A Monument Back in Time –Time Travelling in Lanark County —Part 1



Here lies William Davis at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum. Where did this headstone come from? That was the question I asked Jennifer Fenwick Irwin, the curator, Friday night. No one seems to know, yet I heard a story a few times on Saturday that William Davis’s headstone was once in someone’s basement. But that could be a tall Lanark County tale, and I felt compelled to get to the bottom of it.

I couldn’t sleep all night, and at 5 am I got up Saturday morning and revved up the computer determined to get to the bottom of it. The dog looked at me like I was crazy, but he knows better now, and took his usual position behind my computer chair ready to hear me talk to myself.

I found a William Davis in Bells Corners who had some affiliation with the Morphys of Carleton Place, but the more I looked, I realized it wasn’t him, and the date of his death was wrong. I really began to go through Howard Morton Brown’s writings, and after an hour I finally found something.

1833- Among commissioners chosen to supervise the spending of some 200 pounds of provincial grants for road repairs in the neighbourhood of Carleton Place, mainly in Beckwith township, were John Cameron, James Cram, Duncan Cram, William Davis, Thomas James, Phineas Low, John McDonell and Archibald McGregor, Robert Johnston, Donald Robertson, David Moffatt, Thomas Saunders, Stephen Tomlinson, James Bennie and William Drynan.

Bingo! That is all I needed and really started to dig.

Beckwith’s Anglican Church Founders

Beckwith township settlers who had petitioned in 1823 for the grant of the government building in Franktown for Church of England uses included such names as Austin Allen, George Bailey, John Conboy, Robert and William Davis, several Edwards (George, Thomas, Richard and Francis), James Garland, George, John, Robert and William Griffith, Henry and William Hawkins, Luke and William James, Peter Jones, William Kerfoot and William Kidd.  Others were Leaches (Edward, Thomas, Samuel and William), John, Thomas and

Okay I have the location let’s go see what is on Ancestry.ca- I learned that Williams had a few brothers but the one mentioned the most was Robert Davis.

I am looking for information on William Davis who came to Leeds county from Ireland (Wexford County) with his father (name unknown) and Brothers ( i believe 12 of them) . I know that William had at least one son – Edward 1816-1907 (my great great grandfather), I’m not sure if there were others. Any information on William or other children would be greatly appreciated.



I have have some information for the Robert Davis family who settled in Beckwith Township, near Franktown. These papers indicate that Robert’s daughter Elizabeth married an Adam Sly.

Robert Davis was part of the Wexfod influx into Beckwith Township.

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I know Elizabeth Davis had a brother Robert, he erected a grave stone in her memory with his name on it, “erected by Robert Davis in memory of his sister”. Although they are not listed in your info I will keep it for future reference Thanks, Doug Sly

Looking informaton about brothers Robert Davis (1782?-1869),
William Davis (1790-1875) and Edward Davis. They immigrated from Wexford to con 4 & 5, Beckwith Township, in adjoining Lanark Co., Ontario just 12-14 miles north of the Leeds Co. border about 1816.
Bill Mains

I have have some information for the Robert Davis family who settled in Beckwith Township, near Franktown. These papers indicate that Robert’s daughter Elizabeth married an Adam Sly. Robert’s wife was also named Mary like his brother William’s wife.


I have just discovered what I feel is important information on the Davis family who settled near Franktown. Two headstones, one for Mary Davis and one for Albert Davis. On Mary’s headstone, it reads wife of William. Both headstones are in an isolated bush area near Franktown. I am also aware of a Leonard Davis who lost his life in a farm accident somewhere in the 1960’s or a bit earlier. These stones are on private property and I feel that family should be aware of them.

So after three hours I know where William once lived and was on my way to Franktown. I knew from cemetery records that there was a new monument in the Franktown cemetery for William and Mary. William’s original gravestone was at the museum and his wife Mary’s was in some godforsaken lost burial plot. I had to see it for myself.

See today’s other blog to see what happened.

Part 2

“Like a Prayer I left My Mark in Franktown”


 Bill Davis emailed this to Jennifer Fenwick Irwin at the museum

I came across a story about the mystery of anonymously donated William Davis gravestone.  It’s not too mysterious.  Glenn Lockwood shows a photo of the Robert Davis gravestone and gives the location of the family burial site – Davis homestead on lot 16, con 4 (page 65).  Robert was a brother of William and there is a fair bit of information on his family in Lockwood’s book (family portrait page 153).  George Kidd, “The Story of the Derry” identifies Edward Davis who settled on Ferguson Road as another brother.  A sister married Phineas Lowe, another early pioneer.  I have the papers of Marjorie Davis, one of numerous documents  I have to catalog.  Although the Davis name died out in Beckwith, there are lots of descendants throughout the area.

About lindaseccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

4 responses »

  1. I have some paperwork dating back to 1850’s on Elizabeth Davis family. She arrived in 1819 with 3 sons RobertDavis and wife Mary Sutton, Edward Davis his wife and William Davis and his wife Mary Scott settled in Franktwown.


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