from page 4 The Janes Family History (1980) by Mary & Paul Janes

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from page 4 The Janes Family History (1980) by Mary & Paul Janes

From 1770 to 1890, 11 million people emigrated from the British Isles to North America. Emigration to the New World was the remedy from the "ills of mankind." What were these ills? The Industrial Revolution had created an unfortunate condition where machinery replaced 5/6 of the manpower.

Agrarian consolidation caused distress, and created large numbers of paupers. Some of the oppressed and idle people showed their dissatisfaction by smashing machinery, burning factories, terrorizing rural districts and poisoning people. Money could be made by bringing in dead bodies. In this era also, the press was gagged. There was no freedom of speech; no public meetings were allowed. Agitators and reformers found life difficult if they criticized the system. Conditions in the factories and mines were little removed from slavery.

Like millions of others, Samuel Meredith Janes decide to move his family from this state of affairs and try a new life in Canada. It couldn't be worse. His occupation is recorded as labourer, and later yoeman, so we can presume his conditions of living were not the best in Somersetshire.

The Great Migrations Atlantic Crossing by Sailing Ship by Edwin C. Guillet, published by University of Toronto Press in 1963 describes vividly the conditions on the boats crossing the ocean. Some immigrants came with money, clothes, furnishings, household goods, harnesses, etc; some came with nothing. Many picked up diseases and died en route. But they all came with hope of a better life in North America.

What a shock it must have been to come to large areas of unsettled land with no roads, post offices, mills, schools or churches. Those who had heard of the great settlements in the United Sates were especially overwhelmed that conditions in Canada were not the same. Many wanted to return but could not afford the passage; others went to the United States. Many died of tuberculosis, fever, the chills, brought on by the adverse weather conditions.

But for the many who stuck it out in Canada, as did the Janes family, there were many advantages. Even though at first they lacked the daily comforts, they knew these were a goal within reach. There was hunting, fishing, plentiful food; as well a more equitable distribution of worldly goods. The class system was not so obvious. With the hospitality and the cooperative feeling of pioneer life and an abundance of food and drink, our ancestors persevered and succeeded. Only because of their perseverance are we -- the Janes kin -- here today. The pioneer Janes had to be rough and ready, because of their conditions. In learning about them, we learn about ourselves.

Given names Surname Sosa Birth Place Death Age Place Last change
Samuel Meredith Janes
about 1793
227 Glastonbury, Somersetshire, England
4 May 27, 1870
150 77 Warwick, Ontario, Canada
Never
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