Tag Archives: duncan

Who is this Family? UPDATE — The Nikki Thorton Photo Files

Who is this Family? UPDATE — The Nikki Thorton Photo Files

Nikki Thornton


This is a family that lived past Union Hall.

Thank to Nikki for all the photos he has been sending.

So who was this family??

Duncan Family Margaret and Hugh Duncan

Stuart McIntosh


Marilyn Vallentyne Gendron

Great family and photo.

Angela Giles

Margaret and Hugh Duncan and family

Cathy McRae Sharbot

The Duncan Family, they lived on the Clayton Road

Kathy Duncan

Thats me on the right with the skinny legs…lol..our family in the 1970’s

Anne Marie Duncan

Sometimes we got their mail by mistake – we were the Duncans on Perth Road past Union Hall.

Read-The Egg House on the Hill — The Duncans


It took only three quarters of an hour for fire to destroy the modern egg grading plant of Hugh Duncan, Clayton Road, Ramsay, on Monday afternoon. It is located about two miles from this town. Flames were seen by an employee at 4.45 and by 5.30 the building of cinder blocks, which was only two years old, had been consumed together with machinery, other equipment and 150 cases of eggs—30 doz. to the case. READ- DUNCAN EGG GRADING Fire — 1956

Resident of the Month: Margaret Duncan 

Margaret’s history as a community leader and elected official is well known both in Mississippi Mills and surrounding area—from High School teacher in Carleton Place, to a successful farm business partnership, to Councilor in Ramsay Township, (first woman), to Reeve of Ramsay Township, to Warden of Lanark County. Her many policies and political accomplishments continue to impact Mississippi Mills and she continues to be involved in community groups, including fundraising for the Almonte General Hospital/ Fairview Manor. While on council, she was responsible for securing significant funding for a variety of rural projects such as the Clayton Housing Project, Lyn Bower, and many new paved roads which encouraged tourism in the area. 

Margaret met her husband, Hugh Duncan, at Guelph university. Hugh returned to his home in Almonte and Margaret arrived as a new bride in 1951. They worked hard to create a successful farm and egg marketing business. They raised 5 children in their home on Clayton Road and employed many local residents over their 39 years of business. 

After the death of Hugh, Margaret met and married Stanley Brunton. After only a short 4 1/2 years, he passed. She was fortunate to have even more family that were a great part of her life. Few know of her roots—her early life in a small, rural farming community in Guelph Township, seven miles from Guelph. Margaret’s father was largely self-educated, given the demands of work on the family farm. The rich land, her father’s hard work and determination throughout his life, made him a successful dairy farmer and active community leader serving as Guelph Township Councilor and Reeve, and as the Clerk of his Township. 

Margaret has fond memories of her mother’s sweet temperament, love of flowers, soloist in the church choir and her stylish appearance. The sadness of her early death remains with her today.  Margaret’s character was shaped by her parents’ values, personal commitment to community, deep religious beliefs, determination and self-sufficiency. Margaret’s family forged deep values in this rural community of self-sufficient farmers and they managed well throughout the Depression years. As children, Margaret along with her brother and sister, participated in local debates, public speaking, social events, recitals and local dances. Margaret’s five children are all currently living in the Almonte and Ottawa area and she stays close with her in-laws, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Her large extended family and friends continue to love to visit her at her new, beautiful home at Orchard View by the Mississippi.

From the Orchard View newsletter 2018

Margaret Duncan, Almonte Ontario

Born on May 2, 1924
Died on March 24, 2022 The Millstone

On March 24, 2022, Margaret Duncan concluded her long, prosperous and healthy life.  In her 98th year, Margaret was a successful businesswoman, an elected municipal official, a community fundraiser, a mother, grandmother, great grandmother, wife, sister, aunt, cousin and friend.

 Predeceased by husbands Raymond Hugh Duncan and Stanley Brunton; sister Penelope Klinck; and brother John M. Gilchrist. She will be missed by her companion, Jack Hayes.

Survived by her children Isabel Metcalfe (Herb Metcalfe), Pennie Eagen (Pat Eagen), Kathy Duncan, Allan Duncan (Tammy Connors), Christine Moses (Darcy Moses); her grandchildren Julie Metcalfe (Tim O’Malley), Dan Metcalfe (Mandy Metcalfe), Dr. Kathleen Metcalfe,  Elizabeth Eagen (Trevor McKay), Allison Eagen (Brad Hewton), Charlotte Eagen (Colin MacKenzie), Andrew Eagen (Katie Kelly), Jonas Vaskas (Nicola Swanby), Tessa Vaskas (Tyler Stanton), Chris Duncan (Sidney Morgan), Connor Duncan (Annie Bergeron-Oliver), Taylor Duncan (Brandon Watt), Josh Goodwin, Tom Moses, Jack Moses (Courtney Bradley);  and her great grandchildren Grace O’Malley, Maisie O’Malley, Scarlett O’Malley, Maeve Metcalfe, Ryan McKay, Isaac McKay, James Hewton, Norah Hewton and Hazel Hewton.

Margaret graduated from Teachers College in Hamilton and taught in rural Ontario.  Her first classroom had 32 students ranging from grades one to eight. In 1951, she married Hugh Duncan and they began Duncan’s Poultry Farm in Almonte, Ontario. Together they built a business that ran for forty years, and secured egg markets throughout Eastern Ontario.

 In 1974, she was the first woman to be elected to Ramsay Township Council, and in 1994, she became the first female Warden of Lanark Country.  She loved her community, she served it well and never lost a municipal election – usually topping the polls.

When Hugh Duncan died in 1995, Margaret transitioned from municipal politics to become a sought-after community volunteer, including a board member at the Carleton Place Memorial Hospital and the Almonte General Hospital. She became a champion fundraiser for the Almonte General Hospital receiving the Senior of the Year Award in 1997 and the Bert McIntyre Memorial Fundraising Award in 2020.

Her belief in God, her love of music, flowers, people and travel sustained her throughout her active and vibrant life.  A life-long member of the Liberal Party of Canada, she followed politics, the stock market, international affairs, public policy, and of course, fashion.  She stayed current with technology and embraced online banking when she was 75, using it daily until her mid-90s.   Margaret was generous with her experience and her approach.  She was an angel investor to local businesses and a mentor to hundreds of men and women, especially people seeking public office.

As a nation builder, Margaret Duncan will be remembered for her kind and tolerant views, her inclusivity and her love of life.

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa JournalOttawa, Ontario, Canada04 Aug 1961, Fri  •  Page 37

He and his wife, Margaret have four children-three girls and a boy. Mrs. Duncan keep the book. They work as a team and both husband and wife pool their judgment and experience in arriving at important decisions. Mr. Duncan went into the “started pullet” business in 1937

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada02 Aug 1961, Wed  •  Page 23

Yesterday’s chicken had to run around in the hay field scratching to get enough to eat She had to be lean and alert to avoid the neighbour’s dog. When she did have time to lay an egg she usually hid it, and the farmer’s wife had to have great ingenuity if she were to find enough eggs to fill the egg box. Today’s hen has found security in an air-conditioned house with food served up on a shiny tray. She never has to walk more than five feet to get something to eat, and has energy saved up to lay more eggs. She eats and drinks in regal style and in her contentment produces more food for man. is spent in the feeding, watering across the road, and the trip to after a chicken, providing he could catch her. Today it needs a man with a special knowledge of poultry science, like Hugh Duncan, of Almonte, Ontario, near Ottawa, who got his specialized knowledge of farming from the OntarioAgricultural College and went into the poultry business soon after he graduated.

To get experience he built up his poultry farm from a small beginning, and now is erecting the chicken palace which chickens know is the ultimate. To keep costs down one must increase efficiency. A total of 10,000 pullets are ready to start work laying egs in the new chicken house as soon as it is completed and everyone has had a chance to see it on open house day. No chicken will have claustrophobia in this 275 foot laying house, 37 feet wide, which was bought in prefabricated form and erected by local men after they had first laid a complete cement foundation.

The 5,000 hens on each side of the long building will have a pleasant day jumping from roost bar to water trough bar to feed bar and then into the nests beside the center corridor. These long wooden bars are continuous, running the length of the building on each side! continuous also are the feed troughs and water troughs. The modern hen adjusts herself rapidly to the idea of the feed juggling along in the shiny galvanized iron feeding trough. Although the fresh pellets or finely ground feed move at ten feet per minute she can select choice pieces with her beak. Any time she feels like it she can hop down to the lower bar and get a drink of water. When the level in the trough falls to a certain height a senstitive device turns on the fresh water and a pump fills up the trough again. No hen need complain about the sanitation.

On the principle that 80 per cent of the hen’s time and roosting area, the four foot wide cement troughs underneath the floor slats are equipped with automatic cleaner scrapers. V- shaped when at rest, the scrapers spread out when the machine is started twice a week, and clean the entire dropping area into central pits “which, in turn, are cleaned mechanically. If a hen thinks she can hide her egg she is mistaken in this modern chicken house, because when she gets up after laying her egg it roils gently down to the back of the nests, out of her reach, where it can be picked up with all the other newly-laid eggs as the operator walks down the long corridor. As he picks up the eggs he places them on a mobile platform suspended from a ceiling track, and he can thus move the eggs down the corridor without having to lift them. In the work room at the front of the building he can lift the 15 dozen egg container intact into a vat of cleaning solution, he leaves them for four minutes before placing them in the adjacent cold storage room.

A hen doesn’t need to worry about her egg getting spoiled. Eggs stored in the cool room for 24 hours immediately after being laid are easier to grade and of course keep much fresher. The grading process, in Hugh Duncan’s egg grading station market in insulated truck are fast enough so the eggs do not warm up again before getting to the ol counter in the grocery store. So that the air in the hen house is always nice and fresh electric fans take care of the air-conditioning, bringing fresh air into the building and taking warm air out. Unlike humans, hens like a fairly cool building and the heat from their bodies warms up the building even in very coid weather. For the operator, electric heaters installed in the work room and one in the cold storage room keep the work room at comfortable temperature and, in cool weather, keep the store room from falling below freez ing. In case anyone thinks that all this is unnecessary coddling of the hen, and by this we do not mean a pun like “coddled eggs”, then one must remember that in the chicken business like any other it is necessary to spend money to make money. Only from those healthy, well-satisfied hens and efficient, fast-working operator will production reach the steady, high level demanded by modern supermarkets, chain stores and costs be controlled to meet the demands of modern business methods. The day of the solitary, independent chicken is over.

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa JournalOttawa, Ontario, Canada30 Jul 1975, Wed  •  Page 2

The Egg House on the Hill — The Duncans


Snippets of The Duncan Farm ( Dondi Farms)

Diane Duncan Historian — Almonte

Diane Duncan Historian — Almonte

I found this article from the Sabourin Scrapbooks andI don’t think some peoplerealize how much Diane Duncan has done for our local history. So today I decided to[ut in just a FEW things she has done.

Thanks to Diane Duncan

by J. R. Ernest Miller

Ernest Miller describes life on a farm in the early 20th century and details some of the changes that have occurred in the village of Glen Tay, Ontario through this period. Tayside Farms was known internationally for its holstein breeding stock in the 1970-80’s. In retirement Ernie was a major contributor to the documentation of early Lanark County history.

You can get the book here..


So many stories that you can enjoy here CLICK

Diane Duncan · 

Resharing a photo of one of my first Caldwell Street classes. My copy is in storage at the moment!

read Diane Duncan;s blog.. Glen Tay Public School Photos

Posted by Diane on October 28, 2018 in Community & Family History, Featured Flag | 0 comments

I’ve been focusing on some personal memories for a class assignment the past few weeks and I am now trying to put together some information on the Glen Tay public school otherwise known as SS#3 Bathurst Township, Lanark County, Ontario. CLICK

Two years ago or more I thought I had taken research on this family as far as necessary. I recently revisited that work and two month later, with many additions and adjustments to my original work, I can now share the information I have gathered on the Robert Boyle and Janet Miller family – 3rd great grand aunt and uncle. This couple emigrated and started over twice, once as newcomers to Lanark County about 1821 and a second time in 1865-66 as seniors in their sixties and seventies. Both times they emigrated they began with ‘raw’ land. Can you envision doing this? This is a long one but I hope some of you will make it to the end.😊 CLICK

I am fortunate that my father was a genealogist. As I use digital sources I frequently find his work cited as a source. ( JR Ernest Miller).

So many stories that you can enjoy here CLICK

Blast from the past 2007 thanks to the scrapbook of Lucy Connelly Poaps A contributor to the LCGS and renowned local writer.. Diane Duncan and her husband Don receiving a copy of Dr. Tom Todd’s book — with Diane Duncan.

The last of my 2020 covid quilts. One of my favorites with Laura Ashley fabrics purchased on Liberty St (I think) London in 1976. My stash busting will continue in 2021!

William Millar, Farmer No. 14, 2nd Concession of Dalhousie 1820

The Invincible Margaret Baird of Lanark

“Lanark is my Native Land” -Master Clarence Whiticar 1930

The Faerie Gates of Lanark County

These are a few things she has provided information on….

Snippets of The Duncan Farm ( Dondi Farms)

Snippets of The Duncan Farm ( Dondi Farms)

Archibald McNab was the 13th chieftain of the McNab clan from the Loch Tay region in Scotland. In order to escape heavy debts, he fled to Upper Canada where he negotiated for land along the Ottawa River so that he might bring his clansmen from Scotland as settlers. Read more here…click and here Click

Related reading

Wind Storm in Ashton- Heath Ridge Farms 1976

Death of Local Farms in 2025?

Alan and Betty Thompson Meadowside Farms

The Abandoned Farm House in Carleton Place — Disappearing Farms

The McNaughton Farm– Memories Ray Paquette

Looking for Information on the Native Fort Farm of Fred Sadler of Almonte

The Bryson Craig Farm in Appleton

Local News and Farming–More Letters from Appleton 1921-Amy and George Buchanan-Doug B. McCarten

Information about the Duncan Farm came from:

About WI
Women’s Institute is a local, provincial, national and international organization that promotes women, families and communities. Our goal is to empower women to make a difference.

About FWIC

The idea to form a national group was first considered in 1912. In 1914, however, when the war began the idea was abandoned. At the war’s end, Miss Mary MacIsaac, Superintendent of Alberta Women’s Institute, revived the idea. She realized the importance of organizing the rural women of Canada so they might speak as one voice for needed reforms, and the value of co-ordinating provincial groups for a more consistent organization. In February 1919, representatives of the provinces met in Winnipeg, Manitoba, to form the Federated Women’s Institutes of Canada.

The identity of the Women’s Institute still lies profoundly in its beginnings. The story of how this historic organization came to be is one that resonates with women all over the world, and is engrained in the mission and vision Ontario WI Members still live by today. CLICK here–

The Duncans and Finlaysons — Don Duncan

The Duncans and Finlaysons — Don Duncan

Although there is no direct family relationship with the Duncan and Finlaysons they were the best of neighbours going back many generations. The Finlayson farm was Located on the 11th line of Ramsay  also known as the Appleton Road at East Lot 8, Con. 10 where the house and barns are located. They also owned 50 acres on West 1/2 Lot 8, Conc 11 on the other side of the 11th line. We owned the other 50 acres beside it.

The house in the 1948 photo below is of log and covered over with clapboard. It still is there but harder to recognize as a huge addition was added in the late 1970’s and a large horse arena was added at a later date. The large bank barn is still  there but an addition was added to it in the 1960’s.

Progression of owners since the Finlaysons have been Lloyd and Dorothy Reid. Then Howard Darwin from Ottawa bought it for his daughter who wanted to farm, that is when all the additional building took place. It has since been sold to a couple who operate it as a horse boarding and training farm. I don’t recall their name at the moment. I think it might be people by the name of Campbell. Although I haven’t completed the research yet I believe that Charles Finlayson and Mary Smith took over the farm when they married as it was a Smith farm before that.

James and Agnes assumed the farm from his father and they raised  a family of six including Rick’s father, Jim and Edgar who I remember well. I went with my father to visit Jim when he lived in a trailer south of Carleton Place on Hwy 15 near Parkman and Taylors if you remember where it was. Also remember visits over to the Finlayson gravel pit on Con 2 Ramsay to pick up a load of cement gravel. Dad would have a long visit with Edgar often over lunch which would be a can of pork and beans that Edgar would heat on top of the wood stove, open the can and spoon it onto your plates. I remember being impressed with this no fuss way of having lunch. Of course Edgar and Jim were both confirmed bachelors.

Bob, my dad, Edgar and Jim were the best of friends. Jim was older but dad and Edgar were close to the same age and went to school together. Edgar was my father’s best man at his wedding in 1941. Many farm operations were shared between the two farms.

I just recalled that I do have a family relationship with the Findlaysons. Alexander Sidney Duncan, a 1st cousin, married Minnie Finlayson as a second wife after the death of his first. Her parents were William Finlayson and Amelia Cunningham. They had one son, Albert Finlayson Duncan –Ab Duncan of Carleton Place who died in 2000. Ab was my second cousin once removed. Linda may well remember him. ( she does 🙂

I have a fair bit of the Finlaysons documented and appreciate this unexpected update. I will send the family file to you Rose, maybe you can find what’s missing or wrong info for me.

Don Duncan (Mostly retired except when able to operate big red or green combines)

I saw your article on WordPress about the Finlaysons and Don Duncan. Dave and Lorraine Campbell now own the farm. I live right across the road. I bought 50 acres from Don Duncan (to add to my 50) when he sold his farm about 27 years ago.These are a couple of pics that I found of Dave’s place across the road– Terry Cairns

Not sure you want to add this to your story or not but the Finlaysons might be interested. Howard Darwin built what is now the stable, seperate from the big barn, as an airplane hanger. He was taking flight lessons and was going to have his landing field right in front of my place. Apparently he was not able to pass his flying licence because based on local gossip (which has never been independently verified :-)) he almost took a couple of bricks off my chimney.


The Story of a Local Family -Finlayson- Richard Finlayson