What the Scotch recognize as humour.

You are no Scotch?


(Written in 1897.)

By George Sneath, Esq.


I left Barrie, then only a small village, on a fine June morning (1847?) with a determination to reach the end of my journey in a few hours. I prided myself on my locomotive ability, but I had no idea of the kind of road I had to travel over. The road had been opened out some years previously by Government from Barrie to he Nottawasaga Bay and called “The Sunnidale Road.” A large part of the road was over swamps which had been crosswayed with logs and was anything but easy and safe to travel over…

I met an old gentleman on the road who stopped me and kindly held out his hand to shake hands. After a number of enquiries about my business, etc., he said to me: “You are no Scotch?”

No, but I am half Scotch.”

“Your father will be a a Scotchman.”

“No, my father and mother are not Scotch.”

Then how can you be half Scotch?”

“Well you see my wife comes fro the Highlands of Scotland which makes me more than half Scotch.”

“Has she the gaelic?” was the next enquiry. I told him “no, she did not speak it, but she understood it pretty well as her father and mother spoke it.” I then had to shake hands with him again. I afterwards found that being half Scotch gave me a welcome to all the Scotch families of the Settlement. At the post office, kept by Mr. Gillespie in his dwelling house, I learned that the Township was served with a weekly mail…

In 1862, George and Christiana (Munro) Sneath started Midhurst’s first post office in their house.

Munro, Lot 14, Conc.7

John Munro, and his wife and family, came from Inverness, Scotland, in 1832, settling first in Penetanguishene, later moving to Barrie, becoming one of the first families to reside in Barrie. About 1835, John moved his family to Lot 14, Conc. 7, where they farmed for many years. His son, Robert, took over the farm and his daughter, Christiana, married George Sneath [1845]. A History of Vespra Township, p.555.

Pioneer Papers – No. 1, Simcoe County Pioneer and Historical Society, Barrie, 1908. or here. p. 9


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