Fonds PR-2026 - Trutch family fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Trutch family fonds

General material designation

  • textual record

Parallel title

Other title information

Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

  • Source of title proper: Title based on contents of fonds.

Level of description


Reference code


Edition area

Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

Class of material specific details area

Statement of scale (cartographic)

Statement of projection (cartographic)

Statement of coordinates (cartographic)

Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1847-1907 (Creation)
    Trutch (family)

Physical description area

Physical description

1.25 m of textual records

Publisher's series area

Title proper of publisher's series

Parallel titles of publisher's series

Other title information of publisher's series

Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series

Numbering within publisher's series

Note on publisher's series

Archival description area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Joseph William Trutch was born in England in 1826, the son of William Trutch and Charlotte Hannah (Barnes). He was one of five children. The other children were Caroline Agnes (Trutch) O'Reilly, John Trutch, Charlotte Barnes (Trutch) Davey and Emily (Trutch) Pinder White. After apprenticing as an engineer, he traveled to the United States in 1849, going first to California and then to Oregon where he was the assistant to John Preston, Oregon's first Surveyor General. He married Preston's sister in law, Julia Hyde, in 1855 and they settled in Illinois. Following the discovery of gold in British Columbia, Trutch decided to move to that colony, where his brother John, also an engineer, had already settled. Trutch arrived in British Columbia in June 1859. He was awarded contracts to survey rural lands and for the construction of sections of the Harrison Lillooet road and, in 1862, for the construction of the section of the Cariboo Road between Chapman's Bar and Boston Bar. That contract included the construction of the Alexandra Suspension Bridge. Trutch was elected a member of the Vancouver Island House of Assembly in 1861. In 1864, he was named Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works for British Columbia. He was made an appointed member of the Legislative Council of the United Colony and advised Governor Seymour on Indian matters, accompanying him on the trip to Metlakatla in 1869 on which Seymour died. He was appointed a member of the delegation sent from British Columbia to Ottawa to negotiate the terms of confederation. When British Columbia joined Canada on July 20, 1871, Trutch was appointed the province's first Lieutenant Governor (1871-1876). In 1880, Trutch was appointed dominion agent in British Columbia with responsibility for railway matters and for providing advice on Indian matters to the federal government. In 1889, he retired to England and was knighted. Julia (Hyde) and Joseph Trutch were members of the Victoria's social elite and were connected through family ties and friendship with other members of that group. Trutch's sister, Caroline Agnes Trutch, married Peter O'Reilly in 1863. His brother John, a civil engineer and surveyor who had followed Trutch to North America, married Governor Anthony Musgrave's sister, Zoe, in 1870. Trutch had also been at school in England with H.P.P. Crease. Lady Trutch died in Victoria on July 16th, 1895 and Sir Joseph Trutch died in Somerset, England, on March 4, 1904.

Custodial history

Letters from MS-0248, purchased from J.K. Nesbitt, Victoria, 1974. Records from MS-0412 transferred from Point Ellice Historic House, Victoria, 1975. Other records, previously part of the Old Catalogue, were received at various times from various donors. The majority of these Old Catalogue records were received from John Windham O'Reilly in 1964.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of correspondence, diaries, account books and other financial and business records of the Trutch family created between 1849 and 1907. Also included in the papers of Joseph William Trutch are records related to his various government positions. The fonds has been arranged into five sous fonds containing the records of: Trutch's mother, Charlotte Hannah (Barnes) Trutch; Joseph William Trutch; his wife, Julia Elizabeth (Hyde) Trutch; his brother John; and John's wife, Zoe Trutch. The Joseph William Trutch sous fonds is the most extensive. The Charlotte Hannah (Barnes) Trutch sous fonds consists of correspondence inward from family members. The Joseph William Trutch sous fonds consists of: a diary; pocket account books with occasional diary entries; correspondence inward, including many letters of sympathy written on the death of his wife, and other personal, business and professional matters; briefs, memos, correspondence, commissions, etc., relating to professional matters; papers relating to business investments; account books and bank books relating both to personal finances and to the construction of the Cariboo road. Charlotte and Joseph William Trutch maintained a correspondence with relatives in England, India and Victoria. Their correspondence inward series contains letters from Davey, Pinder, O'Reilly and Hare relatives and from Julia Trutch's Preston connections. Family letters from Charlotte Barnes (Trutch) Davey and her daughter, Sarah Emily (Davey) Ashley were written from Bombay, India, and describe the life of the merchant class there. The Julia Elizabeth (Hyde) Trutch sous fonds consists of one letter inward. The John Trutch sous fonds consists of correspondence from O'Reilly, Trutch and Pinder family members and financial papers.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


Language of material

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

Access restrictions apply.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Finding aids

Item list of textual records arranged by sous-fonds and series is available under call number MS-2897. This list also includes microfilm reel numbers and old BC Archives call numbers.

Associated materials

Related materials


General note

Archives code(s): AAAA0063

General note

Alternative identifier(s)

Standard number area

Standard number

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Control area

Description record identifier

Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related places

Related genres