What Happened to Mary Abercrombie of Burgess?


Outbuilding on Property of Allans Mill

Bathurst Courier, Feb. 9, 1847

Information Wanted:

Mary Abercrombie, who left her father’s residence in Burgess about 16 months ago and has no since been heard of.  Any information about her will be gratefully received.  James Abercrombie

I wondered what had happened to Mary Abercrombie after I read it in the newspaper archives and went on a search. I knew that in the 1800s women were seen, by the middle classes at least, as belonging to the domestic sphere, and this stereotype required them to provide their husbands, or even fathers with a clean home, and food on the table.

Women’s rights were extremely limited in this era, losing ownership of all of their physical property,  and enduring their husband’s and father’s control,  with economic deprivation.  Sometimes, especially when their mothers had died were, these young girls were solely responsible for the family home and sisters and brothers and were given no way out.

So I found Mary Abercrombie and she was barely 19 when her father placed the personal ad in the Bathurst  Courier. Initially I thought there were small brothers and sisters she was responsible for so she ran away.  Mary had her first child James out of wedlock on the 17th of February 1855. She later married her husband James Drysdale Condie on the 2nd of April 1855. Looking at James’s former residence which was Burgess Township where Mary’s Dad lived– one has to now ask themselves if they ran away together. Was that why an ad was placed for her whereabouts?

In 1860 Mary had another son Alex, and then William in 1862 who became a farmer and married Hattie MacIntosh of Renfrew in 1862. Mary Abercrombie Condie died in 1868 at the age of 40, and I wondered if she too suffered the probable fate of her mother, dying after giving birth to her daughter Isabella. Her daughter Isabella later married a widower  Frances Little who was 37 from the same area-she was 26.

Now we know most of the story or do we?

Not really– I later found out that Mary had another child  Jessie Condie who died at birth (1859-1859) and after Mary Abercrombie died in 1868 James Condie remarried in 1869 to Janet Johnson and they had another seven children.

It never stops does it.:)


From the Weedmark Family Tree

Mary Abercrombie,   b. 1828, Upper Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 22 Dec 1868, Beachburg, Westmeath Township, Renfrew County, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location   (40 years)
Married  2 Apr 1855

James Drysdale Condie,   (b. 25 May 1825, Burgess Township, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 4 May 1899, Westmeath Township, Renfrew County, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location   (73 years

Perth, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location
1. James Duncan Condie,  b. 17 Feb 1855, Westmeath Township, Renfrew County, Ontario, Canada ,  d. 19 Feb 1926, Renfrew County, Ontario, Canada   (71 years)
2. Alex Condie,  b. Abt 1860, Westmeath Township, Renfrew County, Ontario, Canada
3. William Condie,  b. 9 Jun 1862, Westmeath Township, Renfrew County, Ontario, Canada

10599-95 (Renfrew Co) William CONDIE, 35, farmer, Westmeath, Westmeath, s/o James CONDIE & Mary ABERCROMBIE married Hattie MACKINTOSH, 20, Westmeath, Westmeath, d/o William MACKINTOSH & Ester BURKE, witn: John J. CONDIE & Hattie M. BROWN of Westmeath, 3 July 1895, Westmeath
4. Isabella Condie,  1863

Isabella Condie
Born  Westmeath Township, Renfrew County, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location
Gender  Female
  • Wedding Day
    10818-89 Francis LITTLE, 37, widower, farmer, Westmeath, same, s/o John LITTLE & Agnes McGEE, married Isabella CONDIE, 26, Westmeath, same, d/o James CONDIE & Mary ABERCROMBIE, witn: Robert DOUGHERTY of Westmeath & Sarah ABERCROMBIE of Perth, 9 Feb 1887 at res of James Condie Jr., brother of the bride, Westmeath
Person ID  I0075 Weedmark Family Tree
Last Modified  9 Jun 2011

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.

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


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.

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