A Beckwith Will and James and Eliza Rattray

A Beckwith Will and James and Eliza Rattray



It was said in the newspaper of the 29th of April 1899 in the Ottawa Journal that William Rattray left a will by which his son James, age 19, was to receive $1,000 provided he did not marry “Eliza” Rattray, his sister- in-law. At his mother’s demise the same son was also to have the 260 acre farm.

Four grandchildren were also to receive, until of age. the invested proceeds from another farm. This latter farm was subsequently sold and the price thereof placed in the bank. The will came before Chief Justice Armour for adjudication, and judgment was given to the effect that the son shall receive the full thousand dollars and the 260 acres free from all restraints to marriage. The clause, regarding the other farm for the benefit of the grandchildren was expunged and the proceeds in bank were ordered to be administered by the executors.

It looks like James wasted no time in getting married as he married the 1st of September 1899, and guess who he married.

Author’s Note: This happened almost 120 years ago and was NOT unusual in those days. When brothers died etc they married widowed sister in laws, etc so the children would have a father to raise them. It was just the way things were done. Maybe there had been an argument in the family and Elizabeth/Eliza was not liked. Of course a newspaper clipping will never tell you that.



James Rattray

mentioned in the record of James Rattray and Elizabeth Ann Rattray

Elizabeth Ann Rattray

Ontario Marriages, 1869-1927

Name: James Rattray
Event Type: Marriage
Event Date: 01 Sep 1899
Event Place: Franktown, Lanark, Ontario, Canada
Gender: Male
Age: 51
Birth Year (Estimated): 1848
Father’s Name: William Rattray
Mother’s Name: Ann Rattray
Spouse’s Name: Elizabeth Ann Rattray
Spouse’s Gender: Female
Spouse’s Age: 41
Spouse’s Birth Year (Estimated): 1858
Spouse’s Father’s Name: Joseph Hodgson
Spouse’s Mother’s Name: Elizabeth Hodgson


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

McLaren Left it All to the McLeod Sisters–His Maids!

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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