Tag Archives: Family

The Tragic Saga of James Frew and Family 1898

The Tragic Saga of James Frew and Family 1898
The Lanark Era
Lanark, Ontario, Canada
16 Mar 1898, Wed  •  Page 4

March 1898 Lanark

Word was brought to the foreman that W.C. Caldwell’s mill had been broken into and a quantity of flour,- cornmeal, oatmeal and had been taken away. On going down to the mill about 8:30 that morning he saw that one of the windows in the store room adjoining the mill had been pried up and an entrance had been made there. The doors into the mill had been pried open.

His miller, Mr. Wm. Richardson, told him that he thought about ten bags of flour, one fifty pound paper sack of flour, one bag of a bag of oatmeal and some cummeal had been taken. During that Monday and the following Tuesday he secured sufficient evidence to warrant him in getting a search warrant to search the premise of the prisoner.

The search was made and a quantity of flour, oatmeal and cornmeal was obtained. He noticed that the bag containing the oatmeal, that was found in the prisoner’s house, bore the stamp of his firm whose meal he sold. Mr. Wm. Legary, the next witness, testified to finding a paper bag containing cornmeal while out on the Playfair road early on Monday morning. The bag was found on what he thought the most direct road to the prisoners farm.

Constable James and Webster testified to the result of the searching of ths prisoners house. Upstairs they found four bags of flour, one paper sack of flour, while downstairs they found a fifth bag of flour and some oatmeal. The latter waa in a barrel, while beside the barrel was an empty hag which bore the name of D. R. Boas, and which they thought had contained oatmeal. Tha floor upstairs bore marks of flour dust as though the bags had been emptied or filled there.

They brought the flour and meal back to Mr. Caldwell’s mill, where it was left in charge of Mr. Richardson. The most interesting evidence wss that given by Mr. Richardson, miller, who swore that the flour seized on the prisoner’s premises and returned to the mill was real ground flour. On counting the flour returned, he found it corresponded exactly with that contained in the pile of bags in which the flour was musing. He also identified the bag which contained the oatmeal.

The evidence submitted seemed to point to the prisoner’s guilt and the magistrate accordingly committed him to the county gaol to submit his trial at the spring assure or to be summarily tried before the county judge according as the prisoner may choose. The prosecution are collecting further evidence against him to he submitted when he comes up for trial.

In the afternoon the younger Frew, a youth of not more than ten or twelve yean, appeared before the magistrates, but he was dismissed as no evidence against him was submitted. The boy is a bright and smart looking youth, and it seems sad indeed that he should be brought up under such an unwholesome circumstance.

The Kingston Whig-Standard
Kingston, Ontario, Canada
11 Mar 1898, Fri  •  Page 4
The Lanark Era
Lanark, Ontario, Canada
30 Mar 1898, Wed  •  Page 1

W. C. Caldwells Aberdeen Mills, Lanark Ontario. Grist and carding mill. Photo: Ewan R. Caldwell Collection, Negative No. PA-135197. Public Archives of Canada.

James Frew was just trying to feed his family. Not the way to go about it, but he was a few decades older than his wife Susanne who died at an early age leaving him with a very young family. His oldest son had founded a shingles business in his early 20s, died two years before his father was arrested for the robbery at Clyde Mills with his youngest son, Robert. Robert was also stopped in February of 1898 for stealing a ham from John Miller’s butcher shop just before his father came up for trial.

Robert, son was also arrested for the Clyde Flour Mill robbery with his father and then stole a ham from John Miller’s butcher shop just before his father came up for trial.

The Lanark Era
Lanark, Ontario, Canada
09 Mar 1898, Wed  •  Page 1

Oldest son- Andrew Frew passes away from a cerebral hemorrhage or stroke.

The Lanark Era
Lanark, Ontario, Canada
Wed, Dec 16, 1896 · Page 5

The Lanark Era

Lanark, Ontario, Canada
16 Dec 1896, Wed  • 

1891 Census

NAME:James Frew
RESIDENCE PLACE:Dalhousie and Sherbrooke North, Lanark North, Ontario, Canada
RELIGION:Free Church
NEIGHBOURS:View others on page
HOUSEHOLD MEMBERS:NameAgeJames Frew61Alexander Frew22James Frew14Martha Frew12Robert Frew9

The Sad Saga of The Almonte Furniture Factory

The Saga of a James Street Home— Christina McEwen Muirhead

The Continuing Saga of Christena McEwen Muirhead—The McLaren Mill

The Townend Saga is Solved

Missing Brother Back Home- Blakeley – Wilson History – 46 Malcolm Street

Missing Brother Back Home- Blakeley – Wilson History – 46 Malcolm Street

When Mrs. John Blakeley bid good bye to her brother 38 years ago, when she was a little girl, she was devastated. Then years later she heard that he was dead. Over 23 years ago a certificate of death issued by the Foresters of which society he was a member. Then to find him walk calmly into her home on Wednesday morning and announce himself alive was the experience of Mrs. John Blakeley, of Almonte, wife of the manager of the Yorkshire Wool Stock Company. ( Read-MIDNIGHT FIRE DESTROYS THE YORKSHIRE WOOL STOCK MILL 1923)

Mr. J. C. Wilson, the long lost brother, lives in Minneapolis. He has prospered during these long years that he was supposed to be dead. Apparently the rumor of his death arose through a similarity of names, some one of the name of J. C. Wilson having really passed away.

A week or so ago Mr. Wilson was determined to revisit Canada and see once again the members of his family. He went to Brantford where he had been ‘brought up’. When he arrived in the morning and found that his father at the age of 89 still lived in the red “brick house” of his boyhood. The old gentleman was pale and hearty. His father had never really believed that his son was dead, and when his daughter announced that a gentleman-whom he had not seen for a long time had come to visit him he asked:

“Is it my boy, Jake?”

Mrs. G. H. Fair, the sister of Mr. Wilson, who resides with her father In Brantford, accompanied her brother to Almonte. So this week in the Blakeley home in New England part of Almonte was a family gathering which renews acquaintance.

1921 Almonte

In the 1921 Census.. he was named as visiting along with his sister and her daughters from Brantford.

John Wilson65 Visitor

Name:John Blakeley
Racial or Tribal Origin:English
Marital Status:Married
Birth Year:abt 1870
Birth Place:England
Year of Immigration:1883
Residence Date:1 Jun 1921
House Number:46
Residence Street or Township:Malcolm St
Residence City, Town or Village:Town of Almonte
Residence District:Lanark
Residence Province or Territory:Ontario
Residence Country:Canada
Relation to Head of House:Head
Spouse’s Name:Emma Blakeley
Father Birth Place:England
Mother Birth Place:England
Can Speak English?:Yes
Can Speak French?:No
Can Read?:Yes
Can Write?:Yes
Months at School:31-01
Employment Type:2 Wage Earner
Nature of Work:Work?? B
Duration of Unemployment:0
Duration of Unemployment (Illness):0
Enumeration District:97
Sub-District:Almonte (Town)
Sub-District Number:42
Home Owned or Rented:Owned
Monthly Rental:BB
Class of House:Single House
Materials of Construction:Wood
Number of Rooms:6
Enumerator:Geo Fred Lee
District Description:Ward 1, Polling Division No. 2 – Comprising the remainder or balance of said Ward
Neighbours:View others on page
Line Number:29
Family Number:46
Household MembersAgeRelationshipJohn Blakeley51HeadEmma Blakeley52WifeArthur Blakeley23SonWilliam Blakeley19SonJohn J Blakeley17SonEdna Blakeley14Daughter John Wilson65 VisitorAnnas Barras26VisitorEdna Mary Barras6DaughterGrace Barras3DaughterLevere Barras1DaughterMay Morrison21Visitor
The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
11 Dec 1929, Wed  •  Page 7
The Expositor
Brantford, Ontario, Canada
16 May 1921, Mon  •  Page 1

BLAKELEY family street naming application information for the Town of Almonte– click here..

My Great Grandfather, John Blakeley, came to Almonte with his family in 1919… over a hundred years ago. He took up residence on 24 Malcolm St. in April of 1919, and managed the Shoddy Mill for about 10 years until his death in 1929.

The Almonte Gazette archives show that he was elected to the Town Council in 1921, as well as to the Board of Education in 1925. He was involved in many of the town’s activities over the years, even being named an Honorary President of the Almonte Hockey Club.

The Blakeley descendants have had a long standing and prolific presence in Almonte over the years. My grandparents, Tom and Lillian Blakeley, raised seven children in their home at 229 Ann Street, and Uncle Bill and Aunt Clara Blakeley raised four children at 115 Colina Street.

John Blakeley’s sons, Tom, and Bill, and Bill’s son, Keith, were all longstanding members of the Almonte Fire Dept.; my grandfather Tom Blakeley retiring after 35 years in 1958, and his brother, my Uncle Bill, served for 51 years. Keith rose to the position of Deputy Chief of the Almonte-Ramsay Fire Dept. until he passed away in 1983.

My Uncles Don Blakeley and Earl Blakeley, and Bill Blakeley’s son, Wally Blakeley all served overseas, but Wally did not make it home. In a June 17, 1944 letter… 11 days after D-Day… from my Uncle Don to my grandmother while he was overseas he wrote “I bet there was quite the excitement the day we landed, eh! I’d have liked to seen one of the papers. ”. Almonte was there and was part of D-Day!! There is a graphite portrait of my Uncle Earl in the Canadian War Museum as part of an exhibit of 14 portraits of Canadian War Veterans.

My Aunt Clara Blakeley, wife of Bill Blakeley, was a Silver Cross Mother because her son, Wally, was killed in action. In addition to our family’s wartime service, in peacetime, my dad, Murray Blakeley, first served in the Royal Canadian Navy aboard the HMCS New Liskeard, as well as in the mid 1950s he was a soldier in the Regular Army stationed at Camp Borden.

Our family’s service information can be verified by the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 240.

My mother, Marion Blakeley, was a nurse in the Rosamond Memorial Hospital, and then in the new Almonte General Hospital when it opened in 1961. As I recall being told, she was involved in the delivery of the last baby to be born in the Rosamond Hospital, and the first baby to be born in the new hospital.

My grandmother, Lillian Blakeley, worked at the candy counter and my grandfather’s sister, Edna, worked at the ticket booth of the O’Brien Theatre for many years. Keith Blakeley, in addition to his service on the Almonte Fire Dept., was also Director of the Almonte Fair Board for a number of years. Keith and Stella Blakeley’s daughter, Bonnie, was a school teacher in Almonte and Pakenham, and their other daughter, Sherry, served on Almonte Town Council for 7 years under Mayors Dorothy Finner and Ron Pettem.

The archives of the Almonte Gazette follow the progress of myself, my siblings, and my cousins as we progressed through school year after year, as well as a number of articles telling of the happy events and the sad ones our family experienced.


Murray’s Taxi —- Frank Blakeley and other Rides

Clippings of Earl Blakeley from Frank Blakeley

Francis Shaw Pakenham Postmaster Gone Missing —Elizabeth Shaw — Residential School Teacher

Drummond Centre United Church — and The Ireton Brothers 38 Year Reunion–Names Names Names

Missing Berkeley Series – Larry Thrasher

Effie McCallum —– Missing Milliner

The Case of the Missing $900

Explosives Go Missing! Stories From Old Photos

The Missing Heir

A Story of Almonte, Carleton Place, Ballygiblins and Mr. Neil McDonald

A Story of Almonte, Carleton Place, Ballygiblins and Mr. Neil McDonald

One of the many family sagas of emigration to Ramsay township was that of the McDonald family which, after investigating other locations, chose land in the tenth concession of Ramsay north of the falls of Almonte.  Long-lived members of this family included the father, John McDonald of the Isle of Mull, who came in 1821 with his wife, three sons and several daughters, and lived in Ramsay till he reached his hundredth year in 1857.  His son Neil at the age of 100 had the distinction of living in three centuries before his death in 1901 at his Ramsay homestead.

The Almonte Gazette 1896

We have pleasure this week in giving space to the following sketch on the life of one of Lanark County’s hardy pioneers, who had his share of the trials and incidents to life hereabout in the 1820s and thirties, in the person of Mr. Neil McDonald, father of Mr. Lauchlin McDonald, 10th line of Ramsay (with whom the venerable gentleman resides) and grandfather of Bev. John A. McDonald of Whitnesy, Mr. Neil McDonald of Carleton Place High School, Mr. R. L. McDonald, principal of Almonte public school, and Mr. W. McDonald, student at Queen’s.

Neil McDonald was born at Loch Buy, Isle of Mull, on the west coast of Scotland, in the year 1800. He well remembers Waterloo, where many of his clansmen fought and bled. His father, John McDonald, although in comfortable circumstances, was led to emigrate to Canada to find homes for his sons. Accordingly, in June 1821, he with his family of three sons and five daughters, set sail from Oban in the ship, “ Duchess of Richmond,” and after an uneventful Crossing of five weeks landed at Quebec on the 2nd of August.

From Quebec they went by steam to Montreal, thence to Lachine by stage. Taking small boats they sailed up the Ottawa to Point Fortune, but failing to secure land to suit them, returned up the St. Lawrence and took a Durham boat to Prescott, intending to go to Little York, now Toronto. Meeting friends they were induced to go to Perth. They were conveyed to Perth by wagon, making that distance in three days.

Perth was then a small village having three taverns, two distilleries and three stores, with blacksmith, shoemaker and tailor shops. Applying to the late Col. Matheson for land, they were sent to Prospect in Lanark, Dalhousie and Sherbrooke Townships, but failing to find a suitable location, rented a farm in Drummond, twelve miles from Perth, from Duncan McNaughton, doing statute labour and paying taxes as rent. It was now fall, and after laying in a supply of provisions, they set to work to clear land.

After a hard winter’s work they got about 12 acres roughly cleared and set to work to plant it, using hoes. They were rewarded with a fine crop of corn, potatoes, and a little wheat and oats. This was all cut with sickles. In the summer of 1822, Neil and Lauchlin went to Ramsay and took up 400 acres of land for father and sons, being lots 22, 24 and 25, now owned by Lauchlin McDonald, John Arthur, Sr., and James Barker, Jr., on the 10th concession, and lot 19 on the 11th concession now owned by Michael Ryan.

The brothers cleared an acre of land on lot 22 and built a shanty near the 10th line. They planted potatoes on it, but the crop proved a failure, and they had but a few bushels. The following winter Neil, with his sister, Flora (afterwards Mrs. D. McNaughton, Drummond) worked on the new farm, and chopped ten acres. They carried hay on their backs a distance of two miles for their cow. In the fall of 1821, all but the parents and Laughlin were taken ill of fever, and Neil’s life was despaired of, but all recovered except Donald, who died about two years later from its effects.

The hard work and severe climate was fatal also to Lauchlin who died within a fortnight of Donald. The bodies of the two brothers were carried from Drummond, a distance of 22 miles, on the shoulders of friends and interred in the place which is now the family burial ground. The other members of the family moved down in May, bringing three cows and two pigs. The father and Neil put in about one acre -of potatoes and one of wheat, and had a good yield of both. They then logged the remainder of the clearing, burning a great many fine pines and oaks.

The next winter his sister, Belle, followed her brothers to -the grave. His sister Sarah, had been married in the preceding April to Mr. A. Cameron of Beekwith, father of Mr. R. Cameron of this town. Flora was married in the fall of 1824 to Mr. D, McNaughton of Drummond, leaving Neil alone with his father and mother. In June of that year they carried a barrel of flour from Morphy’s Falls (now Carleton Place), a distance of twelve miles. This was one of the heaviest tasks of his life.

In December of 1825, he, in company with “Big Neil McKillop” set out to purchase a yoke of oxen and some sheep. They spent fifteen days travelling, going as far as Cornwall and spending the nights sleeping by the firesides of hospitable settlers. In the same year about four hundred Irishmen from Ballygiblin arrived and camped in the neighbourhood. Many of them took up land, but the rest remained and -became the terror of the country. Finally the militia had to be called out to keep the peace, and one of the rebels was shot in an attempt to restore order.

When Neil first came to Ramsay, Almonte was called Shepherd’s Falls after a young Scotsman named Shepherd, who had erected the frame of a sawmill, but who at that time was in gaol (jail) for debt. This and a small shanty uninhabited, were the only buildings erected. Shepherd’s property was purchased by Mr. Boyce, a Yankee from Brockville, who divided the land between his son and his son in law, Daniel Shipman. His son started a carding mill, and D. Shipman completed the, sawmill and married a McLean, near Carleton Place, and after a happy married life of nineteen years she died, leaving a family of -two sons and five daughters Isabel (Mrs. Alex. Bayne of Carleton Place); Lauchlin, living on the homestead; Margaret (Mrs. James Cowan of Pakenham); Catherine (Mrs. Stephen Dickson of Calabogie); and John, Flora and Mary, deceased.

The old gentleman is stil quite hearty, although during the past ftew years he has become almost blind. His mental faculties are quite clear. He takes great pleasure in recounting the varied experiences of his long life. His grip is still hearty, and he has all the appearances of completing his century as his, father did, who lived to be one hundred years of age. We trust he may. 

More Native Settlements in Ramsay — Baird’s Bush

Ramsay W.I. Tweedsmuir History Book 1—SOME EARLY RAMSAY HISTORY

Stories of Ramsay Township– Leckies Corner’s – James Templeton Daughter’s 1931

Conversations with Brian McArton– Henry Wilson of Carleton Place and the McArtons of Ramsay

Hand Typed Notes Ramsay Township

Almonte and Ramsay Pioneers – Rafted Down to Their Locations

Energy on the Yuill Farms and Ramsay CSD, Lanark, Ontario

Symington and Family — Odds and Ends Lanark County

Symington and Family — Odds and Ends Lanark County
Tom Edwards
December 28, 2017  · 

Looks like supper with Grandma Edwards. Mom, Dad, Ruth Craig, Eldon Craig, maybe Josie Symington at the end of the table, next one I don’t know, then Uncle Johnny and Essie Erskine.

Brenda Craig Shewchukfrom left, Ilene, John, Ruth, Eldon, Mr. Symington, (owned the house) Brian Fumerton, Uncle Johnny, Aunt Essie, Elsie, Ray,
SEE below– Women’s Institute
Name:Joseph Henry Symington
Birth Date:20 Mar 1853
Birth Place:Ontario
Death Date:22 Jan 1940
Death Place:Almonte, Lanark, Ontario, Canada
Father:Charles Symington
Mother:Ann Symington

Marg McNeely

Hi Linda…..here is a pic of employees of the BNS in 1957 at Xmas party at the Lake Park Lodge.
Front row L-R…..Kathryn Downie, Noel Dagenais, Mrs. Cross, Mr. Cross (Bank Manager), Ray Eldridge, Phyllis Donnelly.
Back row L-R…..Irene Taylor, Marg (Tosh) McNeely, Wayne Symington, Ruby MacPherson, Doris Willows.
All were local people except for Noel and Ray

As a side line they installed, 486 lockers for storing perishable foods and this was a great success from the beginning. At the present time all these units are rented and it is proposed to create more of them. Mr. Milton Symington has been the manager of the plant during the years that have passed since its inception. He will be retained in that position and it is understood the new management proposes to adopt a more aggressive policy and to expand along various lines. Read–Cold Storage Plant in Almonte- Meat Locker Trivia

Well, as the standoff continued two young lads Alex Symington and Cecil McIntyre, decided they would do their good deed as it was also Boy Scout Week. They discussed a plan among themselves and then began to pelt the skunk with snowballs. The skunk still didn’t move from either defiance or stupidity. Minutes later with both sides trying to decide what to do, the skunk just decided to move and sit on the side of the road for a spell. I am pleased to also offer the news that Mel Royce finished clearing that road for everyone that lived on the 12th Line of Ramsay.–He Almost Became a Dead Skunk in the Middle of the 12th Line

Information about the Symington 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–

Also read-

The Bryson Craig Farm in Appleton

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

Documenting The House on Highway 7

Documenting The House on Highway 7
Clara Ashton

Clara AshtonAbandoned – Ottawa/Gatineau & The Valley

Yesterday at 9:55 AM  · Oh the nostalgia. I sometimes shed a tear driving by. My childhood home, now sitting empty and without a doubt falling apart on the inside.

It’s not technically “abandoned” I guess. Its vacant and I don’t think the inside has been maintained since 2013.

They cut the grass in the summer and if I’m not mistaken they use the barns for storage, but the home has not seen a family since June 2013 when we moved out. In the winter nobody plows the driveway, so it really looks lonely that 6 months of the year.

The farmhouse is located outside of Carleton Place, right before scotch corners road and tatlock road when you’re going westbound on highway 7.

Part of me wonders if they’re sitting on it to eventually sell to a developer, but that’s nothing more than speculation.

It’s been sad slowly watching things fall apart throughout the years. I wish they’d do something with it.

Clara AshtonTom Montreuil my mom and dad bought it in the late 90s. My mom ran her equine boarding and tack store out of it from 2001-2010ish

*I’m not recommending that anyone trespasses, it’s very much owned by someone*

Clara Ashton

Amanda Grace Emon photo from 2011

Ahh reminiscing on old times!
Clara AshtonAmanda Grace Emon used to have a good photo of the kitchen… can’t seem to find it. This is my sister and I from one Halloween, you can see the mudroom and part of the kitchen…
So many memories in this house
Clara Ashton
From the Tales of Carleton Place

Victoria WilliamsonThe golf course owns it! I’m sure some day they will add more holes for the course maybe make it into a club house.

Troy StanzelThat was my grandfather’s farm Lindsey Thompson

Ashley MarieI used to shop here when Clara was little. Her mom is a wonderful lady. I miss riding here and spending my hard earned barn chore money 💜

Emma Drummond-LeclairAshley Marie right?! I remember when Clara was a little girl too! Running around the shop!

Dawna HurdisUsed to be a beautiful home when my Grandpa owned it. So much character on the inside! Saddens me as well each time I drive by and see it deteriorating. Lots of child hood memories on that property!

helma DowdallWhen I was a child this house belonged to a Mr. and Mrs Boland. They had no family. I always thought that they had the house built but I could be wrong.

Jessica RaceyI’ve always loved this home!! I can never understand why people just leave homes to slowly deteriorate. Why not rent it out, if it’s just sitting there and someone still owns it?

Dave HickThe attic is full of guano and the house has virtually no insulation knob and tube wiring an outdated oil furnace single pane windowsHowever it would be a great candidate for a complete overhaul

Tanis CordickDave Hick we were u set the assumption the owner of the golf course had bought it and was going to use the house as a clubhouse, I’m guessing that’s not the case 🤷‍♀️

Dave HickTanis Cordick i did an inspection on it before the golf course bought itBarn is in good shapeGood deal on the land because house needed lots of work

When the Skeletons Finally Come Out of the Closet “D-I-V-O-R-C-E”

When the Skeletons Finally Come Out of the Closet “D-I-V-O-R-C-E”

My grandmother on the maternal side was Gladys Ethelyn Griffin Crittenden. She was born and grew up in Laconia, Belnap New Hampshire. She married my Grandfather George Crittenden in 1917 in Montreal and had my mother in 1929. She died at the age of 39 and no mention of her daughter was mentioned in her obit.

The Gazette
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
15 Apr 1935, Mon  •  Page 7

When I was a child I heard whispers that I am sure children were not supposed to hear. I knew my Grandfather had a few women that were not my Grandmothers, but one was not supposed to talk about things like that. For years I wondered why the name Cecile was said with a horrified face.

One day at a 10 am Church service I was sitting with my grandmother in our usual pew when someone with heavy perfume tapped my grandmother on the shoulder. My grandmother quickly looked at me in horror and her lips became pursed. The strange woman waved to me and my grandmother clutched my hand very quickly and told me not to speak to her.

Well, I thought, here we are in a place of God and my grandmother is not being too neighbourly. The church service ended and we left quickly. It did not stop the lady and she followed quickly behind us. In fact, she followed us all the way home, and into the verandah where she sat down on one of the chairs. My grandmother instructed me to go into the kitchen while she talked to this woman.

The woman quickly vanished after my grandmother spoke to her and I don’t think I ever saw her again. My grandfather had just passed away in Seattle and apparently it had something to do with that. My grandmother said she wanted money and expected to be in the will as she was “Cecile”. I never found out who “Cecile” really was until today. I just assumed that she was one of my grandfather’s former girlfriends.

My mother from the ages of 14-18 was in the Ste Agathe Sanitarium because she had tuberculosis and had one lung removed. I heard the stories many times about my Grandfather’s wife that had burned all my mother’s things and sold her piano because she had convinced my grandfather that my mother was coming back. But was that true? When my mother was released she never did go back to Park Extension in Montreal, and instead went to Cowansville, Quebec to work at Bruck Mills.

Apparently my mother not coming home and being an only child caused a rift between my grandfather and Cecile and the marriage went south. Really south.There was no uniform federal divorce law in Canada until 1968 and this was the very early 50s. Instead, there was a patch-work of divorce laws in the different provinces, depending on the laws in force in each province at the time it joined Confederation. In Quebec, the Civil Code of Lower Canada declared that “Marriage can only be dissolved by the natural death of one of the parties; while both live it is indissoluble”.

The English Matrimonial Causes Act 1857 provided that a husband could sue on grounds of adultery alone, but a wife would have to allege adultery together with other grounds.The only way for an individual to get divorced in the provinces where there was no divorce law—as well as in cases where the domicile of the parties was unclear—was to apply to the federal Parliament for a private bill of divorce. These bills were primarily handled by the Senate of Canada where a special committee would undertake an investigation of a request for a divorce. If the committee found that the request had merit, the marriage would be dissolved by an Act of Parliament.

So today, I found out that my Grandfather had to apply to Parliament for a divorce on the grounds of adultery.

Montreal, Quebec, Canada
30 Jun 1953, Tue  •  Page 24

Of George Arthur Crittenden, of Montreal, Quebec; praying for the passage of an Act to dissolve his marriage with Cecile David Crittenden. 1953 November

MONDAY, 7th December, 1953. The Standing Committee on Divorce beg leave to make their one hundred and twentieth Report, as follows:- 1. With respect to the petition of George Arthur Crittenden, of the city of Montreal, in the province of Quebec, clerk, for an Act to dissolve his marriage with Cecile David Crittenden, the Committee find that the requirements of the Rules of the Senate have been complied with in all material respects. 2. The Committee recommend the passage of an Act to dissolve the said marriage. All which is respectfully submitted. W. M. ASELTINE, Acting Chairman.

Crittenden. George Arthur Petition, 40; reported, 125; adopted, 136. Bill (N-4)-lst, 2nd and/3rd, 153-154. Passage by Corns., 245. Message, 246. R.A., 279. Ch. 161.

So I am assuming it was easier for a man to get a divorce from his wife in those days and since adultery was the only way to get a divorce– the woman had to suck it up.

So, maybe the story was all wrong from the beginning and I am starting to give Cecile the benefit of the doubt even though she was not kind to my mother. Maybe she did have an agreement with my grandfather that he said: ‘ If I get this divorce using you as the ‘ bad guy” I will leave you something in my will”.

Quebec has been slow on giving civil rights to married women: until 1954, a married woman was legally listed as “incapable of contracting”, together with minors, “interdicted persons”, “persons insane or suffering a temporary derangement of intellect … or who by reason of weakness of understanding are unable to give a valid consent”, and “persons who are affected by civil degradation”

The removal of the married woman from this list, however, did little to improve her legal situation, due to marriage laws which restricted her rights and gave the husband legal authority over her: legal incapacity was still the general rule until 1964. A woman did not have equal rights with her husband regarding children until 1977.

So why else would she have turned up after he had passed away 20 years later– had not something been promised to her for a facility in the divorce. After all- she was labelled the bad guy in family stories.

I guess we will never know now, but now I know the rest of the story.

Park Extension Montreal


Did you know?

It has been argued that one of the explanations for the current high rates of cohabitation in Quebec is that the traditionally strong social control of the church and the Catholic doctrine over people’s private relations and sexual morality, resulting in conservative marriage legislation and resistance to legal change, has led the population to rebel against traditional and conservative social values and avoid marriage altogether. Since 1995, the majority of births in Quebec are outside of marriage; as of 2015, 63% of births were outside of marriage.

Related reading

Let’s All Go to The Drive-in!

Patriotic Stink Bugs Celebrating the 4th of July as an Ameri-Canadian Child

Is it all Relative? Linda Knight Seccaspina

I Am Who I am Because of You

My Name is Bernice — A Letter to a Daughter

The Old Church in Island Brook That Needs a Home

What Do You Do if You Just Can’t Walk Right In?

We Are Family

The Summer of 1964

Did They Try to Run the World?

Identifying a Family in a Box — The Hoelke Family

Identifying a Family in a Box — The Hoelke Family

Okay, everyone knows I do not care to see family photos for sale no matter where they come from. I have 121 photos from the Hoelke family. ( Florida, UK and Canada) so next week I am going to start going through them.. Anyone that knows me knows I love putting things together and getting photos back to family. Thanks to Julie Charron for telling me about them and Sarah Cavanagh you dont have to worry about them anymore.. They are in good hands— read-Are These Memories Just for Ourselves? — The Family in a Box

First photo-what military WW1 uniform is this? So I asked Ray Paquette–

I have looked at the picture of the couple posted in “Tales of Carleton Place” and after investigating the uniform, all that I was able to determine was that it would appear to be a WW I,  Other Rank uniform. The difference between “Other” and “Officer” rank is the belt on the upper body. Other ranks wear the belt right to left while officers wear the belt left to right.

I did some further investigation to see if I could find a duplicate of the Cap badge which would have indicated his regiment and country, i.e., Canada, UK or perhaps another Commonwealth nation and was unsuccessful.

To recap then, the uniform is the British  Army Service Dress, “Kitchener Pattern” as exampled in the attached PDF file. With the plethora of unit or regiment cap badges and the lack of definition in the photo, it was difficult to ascertain the regiment


The second photo from the Hoelke family is in front of a Grand Army of the Republic memorial rock. This gentleman (photo 1900 or earlier) was in the Union army. If any of my American friends have seen this rock let me know. Please note that the Grand Army of the Republic is from the Civil War not Star wars 🙂

I would say this is early 1900s

Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), patriotic organization of American Civil War veterans who served in the Union forces, one of its purposes being the “defense of the late soldiery of the United States, morally, socially, and politically.” Founded in Springfield, Ill., early in 1866, it reached its peak in membership 

The Grand Army of the Republic was founded in 1866 in Springfield, Illinois, and grew to include hundreds of “posts” (local community units) across the nation (predominantly in the North, but also a few in the South and West). It was dissolved in 1956 at the death of its last member, Albert Woolson (1850–1956) of Duluth, Minnesota.

3rd photo This was obviously in the UK sign says: E. R. Shea Coal and Coke Oil– any ideas?

Here was another clue.. I could read what I thought was Livery Company.. but thanks to all of you.. the right answer

Kevin PercyLooks like “The Pembroke Livery Company” to me.

Jeff BrennanI see Pembroke Lumber Company.

.Brian SarsfieldProbably the Pembroke Lumber Company, beside the Ottawa River . Make be take prior to the fire of June 1918.

It’s the Pembroke Lumber Company pre 1918.. and all the photos will go back to the family but this one will go to the Pembroke Historical Society

Sunday May 2 update– I think I found the family… and will continue a bit before I contact them hoping they want these photos back. https://mdbfuneralhome.com/tribute/details/6201/Earl-Hoelke/obituary.html

Related reading

Are These Memories Just for Ourselves? — The Family in a Box

Getting the Family Paintings Home– Dr. Harold Box

When the Past Comes A Haunting- Jessie Comrie

A Time of its Own– The Mystery Photo

The Peden Family- Genealogy– Peden Saunders Sadler

David Warren — Bates & Innes Accident — Warren Family

David Warren — Bates & Innes Accident — Warren Family

Everyone needs to be documented.. everyone..

A sad accident occurred on Saturday afternoon when little David Warren, son of Mr. and William Warren, met death in the Mississippi river at the Bates & Innes bridge. The boy had secured permission to attend the Star theatre and was returning from there at about five o’clock, accompanied by a playmate Jackie Harper, when the fatal accident occurred. The boys when last seen before the accident were playing with a  kitten on the lawn before the Bates & Innis mill.

According to the story of Jackie Harper the boys, when passing over the bridge became interested in the water plunging over the stop-log at the edge of the bridge. Boy like, they scrambled into the railing and watched the water take the drop. Intensely interested David leaned over the edge of the railing just a little too far and losing his balance fell into the seething waters.

Jackie, alarmed at seeing his comrades’ predicament ran to Mr. Alexander McDiarmid’s for help which was immediately secured but not before the lad was drowned. The body was recovered in less than fifteen minutes.

David George was the second son of Mr. and Mrs. W. J. Warren. Mr. Warren, who is a traveller for the Mount Forest Carriage Co. was at the time of the accident at the firm’s headquarters in Mount  Forest. He received word of the death at 6.30 and by 6.45 was motoring to  Toronto where he took the train arriving here early Sunday morning.

Also read-Clippings of the Robertson Warren Family — Gail McDowell

The funeral was held on Monday afternoon from the home of the child’s parents to the 8th line cemetery, Ramsay. The services were conducted by Rov. Melvin Taylor, assisted by Rev. W. A. Dobson.

The pallbearers were playmates of the child: Jackie Harper, Clara Syme, Lester Kemp, Peter Donald, Lawrence Virtue and Harold Virtue, As the cortege passed the town hall school the pupils formed lines as a last tribute to their departed fellow pupil.

David, who was eight years and eight months old, was the second eldest of a family of five children, the remaining members of which are James, Jack. William and Isobel.

A large number of friends of both Mr. and Mrs. Warren from the surrounding district accompanied the body to the cemetery, and the flower expressions of sympathy were many.

 A large number of friends of both Mr and Mrs Warren from the surrounding district accompanied the body to the cemetery, and the floral expressions of sympathy were many. Wreaths were from Mr and Mrs Stanley McColloch, Tweed; B.Y. Williams and family, Jackie Harper, Mrs Harper and Mrs Jefferson. Sprays from the mother and father; Mr and Mrs W.H. Wood, Ottawa; Mr and Mrs Geo M. Warren; Mr and Mrs F.C. Donald, and Miss E. McLaren, from the little cousins Clara and Myrtle Syme and Helen Naismith, J.H. McFadden and family, Mr and Mrs J.R. Robertson and Miss Olive, and Kathleen Findlay, Cut flowers were received in profusion from Master Harold Lewis, Bert Kingston, Andrew and Russell Cochran, little Lulu and Iona Boale, Miss Edith Hughes, Mr and Mrs Greville Toshack, Mr and Mrs H.M. Snedden, Lena Saunders and little Jennie Saunders and other little school friends.

October 1923– Almonte Gazette

Also read-Clippings of the Robertson Warren Family — Gail McDowell

Picture of
dded by Gary J Byron

Name:David George Warren
Gender:M (Male)
Birth Date:1915
Birth Place:Carleton Place, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada
Death Date:29 Sep 1923
Death Place:Carleton Place, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada
Cemetery:Auld Kirk Cemetery
Burial or Cremation Place:Mississippi Mills, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada
Has Bio?:Y
Father:William James Warren
Mother:Isabella Cochran Warren

His father died 6 years later

1929, Friday January 11, The Almonte Gazette front page
Wm. J. Warren of Carleton Pl. Dead

Well known Sportsman Passes After Brief Illness of Pneumonia
William J. Warren died on Monday at his home in Carleton Place after being ill only a few days. He had been under the doctor’s care for some weeks but his case was not considered serious and a rapid recovery was looked forward to. However, a few days ago he caught a cold that is so prevalent and when he developed pneumonia his strength failed him and he gradually grew weaker until he passed away. He was the son of the late James and Mrs Warren and was born in Carleton Place in 1883. He was one of the best known sportsman in the Ottawa Valley and his keenest delight was in horse racing. During the Old Home Week in Carleton Place in 1924 he was placed in charge of horse racing and it was due to his untiring efforts and his keen wisdom and fairness that the event was such a huge success. He was a familiar figure in baseball and hockey and dearly loved both games. For any years he was a member of the executive of both these branches of sport and during all the years he was a member he never missed a meeting, unless unavoidably absent from town. For many years he was the representative for the Mount Forest Carriage Company and in the performance of his duties he travelled from coast to coast. Of a very jovial disposition he had a host of friends both at home and abroad and it has been said that he one of the best known and most popular travellers on the road. In politics he was an ardent supporter of the Liberal-Conservative party and he will be greatly missed the local councils. In religion he was a devout member of Memorial Park Church and was always active in church work. In the political sphere, in sports, in fraternal circles and in all things pertaining to the welfare of the town, his death had made a void that will be hard to fill. He leaves to mourn his widow, three sons and one daughter, a little boy was accidentally drowned in the Mississippi river a few years ago. Also surviving are on brother George M. of Carleton Place, one sister Mrs W.H. Woods of Ottawa. The funeral was held Wednesday afternoon. Rev J. Osrhout of Memorial Park Church conducted the funeral services at the home and the remains were placed in St. James’ Vault. Mrs Warren nee Isabel C. Snedden, is a daughter of Mrs D. E. Snedden, of Almonte.

His mother died 60 years later in 1983

Also read-Clippings of the Robertson Warren Family — Gail McDowell

983, Wednesday December 12, The Almonte Gazette page 6
Isobel Cochran Warren

One of Almonte’s oldest residents died recently at Fairview Manor at 100 years of age.
Isobel Cochran Warren (nee Snedden) was born on the eighth line of Ramsay township in 1883, and died Dec 12, 1983 after living all her life in this area. Mrs Warren was the daughter of David and Ellen Snedden, both of Ramsay township. She was educated at the Bennie’s Corners school and married William James Warren in 1911. The deceased was a member of the Zion Memorial United Church in Carleton Place. In the past, Mrs Warren represented the Canadian Legion ceremonies as a silver cross mother. A son and a daughter survive Mrs Warren. They are William H. Warren of Rexdale, Ontario and Isobel Robertson of Carleton Place. She is also survived by a sister, Mabel Syme of Almonte. Three children predeceased Mrs Warren, including a son, Sgt Observer James S. Warren who lost his life in the Second World War, and sons David George and John McCullouch. The long-time area resident was also predeceased by three sisters, Laura Snedden, Nell Naismith and Elizabeth Robertson, all of Almonte. She is survived by seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. The funeral service was held at the Allan R. Barker Funeral Home in Carleton Place on Dec 14 at 2 pm with Rev Wesley Mitchell officiating. Mrs Warren was buried in the Auld Kirk Cemetery near Almonte and pallbearers were D Kennedy, T. Barnett, D Robertson, G. Greer, K. Robertson and A. Marshall.

Genealogy Clippings Foy Almonte

Clippings of Earl Blakeley from Frank Blakeley

Clippings from Faye Campbell — Cathy Campbell 1978

Newspaper Clippings – Bittle McGlade Kane Stinson Kelley Family Genealogy — Nikki Bittle

Musings and Clippings About the McFadden’s

Ron W. Bates and J.A. Innes took over the woolen mill built by Archibald McArthur in 1871. Located on a man made island in the Mississippi River in Carleton Place, this 4 story stone mill had several owners before they purchased it in 1907. It was built of rubble wall construction – with exterior and interior walls of one foot thick limestone blocks with another foot of gravel between.  The turbine wheels are still visible today, mounted on free standing timbers outside the stone walls to prevent the end of the mill from being shaken and damaged. 

Our calendar features several well known Bates and Innes logos – they were famous for their “OV Brand”, (Ottawa Valley), “Pure Wool Underwear, Weight and Warmth for the Out-of-Doors Man”. 
It also advertises “Velvoknit – Distinguished for its Softness and Fineness”.

During World War One, the firm was busy meeting military needs for blankets, underwear, cloth and knitted puttees. They were the first mill in Canada to use flat-lock seams on heavy rib combinations.
During the Second World War, the mill ran night and day in all departments, providing military blankets, underwear, puttees and and a long run on a 40 ounce knitted duffle cloth, with water proofing treatment that was used in naval pea jackets. The wheeling yarn department turned out tens of thousands of pounds of yarn for the Canadian Red Cross to be hand knit by the women of Canada into warm socks, mitts and sweaters for the men overseas. 

Bates and Innes ceased operations in 1963, due, in part, to the introduction of synthetic fibres. The property is currently for sale and awaits a buyer with vision to restore and operate this historical building. 

Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

Is it all Relative? Linda Knight Seccaspina

Is it all Relative? Linda Knight Seccaspina

Is it all Relative? Linda Knight Seccaspina

As they say, if you shake a family tree hard enough the nuts will begin to fall out. I spend a good part of my day writing history, and as of now I have about 5800 different stories on Lanark County in Ontario and the Eastern Townships. I never thought this would be what I would be doing in my later years, but after writing about what annoys me and celebrity gossip in for years I finally found my calling.

I don’t write text book history, I write about people that made our communities, the families. It wasn’t the politicians that helped our towns and cities grow, it’s the people that worked hard. As far as I am concerned everyone has a story and it’s all about chasing that information. But how far do you dig for these stories? What happens when you find the family stories that are like cornbread that isn’t done in the middle?

Last year each member of a local family all got Ancestry DNA kits for Christmas and their mother begged them to return them, assuring them that they were not accurate. Well, no one listened to her and most of them eventually found out that Dad wasn’t their real father. Apparently there had been a lot of unzipped genes in the family and family dinners were never the same after that.

What I have found odd with my own lot is that no one ever told me the stories about the good guys of the family. All I ever heard were stories of ancestors that never made it up to the standards of the Knight or Crittenden family. There was Cousin Odessa that was named after the Port of Odessa that was suddenly sent to Cowansville, Quebec from London. My grandparents soon found out that Odessa should have been named after Port Sherry instead of Odessa. As Alexander Fleming once said “If Penicillin can cure those that are ill, Sherry can bring the dead back to life!” I would like to believe Odessa is still out there somewhere like a good bottle of biologically aged sherry,

Last year I pieced my together my small family tree together while remembering the persistent repetitive stories of:

“She had to lock the door against the Fenians who were coming to her door- it was terrible!”

“He worked for Bell Telephone when he came from England in the early 1900s and froze to the poles in the dead of winter installing wires”

“She worked in the cafe in Devon where they sold the Devonshire Cream. Once she spilled soup on someone important and got fired”

“Every week your Grandfather gave her a 50 cent piece which she put in a small velvet bag that she wore around her neck. We never found it and wondered for years what she did with all the money.”

“He ran away to the USA without his family and if you look at this photo of his grave, that is why you should never leave your family- this is what happens– you die!!!”

Now this is only a tiny smattering of what I heard in my life, and every statement is true. I still have that postcard of my great grandfather’s grave and will probably pass the same message on to my sons.

I am wondering if I was told all these stories because there were far worse ones out there and they figured that would stop me from digging and finding something no family wanted to hear about. That however will never happen unless I win the lotto and then can afford another $25 dollars a month to join Ancestry in Europe.

As a writer I keep a buffer zone on family tragedy of 50 years, but I still have had some family tell me to take down a story that happened over 100 years ago. Personally I feel like Nancy Drew when I write as I feel like it’s solving a puzzle. But, when you find out a father’s name blank and crossed out on a delayed birth certificate be prepared for what you are going to discover. Ten to one some family is not going to want to hear that their great grandmother was caught with a man and morphine in a hotel room in Watertown N.Y in 1891 like I did this week.

So why do I write about past family stories? I am curious by nature, nosy, and I love the thrill of finding a story no one has heard about before. If I find a family mystery, I dig until I find the answer. I want people to know about the local individuals from the past whose lives helped make us what we are today. Our children and grandchildren need to hear about their ancestors- good and bad- it’s all history.

My youngest son’s favourite Tshirt reads:

“If you think I’m crazy you should meet the rest of my family!”

He’s right- crazy doesn’t run in our family– it gallops!

Conversations with Brian McArton– Henry Wilson of Carleton Place and the McArtons of Ramsay

Conversations with Brian McArton– Henry Wilson of Carleton Place and the McArtons of Ramsay


Author’s Note-Had some great conversations with Brian McArton and thought I would add them here as there are things that need to be documented


I think the last time you had done a piece about a stone house on High street, number 15. The article was about the house and its coffin door.  The Carleton Place House with the Coffin Door

We had a discussion about Henry Wilson building those houses.  Later I was able to get the abstract page from the Lanark Genealogy Group for the lot on High Street and one on William Street.  Henry Wilson owned both of those lots and very likely built those 2 houses.   He actually owned the whole block on William Street.  Part of it was sold for the rectory of St. James Church.  I am sure you know where it is.  The stone house Henry built is right at the south west corner of that block toward Bridge Street. – Brian McArton

The buildings on the north side of High Street were rented houses owned by John McEwen, William Neelin, William Moore and Henry Wilson; and the homes of Mrs. John Bell, Arthur Moore and James McDiarmid; together with Joseph Pittard’s wagon shop, and two doors west of it near the future Thomas Street corner, the new foundry enterprise of David Findlay.

Residents owning their homes on William Street included William Peden and Patrick Struthers, general merchants; Joseph Bond and Horatio Nelson Docherty, shoe makers; Richard Gilhuly, blacksmith; Walter Scott, tailor; Mrs. David Pattie and Henry Wilson.

There were about a dozen residences of stone construction within the central area of the Carleton Place of 1863.  They included the homes of Hugh Boulton, Jr. grist mill owner (later Horace Brown); Dr. William Hurd (formerly James  Rosamond’s and later William Muirhead’s), Napoleon Lavallee and Robert Metcalf, hotel keepers; Archibald McArthur, merchant; Allan McDonald, carding mill owner; Duncan McGregor, blacksmith; James Poole, publisher; John Sumner, merchant; Henry Wilson and Dr. William Wilson.

Howard Morton Brown

The McArton’s of Ramsay

This 2018 installment was of great interest to me on several fronts.  Some of the information (clippings) I did not have.  So thanks for sharing them.  I did note there are a few broken links on the page. The McArton’s of Ramsay Might I ask if you could reconnect them.  If it is not too much trouble about Janet McArton. 

I did not know about this drawing of the Almonte bridge.  I will look around in my files. I know I have a picture of her.  I have her date of birth.  Let me do a search.  I don’t think I have any “stories”.  I also note some errors in the “family” tree posted as part of the article; not sure who was the source. 

The McCarten’s came to Dalhousie Township in 1829 from Scotland.   They basically squatted on a lot of land and later had to beg “petition” for the parcel.  They had not followed protocol because the ship they came on set sail for Montreal from Quebec City in the middle of the night.  So they missed their appointment with a land agent. There was another John McArton born in 1854—he died of “bowl complaint” and then in 1856 my great grandfather was also named John.   The name McArton was changed over the years.  I have records that show one person born with the name McCarten, married with the name McCarton and died with the name McArton.  

Family History Notations

I did note that some of the McArton’s in the above piece are actually from the family of Henry McCarten/McArton who had a farm in Huntley Township.  McArton Road is named after this family.  Henry was a younger brother to John (1816-1899).   They all first lived in Dalhousie Township.  My great great grandfather John bought the Ramsay land in 1842 at some sort of “Sheriff Sale”.  They came to Dalhousie because my g-g-g-grandmother’s sister was near McDonald’s Corners.  John’s wife, Mary Ann Houston had come to Canada in 1821 as part of the Lanark Society Settlers.  Her mother was killed by a falling tree on the site of the Houston burying ground.  Thats how it got started there.  Brian McArton

Related Reading

The McArton’s of Ramsay

The Carleton Place House with the Coffin Door

Sent to Canada’s Shutter Island for the Death of Sarah McArton

Clarence Herbert Goth – Goth’s Life During 1928-1933