Series 3 - Harvey James Sims and Florence Katherine Roos Family

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Harvey James Sims and Florence Katherine Roos Family

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Biographical history

The Sims family were early white settlers of what is now Hawkesville, Ontario. Members of the family are the descendants of Reverend James Sims was born ca.1812 in Insch, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. On June 1, 1836, he married the widow Janet Harvey Robertson and in 1837 came to what is now Canada with a large party of relatives: his father and mother, his wife and step-children Alexander, John and Jane Robertson, his brothers Peter and Andrew Sims, his sister Margaret, and nephews James and Peter Sims.

In 1838 the family settled as squatters on Queen's Bush land near Hawkesville in Wellesley Township. James and Margaret Sims had four children: Janet Sims, (1838-1926), James Campbell Sims (1842-1929), Peter Harvey Sims (1844-1920) and William Andrew Sims (1846-1930). James Sims died October 31, 1880. Both he and his descendants played an active role in the the educational, religious and commercial development of what is now the Region of Waterloo.

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Records documenting the family life of Harvey J. Sims and his wife Florence Katherine Roos, who married October 29, 1902. Correspondence to Florence is sparse but includes three letters from her old friend Isabel Grace Christina "Bella" King, sister of William Lyon Mackenzie King. Florence had a literary bent and some of her writing is present in the collection, including her biography of Sheriff George Davidson.

A quantity of letters from Peter H. Sims to his son Harvey are present from 1888 (when Harvey was 17) to 1912. Peter gives opinions, advice, and instruction on every aspect of Harvey's life. He attempts to guide Harvey through the narrow path to success in the legal profession, counselling frugality, moral rectitude, and duty to family above all. He even gives Harvey step-by-step instructions on cleaning and painting his basement to make it healthy.

Correspondence from Harvey's mother Jemima is not as sympathetic. In 1898, on hearing a report that Harvey had been struck by a ball, she advises him strongly to give up football as "beneath the dignity of a practising barrister." Harvey never took this advice as he had a strong interest in many sports and made his mark in all of them: football, curling, and lawn bowling.
Also present in this series is correspondence from his sister Rella and her family, legal agreements, ephemera, football ephemera, lawn bowling scrapbook and trip ephemera.

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Donated in 2019 by the Sims Family.


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  • English

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Described July 2019 JSB

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  • English

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