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The Way We Were: the Story of the Way Family of Way's Mills, Part 1

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larger_way.1.jpgWe know that Way’s Mills was founded in the mid-19th century by Daniel Way, who is buried in Way’s Mills cemetery, up on Jordan Rd. His son, L.S. Way, followed in the footsteps of his father and operated for over half a century the woolen mill that once stood by the Niger River at the entrance of Way’s Mills.

The 50th Anniversary Book of Barnston-West mentions Delia Way, L.S. Way’s sister, who married Francis Clifford and whose descendants are still among us. But where did Daniel come from and whatever happened to L.S. Way, for whom no burial stone can be found on Jordan Rd? What is their story? What is our history? Encouraged by some members of the Holmes family during a lovely picnic they hosted on the lawn of Union Church this past summer, I decided to join those who have at some time or other embarked upon the search to find answers to these questions. Let me share with you what I have discovered so far…

larger_way.2.jpgDaniel Way Sr (not OUR Daniel, but his grandfather) was born in Lyme, Connecticut, in 1744. Lyme was one of the towns created out of Saybrook Colony, on the west bank of the mouth of the Connecticut River, one of the earliest settlements in America, founded in 1635. Daniel Sr’s great-grandfather, George, was born in 1614 in Devon, England, and was one of the settlers of Saybrook, nestled in an area of some 50 kilometres of shoreline, tidal marshes, inland wetlands and forested hills.

Like many others, Daniel Sr eventually moved away from the shoreline which had welcomed the first settlers, to make his way along the banks of the Connecticut River towards the northern wilderness. Daniel Sr and his wife, Ruth, together with their eight children, must have taken to the trails like many other settlers did, with a cart pulled by oxen and piled up with all of their belongings.

To be continued…