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The HWT Project welcomes your opinions and  feedback about this website and its contents.  Your comments will be edited and posted here.  The date of the comment will appear - along with your first name and no  contact information. Please send  general comments or corrections here.  To send longer submission,  digital photographs, or a PDF file, use the Submission page. If you spot a correction that should be made  to the material; don't hesitate to write me here. We aim for accuracy; but errors are easy to make, so your help with corrections is much appreciated. I look forward to hearing from you. Gayle McBride Stewart, HWT Project Editor and Publisher.
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January 26, 2016....(The November 12th entry seen below sets the stage).  Thank you so very much! We certainly enjoyed going through the documents and memorabilia in the first box you sent. BeBe remembered many of the locations and people in the more recent photos. Unfortunately she didn't know a lot of the people in the older photos (such as that amazing photo album with the old photos). There were several photos of WHA Fraser, who my mum refers to as Uncle Willie! We loved seeing the photos of mum and her sister Joan, the Westmeath location, and, of course, all the stories that then come from seeing the old photos. The old plates were very interesting and I loved all the photos of my grandfather in his canoe! We were amazed at how well preserved the old letters were.  .....Liza January 22, 2016.....I found your Lumbering in  Westmeath Township to be very interesting. It completes the story of logging in the Valley.  Congratulations.  I guess that the only big trees left in the area now are those big logs in the log barns of Westmeath Township. My grandfather John was a broadaxeman working under Augustus "Gus" Brown when the covered bridge was being built at Fort Coulonge in 1898. Best, DB January 22, 2016.... What a great addition to the website. The Lumbering section was so interesting/factual both regional and locally. It made me especially nostalgia regarding lumber-mills (cheese factories second). My first summer job when I was 14 was at John Gervais's sawmill. I also did stories for the Cobden Sun on Mr. Dunfield's log house experience and John Bromley's shingle maker. Good job. Keep on trucking.     .....Bob January 8, 2015.... (After the LUMBERING section was online) Wow, I just looked thru it briefly.  You have done an amazing job.  John would be so proud that all of this is out there.  I look forward to spending an afternoon reading it.  Great job.                              ..... L
December 23, 2015....I wanted to thank you for your efforts on my family's behalf. I await with anticipation the historical materials you so kindly have preserved and forwarded to me.
A little about me. My middle name is Fraser. While I was raised in Windsor Ontario, I earned my college and law degrees in the US.  I am now retired and living in a 1929 Tudor on the banks of the Detroit River some 20 miles south of the City of Detroit.
As a teenager, my grandfather, Col JD Fraser    sponsored me for a summer working for the Ottawa River Forest Protection Association stationed north of Otter Lake, Quebec. I have many fond memories of the Pembroke region. I have quite a few photographs of the  Frasers including numerous 16mm films taken by my Grandfather in the 1920's and 30's including scenes from Westmeath.                  .....Ronald
November 12, 2015....I am not related to Frasers but I have some things you might be interested in. For free.  I'm in Ottawa. There are photograph albums and lots of photos and documents and other stuff that are Fraser related.  I think they belong with someone who cares about it rather than giving it to Archives Canada. My mother passed away and for reasons unknown to me she had a collection of Fraser items. I know the Frasers were rich lumber barons from Westmeath and Renfrew areas. I can send you pictures of what I have. It is 2 boxes the size that paper comes in. I think there is another box but I can't find it. Thank you.                 .....Sandra

The Outcome:  The two boxes contained a treasure trove for me because there was correspondence and documents of all kinds and photos loose and more photos in albums. There were lovely leather portfolios with gold initials and boxes and receipts from stores and even Bibles. On and on it went.... some dating back to the 1890s and up to the 1940s. I found many things that I used on the website regarding the  timber and lumber business-side of things. I was able to bring to light the impact that Timber Baron Alex Fraser and his two sons JB Fraser and WHA Fraser had to this region.

I was able to find the last of this Fraser line - BeBe Fraser Deziel, aged 94 - living outside of Detroit, Michigan, and sent the family memorabilia to her and her family in Christmas Week 2015.  ...Gayle

October 14, 2015....  You might want to add this link to a map from 1863: I especially enjoyed that it showed Mrs. Lamarsh as a land owner (after her husband died) next to the Mallette hotel. I have continued searching to find out more about this map maker and I found a directory for 1862:;view=1up;seq=24. It has information about postmasters in the villages, for example.               ....Pauline

REPLY:  Dear Pauline;  I am loving this 1863 map - especially that landowner names are there. It is one of the only maps that clearly shows what I have named the "Lost Road" on the website; that ran along the shoreline of Coulonge Lake. I have had lots of ideas about how best to utilize the map; beside the obvious inclusion in the "Maps" section of the site. Maybe using some smaller sections showing specific things such as the number of Bromley's then on what we now call Bromley Line. With Perth as the main town of Bathurst District, it is set out with prominence on this map as are little villages that are now just remnants at cross-roads all these years later. It is also one of the only maps showing Beachburg spelled with the ending "H" from that time, that I have seen. It is also interesting how 6th Line-Lookout Road is well populated while the other concession roads not so much. How I wonder did this end up in the Boston Public Library?? Thank you again for sending this link. I am an old-map loving person anyway and you have sent in a real dilly! Made my day!             ....Gayle

October 8, 2015....    I am from Fredericton, NB.  Twelve years ago I started on an amazing journey to find my birth family...that journey led me to the Ottawa Valley where I found my roots in the incredible McBride family.  I have been privileged to meet my immediate family as well as extended family.  I am a great grandson of Thomas McBride.   Despite being adopted into a fine family there was always a longing to know "who am I really" ?   It has been a thrill to learn about the McBride Family history and to recognize some of the physical likenesses and traits in myself , my children and grandchildren.
Last winter while doing some internet research we stumbled on the HWT site and were amazed to see the extent of the McBride family and this was where we learned of your work in this project.           ....David
October 6, 2015...  Hi Gayle,  Congratulations and thanks for so meticulously building a fantastic, informative website. My dad's mother (Ethel Hache, nee McMullen) and grandparents (Cora Poupore and James McMullen) were from Westmeath. I've been researching my family tree for my daughter for about a year and a half now, and your site has been one of my favourite resources on that side of the family. Kudos on a job well done, and I will look forward to further updates from you and your contributors as I continue to visit. I would be happy to exchange info with any extended family who might see this post. If you're related through the McMullens, Poupores, McQuittys, Humphries, Gilmores, or Shieldses, I'd love to hear from you. My E-mail address is (please include). Thanks and regards to all.     .....Grant October 2, 2015....   First, thank you for your website.  It has been very helpful.  Many of my mother’s family ancestors come from Northern Ontario and particularly from the Westmeath Township.  I am trying to find anything related to the John Pretty/Maria Farrell family line.  I saw the work done by Miriam Mathieson Barry on your family registry site and would most like to contact her and to see if there is anyone with information about John and Maria's birth places in Ireland.  I can imagine that you cannot give me her contact information but if you give mine to her with my permission I would be very grateful.  I am also a descendant of these two Irish pioneers.              ....Gillan, Utah, USA. September 18, 2015...    Part of the Foltz family still resides in Spokane, Washington. Like myself 🙂 I've attached another of William Lebow but it was taken by my cousins cell phone and it does have a shadow. Great picture though. I am trying to get the pictures scanned from her. Will submit to you after I get them. I've created a Lebow Group page on facebook. Here is the link if you might include it on your website page for this family? May 20, 2015...  What an amazing site; so well put together and a mammoth amount of hard work. Many people will enjoy this source of endless information memories of family past. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. My father, Merrill was from the Patrick O'Briens and his mom, Charlotte Bromley ascended from James Bromley so I feel like Westmeath is an important connecting point to me. So many ancestors lie beneath it's soil.       ....Bob May 10, 2015... Thank you for presenting this website. It is very useful to hobbyist genealogy researchers like myself. A real treasure trove.    ....Carl April 13, 2015...   Hi Gayle: Nice to hear from you and thanks for your query. We noticed on your website that you have direct links to the Westmeath Cemeteries at The Canadian Gravemarker Gallery. You do not need permission to post these direct links.  A small mention of the Canadian Gravemarker Gallery would kind of you. Regards.....Murray Pletsch  at Email: (or) Cdn Gravemarker Gallery - April 9, 2015....Hi, I am planning a submission. I'm related to a current entry - William Shields and Agnes Jeffrey. How should I submit my research to you of MJ Shields details : - doc, rtf, html, pdf, narrative or descendant report or other. .....Brian.

REPLY: Send your material using whatever format you are most familiar with – I have become very used to receiving all manner of items. You can digitize or not as you wish. If you don’t have a scanner then use a digital camera to make an image. Send jpgs, adobe pdf or Word Doc. are always good. I also receive from time to time snail mail envelopes of photocopied material – but the quality is not as good on a photocopy I find.  Hope to hear from you soon, Gayle McBride Stewart.

March 11, 2015....  Thank you Gayle, what you did with my piece of work was just great, just beautiful. I have been busy putting together all the pieces of paper and scribble that I have in my binder. If you saw it you would probably laugh. I did do a manuscript a few years ago or I should say when my grandchildren were very young, that was their bed time stories. After they grew up they wanted more than Grannies stories. Years later I thought of burning it, the girls nearly had a fit and were so worried that I might, so here I am at this old age scribbling and trying my best to get my pieces of paper together again. Thank you so much again for the beautiful work you are involved in. I hope that I will meet you in the spring when we come to Pembroke. …..Mabel January 20, 2015.... I found your webpage, with information on the Blackwell family of Westmeath. I am connected to Barbara Blackwell, daughter of William G. Wallace Blackwell an Rita Newman, as she was my stepmother. I would be interested in connecting with any living relatives in an effort to pass along family history information.   Please forward my contact information to whomever might be interested. Thanks, ...... Jason Wallace at email: michstory@yahoo,com. January 12, 2015.... I have noticed when reading that Vincent Drapeau is left out. He was in school with me, and is living. Thanks - your work is so great to read.  ....Doreen. January 11, 2015.... Good Sunday Morning, Gayle, Thank you for your message. I was thrilled to view your wonderful website; most impressive! I am more than happy for you to include any & all photos and postings that I put on To me, that's what this great website is all about...sharing family photos and information for other researchers to enjoy. I did not have the obit for Ida (Mrs. J. R. Wilson) and I hope that you will permit me to "save" your posting of the Obit to my computer to then upload/download to her profile page on I will, of course, credit you with providing it on your website...which I will also include so that other researchers can visit your website ..... Karen. December 5, 2014....  There are two lines of Dupuis, our line is Acadian, the other is French Canadian.  I have so much history on them as well as the Labines (Guedry . There is a small Acadian cemetery not far from my home, that was the starting point for Guedries. They lived in a Metis village in a place now called Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. My gggg... grand father Martin Dupuis landed in 1632 , and from there their journey started. He is buried in a national park, now called Annapolis Royal. His grandson named after him is buried in another national park , called Grand Pre.  Armand , the second Martin's son, was locked in the church when they read the Acadian deportation order, his possessions along with his family was detailed by the British. I have a copy of it. I have tracked down in my area where their homes were, which no longer exists as their homes, barns and even churches were burned to the ground, while they watched.  Their oxen where left tethered to the carts that carries the small amount of items they could bring with them. The Oxen were left to starve in their yokes and could be heard for miles bellowing as they could not eat or drink. Almost half the Acadians died during the deportation, some ten thousand. It was very brutal, and strongly motived by money as all they possessed was stolen from them.   .....Barry. December 1, 2014....I have really enjoyed viewing the HWT project and some of the photographs of my relatives including my grandmother Lillian Lumax.  I will try to locate more information and send it to you. Once again thank you for this great information and project.  ....Wendy. November 30, 2014....  Very nice site. ......Aurele. November 29, 2014.... The hwtproject website is great.  .....Miriam. November 26, 2014....Thank you for recognizing my contribution to the web site but I guess I feel a little uncomfortable because I have a lot more to contribute, if you deem the content appropriate. All that to say that you don't need to mention my name because many individuals have provided me with this information over the past 40 years.   ....Graham. November 24, 2014.....  I can’t begin to tell you how much we are enjoying the work you have done, not only the Township in general but also SS # 9 and Greenwood.   I am attaching a message from one of the ladies I mentioned had worked on The Greenwood Scrap book.   I was not able to meet with them when they were in the area, we were busy getting ready to head south where we spend the winter. It is great with our state of the art communications that It does’t matter where we are we can keep it touch. The station at Meath was a very busy place at one time. I remember when the stock yards were still there, also while I never load a box car with pulp I did help cut the pulp that was loaded there.   “THE LOCAL” that was a train that ran daily from Chalk River to Ottawa, down in the morning back at night. My aunt and many others from the area attended high school in Renfrew, it was easier to get there by train than into Pembroke. Dr. Reid”s father who operated a store in Westmeath used to come by horse and sleigh or car in summer and leave it at James Carnegie’s catching the Local at the five mile crossing go to Ottawa in the morning and back in the evening. To bad they have removed the rails!  .....Donald. November 22, 2014.... You might find it interesting that I have been estranged from my cousins who are daughters of my uncle Graham for approximately 50 years.  Since your project began, we have been in touch several times, and I am invited to a dinner party in Mississauga at her daughter's home in early December to catch up with all of the family history!  See what you've started!!!  I appreciate all of the effort that you have put into this most interesting project.  If everyone else gets as much enjoyment as our family has from it, you have indeed been very successful!! It is just so much fun reading about the pioneers who settled in "the valley" all those years ago, and so interesting to see how far and wide the families have spread since then.  .... Liz. November 22, 2014.....If I haven't said it enough -- keep up the great work. I print something from HWT every week or so and my family reads it and then my mother peddles it around to friends without computers. Lots of people are very interested in our history.  ....Patti. September 23, 2014.....I am thrilled to find this website and finally discovered further information about my great grandfather, Lars Carlson and his wife Annie Lacey Carlson. Indeed a very tragic but informative story. My father was Edgar Everest Hennessy, son of Obediah Martin Hennessy and Elizabeth (Lizzie) Carlson. I have many stories to contribute about them, and also have a very old set of books entitled THE HISTORY OF THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO, which has been passed down through the family to me, and tells quite an interesting tale of the Hennessys from the Ottawa Valley, and how they later moved to Iroquois Falls to begin the Abitibi Power and Paper Co. You will be hearing from me soon with a great deal of information.    ....Liz August 26, 2014.... Hi, I have just been introduced to the web site. I am truly impressed with the hard work that has gone into gathering and uploading the information. I have shared with my son and next will be my daughter and son in law. Descended from royalty! How nice to know. I have several family members who have researched our family history, but I think yours is as good as anything they have produced. Perhaps they shared their information with you. thank you so very much! I have not found the Catholic school in LaPasse or Westmeath listed. Is there a reason for this?        ......Sue

REPLY: Thank you Sue for writing.  Schools: there are 4 or 5 old township schools, (that I know of), that I haven't written up yet. I have to go back and do more research on them. The LaPasse Catholic School: this school is the older of the two, (opened in 1916) & I don't have enough research collected yet to do that entry justice. It was the first separate school in the township. I will probably just upload what I  have at some point, even if on the skimpy side. Do you have any info that can be used? Pictures from that time?

The separate school in Westmeath is newer; it was  set up in the mid 20th Century. Children of all faiths went to the Westmeath SS #2 until its opening. I stop my timeline for material at around the end of the WWII. I want this website to be "historical" and not move into modern times. So I won't be making an entry for it. I will probably give it a mention only. I tend to be pretty solid on my timeline - otherwise I will be going and going......

UPDATE: as of October 1, 2014:  All of the schools in Westmeath Township are now in the school section. Some entries are quite lengthy and some very short - that's where you can help by sending in material if you have it. GMS.

August 21, 2014....  Hi Gayle – I’ve come across your amazing website.  In a word, “wow!” I don’t have anything in the way of original material, nor stories, to contribute, but I wonder if you have more information about (one of) the Fraser family, specifically that of Nelson FRASER and Margaret KELLY?  I also understand there were other FRASERs who ended up in Aurora, Illinois. I really do mean it about the website - it is incredible.      .....Richard August 21, 2014......I greatly enjoy the historic Westmeath Township website.  I have found a lot of useful information on it.  I have been researching my part of the Lacroix family tree for a few years.  I noted some errors a few months ago and thought I would work on providing you some corrections.  When I looked again today, I saw that most of these have been corrected.  Nevertheless, I have attached an annotated Word file that has some suggested corrections or additions you may be interested in. Keep up the great work!       ...Pauline.

REPLY:  Thank you for your submission. Some families have had a great deal of genealogy research prepared and some have had very little. If I know of current Westmeath descendants I ask them to review the family entry posting. In other cases, the family name has died out in the Westmeath-Beachburg areas and we can only hope that someone from farther afield gets in touch.  I am not a genealogist - just a plain story-teller; so it is much appreciated when material is submitted. We need to get more of our collective history digitized because the internet is the first and main source of information in this digital world. I will upload a Family Tree as a pdf, if you would like to  make it available.

August 18,2014......  I have been working on the family tree off and on for a while. I do have wedding photos of my great aunts Christina Valliant/Wright and Margaret Jane Valliant/Metcalfe, etc. And a photo of my Dad, Borden Valliant in his  Canadian Army uniform (WW 2) and other census material that is interesting. Recently discovered that the first person buried in the Beachburg Cemetery was my Dad's maternal great grandmother, Isabella Condie.....the land was donated by her husband, James Condie who immigrated from Scotland. The origin of the name Valliant still defeats me.  French? Huguenot? English?  There is a Valliant Bank in Switzerland. Can't trace Joseph Valliant further back.   Much easier to trace the Condie family back five generations.   Your summary certainly helps pull some of it together.      .....Diane.

REPLY:  I will look forward to those photos - it helps to personalize the family entry when we can see the faces. Thanks.

August 12, 2014...... No worries all good your site is great, thanks for adding my family.  Yes right & proper was pretty free back then when my granny was of young age as they came that spring on wooden sleigh pulled by a horse & a bull with 45 gallon barrel filled with supplies for the trip.  Adelard & Rose Amyotte followed beside  the rivers with open trails for their roads of today by Rutherglen, ON.  to a piece of land where they build a house & barn on the acrage that is still there today. That whole road was full of their relatives;  a few of them still there, as my wife and I were at the church sea pie supper to meet & see many of them. First Nation/ Metis lineage on both sides of our families of 12 generations.  ..... Michael August 11, 2014.....  Hi Gayle, I think this is a marvellous site, thank you for documenting all of this history. Thanks for adding the Thrasher/Mangon/Switzer material. The HWT site is remarkable, and I'm truly honored to have some material published on it. I am the daughter of Doris Thrasher, and the granddaughter of Middleton John Thrasher.  Philemon Thrasher 3rd is  my great-grandfather, and Sarah Mangon Thrasher (his mother) would be my great-great-grandmother.  My mother Doris was 1st cousins with Reverend Brien Thrasher, who was the son of Edward Thrasher. Brien Thrasher must have sent you his father's material ("Pioneers along the road from Perreton to Greenwood") as he spoke frequently of the material his father passed to him, and Brien himself has written much, but unfortunately passed away in 2012, so I'm not sure where all his family history material has ended up. I am also related to the Poffs, as my mother's mother was a Poff. There were Poff farms in Westmeath, so no doubt I can send you some things on them if you'd like.   Keep up the great work, and thanks for all the interesting info on the site...I now live in the Maritimes, but hope to make a trip to the Valley next year, so will definitely include a (more informed) tour of Westmeath!   .....Charlotte

REPLY: I found the Edward Thrasher material “Pioneers along the road…”, at the Upper Ottawa Valley Genealogy Group library in Pembroke. As far as I know that was the only piece on the Thrashers there. The UOVGG members are unsung heroes for the wonderful work they do.

On your trip next year to old Westmeath Township, (now part of the Township of Whitewater Region,) be sure to stop and climb up to the pinnacle lookout gazebo at Lookout Park on Lookout Road, County Road #31, which runs between the villages of Beachburg and Westmeath. It is a spectacular panoramic view of the area and little changed from the sketch drawn in 1845 by William Logan. A MUST-DO for any visitor.

July 25, 2014.....I would first of all like to thank you for putting the McDonald Burying Ground on your site. I had spent many days and months working on that cemetery and I am so Beyond Words that you had done what you had done with the information. It is a tribute to McDonald brother heroes which really nobody hardly knew any thing about. I would like you to know as we speak there is a new tombstone erected for Walter McDonald. Thanks to Campbell Monuments and my Dad.  Thanks So Much....   Bernie.
REPLY: When an individual takes on the work that you have; it is to be celebrated and applauded. I considered it an  honour to add these War of 1812 Veterans into the Family Registry. Thank you Bernie for writing. Members of colonial militia keep popping up in the research. Our Westmeath Township Frontier lies many miles through rough terrain from the St. Lawrence River Valley and Great Lakes and  the battles and skirmishes of the War of 1812, so why were there militiamen here in our area?  The answer rests in the actions of the colonial government of the day in issuing land grants to these soldiers. Back in that day, things were very unsecured with small settlements sprinkled through the wilderness.  Offering free land grants in recognition of his Service to the Crown to  an ex-colonial militiaman secured Upper Canada as an British Crown Colony. The Crown Land Patents give descriptions of militiamen and their documents  form  part of the Westmeath Papers, digitized for the first time on this website.  Some  veterans  took many years to receive the land and sometimes  the soldier was dead; leaving  his wife or son in protracted correspondence with the Crown Land Agent.
 June 7, 2014.....La seour a ma grand mere aussi marier a un Drapeau, Jeanne Foisy Amyot as 11 soeur et frere eleve a Bonfield avec beaucoup autre de Fort Coulonge. Premiere photo est Pierre Drapeau et Philomen a leur 50 iem anniversaire, je pense, 2 iem est Alfred Drapeau WWI vet et Philomene Drapeau et enfants. Pierre Drapeau et Philomene et Rose au jour du Canada avec un enfants?  Ces qui J'e ete eleve a Bonfield ON ma grand mere Jeanne Foisy allais a Fort Coulonge durand l'ete ou on traversais et aidait pour 5 sous a tirez le cheval de un bord a l'autre. Pierre et Philomene avec leur enfant et ces enfant de son premier mariage sil vous plait de tou leur nom serais apprecier. La deuxieme photo est deux avec ma grand grand mere Rose/aly a droit. En haut debout est sa seour Philomene le jeunes est ta sa soeur je pense. Le plus jeune a peut pres 4 ans donc cette photo est pris Alfred Laderoute jr (1883-1956). Adelard Dollard Rose est marie at a La Passe en 1908 Juin 16 jais une photo de eux a leur 50 iem . Their daughter Jeanne lived to be 94 as she passed away in 2006,  mother of 12 kids as well. I was at her 50th anniversary as well.    .......Michael.
REPLY:   It is always a treat when photographs arrive here, sent in because someone connects with the family story. My first language is not French but I muddle through - it is wonderful that people use whichever language is easiest.  The main hope  is  that the Drapeau,  Amyotte or  Foisy family members  are able to expand their story with further contributions; while benefitting from Michael's  wonderful old submitted photos.  Family pictures make the story come alive.  Thank you so much Michael - your photos are all on the DRAPEAU entry. GMS.
 June 29, 2014.....I came across your website as to families of Westmeath Township. I find it very interesting as my grandparents are listed  James LaBine & Winifred Mary May Hurley. I am one of the family genealogist and published a book on my family. I have been able to trace the LaBine family back to the 1670's. The original family name was Guédry is an Acadien family. If you are interested I can give you the family connect back the 1670's. I do have many families of the what was called the Pontiac County. LaPasse, Ontario and have many of their family roots. If I can help in any way, please drop me a note.... Daryl Labine, June 30, 2014.....I have a question I am descended from the Dixon (Dickson) and Davidson families. My questions is that you have two different dates for both Sarah J Davidson and also James Dickson Jr. (or John James Dickson)???? The two family pages which you can click on a link to go to the other families show different names and dates. Could you please clarify? I am also descended from the McCarthy family as well. Thank you....Courtney.
REPLY: Those corrections have been made to the Dixon and Davidson entries. Thank you Courtney for catching those errors.
June 20, 2014.... Perhaps I had too brutally pointed out the errors in your story, which I found - except for the errors - absolutely splendid. I am pleased that you incorporated so much biographical material, because a barebones genealogical list is no more interesting than the Biblical begats.....David
REPLY: I love David's "Biblical begats" reference. Long lists of names can be very mind numbing at times and very hard to avoid when families numbered a dozen kids back-in-the-day. I'm glad you enjoy the other bits of research information I try to find.
June 27, 2014....I  just re-read the  McBride family tree.  You have put all this information together with great care and sensitivity.  I also re-read the Brown history and was equally impressed.  You have done such great work,  and the time you have spent doing this is unimaginable.  We are all so indebted to you.  Again,  many thanks....Donald. May 16, 2014....I am writing from Ottawa, still a Valley Girl! I came across your site last night and find it very interesting and helpful.   It has many good references that I'm sure I will use, such as the Church Record Transcriptions. I found the comments area after I sent the e-mail but rest assured I shall go back and make my comments on the overall site.  It is informative, comprehensive and interesting  with a touch of "real people" about it.   I noted several items and references to outside articles to flesh out what is on the site.   Undoubtedly a lot of work on your part. I am descended from William And Mary (Thompson) Anderson and found their section helpful. Thank you for such a wonderful place to come and visit....Linda.
REPLY: Thank you Linda for your note and the reference to the Church Records. Presbyterian, Methodist and Roman Catholic marriage records are found with that church's  write-up, with one exception; Anglican Records were not made available. As far as I know these Westmeath church records have never before been available online. I love that you found a touch of "real people" as you say. That was my aim in making this township's history accessible.
May 16, 2014.....It pleases me that you appreciated my message, but after sending it off I realized that I probably did not effectively communicate how splendid your site is. I had no thought that you would be the one to write that posted material, supposing that it had been submitted by a descendant. It is a magnificent task that you have undertaken. When I first went up to Westmeath, it was to find the grave monument of the immigrant Noah Jackson and Alfreda Cobb. From the cemetery I crossed the road and knocked at random at a house, intending to ask who in the community might know more about the Jacksons. It proved to be the house of Jessie Hennessy! They drove me up to the old Jackson property, filled me with anecdotes (including the one of Noah going down the Ottawa to bring back a teacher) and launched me on further Jackson exploration..... David April 27, 2014.....Your website is awesome and I can't imagine the work you have put into this. Thank you for letting me review my submission.....Ruby. April 27, 2014......   I, like GMS, am a great grandchild of John and Margaret Anderson. I am the grandson of Nellie Anderson and Gavin McAlister who were married on 18 February 1903. I recognized my great grandparents and grandma in your article on the Andersons, from pics held by my family. She had 9 children, of which only one, Olive Fern (McAlister) Aldred survives in Abbotsford B.C. I am the son of Hazel Margaret (McAlister) Ablett and John Richard, both now passed. Gavin's siblings out of Cobden were among the founders of the Pentecostal church in Canada and Nellie when she passed away was treated as if she was a first lady of the church. On the other hand, I am not certain that Gavin was ever other than a Presbyterian, as our family oral history indicates that he could recognize scoundrels, even in his own family, especially when they were sincere believers in a new (and profitable) sect. Both Nellie and Gavin are buried in the family plot at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Vancouver/Burnaby B.C. as are some other members of the family.......Richard. April 26, 2014  …..  I would like permission to include some of the information I found on your website for my personal use, and include it in my program details. Synthia Gilmore-Poupore is a first cousin twice removed so the Poupores are in his line.  It was interesting to read about them on your site.  The photos were wonderful. I wish more people would do something like that.

REPLY: Yes - of course you may use site material as you wish, - for you own use - but not for profit. I want everything I’ve done to not require any fees to access. Thank you for taking the time to ask.... GMS.

April 26, 2014.....  Was just browsing thru the site and noted that the coverage of the Twp. Council Mminutes stops in 1950.  Was there a reason for the cut-off date?   Plans to extend? I have a photo copy of the minutes that established the Lookout if that is of any interest. I’m sure there were many other actions of interest over the years, (Dredging of Elm Creek, ReBuilding of Lookout Road , Purchase of first snow plow) to mention only a few.... John.

REPLY: Thanks for the note John - let me clarify why the site coverage ends at roughly the 1950s.  Since the focus of the site was to be “Historic” Westmeath Township, I needed to find an end-date and not keep going into "modern times" by coming into the second half of the twentieth century.

I have arbitrarily chosen 1950 for a couple of reasons: a) I wanted to include both World Wars and show the sacrifice made by our township families, and b) I wanted to not get too involved with persons who would still be alive. All rules are broken of course, and you will find descendants of the “Immigrant Ancestors” in the Family Registry, who are very much alive.

As to specifically the Westmeath Township Council Minute Books excerpts ending at 1950: Beachburg Village set up its own municipal governance in the 1950s and I didn’t want to get into that. I preferred being able to keep to a time when it was all under one umbrella. Mid-century seemed like a good end-date. I have no plans to extend. GMS.

April 8, 2014....  Reminds me of my roots and slower times fishing and canoeing down the river. Well done on the historical facts. You should include the unique geology of Westmeath Township. March 22, 2014....  We greatly appreciate receiving the information that you forwarded to us. We have not been able to obtain a photocopy of the newspaper obituaries for either Kenny or John Ross, and therefore have no proof of where they were buried, etc.  Family lore suggests that Kenny and John (if he is the correct John), were buried at the Zion Line Cemetery but no records have been found to verify what may be only a theory. We are in the midst of contacting the person who has access to the burial records for Cobden Cemetery to ascertain if our theory that Kenny may be buried in the same plot with or one near his brother, Hugh, is correct. Do you have any other suggestions or direction?

REPLY: If you look at the webpage on Burial Sites: you will see the link for all the other cemeteries in Renfrew County; or further afield. This will allow you to search Cobden or Forster’s Falls etc. for ROSS Township ancestor graves. These gravemarker galleries of photos are invaluable and the result of hard work by Murray Pletsch and his dedicated volunteers. You will also see the link to The Cemetery Project which has been around since 2004 and has cemetery listings for all Canadian provinces and territories online. You can search there by name of person or name of cemetery. Good luck in your search. GMS.

November 6, 2013....  I think that the HWT Project is a wonderful idea! You can include my e-mail address. <> October 30, 2013.....  Love this site.  I am in BC and am researching my family -- The Beaches.  David Beach is my 4th Great Grandfather.  I am hope that someday I can find someone who has pictures and stories of the family.  My GG Grandmother was Caroline Margery Beach, born in Beachburg in 1855. Keep up the good work.  I am going to send the link to your site to a woman in Australia who is also related to the Beaches through Benjamin Beach, brother of David Beach.  Please include my email in case there are any other Beach Family members here or reading.

REPLY:  The FAMILY REGISTRY  pages will be online in  November and the BEACH family will be included. Two sections will help you in your search for facts: (1) Demographics: Census listings, Voter Lists and Gazetters; and (2) Churches: Marriage and Baptism records and the links to pictured Cemetery Gravestones. Thanks for the note Susan.

October 14,2013....  Hopefully you will find my submission appropriately prepared for purposes of the Project. If there is anything wrong or unacceptable please let me know and if possible changes can be made. About 20+ years ago I started working on the family history, starting with almost no information about my roots. My father and mother were divorced when I was young, my contacts with him were very infrequent and he died when I was 17 years old. I had few relatives and virtually no contact with them. I had never visited the Westmeath area and didn't know where it was until I started my research. I obviously have learned a lot and have shared it with my family members. During the years I have made 2 or three trips to the Westmeath area and connected with several people including a few distant cousins. One trip I visited the Westmeath government offices.  I was allowed to view the assessment and collector rolls records. This was an honor I appreciated, but I did have some concerns. These are very old records and some are frayed and torn. These are a jewel and I had a concern for heir preservation. The records have to be a very valuable tool for the HWT Project. I'm sure you are aware of these records.  Maybe some steps have been taken to preserve these gems, but if not, maybe your group could look into the matter. It would be nice if these records were put on microfilm or maybe today there are better systems on which to preserve records .......David

REPLY: I am so pleased that you have found this website and  have  submitted material about your father's family.  I am aware of the condition of the assessment and collector rolls for Westmeath Township. They are very fragile documents and you are correct in pointing out their value. As we move forward, more and more material will become part of the HWT Project. Thank you for our thoughts and submission.

September 8, 2013....Re family registry submissions.  What are your thoughts on that? I was thinking that a short account of the dispersant of the members of the 4 families that my grandparents came from would be of interest to any of the descendents across North America.

REPLY:  I  always lean towards story-telling - that approach leads the reader into the what, where, when, how, why of a family emigration and settlement in Upper Canada, etc.  Within the story  additional material as a pdf or in your case as a web link can be included.  Pictures are also important because the "...a thousand words" rule still stands. Actually my best advice to you is to pretend that you are writing a newspaper account of your family ancestors.  What are the essential and interesting parts that you should include, to make people want to read about your clan.  It is a fine line between supplying all the facts and informing the reader; while engaging the reader.

September 8, 2013....Was just looking at the electrification section and thought I'd let you know that our house was also electrified in the 1935 extension of Hydro to Westmeath. There were only 2 or 3  customers on the line between Beachburg and Westmeath at that time. Extension to our barns didn't come till after the war. The man who installed the system in the house came from Ottawa and boarded with us while doing the job. I remember  watching him standing on a step-ladder to install a ceiling light fixture. I would have been about 2 1/2 or 3 years old.
September 3, 2013... These are the articles I was hoping you could make more easily accessible to the reader.  Currently one has to drill down thru six levels in the Ross Museum website to find them. (seven if you are coming from the RCMN link). Perhaps they would give you permission to copy them to your site.  [Listing of 8 items from the Ross Museum website]....John. 

REPLY:  Thank you for your interest in gaining fuller access to township history.  The  website is one that we encourage everyone to visit and enjoy.  So many volunteer hours are devoted every year to the museum's work in the Township of Whitewater Region.  The items you list are dealt with on both sites.  Comments on ease of accessibility to materials on its site should be addressed to the Ross Museum.

August 30, 2013.... Every time I open this website I am totally amazed at the amount of historical information that has been documented here.  Thank you so much Gayle for the many hours you have devoted to Historical Westmeath Township. Our roots are embedded deep within these communities and are proud to call this place home. Your dedication to this project is much appreciated..... Linda. July 26, 2013....Editor's Note:   The Township of Whitewater Region has acknowledged this website and issued this Congratulations Certificate  Whitewater Congratulations 29072013.    We very much appreciate this affirmation and recognition from the township. GMS. June 30, 2013:...I only just spent time this afternoon going through the website and it is amazing!!  I can only imagine how much time it took to gather all the information you have on the site from all your sources and then to layout and create the website.  I think that anyone from the Westmeath/Beachburg area is going to find this website very interesting – even if you are not originally from the area I think the historical information you provide will give people interesting facts about the area as I see some people thought as I read the comments. I also want to say that the postcard was an excellent touch! You truly have done the topic justice and I am sure as people visit the site and make submissions, the information will continue to grow.  If I come across anything more directly related to information I saw on the site I will contact you. June 26,2013 ..... As an "immigrant from NB", thanks for introducing me to this local resource.  It never ceases to amaze me  how similar we are, regardless of our roots in creation. As I read, there were many times,  I could hear my ancestors orally describing life and/or being the recipient of similar  historical family/community documents. You and all who supported this idea, are to be congratulated.  Telling our human story, accepting both the similarities and differences, of each one, is true community. June 26, 2013.....Well done - a beautiful research from the history. I am from Austria and since more than 10 years I have a cottage in Westmeath and it is very interesting for me to read about the History from my preferred area. Great Job. June 25,2013.....Well done Gayle. You have done a huge amount of research! Though I am not from here, it is very interesting to read about the people and their history. It will be good to read people's submissions. A worthy project for the local Seniors to support.  Great job." June 25, 2013....I have not  studied the entire site, but at first glance one can see the monumental task that it has been. Kudos to you for  undertaking it and having the stamina to stick with it. What a wonderful correlation of  our history.  Congratulations and thank you from so many for a job extremely well done. June 24, 2013.....Wow! Great read for some of us not from this area. I especially enjoyed reading the name of S.A. Huntington.  If I am not mistaken, Huntington University in Sudbury was named after him.