Life in Canada - 1903 by: Thomas Conant, (1842 - 1905) (on CD)


Cat No.:   CA0437: (See also product CA0437-DL for this "book" as a downloadable file and save the mailing cost.)

We, as thinking beings, like to keep our minds as clear of clutter as possible and so we tend to assign things to categories for ease of future reference.  So it is with books, we like to assign them to categories so we can direct potential customers to a location where we put books bearing on the subjects of their interest.

Well, this one is one of the rare type which could, just as easily, be categorized into at least three of our standardized categories, viz.:  

-It clearly states that it is a record of descendants of a particular individual and so is a Family History.
-The author, though, also clearly states his intention of reviewing and examining the effect on his family members of some of the major contemporary social and political upheavals, placing this book clearly in the “History” category.
-However in the process of recounting his families history from both these viewpoints he must explain the workings of a contemporary household and the interactions of the family with the community, making this book a candidate for inclusion in the “Lifestyles” category.

So, while this is an inconvenient book to categorize, it is an EXCELLENT book to learn from, simply because it relates all the large things AND the small things in time,  just as a person would come across them in the course of living their life.

The author’s story begins with the author's ancestor, Roger Conant, moving to an area of Canada where he could live without the recriminations of his decision to remain loyal to British rule (although physically inactive) in “the 13 colonies” during the “War of Independence” or the “North American Revolution” - depending on your point of view.  In other words he became a United Empire Loyalist, a significant decision considering that he could trace his American heritage back 6 generations to Roger Conant (“The Pilgrim”) who, landing from the Ann - the second “Pilgrim” ship to land following the Mayflower - then went on to became the first Governor of the Colony of Massachusetts.

Having crossed the Niagara river (northwards) at Newark, Roger set off - with only his family - to carve out a “lot” of 800 acres of virgin forest on the northern shores of Lake Ontario.  And there he made his family’s living from a combination of farming, homesteading, fishing,  trapping, and trading.  Despite his initial isolation his ability to recognize an opportunity, and his intelligence in bringing his affairs to a successful conclusion, left him a major landholder and a rich man by the time he expired, 43 years later in 1821.

So begins the fascinating story of the Conant family, as it was impacted by outside contemporary events of the time including: the many “shadowy” requirements imposed by the civil administrations of the time (e.g., Col. Talbot, etc.), by the attempts of the newly independent States to the south to add “Canadian” soil to their holdings (i.e., war of 1812, etc.), and the “unfair” application of civil regulation imposed by self-serving politicians and profiteering governors (i.e., the events culminating in the 1837 “revolution” and by the infamous Family Compact.)

But in addition to these major events of the Canadian “experience” our author, humanizes his account with attention to the more personal and in some cases prosaic episodes in the lives of this ancestral family.  There is the period when Daniel becomes associated with the docks at Whitby and other members of the family become involved with the nautical businesses which were responsible for the movement of so much trade merchandise both up and down the St. Lawrence river, one of the emerging Canada’s major transportation routes.  On the other hand the family comments on the “newcomer” immigrant “farmers” from the old country, bringing with them - supposedly - the latest, and best, farming practices indicates their hostility towards those unwilling to re-learn and accommodate the Canadian reality they were now masters of.

Although this book heads out to re-tell the story of another United Empire Loyalists’ exodus to The Canadas, by the time the end is reached the reader might well believe he has been given an intimate lesson on the life and living of an intelligent and energetic rural Canadian, as he makes a success of life in a previously unexplored (from a “western” point of view) land.

The book, amply illustrated with 27 photographs and engravings, is provided with a detailed Table of Contents but no Index, so this digital edition adds an every-word Index which provides a faster and more accurate key to the extraordinary, but personal, lives of the pioneers of this land.  The “on CD” version of this edition is also enhanced with FastFind technology, bringing search results to the researcher almost instantaneously.

We have extracted some example, and some definitive, pages from the book for you to freely download from our Downloads page so you can browse before you buy.

You can also reach the Sampler by clicking on the following link Sampler

You can return to this page by closing the Sampler Page when you are ready to purchase.

No. of CDs is:  1 ;   Format is:  PDF ;   Searchable?:  YES;

FastFind:  Yes;  ISBN No.:   978-1-927503-54-6 ;