Select Mitchell Miscellany



Here are some Mitchell stories and accounts over the years:

Mitchells of Craigend


Of the Strirlingshire family of Mitchell of Craigend, John, who died in 1711, left a son Alexander who was recorded arms in 1719 as "Mitchell of Mitchell."  His son by the heiress of Livingstone of Parkhall took her name and followed in her inheritance.

But John Mitchell of Craigend had a son Thomas, born in 1792, who was educated at Edinburgh University. The poverty of this family after his father's death led him to join the Army in 1811.  They sent him to Australia.  He gained distinction there as a surveyor and explorer and was knighted for his services in 1839. 


The Sentencing and Execution of Anthony Mitchell in Halifax

"By the ancient custom and liberty of Halifax, the said Anthony Mitchell and Abraham Wilkinson are to suffer death by having their heads severed and cut from their bodies at Halifax Gibbet. 

April 13, 1650."

After this, the said Anthony Mitchell and Abraham Wilkinson were on the same day conducted to the gibbet and there executed in the usual form.  Their executions were the last to occur on the Halifax engine. Whatever the reason, the gibbet engine was allowed to rot where it stood, on the scaffold of Gibbet Lane, opon the stone dressed platform and stone steps where so many had lost their heads.


Owen Mitchell in Ireland

Hugh O'Maoilmhichil (Owen Mitchell) had, like his ancestors, managed cattle herds for the O'Donnells and served as a leader in the local O'Donnell militia.  He was also related to the O'Donnells through marriage. Owen's ancestors had acquired land for their services.  But this land was confiscated by the English. 

Owen had six sons and several daughters.  They left Ulster for Connacht.  Their slogan was "onward to Connacht or hell," because the land in Connacht was rocky and not good.


Reader Feedback - Mitchells from Barnabrach Farm in Sligo

Our Mitchells go back to the twins John and Jane Mitchell who were living, by 1800 at least, at Barnabrach farm near Beltra P.O. north of Sligo town in county Sligo.  

Jane Mitchell married about 1820 to John Black of the nearby Larkhill farm.  One baby Mary Black was buried in the nearby Church of Ireland.  The Blacks were Protestants and were said to have come from Scotland about 1792 to work training the horses at Larkhill.  

The Mitchells were still at Barnabrach in 1962.  Jane Mitchell and John Black had emigrated to Washington town in Litchfield county, Connecticut in 1849 with their nine children.  

Norma Jane Gilbertson (njgilber@gmail.com)


Mitchells in Maryland

The Mitchells of Cecil County were of Scotch-Irish extraction and were the descendants of Dr. Abraham Mitchell, a celebrated physician who had settled at or near the head of Elk some time prior to 1767.  Little was known of his early history except that he was a cousin of the Rev. Alexander Mitchell, a Presbyterian minister. 

Dr. Mitchell was about 25 years of age when he came to this country.  There was a tradition in the family that, having completed his medical studies, his father presented him with a horse, saddle and saddle bags, and $500 in cash, and he started out to seek a favorable location to practice his location.  He lost the money; but, being of robust constitution and possessed of great energy, he set out to repair the loss.


A Mitchell Medley of Songs

To the tune of Battle Hymn of the Republic:

"In England, Wales, and Scotland, and the Emerald Isle as well,
In USA and Canada, in city, plain, and dell,
Where English tongue is spoken - that is where the Mitchells dwell.
The clan goes marching on!

Glory to the name of Mitchell!
Glory to the tribe of Mitchell!
Sapiens asideus!
The clan goes marching on!"

To the tune of Annie Laurie:

"Christopher, Dave, and Sir Andrew
Were fathers of our clan;
Andrew was the King's Scotch chaplain;
Nathan was a minute man;
David was a Governor;
Many Mitchells died at sea;
Stephen was US Chief Justice
Mitchells, they were proud to be!"



Dorothea Mitchell, Lady Lumberjack

Born in England in 1877, Dorothea Mitchell is one of Canada's least known, but significant early 20th century women.  In 1904, realising her limited options in England, Mitchell immigrated to Canada - influenced by the promises made by the Canadian government for free land and a better life awaiting.

In 1910 Dorothea was running a general store in Silver Mountain, Ontario.  She soon found that her store was not very profitable as most patrons bartered for goods.  The most common currency was lumber and Dorothea consequently purchased a sawmill, hired some workers, and became known as the "lady lumberjack."

On receiving news that her mother, sister, and "an old family retainer" were coming to Canada, Mitchell took the unprecedented step of petitioning the Ontario government for land under the Homestead Act.  After a year of frustration and lies and deceit on the part of the Ministry of Lands and Forests, Mitchell was finally granted a homestead.  However, while men were typically granted 160 acres, Mitchell received only 79. 

The Deputy Minister wrote: "While the Department has located you under the Free Grant and Homestead Act for R 140, it is not strictly in accordance with the Act.  Not being a married woman you are not strictly entitled to a free grant."


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