The Robertson Family of Lanark County

The Robertson Family of Lanark County




There were numerous Robertson families in the Lanark/Perth/Rosetta areas and they are very confusing, to say the least. Maybe I can fill you in on the little bit that I know.
John Sandlons Robertson (1811-1896) was a son of James R. and Helen Rollo. His obituary in 1896 states that he came in 1821 with his parents and settled on the 3rd line of Lanark Twp. From the settlers lists on the Lanark Genweb site, there is only one James R. who came in 1821 and settled in Lanark Twp., but on Lot 19, Con. 1, West 1/2. His son John Sandlons married Margaret Barr and moved to Robertsons Lake in Lavant Twp., Lanark Co. where he died . He and Margaret had at least 11 children (maybe more): James Rollo, Robert B., Agnes and Isabella the twins who married brothers John and William Paul, Helen, Wm., Thos., Janet, John, Mary, Charlotte (Mrs. Albert Bingley) and possibly Edward and Lena.

ANOTHER John Robertson (1818-1901) lived at Robertsons Lake, Lavant Twp. at the same time; his wife- Jane McInnes. They had a family of 5 daughters- one of whom, Annie, married Moses B. Paul (my great grandparents),another brother of the John and Wm. Paul mentioned above. She was a distant cousin of the twin Robertson sisters who married John and Wm. I haven’t found out this connection as of yet, but I’m sure there is one between Annie R. and Agnes and Isabella. This John Robertson (1818-1901) arrived with his parents John and Janet in 1820 on the ship Commerce. This MAY be the John and Janet R. buried in Lanark Village Cemetery in 1862 and 1852 respectively. John (1818-1901) had brothers Robert and Thomas and sisters Anne and Spencer (Mrs. Alex. Horn)
There is a Robertson family cemetery at Union Hall, Ramsay Twp., Rosetta area and this family is, to the best of my knowledge, not related to the previous 2 families mentioned above.

AND there was yet another Robertson family in Drummond Twp., Lanark Co. who settled on the shores of Mississippi Lake. And possibly other Robertsons that I’m not familiar with.–Michael Umpherson 2003



I have been researching the set of early Robertson families who came over in 1820-22 as “Lanark Society Settlers” for some time. The Ships’ Lists and settlement grants for these settlers provide a fairly solid record of who arrived when, their ages, and where they lived. According to the records, there were four Robertsons arriving in 1821 (James, John, William and another William) and two in 1820 (James and John). With this as the starting point, I have pieced together the following basic information about the original Robertson settlers :

(I) James Robertson (b. abt 1768) and (second marriage to) Helen Rollo (b. abt 1781) arrived with John Sandlons (b. abt. 1811). Later: Helen (b. abt 1821) and Charlotte (b. abt 1824). Possible other sons James, William and Thomas from first marriage. Glascow Trongate Society: Ship- David of London (May 1821). West Lot 18, Con 1, Lanark. Descendants settled in Lavant.

(II) John R. Robertson (b. abt 1787) and Jane Kyle (b. abt 1788) arrived with Margaret (b. 1807), John (b. 1810), William (b. 1820). Later: Archibald (b. 1822), James (b. 1824), Agnes (b. 1827), and Jane (b. 1829). Second Divison of the Abercrombie Emigration Society: Ship- David of London (May 1821). Lot 15, Con 1, Ramsay.

(III) William Robertson (b. abt 1793) and wife (b. abt. 1797) arrived with one infant boy (b. 1821). Govan Emigration Society: Ship- Commerce (May 1821). Lot 23, concession 1, Dalhousie Twp. but later moved to West lot 24, concession 3, Lanark. This family may have later located to Lavant. Possible relative of James Robertson (I) above?

(IV) William Robertson (b. abt 1783) and wife (b. abt. 1775) arrived with 3 boys (b. abt. 1803, 1805 and 1807) and 2 girls (b. abt. 1809 and 1815). Camlachie Emigration Society: Ship- Commerce (May 1821). East lot 11. Con. 10, Dalhousie? There appears to be little information on this family. May have left before completing settlement duty.

(V) James Robertson (b. ?) and Clementine Miller arrived on the Prompt (August 1820) and settled on East lot 18, Con.1, Dalhousie. Three children (Stewart, b. 1820?). Family moved to St. Vincent Township in 1836?

(VI) John Robertson (b. abt. 1782) and Janet Campbell (b. abt. 1783) arrived with Robert (b. 1808), Spencer (b. 1813), Ann (b. 1814), John “Scotch Jock” (b. 1818), and Thomas (b. 1820). Later: Janet “Jessie” (b. 1824). Arrived on the Commerce in 1820 and settled on East lot 15, Con. 2, Lanark.

J. Robertson-2003


and there is more..

Tracing back the Englehart Arbuckle family

The ROBERTSON family – early settlers to Upper Canada

In doing a google search for the family, I came across this website which lists one original Robertson family from Scotland that emigrated in 1821 and settled in Lanark County, then called Bathurst in Upper Canada.  This chart was really confusing to me the first time that I saw it, but luckily the ROBERTSON that we’re looking for is on the first page – written in blue – 4 c3     ?       Robertson (this is Jane; and I can’t find a contact person for this website to help them update it)

Click here for more–  READ HERE


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

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.



Names Names Names of St. James Carleton Place Genealogy

Beckwith 1820 Census Lanark County–Who Do You Know?


Ship Arrivals at the Port of Quebec, 1821

The following arrivals were extracted from the Montreal Gazette 1821. In 1821 the Montreal Gazette was a weekly publication. Additional information from the Quebec Mercurynote: if ships’ rigging or name of Master unpublished, it is indicated by — (The newspapers were filmed within their binding, making one side of some entries, unreadable, or only partly legible. This can lead to errors in the interpretation of the entry or missed entries. ) Be aware that there may be two or more ships of the same name, from the same, or different ports, during the same year. A few ships also made two trips in 1821.


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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.

4 responses »

  1. Interesting. I am a Robertson from Lavant Ontario. My grandfather was Cecil Robertson, I amTodd Robertson. I would like to know more


  2. Hi Linda — I’ve run across your informative columns online for years and read them with pleasure, but now I have a particular point I’d like clarified. I’m trying to put together a timeline for the Kitten Mill, and you note that it was originally built by Boyd Caldwell as a general store in 1860, subsequently run by .B. Caldwell tlll 1909, then sold to W.J.Robertson; and then closed when Robertson died. So my first question is, when did Robertson die (and the business was closed down)? And then, do you know what happened to the building between that date and when it was purchased by Markle in 1945? Second question: was the building ever actually used as a mill, or only as a sales depot for products made at Markle’s other mills? Looking at the Clyde today, it doesn’t seem likely that it could have been used to power a mill.

    And by the way, it you have any idea what’s happening at the Mill now (ownership, plans, etc.) I’d be fascinated to hear that, too.



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