The Old Settlers Weren’t so Old After All

The Old Settlers Weren’t so Old After All

images (1)


Almonte Ontarioaeriel view of no 1 falls bridge

Ocotber 7 1898

One by one the old settlers of this neighbourhood are passing away and we are being reminded of the truth of the saying that “ the young may die, but the old must.” Mr. Gavin Lindsay, one of the oldest and most respected residents of this section, joined the silent majority last Monday at noon, in the 80th year of his age. He had been ill for a time— a wearing out of the system. Deceased was a son of the late William Lindsay, of Ramsay, and was born in the town of Wisha, Lanarkshire, Scotland, Nov. 15th, 1818.

He came to Canada in 1820 with his parents, who were among the very first Settlers in Ramsay. Some idea of the hardships endured by these old settlers in the “ primeval forest,” as far as regards travelling, may be gathered from the fact that the effects of the Lindsay family when they went to occupy their newly drawn land were conveyed thither on a raft from the foot of the falls at Almonte down the Mississippi to the farm Mr. Lindsay had selected, which is now owned by Mr. William Simpson.

The hard work incident to early life in the bush must have been more than balanced by the simple life of the people, for most of them lived to a good old age. Gavin was the youngest of a family of seven, and the only surviving one is Mrs. Pollock, of North Gower, aged 86. Two had reached the patriarchal age of over 90 at death, and all exceeded the allotted span.

The deceased remained single until about eight years ago, when he married Elizabeth Cumming, age 38, widow of the late Edward Cumming, of Almonte at the age of 70. The late Mr. Lindsay in his early years was a farmer, having, like most youngest sons of the old settlers, succeeded to the homestead, on which he remained until twelve or fifteen years ago, when he retired from the active duties of farm life and moved into Almonte.

For several years, in company with his brothers William and Alexander, he successfully ran the sawmill at White Lake. Mr. Lindsay, like all the old Scotch settlers who settled in this county in the early twenties, was a great reader, and a very intelligent man. He was exceedingly quiet and ostentatious, but was of the sterling kind of which the best citizens are made. He was a strong adherent of the Presbyterian church and a member of St. Andrew’s congregation, Almonte.

In politics he was a pronounced Liberal, and, like most of the old Reformers of this county, was always able to give reason for his political faith. His funeral, which took place on Wednesday afternoon, to the eighth line cemetery, was largely attended. Rev R. J. Hutcheon, M .A., pastor of St. Andrew ’s, officiated. Mrs. Lindsay and the other relatives have the sympathy of a large circle of friends






Perth Courier, April 8, 1887

Almonte—Among the old people resident in this district are the Lindsay family who were among the pioneers of the Township of Ramsay and Pakenham and who are worthy of notice for their remarkable longevity.  There were in all seven in the family of whom all but one who died at 73 years of age are now living and the combined age of the six totals no less than 177 years.  They are as follows:  John Lindsay, 86; James Lindsay, 84; Alexander Lindsay, 82; Susan, Mrs. Pollack, 76; Mrs. John Gilmour of Almonte, 77; Gavin Lindsay, Almonte, 69.  All are hale and hearty and are in possession of all their faculty.


Perth Courier, July 11, 1890

Ontario Marriages 1857-1924

Elizabeth Beaton(widow Mrs. Cummings) age 38 b. Darling d/of John Beaton and Janet Paton married July 2, 1890  Gavin Lindsay age 70 bachelor, retired farmer, s/o William Lindsay and Ann Campbell in Almonte, Lanark both residents of Almonte.

Lindsay-Cummings—Married, at Almonte on the 2nd July, by Rev. A. S. Grant, B.D., Mr. Gavin Lindsay to Mrs. Elizabeth Cummings both of Almonte.

006615-90 (Lanark Co.) Gavin LINDSAY, 70, retired farmer, Scotland,
Almonte, s/o William LINDSAY & Ann CAMPBELL, married Elizabeth BEATON
(nee CUMMINGS), 38, Darling, Almonte, widow, d/o John BEATON & Janet
PATON, wtn: D. SHAW & S.J. KINNARD, both of Almonte, on July 2, 1890, at


Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun and Screamin’ Mamas (USA)




Some Cold Hard Facts- First Tailor in Ramsay and a Cow Without a Bell

Dear Lanark Era –Lanark Society Settlers Letter

Ramsay Settlers 101

Beckwith –Settlers — Sir Robert the Bruce— and Migrating Turtles

What is the Biggest Change in Your Lifetime? Ramsay 1979

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.

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 )

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