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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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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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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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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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CONDIE, James and Isabella Drysdale Condie

The assimilation of incoming ancestor immigrants, into the frontier society of Westmeath Township,  resulted in some name changes and some conversions of faith. This was done to be accepted and to participate more fully in the community.  The French surname Condé was but one example. “The Anglicization of the name Beaupré to Beauprie was a result of conversion to Protestantism from the Roman Catholic religion. Many settlers moved into the adjoining communities and intermingled, while...

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COTNAM, George and Catherine “Katie”Lee

In 1851 “immigrant ancestor” George Cotnam (1828-1895) of County Cavan, Ireland m. Catherine “Katie” Lee (1825-1897) in Quebec City. Stories of land, up the Ottawa River Valley, coming available for settlers to homestead  were rife amongst the new arrivals. In Quebec City and Montreal the government land agents were busy dealing with  incoming shiploads of willing buyers. See: Understanding the Crown Land Granting Process. George Cotnam and Catherine Lee’s union and...

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CONLEY, William Roy and Ida May Timm Conley

Even if you didn’t know William Conley, if you went to the Beachburg Fair in the 1950s; you probably saw his horse in a race. “An attractive feature of entertainment always at the Beachburg Fair is that of Horse Racing. One of Pembroke’s residents Toussant Cecile, was instrumental in having these races established on the basis in which they are conducted at this time and was the official starter for years. “Secretary of this department for the North Renfrew Agricultural...

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COMRIE, Peter and Catherine Bennie

Scottish “immigrant ancestors” Peter Comrie  Sr. (1789-1856) m. Jane Millar (1791-1885) and lived in Comrie, Scotland, UK. They, with their grown children and extended family, came as a “Kinship Network” to the New World about 1811-12, then settling in Carleton Place, Bathurst District circa 1827. Jane Millar Comrie would be very long-lived. 1885 Jane Millar Comrie Death. Their son Peter Comrie Jr. (1815-1895 ) was born three years after the family came to Canada and...

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COLLINS, Thomas and Eliza Smith

Three Collins brothers were the “immigrant ancestors” for this entry; (I) Thomas Collins (1818-1897), (II) John Collins (1823- 1879) and (III) William Collins (1830-1890). They came out from Ireland around 1840. They with their wives and older children joined thousands of others immigrating to the New World to escape the famine and economic hardships of Ireland in those years. The eldest, Thomas, first came to Lanark County, and then moved to Westmeath Township, Renfrew County, and...

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CAMPBELL, Robert and Annie Wright

Robert Hugh Campbell (1826-1895) married Elizabeth Ashe (1816-1866) and together they had four children in Lower Canada before Elizabeth died in 1866. Robert had come out from County Armagh, Ireland, son of Alexander Campbell. Waltham Township in Pontiac County lies across the Ottawa River from Westmeath Township and both sides of the river were open to settlement.   Incoming settlers were trying to homestead on less-than-best lands as described in the 1852 notes on the Census for Waltham...

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