The Old Settlers Weren’t so Old After All

The Old Settlers Weren’t so Old After All

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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

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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