Tag Archives: scottish

The First Burns Anniversary Supper Almonte 1830 notations Of Bairns and Burns

The First Burns Anniversary Supper Almonte 1830 notations Of  Bairns and Burns

A unique notebook or album kept by the late James Wilson, who died
years ago, was one of the treasured possessions of his daughter, Miss Flora Wilson. It contained many interesting things, amongst them being a report of the proceedings of the first Burns Anniversary Supper held in Almonte in the year 1830, which anniversary has been faithfully kept by the succeeding Scots.

Therefore in January in 1928 the present day Scots will sit down to supper in memory of Robert Burns for ’the hundredth time since the settlement of Ramsay’. The record of that first supper was made by William Wilson, a native of Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, Scotland, who had come to Ramsay to settle.

Later on he sent for his sweetheart, Flora Lallie, to join him here and they were married on her arrival. Miss Lallie came from Kilmarnock also. William Wilson was the father of James Wilson and the record does not say where the first Burns Supper was held. It just says: “The first supper held in Ramsay on Burns the poet’s natal day was January 25th, 1830.

Mr. James McFarlane was appointed to the chair. After complimenting the meeting on the honour conferred on him, he gave as a toast to the Literature and Agriculture of Ramsay. After which he rose from the
chair, which was instantly filled by Mr. James Bryson, vice-president who gave the toasts.

Did you know we have a Lanark Highlands Tartan? This is from the Middleville & District Museum.. This tartan was designeed by Susi Reinink for the Township of Lanark Highlands as one of the town’s millennium projects. It was registered with the Scottish Tartans Society on the 20th November 1999.

The colours in the sett follow this symbolism:

The fields of agricultural land (brown),
dependent on the township’s many lakes and streams (dark blue),
are surrounded by maple forests (green).
Their foliage turns into bright autumn colours (red and yellow) by October.
Soon winter sets in and the lakes start to freeze over (light blue).
Finally snow (white) covers the township,
so that the granite (grey) of the Great Canadian Shield is only occasionally exposed.SETT
** If you intend to weave or otherwise use any of these patterns, please be aware that you may need the written permission of the designer or producer. This information can be found in the Scottish Register of Tartans.

LT/8 B16 G40 R8 G4 Y4 G8 LB12 W44 N/8 (STA No. 2637)

Ottawa Daily Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
06 Nov 1877, Tue  •  Page 4
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
02 Dec 1909, Thu  •  Page 7

The Lanark County Council Scottish Poem– names names names

The Unbelievable History of the Cameronian Church

Pease Pudding in the Pot, Nine Days Old

It Takes a Lot of Wind to Blow a BagPipe

How the Beckwith Scotch Turned Defeat into Victory

Shadows of Beckwith Cemeteries

The Beckwith Highlanders and “Humpy Billy” Moore

I Belong to Glasgow in the Month of August

The Craig Family 1930s Goulburn North Gower and Lanark County

The Deserted Fireplace at Watson’s Corners

The Deserted Fireplace at Watson’s Corners





Not the Watson Corners fireplace– just a stock photo




 - . 'Corner qf Scotland' Keeps L Vigil on...

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  14 Nov 1942, Sat,  Page 18



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.


The Fireplace Ghost on Highway 7


The Valley Calendar 1976– Cindy Duncan–Watson’s Corners

It’s the Watson’s Corners News 1895!

Social Notes from Watson’s Corners

All the Single Ladies?

It’s the Watson’s Corners News 1895!

Did They Ever Find the Kangaroo from Lanark County?

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

What’s in Your Walls? A Concealed Shoe?

One of the First Settlers of Drumond from the Massacre at Culloden

One of the First Settlers of Drumond from the Massacre at Culloden


Among the first settlers in the township of Drummond were members of the family of John Robertson, who lived at Carie in Carwhin on the north side of the Loch Tay on lands formerly owned by the chief of the Storian branch of the Robertson clan but later absorbed by the Breadalbane branch of the Campbells.  The story is handed down that the father of this John was one of 700 Robertsons who joined the army of Prince Charlie in the Rebellion of 1745.  At the battle or rather massacre at Culloden he escaped the fate of so many of his classmates his only casualty was having a buckle shot off his shoe.

The eldest son, Hugh, a young many of about 25 years, was a graduate of Stirling Academy where he had shown special mathematical abilities but though he held a good position as bookkeeper and overseer of the Drummond estate at Etalkian, he decided to try his fortune in the new lands.

In April, 1816, he married Christine McDonald and shortly after sailed on the transport vessel The Lady of the Lake, arriving at Quebec on September 7 of the same year.  On another boat came his sister Janet and her husband Donald Campbell and in a different boat had arrived a few months earlier his wife’ brother Donald McDonald.

Owing to some differences among the authorities of the time, the survey of lands suitable for settlement in Drummond township had not been completed, much to the annoyance and discomfort of the arriving settlers.  The local certificates of Hugh Robertson and Donald McDonald, who settled on adjacent lots on the concession (now Drummond Centre District) were dated 12-9-1816, the same year, but a few months later than the first settlement in Perth and on the Scotch Line.  Donald Campbell and his wife Janet took up their land on Concession 6 not far from what is now Armstrong’s Corners.

The question of the “Highland second sight” and the foreshadowing of the future in dreams may be a debatable one but the story is that Hugh was the “seer” of the family and to some degree at least had “the gift”, anyway it is told that before leaving Scotland he had the conviction that he should know the particular lot on which he should settle when he saw it.  He had no difficulty in making the selection and never regretted having done so.  He remained on the same farm during his lifetime taking an active part in municipal politics and religious life of the new country but never seeking public office beyond accepting a commission as justice of the peace.  His youngest son, James W. Robertson, succeeded to the ownership of the farm which on his death was purchased by Henry Ireton.

None of his lineal descendents are now living in Drummond township.  His son Donald, who learned the trade of millwright and carpenter, married the daughter of a neighboring farmer, Janet Shaw, located in Perth and built a home on Drummond Street in 1861 which though not now occupied regularly is still kept as the homestead of the family.

The oldest son John, who married miss Rudsdale, died when only 31 years of age, leaving two sons, one of whom, Hugh, was widely and fairly known in the Perth district as bookkeeper for the Meighen mercantile business.  The other son, William J., took high honors at Toronto University and taught math at St. Catharines for many years.


Hugh Robertson, J.P., 1791 – 1869, his wife Christiana MacDonald, 1789 – 1970. Natives of Breadalbane, Perthshire, Scotland.    Also their children

1839 – Mary A. – 1839

1817 – Janet McLaren – 1848

1820 – John – 1851

1832 – Peter – 1854

1824 – Duncan – 1853

1826 – Hugh – 1870


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.



Shades of Outlander in Carleton Place–John McPherson–Jacobite

Home Economic Winners Lanark County Names Names Names– Drummond Centre

Memories of When the Devil Visited Drummond Township

Innisville Crime — Elwood Ireton of Drummond Centre

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

Letters from Lanark–Thomas Ferguson and Mary Barr

Letters from Lanark–Thomas Ferguson and Mary Barr


Thomas Ferguson and Mary Barr 

FERGUSON Thomas Dalhousie con 3 lot 26E Mon 7 day 23 year 1821

Dear Brother and Sister:

I received yours on the 17th of March. I was down in Lanark when I received you letter and on the way home, I was taken suddenly bad with pain in the stomach and bowels and in that state it was tight times with me to get the home of Hugh Hunter on the night of the 17th and on the 18th we found it prudent to send for Dr. Murray for we was afraid it was inflammation but on his arrival he dispelled that doubt for he said it was a windy colic and I am getting better. Mother and Mary is in some measure of health when I parted with them on the 19th, for Mother has been with Mary since the death of our Father and for a considerable time before it. Thomas came home from the shanty on the 17th of said month and he has not been very well since for I expect that it is the cold he has caught. You wanted to know if Thomas was at home the time of the storm. No. He was at the shanty, likewise you want to know all the particulars concerning the death of our Father.

He was at Hunters all the time of his illness. He, for 2 days after he arrived at Hugh’s, his throat swelled but the swelling fell immediately after and on the Wednesday before he died he was considerably better for he was reading at Chambers Journal more than the half of the day but on the day following he was much worse for he complained of stitches in his chest and body and on Friday he was still getting weaker and Friday night Hugh left home and came up to inform us that he was making worse and on Saturday morning Hugh and I left home to go down but to our great surprise when we arrived he was gone; a lifeless corpse so there was no person there but mother and Mary and the 2 children when he died., on the night of Friday after Hugh left home, he began to think that death was approaching but had no idea that it was so nigh at hand for he was quite and considerably composed.

He would not lie in the bunk nor bed but to have his made at the fire. It was between 12 and 1 o’clock when Mother lay down to take little repose for she was tired out. Mary lay down with the children for they were both badly at the time and she spoke several to her Father but he give all at the times a sharp answer and Mother rose after Mary had spoken to him but he had drawn his last breath and this was about 2 o’clock in the morning and we removed his corpse home on the 1st of March and he was interred on the 2nd on the third line of Lanark beside his son James.

We received a letter from Aunt Love on the 28th of February. John Love is in very poor health, likewise Aunt Taylor and there are some more particulars concerning Uncle Williams’ death and widow but I have not time at present to write them down. I wrote a letter——–this time a good way on to Mysena to (Jane) Telling her what has happened likewise I sent one to George (Sheare) and one to John Love and I was going to write to Uncle Nathanial but you informed me that you was going to write to him which will save me the trouble.

I now commence to inform you that our Father died without making any will and you will be heir according to law; so I want an immediate settlement for Mr. D that is in Quebec, the creditors are pushing me pretty hard for it but I will keep them at bay till I get things settled so I only hope you will consider the matter and come up and we will make a definite settlement so I add no more at present so I remain your Brother until Death.

Alan Ferguson

At bottom of letter written with different pen and ink and maybe by a different person, Allan Ferguson of Dalhousie 1850, John Ferguson, Thomas Ferguson, James Ferguson, Sarah Ferguson, Mary Ferguson, Jane Ferguson.

The original letter is in the possession of  Grant Davis McFarlane R.R. #1, Lanark, Ontario.

Mary is in the 1851 Census, age 70, living with her daughter Mary Ann and son-in-law Hugh Hunter. In 1861 she is back on her original homestead, living with her son Allan who has inherited the farm. The homestead has returned to forest and only a small excavation remains to show where the original house stood. Flowers and rhubarb still grow in the overgrown clearing. The St. James Ferguson Cemetery is located in the churchyard of the abandoned St. James Church on Concession Line 2 in Dalhousie.

Thos. Ferguson Pioneer Cemetery

Lot 26E1/2 Con 3, Dalhousie Township

Burials – 1835 to 1860

The Thomas Ferguson Cemetery

In 1821, Thomas Ferguson, his wife Mary Barr and children, John, Jean, James, Thomas, Mary Ann, and Sarah immigrated from Johnstone, Scotland to settle on the E 1/2 lot 26, conc. 3, Dalhousie Township.

This corner of that lot became to family burial ground.

Known to be buried here:

Thomas 1783 – 1846

Son – James – 1811 – 1835

Daughter – Sarah – 1819 – 1860

Granddaughter – Mary – 1848 – 1854

It is know that other members of the family, particularly infants and small children are buried here.

Mary (Barr) Ferguson, wife of Thomas, b. 1780, d. Mar 21, 1863 is buried at the St. James Church, Hood’s.

This plaque is placed by their many descendants, to honour their memory.

Photos by Carolyn and Keith Thompson – 27 August, 2001.

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)


I Belong to Glasgow in the Month of August


Photos by Linda Seccaspina

There is nothing that makes me weep more than the strains of bagpipe music in the air. My late father introduced me to highland music when I was still in diapers. Every Sunday morning “the Scottish Lion” would be crouched down with his ear inches away from the old HiFi listening to bagpipe music at a death defying volume. Through the years he attended every Pipes and Drums Tattoo that came to Montreal without fail.


At age six I was given a Scottish Tartan hat with a black ribbon trailing down my back and I wore it until the fabric became worn and the tartan unrecognizable. Even though we were of British descent the veins of a Scotsman lived in my father’s heart until he died. Because of his love of  bagpipes, I try and attend The Highland Games in Almonte, Ontario each year.  I long to hear the pipers and watch the young lasses perform their Highland Flings. In my dreams I am the one on stage dancing between the swords with black leather ghilley’s on my feet.



All it takes is one song to live a 1000 memories. Each year when I watch the massed bands march across the Almonte Fairgrounds I relive my youth once more. A life where even though my father and I had differences we shared the love of the bagpipes. I don’t know what it is, but when words fail bagpipe music speaks

” Alba gu brath!” Which means: “Scotland Forever”;

British by birth, Scotland by heart and forever a Highlander in song. What would life be without a little bagpipe?



Come to To The North Lanark Highland Games

Saturday August 27, 2016
9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
N.L.A.S. Fairgrounds, Almonte, Ontario


Lanark County Genealogical Society Website

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News