George Goodson Pretty Genealogy Part 2

George Goodson Pretty  Genealogy Part 2
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
05 Oct 1944, Thu  •  Page 12
Agnes Bellamy
I have attempted to scan a locket which was given to my mother, Mary Agnes TER MARSCH (SCOTT) by her mother, Millie SCOTT (PRETTY). The pictures are very small and very old (at least 110 years) and are of George Goodson PRETTY and his first wife Agnes BELLAMY. I wasn’t extremely successful but improvement was difficult.
George Goodson PRETTY (1846-1944)-Agnes Bellamy and George Goodson Pretty==Married on Wednesday, January 21, 1880 in Ramsay, Ontario. He also had a second wife, Janet EVANS.

Above photos-LCGS click here are George Goodson PRETTY (1846-1944) and his second wife, Janet EVANS, taken early summer, 1940. The infant is Martha Louise TerMARSCH, their great-grand daughter.


Back row: Preston, Dorcas & William Centre: Elizabeth, George G, Groege A, Janet Front: Aldon, & James on Janet’s knees. Millie & Elwood not present for photo.

Weyburn, Saskatchewan

A postcard with Daniel & Lavina Pretty on left, son George and Eliza Annie Pretty on right. Taken during a visit by Daniel and Lavina to Weyburn. From the collection of G. Raymond Pretty.

George & Eliza “Annie” (Garvin)Pretty with Annie’s father Joseph Garvin. From the collection of G. Raymond Pretty.

You can also read Clippings of George Goodson Pretty and Ken Manson– Interview with Helen & Jimmie Dodds, Side 1 -“Did you ever hear the story about the fellow who was shot up Bob Pretty’s there”?

Info below LCGS- click here

Outstanding Personalities of the Ottawa District

Saturday, June 10, 1939


           George Goodson PRETTY of Tatlock, who 79 years ago planted a tree on his farm to recall the visit of the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII, marked the most recent royal visit, as seen above. Mr. Pretty is standing nearest the tree on which he has fastened a large framed picture of Queen Victoria. Mr. Pretty is in his 96th year.

From Rolling Lands of Lanark Nonagenarian Greets Royal Party

           For almost 96 years George Goodson Pretty has been looking out from his home in the Tatlock section of Darling township to the rocky ramparts beyond, out toward the uplands of Lanark township, a community his pioneer grandsires helped settle when England’s military men were demobilized following the Napoleonic and Peninsular wars.

           His father, Daniel Pretty, hailed from Wiltshire, England; his mother, Margaret WARK, from Scotland’s hills, and looking back over the years it seems now that one hundred acres of rough land covered with millions of stones were inadequate compensation and poor gratitude for a lifetime of army service. But military men then knew little of land values and officials who made the allocations apparently cared less.

           That farm in Darling, cleared of stone and overburden, is today productive, but the thick fences made from these boulders, picked by both men and women with infinite patience and toil, provide evidence eloquent and abundant of what some of these earliest settlers endured before they had sufficient clearances to grow even potatoes or corn for their own subsistence.

Tribute of a Pioneer

           This rugged old veteran, who has never been ill a day in all his 96 years, didn’t see the King and Queen but back on his hundred acres in the seventh concession of Darling township as the drums rolled and pomp and circumstance marked the recent triumphal entry of Their Majesties to the Dominion’s Capital, the aged Mr. Pretty did his best to mark the epochal event. He got out a large picture of Queen Victoria and fastened it to a wide-spreading oak tree that stands in front of his premises. That sheltering tree was proudly planted by him seventy-nine years ago to mark the visit to Canada of another member of the royal family, the Prince of Wales, later His Majesty King Edward VII. Today what was then the tiny sapling with but six tender shoots planted in 1860 is now the most majestic tree on the premises. It is still the “Prince of Wales tree” and somehow one fancies King George VI would have been pleased had he been able to pass by the Pretty farm in Darling’s hinterland and see this living if modest monument erected so long ago in honor of his grandsire by a descendant of him who wore the King’s uniform before Victoria the Good was yet upon England’s throne.

Long Life and Happiness

           Asked to ascribe a reason for his remarkable longevity and freedom from the usual ills to which man is heir, Mr. Pretty simply smiled pleasantly and admitted he didn’t know. He has never used tobacco in any form, but he wouldn’t offer that as a reason. He has used liquor sparingly, still makes use of it moderately if he thinks he needs it. He was worked particularly hard all of his life, helped clear the farm on which he dwells, labored long in the lumber camps when lumbermen hereabout found most of their virgin pine in the vicinity of White Lake and Lanark county. He ploughed the rough land with the aid of oxen and he harvested his meager crop with a reaping hook, carrying the hay and grain on two long poles, because in that primitive day there were neither wagons nor hay racks. In fact he remembers distinctly the advent of the first wagon and to his farm came the first binder in all the district. People then walked miles through bush or swale to attend church or they rode on horseback and he muses that folks seemed more anxious in that primitive day to attend these backwoods places of worship than now when motor cars and modern roads have made things so easy.

Women Have No Easy Task

           But perhaps Mrs. Pretty offers a solution to her husband’s unusually long life, in fact she accepts a little credit for it. Good plain food, plenty of work, pay as you go and freedom from worry is her answer. And in all of these attributes to happiness and contentment she has been a splendid helpmate, never one to shun the arduous duties of the farm, she helped pick the innumerable boulders in the fields, she assisted in shingling the house and barns, she cut grain with the sickle and she helped spin the yarn out of which the family clothing was made. With it all she was the mother of nine children. She was an EVANS of Ramsay township, Janet EVANS, Mr. Pretty’s second wife, who is twenty years his junior and at the age of 76 still does all her own housework and helps considerable with the endless duties of farm life. “Less divorces and more children” would be her simple philosophy for a world that seems to have gone a little askew.

           And this elicited the interesting information that Mr. Pretty was one of fourteen children. That’s almost unheard of in this more advanced era. He is the last of the fourteen and he can reminisce long and interestedly on the evolution of locomotion from the stoneboat to the airplane. His intellect is still keen and he marvels at all the scientific progress he has witnessed. He thinks science has in some respect lessened initiative in the rising generation; in his early days they had to know how to tan a hide, convert it into leather and have it ready when the itinerant shoemaker came into the district “whipping the cat,” a term applied to the wandering maker of the family’s footwear.

Long a Municipal Councillor

           For years George Pretty served well as municipal councillor in Darling township, he still manifests an intelligent interest in municipal affairs and in the larger field of politics; one of his treasured missives is a letter received a few days ago from Hon. Dr. Manion bearing felicitations on his long and useful life. But sitting there with him gazing toward the distant hills of what was once historic “Granny Cummings’ Corner”, [Ed. Note: Now called Watson’s Corners] one fancied he was not thinking so much of the fleeting foibles of a wearied world as of this spreading oak planted by him in formative days and with which he has grown old – a lovely tree that mayhap recalled to his mind the subtle lines of a poet:

          “I think that I shall never see

           A poem lovely as a tree;

           A tree that looks at God all day

           And lifts her leafy arms to pray.”



(from an Ottawa


George G. PRETTY Passes On Here in His 101st Year

           A life that had spanned a century and was filled with memories of days when Canada was a struggling young nation ended yesterday with the passing of George Goodson PRETTY of Darling township in his 101st year. His death occurred at the home of his son, William PRETTY, 38 Glendale Avenue.

           The “grand old man of Darling township” was born in the Tatlock section. That part of the township was settled by his father, Daniel PRETTY of Wiltshire, England, and other pioneers demobilized from England’s armies following the Napoleonic wars. His mother, Margaret WARK, came to Canada from Scotland’s hills. His boyhood was filled with the hard work and healthful living of the farm, one of a family of 12 children. He is the last of that family.

           Educationed in that district, Mr. Pretty continued to live on the family homestead and in 1880 he married Agnes BELLAMY of Clayton, Ont. who died three years later. In 1886 he married Janet EVANS, also of Clayton, whose death occurred Feb. 4, 1943. The late Mr. Pretty left his farm soon after and came to Ottawa, where he has resided with his son and daughter-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. William PRETTY, ever since.

Served Community

           For years he served his community well as municipal councilor in Darling township and was also a school trustee. Even after he ceased taking an active part in these things he continued his keen interest in them and in the larger field of politics. One of his treasures was a letter from the late Hon. Dr. R. J. Manion bearing felicitations on his long and useful life. When the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII, paid a visit to Canada in 1860, Mr. Pretty planted an oak tree on his farm to commemorate the event. When King George VI and Queen Elizabeth visited Canada, Mr. Pretty was not able to see them but he got out a picture of Queen Victoria and hung it on the tree which had grown to sturdy proportions, in an observance of the great event.

           A man of genial personality and splendid character, Mr. Pretty never used tobacco in any form but he did use liquor sparingly, he told a reporter when last interviewed. He was proud of the hard work he had done during his long life. He had helped clear the land on his farm, labored long in lumber camps when lumbermen thereabout found most of their virgin pine in the vicinity of White Lake and in Lanark county. He ploughed the rough land with oxen and harvested his meager crop with a reaping hook. He saw the first wagon in that district and to his farm came the first binder. He walked or rode horseback for miles to attend church. The farm he labored so hard to build up is still in family hands. His son, Aldon, resides on it.

           Surviving, in addition to Aldon and William, are four other sons, Ellwood G. PRETTY of Ashton; R. Preston PRETTY of Chicago; George A. PRETTY of Clayton, and James E. PRETTY of Carleton Place; three daughters, Mrs. Joshua SCOTT of Renfrew, Mrs. Dorcas COUR of Kansas City, Mo., and Mrs. William TRAIL of Lanark; seventeen grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, several nephews and nieces; three sister-in-laws, Mrs. Lewis PRESCOTT of Smiths Falls, Mrs. Kate YOUNG of Western Canada, and Mrs. Richard EVANS of Kemptville.

           The body is resting at Young’s undertaking parlors, Lanark, from where the funeral will be held to Guthrie United Church, Clayton, on Friday for service at 2 p.m. Burial will be in Clayton cemetery.

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.

2 responses »

  1. George Goodson Pretty was my double great-great-grand-uncle; my great-grandmothers Euphemia (Wark) Napier 1865-1942 and Annie (McKay) Dunlop 1878-1953 were his nieces through his sisters Agnes (Pretty) Wark and Annie (Pretty) McKay respectively, and my great-grandfather Thomas Napier (Euphemia’s husband) was his step-nephew through his sister Sarah (Pretty) Camelon’s second marriage to Andrew James Napier. Agnes’s husband James Wark was also their first cousin; his father, John Wark, and Margaret (Wark) Pretty were siblings.


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