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  • Ontario, Canada

Voter Lists & Westmeath Township Council

The Right to Vote

These early lists of eligible voters are mostly made up of male names; with the few exceptions of listed eligible women who were property owners – often because the woman was widowed.  The right to vote was tied to the ownership of land.

The history of the Women’s Suffragette Movement in Canada, women’s property rights and the right to vote in the various provinces, is best reviewed by scrolling through the appropriate years on this comprehensive listing done by the “Nellie McClung Foundation”: http://www.ournellie.com/womens-suffrage/history-of-womens-rights.

Early Westmeath Township Voter Lists by Year

Pembroke Observer & Upper Ottawa Advertiser, January 15, 1886

1893 Township of Westmeath Voter List

1894 Township of Pontiac Voter List– Pontiac County is across the Ottawa River in western Quebec and Westmeath Twp. residents went back and forth frequently, commercially and socially, so it is included here for interests’ sake

1894 District of Westmeath Voter List

1896 Voter List, Twp of Westmeath

1906 Township of Westmeath Voter List

1909 Township of Westmeath Voters’ List

1935 Voter List Westmeath Township

1940 Voter List Westmeath Township

1981 Westmeath Poll 167

Westmeath Council Newspaper Clippings

Pembroke Observer & Upper Ottawa Advertiser. January 29, 1886
Pembroke Observer & Upper Ottawa Advertiser, February 5, 1886
The Pembroke Observer & Upper Ottawa Advertiser. Friday, December 28, 1888
The Pembroke Observer & Upper Ottawa Advertiser, Dec. 28, 1888.
1899 Renfrew County Township Election Results. Pembroke Standard, January 3, 1899.

Law Enforcement

In the early years of settlement, law enforcement was hit and miss until an organized system was put in place at the county level. Before Renfrew County matured to the point of putting that structure in place,  culprits and their accusers  came to their own settlements, stood before travelling Justices of the Peace or used the court at Perth, Lanark County.

The constables who assisted the sheriffs of the judicial district of Bathurst and of the later counties of Lanark and Renfrew in maintaining the law were once part time officers.  Sheriff of the two united counties from 1852 to 1866 and of Lanark County from 1866 to 1903 was James Thompson.  His predecessor for ten years had been Andrew Dickson of Pakenham.  Sheriff Thompson, first editor and one-time owner of the Perth Courier and county sheriff for over fifty years, lived until 1912 and the age of 100.

Local magistrates of the district at the middle period of Andrew Dickson’s regime numbered forty-three, three at present Renfrew county points and forty in the Lanark area.  Constables appointed for Lanark and Renfrew counties for the depression year of 1858 at the spring General Quarter Sessions of the Peace numbered one hundred and thirty-two.  Taken from carletonplacelocalhistory.

Westmeath County Constables were:
Baird, William
Beaupry, John
Buchannan, James
Hazelton, John
Keyes, William
Sharp, William
Tucker, George A.
Pembroke Observer & Upper Valley Advertiser, Friday December 28, 1888.

In 1940 the local electoral registrar for LaPasse was Edouard Gervais. The national federal election of 1940 would prove an important one because the world was at war and the conscription crisis was on the horizon.

1940 Voter Registration Card. Courtesy of  Jessie Bromley’s son Keith Bromley.

With the Second World War raging in Europe, the Canadians at home were also seeing changes. Everyday shopping for family necessities now required the use of stamps from Ration Books issued to every man, woman and child. To the housewife this meant juggling how best to use the stamps strategically to feed everyone well. These ration books  are from the Garnet and Jessie Bromley household on the Bromley Line of Westmeath Township, submitted by their son Keith Bromley.

Front cover, inside front and back cover of a Bromley family Canadian Ration Book.
Canadian Ration Stamps used for shopping for rationed foods.