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GRAHAM, Robert and Elizabeth Holmes

County Tyrone, Northern Ireland

County Tyrone, Northern Ireland

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.

Robert Graham

Robert Graham

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.

1851 Census Westmeath Township - Graham Household

1851 Census Westmeath Township – Graham Household

Graham-Holmes stone, Greenwood Cemetery. Note son William memorialized on bottom

Graham-Holmes stone, Greenwood Cemetery. Note son William memorialized on bottom.

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. From left: Willie Graham, Mary Coynam Graham, Bert Graham, Lil Graham Nelson, Tom Graham, Nellie Graham, Robert Graham.

Children of Robert Graham and Sarah Ellen Wilson.
From left back: Willie Graham, Mary Cotnam Graham , Bert Graham, Lil Graham Nelson. Front Row: Mother Sarah Ellen Wilson Graham, Tom Graham, Nellie Graham, and Father Robert Graham.

1901 Census Westmeath Township - Graham Household

1901 Census Westmeath Township – Graham Household

Three Graham Brothers - Will, Tom and Bert.

Three young Graham Brothers – Will, Tom and Bert; sons of Robert & Sarah. Pictures in this entry are courtesy of Verla Collins Robinson, a grand-daughter of  Mary Jane Graham and George Cotnam.

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.

Mary Graham

Mary Graham

Anniversary of George & Mary Cotnam

50th Anniversary of George & Mary Cotnam

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.

Lil and Stan Nelson Wedding. Photo courtesy of Verla Collins Robinson.

Lil and Stan Nelson Wedding. Photo courtesy of Verla Collins Robinson.

Lil and Stan Nelson. Photo from Verla Collins Robinson.

Lil and Stan Nelson. Photo from Verla Collins Robinson.

Stan-Nelson-&-Lilly-Graham

Stan Nelson and Lilly Graham. Undated.

Nelson Children from left: Alman, Maggie and Stan. Photo from Verla Collins Robinson.

Nelson Children from left: Alman, Maggie and Stan. Photo from Verla Collins Robinson.

Etta Nelson. Photo from Verla Collins Robinson.

Etta Nelson. Photo from Verla Collins Robinson.

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.

Willie-&-Maggie,-undated

Willie & Maggie Undated. Photo from Verla Collins Robinson.

Willie & Maggie wedding. Photo from Verla Collins Robinson.

1917 Willie & Maggie wedding. Photo from Verla Collins Robinson.

Will Graham

Will Graham. Photo from Verla Collins Robinson.

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.

Bert and Alma Graham. Photo from Verla Collins Robinson

Bert and Alma Graham. Photo from Verla Collins Robinson

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.

Tom and Lay Graham. Photo from Verla Collins Robinson.

Tom and Lay Graham. Photo from Verla Collins Robinson.

ii. William Patterson Graham (1857-1929) m. Mary Miller (1856-  ). 1888 William & Mary Marriage.

1891 Census, Stafford Twp., - Graham Household

1891 Census, Stafford Twp., – Graham Household

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 –

Robert Gordon Graham

Robert Gordon Graham

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.

Anne McIntyre Graham

Anne McIntyre Graham was an Irish immigrant when she married. Photo from Ancestry.ca.

1871 Census Westmeath Township - Richard Graham Household

1871 Census Westmeath Township – Richard Graham Household

Graham-McIntyre stone, Bethel Cemtery, Westmeath Twp. Photo from Ancestry.ca.

Graham-McIntyre stone, Bethel Cemtery, Westmeath Twp. Photo from Ancestry.ca.

i. Jane Graham (1855 – ) m. Johnathan Montgomery (1855-1928) in 1885. (First of two Graham siblings married to two Montgomery’s.)

Jane-Graham,-Graham-Montgomery,-Hope-Montgomery,-Williammontgomery-and-Jonathon-Mntgomeryii. 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.

Pembroke Observer & Upper Ottawa Advertiser, February 12, 1886

Pembroke Observer & Upper Ottawa Advertiser, February 12, 1886

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).

William Graham & Nancy Sykes. Photo from Ancestry.ca.

William Graham & Nancy Sykes. Photo from Ancestry.ca.

Their children  are:

a) Osborne Alfred Graham (1892 –
b) Lawrence Graham (1893 –
c) Alma Edith Graham (1895 –
d) Herbert Mills Graham (1898 – )

Herbert Mills Graham

Herbert Mills Graham

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.

1871 Census, Alice & Fraser Township - Graham Household

1871 Census, Alice & Fraser Township – Graham Household

Graham-Curry stone, Greenwood Cemetery.

Graham-Curry stone, Greenwood Cemetery.

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-

8. Ellen Graham (1844- 1902) m. Samuel Robinson (1846-1936) in 1867, son of James Robinson & Mary Clemons, and is buried at Perretton Cemetery. See ROBINSON entry.

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.