You Didn’t Use a Match in Beckwith!!

You Didn’t Use a Match in Beckwith!!
It would be impossible to give an entire list of the names of the early immigrants of Beckwith, but some of the earliest as follows:

Duncan McEwen, Donald Anderson, John McLaren John Cram, and John Carmichael in the 10th concession.
Peter McDougall,  Duncan . McLaren, AIex. and Donald Clark, John and Peter McGregor, in the ninth concession
Alex McGregor, Peter Anderson, John Stewart, and Donald Kennedy in the eighth concession
Findlay McEwen, Archie Dewar John and Peter McDiarmld in the seventh concession
Robert, John James, and Duncan Ferguson, and Duncan McDiarmid in the fifth concession.

From a glance at the names it is pretty obvious that the folks came from the “heathery hills of Scotland”, but it might be of interest to know that they came to form a miniature colony. Although a few returned to there original homeland most would never see their loved ones or homes again.

After six weeks journeying across the Atlantic they arrived at Montreal, and proceeded in small open boat’s up the St. Lawrence to Bytown/ Ottawa. Then they began another weary journey to the solitude lands of Beckwith, where there travel was more impeded than ever. No railway lines, no roads, simply a narrow blazed trail through the leafy woodland

People simply grew what was necessary to  exist. Game was plentiful, hence meat was abundant until they killed so many deer they became scarce. Fires were ignited by flint and tinder, and anyone seen using a match was considered suspicious and was looked upon and being a witch or wizard as the case might be. Oil lamps were introduced but they were supposed to be more dangerous than a box of dynamite in the house, hence everyone kept a safe distance from them. Only the most reckless member of the family would attempt to light the lamps. Read– Was the Devil in Peden’s Store? When Matches First Came to Carleton Place

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Original Franktown Settlers Store


Lanark April 12, 1821– this was what was available to the settlers at the local concession stores

Cross-cut saws
Files of all sorts
Augers,falling axes, hand axes, pickaxes, hammers,kettles,frying pans,bills, iron wedges,latches and catches,locks and keys, pitchforks, saw sets, hand saws and spades.
Adzes (a tool similar to an axe with an arched blade at right angles to the handle, used for cutting or shaping large pieces of wood.)
Blankets– ONE for each man and woman, and ONE for every two children
Files, Gimlets, Pails and Hemp
Harrow Leets

The government would give aid to 1,800 emigrants on terms similar to those granted in the previous years. There were already 6,281 applications for help and each immigrant before they sailed from the old country the British Passenger Act set had some minimum requirements for food on board ships had to have: 18 pounds Irish mess beef, 42 pounds of biscuits, 132 pounds of oatmeal, 6 pounds of butter and 3 pounds of molasses based on 84 days passage to Quebec. Passengers in steerage survived on “lukewarm soups, black bread, boiled potatoes, herring or stringy beef.

The fare served to immigrants later detained at Grosse Isle wasn’t much of an improvement over the steamships. In the early years, stewed prunes over dried bread was a standard meal while they waited. Once emigrants arrived at the port of departure, a few obstacles remained. Emigrants had to pass various physical exams to ensure a certain level of health before embarking. This was to prevent the spread of disease while on board as well as to prevent diseases from being carried to the destination country. Physical exams and eye exams (to make sure travellers did not have trachoma, a chronic conjunctivitis) sometimes held emigrants up for days or even an entire week.

What they went through makes a bad day look really good doesn’t it?

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 andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)



Shadows of Beckwith Cemeteries

Beckwith 1820 Census Lanark County–Who Do You Know?

The Beckwith Highlanders and “Humpy Billy” Moore

So Where is that Gnarled Oak in Beckwith?

“Teachester” Munro and the S.S. No. 9 Beckwith 11th Line East School

John Goth–Tales of Beckwith Township

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

What I Did on Beckwith Heritage Days – Alexander Stewart – Ballygiblin Heroe

The Now Complete Page Turning Story of the Beckwith Grandfather Clock

Update on The Manse in Beckwith

The Manse on the 7th Line of Beckwith

Home and Garden Before Home and Garden Magazine

Desperately Seeking Information About the “Beckwith Copperhead Road”

Hobo’s and Tragedies in Beckwith

Beckwith Child Stolen by Natives

Take Me Home Beckwith Roads– Photo Essay

What Was it Like Living in Beckwith 1800s? Christina McEwen Muirhead

Beckwith Fire Department 1965 Names Names Names

They Built this Township on….

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.

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