John Goth–Tales of Beckwith Township


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1930, Sept. 20 – Ottawa Citizen Newspaper

A remarkable story is told by Mr. Robert Goth of Metcalfe Road at the top of Brian Doyle’s hill, about his grandfather and his father. It is that type of story which, in these days of comfort and convenience, one finds hard to believe. But there is no doubt that the pioneers put up with things and suffered hardships of a most serious character.

In the year 1818 John Goth came from England and settled on crown land in the township of Beckwith, about three miles this side of Carleton Place. Of course, at that time Carleton Place was not in existence, nor had it been thought of, though the falls were there doing business. John Goth had been a soldier in the Imperial Army. At the close of the Napoleonic wars, he was discharged. The policy then of the Imperial Government was to encourage its ex-soldiers to go to the Canadian colonies where they would form a reserve force of trainer men in the event of the United Stakes attacking this country.

So it came about that the summer of 1818 found John Goth, his young wife and a child of 4, also called John, settled in Beckwith. But Mr. Goth soon fell into trouble. Early in the fall his wife took sick of some sort of fever, and after a short illness, died.

Soon after his wife’s death, it became necessary for Mr. Goth to go to Prescott on business in connection with his grant of land. At least, Mr. Robert Goth thinks it was that. In any event he had to leave home. As there were no neighbours for miles around, the father decided that the only thing he could do was to leave the child in the house and make a forced trip. He told his son afterwards that he suffered mental agonies while he was away.

He put plenty of food on the rough table so that the child could help himself and showed him how to cover himself in bed at night. Then he had a long talk with the little fellow, explaining what he was going to do and urging him to be brave and not cry. Then finally, after kissing the little boy a fond good-bye and promising to bring him a toy, he went out and shut the heavy wooden door, securing it with a bolt and rope to prevent the entrance of bears or wolves. He had previously put bars over the only window in the cabin. Then, with a choke in his throat, he hurried away. He followed the old Indian trial which passed what is now Britannia and then veered off to the Rideau River which it followed for a considerable distance and then ran overland to the St. Lawrence River about four miles east of Prescott.

We will pass over John Goth’s 200-mile walk (there and back) and return him safe and sound to the front of his cabin five days later. One can imagine the feelings of suspense he would have as he tore open the rope from the door and threw it open. Would the son be dead or alive, sick or well? It was late afternoon of the fifth day when Mr. Goth arrived home. There had not been a sound in the house. He threw open the door. There, on the pine mattress lay the little boy! He rushed in and grabbed the child in his arms. The boy opened his eyes and threw his arms around his father’s neck. He had been asleep.

Now isn’t that a happy ending to the story? Perhaps it is just as well to tell that a little more than a year later, young John Goth had a new Mama to look after him when his father had to go away.



Immigrate to Beckwith Township

Lanark County Genealogical Society Website

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News



Read more about John “John Goth of Marlborough”Darlene Carnegie


John Goth (b. Abt. 1787, d. August 23, 1874)
John Goth was born Abt. 1787 in Dent, Yorkshire, England, and died August 23, 1874 in Horton Township, Renfrew County, Ontario, Canada.He married (1) Margaret “Peggy” Alderson on November 22, 1814 in Chapelry of Dent, Yorkshire, England.He married (2) Mary Elizabeth McNeely on Abt. 1823 in Beckwith Twsp, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada, daughter of James McNeely.

More About John Goth:
Burial: 1874, St Filian’s Cemetery, United Cemeteries of Beckwith Twsp, near Carleton Place, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada.
Residence: 1870, Goth Homestead, Ashton, Beckwith Twsp., Lanark County, Ontario, Canada.

More About John Goth and Margaret “Peggy” Alderson:
Marriage: November 22, 1814, Chapelry of Dent, Yorkshire, England.
More About John Goth and Mary Elizabeth McNeely:
Marriage: Abt. 1823, Beckwith Twsp, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada.
Children of John Goth and Margaret “Peggy” Alderson are:
John Goth, b. Abt. 1815, Dent, Yorkshire, England, d. March 11, 1897, Gloucester Twsp, Carleton County, Ontario, Canada.
Elizabeth Goth, b. April 27, 1817, Dent, Yorkshire, England, d. April 30, 1817, Dent, Yorkshire, England.

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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