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FYNN, Micheal & Winnifred Mitchell

Luck had it that a Fynn great-aunt set out the basics of the Fynn family: “Irishman Micheal Fynn was born in 1808, County Galway. Came to Canada with others of family and settled in Nova Scotia. He died in 1893 (85yrs). He worked down east for a man called Mcdonald, who gave him 200 acres of land in lieu of wages, this became the Fynn farm in Westmeath Township.  He married Winnifred Mitchell from County Rosscomman, Ireland, she came to Canada with 3 sisters, Ann, (married to Charles ...

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GRAUBERGER (GROWBARGER), Andrew & Elizabeth Bauch, & Mary McCord

Andrew Grauberger, of German descent, witnessed the growing-pains of his new  country, America,  being born out of Revolution, thus forcing his coming north to remain loyal to the British Crown. He  and many of his compatriots settled  in the Township of Matilda, Dundas County, Upper Canada. Matilda has an area 62,327 acres (252 km2) and is located on the St Lawrence River in eastern Ontario. It was first settled in 1784 by Loyalists to the British crown after the American...

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BENHKE, Jacob and Anna Theske

New immigrants were flooding into the colony every year. Ships, outbound from the great seaports of Europe would use the better spring and summer weather to make the crossing. So by mid-summer those families would be on their way to the townships and settlements further inland. In this Family Registry of Westmeath Township, how many families are not listed? …those who stayed in the township only a few years? How many used Westmeath as a jumping-off point – maybe staying for a year or two,...

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CAHILL, James and Isabella Moorehead

Two large islands sit in the stream of the Ottawa River; the one upstream of Westmeath Township is Allumette Island and the one downstream is Calumet Island. Both Islands are in Pontiac County, Quebec. Settlers on both these islands made frequent use of boats in summer and ice roads in winter to socialize, attend church services or buy and sell goods and supplies with the mainland shores of Westmeath Township. Michael Cahill and Anne Shirley were Irish Immigrant Ancestors;  she from County...

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ELLIOTT, Simon and Isabella

The Elliott’s; parents Simon Elliott (1781-  ) and Isabella ___ (1791-  ) and their five adult children,  had immigrated from Ireland before 1850. None of the children seems to have been married and brought partners with them. The first Canadian record (1851 Census) finds them living in a log shanty in Perth County. Family members would move on for work or better land and 24 year old Thomas would come to Foresters Falls, Ross Township; and his offspring would spread even further....

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ELLIOTT, Andrew and Margurite Jane Shields Elliott

Young Andrew Elliott (1851-1932) was born in Clarendon Township, Pontiac County, Quebec. In the mid-1800s, the Upper Ottawa Valley was opening up and new immigrants were arriving to take up the government’s offer of free land for homesteaders. The Ottawa was the highway and there was safer water to travel on the Quebec side of the river; the Ontario side had a number of ferocious rapids. Today they are the foundations of a huge white-water rafting business; but back then travellers coming...

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BAIRD, John and Sarah Gouley

John Baird (1802- 1884) was born in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland and over his 82 years he would see a new nation take shape. He married fellow-immigrant ancestor Sarah Gouley (1811 – 1898), also from County Tyrone, in Fitzroy, Canada West.  Fitzroy had  a busy harbour on the Ottawa River at the mouth of the Carp River, just downstream from the settlement at Arnprior, at the mouth of the Madawaska River. Fitzroy Harbour was also a busy trans-shipment site for goods and people to...

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GRATTON, Eustache and Henriette Laverdure,

Eustache Gratton (1829-1898) was born in  Terrebonne PQ, now a suburb of Montreal, the son of Eustache Joseph Gratton and Sophie Boisvert.  This young bachelor came to Westmeath Township in the mid-1800’s with hopes of steady work and land ownership. He would settle and stay for the rest of his days. He  married Henriette Laverdure (1838- ) on 13th  January, 1857, in LaPasse. She was the daughter of  Francois Laverdure and Sophie Dupuis. In Nov. 1898 Eustache died at age 68...

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GORDON, Robert & Mary McBride Gordon

In the decades following the Irish Great Famine settlers continued to pour into the British Colonies. The Gordon family emigrated in 1855 and first settled in Ross Township. Son Robert was a lad of 15 years when he came to Upper Canada with his family. Their son Robert Gordon Jr.  (1840-1913) m.  Mary McBride (1842-1915), who was the daughter of Robert McBride and Margaret Blair and he was the son of  Robert Gordon Sr. and his wife May Loved. They married in the Westmeath Presbyterian...

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BROWNLEE, Joseph and Anne Richardson Brownlee

“Immigrant Ancestor” Joseph Brownlee Sr. (1799- 1841) was born in Baillieborbough, County Caven, Ireland. He came to Clarendon, Pontiac County, Lower Canada (Western Quebec). Joseph married Anne Susannah Richardson (1799-1859), who came in 1888 with her parents William and Mary Richardson and family from Borrisokane, Tipperary, Ireland. Commercial and social ties across the river with Upper Canada (Eastern Ontario) with the Mighty Ottawa River the main transportation artery. Some material...

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CARNEGIE, Daniel and Sarah Fraser

Alexander Carnegie was born in Antrim County, Ireland in 1784. When he boarded the ship to cross the North Atlantic, he knew he was going on an adventure of a lifetime – little realizing that he would live to 90 years of age and see the development of a new nation. With Alexander Carnegie (1784 – 1874)  on that voyage were his wife Ellen ___ (1796- ) and two sons Alexander Carnegie (1832-1920) and Daniel Carnegie. Son Alexander would marry a  Greenwood  woman Lilly Patterson (1834...

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CHAMBERLAIN, Augustus and Sarah Wyman Chamberlain

Cholera, diphtheria, tuberculosis, thyroid –  all are diseases that in colonial times were huge killers and little could be done to aid the sufferers. One such victim was a Westmeath Township entrepreneur named Hiram Chamberlain, who while on a 1854 business trip to Quebec City, contracted cholera and never made it back home to his family. Hiram’s parents were UEL “immigrant ancestors” Augustus Chamberlain (1782-   ), born May 1782 in Chelsea, Suffolk,...

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DUPUIS, Moise and Marie Louise Labine Dupuis

The Dupuis Family is deeply rooted in L’Acadie  and the history of New France in eastern North America.  Dupuis members participated in all walks of life from the hardy well-travelled “voyageurs” to Dupuis farmers and Acadian businessmen throughout eastern Quebec, the Maritimes and Maine. “The first capital of Acadia, established in 1605, was Port-Royal. A British force from Virginia attacked and burned down the town in 1613 but it was later rebuilt nearby, where it...

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CURRY, Ephraim and Elsea “Alice” Boulton

Ephraim Curry (1755-1806) and his wife Elsea “Alice” Eleanor Boulton (1764-1862) were the “immigrant ancestors” for the Curry Family; he hailing from Port Arlington, Antrim, Ireland and Alice from Wexford, Ireland. They settled in the St. Lawrence River Valley in Edwardsburgh, Grenville County, and raised their family of 10 children. Ephraim, as a young man  before his marriage,  was a member of “Jessup’s Rangers”, a colonial military unit loyal to the Crown. During...

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CARSWELL, David & Jean Muir; & Janet Mitchell

When David Robert Allen Carswell  was born in 1788 in Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland, he could never have predicted how far he would travel and how wide-spread his descendants would scatter.  He married another Scot  (1) Jean Muir in 1812 when he was 24 years and would marry again to (2) Janet Mitchell in 1829, when he was age 41 years.  The Carswells became a part of a very important settlement of Scottish families coming into McNab Township, Renfrew County in the late 1850’s. As...

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DICKSON (DIXON) James & Catherine Warden; & Jemima Ann Van Dusen

(Thomas) James Dixon (Dickson) (1815-1889) born in Coldstream, Berwickshire, Scotland,  would become an “immigrant ancestor” to a large extended family in Westmeath Township. His first wife (1) Catherine Warden (1818-   ) was also born in Berwickshire,  Scotland. Their immigration to Canada happened around 1841. The first three of the couple’s children were born in Scotland and accompanied their parents. The surname spelling of DIXON at some point in those early years...

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ANDERSON, William and Mary Thompson Anderson

William Anderson and Mary Thompson were both born and raised in County Down, Ireland. William was the son of Hugh and Elizabeth Anderson and she was the daughter of John David Thompson.  They married in 1841 in Killinchy, County Down, Ireland.  The 1840s in Ireland were years of suffering and deprivation – the Potato Famine was coming on with a vengeance. William Anderson (1813 – 1879) m. (1) Mary Thompson (1819-1866) and they had 9 children in all. Mary died at age 46 years in 1866....

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CARLSON, Lars and Ann Sarah Lacey Carlson

Great tragedy is always close by, as is shown by this tale of a family of Swedish “Immigrant Ancestors”.  Lars Carlsson Smed (1839-1916) was born in  in Björkefalla, Jämshög, Blekinge, Sweden. He married Elna  Jönsdotter (1839 – 1873) and the couple had 4 children: August; Hanna; Julle; and Elof Smed.  The great tragedy centres on a despondent wife left behind, as set out in this account written by Hazel Lingstrom Conroy; who was also from a Swedish family that came to...

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CECILE, Toussaint and Marguerite Labine

If you come to the Village of Westmeath today, you’ll notice that there is a thriving General Store at the Main and Gore Line corner. Standing right beside the store is a pretty white house with a front porch. That white house has borne witness to succeeding generations of travellers. It started as a “Stopping Place” called the Cecile Hotel.  The travellers using the busy trade route up and down he Ottawa River had to use a portage of approximately seven kms. to pass the...

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ETHIER, Joseph and Elizabeth (Isabella) Bouquet Ethier

You have to dig well back into our nation’s early history when researching the ETHIER Family of Westmeath Township. They were among the earliest of the French settlers in New France; in what would become Quebec, Canada. These early generations were headed by the following ETHIER men: 1. Leonard Ethier Estie (2 versions of surname), born  about 1643 in St-Martial de Manot, Angouleme, Angoumois, France. He died 1689 in undetermined place. 2. His son Joseph Ethier Estier Etier Esthier (4...

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