Fonds F 72

Robert Gourlay collection

About these records

Robert Gourlay collection
Dates of Creation
Physical Description

15 centimetres of textual records

1 reel of microfilm (textual records)

Scope and Content

Collection consists of a mixture of materials about Robert Gourlay and his family, and records created by him and his family. It contains correspondence, genealogical charts, autobiographical notes of Gourlay, records regarding the Gourlay family in Scotland, records regarding the disposition of Gourlay's lands in Dereham Township in Oxford County, Canada West, as well as two replies to questionnaires submitted by Gourlay. Correspondence includes material regarding Mrs. Jean Gourlay and children of Robert Gourlay. Also included is correspondence of William Renwick Riddell, an early biographer of Gourlay, and correspondence concerning people possessing documents relating to Robert Gourlay. Correspondence also includes letters between Robert Gourlay and his first wife Jean (Henderson) Gourlay, and the children by his first wife (Jean, Jessie, Oliver, Helen, and Catherine). Most of Gourlay's letters to his family at this time were written from the United States when he resided in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Ohio. These letters refer to family matters, and Gourlay's struggle with the government of Upper Canada and the government of the United Province of Canada.

Material regarding the disposition of Gourlay's lands in Dereham Township consists of correspondence between Robert Gourlay's daughter Helen, and his second wife Mary concerning a dispute over the real estate. Other records include a promissory note, a bond, a discharge of debt, and memorandum of agreement between Mary Gourlay and Joseph Riddell concerning intent to convey land, and a power of attorney between Robert Gourlay and John Smith of Dereham.

Collection also includes miscellaneous items, including: the original prospectus of a newspaper called the Commonweal which was to be edited by Gourlay; replies from Trafalgar Township to questionnaires posed by Gourlay for the collection of data for the Statistical Account of Upper Canada; minutes of a meeting held by inhabitant of Haldimand Township including the chiefs of the Five Nations for the purpose of supplying data for the same account; newspaper clippings concerning the career of Robert Gourlay (three of which were written by Mabel Burkholder); a memorandum of biographical data concerning Robert Gourlay by James McIntyre; a typescript of excerpts of articles in the Ingersoll Chronicle concerning Gourlay's bid for election to the Legislative Assembly; notes on Robert Gourlay by Ethel Canfield; and an excerpt from the Illustrated London News, concerning the choice of Bytown as Canada's capital.

Collection also includes miscellaneous legal records, concerning the marriage between Robert Gourlay's parents, the marriage between Robert Gourlay and Mrs. Jean Stewart (nee Henderson), the estate of Oliver Gourlay, and the Gourlay family tree.

Administrative History or Biographical Sketch

Robert Fleming Gourlay (1778-1863) was a scientific farmer, an agrarian and political reformer, and an author.

Click on the link(s) below for more information.

Gourlay, Robert, 1778-1863

Restrictions on Access
No restrictions on access.
Terms For Use and Reproduction
Copyright held by creator. These materials cannot be published without permission from the copyright holder.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Materials in this collection were loaned to the Archives of Ontario in 1959 for copying purposes by Mrs. Lois Darroch of Toronto, Ontario, who also donated additional materials in 1960. Materials were also donated in 1967 by Mrs. E.J. Canfield of Woodstock, Ontario. Additional materials were also donated by Mr. Frank McCraney of Oakville, Ontario in 1932, Hazel Matthews of Oakville, Ontario in 1950, and by Hamnett Hill of Ottawa, Ontario in 1922.
Related Material

Records relating to Robert Gourlay can also be found in the Lois Darroch fonds (F 4354).

Availability of Other Formats

Some records are available on microfilm only.

Some records are available as photostatic copies only.

Some records are available as typescript copies only.

Title based on content of collection.

Former Codes

Accession Numbers: 2347, 2688, 4817.MU 6961.MS 33.

Finding Aid
An inventory and item listing are available for this collection.

How to order these records

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By Microfilm Interloan
This material is not available through Interloan.