Monday, October 25, 2010

Amanuensis Monday- More from Rev. Bill's Memoirs

Reverend Ingraham Ebenezer Bill (1805-1891)

Last week on Amanuensis Monday I posted the first part of Reverend Ingraham Ebenezer Bill's memoirs. I'll be posting a little bit every Monday for the next few weeks. Last week's post included a bit of Bill genealogy, starting in England and Boston. This branch of the Bills were living in Lebanon, Connecticut before immigrating to Nova Scotia. Their settlement is known as "Billtown", part of Cornwallis outside of Wolfeville. His immediate ancestors (grandparents and parent) are described here. These are all good clues to the family tree, but fortunately I already knew the Bill lineage from the book written by Ledyard Bill in 1867, The History of the Bill Family . Next week I'll include more from this memoir about Reverend Bill's young adulthood and conversion to the Baptist faith. There are only a few words I was not able to transcribe.

"The Provincial Branch of the Family

...By this brief reference ?? ?? ancestors in the old world and their rise and progress in the new we have prepared the way to that of those who gave us a favored birth on Nova Scotia soil. We belong to the sixth generation of Bills on this continent, and to the second generation in Nova Scotia.

My grandfather’s Christian name was Ebenezer and my Grandmother’s maiden name was Ingraham. Being the youngest of the family may parents kindly honored me by giving me the names of both grandparents. The modern mode of spelling my first name leaves out the ah and hence we have Ingram instead of Ingraham. My father’s name was Asahel Bill. He was born in Lebanon, Connecticut, April 7th 1740 and removed with his father to Nova Scotia about 1755 where he was subsequently united in marriage to Mary Rand, a native of that province. Happy in their marriage life and full of youthful aspiration and vigor they selected for their future home a magnificent tract of land of several hundred acres in the center of the township of Cornwallis. This district was subsequently in honor of my father, called Billtown. The value of the tract selected was greatly influenced by a block of intervals of not less than a hundred acres of surprising fertility. From the ample products of this fruitful homestead our parents were not only able to supply the physical and mental necessities of a large family but to accumulate what was then considered a most valuable property which was ultimately divided between their three sons John M., Caleb R., and Ingram E. and four daughters Sarah, Rebecca, Mary and Levinia.

Our parents were trained religiously in the doctrine and practice of the Presbyterian faith, but by a careful study of the word of God they changed their views regarding the subjects and mode of Christian baptism, and embraced Baptist sentiment and participated largely in the revival influence experienced under the ministrations of the Mannings, Hardings, Crandals and others of that class. Their hearts and their home were open at all times to extend to these servants of God and their ??? the rites of a truly Christian hospitality. In that home of peace and Christian love the gospel was frequently proclaimed by Gods chosen interpreter with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven, and there united prayers were offered such as God delights to hear and answer.

The change in my mother’s views regarding ordinances did not prevent her from teaching her children the summary of doctrine contained in the Westminster catechism. So thoroughly did she instruct them in these fragmental verities of the Christian faith that as they grew to years of understanding they formed no difficulty in giving a good reason for the faith which they cherished. Thorough catechistical instruction coming from parental lips to children made their fostering care produce impressions and connections not easily e??. Hence the obligations resting upon parents to apply themselves carefully and prayerfully to the religious culture of those that God has given them."

Part One of this Memoir can be read here

Part Two can be read here

Copyright 2010, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

1 comment:

  1. This is wonderful, Heather! What a treasure. Can't wait to read next week's selection.