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23-005 · Collection · [197-]-2023

Fonds consists of research materials and notes, modern correspondence, photocopies of historical documentation, and genealogical resources for the Need family as well as other people living in both England and Newcastle District. The historical documentation includes wills, gravesite information, lot and concession records, military records, correspondence. As well as the Need family, there is also biographical information on other families, including the Dunsfords, Langtons, Campbells, and Sawers.

These research materials were accumulated by Dawn Bell Logan and used to write books, articles, and biographical entries about Thomas Need, including Thomas Need : settler in the backwoods of Upper Canada (self published, 2022), and the Dictionary of Canadian Biography entry for Thomas Need (V. 12). Photographs are of some sites in Lincolnshire, U.K, Peterborough, Canada, the Trent Severn Waterway, Thomas Need’s descendants, and gravestones of Need family members.

Fonds is organized into four series: Thomas Need journals and correspondence; Research materials and manuscripts; Dawn Logan correspondence; and Files on Dawn Logan’s publications.

Thomas Need Biography

Thomas Need (1808-1895) emigrated from Nottingham, England to Upper Canada in May 1832 and settled in Verulam Township in Victoria County in 1833 around Sturgeon Lake. He had graduated from University College, London, in 1830 and rejected the idea of becoming a member of the clergy. This contributed to his decision to leave England.

While in Upper Canada, Need was a member of the government commission that oversaw the construction of what became the first lock of the Trent-Severn Waterway, founded the Village of Bobcaygeon in 1834, and served as a magistrate for the Court of Requests from 1835 to 1837.

Need anonymously published his book Six years in the bush or extracts from the journal of a settler in Upper Canada (London, 1838) on his experiences in Upper Canada. The book was based on his journal entries he made in his personal journal which he called the “Woodhouse Journal.” Need returned to Nottingham, England permanently in 1847 and died in 1895. His authorship was confirmed with the publication of John Langton’s letters in 1926 and he was subsequently recognized as a contributor to early Canadian literature.

Source: Biography – NEED, THOMAS – Volume XII (1891-1900) – Dictionary of Canadian Biography. http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/need_thomas_12E.html. Accessed 11 Jan. 2024.

Logan, Dawn Bell
2 · Series · [197-]-2023 [originally created 1794-2023]
Part of Dawn Bell Logan collection on Thomas Need

Series consists of other resources used by Dawn Logan while researching Thomas Need. Files include correspondence, research notes, newspaper articles, genealogical resources, and biographical information on contemporaries of Thomas Need and his family members, including a family tree. Files on Need cover both his time in Canada and England. Files also include references to other settler families living in Bobcaygeon, Ontario (Verulam Township), and the surrounding area, including Cobourg, Colbourne, and the Bobcaygeon locks. Other families or contemporaries mentioned include the Boyds, Langtons, Nicol Hugh Baird and Thomas Stewart. Series also consists of biographical information for Thomas Need, Reverand William Welfitt, and the Robertson and Junkin families, including wills, newspaper clippings, and correspondence. Series also consists of excerpts of manuscripts and books used to research Thomas Need. The manuscripts are on the topics of Bobcaygeon, Ontario and on the Bick family.