This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Charlottetown Conference of 1864, a gathering of delegates of British colonies north of the U.S. border which got the ball rolling towards the birth of Canada as a self-governing country in 1867.
Throughout his life, Fritz Peters was proud of the central role his grandfather, Col. John Hamilton Gray, had as a Father of Confederation. Gray died two years before Fritz was born so he never met him, but Fritz often heard of his famous grandfather from his mother Bertha Gray Peters and her sisters Margaret Gray Lord and Florence Gray Poole. Bertha was a toddler at the time of the founding conference, but Margaret and Florence were teen-agers who served as hostesses when their father brought John A. Macdonald and the other Fathers of Confederation home to the family estate known as Inkerman House for an after-dinner party on Saturday, Sept. 3, 1864. As their mother Susan Bartley Pennefather Gray was seriously ill at the time, the elder sisters took her place as hostesses. At the suggestion of fellow Maritime delegate Sir Charles Tupper, Col. Gray`s daughter Margaret accompanied Gray to the Quebec Conference in October 1864.
Col. Gray was an enthusiastic supporter of Canadian Confederation from the beginning. He resigned from politics in 1865 when his fellow P.E.I. leaders turned against it. No one was happier than Gray when P.E.I. entered Confederation as a Canadian province in 1873.
As part of the commemoration of the sesquicentennial of the Charlottetown Conference, the stories of the seven P.E.I. Fathers of Confederation and their descendants are being told through a series of features in the Charlottetown Guardian newspaper.
The first feature looked at Col. Gray and his descendants, including his grandson Capt. Frederic Thornton “Fritz“ Peters, and comments by two of Gray`s descendants of today, Sandra Hurry and Sam McBride. http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/150th-Charlottetown/2014-02-27/article-3628939/Taking-pride-in-their-past-in-P.E.I./1
The second feature focused on Edward Whelan http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/150th-Charlottetown/2014-03-27/article-3666789/P.E.I.-Father-of-Confederation-leaves-lasting-legacy/1
Writer Louise Campbell explained the series on P.E.I. Fathers of Confederation and their descendants at http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/Living/2014-02-08/article-3607713/Project-delves-into-descendants-of-P.E.I.s-Fathers-of-Confederation/1
The seven P.E.I. Fathers of Confederation are described on the P.E.I. Genealogical Society`s web site at http://peigs2014.ca/category/fathers-of-confederation
The PEIGS web site http://www.peigs2014.ca has a tentative schedule for a reunion of descendants of the P.E.I. Fathers of Confederation over the Sept. 11-14, 2014 weekend.
Tentative Schedule of Events for Fathers of Confederation Descendants Gathering
Sept 11, 2014 Welcome Descendants
Meet and Greet reception, for descendants of all 7 PEI Fathers of Confederation, time and location to be determined. This kick-off event will be your chance to meet the descendants of the Prince Edward Island Fathers of Confederation – maybe even some of your own relatives! View the family trees, meet the Genealogists, get your welcome kit. And get ready for a great weekend!
Bus Tours A customized tour will be created for each Father’s family. Get to know your famous ancestor by following in his footsteps. Where did the Father and his family live? Where did he work? What church, if any, did he go to? What Island buildings are part of his legacy? Where is he buried? Offered on a cost-recovery basis, based on demand, these tours will be three to four hours in duration.
Family Circles: These engaging events will provide you with an opportunity to share stories, showcase memorabilia, and delve into your family history with the Genealogist who has done the research for this project. Each Family Circle will focus specifically on one of the families; however, if space is available, participants are more than welcome to attend Family Circles beyond your own.
Sep 12, 2014 Bus Tours
9:00 AM Free Time
1:00 PM Free Time
4:30 PM Bus Tour A. A. MacDonald Descendants
Sep 12, 2014 Family Circles
10:00 AM Family Circle, John Hamilton Gray Descendants
2:00 PM Family Circle, A. A. MacDonald Descendants
7:00 PM Family Circle as necessary
Sep 13, 2014 Bus Tours
09:00 AM Bus Tour John Hamilton Gray Descendants
01:00 PM Bus Tour James Palmer/Edward Whelan Descendants
04:30 PM Bus Tour Thomas Heath Haviland Descendants
Sep 13, 2014 Family Circles
10:00 AM Family Circle, James Palmer/Edward Whelan Descendants
02:00 PM Family Circle, William Henry Pope Descendants
07:00 PM Family Circle as necessary
Sep 14, 2014 Bus Tours
10:00 AM Bus Tour, George Coles Descendants
01:00 PM Bus Tour William Henry Pope Descendants
04:30 PM Bus Tour Other Descendants as necessary
Sep 14, 2014 Family Circles
10:00 AM Family Circle, Thomas Heath Haviland Descendants
02:00 PM Family Circle, George Coles Descendants
07:00 PM Family Circle as necessary
For more information on this gathering of descendants, contact The Prince Edward Island Genealogical Society Inc., P.O. Box 2744, Charlottetown, PEI C1A 8C4, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.