Born in Crogan, Kings County, Ireland, June 28, 1808, John Neil emigrated to Canada in 1834, first to Bytown. He went to Fitzroy, where he received grants for a total of 600 acres. One year later he returned to Ireland, where in 1836 he married Elizabeth Hodgins. He came back to Canada with his wife and his four brothers in 1836. John was appointed district councillor and magistrate of Fitzroy Township. He later served as the first Reeve of Fitzroy Township. He died on November 3, 1888, at the age of 81. James T. Neil, the author, was John Neil’s youngest son. He lived in Kinburn before moving to Western Canada. While in Kinburn, he was a Chronicle correspondent (“Kinburn Budget”). Both booklets include accounts of John Neil’s immigration and progress in Canada, some poetry by his son James T. Neil, as well as other accounts of Toronto, Niagara Falls, Western Canada, and California (Riverside).
Donated by Marjorie Jeffrey in February 1995. Marjorie Jeffrey’s grandmother was Susanna Neil who was born and raised in the Cobden area and related to this Neil family. Susanna Neil married Thomas Major (from Cobden). Their daughter Mabel was the mother of Marjorie Jeffrey.
Scope and Content
Collection consists of two published pamphlets about John Neil by James T. Neil.
1. "Mr. John Neil, Fitzroy’s First Reeve" (signed by the author), published by Prensler Press, Arnprior, in 1946
2. " John Neil, the Life He Lived", published by the Arnprior Chronicle in 1934.