany. In Canada, Johannes first lived on Lot 125 of St.Armand, but later was ana associate who received land grants in the Town of Shefford. In 1795 he built a grist mill at the place now called Warden, so that the locality then became known as Mock's Mills.
The children of George and Hannah Mitchell were: Hannah (1791) who SPOUSE Mitchell Vincent of Huntsburg (Franklin) Vermont; Archibald (c. 1794) who SPOUSE Elizabeth Waters (Van Der Water); James (1797),who SPOUSE Margaret Tittemore; John (c.1798); George, who SPOUSE Jane Armstrong; Jane Elizabeth (1804-1815); and Edward Brown (1808)who SPOUSE Amy Caroline Smith. A descendent of the last mentioned is Mrs. Asa Stote, of Standbridge East.
The home farm, on Lot 124 in the Seigneury of St. Armand, was acquired by deed of concession from the Hon. James Dunn Esq. on June 3, 1793. He also purchased part of Lots 9 and 10 in Range 2 of the Township of Standbridge on February26, 1805, and half of Lot 101 in St. Armand on March 7, 1807. In view of the dates above, it seems possible that the mill might have been on Lot 124, however, no mention is made of it in May 1816 when his assets were appraised subsequent to the death of his wife, Hannah Mock. As a result of their having been SPOUSE under the regime of community as to property, it was necessary to divide one half of his estate amount the children.
Such a division of property entailed considerable expense, such as: trips to Montreal's court of King's Bench for legal advice and to qualify the sub-tutor of the children, the obtaining of five appraisers of estates, and notarial fees. The expenses, in this case, excluding notarial fees, was 4 pounds, 1 shilling, and 10 pence.
The inventory of assets extended to sixteen pages and included all those items common to farms of that day. However, some of the terms used were unknown to me and required research: crane ( a device to swing kettles out of the fireplace), steelyard (a weighing device), keelers(perhaps pans for cooling), sursingle (a cinch strap for a saddle), lanthorn (a lantern), bolster (a pillow), diaper tablecloth (not to be confused with what goes on a baby), hatchel (a toothed instrument for cleaning flax),coverlid(a bedspread), tow sheet(a cloth made from the course and broken part of flax, separated by the hatchel), beetle( a mallet).
Their livestock included 3 horses, 6 cows, 9 young cattle, 4 calves, 12 pigs, 29 sheep and 9 lambs, and 5 geese. Their crops included: wheat, rye, peas, oats, flax and indian corn. Their books included: The American Preceptor, Perry's Dictionary, and a new Testament.
The estate was divided into seven equally valued lots which were written on tickets and placed in a hat. A boy was called in off the street and drew the tickets one at a time from same which were paired with the children in the order that they were born.
The draw gave George Jr. and Hannah the north and south halves respectively of Lots 9 and 10 in Range 2 of Stanbridge; James, John and Archibald the north, middle, and soouth one third parts of Lot101 in St. Armand; and Edward Brown and jane Elizabeth the north and south halves of the west half of Lot 124.Their father elceted to keep the east half of Lot 124, on which were situated all the buildings and most of the cleared land, as his half of the estate.
The total value of the money, and property (moveable and immoveable) transfered to his children was approximately $2000; a very substantial sum in 1818.
The writer has traced several generations of George Mitchell's descendants; however he knows very few of those who are alive today.
The reader who consults the maps in the Stanbridge Museum will note that in 1864 Lot 124 (the home farm) was occuplied by Chartles S. Mitchell and George Mitchell.
A grandson of George Mitchell, the immigrant, A. E. Mitchell, Esq,. K.C., was born in the Township of Shefford, practised law for some years in Sweetsburg, and later lived in Huntington, Quebec. An article entitled Reminiscences stc. of St. Armand West dated Feb. 17, 1905, states that he had access to his grandfather's diary. I wonder if it is still extant; perhaps in Huntington or in the hands of a Mitchell descendant. If so, what a find it would be and how much light it would shed on the early days in St, Armand.
Note: It is interesting to note that in 1816 dollars were used to reckon the value of land but pounds, shillings, and pence were used in appraising the value of moveable property.