Recollections from Hazel Smith

Sunday evening and time for one more post before calling it a day…..

Doing this blog as well as the website and Wiki are teaching me that I must be organized to keep from having total chaos about what I’ve posted and where.

Tonight I thought it would be fun to post the reminscences of Hazel Smith, a Great- granddaughter of Captain Alexander Daly. Her recollections and how she viewed the family provide an interesting snapshot. So read this with the understanding that it is her remberances of the family rather than a completely accurate account. Except for minor spelling and grammar corrections I’ve posted the document “as is.”

This document was generously shared by Marie Smith and is posted with her permission.

Here you go then….. enjoy….

by Hazel Smith

Edmund Christopher Smith

My Father was born on Christmas Day, hence the second name “Christopher.” A very devoted son and brother. Took care of his brother Jim (who was given to the demon liquor) by giving him money, stock and feed for animals, which he probably could not himself hardly afford. I would say that the children from the three marriages were very closely knit and the Edmund always felt a great respoonsibility for them and his Mother. Yet, it appeared in his relations with his own children that he was a very cold man. I think he must have had an extremely good mind, for he got little education, but could read and write well. He was considered one of the best farmers in the district and he was an extrememly hard worker.

Three things were of paramount importance to him: the Anglican Church, the British Empire, and the Conservative Party in politics. He was a great reader of newspapers, the only medium of communication in those days. There was always three daily newspapers coming to our house when we lived in the country. A Toronto, a London, and the local publication and Ed found time to read them all and keep himself informed.

As to his appearance, I would say about 5 ft 10 or 11 in height, inclined to be a bit stooped like his Mother. Good straight nose, very curly hair, slight but muscular build, a pretty good looking man in his younger days. Died of cancer at age 70.

Jane (Dell) Smith

My Mother, like her Mother before her, was a very beautiful woman. She was known to the the “prettiest girl in Oxford County.” Beautifully formed straight aristocratic nose, beautiful brown eyes and in her youth a complexion of peaches and cream. About 5 ft. 3 or 4, very erect bearing which she carried into her old age. My Father and she were quite un-alike in most ways. He was very careful with money, she was inclined to be over generous. She told me she did not marry for love but was attracted to Ed by his ambition which indicated he would be a good provider. I guess that was as good a reason as any other in those days when survival was tough. She was an extremely good cook and quite a good housekeeper. Lived to a good old age. (86)

Thomas Dell (the non-conformist)

Came over from England when quite young with lots of money in his pocket. Settled on 14th line of East Zorra. Very eccentric in his way of living according to my Mother and cared nothing for what the neighbors might say about him. Must have been well educated. His log cabin, which he refused to move out of when all the people around were building themselves modern houses, was stocked with volumes of the best English literature for which he had a great love. He had a good knowledge of history and of law, and was often consulted in these fields. A great consumer of rum, which was supplied by his father-in-law, Captain Daly, in kegs direct from the West Indies.

I have seen a picture of him, but there was so much beard could not see features distinctly. My Mother said he was as straight as a ramrod, which seems to be a family characteristic and was evidenced in all his children. Grandfather did not believe in selling the produce from his farm or in making money generally, a fact that my Mother bemoaned. He raised fine horses, which were largely inactive, except when he took one of his famous long distance drives in horse and buggy. It is reported he drove to Montreal and back in this manner once, which would be quite a feat. Died of dropsy or Bright’s Disease.

Captain Daly

From what my Mother has told me, he was a very dashing person, who was born in County Cork, Ireland. His travels took him often to the West Indies, and he was resident in one of those islands at one time. When in Canada, the Dalys lived in or near a little village, called Gobles, just east of Woodstock. Many of the Dalys went to the United States and there are probably some of our relatives extant in Delaware State. These people were important in the higher professional fields. I remember my Mother mentioning Judge Daly of Delaware many years ago, but the family connection was not maintained and so my information is not very helpful. I recall an Aunt Theresa Malcolm (she had been a Daly) visiting us on the farm when I was a child. She was a school teacher by profession and most aristocratic looking. I remember my Mother being scared stiff of making a breach of etiquette in her presence.


It appears from what I have learned, mostly from my Mother, that the Smith side of the family were hardworking people, never possessing much money, but perservering and honest. The Dells, and more particularly the Dalys appear to have been ambitious and the Dells less so. There are other individuals of whom I might write down a few facts, but I don’t think I have much to add to what I have said.

SOURCE: Smith, Hazel. Ontario, Canada. Untitled recollection, undated. Privately held by Marie Smith and included here with her permission.

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