Tag Archives: mcneelys

The McNeely Family Saga– Part 1 and 2


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Photo by Krista Lee


The McNeely Saga thanks to John Armour for sharing. It’s only through sharing that we share history.

Notes regarding on section of the Clan who emigrated to Canada were compiled by Elizabeth McNeely, the eldest living descendant of Brice McNeely, the son of Brice McNeely, who was born in Ireland in 1794 and came to Canada with his father in 1820.

It is not known when the spelling was changed from MacNeill to its present form but it would seem that there were several branches in Scotland and in Ireland and presumably all were descended from the House of Niall of the ancient Royal Line in Ireland.

During these years there have also been other groups associated with those already mentioned such as the Moores, the Crookses and the Grahams. Brice McNeely, Sr., b.1794, married Jane Moore Patrick Crawford married Elizabeth Moore James MacDowell married Mary Moore The Moores were sisters so when Brice McNeely Jr., married Mary MacDowell, he married his cousin. Mary MacDowell always maintained that her family was descended from the Earl of Montrose.


First Installment of the The McNeely Saga thanks to John Armour–

JAMESMcNEELY–from Carneal Co., Antrim, Ireland, who came to Canada in the year 1820 with his family of two sons and four daughters: BRICE–JOHN–MARY ELIZABETH–MIRIAM–JENCY–SUSAN


Ad from Carleton Place newspaper 1873 from .. Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum
There has been a report that two brothers came out together but that the family of the other one remained and settled in Nova Scotia. It may be that this brother was the ancestor of a group of McNeelys who trace the families from Western Ontario back to Peterborough–Omemee–Kingston. They may have come from Nova Scotia via the St. Lawrence to Kingston. The impression given by some articles written by the Carleton Place, Lanark Co.

Historian, Mr. Harold M. Brown– the family of that name who reached there about 1820 travelled by the Ottawa River.James received a grant of land, lots 15 and 16 on the 11th line Beckwith Township, near Carleton Place, on the Mississippi River, Lanark Co., Ontario, Canada.Brice, Sr., was born in 1794;m. Jane Moore in Ireland and came to Canada in 1820. Their children were: Thomas Moore, Jan. 29, 1824; James, September. 22, 1825; Nathaniel Drummond Moore, Aug1, 1827; Mary Elizabeth died in infancy; Brice, Jr., June 14, 1831–Tanner; Joseph,
Dec. 26, 1832; John, May6, 1835; Drummond, Oct. 4, 1838, Millwright and carpenter; William Moore, Oct.24, 1842.

More to come–Thanks John Armour


 Photo- John Armour-Drummond Moore McNeely (circa around 1905)



Second Installment of the The McNeely Saga thanks to John Armour–


BRICE Thomas Moore, a blacksmith at Appleton, m. Ellen Duncan. John went to Los Angeles, California- Knox Mabel


William McNeely William went to Tupper Lake, m. a French Canadian. Alfred–returned to Carleton Place, d. Lennie Ida Helen Jane m. Peter McCallum of Almonte. (In 1956–99 years of age. Still living, Easter 1959.)

James d. young John Duncan m.Marguerite Jacques


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Kate m. Justin Barr Kate McNeey Ellen m. John Lang Jessie m. Robert Armour


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Jessie McNeely and Robert Armour

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Walter Armour

Willys Keith Weldon

Charles Armour William Audrey Charles Ronald Clair

Brice died in USA. Figure 5 Robert Armour





McNeely Related Reading

Howard McNeely- I Aim to Please

So Who Lived at 410 Franktown Road?

School Salaries of 1918

Dream a Little Dream About the Hemlock Tree

The Carleton Place House with the Coffin Door

You Would Never Find Warm Leatherette at the Local Carleton Place Tannery

“30 dollar bid it now, 35, will you gimmie 35 to make it 35”?–Howard McNeely

Before the Canadian Tire Gas Bar There Was..

The Photos of John Armour

The Angling Adventures of John and Leonard McNeely

It’s The McNeely’s Baseball Team!


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

The Angling Adventures of John and Leonard McNeely




Thanks to the collection of Wanda Lee Morrison and the late Joan Kehoe



Photos from Perth Remembered

The Innisville Pickerel Run was known as the “Mississippi Lake Feeding Frenzy” and it was the biggest event in the ‘Ville’. People still say that there were millions of pickerel covering the river bottom under the Innisville bridge and word was that  you could see a solid layer of fish eyes, side by side, caught in the flashlights of onlookers.  All kinds of people stood on that Innisville bridge, with cars parked everywhere and the general  store doing a booming business.

One day John and Leonard McNeely got themselves one heck of a catch from Mississippi Lake in the late winter of 1964. After just a few hours the men came home with a record catch of 12 pickerel. They were lucky, as time was running out because the season was soon ending in preparation for the annual spawning.

All winter fishing had been poor, and not much had come out of the cold season in their fishing hut after chopping holes through the thick ice. However that morning in 1964, all they had to do was drop their lines through the ice and the pickerel grabbed the bait. Four of the fish weighed over 4 pounds alone, and Len said  there were no government regulations on how many fish he could have caught that day.

It seemed that in the the winter of 1963 a lot of fisherman from Perth had tried their luck and some of them left their minnows on the ice. Well Len spotted them and decided to try fishing with the dead minnows and it worked- unlike those Perth fisherman. As Len said, if they didn’t try and use them someone else might.

It appears luck was with these two men this time, as for years the Pickerel had been sparse, and as a result the Department of Land and Forests had taken to restocking Mississippi Lake. The natural restocking area which had been declared a sanctuary was situated at Innisville. The McNeely brothers felt that if so many pickerel could be caught in such a short time (5am to 8am) this indicated the fish were still there. On the other hand, with so much fishing pressure in the summer, they wouldn’t mind seeing the fishing season shortened.

The Pickerel population diminished very quickly. The department of Lands and Forests did put in concrete cribs at the rapids to encourage spawning to try to get the pickerel back and all that they succeeded in doing some say was to block the flow of the river and provide a nesting place for the sea gulls. Now you have to pay to see fish extravaganzas in Sea World and the like. Back then all you had to do was to drive out to Innisville and just watch those fish swim.




Allan Lewis— This is known as the “Mississippi Lake Feeding Frenzy”. My cousin, Garry Burns (was from Carleton Place) and I ran into this phenomenon once on a very hot August day, in 10 feet of water. The pickerel were almost jumping into the boat. It lasted for about an hour. A great day on the lake!


 Gail Sheen-MacDonald-The fish population diminished very quickly. The department of Lands and Forests put in concrete cribs at the rapids to encourage spawning to try to get the Pickerel back. All that succeeded in doing was to block the flow of the river and provide a nesting place for the sea gulls. The gulls created a tremendous problem polluting the river and making swimming extremely dangerous. One of my friends almost lost his life due the bacteria from the bird feces that attacked his heart. I attended many meetings of the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority to see what could be done. As it turned out, there was money to put the cribs in, but none to remove them. It is also against the law to shoot sea gulls even though many residents and cottagers wanted to to just that.


Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  04 Sep 1943, Sat,  Page 13

So Who Lived at 410 Franktown Road?



In December I wrote a story called: What Do You Know About this House? It took awhile, but I finally made it to the Ontario Land Registry offices last week in Almonte. So what did I learn? I found out that the original grant of land went all the way down to the Woolgrowers, and through the years piece by piece was severed off. Joseph L. McNeely  is listed as the original owner of the home.

Hi Linda…..I wish my father-in-law was alive…he could tell you all about the McNeely house on Franktown Road…..he was Lorne McNeely and he knew the two McNeely sisters who lived there.  They offered the house to him and that he could pay them whatever he could as they wanted to keep the house in the McNeely but my mother-in-law didn’t want to move out there at that time.  My hubby does remember the sisters living there and that they drove a 1939 Buick.  Wish I could tell you more.


I felt sad when I read another McNeely family had originally owned the former farmhouse. Muriel McNeely Simpson, Howard McNeely’s sister, used to live across the street from me on Campbell Street. There was not a day that did not go by that she did not tell me the story about  her  beloved”McNeely farmhouse” that she was born and raised in. Her home once sat just below about where Mitchell’s Independent’s Grocery now sits.


I often heard stories about life on the farm and how every day she got more depressed as she watched the building fall apart from neglect similar to the McCrae farm across the road. Muriel did not live to see the day of box stores and having the new road and bridge named after the McNeely’s, and I often wonder today how often she would be complaining about the new structures. She would probably throw in a “Hmmph” and “For Land’s Sake” in the conversation every 60 seconds. Of course there is no doubt she would throw her hands up in the air and repeat what she would tell the neighbours when we were building the addition on my home.

“Do these people know what they are doing?”

So I felt sad that somewhere down the line another McNeely farmhouse will eventually be expropriated for a sub-division. I know progress is progress– but personally, I would still like to keep history alive, especially since one McNeely farmhouse was abandoned and destroyed for commerce. But, that is just me, and life moves on–I am simply old and too sentimental for some of this stuff.

So what do we know about Miss Prisicilla Victoria McNeely? Not much, and I am hoping some people will remember something about her and the old farmhouse, so we can document it and keep it for posterity.

Pricilla McNeely’s Brother

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Gary Box–
This is a wonderful but sad story…..it is one of my favourate homes when I visit CP. We used to call it the “Widow’s House” when we were kids. It should be made a Historic Site!

The Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum has the following documents in their files.


1.      Rectangular paper diploma with writing and illustrations in black.”Collegiate Institutes High Schools and Continuation Schools of Ontario, It Is Hereby Certified That Hilda Cram has compleied with the requirements of the department of Education for admission to a Collegiate Institute, High School or Continuation School. Dated at Carleton Place, July 20, 1921, R.C. Rose, Secretary, Priscilla V.M. McNeely, Chairman“.


2.       Black and white photograph on grey card backing. It appears to be a school picture from CPHS possibly taken between 1914-15. There are very few boys in the class and one is wearing a military uniform. The photograph was taken by Hammond of Carleton Place.The names listed on the back are:

Front Row L to R; Ethel Weir, Mary McFadden, Millicent Lusher, Elsie Williams, Mary Hill, Bessie McCallum, Wilena McRorie.

Second Row L to R; Dorothy Findlay, Annie Mullett, Marjorie Taber, Irene Lusher, Helen Findlay, Jean Craig, Helen Mullet, Norma Weeks, Gladys Paul.

Third Row L to R; Janet Wilson, Jessie McTavish, Hazel Robertson, Blanche McKim, Alma Hammond, Priscilla McNeely (Form Teacher), Irene Campbell, Millie McIntyre, Jean McLaren, Bulah Leach.

Fourth Row L to R; MacFarlane Neilson, Fraser McDougall, Barnet Armstrong, Orval Gorm, Bill Cram, Joe Corkery, Ernest Hammond.

Obituary October 1959



Pinegrove Cemetery

In Loving Memory of

Joseph McNeely, his wife, Susan Lasharity, Their family Miriam Jane, John S. L., H. Elizabeth (Betty), Priscilla Victoria.

Historical Note: This picture is from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum CPHS 1966 annual– Top row number 5 is my friend Dot Smith. She was the niece of my late neighbour Muriel McNeely and her uncle was iconic Howard McNeely


December 1 2021

What would “Jane Jacobs” have done? She would have voted no or asked to have the developer incorporate with the heritage.. That’s what I did.. I voted no..

Photos Jennifer Fenwick Irwin and Roger Rattray—

It’s The McNeely’s Baseball Team!



Marion Giles McNeely said: 

“Hey look, it’s the Mc Neely’s baseball team made up of all the McNeely brothers. They were the winningest baseball team around, no team ever beat them. They were the team to beat but no one could. Krista Lee from Apple Cheeks in Carleton Place is holding the picture with her grandfather in it.  There was 12 boys and 1 girl so they had enough for a team and spares.”

Knock it out of the park McNeely’s!


Buy Linda Secaspina’s Books— Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac– Tilting the Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place and 4 others on Amazon or Amazon Canada or Wisteria at 62 Bridge Street in Carleton Place