Connor Family Lanark Fire- National Media

Connor Family Lanark Fire- National Media

hqdefault (3)


Note: The Bathurst Independent Examiner at that time began to be published weekly in the twelve year old community of Perth.  It appears to have been the first newspaper in the province to be located at an inland point north of the original Loyalist settlements which forty-five years earlier had been started along the St. Lawrence and Niagara Rivers and eastern Lake Ontario.



Bathurst Courier, Jan. 19, 1847

It becomes our painful duty to inform our readers of the most distressing calamity that has ever been our lot to record—namely of the destruction of a whole family by fire.  It appears that on the morning of Friday last about 3:00 the home of Patrick Connor, in the Township of Lanark , was discovered to be on fire by some travellers who had put up at the house for the night and were aroused by the screams of a part of the family.

They were obliged to make their escape by breaking a window and going through it.  After having gone out they thought of trying to save the family but found it impossible to do so without jeopardizing their own lives in the attempt; and Mrs. Connor, his wife, 5 children and a girl who had come on the evening previous to act as a servant, all perished in the flames.

Various rumours are afloat, some of them very unpleasant, in reference to this dreadful circumstances and it is very difficult to get at the real facts connected with it.  We are informed that the family had gone to bed about 9:00 the evening previous and the newly elected councillor for McNab, Mr. Paris, and some other person, arrived about 10:00.  Mrs. Connor and the servant got up and got tea for them and all retired to bed about 11:00.

The travellers and the servant man, we are told, slept in a room upstairs and the girl and three of the children in one adjacent, which, had the travellers been aware of when they escaped, it is thought that they could have saved them.  The remains of Connor and his wife were found in the bar room.  The place where they slept was off the bar and from the circumstances of their having been found where it is believed they were trying to escape but becoming stupefied of bewildered could get no further.

An inquest was held on the remains if the unfortunate family and young female 8 in age on Friday last before Dr. Holmes, Coroner, when the following verdict was returned:  “That Patrick Connor, Ellen Connor, Thomas Connor, Rose Connor, Dennis Connor, his five children and Margaret Donahue, came to their deaths by fire and that the said fire originated in the kitchen of Patrick Connor’s house situated in the township of Lanark”.

What an awful warning to careless persons to think that when they lay their heads on the pillow at night it may be the sleep of death ushered without preparedness into eternity.




The Bathurst Courier is printed and published in Perth, Upper Canada, every Friday morning by James Thompson.  Terms 15 shillings if paid in advance, 17s.6d. if not paid till the end of the year.  Postage included.  Produce taken in part payment.  Agents at Bytown, Pakenham, Richmond, Carleton Place, Horton, Lanark, Dalhousie, Sherbrooke, Smiths Falls and Merrick’s Mills.

In 1828, John Stewart, a school master of the Bathurst District Grammar School in Perth began the first Ottawa Valley newspaper – The Bathurst Independent Examiner. The Independent Examiner ceased publication in the late spring of 1834. Three months later in August of 1834, John Cameron, a highly respected local doctor purchased the business of Mr. J. Stewart and began publishing the Bathurst Courier and Ottawa Gazette. Over the years, the paper’s name changed, as did its owners until it became known as the present day Perth Courier.

September 18, 1835.



Clipped from The New York Evening Post01 Feb 1847, MonPage 1



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 The Townships Sun and Screamin’ Mamas (USA)


Related reading

Judge Senkler and the Almonte Fire Bug

Appleton Tragedy


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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s