Tag Archives: harper

Putting Together Family History Through Clippings- White Pretty Harper Kirkwood

Putting  Together Family History Through Clippings- White Pretty Harper Kirkwood

CLIPPED FROMThe Lanark EraLanark, Ontario, Canada06 May 1908, Wed  •  Page 1

I saw this clipping above last week and I clipped it thinking there might be a story. There sure was and it took me all of Sunday afternoon to dig it out. It’s not a happy story, but it was a story of what happened in the past and I wanted to document it. The beginning of the story was that William John White married Euphemia Pretty. She died at the age of 28 in childbirth along with their child William Delbert in 1903.

William having two small children like other widows in those days needed to find a wife and he married Nellie Harper whose father was Samuel Harper in 1904. They had a child Doris Irene White in 1905 and then tragedy struck. William John White drowned tragically in Drummond’s Rapids in June of 1905. So Nellie legally had to take guardianship of her children as it looks like family of the first wofe was fighting for them. At that time I had no idea that her daughter Doris Irene was their legal child. I thought it was one of the former wife’s Euphemia’s children. When the guardianship came to court Mary Cora and Ethel Jane had to go live with their uncle, Thomas Pretty, near Hopetown, Ontario. In those days, women had little rights and I assume family wanted them, but pretty strange for an uncle to have custody.

Nellie and Doris kind of disappeared under the radar until I found out they moved out to Saskatchewan and Nellie had married Alexander John Kirkwood in Frontenac County and they all moved out west. She had posession of Doris Irene and I figured out they had let her keep one. I was wrong, it was her child with William James, so it was her legal child. Still with me?

Nellie had three other children with John Kirkwood and Doris Irene was still listed–until she disappeared. She wasn’t even showing up on the geneaology charts of her half sisters Mary Cora and Ethel Jane White. I thought maybe she ran away. What happened to her? Well after a few hours I finally found her. By the age of 12, she had lost an eye and other maladies and fell off a wagon and perished. See all about her at the end.

This is what happens when you dig too hard. Sometimes you find unhappy endings, but people still need to be remembered. Now we know the rest of the story about Doris Irene White Kirkwood.


CLIPPED FROMThe Lanark EraLanark, Ontario, Canada02 Aug 1905, Wed  •  Page 1

Nellie Harper White– second wife

Second Husband

Name:Mrs Nellie White
Birth Year:abt 1881
Marriage Date:27 Aug 1910
Marriage Place:Frontenac, Ontario, Canada
Father:Samuel Harper
Mother:Lillian Easton
Spouse:John Graham Kirkwood

Spouses and children

Name:Nellie Harper
Gender:F (Female)
Father:Samuel K Harper
Mother:Lillian Easton
Spouse:John White
Child:Alexander John KirkwoodDoris Irene White

Nellie Harper White– second wife

Second Husband

Name:Alexander John Kirkwood
Gender:M (Male)
Birth Date:11 avr. 1911 (11 Apr 1911)
Birth Place:Lang, Saskatchewan, Canada
Death Date:28 juin 1911 (28 Jun 1911)
Death Place:Lang, Saskatchewan, Canada
Mother:Nellie Harper
Name:Nellie Kirkwood
Racial or Tribal Origin:Irish
Marital Status:Married
Birth Year:1881
Birth Place:Lanork County Ontario
Home in 1916:Kindersley, Saskatchewan, Canada
Address:33, 20, W3, 2nd Avenue
Relation to Head of Household:Wife
Spouse:John G Kirkwood
Sub District Description:Townships 32, 33 and 34, ranges 20, 21 and 22, W. 3. M., including the Villages of Dodsland and Druid
Enumeration District:Low 33 Ran 20 M W 3
Enumerator’s Name:G T Kidd
Dwelling House:273
Can Speak English:Yes
Can Speak French:No
Can Read:Yes
Can Write:Yes
Household Members (Name)AgeRelationshipJohn G Kirkwood45HeadNellie Kirkwood35WifeDoris I White11DaughterJames A Kirkwood5SonMary N Kirkwood3DaughterFlorence J Kirkwood0Daughte


Name:John G Kirkwood
Racial or Tribal Origin:Scotch (Scotish)
Marital Status:Married
Birth Year:abt 1871
Birth Place:Ontario
Residence Date:1 Jun 1921
House Number:49
Residence City, Town or Village:33 20 W of 3rd Village of Dodsland
Residence District:Kindersley
Residence Province or Territory:Saskatchewan
Residence Country:Canada
Relation to Head of House:Head
Spouse’s Name:Nellie Kirkwood
Father Birth Place:Scotland
Mother Birth Place:Ontario
Can Speak English?:Yes
Can Speak French?:No
Can Read?:Yes
Can Write?:Yes
Months at School:94.10
Occupation:Grain Buyer
Section:Lot 73 Blk 7
Municipality:Village Of Dodsland
Enumeration District:217
Sub-District Number:57
Enumerator:Vivian T. N. Pellett
District Description:Township 33 in ranges 20 and 21, township 34 in ranges 21 and 22 and the west half of township 34 in range 20, west of the third Meridian
Neighbours:View others on page
Line Number:40
Family Number:49
Household Members (Name)AgeRelationshipJohn G Kirkwood50HeadNellie Kirkwood39WifeJ Andrew Kirkwood10SonM Lillian Kirkwood7DaughterFlorence Alen Kirkwood5DaughterErick Arline Kirkwood2Daughter

DEATH of William John White ( husband of Nellie Parker and Euphemia Pretty)

CLIPPED FROMThe Lanark EraLanark, Ontario, Canada28 Jun 1905, Wed  •  Page 1

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa CitizenOttawa, Ontario, Canada27 Jun 1905, Tue  •  Page 5

William’s second wife Nellie Harper

Name:William J White
Birth Year:abt 1876
Birth Place:Darling
Marriage Date:4 May 1904
Marriage Place:Lanark, Ontario, Canada
Father:Robert White
Mother:Jane Menarie
Spouse:Nellie Harper
Name:Nellie Harper
Birth Year:abt 1881
Birth Place:Dalhousie
Marriage Date:4 May 1904
Marriage Place:Lanark, Ontario, Canada
Father:Samuel Harper
Mother:Lillie Easton
Spouse:William J White

William’s first wife Euphemia Pretty

Euphemia Pretty ( died in childbirth along with child William

BIRTH unknown DEATH 25 Jan 1903 BURIAL

Clayton United Church CemeteryClayton, Lanark County, Ontario, CanadaMEMORIAL ID185528907 · 


Wife of John White
Died aged 28 years

Name:William John White
Birth Year:abt 1876
Birth Place:Darling
Marriage Date:28 Sep 1898
Marriage Place:Lanark, Ontario, Canada
Father:Robert White
Mother:Jane Manarey
Spouse:Euphemia Pretty

Mary Cora White–Ontario, Canada

Name[Mary Cora Whyte ][Mary Cora White ]
Birth Year1899
Marriage Date21 Nov 1917
Marriage PlaceLanark, Ontario, Canada
FatherWilliam John Whyte
MotherEugahemia Pretty
SpouseCharles Lawrence Virginia

When Mary Cora Whyte was born on 13 August 1899, in Lanark, Ontario, Canada, her father, William John White, was 23 and her mother, Euphemia Pretty, was 25. She married Charles Lawrence Virgin on 13 November 1917, in Calabogie, Greater Madawaska, Renfrew, Ontario, Canada. They were the parents of at least 2 sons and 2 daughters. She lived in Muskoka, Ontario, Canada in 1901 and Parry Sound, Parry Sound, Ontario, Canada in 1901. She died on 7 July 1974, in Perth, Ontario, Canada, at the age of 74, and was buried in Lanark, Ontario, Canada.

Ethel Jane White

Name:Ethel Jane White
Birth Year:abt 1901
Birth Place:Darling
Marriage Date:5 Apr 1922
Marriage Place:Lanark, Ontario, Canada
Father:John White
Mother:Euphemia Pretty
Spouse:James Machan

By 1911, she and her sister Cora were living with their uncle, Thomas Pretty, near Hopetown, Ontario. She passed away about 1947 and is buried at Hopetown United Church Cemetery, Lanark Township, Ontario.


  • Five still living
  • Charles Stuart Machan, died about 2010
  • Willard Machan, died about 2010
  • Marion Machan, died about 2008

Brief Life History of Ethel Jane

When Ethel Jane White was born on 21 August 1900, in Parry Sound, Parry Sound, Ontario, Canada, her father, William John White, was 24 and her mother, Euphemia Pretty, was 26. She married James Machan on 22 March 1922, in Lanark, Lanark, Ontario, Canada. They were the parents of at least 5 sons and 4 daughters. She lived in Ontario, Canada in 1900 and Muskoka, Ontario, Canada in 1901. She died in 1947, in Dalhousie, Lanark, Ontario, Canada, at the age of 47, and was buried in Hopetown, Lanark Highlands, Lanark, Ontario, Canada.

Spouse and Children


22 March 1922Lanark, Lanark, Ontario, Canada

NameMrs. Ethel Jane Machan
Birth Date21 Aug 1900
Birth PlaceOntario
Death Date21 Nov 1947
Death PlaceLanark, Lanark, Ontario, Canada
FatherJohn White
MotherFamie White
SpouseJames Machan
Certificate Number036735


Name:Doris I White
Racial or Tribal Origin:Scotch (Scotish)
Marital Status:Single
Birth Year:1905
Birth Place:Lanark County Ontario
Home in 1916:Kindersley, Saskatchewan, Canada
Address:33, 20, W3, 2nd Avenue
Relation to Head of Household:Daughter
Father:John G Kirkwood
Mother:Nellie Kirkwood
Sub District Description:Townships 32, 33 and 34, ranges 20, 21 and 22, W. 3. M., including the Villages of Dodsland and Druid
Enumeration District:Low 33 Ran 20 M W 3
Enumerator’s Name:G T Kidd
Dwelling House:273
Can Speak English:Yes
Can Speak French:No
Can Read:Yes
Can Write:Yes
Household Members (Name)AgeRelationshipJohn G Kirkwood45HeadNellie Kirkwood35WifeDoris I White11DaughterJames A Kirkwood5SonMary N Kirkwood3DaughterFlorence J Kirkwood0Daughter

Death of Doris Irene White

CLIPPED FROMThe Lanark EraLanark, Ontario, Canada13 Jun 1917, Wed  •  Page 1

CLIPPED FROMThe Lanark EraLanark, Ontario, Canada20 Jun 1917, Wed  •  Page 8

Friday, March 13, 1908. On a slow news day in Troy a divorce case involving a custody battle for a small child can command considerable space in The Record’s pages, especially when cases like this are still more rare and scandalous than they will be a century later.

Judge Wesley O. Howard presides over a habeus corpus hearing in which Nellie Gorman is obliged to show cause why she shouldn’t be compelled to give up custody of her 22-month old son to her husband, “local sporting man” James Gorman. The Gormans have sued each other for divorce, with the husband demanding custody of the child because the wife is “not a proper person to have charge of it.”

This description alone would raise the eyebrows of many Record readers. A “sporting man” is almost by definition a disreputable character, presumably involved in gambling and related activities. Our readers are likely to agree with Nellie Gorman’s contention that James “cannot have the child [because] he has no place to take it and cannot give it proper care.”

Nellie Gorman denies her husband’s charge that she’s endangering the boy’s morals. “Its morals endangered. That’s good,” she scoffs, “I won’t give the child up. I have not refused him the right to see the child, but he has not called to see it since January 1. He came spooking about the hall of the house I live in, but he did not come in to see the child.”

James Gorman interrupts to deny “spooking” his wife, while his attorney Thomas F. Powers explains that James has avoided contact with his son on advice of counsel pending the outcome of the divorce proceedings.

Nellie Gorman is represented by John P. Kelly, who requests a delay in the hearing. He complains to Howard that his client was only served with the writ at 10:30 last night.

“Mrs. Gorman has not refused to let her husband see the child, but she does refuse to surrender the baby entirely,” Kelly notes, “It would not be right to take so young a child from its mothers care. This will appeal to your honor as the father of children.”

Kelly quickly learns that he’s made a mistake.

“It does not appeal to me as the father of children,” Howard replies sharply, “My being the father of children has nothing to do with it. You are addressing the court and not the father.”

Despite rebuking Kelly, the judge approves a compromise on the custody issue. He allows James Gorman to have his son on Sundays and Thursdays from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., pending the outcome of the divorce proceedings. Since relations between the Gormans remain strained, James’s sister will pick up the boy and bring him back to Nellie’s house.

Ivan and Elizabeth Pretty Anniversary and Poem — Audrey Armstrong 1966

George Goodson Pretty Genealogy Part 2

Annie and Ethel Pretty Bridge Accident 1927

Clippings of George Goodson Pretty

Ken Manson– Interview with Helen & Jimmie Dodds, Side 1 -“Did you ever hear the story about the fellow who was shot up Bob Pretty’s there”?

The Harper Family of Perth

Faces of Harper — The Buchanan Scrapbook Clippings

Faces of Harper  — The Buchanan Scrapbook Clippings
With files from The Keeper of the Scrapbooks — Christina ‘tina’  Camelon Buchanan — Thanks to Diane Juby— click here..

Harper Lanark County—It Wasn’t the Harper Valley PTA

The Harper Family of Perth

The Sad Tale of the Foley Family–Foley, Harper, Sly, Bowes & Elliott

The Lanark Era
Lanark, Ontario, Canada
25 Sep 1912, Wed  •  Page 5

The Harper Family of Perth

The Harper Family of Perth


Rev. W. G. T. Brown (1873-1951)

W. T. L. Harper (1907-1990)

By D. B. Anderson (1932 – )

After the close of Napoleon s career in Europe in 1815, many British soldiers and some naval men obtained land in what was familiarly known as the Perth settlement.

The little town of Perth did not spring up spontaneously. The site was chosen by the Government as the head of a district lying north of the Midland and Johnstown districts, comprising a great part of the Ottawa Valley in Upper Canada. Men were hired to clear the land and to erect certain buildings necessary for the administration of Justice.

To the Perth settlement from Queens County, Ireland, came James, Joseph and Ephraim Harper, with their sister, Mary Ann. Joseph Harper was born around 1766 at Cootehill, County Cavan, Ireland. He served in the Yeomanry Militia during the Irish rebellion of 1798. He was not a soldier but, like many others, he came hoping to improve his lot and find a future for his children. It is not easy to visualize the long weary journey, weeks tossing on the Atlantic in a small wooden sailing ship, crowded with seasick passengers and without the conveniences of our very poorest vessels of the present day.

He and his wife, Mary Boyle, with daughters Mary, Jane, Ellen and Nancy, arrived in Canada on the “Prince Augusta” on June 2,1818. During the crossing their son, John, was buried at sea. He had been injured on the playground at school and was
afterwards a cripple. Nancy, a child of but six years, who did not suffer from seasickness, as did the others, remembered the tears and sad outcry of her stricken mother that “she had left all her friends in Ireland, and now her one little son in the sea”.

From Quebec the family travelled up the St. Lawrence to Montreal and thence still farther up by boat and portage to either Prescott or Brockville. From the St. Lawrence, the settlers would push their way back through the woods and swamps, crossing many streams that no longer exist, finally reaching Perth. Here the Government had erected some sort of protection on the “island” for immigrant families, where they might remain until the husband and father had “drawn” his land made a trip to it and built some rude shelter of logs and brush.

Joseph Harper secured land in the township of North Burgess on Lot NE 15, Conc. 8 on July 23, 1818. and there he removed with his wife and their four daughters: Mary, Jane, Ellen and Nancy. On January 31, 1819, in a rude shanty in the woods, a son was born and named Ephraim Boyle Harper. Some time later on November 5, 1820, a daughter Elizabeth (Bessie) was born.

Harper was a weaver and, as it was still the day of the hand-loom, he seems to have done a good business among the settlers. Alas, the burden of making a home in the wilderness fell heavily on his daughters. However, the family prospered and soon had not only the work oxen of every pioneer, but horses also.

The girls were good horsewomen. An occasional trip on horseback to Perth and some visits to a more distant neighbourhoods helped to relieve the monotony of life in the bush. Mary and Jane had been to boarding school in Clonmel, Ireland, but Ellen and Nancy were too young to leave their parents before the migration to Canada. As there was no school in the wilds, these two girls were never in school, but did receive some education at home. Later this was supplemented by their brother, Ephraim, while little more than a child himself. Ellen was fond of good reading and had a memory stored with the Bible and Shakespeare, Milton and other great English classics.

In their old age, Ellen and Nancy, who could remember little or nothing of Ireland, had stories to tell of their fun and mishaps in the woods of Canada – stories that had to do with horseback riding, riding colts without saddles and being thrown in mud or snow.

One story of another type of escapade must have come from their very early years. Their father had a large hollow basswood cut into suitable lengths and cleaned out for storing grain. The two little girls thought one of these might provide the thrill of a swift downhill ride. Nancy’s turn came first. She got in and Ellen started the block on its way. Once started, there was no stopping it till the bottom of the hill was reached, while inside the wild screams told of a head being bumped from side to side in the wildly careening log, as it gathered speed down the rough hill.

Mary Harper, born in Ireland November 9, 1802, was the eldest child of Joseph and Mary (Boyle) Harper.In 1822, before she had completed her twentieth year, she married John Deacon. He had come to Canada from Kilkenny, Ireland in 1816, the son of an Irish family of the Perth settlement. (Marriage Bonds of Ontario – 1803-1834)

John Deacon of Drummond, yeoman and Mary Harper of Burgess, spinster, March 25, 1822 at Perth, Ontario.

Bondsmen: Joseph Harper of Burgess and Samuel Churchill of Ramsay, yeomen.

She settled with her husband in the township of North Burgess, afterwards moving to Perth in 1825. In 1842 they moved to South Sherbrooke, where Mr. Deacon engaged in the lumber trade. He later served as Magistrate,Councillor, and Reeve.

To them were born seventeen children, of whom six died in infancy, but eleven lived well beyond middle age. The names of these were: Ellen (Mrs. Sam Mitchell), John, James, Henry, William, Joseph, Thomas, Eliza Jane (Mrs.Thomas Dowdall), Ephraim, Richard and Mary Ann (Mrs. John McMunn)..

Mary (Harper) Deacon died December 28, 1877, her husband on May 12, 1866. They are buried in the Old Methodist Burying Ground, Robinson Street, Perth.

Jane Harper, born in Ireland in 1805, was the second daughter of Joseph and Mary (Boyle) Harper. She married an Irishman from County Cavan, Ireland, named Thomas McCue (1798-June 18, 1880). Their first location was on the 11th concession of Bathurst, but they found the land was entirely worthless and were compelled
to abandon it after a year or two. McCue bought part of a clergy reserve lot in the 8th concession of Bathurst and here they made their home till their death.

Jane had a severe illness when a young girl and was never robust afterwards, although she lived to a great age. Her husband died on June 18, 1880 at 82 years, and she died on June 4, 1891, aged 86 years, both of senile debility. They
had no children.

Ellen Harper, born in Ireland on January 14, 1810, was the third daughter of Joseph and Mary (Boyle) Harper.On September 3,1833 she married an Irishman, Thomas Gallagher, who was born January 10, 1810, in County Tyrone,near the village of Clogher.

He was one of at least seven children born in the house still known as Fardross. They lived there in their youth andthat is where their mother died.This estate has been in the possession of the Glodstanes for generations. How it was in the possession of the Gallagher family for years is not known. They were possibly charged a small rent to care for the place when the owners did not come to Ireland for a period of years. The family was apparently quite prosperous, as the sons received a much better education than the majority of young men of their day. Two of the sons, James and John, remained in Ireland and some of their descendants are still there. Thomas came to the Perth Settlement in 1829, when 19 years of age.

After their marriage they seem to have lived for a time in Burgess, but soon moved to a farm in Bathurst on the Tay River, a few miles above Perth. Here they began to make a home for themselves, though Thomas was never a successful farmer, nor an expert axe-man, a skill which was very much needed in the clearing of forest land. He seemed to have been expert around the small grist and sawmills of the day and his education made him useful also in the office management of these little enterprises.

A good measure of success attended the efforts of the young couple and their growing family for several years, until they were driven from their home and lost the fruits of their labor. It is not possible at this time to know the whole story
of the disaster that was too common in the early settlement of the country. Land was granted by the Government and at times purchased without careful survey of titles.

The occupants of certain farms in the Perth Settlement found that their titles were irregular. Some had the opportunity of re-purchase at reasonable rates and others had not. Apparently, Thomas had not. Fraud, incompetence and neglect had each a share in the condition but, in every case, the settler was the sufferer. The earnings and the hard labour of the family were all gone. It was an awful blow and one of which they hardly ever spoke. There was a story of neighbourly kindness when this happened. The indignant settlers came to the Gallagher’s and said, “We want you to go to a neighbour’s house and do not come out, nor ask any questions, nor know anything that is going on”. Then,from all about, came the men with their oxen, pulled down the log house, moved it across the river to a new site and there rebuilt it and soon the little home was ready again for the family.

They had eight children:

Thomas (August 20, 1834 – December 1, 1856)

John (January 29, 1836 – December 1, 1856)

Harriet (July 5, 1838 – April 14, 1880) – married James Brown.

Ephraim (March 22, 1840 – September 7, 1858)

William (May 28, 184? – June 4, 1917) – after the death of his brothers, he had to assume much of the burden of the farm, though he was quite young at the time. He never married.

Joshua Adams (July 16, 1844 – October 7, 1917) – married Margaret Linton

James Joseph (July 12, 1846 – January 22, 1928) – married Margaret Robinson .

Henry Deacon (August 16, 1851 – May 5, 1909) – married Ida Holmes and lived in Brockville.There was no farm, but the father was not tied to the land as other settlers and, were it not for anxiety about his growing family, he might have continued in other employment. When his older sons almost reached manhood, he rented a farm in the rear of Bathurst. The family, however, had to pass through greater sorrows than the loss of property.

The two older sons, Thomas and John, aged 22 and 20 years, were drowned together in the Mississippi River on December 1, 1856. The rented farm lay on this stream and the two sons, perhaps not thoroughly acquainted with the river, broke through
the ice. Both were strong swimmers and had broken much ice in their efforts to get out. No one could hear their cries and at last they sank exhausted. Nearly two years later, their next son, Ephraim, died after a long illness on September 7, 1858. Their deaths almost killed the mother and indeed she never fully recovered, though she lived to be a very old woman.

Later, Thomas bought a farm near the little village of Fallbrook, about a mile distant from the one he had rented but he continued to find employment elsewhere. He was a man six feet two inches in height, who never worried, never had a headache, never missed a meal and never had a severe accident and so, at a great age was able to boast that he had never had a spoonful of medicine from a doctor.

Ellen (Harper) Gallagher died in Fallbrook, near Perth, on October 3,1897, when she was 87 years and nine months old. Her husband, Thomas, died four years later on December 22, 1901, when he was nearly 92 years.

Mary Ann (Nancy) Harper, born in Ireland on October 2, 1811, was the fourth daughter of Joseph and Mary (Boyle)

Harper. She married Henry Sleigh (Sly) from South Crosby, on March 12,1835. They had one daughter, Mary Jane Sleigh (December 17, 1836 – July 14, 1910).

Mary Jane married William J. Keays on May 30, 1860 (1833-November 7, 1897). They had the following children:

William J. (1862-1929) – married 1) Angeline Churchill (1861-Apr. 17, 1891) buried Old Methodist Burying Ground

2) Susan Jones.

Annie H. (Mrs. Alfred J. Bell) 1885-1945 – buried in Elmwood Cemetery with her husband.

Ellen Jane (Jennie) (1867-1918) – married 1) E. James Foley 2) Howard Buffam.

Ephraim D.(1871-1911) – married Elizabeth F. McNaughton – buried Elmwood Cemetery.

Minnie M. (Mrs. Frederick Leighton) 1876-1905 – buried in plot with mother, father and brother, Harry.

Henry (Harry) (1879-1952) – unmarried. Buried in Elmwood Cemetery with mother, father and sister, Minnie.

After the death of her husband, Henry Sleigh (Sly/Slye), Nancy married John Bowes on February 27, 1850. It is said he left for the United States the day of their marriage and never returned.

One child, John, was born on June 20, 1850. He married Ann Elizabeth Bell (Sept. 21, 1853 – July 27, 1934).

To them were born three children:

Esther Wilhelmina (Nov. 22, 1878) – married John Crosbie. No children.

Harriet Ann (May 1, 1880 – Mar. 6, 1963) – married Rev. Dawson D. Elliott. No children.

Alfred Anson (Mar. 23, 1883 – Mar. 31, 1965) – 1) Ida Margaret Warren.

2) Margaret Rebecca Wilson.

One daughter, Helen Margaret (Apr. 26, 1943 – Aug. 15, 1945).

For many years, John was assessor in the township of Bathurst and was widely known and respected. He died on November 14, 1931.

Mary Ann (Harper) Sleigh/Bowes died on October 31, 1895. She is buried in a marked grave in Elmwood Cemetery.


HARPER, Ephraim B. M.A. D.D. was born in 1819 in Ontario, was received on trial in 1841 and died in 1902, 1844 Thorold, 1846 E.Flamboro, 1846 Stamford/Niagara, 1851 Bathurst Tp., 1851-1855 Elm St. Toronto West circuit, 1866-1869 Chairman Ottawa, 1870-1872 Norfolk St. Guelph (Wellington Co.)

Ephraim Boyle Harper, the only surviving son of Joseph and Mary (Boyle) Harper, was born the year following the arrival of the family in Canada on January 31, 1819.He married Susannah Street, second daughter of Samuel Street, on May 20, 1846 at her father’s home in Thorold, Ontario. They had eight children, Cecil, Laura, Bertha, Selina (Sept.4, 1852-Nov.11, 1856) and Samuel (Aug. 1847 -Oct. 5, 1849). Only Cecil, Laura and Bertha lived to maturity..

Ephraim was accepted for the Methodist ministry and served almost all the leading pulpits of Methodism in Canada,winning honors in Hebrew, Chaldee, Arabic and Syraic, having a working knowledge of fourteen languages. He died on February 6,1902 at the home of his son, Cecil, in Nantasket, Mass., and was buried at Norval, Ontario.

Elizabeth (Bessie) Harper, youngest child of Joseph and Mary (Boyle) Harper, was born in the township of North

Burgess November 5,1820. She moved to the township of Bathurst with her parents about 1832.

Close by the Harper home, on Lot 22, Concession 9 of Bathurst Township, lived Michael Foley and his family, among which was his son, Thomas.

In the year 1834, Thomas Foley (1817-1894) sailed from Ireland with his parents, Michael and Margaret, and his siblings, Matthew (1810), Mary (1815), Catherine (1825-1913), Ann (1825), and Peter (1831). A brother, Patrick, had arrived before them in 1832. A sister, Margaret, was born in Upper Canada, Bathurst Township in 1836.

His father, Michael, was born in County Carlowe about 1783 and his mother, Margaret (Cherfer/Cheverus) was born in County Wexford in 1789. Although in their forties, his parents faced the unknown of this wild country and were looking forward to something better than what they had left in Ireland. After a number of years, an impressive stone
house was built, which stands to this day high up on the hill.

At the age of thirty, Thomas married Elizabeth Harper on May 25, 1847 in St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church in Perth, in the presence of his brother Patrick and sister Catherine. Although Elizabeth was a Methodist of the Church of England and Thomas was Roman Catholic, the difference in religion was not considered to be a significant factor until much later in life.

Thomas and Elizabeth lived in a log house on Lot 21, Concession 9 next to his father, Michael. They had six sons and four daughters, all of whom grew to maturity.

Ellen, born May, 1848, never married.

John Harper, born August 26, 1849, married Esther Annie Clayton (1860-1929). He died in Innisfail, Alberta on June 3, 1930.

Thomas Harper, born April, 1851, never married. He died November 14, 1887.

Michael Harper, born January, 1853, never married. He died March 31, 1894.

James Joseph, born January, 1855, married a distant cousin, Ellen Jane Keays. He died March 27, 1891.

Matthew Levi, born September 13, 1856, married Jean Orpha McMartin. He left his wife and baby daughter,

Hilda, in Perth to make his way out to Western Canada, taking part in the Klondike Gold Rush a few years later.

He died March 13, 1936 and is buried in Ocean View Cemetery, Burnaby, B.C.

At the time of Thomas Foley’s death on July 25, 1894, there was religious bickering with his sister, Catherine (Foley) Smith, who insisted he be buried in the Roman Catholic cemetery of St. John the Baptist at Perth. Only his wife, Elizabeth, sons Aaron and John, and spinster daughters Ellen and Caroline were mentioned in his will dated June 8, 1893.

Mary Ann, who married George McLellan, was living in Perth at the time of the birth of her son, Laurence, in 1899 but later moved to Vancouver, B.C.

It was on December 29,1899 that Elizabeth (Harper) Foley died after a few days illness from pneumonia. She was buried in Elmwood Cemetery, Perth, beside her children Thomas, Michael, James and Eliza Jane. Her son, Aaron,was buried in the same plot at the time of his death from tuberculosis in 1900 and daughter, Caroline, also died from tuberculosis in 1905. Their graves are marked by three tall tombstones, engraved with their names.

Sadly, the family were separated from their father by religion, both in life and death.

Joseph Harper’s first wife, Mary (Boyle) Harper, it would seem, was some years younger than her husband. Her death took place many years before his. His second wife was Mrs. Jane (Bowles) Churchill, widow of Samuel Churchill, of Lanark – who had six children. On March 10, 1835, the marriage was performed by Rev. M. Harris (Bathurst Courier,March 13, 1835). His daughter Mary Ann (Nancy) married Henry Sleigh just two days later, on March 12, 1835.

Joseph Harper and his wife Jane (Churchill) sold the farm at North Burgess to a William McLean on May 13.1841.

They then purchased 66 2/3 acres of Lot northwest 21, Concession 6, in the township of Bathurst on October 2,1843 from a William Glascott for £140.00. Glascott had secured the land from the Crown. When the family moved from North Burgess to the township of Bathurst, the Post Office was named Harper and the hamlet familiarly known as Harper’s Corners.

His wife, Jane, though younger, predeceased him and, when a very old man, he was left without his once substantial property. He died at the home of his daughter, Jane (Mrs. Thomas McCue) on November 21,1874 at the age of 108 years, where she and her sister Nancy had cared for him most tenderly. His death and age are recorded in the United Church Archives, Christ Church Cathedral, Ottawa, Ontario.

His remains were interred in the St. James Church burial ground in Perth, Ontario. The Rev. R. L. Stevenson officiated at his funeral service.

At the time of Joseph Harper’s death in 1874, his son Rev. Ephraim Boyle Harper was Wesleyan minister at Port Hope, Ontario. Two of his grandsons were Judge Deacon and Thomas Deacon, MPP for North Renfrew. A nephew, the son of his sister Mary Anne, Rev. William Bennington Curran was minister in the Church of England in Galt, Ontario.

(Pembroke Observer, December 4, 1874).

Received from: Dolores Anderson




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A post office in Bathurst Township, Lanark County, Ontario 7 miles west of
Perth, the county seat, nearest bank and railway point. It contains a
Methodist church and public school. Stage daily to Perth. Pop, 60.

Joseph Warren, Postmaster

Butler John, butcher
Leighton Miles, blacksmith
Marguerat Henry, cabinet maker
Rae George, agricultural implements
Warren Joseph, general store

…from 1898-99 Eastern Ontario Gazetteer and Directory

HARPER, a post settlement in Lanark County, Ontario, 7 miles from Perth, on the C.P.R. It contains 1 Methodist church, school, telephone office, blacksmith shop, cheese factory, 2 stores and 1 private bank. Pop. 60  ...from Lovell’s 1906 Canada Gazetteer

Image result for bathurst township ontarioBathurst Township one room schoolhouse

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)




Jonathon Francis and Margaret Carswell– From Scotland and Ireland to Pakenham

The Sad Tale of the Foley Family–Foley, Harper, Sly, Bowes & Elliott

PATERSON Families of Ramsay Township

James Stewart Ferguson– Lanark County Genealogy


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Harper Lanark County—It Wasn’t the Harper Valley PTA







Author’s Note–HARPER, was  a post settlement in Lanark County, Ontario, 7 miles from Perth, on the C.P.R. It contains 1 Methodist church, school, telephone office, blacksmith shop, cheese factory, 2 stores and 1 private bank. Pop. 60  ...from Lovell’s 1906 Canada Gazetteer. The village was named after Joseph Harper w ho settled in the area.


Men waiting for their mail at the Harper Post Office–Photo from–Tay Valley Township–The Harper General Store c.1910. The building was bought by John Butler in 1877 for $340 and the store served the community until about 1970. From left in the photo are Gerald Cunningham, James Cavers, Bob Anderson, G.E. “Ned” Wilson, John Butler, Jack are and George Brownlee. Photo: The Perth Courier


Perth Courier, October 14, 1837

The Early Settlers of Harper by Everett Bowes, SS10, Bathurst

We will now take you back to the time of 1850.  About this time where the village is now situated it was covered with forest.  The emigrants from Ireland, Scotland and England came out and started a small settlement which they thought was well situated.  These early settlers were mostly tradesmen.  There were two blacksmith shops.  One was owned by Miles Leighton.  Kenneth Cameron is the present owner.  William McVeighconducted another blacksmith shop.  He was also noted as a “vet”.  His place of business was located on the present Ferguson farm.We pupils of SS10, Bathurst thought we would find out more about the early settlers of the village of Harper.  I wish to thank Patrick Tovey of Bathurst for the following information.

There were two hotels.  One was run by Miles Leighton and the other was next to our present school grounds.  It was operated by a Mr.Cole.

There were two cabinet makers by the name of Marguerite.  Henry Margurite lived at the present home of Mrs. Robert Ferguson.  James Marguerite lived where James Warrington is at present.  The Marguerites were of Swiss origin.

Tom Churchill had a small farm.  He also made barrels which were used as potash containers.  Mr. Kerne now lives on the farm.  Joseph Warren a former school teacher, conducted a general store and post office. William Keays now owns this property.  On the same land was a house where lived Mr. Harper, commonly known as “Daddy Harper”.  He was a former school master.  On the north corner of our school grounds was a log house owned by Mr. Wiste.  He was a shoe maker.  Across the road where Mr. Alden Watt now lives, Richard Darou conducted a butcher business.  Later a general store now owned by John Spaulding was built byJohn Butler.  The farm now owned by Gerald Cunningham was first cleared and settled by Mr. Fisher.  Two other men, both named Fisher also got Crown deeds for farms on the 7th Concessionlilne.  The home of Mr. Perkin was first settled by Mr. McNee.

A “grange” stood where our school is now.  This was operated by local residents who distributed grain and other things to those who desired it.  A library on a small scale was also here.

About the year 1885 a church was built by the Methodist congregation of the district.

Our present school was formerly located on land north of the village.  However, the location was not considered suitable for school grounds.  In 1920 it was moved to the present site.  The land was purchased from Eli Blackburn.

Related Reading:


This is a manuscript in the Perth Museum research files.
Transcribed by Charles Dobie.

The buried gold is not the only lost treasure in the Harper District. Back a good many years ago, my mother’s father, Lupton Wrathall, and his brother, George, paid a visit to the wise-woman at Plum Hollow, who told him that there was a silver mine on his farm, Lot 15 in the Sixth Concession of the Township of Bathurst. Either Mother Barnes was having an off-day, or Grandfather didn’t dig deep enough in the right place, for so far as I know, a silver mine has never been found in the district. I asked the Department of Mines about the possibility of silver being found in the area, and I was told that outcroppings of silver bearing rock might occur, but it was unlikely that it would be in a large enough quantity to make it worth while developing a deposit. The Geological Survey conducted in this area by J. Dugas of the Department of Mines, Ottawa, during the summers of 1948 and 1949, makes no reference to a silver deposit having been indicated on Lot 15, Concession VI, Bathurst Township.

 As most of you know, Walter Cameron‘s mother and my mother were sisters, so I asked Walter about the silver mine. He could tell me very little more about the story, except to say that our grandfather had never taken Mother Barnes seriously, and had made no great effort to find the mine. He recalled Uncle George and Uncle Archie Wrathall showing him the site of the mine, which was supposed to be on the face of the hill north of the barn, now long gone. Uncle Will Wrathall took more interest in the story than the other members of the family, but never got more than the exercise in payment for his efforts. LCGS read click