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A Brief History of Flat Island
Placentia Bay, Newfoundland
A BRIEF HISTORY OF FLAT ISLAND, NEWFOUNDLAND
I was born on Flat Island on December 18, 1893, baptised and given the name Lettie Collins.
As I am the only one of our family who knows how this little island became inhabited, I will try to put it down so that others will know too. Cousin Phoebe has requested (she was born there, also her two brothers). I know my Daughters and Son would like to know, so here goes.
The following are names of the then young men who left Durham, England, with their Brides by sailing ship and crossed the Atlantic Ocean. Henry Peddle, John Loughlin, Richard Gosling, Henry Crann (his descendents, a Crann and his sons went to the Grand Banks and never returned in 1892.), Walter Parsons, John Kenway, David Broomfield, John Collins and William Butler (our ancestors), Charles Senior, Charles Smith, John Moulton, John Frampton, Gabriel Collins (Joe's Dad's ancestor, no relations of ours until Joe's Dad married Aunt Caroline), Mark Bishop (teacher), J. Peace.
In the early 1800's, they left Durham, England with their new Brides and sailed across the Atlantic. After much hardship, landed on an island in Placentia Bay and named it Flat Island. Onlt one large hill (Usmond Hill) and a few smaller ones. They divided the Island among them, the lease for 999 years. Mr. Bishop was a teacher and Justice of the Peace. it was a safe harbour for many ships when there were storms of winds for many, many years. People kept coming and settled. John Diamond from Trinity Bay, he married Mary, a girl that our grandpa brought up withhis own family, her Mother was Grandpa's sister. William Reeves, my Mother's Dad, a Frenchman from Calais, France, in 1850's. He was a trader and used to sail to other places and take cottons and thread and other necessities. They paid withfish (dry) cod oil. he picked up a Mr. Chollet on the Banks of Newfoundland in a dory, who had excaped from Military Service in france. Chollet settled on Clark's Point. The Dick, Mondons, Jarvis, came as the years passed around 1860 and settled on the Island.
The Island was re-named Port Elizabeth in 1952. A year before that Jim and I went to Newfoundland and visited all over the Island for six months and saw our relatives who were still living there and enjoyed it very much.
Now it is deserted. Only the graves of our loved ones are left, may their spirits guard it well.
Lettie Collins Bland.
PS - My Grandpa, Captain John Collins told me the story when I was nearly eleven years old. As he passed away over at Trepassey Bay on August 16th, 1904. He had a heart attack. This is a true story.
Told by Captain John Collins in 1904
Written by Lettie Bland, October 12, 1969
Page Revised by Craig Peterman (May 01, 2011)
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