GRAHAM, Robert and Elizabeth Holmes
In the British Regimental Registers of Service, an 18-year-old Robert Graham was registered in the 32nd Foot Soldiers and was described as having sallow complexion, 5 ft. 9 inches, hazel eyes and black hair. 1818 British Regimental Registers of Service- 32nd Foot Soldiers. He came from County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, and his occupation was listed as a weaver. If this sounds like a lad who will not go far in life; that would be wrong.
In his Service to the Crown he was quite successful; making the rank of Corporal by 1823 and rising to “Sarjeant” by 1825; then he was out of the service in 1828. There is no record of Robert Graham ever returning to the trade of weaving. He set his sights on getting out of a poverty-stricken Ireland by taking the chance of a lifetime.
“Robert Graham came from Ireland to Ottawa, then called Bytown, somewhere between 1843-1850. (Note: -this range of years will be narrowed down to 1830). Robert traveled to Montreal for supplies and met James Ormsby, who had been out for two years, in Montreal. Ormsby brought Robert Graham, to Meath, Westmeath Township, where Ormsby met and married Dora Holmes, sister of great-grandmother Graham, (they were Dora Nelson’s grandparents). Robert first settled on 75 acres of the Ormsby Farm, then later at the “Graham’s Bridge” property.
A brother came to Ottawa with great-Grandfather, who went to New York being a carpenter and they never met again.
Robert Graham (1800-1882) had married Elizabeth Holmes (1805-1877) and the couple came together to the New World. They settled on a farm at Meath Station then named “Graham Bridge”. He built the bridge over the Muskrat River downriver from the Muskrat Lake and looked after this floating bridge. He also had a sister Sarah Graham who married Thomas Cosgrove. She died on May 21st, 18772, age 26, leaving two young children Andrew and Robert.” –From notes made by grand-daughter Mary Graham Cotnam, submitted by Verla Collins Robinson.
“Immigrant Ancestors” Robert Graham (1800-1882) m. Elizabeth Holmes (1802-1877). We can deduce that Robert Graham with his wife Elizabeth came to Canada West around 1829-30 because the 1851 Census shows that their oldest child William was born in 1828 in Ireland and their next child Richard was born here in Canada West in 1830. Elizabeth was from Queen’s County, Ireland. This makes the Grahams one of the earliest settlers of Westmeath Township and allowed them to play a large part in early Greenwood. In a family with seven daughters, these women would become the matriarchs of large Greenwood area families.
In the Agricultural Census of 1851, line 38, Robert Graham was farming on Lot 20, Concession 2, with 100 acres homesteaded. He had 40 acres under cultivation: 35 acres in crops and 5 acres in pasture. Sixty acres were “Under Woods or Wild“. He had 6 acres of wheat averaging 90 bushels per acre.
The children of Robert and Elizabeth are:
1. William Graham (1828-1857) m. Lily Paterson (1832-1894). Lily was born in County Antrim, Northern Ireland; daughter of John Patterson and Sarah Kaine. See PATTERSON entry. (1) William Graham settled on the farm on Greenwood Line. It was later sold to George Lempkie. The family was Wesleyan Methodist and attended the Greenwood Methodist Church and the children attended the Greenwood School; S.S. No.9.
When she was widowed in 1856, Lily remarried to (2) Alexander Carnegie (1835-1904), settled in Alice Township, and she and Alex would have 4 more children. See CARNEGIE entry.
In first marriage to William Graham, Lily had two sons William and Robert before William’s early death at age 29.
i. Robert Graham (1855-1922) m. Sarah Ellen Wilson (1862-1946) also from Greenwood, in June of 1880. Sarah was the daughter of David Wilson (1813-1904) and Mary Jane Grainger (1830-1902). They would farm on Lot 24 Concession 2, of Westmeath Township.
Children of Robert Graham and Sarah Ellen Wilson are:
a) Mary Jane Graham (1881- ) m. George Andrew Cotnam (1879- ), son of William Cotnam and Eleanor Smyth. Mary was a dress-maker and George was a farmer in the Greenwood area. 1905 George and Mary Marriage See COTNAM entry.
b) Lily Graham (1883-1968) m. William Stanford “Stan” Nelson (1884-1966). Stan is a bridge-builder and farmer and the son of William Nelson and Mary Mangan of Westmeath. 1909 Lilly & Stan Marriage.
c) Ellen “Nellie” Graham (1887-1972) m. Abraham James “Abe” Robinson (1882-1965) in 1906; son of Henry Robinson and Eleanor Curry also of Greenwood area. 1906 Abraham & Ellen Marriage Robinson, Nellie. See ROBINSON entry. They would raise 5 children.
d) William “Willie” Graham (1889-1940) m. Margaret “Maggie” Turner Harper in 1917. He was a railwayman in North Bay when they married. 1917 William & Margaret Marriage.
e) Robert “Bert” Edmond Graham (1892-1952) m. Alma Edith Graham (1896- ), in Nippissing District in 1925. She was the daughter of William Graham and Nancy Sykes. Robert was a locomotive fireman and Alma was a school teacher. 1925 Robert & Alma Marriage.
f) Laura Edna Graham (1894) – infant death
g) Thomas Harold Graham (1899- ) m. Rachel Brennan, daughter of George S. Brennan and Margaret J. Thrasher in the Greenwood Parsonage in 1922. 1922 Thomas & Rachael Marriage.See THRASHER entry.
ii. William Patterson Graham (1857-1929) m. Mary Miller (1856- ). 1888 William & Mary Marriage.
a) William Angus Graham (1889-1973) m. (2) Margaret Francis Rideout in Smith Falls, Lanark County. William was a telegraph operator in Smith Falls.
b) Lilly Ethel Graham (1890 – )
c) Corlia Mary Graham (1892 –
d) Robert Gordon Graham (1894 – ) was a young horse teamster when he signed up to go to the battlefields of the 1st World War. 1917 Attestation Paper. Robert m. Violet Crystal Hopper (1900- ) in 1924. She was the daughter of Wm. Hopper and Jane Timm and they were married at Westmeath Methodist Church. 1924 Robert & Violet Marriage.
e) Gordon Graham (1895 –
f) Daniel Allen Graham (1897 –
g) Elsie Ellen Graham (1901 –
h) John Alexander Graham (1903 –
i) Jack Graham (1903 –
2. Richard Graham (1831-1903) m. Annie McIntyre (1825-1908). Richard died in 1903 of heart failure at age 71. 1908 Anne MacIntyre Graham Death.
i. Jane Graham (1855 – ) m. Johnathan Montgomery (1855-1928) in 1885. (First of two Graham siblings married to two Montgomery’s.)
ii. Robert Graham (1857 – ) at age 28, farmer, Westmeath, married Isabella Montgomery, 25, Horton Township, daughter of William & Jane Montgomery, witnesses to the marriage were: William Graham of Westmeath & Maria Montgomery of Cobden, on 3 Feb 1886, Cobden, Ont.
iii. David Graham (1859 –
iv. William Graham (1861 – 1945) m. Nancy Sykes (1868-1942), in 1890 at Westmeath. 1890 William & Nancy Marriage. She was the daughter of Thomas Charles Sykes (1836 – 1911) and Nancy Mary Hawkins (1835 – 1907).
Their children are:
a) Osborne Alfred Graham (1892 –
b) Lawrence Graham (1893 –
c) Alma Edith Graham (1895 –
d) Herbert Mills Graham (1898 – )
The Ottawa newspaper covered the 1918 return of soldiers from the battlefields of Europe. One came back with a hard-won service medal. 1918 Returning from War, Graham.
Has Military Medal
Sergeant H. Graham, a fine appearing young man returns with his military medal won for conspicuous service during a trench raid. He declined to supply any more detail about how he had won it. He is a 14th Battalion boy his home being in Beachburg. He was wounded but was looking well in view of his experiences. 1917 Military Medal Card.
e) Hazel V. Graham (1902 –
v. Daniel Graham (1864-1878) -died age 14.
vi. Martha Graham (1866 –1900)
vii. Elizabeth Graham (1868 –1937)
3. Mary Graham (1832-1898)
4. Robert Graham Jr. (1835-1913), born in Gloucester Twp, Carleton County, m. (1) Charlotte Willis Curry (1838-1880), daughter of United Empire Loyalists Abraham Curry and Mary Otterson. 1858 Graham-Curry Marriage. See CURRY entry. Buried at Greenwood, Westmeath Township, Ont.
In the 1851 Agricultural Census, Robert Graham is listed as occupying Lot 20 Concession 2; 100 acres with 40 under cultivation and 35 under crops. In the 1871 Census the family had moved to the Township of Alice & Fraser, Renfrew County.
After Charlotte died, Robert Graham married (2) Hannah Morday who was very kind to her stepchildren. 1891 Robert & Hannah Marriage. They farmed in Bromley Township. The children were:
i. Mary Ann Graham (1860- ) m. Peter Mornick Cregir (1895- ), in 1889 in the Presbyterian Church in Westmeath. Peter was a stonemason from the Orkney Islands in Scotland. 1889 Mary Ann & Peter Marriage
ii. Margaret “Maggie” Graham (1860- ) m. Joseph Davis (1854- ), son of William and Mary Davis also of Westmeath Township in 1880. Joseph was farming in Stafford Township. 1880 Margaret & Joseph Marriage.
iii. William “Bill” Graham (1863- ) m. Margaret Pappin
a) William John Wesley Graham m. Isabella “Bella” Condie Eggleston, a widow and daughter of Abe and Jane Condie of Beachburg. See CONDIE entry.
1. Lucy Belle Graham m. Peter Menzies Lyttle (1885 – 1962). See LYTTLE entry.
iv. Dora Graham (1865- ),
v. Jim Graham,
vi. George Graham;
viii. Elizabeth “Lizzie” Graham;
viii. Richard “Dick” Graham;
ix. Robert “Bob” Graham (1869-
5. Elizabeth Graham (1838-1895) m. George Lee (1836- ) in 1860; son of Robert Lee and Flora McDonald of Ross Township.
6. Jane Graham (1841-1883) – she died at age 42 years and is buried at Greenwood Cemetery. Jane married Michael McDonough in 1869.
7. Margaret Graham (1842-
9. Sarah Graham (1846-1872) m. Thomas Mosgrove (1846- ), a blacksmith by occupation, in 1870, in Town of Pembroke 1870 Thomas & Sarah Marriage ; one son Andrew Mosgrove (1871- ). Sarah died young at age 24 yrs. and is buried at Greenwood Cemetery.
10 Annie Graham (1850-1878) m. John Keyes (1850- ), son of Joseph & Elizabeth Keyes, in 1872 in Beachburg. See KEYES entry. 1872 John & Annie Marriage. Annie also died young and is buried at Greenwood.