There is a saying everything come 360 in this world, or close to it. Last year I wrote about a headstone for William Davis of Beckwith that was left anonymously at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum. Immediately, I went looking for the origins of the headstone and you can read all about my adventures in the related reading links at the bottom.
William and Mary Davis have a new headstone in the Franktown cemetery, and I was told there is an original abandoned family plot somewhere near Franktown. Apparently, it is overgrown and just a few people are buried there. If anyone knows anything about it, please let me know.
This week our fearless metal detector hunter Adam Dowdall went out on one of his usual pilgrimages and found a few things. Two things he showed me were rings: one an old settlers ring, and one a little more embellished than the other. When he began to tell me the story I had chills up and down my spine, because he mentioned Mary Davis, wife of William Davis.
He found it near an old homestead, and who knows how those rings were lost or who it belonged to. Maybe someone was out tending to field work, or maybe even gardening and lost a ring. Nothing was expensive in those days, but the memories were probably priceless. Just like what is left of this homestead in the picture above– just the remainder of a foundation to what was once a fair sized home in Beckwith.
Adam cleaned it up and found a makers mark instead stamped with a crown 350 N. According to Adam’s dad, Beckwith councillor, Brian Dowdall they named the area Davis Side Road after Mary’s family. Mary lived to be 96 years old and died in 1874.
Some of the family came back years later and put the grave marker for Mary and her brother on the hill in memory of the family.
If the people we love move on, the way to have them live on is to never stop loving them. Like the family that came back and left memories on the Beckwith hill.
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.
Related reading on the Davis family
Related Reading for: Adam Dowdall and his Metal Detecting Machine