I recently purchased a Cemetery Transcription publication originally produced in 1989.
I have noticed that there seems to be a general feeling that cemetery transcription publications are now more or less obsolete since the advent of the internet and more and more cemeteries and tombstone photos being available online.
While I agree that being able to view the cemetery information and tombstone photos online is a wonderful asset for research, there are also drawbacks which make the “old fashioned paper” cemetery transcription publications invaluable. Numerous tombstone photos online are difficult to read as the tombstones have eroded over time and many cemeteries have unfortunately been subjected to vandalism. As well, it is almost impossible to tell from the online tombstone photos if the tombstones are part of a family plot.
A large number of cemetery transcription publications were produced many years ago when the tombstones were still very readable and the information was usually compiled according to cemetery plot numbers, making identification of family plots an easier task for research. Also, I have noticed that some of the cemetery transcription publications also identify plots (and occupants) where no tombstone exists. Unmarked graves are usually not identified with online cemetery information. A photo of a tombstone that does not exist cannot be included with photos of the tombstones that do exist.
The fact that most cemetery transcription publications were produced many years ago is a bonus to research, not a negative, as most people doing genealogy research are not looking for recent graves.
Contrary to what the media would have us believe, all the information genealogists seek in doing research is not available online; a lot of information is still only available on paper and microfilm, leaving genealogy enthusiasts with still many avenues to explore.
Head to Beckwith Park on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022 to celebrate the county’s bounty of the harvest during a community event hosted by Lanark County and Beckwith Township. This festival features partners from the Township of Lanark Highlands showcasing its people, products and projects. Bring the kids there will be fun things there for them, too! Even better, this event is FREE!
Celebrate the harvest and take part in this fun, a community event featuring local producers, food seminars, cooking demonstrations, local musicians, historical displays and more.
It was in the 1750s that a group of sailing Spaniards returned back home to Europe, bringing with them a delicious tuber plant from South America. The tuber we know as a “potato” eventually reached Norway in the mid-18th century and became a regular part of Norse cuisine. Before the arrival of potatoes (1750s) communities had problems with crop failures, occasional famines and hard times.
All was well for a few decades and then things changed. Once again “Hard times” took its toll on Ireland. Cased by fungus-like organism blight spreading rapidly amongst the potato farmers, The Great Famine also known as the Potato Famine or the Great Hunger, was a period of mass starvation and disease in Ireland from 1845 to 1849. The worst year of the period was 1847, known as “Black ’47”. The most severely affected areas in the west and south of Ireland.
Before it ended in 1852, the Potato Famine resulted in the death of roughly one million Irish from starvation and related causes, with at least another million forced to leave their homeland as refugees. Between 1845 and 1855, at least 2.1 million people left Ireland, primarily on packet ships but also steamboats and barque sailing vessel —one of the greatest exoduses from a single island in history.
The famine was a defining moment in the history of Ireland. Its effects permanently changed the island’s demographic, political, and cultural landscape, producing an estimated two million refugees and spurring a century-long population decline.
At the height of the Famine the English were shipping as many Irish as they could to Australia or Canada, with most going to Canada. Because they were considered social refuse and traveling at government expense, the Famine Irish often came over in conditions worse than those experienced by blacks transported to America as slaves; blacks, at least, were worth money. The destitute Irish were a financial burden to the English as long as they were on their land. Their objective was to be rid of them; it didn’t really matter if they arrived in Canada dead or alive. The 6,000 Irish buried on Grosse Ile near Quebec City is testament to that.
While many Irish-American families are descendants of Famine survivors, Are you a descendant of Famine emigrants?
The hamlet of Althorpe officially came into existence when a post office was established in 1877 in the home of A. H. Norris. The post office and store served the farmers around Farren Lake, who were subsistent and added food to their kitchen table from their fishing and hunting abilities, and from their gardens, and the wild edibles in season.
As the hamlet progressed, Althorpe was served by a cheese factory, which does not exist anymore. We know that education became important to families through the existence of four other one-room schoolhouses in the area, at various times. The history of the Tysick School probably starts in 1916; as that is the date of our earliest administrative record when we see Ida & R.W. Tysick deeding a part of the lot to the School Board’.
Nicholas Lennon built the school, and as you can see here on the right, he has signed one of the planks in the building.
He wrote: Nicholas Lennon, November 30th, 1916.
This may have been the day he installed that board or the date he finished the schoolhouse.1, 2
This next picture is what the schoolhouse looks like today.3
The following article appeared in the Perth Courier dated September 23, 1921: “The trustees of S. S. No. 6 have lately invested in a new flagpole, thirty feet high, and a flag which makes quite an additional improvement to the appearance of the schoolyard. Mr. R. Tysick who erected the flagpole has also been given the contract for the building of a new woodshed this fall, all of which is progress for No. 6.” Mrs. Horrocks was the teacher.
Since local schools were sometimes the only public building in the area, they were used for more than just education. On November 28, 1921, the Honourable J. A. Stewart was holding a public meeting at this schoolhouse. It appears he was campaigning for an election that would occur the following week. His advertisement reads “A cordial invitation is extended to every elector including the ladies. God save the King. 4
In 1922 the school class consisted of seven children from three different families: Tysick, Fournier, and Dowdell. The teacher was Mrs. Horrocks.
The summer of 1922 saw the cleaning of the schoolhouse and its woodshed which included a coat of paint; the work completed by Mr. S. Renaud. Mrs. Horricks passed her examination in an agricultural course that she took during the summer, and returned to this school with new aspirations. School resumed on September 15.. 5
The school was suspended during week 2 March in 1923 because poor Mrs. Horrocks slipped and fell on the schoolhouse steps and sprained her ankle. Luckily, the steps were of wood. Had they been of stone on cement, she may have hurt herself further. However, a railing might have broken her fall! W.F. Michell was the school inspector for the County, and building inspectors for townships were not popular until later on6Right: A blurry picture of Mrs. Horrocks.
In 1953 the school had children from only four families in attendance: Tysick’s, Fournier’s, Noonan’s, and Norris. The teacher was Betty Miller. In this picture, you can see the Tysick barn in the background.7
The school was no longer used as a school beginning in 1956.8 It remained in the possession of the School Board until 1968 when it was sold to Joseph Thomson.
Nov 10, 2020 – Presentation Day – In this photo, we see the present owners Mr. & Mrs. Crawford holding their Tay Valley Heritage Properties plaque and certificate.
The Crawfords are eager to preserve our cultural heritage. Photo by David Zimmerly.
Writer of this article: Karen Prytula
Source 1 Photo by Randy & Tammy Crawford 2 David Taylor research, land abstract 3. Google Maps 4, 5, 6 Perth Courier 7, 8 South Sherbrook School Book
696 7th Concession Road Darling, Lanark Highlands, Lanark County Ontario
On Saturday, May 7, 2022, our society members, and guests enjoyed the tour and the browsing time in the Max Sutherland Memorial Library located on the lower level of the Tatlock Community Hall. Nancy Veary Jibb, the community hall volunteer, was our guest speaker. She spoke to us about the history of the hall and the acquisition of the library of our member, the late Max Sutherland.
Max Sutherland passed away unexpectedly in 2019. He was a great historian of Darling Township. His spouse and family members gifted to the people of Lanark, Max’s extended genealogy and history research.
Max Sutherland had no ancestors in Darling Township, but that did not deter his interest in the place he adopted as his second home. Max devoted many years of his life chronicling the history and the families of this place. He was also not averse to trying to literally dig up where the pioneers were buried, climbing fences, crawling through brush, over rock piles with his shovel, along with friends to try to find where the old families buried their loved ones before there were organized cemeteries.
An appointment is required to visit this library. Arrangements can be made by phoning 613-256-1737
“Max Sutherland may your love for preserving Lanark County history, family trees, those Lanark Highlands hills, and your encouragement to all who have met you or wish they had, continue to shine down on us from on high”.
Max devoted many years of his life chronicling the history and the families of this place. He visited with descendants and recorded stories and family histories, documenting for the future generations, life in Darling Township. Max had called his collection of essays “Wild Lands of the Crown – Essays on the History of Darling Township.
Sadly, he did not live to see it published but now thanks to the Tatlock Hall Historical Group, Nancy Veary Jibb, Joan Armstrong, and Pat Burnett, Max’s 246-page book has been made available to us all. For anyone, whose ancestors lived in Darling Township, this is a must-have possession.
Limited copies of this indexed book are available from Lanark County Genealogical Society lanarkgenealogy.com for $40 plus shipping.
More and more people worldwide want to connect to find their ancestors. At LCGS Genealogy Query Corners we encourage you to find others researching your ancestors, to work together to search for information on a surname or locality, and to share family history info with other users. Our corner also can be used as a place where you can ask for information from other researchers who may be tracing the same family lines. Writing a concise short paragraph that clearly defines your question will help readers understand what you want.
Example of a Good Query
Looking for information on the descendants of Thomas QUACKENBUSH Sr. who was born abt. 1836 in Drummond, Upper Canada. He was the oldest son of George QUACKENBUSH and Sarah PEEVERS. He married Mary HUBORD in 1856. They lived in Ramsay, Lanark County and were likely the parents of two sons and three daughters. Descendants lived in Leeds, New York, Michigan and elsewhere. Also researching the Bulloch, Kerr, O’Regan, Sweet and Telefer families.
RESEARCH FAMILY NAME
Andrew Boag (1792-1830) and family. Andrew was a Lanark Society Settler arriving on the Broke in 1820. Seeking any information about this family and related families. Andrew Boag arrived with his wife Mary Ann Lawson Boag (1798-1887) Children: John (1821-1901) married Flora Barr in 1850. Elizabeth (1823-1883), and Margaret (1828-1897) married Alexander Lawson (1822 Scotland-1887). Settled on Con 6 Lot 11 E in Lanark.
Marianne Tripp Punshon
My 4x great grandparents Stanley (AKA Sandy) Briggs, his wife (likely named Catherine) and their son Thomas set sail from Dublin on 10 May 1819 on the ship Columbia as emigrant settlers, heading for Perth Military Settlement. The family was settled on NE 1/2 Lot 11 Conc 8 Bathurst Township (McVeigh’s sawmill). Also on the same ship was the family of Thomas and Elizabeth [Faris] Gunness, (settled at Harper) including daughter Jane who would marry Thomas Briggs on 30 Aug 1824, Church of England, Perth. Jane Gunness and Thomas Briggs are my 3x great-grandparents. I have been researching the intermarried families of 1851 South Sherbrooke Township, where another set of 3x great grandparents settled 1830’s at Maberly: Thomas Hughes and Margaret [Livingstone]
CAMPBELL, SASH AND DOOR COMPANY (Lanark Village)
I wonder if there is any resource available that has a history on the Sash and Door Factory (planning mill) that was in Lanark village at the corner of Owen and Georges, PRIOR to the fire of 1959. It is often referred to as the -Campbell Sash and Door company, and I know, through findings in the Perth Courier, that my ancestor Archibald Campbell erected such a mill. The mill would have been owned by Archibald, then son William Weir Campbell, then son-in-law Robert Lawson, and the son James Weir Campbell. Then sold to Archibald Affleck in 1888-89, then to John W. Stewart in 1897. Anyways, I am wondering if this mill in Lanark Village prior to 1959 was the same one or the site of the same one.
What would be Thomas Doyle‘s year and if possible, date of death? Was he buried in St. John the Baptist Church like his wife Mary Kelly (died May 23rd, 1879, buried May 25th, 1879)? Born about 1779 Wexford Ireland give or take a few years and died probably late 1869’s or 1870 (no longer on the census, 1871). Local Area: Drummond Township. 3rd Concession, lot # 17.
I would love to find a picture of my great-great-grandmother, Ann Chambers Dunlop. Her husband is James Dunlop 1824-1897, Carleton Place
I am a direct descendant of 2 “Lanark society” families: Francis and Janet Hamilton (Lesmahagow emigration society, 1820); and John and Elizabeth Leckie (Parkhead emigration society, 1821). Both families pioneered near McDonald’s Corners and became connected through the 1846 marriage of George Hamilton and Mary Leckie. I have a background in history and librarianship and possess a keen interest in genealogy generally, and particularly concerning the 1820-1821 emigration society settlers, this interest is enlivened by my family connection. I also possess a limited edition, privately published book (400+ pages), The Leckie Clan 1778-1994, which may be of interest to some LCGS members. Largely through this book, but also through other readings and research, I already know a lot, but I’m keen to learn and share more from and with other like-minded people. The story of the Scottish emigration in particular never fails to fascinate. Naturally enough, I suppose, I love all things Lanark Co. and it is a favourite day-trip destination.
I have come across a real stumbling block, and have looked at Family Tree Search, Ancestry and My Heritage, and cannot seem to find any mention of my GGGgrandmother – I do not even know her name. If you could direct me to where I may be looking This is what I have: Me, Father – Donald James GFather – Ephraim Wallace James (b.1910 d. 2001) GGfather – Enoch George James (b.1867 d.1951) GGGfather – George James (b.1827 d.1896 m. 1847) 5.1 Annie Harris b.1824 Ramsay Township Lanark, Ontario 5.1.1 her father was William Harris (b. 1790 d.1861 Ramsay Township ) 1861 Showing 5 daughters, 2 were born in Ireland, came over from Wexford Ireland 1817, had 3 daughters in Ontario Canada (Ramsay Township). It looks like 6 came over (husband/wife and 2 daughters, the other two could have been brothers or parents). Cannot find any mention of the wife. Can’t even find birth or baptism records for the three born in Ontario, let alone land grants etc.
KENNY and THOMPSON
Arthur Kenny b1802 – d1887 m. Barbara Ann Thompson b1814? – d1895 Arthur is a lock labour starting at Sly locks 1836 but maybe earlier. Poonamale locks, Edmonds lock and finished at Jones Falls in 1854 where he bought property beside brothers in Leeds. I am looking for any information about the Barbara Thompson family. Where they married and are there any records for their first five children born around the Smiths Falls area.
I am interested in the formation, recruitment and role of the Lanark Militias formed in the early 1820s. How were the local militias formed, recruited, managed, trained and armed in the 1820s and 1830s? What was their role in relationship to the standing army? Would the closest regular army personnel have been based in Perth?
Marianne Tripp Punshon
John Lawson (1775-1869) and family. John was a Lanark Society Settler arriving on the Broke in 1820. Seeking any information about this family and related families. Family members are wife Elizabeth Somerville (1779-1850) and children Mary Ann Lawson Boag (1798-1887) James (1799- 1889) Jennette (1803-1883) Robert (1806-1892) Bella (1815-1901) John (1816- 1903) and Peter (1819-1895). Bella (Elizabeth or Isabella) married John Robertson in 1863. Another son, Alexander (1822-1889) was born in Lanark. Local Area: Settled on Con 6 Lot 11 W in Lanark.
Marianne Tripp Punshon
To make contact with the family of Samuel Lett and I believe his wife was Agnes Creighton. One of the stories we had was that when Ralph and Eliza Lett came to Canada in 1847, they “captured” the smaller brother Thomas and brought him with them to Canada. By doing this they were sure their parents (Thomas and Eliza Lett) and the rest of the family would follow. Ralph and Eliza proceeded to York, now Toronto, but left Thomas with a “cousin” Samuel Lett in Lanark. When the rest of the family came in1849 they settled in the Eganville area and Ralph, Eliza and Thomas joined them there. So now I am trying to make a connection with the Samuel Lett family to find the family connection to Thomas Lett.
MCEWAN MCEWEN BRINDEL & BRINDLE
I am looking for information on this family, specifically vital records if possible and or land contracts. Cannot find any on ancestry except the 1851 census who proved they lived there. At that time, they were probably pioneers. Local area: Carleton, Beckwith, Drummond
I’ve always had an interest in my family history, in particular the McDougall families of North Sherbrooke.
I am interested in finding out about my family’s heritage in Lanark county which includes the Mcnicol, the Machan and the Somerville
MOORE STEPHENS CHAMBERS
Hi there, I’m happy to share about my family. I connected with you all from 2010-12, and I’d like to reconnect. William Moore (born ca 1800 Ireland) and Winnifred Stephens of Maberly, Ontario (South Sherbrooke / Lanark South) had Thomas Moore (Reeve of South Sherbrooke) who married Margaret Chambers. I have a picture of Winnifred Moore sent from a cousin in the U.S., but so far no definitive birth records or date from Ireland or picture for Thomas Moore their son, even though he was greatly involved in politics, as Reeve, according to the Perth Courier, on the death of his son William E. Moore in 1891. Another mystery is Thomas Moore, who died 04 Jan 1887, was apparently buried on the same day as his brother John Moore (who died 4 days apart, 30 Dec 1886) but Thomas and his wife are nowhere to be found. John is buried at Laidley Cemetery in Maberly. More info on my family history can be found at my website under Moore and related Lanark names: http://www.thatsrelative.com Happy to share whatever photos and a letter I have with Thomas’s signature and many of others who petitioned to protect a chapel on his father William’s land in the 1850s. I’d like to visit the local archives and museum this summer. That’s it for now
Seeking information on immigration to Canada as well as parents of David Murray birth 1798. Born 1798 Perth, Scotland; Death 1868 Perth, Ontario and Married to Catherine Stewart.
O’BRIEN (BRIEN) (CRAIG) (KEMP
How did Janet O’Brien (later Brien, then Craig then Kemp) get from Lanark to Winnipeg, Manitoba by1878? Background: In later life, she went by the name Janet Craig Kemp. Janet was born Janet O’Brien in Hopetown, on 11 March 1864, to parents George and Martha (Dunn) O’Brien. She eventually dropped the O from her name but lived (as a servant) for a while with a Craig family (at Middleville?) after her father’s death in September 1869. Later she adopted the Craig name. By 1878 she somehow moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba. Perhaps there was (Craig) family there? In Winnipeg, by 1988 or 89, she married William Andrew Kemp, then moved to Vancouver, BC. She died in Nanaimo, BC on 16 January 1960. Much of this information came from Max Sutherland. He later may have discovered how Janet got to Winnipeg. Perhaps his book mentions that. I know most of her life history after Winnipeg, but anything else would be welcome.
Seeking information regarding the family of Samuel Ritchie (1824-1914) and Phoebe Eliza Blanchard (1831-1900). They were apparently married in 1852, she had resided in New York, but the couple settled in St. Joseph, Berrien Co, Michigan, USA. Unknown whether Phoebe was born in Canada or how this couple met. Samuel ran a sawmill in Michigan. Samuel was the second eldest son of John Ritchie Jr (1793-1864) and Mary Blair Wilson (1796-1857) of Lot 10 Con 1, Bathurst Twp (Scotch Line). Time range 1824-1914
Seeking photographs of children of John Ritchie (1793-1864) and Mary Blair Wilson (1796-1857). This couple married Nov 7, 1820 and resided Lot 10 Con 1 Bathurst Twp. Lanark Co. Eleven children survived to adulthood. Samuel Ritchie (1824-1914) md to Phoebe Eliza Blanchard — moved to US about 1851, settled in Michigan Janet Ritchie (unmarried) (1827-1880); Jane Ritchie (1828-1859) md Joseph White; Wm Ritchie (unmarried) (1829-1862); George Ritchie (1832-1895) md Jessie Nichol, Bathurst Twp.; Robert Ritchie (1833-1888) md Mary Mason Miller, Bathurst Twp.; Susan Ritchie (1837-1890) md John Menzies (brother of her sister-in-law Jane Menzies), Bathurst Twp. I have photos of the other four children and am willing to share. Mary Ritchie (b 1821) md to John Campbell, Proton Twp, Grey County; John Ritchie Jr. (1823-1906) md to Jane Menzies, S. Sherbrooke Twp; James Ritchie (1835-1911) md to Eliza Byers (my great-grandparents), Bromley Twp, Renfrew County; and Anne Ritchie (1840-1884) md to Wm. Hendry of Brockville Ontario Local Area: Bathurst Township
1832-1868? Darling Township . I am seeking information about my 2ggmother, Frances or Fanny Stretch, born at or near Kingston 28 January 1832, daughter of John Stretch and Mary Cook; married Andrew James Napier 1828-1898 on 24 January 1851; I have records of 9 children: Mary (William Shane/Andrew Jenkins) 1852-1922; Catherine (John Elliott) 1855-1917; John (Jane Camelon) 1865-1918; Andrew 1859-?; Thomas (Euphemia “Famie” Wark) 1860-1949 (my ggparents); Fannie (William Camelon) 1862-1915; William (Sarah Ann “Annie” Camelon) 1864-1955; David (Christena Ferguson) 1866-1915; and Richard (Amy Jane Scott) 1868-1927. It appears Fanny may have died giving birth to Richard but that is one of the things I would like to verify; he ended up with her parents in Minnesota while the others apparently remained in Canada, at least until they were adults—Fannie and William died in Minnesota. John, Fannie and William were all married to their step-siblings, children of their step-mother Sarah Pretty Camelon Napier (my double 2ggaunt).
Tracing Alexander Thompson family settled Drummond about 1822 from Scotland. Son Alexander was born in 1830 in Drummond. Alexander the son’s mother was Janet on his birth record.
On your website, you have a record: -Naval Artillery. Tysick, Joseph, married, England, 2 children, served 4 yrs. Got N.E. ½ 8 in 5th. Bathurst, in 1817, which had been formerly granted to one of Glengarry Fencibles. Then you refer to my Tesco website which expired years ago. Please refer to “Tysick.htm” instead. http://www.tyzack.net/ Local Area: Bathurst 1817
Seeking information about Elizabeth Ward, 2nd child of Patrick Ward and Anne Keating, Concession 1, Lot 7, Drummond Township. Unknown marriage/death/burial dates & places. Also seeking contact from any descendants. Birth – 1828, unknown death date. Local Area: Concession 1, Lot 7, Drummond Township https://freepages.rootsweb.com/~jimward52/genealogy/ward.htm
Seeking information – death dates and burial location(s), Edward Ward & wife Anastasia Molloy plus any children. Arrived 1824. They owned land kitty-corner to son Patrick, Concession 2, Lot 6 and next to Concession 1, Lot 8P. They also owned Concession 1, Lot 26P, in Montague Township & sold it to (son?) Thomas Ward in 1843. Also seeking contact from any descendants, Edward Ward & Anastasia Molloy both born in Ireland in about 1873, arrival in Lanark County in 1824. Edward died sometime after 1843. No death/location. Local Area: Drummond Township and Montague Township https://freepages.rootsweb.com/~jimward52/genealogy/ward.htm
WARNOCK, CAMPBELL, RANGER, McCULLOCH, FERGUSON, WHITE
I am interested in Warnock, Campbell, Ranger, McCulloch, Ferguson, White families from Fallbrook, Elphin & McDonalds Corners and Maberly area
During Beckwith Heritage Day on June 8th, 2019, a special and exciting event took place. Beckwith Township now has a replica of a Lanark County One-Room Schoolhouse.
Robert McDonald, a well-known photographer from Carleton Place followed this heritage event throughout the various stages of construction. LCGS opens our video highlighting this event with two of Robert’s photos that capture the schoolhouse in various stages of construction.
A special thank you to our President, for producing this video of memories.
Place: St. James the Apostle Anglican Church, 12 Harvey Street, Perth Ontario
Time: 1:30-3:30 pm
Program at 2 pm
Please wear a mask to protect others.
Cost of book is $30 cash or cheque to Lanark County Genealogical Society
Street parking on Harvey Street or at the Court House
Noreen writes of her adventures vacationing in the 1940s at Richards’ Castle, Snow Road and her time as the “Pigtail Princess”.
A great promoter of the Lanark County Maple Syrup industry, Noreen has a series of stories for children starring Sammy Sap Man and his forest friends. As well she has written about life from the perspective of her little chihuahua Ruffy.
This is a lovely collection of stories from a time that many remember and look back on fondly from a lady who says she is not a writer, but a storyteller. Fortunately, this storyteller has written down her memories.
Writer, Noreen Tyers grew up in the 1940s in the Eastview section of Ottawa. She has authored many stories related to that time from her truly clear memories of situations and how she experienced life at that time. In her early adulthood, when her children were small, the family moved to a century farm in Lanark Township. This resulted in new adventures to write about as she learned to live in the country.
The price is $30 each, and shipping charges are extra. Order your copy in advance of the upcoming Book launch and come to the Launch for a signature by Author!
Brent Eades, created the first version of what is now the Almonte.com site back in 1995, a time when few people had home Internet. One of the most popular parts of the site – going back over 20 years now – has been the ‘historic photo archive’. Now numbering over 700 these photos of Almonte and the area start in the mid 19th century and were collected over years by Michael Dunn. They make up a visual history that few towns our size can boast, and I find them endlessly fascinating.
The Millstone is a community newspaper for the Municipality of Mississippi Mills
https://millstonenews.com The Millstone is a volunteer-run newspaper for the Mississippi Mills area. Publisher: Edith Cody-Rice; Proprietors: Edith Cody-Rice, Brent Eades shares a number of genealogy and history research resources.
Shared by the Millstone News, 2022, for genealogists and historians alike.
When many of us older folk went to school, we began to learn cursive writing in Grade 3. Every day we learned a newly written letter of the alphabet and then we practiced combinations of letters to improve this skill. The teacher wrote many assignments on the blackboard and we knew how to read cursive writing and copy our notes into our scribblers. The local fairs had printing and writing competitions for the best handwriting of a poem.
Those who attended teacher’s college in the 1950s were expected to complete assignments in large printing, small printing and in cursive writing for our English master. We had to obtain 5/5 for three weeks in a row or continue to practice until our instructor was satisfied.
The sentence that was used was:
“The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.” See sample
I never received more than 4/5 for my cursive writing as my instructor did not like the way I wrote – “br”.
This sentence contains all the letters of the alphabet and for cursive writing it contains some of the more difficult joining combinations such as “qu”, “br”, “ox” , “ov” and “zy”.
As a teacher, I had to learn to write on the blackboard and make sure our lines of writing were straight across the board. We often spent many hours lining all our blackboards with straight lines done with white pencil crayons.
A scientific study reported in “Frontiers in Psychology (Dec. 2020) looked at brain scans of young adults and 12-year-olds and found that cursive writing and drawing used brain areas that ”provide the brain with optimal conditions for learning”. This was not found when the subjects were typing. Other research studies have shown that cursive writing stimulates the brain. It encourages left to right movement, helps build neural pathways and increases mental effectiveness. This skill development aids the left to right progression needed for reading and fine motor skills. These are all important skills for children to learn. (New American Cursive, Iris Hatfield, 2007-2011, Memoria Press)
I taught my grandchildren to do cursive writing. When the company that my granddaughter was working for discovered her beautiful cursive writing, they paid her to sign and address over 300 Christmas cards. Both grandchildren have the ability to read old documents in cursive writing.
We have copies of several letters that were exchanged between John Gemmill (1774 – 1847) and Ann Weir (1781-1848) who settled on Lot 13, Concession 8, Lanark Township, Lanark County. These letters are dated from 1822 to 1832.
Here’s a sample of a letter John sent to his wife, who was still in Scotland, giving her instructions as to what to bring and telling her to get signed up with an immigration society.
Our family also has several original letters written to James S. Paterson (1793-1866) and his wife Mary Dumbreck Morrison (1794 – 1879) who emigrated from Scotland to Ramsay Township, Lanark County in 1821. Some of the letters were sent from Scotland and others originated from other places in Canada.
Note: Copies of these Gemmill letters and their transcriptions have been donated to the Middleville Museum. Copies of the Paterson letters and their transcriptions will soon be donated to the North Lanark Museum.
Will individuals of the next generation be able to transcript these old documents or will they have to hire someone else to do this work?