One of the early pioneers of Beckwith, John Conboy, established his home on the 9th line of Beckwith. For those of you reading from out of town that would be: two miles west of Black’s Corners, and four miles south of Carleton Place in Eastern Ontario.
The early settler’s first log home was built when he arrived, but by 1850 Conboy had built himself a fine stone home with eight rooms. In 1885 he was Reeve of the township and appointed justice of the peace for Lanark and Renfrew, in which he served almost 30 years.
In 1861, with a growing family he added a kitchen wing to the house and enlarged it in 1889 with two downstairs bedrooms. Adding a second storey he included an upstairs bedroom (later progressed to 4) and back staircase. Enamelled doorknobs were found throughout the home and the main front room was once the only door that had a door lock. Seeing it was probably used as a courting room for all his daughters, with dear old Dad presiding over the matters of the heart– it makes total sense to me.
One of the owners found Conboy’s wills and it seems that it had a very strange clause that had to do with his lone spinster daughter. You have to remember that a single woman at thirty was a hopeless spinster as life expectancy during those times was about forty years of age. He left her: a bedroom with *ingress and egress and a cow. Conboy had in fact a total of 6 daughters and left the property to his daughter *Elizabeth and her husband James Nesbitt. Their son John Jr. married his cousin Eva Nesbitt and they in turn occupied the house.
The house remained in the family until 1965 when Tay Clarke, a former history professor bought it and turned it into an antique store.
*In property law, ingress, egress, and regress are the rights of a person (such as a lessee) to enter, leave, and return to a property, respectively. In a sale and purchase contract, it means that the buyer gets full rights to insure the property according to Standard A.
*Vol 13 Pg 272 (Lanark Co.) James NESBITT, 30, yeoman, Canada, Beckwith, s/o John NESBITT and Jane PIERCE, married Elizabeth CONBOY, 25, Canada, Beckwith, d/o John CONBOY and Margaret NESBITT, witn: William WHITE and Francis CONBOY, both of Beckwith, 17 May 1871 at Smiths Falls
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 William Lummox, Phineas Lowe, John and Dr. George Nesbitt; also Nowlans (John, Luke, Manny and Patrick), and John Poole, Peter and William Salter, James Saunders, Stephen and William Tomlinson, William Willis, Allan and William Wilson.
Original holders of rights to the town block lots of the 600 acre site over which Franktown must have been expected to grow had also received 100 acres farm sites elsewhere in the township. They included Thomas Armstrong, William Burrows, John Conboy, Daniel Ferguson, Andrew Hughton, three Nesbitts, four Nowlans, Josiah Moss, Owen McCarthy, Thomas Wickham and others.– Howard Morton Brown
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 and now in The Townships Sun