September 14, 2019 at 12:14 pm #5405Ian FongParticipant
I am new to FHSNL and this forum.
My wife and I recently moved into a house originally owned by John Syme (1843-1915). Originally from Scotland, he moved to St. John’s in 1863. He worked for different businesses as an accountant, was a member of the Legislative Council, an accountant for the new St. John’s Municipal Council, and finally a commissioning agent.
I am looking for any information I can about him and his family (children, grandchildren etc.). The digital collection at MUN has been a big help so far. I’m finding new info weekly.
I am also looking for information about his “cottage”, our house, known as Summerlea.
Thanks in adavnce for any information and suggestions.
IanApril 11, 2020 at 12:15 pm #5484Donald SymeParticipant
Hi Ian I just joined this group today and saw your message. I am related to John Syme. My great grandfather was James Syme adopted by John and Livinia(Dewes) in 1872. James was much younger than his siblings (16 years). He had 7 brothers and sisters. The oldest was Thomas (1841), John, who emigrated to New Foundland, Cambell (1845) a surgeon (but no relation to the famous Dr Syme in Edinburgh). It was Campbell who brought Jzmes to the family house but we do not know the circumstances. Then there was Martha (1848), Robert (1850), William (1854), Mary (1856) and James. They lived in Irvine, a part of Glasgow. Head of the family was a tailor. Our James had a son, James, who had a son, James, my father. All 3 James were military men, the 1st joing the Black Watch and fought in the Boer war in South Africa. The 2nd enlisted in 1914 with the Royal Scots and fought the whole war in France but was seriously injured in 1918. My father was the 1st to leave Scotland when he joined the RAF just before WW2 and was an engineer with Coastal Command throughout the war before signed on to serve until the 1980’s he passed away at 98 just a few years ago.
I knew that John had lived in New Foundland and left sufficient money in his will that allowed Campbell to train other members of the family to become doctors. I have never really looked at John until having some time on my hands during Covid-19 lockdown. It can be fascinating!
Hope this helps
Donald SymeApril 11, 2020 at 1:25 pm #5486Ian FongParticipant
It’s great to hear from you! I have been researching John and his family for the last year and a half. The Digital Archives (http://collections.mun.ca) at Memorial University, especially of old newspapers, has been the main supply of information so far. The Newfoundland Grand Banks has also been very useful.
No sure if you are aware, Mary also moved to NL and married William Frew.
John was married twice and had 11 children in total. William was the oldest and actually moved back to Scotland to study and practice medicine. I would guess that was with the help of Campbell.
Most of the children moved away from NL. Of the nine that survived, I think only the oldest daughter, Leah, stayed in NL.
Thanks again for the information!
IanMay 20, 2020 at 4:05 pm #5570Christopher CarterParticipant
John Syme is my 2nd Great Grandfather. Married to Fannie Mary Smith (1839-1891)
A daughter was Leah Lavina Syme, mother to my maternal grandmother, Mary Frew Rogerson-Carter (1904-1978).June 3, 2020 at 5:32 pm #5581Donald SymeParticipant
Hi Christopher, I was very pleased to read your post to this thread. I started out some years ago to research the military history of some of my relatives. The whole project was put to one side and, in the meantime, my father, James Syme, passed away. He told the family so many stories of his father and grand father, but oh how I wished I had asked him about a whole host of other things!
When we started covid-19 lockdown I pulled out all my researches and started to delve deeper. I was aware that John had emigrated from Scotland, but not Mary. Now I have pieced together the details of all the siblings. It was great to see your entry through John and Fannie Mary. Where do you live? I would like to hear stories of Rogerson-Carter’s! Have you done one of the DNA tests through geanology sites? My ancestor James Syme is supposed to be adopted based on the fact that he has no birth certificate and John and Livinia (Newfoundland John’s parents) were in their 50’s by the time James first appears on a census. I’m curious to know if there is any DNA match between us. If not I will have to believe my late aunts assumption that James was related to royalty!!
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