Ann Harvey’s Weblog

dedicated to the lives of those lost and retrieved at sea

Linda Bailie and Mary Stengel

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Our heritage is attributed to the bravery and sacrifices of the Harvey family in July 1828. Brothers John and Joseph Smiley, successful weavers of linen in the County Tyrone, Ireland, married Alexander sisters. John, the eldest brother, had made a trip to Canada, making arrangements for the two families to settle in Ontario and establish their weaving business.

Sailing for Quebec from Londonderry, Ireland on the fateful DESPATCH were Joseph Smiley, his wife Margaret, their 5 month old daughter, Mary and also John Smiley, his wife Catherine (pregnant with their third child), and their two young children. Miraculously, the entire Smiley clan survived the disaster.

The Smileys and all other survivors were later rescued from Isle aux Morts and taken to Port aux Basque where they boarded the HMS TYNE to be transported to the Citadel in Halifax, Nova Scotia On the TYNE ship log, the Smiley sir name was mistakenly listed as Smaley.

When it came time for the survivors to sail on to Quebec, the Smiley women refused to board another ship. Consequently, they were housed in the poor house while their husbands sought employment. They were hired by an Irish landlord on the Uniake Estate (now a Heritage Museum near Halifax). Eventually they purchased land and settled in the Halifax area for the next two generations.

Our grandfather, Ernest Smiley, and two of his brothers went west in the early 1900’s. They settled in Humboldt County in northern California. Ernest and brother, Charles, married the Kelley sisters, daughters of a local dairyman. In 1910 the entire extended families moved to Polk County near Salem, Oregon.


Written by annharvey

May 27, 2008 at 10:07 am

Posted in uncategorized

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