Beckwith –Settlers — Sir Robert the Bruce— and Migrating Turtles

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turlake

Unlike Perth, life for the Beckwith settlers that came on the ships Sophia, Jean and Curlew in the summer of 1819 from the highlands, was a tad easier as all the Beckwith land surveys had been done in 1816. ( I have been told I was wrong that Beckwith was mapped first but after all the research I have done I am holding my ground– of course that’s a woman for you):)

But, one only has to look at the outlay of the land to understand what hardships they endured. One of the most devastating was the distance in land travel with the only mode of transportation being “man-pack”.

Settled almost exclusively by weavers from the area south of Glasgow, Scotland, who organized themselves
into “Emigration Societies”, the terrain of low hills, rocky outcrops and fast-running rivers and
streams was ideal for raising sheep and establishing textile mills.

SnapperCR57

These Highland Lowlander settlers came with little else but courage. The first settler was a pioneer named McNaughton who located on Lot 5 in the 7th concession somewhere near the year 1817. However, Archibald (Archie) Dewar came to Beckwith Township bringing along a famous relic from the Motherland. He was the custodian of the Quigrich– The Crozier of St. Fillian by lineal descent, and he also settled with others on the same concession. The relic had been in his family since the time of Robert the Bruce.

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Archibald was the hereditary Keeper of the Quigrich or Coigrich, a relic of St. Fillan, which had spiritual and healing powers, and also legal entitlements. In 1314, Robert the Bruce probably used it when he drove the English from Scotland at the Battle of Bannockburn. In 1487, King James III proclaimed the DEWAR family as Keepers “sen the tyme of King Robert the Bruys and of before”.

turhouse

The relic was actually a filigreed silver case which enclosed the original bronze head of St. Fillan’s staff of 750 AD, and it was here in Beckwith from 1818-1850. Son Alexander, the last Keeper, sold it to the National Museum of Antiquities in Edinburgh Scotland on 30 Dec 1876 for 700 dollars. Rumour was they needed the money, but I can’t even imagine having to part with something that was in the family that long.

Dewar_Monument

                                                               DEWAR Monument Kennedy Cemetery
                                                                   Beckwith Twp, Lanark Co, Ontario

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Monuments and archaeological pieces serve as testimonies of man’s greatness and establish a dialogue between civilizations showing the extent to which human beings are linked. Even road-crossing turtles.

 

comments

Ray Paquette

Your blog on Beckwith Township and in particular, the note that the McNaughton family was the first family to settle on the 7th concession got me to wondering if Murray McNaughton, whose farm I worked on during threshing for a few days in the early 1960’s was a direct descendant. His farm was on the 7th line and I wondered if it was part of the original land grant.
Your blog on Beckwith Township and in particular, the note that the McNaughton family was the first family to settle on the 7th concession got me to wondering if Murray McNaughton, whose farm I worked on during threshing for a few days in the early 1960’s was a direct descendant. His farm was on the 7th line and I wondered if it was part of the original land grant.
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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. Your blog on Beckwith Township and in particular, the note that the McNaughton family was the first family to settle on the 7th concession got me to wondering if Murray McNaughton, whose farm I worked on during threshing for a few days in the early 1960’s was a direct descendant. His farm was on the 7th line and I wondered if it was part of the original land grant.

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