William Bell (1777-1839) and Flora ? (1781-1856) 3X great-grandparents were from Fermanagh, Ireland and William an Ulster Scot.
My 2X great grandfather Hugh Bell (1809-1866) and his wife Susanna Dunbar(1806-1898) were both born here at the turn of the 19th century. Their lives would have been such that we today could only imagine.
One of the greatest banes for people was sanitation and hygiene. Water contamination plagued the lives of the populace and infections were rampant. Religious fanatics believed torment and suffering borne through birthing was part of their philosophy allowing women to accept the perils of pregnancy and childbirth.
These laws were repressive and kept the common people under the control of the British.
Irish Rebellion, 1798
The battle was no match as the Irish pikes were no match for the British firearms. Even when the French stepped in to support the Irish the clash failed. This caused the elimination of the Irish Parliament uniting Ireland further to Britain.
Parent were harsh and demanding on their children in these burdensome times. Even young children would have been expected to help with the livestock and harvest the crops. If they lived in villages they would have been expected to help their father with his trade.
In the case of Hugh, this would have meant learning the trade of weaving and market gardening. This would prepare them to follow in their fathers footsteps in whatever trade he might have been versed.
In the case of Susanna, she would have more than likely learned the skills to run the house. Some did become seamstresses and stationers, but most like their mother's were trained for housework and motherhood.
The few toys they might have had would have been tops or dice. Any spare time would have been spent roaming the Irish countryside.
Oral hygiene was also changing once toothpaste and toothbrushes came into play. The first toothbrush of a more modern design was made by William Addis in England around 1780 – the handle was carved from cattle bone and the brush portion was still made from swine bristles. In 1844, the first 3-row bristle brush was designed.
The development of toothpastes in more modern times started in the 1800s. Early versions contained soap and in the 1850s chalk was included. Betel nut was included in toothpaste in England in the 1800s, and in the 1860s a home encyclopedia described a home-made toothpaste that used ground charcoal.
Perhaps Hugh's family being also market gardeners were able to add other vegetables they cultivated into their diet. Meat was a rarity and usually consisted of pork or mutton.
Both Hugh and Susanna left Ireland before the the devastating "Potato Famine" of 1845 to 1852.
Once in Canada where distances were greater a horse and wagon would have been the transportation of choice.
END OF PART 1