Tag Archives: gravestones

Gravestone Tips– Memories and Respect for our Headstone Treasures




Shane Wm. Edwards, president of the Carleton Place Historical Society, sent me this tip today from Char Spinosa who posted it on the CanadaGenWeb Cemetery Project Facebook page. As it is hard to share a link on Facebook with millions, I have put it here.

Just wanted to share this and give you permission to use the photo and the instructions.. its an awesome way to be able to see what is on a very old headstone without causing any damage and the results are instant, best of all you can capture it in a photo!!

Using just snow, get a good handful, start from the bottom and work your way up by pressing the snow into the area where the information is you want to retrieve, gently wipe away the excess.The best snow is the heavy, wet packing snow, it sticks great!

The results speak for themselves. Gluck and freely share!! ♥ Char Spinosa‎

Visit the  CanadaGenWeb Cemetery Project on Facebook

Author’s Note–Please respect the headstones and don’t use sidewalk chalk!


Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News and now in The Townships Sun


Like a Prayer I left My Mark in Franktown — Part 2


Part 2 of  A Monument Back in Time –Time Travelling in Lanark County


Jennifer Fenwick Irwin reminded me as I told her of my thoughts on William Davis that the Lilac Festival was on in Franktown. She suggested I try to ask a lot of people if they knew where this lost cemetery was that Mary Davis was buried in. I decided to start where it all began for William Davis and his family. St. James Anglican Church in Franktown.


Gary Leach, the warden of St. James filled me in on the history and I was overwhelmed by the historical beauty of the interior of the church right down to the original gas light fixture still hanging in the centre of the church.

St. James Church of England, Franktown, (above photo) as photographed in 1925 by Colborne P. Meredith. The new belfry with pointed openings, the removal of the coating of harl to reveal the stone construction of the walls, and the removal of the pediment halfway up the tower were the only exterior changes made when this church wsa gothicised in the med 1890’s. The cracks in the front wall betrayed this as Beckwith’s oldest surviving church building. During the century between its construction and the taking of this photograph, this church had come down in status from being the centre of the rectory of Beckwith that included mission stations at Carleton Place, Smith’s Falls, Pakenham and Fitzroy, to become the tail end of the parish of Montague with Franktown. The erroneous construction date of 1833 on the sign board would later be replaced by the equally wrong date of 1822 on a datestone. This church actually was built in 1827 and 1828. National Archives of Canada negative no.PA-26902


St. James Anglican Church – Franktown

128 Church Street – Lot 11, Con.3
History dates back to 1818 when the first settlers came to Beckwith Township. Large tracts of land were surveyed, and townships formed, one being Beckwith in 1817. These settlers were Scots Presbyterians and Church of England adherents, many from Ireland.

St. James is recognized as one of the oldest Anglican churches in Eastern Ontario in continuous use. The cornerstone of the church was laid in 1822 and completed in 1827. The stained glass windows were from England, and had to be stored in Perth until the roads were passable.

Capacity of the church was reported to be 250 to 350, as there was originally an upper level gallery. In 1852 a meeting was held for the Missionary Church Society with 250 persons attending. It was the mother church of Carleton Place and Smith Falls.


With declining populations, in 1958, St. James became part of the Clayton Parish, sharing its Rector with St.George’s Clayton, and St. John’s Innisville. However, this little stone church still stands as a memorial to the hardy pioneers who built it.
At present Sunday services are held at 8:30 a.m. and ALL ARE WELCOME


Gary was very interested in my story about William Davis and he told me exactly where the Franktown cemetery was. It was not located near the church as the ground had been too rocky to contain a cemetery. I gave him a copy of my book Tilting the Kilt- Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place and he put my business card on the bulletin board. He told me that each week a different parishioner would take my book home and read it. I found this very cool as the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum’s new exhibit is: They Left Their Mark so I found this quite fitting.


Gary told me that I would have a difficult time finding the lost burial plots as it was on private land and now covered over in growth. I was really disappointed in hearing that, but I went to the Franktown Cemetery to find the “replacement” monument for William and Mary Davis. I had looked up their headstone on the Canadian headstones site and knew exactly what it looked like.

When I walked into the graveyard I felt like part of my mission was complete. As I looked at the marker for William and Mary I knew we at least had one of the original headstones. One day it would go back to its rightful place in Beckwith Township and maybe Mary and William could finally be reunited.


I thought Mary was at the Wayside Cemetery but she is not, as I checked the list they had. So, it has to be a smaller burial plot somewhere on that road.

Wayside Cemetery

GPS Location: N 45 02′ 11.7″ – W 076 09′ 37.0″
Located corner of Tennyson Road and Beckwith Conc. 7, across from Baptist church Wayside. Very unkempt and has long been abandoned. Many stones of Scottish settlers. The Tennyson road was a main route to Richmond and Carleton place from Perth. Wayside had at one time, a cheese factory, a school and two churches.

A Monument Back in Time –Time Travelling in Lanark County —Part 1



Here lies William Davis at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum. Where did this headstone come from? That was the question I asked Jennifer Fenwick Irwin, the curator, Friday night. No one seems to know, yet I heard a story a few times on Saturday that William Davis’s headstone was once in someone’s basement. But that could be a tall Lanark County tale, and I felt compelled to get to the bottom of it.

I couldn’t sleep all night, and at 5 am I got up Saturday morning and revved up the computer determined to get to the bottom of it. The dog looked at me like I was crazy, but he knows better now, and took his usual position behind my computer chair ready to hear me talk to myself.

I found a William Davis in Bells Corners who had some affiliation with the Morphys of Carleton Place, but the more I looked, I realized it wasn’t him, and the date of his death was wrong. I really began to go through Howard Morton Brown’s writings, and after an hour I finally found something.

1833- Among commissioners chosen to supervise the spending of some 200 pounds of provincial grants for road repairs in the neighbourhood of Carleton Place, mainly in Beckwith township, were John Cameron, James Cram, Duncan Cram, William Davis, Thomas James, Phineas Low, John McDonell and Archibald McGregor, Robert Johnston, Donald Robertson, David Moffatt, Thomas Saunders, Stephen Tomlinson, James Bennie and William Drynan.

Bingo! That is all I needed and really started to dig.

Beckwith’s Anglican Church Founders

Beckwith township settlers who had petitioned in 1823 for the grant of the government building in Franktown for Church of England uses included such names as Austin Allen, George Bailey, John Conboy, Robert and William Davis, several Edwards (George, Thomas, Richard and Francis), James Garland, George, John, Robert and William Griffith, Henry and William Hawkins, Luke and William James, Peter Jones, William Kerfoot and William Kidd.  Others were Leaches (Edward, Thomas, Samuel and William), John, Thomas and

Okay I have the location let’s go see what is on Ancestry.ca- I learned that Williams had a few brothers but the one mentioned the most was Robert Davis.

I am looking for information on William Davis who came to Leeds county from Ireland (Wexford County) with his father (name unknown) and Brothers ( i believe 12 of them) . I know that William had at least one son – Edward 1816-1907 (my great great grandfather), I’m not sure if there were others. Any information on William or other children would be greatly appreciated.



I have have some information for the Robert Davis family who settled in Beckwith Township, near Franktown. These papers indicate that Robert’s daughter Elizabeth married an Adam Sly.

Robert Davis was part of the Wexfod influx into Beckwith Township.

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I know Elizabeth Davis had a brother Robert, he erected a grave stone in her memory with his name on it, “erected by Robert Davis in memory of his sister”. Although they are not listed in your info I will keep it for future reference Thanks, Doug Sly

Looking informaton about brothers Robert Davis (1782?-1869),
William Davis (1790-1875) and Edward Davis. They immigrated from Wexford to con 4 & 5, Beckwith Township, in adjoining Lanark Co., Ontario just 12-14 miles north of the Leeds Co. border about 1816.
Bill Mains

I have have some information for the Robert Davis family who settled in Beckwith Township, near Franktown. These papers indicate that Robert’s daughter Elizabeth married an Adam Sly. Robert’s wife was also named Mary like his brother William’s wife.


I have just discovered what I feel is important information on the Davis family who settled near Franktown. Two headstones, one for Mary Davis and one for Albert Davis. On Mary’s headstone, it reads wife of William. Both headstones are in an isolated bush area near Franktown. I am also aware of a Leonard Davis who lost his life in a farm accident somewhere in the 1960’s or a bit earlier. These stones are on private property and I feel that family should be aware of them.

So after three hours I know where William once lived and was on my way to Franktown. I knew from cemetery records that there was a new monument in the Franktown cemetery for William and Mary. William’s original gravestone was at the museum and his wife Mary’s was in some godforsaken lost burial plot. I had to see it for myself.

See today’s other blog to see what happened.

Part 2

“Like a Prayer I left My Mark in Franktown”


 Bill Davis emailed this to Jennifer Fenwick Irwin at the museum

I came across a story about the mystery of anonymously donated William Davis gravestone.  It’s not too mysterious.  Glenn Lockwood shows a photo of the Robert Davis gravestone and gives the location of the family burial site – Davis homestead on lot 16, con 4 (page 65).  Robert was a brother of William and there is a fair bit of information on his family in Lockwood’s book (family portrait page 153).  George Kidd, “The Story of the Derry” identifies Edward Davis who settled on Ferguson Road as another brother.  A sister married Phineas Lowe, another early pioneer.  I have the papers of Marjorie Davis, one of numerous documents  I have to catalog.  Although the Davis name died out in Beckwith, there are lots of descendants throughout the area.