Orena Villa of Beckwith — Boy do I feel Stupid– Duff Williamson and McNeely Genealogy

Orena Villa of Beckwith — Boy do I feel Stupid– Duff Williamson and McNeely Genealogy


For a couple of years now I have been clipping newspaper articles from different historical media. I have been seeing many social notes about vacations being spent at Orena Villa in the Carleton Place area. Last month I got rid of some and those “Orena Villa” were among them as I figured I would never find this place. This morning when I was writing a story about the early mills in Carleton Place I somehow found mention of it. It was under my nose the whole time, and had I asked Jennifer Fenwick Irwin who did an exhibit on Annie Duff at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum she would have told me. Boy, did I feel stupid.

Image result for genealogy cartoon stupid

Orena Villa built in the 1850s belonged to William Duff  b: 1784 in Muirend, Auchtergaven, Perth, Scotland d: 4 Jan 1864 in Orena Villa, Beckwith, Lanark Co., Ontario, Canada ) on the 11th Concession. The family emigrated in 1843 and within 10 years of settling down in Beckwith he was able to build this fine home which was of course called Orena Villa:)

 - . Mr. and Mrs. Wm. H. Duff, of Bedc-wlth,...

Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Journal,
  2. 17 Apr 1899, Mon,
  3. Page 5

    Clipped from

    1. The Ottawa Journal,
    2. 01 Mar 1910, Tue,
    3. Page 732207387_10155754957336886_7302154679121608704_n.jpgDenysa Duff at Orena VillaDuff of Orena Villa guest book click here.

      Cheryl McDufff—I am the grand daughter of Lyal Claude Rueben Duff born in Beckwith on Nov 12, 1900. He was a brother of Robert George Duff born May 16, 1895 and of Andrew Ebenezer Duff who went to serve in WW1 in 1916. Isabella Corissa Duff was his twin sister and was known as “Isa”. He legally changed his name on Sept 29, 1928 to Claude Roland McDuff and lived in Regina, Sask until his death on Jan 31, 1978. He had one son, Gerald William McDuff born on Aug 20, 1937 in Regina. Gerald William McDuff is my father as well as the father of 2 other younger daughters, Gina Marie and Leanne Gay.

 - 'Billy' Williamson Dies in Ottawa After Long...

Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Journal,
  2. 05 Apr 1944, Wed,
  3. Page 21
  4.  - v I W. H. DUFF. i. CARLETON PLACE, June 4....

Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Journal,
  2. 04 Jun 1942, Thu,
  3. Page 2
  4.  - MBS. J. McNEELT ' DIES AT HER HOME Sperlsl to...

Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Journal,
  2. 06 May 1930, Tue,
  3. Page 7


Annie Duff

Born in Carleton Place in 1871, her early life was spent at “Oreno Villa”, the family homestead at Duff’s Bay on the 11th Concession of Beckwith. She studied painting and fashion design in New York City in the late1890‘s and spent time working there for Vogue Magazine.
Returning home to live with her sister Denysa, Annie spent her time painting and taking photographs. Her work depicts rural life in Ontario and includes scenic landscapes, scenes of hunting, camping, family life and wildlife. She was known for hiding in greenery with food in her hands to order to attract the birds! The National Gallery of Canada holds much of Annie’s original works and she is credited as the first Canadian female to portray maternity in “Woman by the Sea” –-Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum


Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

William Duff from Beckwith on right with shoemaker Patrick Tucker of Carleton Place.

 - The similarity In name and location of...

Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Journal,
  2. 01 May 1899, Mon,
  3. Page 7

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 and The Tales of Almonte

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


Hay Look Me Over! Big Bill Duff

The Female Artist from Carleton Place That Never Went Viral

The Cottages of Mississippi Lake — Carleton Place Ontario

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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