Fonds F1064 - Tett Family fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

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Tett Family fonds

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1820-1968 (Creation)
    Tett (family)

Physical description area

Physical description

14.31 m of textual records and other material

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Name of creator


Biographical history

The founder of the family, Benjamin Tett (1798-1878) was born at Hinton-St. George, Somerset, England, and came to Canada in 1818 settling first at Perth and later at Isthmus (now Newboro). Benjamin Tett was contracted to apprentice with James O'Hare, Surgeon and Apothocary of Perth for four years from 1818 to 1822; it is not likely that he fulfilled the contract. He also had a teaching position with Reverend Harris during his time in Perth. He had business dealings with Samuel Chaffey at Chaffey's Locks and opened a sawmill at Buttermilk Falls (now Bedford Mills). When he moved to Isthmus he held a variety of positions including postmaster, justice of the peace, coroner and government land agent. He was a member of the district council for Johnstown and later for Leeds-Grenville. He became reeve in 1855 and a member of the Assembly of the united provinces in 1858. In 1867 he was a member of the Ontario Legislature. Besides the sawmill at Bedford Mills, Benjamin Tett was engaged in buying timber, having it transported along the Rideau Canal and was the owner of timber limits. He was official lumbering agent for the Crown and Clergy Reserves Land in South Crosby. He also operated stores at Bedford Mills and at Newboro. In 1833 Benjamin Tett married Julyanna Poole and they had two sons, John Poole Tett and Benjamin Tett, Junior; and three daughters. The sons continued their father's enterprises and formed a partnership, J.P. Tett and Brother. Their business activities included a grist mill, flour mill, sawmill, stores and a boarding house.They also owned several barges and tugs which plied the Rideau to Ottawa or Kingston. Later, they established an electric plant which provided the area with electricity and at one period operated a canning factory. The electrical plant, until it was taken over by the Ontario Hydro Commission, was run by Edmund J. Tett, grandson of Benjamin Tett.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists of correspondence, day books, journals, ledgers, cash books, and the financial records documenting the business transactions at the store, saw-mill, grist mill, flour mill, boarding house and electric plant. Also included is an Indenture between Benjamin Tett and O'Hare. The papers record the affairs of Benjamin Tett and his sons, John Poole Tett and Benjamin Tett, Junior and grandson Edmmund J. Tett.

Notes area

Physical condition

2247 Vols. 2-21 and 103 are severely deteriorated due to thin paper and the use of iron gall ink, which has eaten through sections of the paper. Many pages in 2247, boxes 1-12 are also in poor condition.

Immediate source of acquisition

Donated by Mr. E.J. Tett - 1942, 1969; Mr. John K. Tett - 1971; Purchased from David Ewans by the Chancellor Richardson Memorial Fund - 1997. Transferred from Fisher Rare Book Collection, University of Toronto through the good offices of Dr. John Gray -2003.


For Location 2247, five boxes containing small or fragile volumes have been placed in boxes which are located right after the bound volumes. Box A contains volumes 1, 22, 40 Box B contains volumes 41 Box C contains volumes 50, 51, 54, 55, 56 Box D contains volumes 66, 67, 69-73 Box E contains volumes 74, 75, 77, 78, 81 (missing), 82

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Location of originals

F3 D15 I3

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Public domain

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No further accruals are expected

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Description created on 1999/08/27. Last updated 19/06/2015.
Archivist(s): Ken Willmott

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  • English

Script of description


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Location (use this to request the file)

  • Shelf: 2247
  • Shelf: 2303.27
  • Shelf: F3 D15 I3