From: "Cyril Byrne" <Cyril.Byrne@STMARYS.CA>
To: "Sharon Ransom" <>
Subject: Story of James Buckle's conversion
Date: October 4, 2002 3:09 PM

I am sending along with this a picture of James Buckle who was born in 1812. He was my great-great-grandfather, the son of William Buckle and Mary Watts. He died 11 November, 1894. My grandmother could remember his funeral very well as could her brother Albert, uncle Bert Buckle. Grandmother told me an interesting story about him. He was a stout Anglican and although he was married to a Catholic, Anna Maria Kelson Whiteley, and his children were all Catholics, he would have no truck with "Catholic idolatry" and when the priest came from Tadoussac annually, he would take off to his brother's on Capstan Island until it was safe to go back home. When he and his wife became elderly and feeble, James came to live with my great-grandparents of whom Nellie Hanlon Buckle was a devout Catholic as was her husband, old James's son John L..(His wife Annie Maria nee Kelson went to live with my great grand-uncle James C. Buckle who lived in the same area of Bonne Esperence).

The year before he died old James asked his daughter-in-law, Nellie, to get the priest because he wanted to become a Catholic. Nellie went to John and said she thought his father's mind was going because of his request. John questioned him about it; however, he seemed quite set on the idea so a telegram was sent to ask the priest to come. It was quite late in the year and ice was making so the priest said he would be unable to travel but would come as soon as navigation was possible in the next year. To make a long story short, the elder Buckle was received into the R.C. Church but Nellie still had her doubts about the whole matter. So she asked him if he felt alright about it. "Yes, Nellie, you have treated me like your own father the last eleven years. I have nothing to give you, but I know you would want me to die a Catholic and that is my gift to you." I had my own doubts about my grandmother's story because she, like her mother, was a very pious Catholic. However, some years ago I came across an entry in the diary of Rev. CC Carpenter a Congregationalist parson who has visited the area annually since 1856 and who frequently visited the Buckles. The entry read simply "Old Mr. Buckle has become a Catholic." So I accept the story as authentic.

Best wishes, Cyril

P.S. If you feel the Mary Watts is incorrect and Johanna is more correct, by all means, substitute it in my piece. C.

Date Entered on the Web: 06 October 2002