"History isn’t a myth-making discipline, it’s a myth-busting discipline ..."

Sir Richard Evans FBA

Friday, August 24, 2007

The Dangers of Dave's World

I discovered on the Internet that in 2000, Jay S. Jones, submitted a thesis with the title The Cleansing Time at Simon Fraser University, for his MA degree. The thesis is available in pdf format on the Internet. Click here to read or download the 118 pages.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Simon Fraser slept at Hammond

Where did Simon Fraser and his companions sleep in the night of 1 July 1808? Fraser refers to a "native village" and a good number of inhabitants. The records don't give definitive information where that village could have been but it is placed somewhere between Mission and Barnston Island.

A few years ago, Nick Doe, using Simon Fraser's latitudes and tidal observations, established convincingly that the "native village" would be at Hammond or very close by. Perhaps on the south shore, but definitely not furher up the river. (BC Historical News, Vol. 33 No. 2, Spring 2000 and personal communications).

Archaelogical evidence has shown that there was once an extensive village site at Hammmond.

Supporting evidence to Doe's claim is the fact that the villages from Hatzic to Port Haney had been depopulated by the smallpox epidemic of 1782. No large settlements could be expected on that stretch of river.

Kirby II

1911 Census of Canada / B.C. - New Westminster / 40 Dewdney Riding /
page 3

Living at Whonnock - Immigration 1888? M.W. is a farmer
33 23 Kirby M.W. M Head S Jun 1865 45
34 23 Kirby Hanah J.D.M. F Sister S Mar 1858 53
35 23 Kirby Agnes D.R. F Sister S Jul 1866 48
36 23 Kirby Henrietta C. F Sister S Aug 1868 42
37 23 Kirby Shirlda H.E. F Niece S Jul 1906 4

Neighbours included Spilsbury & Baker/Boulanger [Annie Spilsbury & August

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Aunt Hill

"Looking Back" column in The News, 8 August 2007

The two neighbouring Byrnes homes, west of the post office, were constructed for Winnifred as speculative rental houses in 1931 and 1932 by contractors Ralph Daniels and Dick Whiting. These buildings are now part of Whonnock’s heritage.

Margeret Matson(nee Leaf) suggests that it was not Winnifred Gordon, but a Miss Rogers who built the two houses for herself and her sister, Mrs. Davies, with three boys and a girl. Mrs. Gordon must have bought the houses from Miss Rogers since the Byrneses purchased the house(s) from her.

Saturday, August 11, 2007


At the Whonnock Cemetery are four graves of members of the Kirby family: Murdoch William Kirby (1865?-1945), Agnes D.R. Kirby (1862-1950) Hannah G.M. Kirby (1858-1956). Also the grave of Evelyn Shields (1906-1931)

Five Kirby's siblings came to Canada. (1) Hannah, (2) Agnes, (3) Norborne, (4) Murdock, 5) Henry Grey. Norborne returned to England. Murdock farmed in South Langley (Campbell Valley)before settling in Whonnock around 1911. Hannah, Agnes, both unmarried stayed with Murdock.

Henry Grey Kirby (did he come later, around 1900? and settled in Burnaby(?). I know of five children: (1) John Murdoch, (2) Emily Maude (who married Albert Shields); (3) Henry Gore Reginald (uncle Reggie); (4) Eleanore Constance (5)Isobel Hastings (who married Wedge).

Evelyn, who lies burried in Whonnock,was the daughter of Emily Maude and Albert Shields.

Arthur Wedge married Isobel Hastings Kirby on 30 July 1930 at Edmonds BC
Burnaby) She died on 3 January 1961 in Maple Ridge at the age of 67.

Henry Grey Kirby died 25 November 1932, age 81 in Burnaby.

Eleanor Kirby died 23 December 1984, age 97 in Haney (Maple Ridge)

Henry Gore Reginald Kirby died 18 December 1971, age 87 in Haney
(Maple Ridge.

Emily Maude Shield died 23 May 1922, age 42 at Langley

Friday, August 10, 2007

Whonnock and the Kwantlen

Katzie Ethnographic Notes / by Wayne Suttles; edited by Wilson Duff. by Suttles, Wayne P., 1918-,Victoria, B.C.: British Columbia Provincial Museum, 1955, [1979 printing].

page 12

Avove the Katzie were several villages that, according to Simon, were wiped our or nearly so, by smallpox before Fort Langley was founded. [Listed sites at Derby, Whonnock, Ruskin, and at Hatzic.] On the south bank between the last two were the Matsqui, who survived the epidemic.

Simon referred to the "Derby people" as a "separate tribe" who owned the Salmon River on the south side of the river and possibly Kanada Creek on the north side. He referred to the Nicomekl River, from which the Indians and early traders portaged to the Salmon River, as ... the "river of the Semiahmoo. However, a Semiahmoo informant at Lummi said the original inhabitants of Mud Bay, where the Nicomekl has its mouth were a tribe called [Snokomish] and that their river was called [Snokomish, now become Nicomekl. The [Snokimish] were wiped out by the smallpox before the whites came, whereupon the Semiahmoo, who had intermarried with them, extended their territory northward to include that of the former [Snokomish] around Mud Bay.

In view of these two accounts it seems likely that the Derby people, who we might call "Sokomish," occupied both a segment on the Fraser and a bit of saltwater shore-line at Mud Bay, together with the two streams that make canoe navigation from one
place to the other possible with only one short portage. After the Snokomish were wiped out, the Semiamoo took over the salt-water section of their territory so that what the Semiahmoo considered the "Snokomish" river came to be the "Semiahmoo" river for the people of the Fraser.

According to Simon, after the Hudson's Bay Company established Fort Langley the Kwantlen moved up-stream to be near to the fort and established themselves on McMillan Island. For this reason they became called the "Langley tribe." After this move they took over the territory of the other villages wiped out by smallpox mentioned above.