More Firsts in Lanark County

More Firsts in Lanark County



William Merrick-Thomas Smyth was a United Empire Loyalist. For his help in the American Revolution, a grateful British government granted him 400 acres of land that became the townsite of Smiths Falls. Smyth was the first to realize the area’s industrial potential. He set up a sawmill with his sons and son-in-law, William Merrick, founder of Merrickville. One family, two towns. Not bad.


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From The Lanark County Genealogical Society–

The farms along the Christy Lake road (3rd con. Bathurst), 1817-1818, were taken up principally by the retired soldiers of the de Watteville and deMeuron Regiments — Swiss, Belgians, Germans, Poles and Italians, at first conscripts in Napoleon Bonaparte’s army, gathered from these various nationalities, and compelled to serve in his campaigns — and who afterwards, when taken prisoners by the British, volunteered to serve for our empire in the war of 1812-1815 against the United States. At the peace which followed, they were given grants of land by the Crown of farm lands in Bathurst, Burgess and Drummond.

Most of them, unused to farming under the new conditions then prevailing, and perhaps through mere shiftlessness, abandoned their land and emigrated to other parts. Those who remained in Bathurst and Burgess were: Sergeant Pierre Klein, Flanders, lot 25, 6th con.; Privates Peter Adam, German, S.W. ½ 7 in 8th con. Burgess; Harry Kuppir (Cooper), German, E.½ 16, con. 8, Burgess; John Meckler (Mackler), private, Swiss, ½ 18 con. 9 Burgess; George Hoffsmith (Smith), private, Swiss, ½ 6, 3rd con. Bathurst; Andrew Stillar, private, Swiss, E.½ 5, 3rd con. Bathurst; Louis Pennette, private, German ½ 22, 6th con. Bathurst; John Publow, private, Flanders, ½ 26, 6th con. Bathurst, Jacob Dick, private, Swiss, ½ 23, 7th con. Bathurst; Jacob Hollinger, sergeant, German, W.½ 1 in 6th con. Drummond. With these came as chaplain Rev. Abbe Lamothe, a Frenchman, who got 800 acres. He settled among the Burgess soldiers in 1818, in lot 7 in 7th con., and died in Perth, East Ward, in the building where Mrs. McNaughton now keeps a grocery.
Reuben Sherwood- First Surveyor
Thomas Sherwood, the first actual settler in the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville, located on lot No. 1, in the first concession of Elizabethtown, in June, 1784.  At the commencement of the Revolutionary War he remained loyal to the British Crown, and escaping to St. John’s, Lower Canada, via Lake Champlain, was employed in the Secret Service, going into the States and enlisting men to serve His Majesty King George III. His two brothers entered the Continental Ar­my. Read the rest here..

James Bryce owner of the first Oxen

When the Scotch Colony first located, most of them lived in tents or bark huts during the
summer and until the cold weather forced them to build log cabins. The only yoke of oxen in the settlement for quite a length of time belonged to James Bryce, lot 12, concession 1, Bathurst, and most of the supplies except those sent in by the government for rations, etc. were “backed” in by the settlers from the nearest settlements, which were twenty miles distant towards the St. Lawrence.

Some idea of the resources of the settlers may be gathered from the fact that the first
assessment showed there was but one cow in the township of Bathurst in 1817. This was the first year of any kind of township organization in the settlement and Bathurst was the first in which town meetings were ever held. Samuel Purdy and John Ferguson were the assessors in 1817.

John Halliday

The teacher, John Halliday, came in 1815 with the settlers, and the clergyman, The Reverend Bell, came in June, 1817. The first religious service he conducted was the first ever in this locality.

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

What Came First in Lanark County? The Chicken Or the Egg?


*It’s the Merrickville News 1880

*Dear Lanark Era –Lanark Society Settlers Letter

*Shaw’s of Perth

*I’ve Been Working on the RailroadSome Cold Hard Facts- First Tailor in Ramsay and a Cow Without a Bell

*Alfred Dulmage-The Son of the First White Child

*What Happened When the Paper Boy Never got Paid in Perth

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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