In 1831, Mr. Nicholas Garland, a farmer, then living on Lot 20 in the 6th Concession of Beckwith Township, *lost a child, a little girl. Some of the children had wandered to the back of the clearance, which was then but small, and the little one never came home.
All the neighbours turned out the next day and searched the woods all around and every nook and cranny where she might have fallen and perished was searched, but not the smallest clue or trace of her could be found. The inhabitants concluded that a bear had carried her off and devoured her.
In 1881 the Perth Courier and Almonte Gazette reported that she was stolen by a local native who brought her up in his own family and married her off to one of his own sons. They lived latterly in the County of Bruce where some of her brothers and sisters were living.
The old Chief, her abductor, died in 1881, and before his death made a full confession of the nefarious and cruel deed. Who needs despair of at least hearing of their own lost loved ones?
So why were local children taken? Quite a few were stolen because a native family was in bereavement from losing a child or family member. These abducted children were often placed into the care of fellow native families that had lost a child, or brother or sister. With some files from Beckwith Child Stolen by Natives
Did the story have a happy ending? It is for
the reader to judge. The heroine’s real family, by
now living in another part of Lanark County,
naturally wanted her to come home. According to
an account in another newspaper, she thought it
over, and refused. After all, she was now a middle aged woman, with a family of her own. She considered herself to be an Indian, and could
remember no other way of life. It was only natural
that she should choose to stay with her husband
and his people.This is one of the strange but true stories in
the annals of the Irish people of the Ottawa Valley- Goulburn Museum
In the year 1858, there died in Osnabruck, Dundas county, at the great age of 98, a lady who had had experiences the like of which have fallen to the lot of few women. The lady in question was Christiane, wife of Jacob Ross, who was of UE. Loyalist descent. The story of Mrs. Ross life is thrilling in the extreme. Mrs. Ross’ maiden name was Merkley. She was the daughter of Michael Merkley, a loyalist, who lived In Schoharie near the Mohawk river In the state of New York, at the time of the American Revolution. In the year 1777 Mr. Merkley left home on business, leaving Christiane, a younger sister and a small brother U keep house. (The mother was dead.)
On the day Mr. Merkley was due to return home, a band of Indians came in sight and shot him almost at his door. They then looted the house, set it on fire, and carried off the three children. The little boy cried so hard for his father that the Indians tomahawked and scalped him, showed his scalp to the two girls and told them they would share the same fate if they made any outcry. The natives (who were allied to the British) marched to Fort Niagara with the girls having to walk all the way. It was a journey of about 600 miles.
At Fort Niagara they sold the girls to Sir John Johnson, who commanded the Natives who were there in the British service. Sir John Johnson took the sisters to Montreal with him and they remained in his service as servants for two years. At the close of the war with the States (Revolution) Christianne married Jacob Ross, a discharged soldier. Mr. and Mrs. Ross went to Cornwall to take up a farm which he had drawn from the government “lot.”
At Cornwall he exchanged that farm for one in Osnabruck. The couple found themselves badly in need of a cow. Mrs. Ross suggested that she return to Montreal for a year and go into “service” to earn money to buy a cow. This the young husband agreed to regretfully. It took Mrs. Ross a whole year to earn wages sufficient to buy a cow.
At the end of the year Mr. Ross left his small clearing and the bride and the cow were brought back in a batteau after much difficulty. The cow made all the difference in the world to the young couple. Devout Lutherans. Mr. and Mrs. Ross were Lutherans and for many years Mrs. Ross’ German Bible and prayer book were her constant companions. She had her full faculties up to the time of her death.
Read more about Christiane here
• He immigrated from Ireland in 1821 to Beckwith Twp, Lanark Co, Ontario, Canada. 2
• Nicholas farmed on Lot 20, Con 6, Beckwith Twp, Lanark Co, Ontario, Canada, in 1822 2
• Nicholas relocated, in 1828 to Goulbourn Twp, Carleton, Ontario Canada. 2