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More on Grandma Majaury — Mother Bread Maker Midwife and Step Dancer

More on Grandma Majaury — Mother Bread Maker Midwife and Step Dancer

Mrs. Henry (Jennie) Majaury — “Grandma Majaury” — of Darling Township, (where nobody can remember when she wasn’t around) passed away peacefully at her home on the Lanark-Calabogie Road on Sunday evening, February 13th. In poor health since Christmas-time, her stamina was worn down so that she could no longer keep up the struggle of life. With her passing goes a link with the romantic and colourful past of Darling Township, which Mrs. Majaruy had seen transform from a pioneering community to a community with all the marks of progress and modern trends.

Born on June 25, 1851, the daughter of Joseph Crawford, an Irish immigrant and Margaret Stewart, a Scotch immigrant, Mrs. Majaury, the former Jennie Crawford, embodied characteristics of both nationalities. Born in Darling Township, she lived her whole 103½ years in the same community. She kept a young spirit throughout all her life and was always ready to learn something new and interesting. Her home was a popular gathering place not only for the members of her own family but for all who in late years came to visit this “grand old lady of Darling Township”. She did not know much of luxury or of convenience but that did not prevent her from having a cheery disposition, a happy outlook on life and an indomitable spirit. Her Irish wit and humour were ever on display and even during the last few days of her life her active mind was ready with a sharp remark or a spirited quip. Friends said she cherished life not for the number of years but for the joy of living and doing things. Her deep concern of the past few years was that she was not able to do as much as she used to.

Jennie Crawford
Born 25 Jun 1852 in Darling Township, Lanark County, Canada East

It was not her privilege to enjoy much schooling but one could never think of Grandma Majaury as not knowing much. What she lacked in schooling she made up for in the broad school of experience. Her kindly way, her hospitable manner and her ability to get the most out of life endeared her to her family and the host of people who were her friends. During her lifetime she witnessed many changes and saw such events as the old ox-team give way to the horse and then the motor car. One of her fondest dreams was to have an airplane ride and this dream came true on her 102nd birthday when she was taken up “in the air so blue” at Carp. “The only trouble”, she commented, “was that they didn’t take me up high enough nor keep me up long enough”.

Jennie was born in 1852. She passed away in 1955.

Of late years her birthday celebrations were grand occasions and usually lasted for several days. Friends and relatives from many points made a special effort to be with her on these occasions. And when the evening came she would become young again and dance a jig to start off the dance.

Mrs. Majaury was mother to five sons and four daughters and never did she have the assistance of a doctor. As well she helped to bring up several other children. Of her family two sons and two daughters are deceased. Her husband died in 1912. Surviving are three sons: Thomas and Joseph of Darling Township, and James of Carleton Place; two daughters, Mrs. Joseph (Margaret Ann) Foster of Calabogie and Mrs. William (Katie) Folkard of Carleton Place; 59 grandchildren, 150 great grandchildren and 26 great-great grandchildren.

In her earlier years she was much devoted to community work, besides caring for her family. She has mentioned many times of walking the fifteen miles to Lanark or to Calabogie to shop. But through all her life she maintained a healthy outlook and a strong faith in her God.

Picture of
Wife of Henry Majaury, in her 104th Picture of Jennie Crawford Majaury
13 Feb 1955 (aged 103–104)Lanark County, Ontario, Canada
Hopetown Cemetery
Hopetown, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada  Show Map
110419001 · View Source

Funeral services were held from her late home to St. John’s United Church, Hopetown, on Thursday, February 17th with a cortege almost half a mile long. It was the largest funeral ever held in Darling Township and friends and relatives came from Renfrew, Kitchener, Calabogie, Toronto, Cobden, Lanark, Carleton Place, Smiths Falls, Almonte, Clayton, Arnprior, Georgetown and Port Hope. Her daughter, Mrs. Foster of Calabogie and her son, James of Carleton Place were unable to attend because of illness.

Rev. R.J. McNaught of Lanark conducted the services both at the home and at the church and in his message he paid fitting tribute to the life, which, for over a century, had played such an active part in her home and community. Rev. M.M. Hawley of Middleville was ill at the time with laryngitis and unable to attend and take part. Assisting in the service was the choir of St. John’s Church with Mrs. Harvey Wilson as organist. Mr. Harry Stead sang a solo “Good night and good morning”. The interment was in St. John’s Cemetery. Pallbearers were Messrs. Lawrence King, Peter Lalonde, Harold Devlin, John Kubesiekie, Howard Virgin and John James.

The flower bearers were John Majaury, Aurel Majaury, James Majaury, Jimmy Hunter, Stewart Hurdis, Barry Walters, Leslie Ladoucer, Rayburn Sweeney, David Majaury, Jimmy Garra.

The many floral tributes bore mute testimony to the esteem and affection in which she was held and were as follows:

Broken Circle — Family.

Cut Flowers — Mrs. Robinson; Mr. Joe Crawford.

Cross — Katie; Harold and Joe Crawford.

Spray — Bill Wilson, Ted Pierce and Oliver Dobson; Mr. and Mrs. Nelson Laverture; Mrs. Sophia Majaury; Mr. and Mrs. Ben Fisher; Charlie and Rose Raycroft; Gordon and Reta Headrick and family; Mr. and Mrs. James Gunn; Mrs. Stan Thompson; Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Marshall; Mr. Fred Collins; Mr. and Mrs. John Poynter and Hyacinth; Mr. and Mrs. Ormond Paul and family; Mr. and Mrs. Ed. Lawson and family; Mr. and Mrs. Merville James and family; Mr. and Mrs. James M. Majaury; Mrs. Irene Walters and family; Mr. Aurel Majaruy; Mr. and Mrs. Sam Hunter and family; Mr. and Mrs. Russell Horne; Darling Township Council; Officers and Members. L.O.B.A., Carleton Place; Mr. and Mrs. J. Voyce; Mr. and Mrs. M. Topping and family; Mr. and Mrs. C.T. Hill and family; Mr. and Mrs. R.O. Mearoe; Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Knight; Mrs. Bill Knight; Mr. Stewart Chalmers.

Gates Ajar — Mr. and Mrs. Joe Majaury, Mr. and Mrs. Jim Majaury, Mr. and Mrs. Jack Mann, Mr. and Mrs. Ervin Majaury, Mr. and Mrs. William Hughes, Mr. and Mrs. Ben Roberts, Mr. and Mrs. Harold Devlin, Mr. and Mrs. Alvin Brown and Mr. John Majaury, Mr. Allie Yuill and boys, Mr. and Mrs. James Majaury, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Riopelle, Mr. and Mrs. Melville Riopelle, Mr. and Mrs. Bill Leveck, Mr. and Mrs. John McHugh.

The article and photos above submitted September 1999,
the photograph below submitted January 2000,
by Jo-Anne (Majaury) Camelon

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Also read–People are Afraid to Work– Jennie Majaury- Darling Township

People are Afraid to Work– Jennie Majaury- Darling Township

We’ll Never See a Woman Again Like That-Irene Crosbie

Marian MacFarlane — Silver Threads Among the Gold

From the Files of The Canadian — Who is This? Where is This?

Carleton Place Blind Woman Saved Four Seniors

More Memories of Rossie Doyle

So What Happens When You Turn 100 in Carleton Place?

If You’re Young at Heart – Rossie Moore Doyle of Carleton Place Turns 100

Among the Strangers There Was…

Women Who Made a Difference in Carleton Place — Mrs. Lim of the New York Cafe

Dear Lanark Era –Lanark Society Settlers Letter


Settler Home in Lanark Highlands Township Lanark County.jpg

Photo from This is Who We Are–

Lanark Society Settlers Letter #2

Perth Courier, Jan. 27, 1893

Signed by “Pioneer”

Having arrived at Lanark, the British government having fulfilled their engagement we were now left in the freedom of our own will.  The first thing we had to attend to was the erection of wigwams Indian fashion to shelter the women and children and likewise to get the luggage into a place of safety.  We then had to call at the King’s store or land office and get our names recorded.  I may here mention that the land office was conducted by Colonel Marshall, assisted by two clerks.  Their duty was to direct the settlers, give them their share of government employment and pay them their first installment of the money grant as soon as they were located on the land.  The three gentlemen who were appointed to do the business in the land office were men of the right stamp and transacted the business to the great satisfaction of all parties as I never heard a complaint about them. One clerk told a witty story about a son of old Erin .  He was wanting to go to a certain place.  The clerk told him to go along a certain road where he would find blazes on the trees.  He should follow the blazes and that would take him to where he wanted to go.  “By jabbers” said he, “the blazes may all be out before I get there.”

The men now formed into parties, got a list of land from the agency that was open for location in the several townships where they wanted to go, engaged a guide and then started out to the woods to select a farm.  As soon as they had made their selection they returned and reported it to the land agent.  They were then duly located, got a location ticket and were then entitled to their share of the government articles and the installment of the government grant.  Now began the tug of war.  The settlers of N. Sherbrooke and on the south of the Mississippi in Dalhousie made scows and boats and took their luggage and supplies by what was called the Mississippi to the head of the Dalhousie Lake on the east side.

It had to all be carried from Lanark Village on our backs when oxen and sleighs were engaged to bring in our luggage and supplies. Having selected a lot, obtained a location ticket we then had to get to work to carry out some provisions and cooking implements to the farm while the men again formed into parties, hired a boss and commenced operations.  I need not here say what these were like as the same sort of buildings are still to be found in the country today.  I will only add that they were very inferior to the shanties of today.  As there were no cattle to draw the logs they had to be carried on the men’s shoulders drawn with ropes.  They were very miserable structures to pass a Canadian winter in.

After two or three weeks we got a small window and door put in but plenty had nothing but a blanket put up to break the wind but it was no help for us, it was a case of “root hog or die” and although there was a large hole in the roof to let out smoke when the wind blew we often had to run outside to avoid being suffocated.  As our party had got our shanty built we had to all go to work and carry out our blankets and provisions a distance of 12 miles in our case as no teams could be got the swamps were frozen up.  The men were busy fixing up the shanty with clay and moss and cutting down trees preparing for winter chopping.  Now, Mr. Editor, I assure you that everything had a dark aspect at that time.  Some got quite disappointed and left but most stuck with it and were buoyed up with hopes of better times.  Hard frost having set in the men had to go to tramp down the snow in the swamp so that sleighs could get through with provisions and supplies.

A team was then engaged and after great difficulty they got through at last which was a great relief to us at the time.  Our provisions consisted of corn meal, flour and peas; some brought a barrel of pork as they could afford it and now man’s inhumanity to man began to appear the poor emigrant must be robbed.  The flour generally was half corn meal and the pork was just young shoots of pigs with hair about half scratched off and contained generally three and a half heads and sometimes two heads in each barrel.  But, as it was not inspected of course, we had no redress.  At length welcome spring began to appear and the maples began to yield their delicious sweets.  Buckets were made and every dish that could hold a drop were utilized.  The sugar making was a most laborious process as the sap had to be boiled down in small pots and pans and attended to both night and day but notwithstanding the difficulties there was quite a bit made which in the absence of flesh meats was quite an addition to our humble fare.

Sugar making being over, all hands had to go to work to burn off the brush, roll the logs into piles by hand, and rake the leaves into heaps and then burn all off and then spread the ashes over the ground.  Having thus prepared our little fallow of two or three acres, we began to plant our corn and pumpkins, potatoes and turnips along rows with the hoe and spade.  About this time there was quite a rush to the old settlements to buy cows. They were generally successful and this added very materially to our life as you know Scotchmen can easily live if you give them plenty of milk and meal.



*Basswood leaves


Planting being done, nearly all the men and girls had to start to look for work wherever they could find it as it was quite evident that their little crop would not be sufficient to carry them through another winter.  They generally found employment but the wages were very small, then getting from $10 to $12 per month and girls $3 and that often in trade of some kind.  In the meantime, provisions were getting scarce and could not be had even though you had the money and before the potatoes were ready to dig several families in our neighbourhood were entirely out.  One of our neighbours had to live on fish and a little cannel and another neighbour with five or six children was entirely out of food.  They had a cow and wood and boiled basswood leaves and ate them with a little butter.  The husband away working, the mother went to the foot of Dalhousie Lake and gathered the mussels out of the lake and carried them home and boiled them and in this way managed to live for several weeks.  This was no doubt an extreme case but there were many not much better off.  The first relief was the potato and they were soft when we had to begin on them.  By and by the corn began to get plump, it was extensively boiled and formed quite an addition to our humble fare.


 - i Editor Robt. Wilson, of the Era.' and Miss...

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  20 Oct 1899, Fri,  Page 4


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