Tag Archives: scotland

So Where are Carleton Place’s Comrie Signs? Thanks Jeff Maguire!

So Where are Carleton Place’s Comrie Signs? Thanks Jeff Maguire!

Some of you asked after I posted the Comrie/ Carleton Place signs this week where ours were in Carleton Place?

Well thanks to Jeff Maguire we have our answers. Thank you Jeff and Kathy!!

All Photos by Jeff and Kathy Maguire in this section.

Dear Linda:

    As promised, here are photos I took this morning of the Sister City sign on Town Line East. The sign faces people entering town from Almonte. As you will see in the first frame this particular sign is really too far from the road to be clearly seen (read). Not by motorists at least.

     The other two signs in town are located on Town Line West (entering CP just past Dulmage Drive (before St. Gregory elementary school) and on Franktown Road (on the left side as you enter town from Highways 7/15 and just past Alexander St.)

     The sign on Town Line West is easily the most readable for people in motor vehicles. Kathy and I went on a sign reconnaissance mission today, LOL!

      However, the sign on Franktown Rd. is currently totally obscured by overhanging tree branches and other growth (vines etc.). That material needs to be cut down as it is also obscuring many of the service club signs under the Sister City sign. (All three signs are mounted on the same type of frame which also supports several service club signs, as you see in these photos).

      I will say that the existing signs here have stood up very well (they’ve been there for many years) and they are in amazingly good condition. Whoever made them did a very good job.

      Still, that said, we really need much larger signs Linda. Our committee ( Sister City) has talked about that in the past but never acted on the idea. Also, in my opinion, there should be a fourth sign on McNeely Avenue, around the corner from Highway 7. Vehicles move relatively slowly at that location which means it could be easily read. I would also like to see three small flags emblazoned on each new sign – our Maple Leaf flag of course, the Scottish Saltire and the Stars and Stripes.

Photo in Comrie, Scotland

       Also here I have attached a good photo of one of the twinning signs in Comrie, Scotland which I took a few years ago. Their signs are the biggest and best Sister City signs I have seen anywhere Linda and there are four of them as I recall. Franklin, Tennessee has some signs up at entrances to the city as well. But they are roughly the same size as our current signs here. They aren’t very readable as I recall. TOO small! (I have pictures of them somewhere but I couldn’t locate them readily today unfortunately.)

       Anyway, there is a synopsis of our Sister City sign situation Linda. Hope this helps? Have a great Tuesday!

CHEERS – Jeffrey

Join the Carleton Place -Comrie Page-https://www.facebook.com/Comrie-Carleton-Place-Twinning-Page-104452721719583

Comrie Signs sent by our Carleton Place folk that visited Comrie.

Linda Seccaspina August 1 2022
Today is a special day in Carleton Place-It is our Twin City Anniversary–Carleton Place-Comrie Twinning 30th anniversary. We will be having a ZOOM call with them at 2 pm.
#Comrie #carletonplace #twincities #scotland

Donna Mcfarlane

friends of ours also posed with a sign .. We mentioned to them that my husbands ancestors came from comrie.

Jody Tubman
· Comrie, United Kingdom  · July 29,2022

After a day of leaving Skye, and exploring Eilean Donan Castle and the Highlands between there and here, we have arrived in Comrie!

— with Ross Tubman at The Royal Hotel Comrie.
Jody Tubman–August 3,2022

Just a submitted photo that someone wanted to remain anonymous..

Jody TubmanThis handsome boy is Henry. He was with his mum and dad at the hotel’s pub, and he made so many friends that night! July 29,2022-
— at The Royal Hotel Comrie.

2022-August-OMG Happiness is Carleton Place… Thank you for doing this..
Christina Fex Nichols
Hi Linda – The last show for the 2022 Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo was last night. Before heading home to Canada this week, we stopped by Comrie Scotland for a picture, enroute to Inverness!
Wesley Nichols, Christina Nichols, Victoria Nichols & Brady Fleming
#happinessiscarletonplace #Comrie #community

Jody Tubman Comrie, United Kingdom  · 

— at The Royal Hotel Comrie.

— at The Royal Hotel Comrie.
Jody Tubman
 Comrie, United Kingdom  · 

Join the Carleton Place -Comrie Page-https://www.facebook.com/Comrie-Carleton-Place-Twinning-Page-104452721719583


The kids at Carambeck who wrote pen pal letters to our twin city in Comrie.. Mrs. McDiarmid teacher and I believe Joyce Tennant did the card as she was part of the Twinning Commitee

1980s visit to Comrie?
Sharing Carleton Place memories with Comrie Scotland our twin city–
Linda Berg–I was there 2 years ago…I went to boarding school in Crieff which is the next town. There’s no high school in Comrie so the exchange students go to school in Crieff which I consider my second home.
Join the Carleton Place -Comrie Page-https://www.facebook.com/Comrie-Carleton-Place-Twinning-Page-104452721719583

Comrie and Carleton Place

Catherine Millar of Perth –Waited 60 Years

Catherine Millar of Perth –Waited 60 Years




WAITED FOR GROOM 60 YEARS Miss Millar, Jilted On Her Wedding Day, Became Demented


In March 16 of 1902 in the little town of Perth, the death is announced of Miss Catharine Millar, known in the neighbourhood around as “Kitty” Millar. Sixty years ago she was a beautiful and accomplished girl in Scotland and was engaged to be married to a young man who had a large interest In a Scottish thread factory.

The day was fixed for the wedding and every preparation was made for the ceremony. The wedding day came and “Kitty,” dressed in her bridal attire and awaited the bridegroom. Instead, there came a message that he had married another.

The shock affected her mind, and for several years she was confined in an asylum. The doctors finally decided that she could be given into the custody of her relatives, as they thought a change of scene and surroundings would prove the best cure. The Millar family moved quickly from Scotland to Canada hoping it wold change Kitty’s spirits.


Image result for wedding dress 1840 bonnet

Nearly 50 years have passed since their settlement in Lanark County, yet never, a month has elapsed in which “Kitty” did not don her wedding garments to await the coming of her lover. The dress was antique, of amber-coloured silk, with a long front peaked waist, plaited and corded, with bell sleeves and skirt hanging oddly on account of the straight width.


Image result for wedding dress 1840 bonnet

The bonnet was also peculiar. It was made of white silk, trimmed with satin ribbon and a stiff lace matching the dress in colour. Miss Millar was 80 years old when she died, and for nearly 60 years had preserved this wedding dress, expecting the arrival of her promised husband. All her immediate relatives had died before her and she was living with friends at the time still with her robes made in Scotland long ago.


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 and The Tales of Almonte



More Wedding Trivia History of the Wedding Ring!


The Tale of the Matheson’s of Perth Scotland and $500,000

The Tale of the Matheson’s of Perth Scotland and $500,000

 - Has Heard Report Sir Hugh John Macdonald Left...

Clipped from The Winnipeg Tribune,  01 May 1934, Tue,  Page 3

An Interesting read..



Matheson’s in Canada and Scotland Click here..


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)




Things You Might Not Know About Matheson House

Chatter and Blather about Miss Jessop and Miss Matheson

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

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

Jonathon Francis born 28 June 1820 in Lurgan, County Armagh, Ireland, died 08 October 1888, buried Union Cemetery, Pakenham, Ont.–Photo-Fay Bennett

Family of Jonathon Francis and Margaret Carswell by– Fay E Bennett, Descendant of Elisha Francis of Northcote

JONATHON FRANCIS, the 6th child (of 11 children) of JAMES FRANCIS and RACHEL STUART, was born 28 Jun 1820 in Lurgan, Co. Armagh, Ireland. James, Rachel and their 6 oldest children, traveled from their home in Lisaccurran, Co. Armagh to Belfast to embark on their journey to Canada in 1822. They settled in Kilmarnock, a small settlement on the Rideau River, between Smith’s Falls and Merrickville. The 50 acre farm was located on Concession B, Lot 24, Wolford Twp., Grenville County. Two of Jonathon’s brothers settled in Renfrew County. Samuel was an axe maker in Renfrew, and Elisha was a jobber and farmer in Admaston Twp.


Margaret Carswell, born 22 December 1828 in Barony, Glasgow, Scotland, died 10 February 1904, buried Union Cemetery, Pakenham, Ont.–Photo-Fay Bennett


Jonathon was christened on November 05, 1883, at the age of 63, at the Methodist Church, Pakenham, Lanark Co., Ontario. He died 07 Oct 1888 in Pakenham Twp., Lanark Co., Ontario. He married MARGARET CARSWELL 20 Feb 1855 in Pakenham, Lanark Co., Ontario, daughter of ALLAN CARSWELL and JANET HARVEY. The marriage was witnessed by Allen Carswell and Arthur McArthur. She was born 22 Dec 1828 in Barony, Glasgow, Scotland, and died 10 Feb 1904 in Pakenham Twp., Lanark Co., Ontario.


James Harvey Francis, born 22 November 1859, Pakenham Twp., died 08 October 1931 in Saskatchewan.–Photo-Fay Bennett

Jonathon was a successful lumberman during the last half of the 1800’s. Jonathon and Margaret lived in Pakenham Township, Lanark County, Ontario, Con 11 Lot 16. He was a councillor of Pakenham in 1868.

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George Frederick Francis, born 11 July 1864 in Pakenham Twp., died April 1945 in Ottawa, Ontario.–Photo-Fay Bennett

Jonathon built a Gothic revival house between 1850-1850, about 1 1/2 miles from Pakenham. It was a showplace with picket fences and gates, orchards, flower and gardens. The Francis family was active in all aspects of the village including agriculture, business, politics, sports, and were leaders in the social activities. Jonathon died at age 68 on October 07, 1888 in Pakenham Twp., Lanark Co., Ontario. Margaret died 16 years later on February 10, 1904 in Pakenham Twp., Lanark Co., Ontario. A large granite stone marking their resting place in Pakenham Union Cemetery, overlooks the village.


Jonathon Albert Francis, born 28 April 1867, Pakenham Twp., died 10 April 1948.-Photo-Fay Bennett


2. i. ALLAN STUART FRANCIS, b. 23 Nov 1855, Pakenham, Lanark Co., Ontario; d. 05 Jun 1927, Renfrew, Renfrew Co., Ontario.

3. ii. JAMES HARVEY FRANCIS, b. 22 Nov 1859, Pakenham Twp., Lanark Co., Ontario; d. 08 Oct 1931, Saskatchewan.

4. iii. GEORGE FREDERICK FRANCIS, b. 11 Jul 1864, Pakenham Twp., Lanark Co., Ontario; d. Apr 1945, Ottawa, Ontario.

5. iv. JONATHON ALBERT FRANCIS, b. 28 Apr 1867, Pakenham Twp., Lanark Co., Ontario; d. 10 Apr 1948.

6. v. MARGARET FRANCIS, b. 29 Mar 1869, Pakenham Twp., Lanark Co., Ontario; d. 17 Sep 1954, Toronto, Ontario.

Generation No. 2

2. ALLAN STUART FRANCIS was born 23 Nov 1855 in Pakenham, Lanark Co., Ontario, and died 05 Jun 1927 in Renfrew, Renfrew Co., Ontario. He married MINNIE MATILDA DICKSON 07 Apr 1885 in Pakenham, Lanark Co., Ontario, daughter of HUGH HENRY DICKSON and MARTHA HEMMINGWAY. The ceremony was performed by Rev. H. Taylor. She was born 05 Mar 1865 in Pakenham, Lanark Co., Ontario, and died 19 Jul 1934 in Toronto, Ontario.

Allan, like his father, was a pioneer lumberman. Allan Stuart Francis was selected by the Lumber Baron Festival Committee in Renfrew to be honored in 1999. A Francis Family Reunion was held in conjunction with this event. He lived in Renfrew at the time of the 1891 and 1901 census. Allan’s Uncle Samuel also lived in Renfrew and his Uncle Elisha lived close by at Northcote. Allan was active in Renfrew community life and lived in grand homes. He was known to race horses and curl in his leisure time.

Allan died June 05, 1927 in Renfrew, Renfrew Co., Ontario at the age of 71. Matilda died seven years later on July 19, 1934 at the age of 71. Allan and Matilda are buried in the Francis family plot with his parents in Pakenham Union Cemetery.


i. MARGARET ISABELLE FRANCIS, b. 27 Aug 1895, Renfrew, Renfrew Co., Ontario; d. 25 Jan 1981, Pierrefonds, Quebec; m. Q.C. JAMES RAMSEY MORRIS, 09 Nov 1921, Renfrew, Renfrew Co., Ontario; b. 26 Jun 1893, Pembroke, Renfrew Co., Ontario; d. 02 Feb 1954.

3. JAMES HARVEY FRANCIS was born 22 Nov 1859 in Pakenham Twp., Lanark Co., Ontario, and died 08 Oct 1931 in Saskatchewan. He married (1) ISABELL ARMSTRONG FRASER 18 Apr 1894 in California, U.S.A., daughter of RICHARD FRASER and NANCY ARMSTRONG. She was born 04 Jul 1872, and died 01 Nov 1894 in Cork, Ireland. He married (2) JEAN CRAIG BRYSON 06 Jun 1906 in Fort Coulonge, Pontiac C., Quebec, daughter of GEORGE BRYSON and ELLEN CRAIG.

Harvey was a lumberman and businessman in Pakenham. He is credited for reviving the industrial life around the Pakenham Falls. He is known to have visited Ireland and it was there that his first wife died, on their around the world tour for their honeymoon. Harvey later moved to Manitoba and purchased a farm there. Harvey died October 08, 1931. Harvey and his first wife are buried in the family plot at Pakenham Union Cemetery.


i. JONATHON BRYSON FRANCIS, b. 08 Aug 1907, Indian Head, Saskatchewan; d. Oct 1981, Victoria, B.C.; m. GRACE EVELYN EWING, 24 Apr 1945, St. Andrews Church of Scotland.

4. GEORGE FREDERICK FRANCIS was born 11 Jul 1864 in Pakenham Twp., Lanark Co., Ontario, and died Apr 1945 in Ottawa, Ontario. He married MAUDE M BRAZEAU 07 Jul 1910. She was born 1876, and died 1967. George was also a businessman in Pakenham, operating a woolen mill in partnership with C.A. Brazeau. They lived in Pakenham, Renfrew and Ottawa. George died in 1945 at the age of 81. Maude died 22 years later in 1967. They are buried in Pakenham Union Cemetery, Pakenham, Ontario.


i. MARGARET FRANCIS, b. 1911, Pakenham, Lanark Co., Ontario; d. 1994, Ottawa, Ontario; m. ANTHONY VINCENT HENEY, 07 Feb 1935, Ottawa, Ontario; b. Of Arnprior.

5. JONATHON ALBERT FRANCIS was born 28 Apr 1867 in Pakenham Twp., Lanark Co., Ontario, and died 10 Apr 1948. He married MARY MCCREARY 24 Dec 1912 in Ottawa, Ontario. She was born 03 May 1890, and died 30 Mar 1971. They lived in Arnprior and Pakenham. Jonathon died April 10, 1948 at the age of 81. Mary died 23 years later on March 30, 1971 at the age of 80. They are buried in Pakenham Union Cemetery, Pakenham, Ontario.





6. MARGARET FRANCIS was born 29 Mar 1869 in Pakenham Twp., Lanark Co., Ontario, and died 17 Sep 1954 in Toronto, Ontario. She married JOSEPH ANDERSON 28 Jul 1908 in Breezy Heights, Pakenham, Ontario, son of DAVID ANDERSON. He was born 1874 in Hastings, Ontario, and died 16 Oct 1959 in Toronto, Ontario. Margaret and Joseph lived in Toronto. He was a Bank Manager. Margaret died at the age of 85 in1954. Joseph died 5 years later at the age of 85. They are both buried in Pakenham Union Cemetery, Pakenham, Ontario.


i. JOSEPH FRANCIS ANDERSON, b. 1912; d. 1977; m. ELIZABETH GRANT; b. 1904.


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

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.



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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Musical Notes About the Rosetta Violin

Musical Notes About the Rosetta Violin



Middleville & District Museum  Photo- Have you been there? Click here..


William Morris emigrated to Rosetta, Ontario as a young boy with his parents where they made a life for their family on a homestead like other settlers that came to this area. Their former neighbour, Alex Crichton, back in Glasgow, Scotland, missed the family and regularly exchanged correspondence, first to to the parents, and then to young William.

Alex ended up coming to Rosetta one summer, and loved the area, but he found the stillness of the night almost painful. We don’t know how William became enthralled with the violin, but because of the fondness between the two men, one must assume Alex encouraged him to play it. William later ordered a violin from Alex Crichton and Alex encouraged William to study hard so he could share the sound of Scotland with his neighbours, some who had no clue to what they were missing as they had never visited the grand old homeland filled with the scent of heather and the sounds of song.

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Middleville & District Museum  Photo and Claudia Smith- Have you been there? Click here..


This violin was like no other, because William had sent the violin maker in Glasgow a block of cedar for part of the violin in 1897. Chrichton’s seafaring son who was visiting Rosetta took it with him on his journey but he failed to register it on the ship’s list so it was sent back to Montreal and then back to London. Due to dock regulations ghat block of wood crossed the Atlantic not once, but three times, until it got to the hands of its maker. But, by the time it arrived in Glasgow, the wood had dried so a new block of cedar was cut and resent.

Alex combined that cedar with fine maple, and in 1900 written news came back to Rosetta that the back of the violin had been made out of  bird’s eye maple. The Scotsman had made the breast in cedar as promised, and when it was completed it was tested by a famous Perthshire violin player who claimed it was a capital instrument.

At this point in time Alex Chrichton was 83 years-old, and this was the very last violin he ever constructed. The most joy Alex had in life was making his violins and the music from his violins reached the centre of people’s souls in Scotland and in Rosetta, Ontario.




Donna Mcfarlane William Morris who owned the violin was the son of my husband’s great great grandfather William Morris (wife Catherine Struthers) who emigrated from Scotland to Rosetta..William Sr. kept a diary of his life before emigrating, the trip over to Canada, and the search for property. I believe this diary is in the Keith Morris family..(Keith being a grandson of Wm the violin Morris) Aunt Margaret Lowe (granddaughter of Peter Morris ) made a handwritten copy of this diary which I have..

Donna also sent this:






Keith Morris of Carleton Place was the grandson of William Morris and that same violin  that was made by Alex Crichton and sent to Canada in 1896 is now safely in the Middleville & District Museum .


Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  15 Oct 1897, Fri,  Page 4




Photo from Tom Edwards

Tom Edwards Her name is Marion Campbell. Her brother was Andrew Campbell and I think she may have became Marion Erskine. I think she was my dad’s aunt or great aunt. Not sure. LOL I have become quite the historian.

 Rose Mary Sarsfield- But the message above is from Minnie Penman. Yes Marion Campbell married John A. Erskine. They are the parents of Johnnie Erskine and his sister whose name escapes me at the moment who married Tommy Edwards. 

Max Sutherland Rose Mary: the nickname “Minnie” drives genealogists to despair or drink. I’ve seen it borne by daughters whose birth names were “Mary”, “Minerva”, “Marion”, “Marissa”, etc., etc., etc…..But I’m convinced that Minnie Penman was born “Marion” Penman in 1870, d/of Archibald and Margaret Penman of Dalhousie. By 1891 she’s listed in the census as “Minnie”. She seems to have married after 1891, and may be the “Minnie” shown as married to Archibald McNicol of Dalhousie in the 1901 census. Your best bet? Ask Irene Spence. What Irene doesn’t know about Dalhousie isn’t worth knowing. Hope this helps. 😚

Max Sutherland Ooops! No, she’s still called “Marion” in 1891; but I still think it’s your “Minnie”.

Rose Mary Sarsfield- Thanks Max Sutherland! See where this stuff leads to Tom Edwards?? Elizabeth Coates i believe we found an answer

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

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.


 Middleville & District Museum  Have you been there? Click here..

Restin’ in Rosetta

The Preaching Rock of Lanark County

The Heirlooms- Ferguson Violin

Dueling Shoes and Fiddles and Step Dancing Contest July 15 1974

Notes of Lanark County Dances and Fiddlers

Good Old Lanark County Music–From the 70s to now

Fiddling in Lanark County by David Ennis


Fiddler’s Hill— Where the Green Grass Doesn’t Grow in Lanark

The Templeman’s Family Heirloom

Where is it Now? The Heirloom of William Camelon

The Now Complete Page Turning Story of the Beckwith Grandfather Clock


Friday October the 13th– 6:30.. meet in front of the old Leland Hotel on Bridge Street in Carleton Place (Scott Reid’s office) and enjoy a one hour walk with stories of murder mayhem and BOO!.. Some tales might not be appropriate for young ears. FREE!!

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The Story of Jane Russell Gibson of Lanark County

The Story of Jane Russell Gibson of Lanark County




Beverly Salkeld from Winnpeg, Manitoba wrote this but she asked that John Collins be credited as well as much of her information was gleened from his book  John Collins-Mcintosh family of Lanark County.  But,Effie Edna Park Salkeld is her grandmother not his.

The Jane Russell, John Lawson and James Gibson Families.




When doing research on my family history I came to admire women, who in1820 immigrated from Lanarkshire, Scotland to what is now Canada. It was believed that she, with her family in tow, was to have traveled on a ship named the Prompt. She must of   felt strongly, that it was her duty to create a better life for herself and her family. The family settled in what is now Lanark County Ontario. You may care little for what seems ancient history, but my grandmother Effie Park Salkeld a descendant in this story once wrote, ‘Perhaps no one cares about ancestors dead and gone but we should take heed of the life they helped build Canada the greatest in the world.’   In those days travel by water could be quite treacherous. Life in Scotland after the Napoleonic wars was dismal, at best. The life of a tenant farmer who would never have the privilege of owning land was far from prosperous.

The Scottish economy showed little, if any recovery. Wages were down in all sectors of the county. While in this Promised Land across the sea there lay great dreams. This lady of whom I speak was born one Jane Russell and it is very unfortunate, that I know little about her early life beyond the fact that her parents emigrated from England quite sometime before the 1820’s. Jane’s first marriage was John Lawson; of this marriage two children were born. Their marriage was estimated to have taken place in about 1803 and John’s death would have taken place about 1808 or so. I tried but I never was able to find out the cause his untimely death. The oldest child a boy named John, named after is father, or grandfather as is Scottish Tradition and a girl named Maggie or Margaret.  I am sad to say that since no social support agencies existed in those days that it was often better to be a widow than to have a maimed husband who could not work. One would be at the mercy of family and friends, who were also struggling to support themselves.   Jane and her two children must have felt very alone in the world.

But  being a widow Jane had the chance to re-marry .The widow Lawson later met a man named James Gibson, they soon married. James was a weaver and stonemason.  They were believed to have married in about 1811 which was estimated to be about 3 years after he first husband had passed on.  It is said that as they were waiting at the dock for the ship that they would travel on to get to this new land. James was stated as saying” We’d better turn yet we will surely get a living in the land of our birth”.  Jane being strong-minded women refused. The saga moved on Jane and James (Gibson) John and Maggie (Lawson) and the tree children from their own marriage boarded the ship, most likely a refitted ship left over from the Nepoleon wars. The children of James and Jane were Euphemie (my direct ancestor and another name for Effie, who later married Alexander Watt) two boys William and John Gibson.

After a rough journey at sea under the steerage of a drunken captain who’s boat I was told was quite often off course, often coming too close to icebergs, which upon hitting one, could have easily been the demise of all aboard. They were often so far of course that the Captains of the Great Whaling ships often called out ahoy .  However all passengers arrived safe and sound in what is now Montreal Quebec. The voyage was believed to have taken about eight weeks. From Montreal the family would have traveled up the St. Lawrence Seaway by boat to Brockville Ontario and then overland to Lanark. I have heard tell that the ride overland was very rough by horse dawn wagon and many of the processions were tossed and broken along the way. The roads were terribly bumpy and often fallen trees had to be moved in order that the journey continue.  I read in Catherine Parr Trails book the Backwoods of Canada that mosquitoes were thick and presented a major problem for both the settlers and the animals. A full time swisher with a tree branch , that still had leaves on it was often employed. The drovers who carried the settlers in their wagons, had but one objective and that was to collect their money and ready themselves for the next lot of settlers who were on their way to Lanark.   I suspect there would have been a certain degree of disappointment when James first saw his new land. Nothing but bush and more bush, and a sign tacked to a tree, a building or possibly two, where stores were kept.  My grandmother Effie Park wrote in her memoirs that the tree was also marked with a gash made by an axe. This family most certainly had their work cut out for them. I would imagine that there could have also been some discord between James and Jane Gibson, due to the fact that James never wanted to come in the first place. However they were here  now, turning back would not have been have been an option at this point. The family would now have to make the best of the situation.

The Gibson’s luckier then some as they had sons to help them clear the land. As time passed, the Gibson family grew in number. New members were Mary, Hugh, James, Thomas and lastly Jean who was also called Jane. The Gibson family was issued stores which would have consisted such things as blankets, an axe, files, latches and catches, hinges, hammer and chisels, reaping hooks and some cash.  They were expected to payback the cash once their land was deemed ready to make a living. Several of the settlers in Lanark including the Gibson’s ultimately obtained their land for free as it was so strewn with rocks and not very fertile, not the type of land from which one could make a decent living.  They worked hard to clear their build a cabin and plant crops.

Great tragedy struck the family about 1827. John and Jane lost not one but two of their sons to falling trees. Apparently these deaths were separate incidences. Even thought these deaths took place over 180 years ago, I do not wish to diminish the pain and loss that the family must have felt, or the grieving process and the deep sadness they would have had to endure. I often wonder if Jane  ever regretted coming to Canada due to the tragic loss of her sons.   Jane and John had to be of strong character to carry on with their day-to-day life, as did many pioneers of the  period.  In those days it was often up to the family to bury there dead in the best way they could. I have no details on their burials, except for the fact that they may have been buried in what is now the Gibson family burial ground, but having  read and heard tell of many accounts of how deaths were handled in the olden days I can well imagine what it would have been like.  It often meant preparing the bodies in your own home, and building simple pine box or other wood caskets. Since cemeteries were not really established until later in the century, their graves may have been marked with rocks, or simple wooden crosses that would have  long since rotted away. Rocks were often used to keep wild animals from getting at the bodies of their beloved. The Gibson family cemetery located in Lanark County Ontario on what was once Gibson land. There is a headstone that pays tribute to the graves of John and Jane Gibson, and the life they helped to build in Canada.

They have thousands of descendants all across North America. It is my hope that some of the at least some of the strengths shown by this early pioneer family was and is  in each and every descendent. Jane and John Gibson  were the parents of Euphemie  who married Alexander Watt , parents of Mary who married John McIntosh, parents of Mary Whyte  McIntosh who married Duncan Park, who  parents of my grandmother  Effie Edna Park who married Rae Salkeld.

Beverly Salkeld from Winnpeg, Manitoba wrote this but she asked that John Collins be credited as well as much of her information was gleened from his book  John Collins-Mcintosh family of Lanark County.  But,Effie Edna Park Salkeld is her grandmother not his.


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 and Screamin’ Mamas (USA)








Gibson Family Burials

Lammermoor, Ontario, Lot 26,

 Con. 1, Dalhousie Twp.

Burials 1851 to 1978

County/District/Region: Lanark County
Historical Township: Dalhousie
Current Municipality: Lanark Highlands
Historical Municipality: Lammermoor
Lot: 26
Concession: 1

Related reading

“They were Set Down in Dalhousie Township”– Effie Park Salkeld

For the Love of Lammermoor

Part 1 of “My Dad was an Old Thresherman”

Part 2 of “My Dad was an Old Thresherman”


Settler’s related reading

Lanark County 101 — It Began with Rocks, Trees, and Swamps

Rock the Boat! Lanark County or Bust! Part 1

It Wasn’t the Sloop John B — Do’s and Don’t in an Immigrant Ship -Part 2

Riders on the Storm– Journey to Lanark County — Part 3

ROCKIN’ Cholera On the Trek to the New World — Part 4

Rolling down the Rapids –Journey to Lanark Part 5

Lanark Mormons and Mormon Tree?


Home and Garden Before Home and Garden Magazine

The Gnarled Beckwith Oak



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Clipped from The Ottawa Journal10 Dec 1955

If you cross the 7th Concession line of Beckwith there is a gnarled black oak that over a 190 years ago the Highlanders rested by after crossing the Jock River. Under this tree they had put their boots and shoes which they had removed to cross the water to worship. In the 195o’s there remained just 4 stone walls where they had once sung praises to a higher power that had led them through the bush.

The lonely forgotten Auld Kirk was once a beacon of promise and a memento of when life in the Lanark County wilderness was a struggle. In the fall of 1821 the people of Beckwith Township petitioned Scotland for a Presbyterian minister. Over twenty five miles of swamp and bush separated them from going to worship in Perth. They demanded unusual qualifications not asked of another preacher in the area. The minister was to be of ungodly carriage and well qualified to give the Scripture in Gaelic and English. The local citizens also wanted their new preacher to be a man  skilled of medicine, but it proved to be a long and difficult item to fill for the people of Beckwith Township.

Eventually the call came to a man by the name of Rev George Buchanan M.D. who decided to leave his civilized living and respond to the urgent summons in the bush. After a difficult journey the Buchanans arrived August 22 1822 at Franktown almost 3 miles from their destination. They arrived to no home at all– not even a temporary one had been set up for them. They had come there because of a plea from the township, but yet all that existed there were harsh impossible living conditions for this family with 10 children.



A big souled Irishman by the name of James Wall offered a small log cabin he had just built and the Buchanans accepted it. With spartan endurance the family did its best and the family hung quilts and blankets over the doors and windows. They cooked on a flat stone at the end of the cabin and that first Sabbath in Beckwith they had their first service outside in a clearing. Logs made furniture and flour and provisions were brought back to Beckwith from Perth and Brockville on the backs of men.

The initial English Gaelic service was held in the middle of a bush with women and children that had trudged many miles and  sat on logs while mosquitoes swarmed over them. The services were held for 6 weeks until the harshness came.There was no choir only his wife with 10 children who led song along  with John Cram. It was said that there were tears shed of joy when they heard the service in their native’glens’. The next year they made him a better home,said to be a  larger shanty, that people knocked on the door in the middle of the night to attend babies that were being born or sickness. Services were also held in the barn. In 1824 Reverend Bell of Perth invited Buchanan to preach and the reverend and wife walked to Perth crossing a swamp a mile long.

For several years George preached under an open sky and then they built the church with stone hauled by stone boats but he never got to preach in that church. There was a formal separation of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland and the dissent even reached Beckwith Township.  Rumours circulated that his wife was controlling and was both “husband and wife”. The barn on his property that he held services in burned down and no one offered to replace it. Bad crops were blamed on Buchanan’s poor preaching of services and the list went on until Reverend Bell brought someone else in to assist him. Broken hearted Buchanan died three years later.

For only 7 years the church that was built with free labour of a congregation held services and then it was deserted. Remembering the heartbreak dissension of the Free Kirk and the Auld Kirk I imagine the voice of Rev George Buchanan still echos in Beckwith Township somewhere still today.



Photo Source below: Carleton Saga, by Harry and Olive Walker, page 507. Does anyone have a photograph of the original building? From Bytown.net17352339_10154740554341886_4594439993896895400_n.jpg

Photo 1910 — original photo


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Joann Voyce sent us this newspaper photo–thanks Joann!

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

“Teachester” Munro and the S.S. No. 9 Beckwith 11th Line East School

John Goth–Tales of Beckwith Township

Beckwith –Settlers — Sir Robert the Bruce— and Migrating Turtles

What I Did on Beckwith Heritage Days – Alexander Stewart – Ballygiblin Heroe

The Now Complete Page Turning Story of the Beckwith Grandfather Clock

The Manse on the 7th Line of Beckwith

Update on The Manse in Beckwith

Desperately Seeking Information About the “Beckwith Copperhead Road”

Hobo’s and Tragedies in Beckwith

Found on a Hill in Beckwith – Country Roads Take Me Home