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Box 12-815 TO MISS MARY MCILWAINE [BAKER] from Lucy Caroline Armstrong
Jan 1 1847 Thursday Morning
To: Mary-Jane McIlwaine [Baker], Cottage

My dear Miss McIlwaine1

I send you at last your books but I dearly feel quite sorry I cannot find the small one I have searched Strabane in vain with the hope of being able to procure one the same but with out success but I hope I shall be more fortunate in Derry. I will go to see you the first morning I can call my own before Sunday, and shew [sic] you all about the cut out flowers; I feel nearly quite well this morning, pray present my compliments to all your circle and accept the same from

Lucy Caroline Armstrong2

1 The original document is not dated. We have selected a date which is the year before the marriage of Miss Mary-Jane McIlwaine and Rev. Thomas Baker (Mary Baker McQuesten's parents) in 1848. The two place names mentioned, "Strabane" and "Derry", are likely in Ontario. Strabane is in West Flamborough Township, Wentworth County, and Derry is likely Derry West in Halton Hills near Georgetown Ontario. (

2 April 12, 2014, we received a letter from a David Cheesman informing us of some possible genealogical details about the persons mentioned in the letter: Lucy Caroline Armstrong and others. We have not corroborated these details, but we thank Mr. Cheesman for the letter and the interest.

The letter follows:
April 12, 2014
Subject: Lucy Caroline Armstrong.

May I suggest that the Lucy Caroline Armstrong who wrote to Miss Mary McIlwaine was the eldest daughter of Captain Archibald Armstrong and Lucy Henley (nee Cheesman,) born in France in about 1819. She was the eldest of 11 children and married first, William McCorkell of Londonderry (or Derry) on 1st January, 1841 at Strabane (Ireland) where her father was Chief Constable. She married secondly in about 1849, James Preston of Derry (Ireland) who died a year or two later. She immigrated to the North America and married thirdly, John Sloggett in 1855, and fourthly, Phineas Leeson Slayton (an inventor) in about 1859. She died a widow in 1890 at Bridgeport, Connecticut in 1890.

May I further suggest that the letter was written before she was married in 1841 and was still living at Strabane. However she tended to revert to her maiden name between marriages.

Lucy Henley Cheesman was the third daughter of my g-g-g-grandfather Nicholas Cheesman who married Emily Susannah, daughter of Robert Suckling of Woodton, Norfolk, England.
David Cheesman

NOTE: It is not known for certain at this time whether the Strabane or the Derry mentioned in these letters refers to Ontario or to Ireland. We have opted to let the date stand as 1847, the year before Mary-Jane McIlwaine was married to Rev. Thomas Baker.

A further note from David Cheesman with the marriage notice for Baker-McIlwaine
November 25 1848 BAKER-McILWAINE. On the 17th October, at the house of her brother in law, William L. Ewing, Esq., Capefield, Gore District, Canada West, by the Rev. J.C. Usher, THOMAS BAKER, ESQ., LIEUT. R.N., formerly of Portsea, Hants., England, to MARY JANE, fifth daughter of JOHN McILWAINE, ESQ., of Strabane, Ireland
Marriages recorded in the Town of Strabane and parish of Camus-juxta-Mourne, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland, extracted from personal notices inserted in the STRABANE JOURNAL, STRABANE MORNING POST, DERRY JOURNAL, LONDONDERRY STANDARD and LONDONDERRY SENTINEL
David Cheesman
Entered by Mary Anderson

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The development of this website was directed by Mary Anderson, Ph.D. and Janelle Baldwin, M.A.
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