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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 others remained loyal to the Roman Catholic faith. This occurred also in names like Condé to Condie, or Therriault to Tario, Labou to Labow, to mention just a few.”

COBDEN SUN, June 30, 1932: “Another pioneer of that part of Westmeath and whose descendants are closely linked with the development of the township was James Condie who came from Drummond Township in Lanark County and took up one thousand acres of Crown land south and east of the Beach holdings.”  Condie, Cobden Sun 1932.


potash kettle

From “Beachburg Centenary 1835-1935″:

“Not long after 1835 other settlers arrived in the new settlement. One of these was James Condie, a Scotsman with seven sons, James, Malcolm, Alexander, Thomas, John, Andrew and Robert.

“He also received a land grant of one thousand acres and also built a grist mill about 500 yards from the Beach mill. He settled on land south and east of the Beach land, back of the present Anglican Cemetery. Anderson Drive and Morris Street appears to be the dividing line between the two properties.

“Mr Condie donated the land for the Union Cemetery and his wife who died in 1860 was the first person buried in the cemetery. Several of his sons had farms on lots 8-9-10 Con. 4 E.M.L. Many of the Condie descendents still live in the village and surrounding area. Other early settler names in this area are Condie, Lyttle, Beauprie, McLaren, Roberts on, Hazelton, Dougherty, Hawthorne, Weedmark, Barr, Howard, Eckford, Comrie, MacMillan, Little and Lindeberg.”

The 1851 Agricultural Census lists James Condie having 400 acres of which 50 was under cultivation: 30 in crops and 20 in pasture and 350 acres “under wood or wild”.  Alexander Condie had 200 acres all in “under wood or wild”.  In the 1896 Voter List in the Township of Westmeath, only landowners or sons were eligible to vote. The Condies’ were large  landowners in the countryside around Beachburg Village with 11 voters in all. Condie Men in 1896 Voter List.

Source:  On the occasion of the 175 Anniversary of Beachburg an excellent book was produced: “Beachburg – A Rich Heritage, 1835-2010” The CONDIE family’s submission of text and photographs to this commemorative book is used here.

His Excellency John Graves Simcoe, Lieutenant Governor and Commander in Chief of the province of Upper Canada, set up a proclamation, “The Simcoe Papers” in 1792 encouraging immigrants to settle in Upper Canada. Within the detailed terms, one person could receive 1000 acres.

JAMES CONDIE  born in Scotland in 1797, died 9 October 1878 in Beachburg,Ontario. He immigrated to Canada about 1818 to 1820. He married  (1) ISABELLA  DRYSDALE in 1823 in Perth Ontario. She was born in Scotland but came to Canada with her mother and siblings in 1820, her father having preceded them in 1815 settling on the Scotch Line near Perth. Ontario.

The Condie family was the second family to settle in Beachburg after the family of David and Sarah Beach. James Condie and his wife Isabella with seven children moved to Beachburg in 1835. Six more children were born in Beachburg. Many of the Condie families are buried in the Beachburg Union Cemetery.

There is a long line of far-flung descendants of the Condie Family, the second family to settle in Beachburg, who live in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Arizona and Michigan.

The 1851 Agricultural Census  showed they lived in a log house on Lots 8 and 9 Concession 4 in Westmeath Township James (54) and Isabella (47) with twelve of their thirteen children. James had 1000 acres where he raised crops, wheat, peas, oats, potatoes and turnips etc. He had sheep, pigs, cattle and horses. 350 acres were wild or wooded.

They were Presbyterian adherents  and Condie names appear in the church records. See Marriage & Baptism Registries. Sadly Isabella died of apoplexy on July 9, 1860. James donated land for her burial, the site of Beachburg Union  Cemetery. She was the first person buried there.

a_grist_mill_9601861 Federal Census showed James Condie as a miller with $2000 invested in his mill, which ground 3000 bushels of wheat annually. The mill was powered by hand and employed one hand. Annual cost of laborer was $40. Total annual value of production was $3000. It was said that the Condie dam broke and the flood washed away the mill and dam of David Beach. He did not rebuild but sold the property to John Shaw of Lake Dore who built the Westmeath Flour Mill in 1876 and the large house for his men later becoming the Anglican Rectory.

JAMES CONDIE married a second wife,(2)  ANN BROWN on July 15, 1861 in Portage du Fort, Quebec. A second family consisted of six more children. The date and place of the death of James Sr. is unknown. Ann Brown Condie was buried in Calvin Township cemetery.  James’s seven sons all settled around him, married and had children.

1. Malcolm Condie  (1823- ) m. Hellen “Ellen” Keif Beauprie, widow of Joseph Beauprie. See BEAUPRIE entry. Their son Malcolm Condie (1868-1938) m. May Wulff and they also farmed on the Condie homestead.

The Ottawa Journal, January 13, 1938.

The Ottawa Journal, January 13, 1938.

2.   James Condie Jr. (1825-1899)  married his first wife  (1) Mary Abercrombie in 1855. They had

i. James Duncan Condie (1856);

ii. William Condie (1857);

iii. Jessie Condie (1859-1859);

iv. Isabel Condie (1861);

v. Peter Condie (1862) married Annie Cook (1876-1945) in 1898. They had 4 children:

I.James Reuben Condie (1898) married Edith LaBelle in 1926. They lived on the Glenn Rd near Beachburg. Their family of 7 were: Gerald Condie (1928); Joyce Edith Condie (1929) married Arnold Eggert (Pembroke);  Frieda Condie (1931) married Earl Robinson; Marion Condie (1932) married Harold Biesenthal, Petawawa;  Robert Condie (1935) a Minister; Marlene Condie (1941) and Milton Reid Condie (1943)

II. Martha Belle Condie (1900);

III. Harry Gordon Condie (1902-1970) second son of Peter married Pearl Bennett (  -1993) and lived in a small house on Elliot St. in Beachburg for about a year. Then they moved to a farm in Perretton near Beachburg. After retirement in the spring of 1966, they took up residence in the same house in Beachburg, which they had rented all those years. They had a family of seven children; infant daughter (1926-1926) Delmer Condie (1926), Smith Falls; Mervin Condie (1928-1957);  Veldon Condie (1930-1995); Willis Condie (1931- 1955); Verla Condie (1940) lives in Pembroke and Earl Condie (1943- 1995).


Back Row: Delmer, Mervyn, Veldon, Willis. Seated: Dad Harry, Mother Pearl. In Front: Earl, Verla

IV.  Albert Condie (1905)

vi. Jessie Condie (1865);

vii. Alexander Condie (1868).

Mary Abercrombie died in 1868.  Then James Condie remarried in 1869 to (2) Janet Johnson. They had seven children:

viii. Christina Condie (1870-1890);

ix.  John Condie (1872-1958) 1958 Condie, John Death m. Alma Beauprie (  -1911) also from Beachburg – see BEAUPRIE entry ;

x. Mary Elizabeth Condie (1874);

xi.  Agnes Condie (1876);

xii. Catherine Condie (1878);

xiii. Rebecca Condie (1880) m. Arthur Collins, son of John Collins and Mary Wright. See COLLINS entry.

xiv.   Margaret Ellen Condie (1882).

3.  John Condie (1827- )

4. Andrew Condie (1830- ) m. Hannah Beach on Dec 12, 1856 (Christian Guardian of Toronto, page 3510). Hannah Beach was the daughter of David and Sarah Beach. See BEACH entry.

Thank you to Andrew & Hannah Condie’s descendant Alice Condie Garner for submitting these details on this family branch which emigrated  to Winneconne, Wisconsin, USA around 1868. Alice began her search for her roots after her father Maurice’s death, so she had to learn about the Beachburg connection by her own research.

Their children were as follows:
i.  Christopher Clarence Condie born Jan. 21, 1858 in Westmeath Twp. (Beachburg). Christopher was my   grandfather who married Flora Isabella Murchie 15 May 1890 in Rhinelander, Wis.


Christopher Condie

“Christopher was one of the first telegraphers for the railroad and was a trained violinist. Christopher married Flora Isabella Murchie, May 15, 1890, in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. My dad, Maurice Maynard Conde, was born July 17, 1891, in Rapid River, Michigan, and his brother Elton Harold (Ted) Condie on June 8th, 1893, also in Rapid River. Dad was in the American Army and served in WW I in France for nearly two years.

“Dad trained as a barber and moved to N.B. with his mother about 1925. Dad married his first wife Florence Alberta Galbraith on Sept 1, 1930. She died in childbirth Aug 13th, 1931. The baby was stillborn. Dad married my mother Marie-Edmeé Léger on Nov. 24, 1937. Their family consisted of 6 children of which I am the oldest, born Jan.2, 1939, in Saint John, N.B.”     –  Contributed by daughter Alice Condie Garner.

Christopher and Isabella were divorced ca. 1900, he did not remarry. Isabella remarried ca. 1907/8 Capt. Walter Stanley Evans.

Children of Christoper and Isabella:

I. Maurice Maynard Condie born July 17, 1891 in Rapid River, Delta Co., Michigan (my father).
II. Elton Harold (Ted) Condie born 8 June 1893 in Rapid River, MI.

                  ii. Caroline Condie born 1860, Westmeath, died young
iii. Alice Condie born May 24, 1862, Westmeath, died Apr. 4, 1930 in Wawatosa, Wisconsin.

5.  Thomas Clarke Condie (1832-  ) married Elizabeth Munro on June 28, 1861.


Thomas Condie and Elizabeth  Munro

They had a family of four girls and one boy;

i. Elizabeth Ann Condie (1863)

ii.  Isabella Condie (1865-1904) m. Francis Little as his second wife and they had one daughter. See LYTTLE entry.

Francis Little and Isabelle Condie wedding photo on February 9, 1887.

Francis Little and Isabelle Condie wedding photo on February 9, 1887.

 iii. Margaret Jane Condie (1867)

iv. Thomas Condie (1870)

v. Alice Edith Condie (1881- ) stayed on with her father  after her Mother’s death. She married Keyworth Howard on October 13, 1903. They moved along with her father to a farm “on the hill” by the lake, the present home of Jeff and Lisa Vereyken. They had 6 children:

I.  Melville Howard (1904)

II. Elmer Howard (1905)

III. Edgar Howard (1907);

IV. Kenneth Howard (1910);

V. Marjorie Howard (1913-2000)  married Harold Dougherty  (  – 1980) on October 19, 1932. See DOUGHERTY entry. Marjorie and Harold farmed on the Dougherty homestead until retirement to Beachburg in 1972. They were both very active in Beachburg activities.

 Later they bought the farm on the corner of the Sixth Line (Lookout Rd) and Powers Road. They all went to the Roche Fondu School. Later the family bought a nearby farm on the Sixth Line, a bigger house, now the property of Lois and Sheldon Dougherty. The sons went to work in the mines in Sudbury. Two of their children were listed as baptized in St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Beachburg.

They had nine children:

a) Edith Dougherty (1933-1956);

b) Eleanor Dougherty (1935) married Marvin McLaughlin in 1955. Eleanor retired actively to Beachburg after her career in teaching and Robert after his years of employment on the CNR. See MCLAUGHLIN entry. They raised four children:  Terry McLaughlin (1956);  Garry McLaughlin (1958);  Dawna McLaughlin (1959) and Jeff McLaughlin (1970).

c) Evelyn Dougherty (1937-1937);

d) Faye Dougherty (1938);

e) Bethea Dougherty (1940);

f)  Robert Dougherty (1942);

g) Margaret Dougherty (1944);

h) Ronald Dougherty (1945);

i)Lynn Dougherty (1951).

VI.  Iva Howard (1920) and Kitchener Kinnear lived in the same little house as her parents and later “on the hill” where they and Thomas and Elizabeth had so many years earlier. What a coincidence! They had two sons Mervin Kinnear (1940) and H.R. Kinnear (1942).

6. Robert Condie (1834- )

7. Christina Condie (1836- )

8. Elizabeth “Betsy” Condie (1838- )

9. Isabella Condie (1840- )

10. George Condie (1842- )

11. Isaac Condie  (1844- ) and he died in Mattawa, Ontario. He married Margaret McLaren and they had 4 children:

i.  Albert Condie (1873-

ii.  Edith Condie (1874-

iii.  George Andrew  Condie (1876- )   Herbert. Isaac died in Mattawa. George Andrew married Elizabeth Patterson and had five children; Georgina Condie (1913- 1983);  Gordon Condie (1916-1982);   Elva Condie (1918- ;   Gerald Condie (1925-1925) and Versil Condie (1927-1927). George worked at farming and logging in the Beachburg area. Their family lived in the log house behind the school on Zion Line,  then moved to the Condie Farm at the Springs a spot on the road to Foresters Falls.

Gordon remembered carrying his sister Elva on his back walking along the railroad track, always an open path, to Beachburg School in winter. After the family left home, George moved to the little house in the field, where Nathan Dougherty lives now. He died in 1960.

Gordon Condie married Ruby Davidson (1919-1978) in 1941. He worked as an inspector for the Ministry of Transport and lived on Cameron Street in Beachburg. They raised two boys, Kevin (1952) and Kerry Vaughn (1956) who received their education in Beachburg. Kevin married and had three children; Michael Gordon Condie;  Kevin Raymond Condie and Christy Condie. He lives in Manitoba and drives a transport from there to USA. Vaughn married Catherine Horner and they reside in the family home on Cameron St. They have two children, Melissa (1983) and John Gordon (1985). Vaughn drives a transport for Ontario Breweries across Eastern Ontario.

iv. Herbert Condie.

12.  William Condie  (1848- )


Prince Condé, the famous Huguenot of France was one of King Louis XIVs famous generals, and to him the world owes one of its favourite desserts. One day Prince Conde had a great feast prepared for the King.

The piece de resistance was to be the dessert, pure sweet cream in a bowl. By accident, salt was dropped onto the ice. Sherry was poured on the top of the cream and all served. Louis XIV named it ICECREAM. From that time it became famous.                                                                                                                                                Submitted by Vaughn Condie

Two Condie Tales  taken from Whiskey and Wickedness, No. 4,  by Larry Cotton:

Forgetful Bridegroom: James Condie of Westmeath and Penelope McDonell of Sand Point, McNab Township, met at a “spree” at the tavern of Barr in Westmeath Township in the spring of 1862.  A couple of months later, Ms. McDonell sued Mr. Condie for breach of promise to marry.

At the subsequent trial. the reporter described the plaintiff as “a maiden lady of rather ancient appearance…” The defendant at the time the alleged promise was given was a widower (since married), residing in Westmeath, aged over sixty years; but, from appearances, one would judge not much the senior of the plaintiff.

The evidence of Barr, the tavern keeper and his wife, showed that no understanding had been come to on that occasion between the plaintiff and the defendant, on account of the difference in their religion; the plaintiff being a Roman Catholic and the defendant a Presbyterian. Barr also stated that the defendant considered the plaintiff “altogether too stiff for him”.

Testifying on behalf of the defendant, Mr. Graham of Sand Point, stated that the defendant stopped at his place recently, enquiring about the location of Ms. McDonell’s residence. The defendant is alleged to have remarked to Graham, that he intended on taking Ms. McDonell home with him.  Condie was found not guilty by the court.

“Good Fences Make Good Neighbours” – turns tragic:

“A fishing expedition on a hot June day in 1873, turned into a tragedy in Beachburg. William Condie and two of his nephews, coming from fishing on a lake beyond the property of John Beach, wantonly pulled down two rails of Beach’s fence and walked on. Beach’s family hearing the rails fall, John Beach and one of his son went out of the house to ascertain who the parties were who pulled down their fence. Following the Condie party, as they approached them the Condie’s hid to avoid detection. William Condie picked up a large stone and threw it at John Beach, as he approached his hiding spot. Beach was struck on the temple by the missile and fell senseless. A few hours later, he died of a massive blood clot to his brain. Condie was charged with murder and placed in Pembroke jail. Found guilty he was sentenced to six months in jail.”