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Newfoundland's Grand Banks

Joseph Small's Diary of Burgeo - 1925, cont'd...


We go on west from Muddy Hole and come to Mercers. Here we find old Captain Benjamin Buffett and his sons, Samuel [m. Annie Guy], William, and Benjamin. They were all young men, going in vessel with their father. They brought the writer to this country in the schooner Francis, of 40 tons register, in 1860. This small vessel carried the most valuable cargo ever taken into Boston for the size of tonnage. It was a cargo of barreled salmon, worth $46 a barrel, American currency. This was in 1865. In 1864, when the writer visited his former home, he carried some gold sovereigns. $4.80 was the value in Newfoundland, then. They were turned into American paper at the rate of $14.40 each. Later gold was even higher.

Captain Buffett's oldest son [William] was married to Ester [A.] Hare. They had as family: John, William, George, Bendell, James, and one daughter who married Samuel Pike. They moved to Sydney twenty years ago. Morgan was lost at the ice with Captain Colley in 1890. The widow [of Morgan Buffett] and the youngest son lived at the old home for some time later. She went to Sydney with son George, but died only a few years ago. James rebuilt the house. He was married to a Guy, a daughter of the late Thomas Guy. He [James] died of consumption some time ago. His widow and children went to the States. Mrs. [Thomas] Guy, the mother, and a visitor, also went with her. John Buffett married Patience Pike of Channel. They have no family and are living at Mercers still. William [junior] married Clara Matthews, of Christopher Thomas Matthews. They had a family of girls, and one son, Morgan, who was lost at sea on the Lizzie M. Stanley. Morgan had two or three daughters. Mrs. Morgan Buffett sold her house after this and moved to Sydney, where she still resides. George married Bertha Matthews, of Christopher Thomas Matthews. They moved to Sydney. He died last year. Bendell also lives at Sydney.

Samuel [Buffett], the second son of the old captain [Benjamin Buffett], in 1863, married Annie Guy. They build at Mercers. The house is still standing. They had as family: Benjamin, Thomas, Rebecca, Lucretia, and Selina. Both parents are dead. Rebecca married Abraham Keeping; both have been long dead. Benjamin married Miss Eastman of Burnt Islands. They moved to Halifax some time ago. Thomas married Fanny Matthews of W. H. Matthews. Thomas died last March, leaving a large family of girls. His widow is living here still but lost the oldest and most promising girl, Millie, to consumption in February last passed. Lucretia married George Miles of Otters Point. They are having a family, no doubt Harriet married Samuel Matthews. They live at Ramea, but have no family. Selina married only three years ago, Isaac Keeping of Ramea, a widower. They are also living at Ramea and have no family. William, the third son, married Dinah Rose, daughter of James Rose, the first of that name. He was a long time in the employ of the writer and was a great friend. Mrs. Dinah Buffett died many years ago, leaving a husband, two daughters, and one son, Willie. The oldest, Gertie, soon followed the mother, with that dread disease consumption. Willie also soon followed. Debbie married James Pinel. They had one child, a girl. Debbie (Buffett) Pinel did not live long. The Pinels had a nice home in Furby's Harbour, now owned by George McDonald. James Pinel went to Calgary; a Burgeo widow followed him and he soon married again. The child was "adopted" by the Grandmother, the second wife of Captain William, a Miss Mary Matthews, who taught school before this at Ramea. Old Grandmother Buffett lived and died with them. Captain [William] Buffett died twenty five years ago. The widow, with young [Gertie] Pinel, went to the States and did well as a domestic. The girl, Gertie [Pinel, went to Canada to visit her father [James Pinel] and married there. Mrs. [Mary Ann (Matthews)] Buffett is still in the States with Burgeo people. The old house was sold, taken down, but rebuilt. It was formerly the house of George Hunt, situated in the mouth of the Short Reach. The land was sold to William Webb & Sons. It is now lying idle and not of much value, although it brought a good price.

Benjamin, the last son [of Captain Benjamin Buffett senior], died many years ago, say in 1888. He was married to a Miss Trook of Garia. He left a family who moved to Canada where the widow had several brothers.

The old couple, Captain Benjamin Buffett and his wife, had two daughters whom I had forgotten. However, I never knew them. One married James Anderson of Otter's Point. However, she died before Uncle Jimmy. The other married Jonas Shears of Harbour Le Cou. They moved to Bonne Bay years ago. Old Grandmother Buffett was a daughter of the first Durnford of Francois and a sister of old Mrs. Billard, the mother of all the Billard's of this shore and district. Her name was Marion. Mrs. [Benjamin] Buffett was Edith. John Buffett of this place is the only male representative of a once large family and the last time I saw him, I did not think he would last many years.



Transcribed by Bill Crant, Elmsdale, NS Canada

Page Revised: February - 2003 (Don Tate)

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