2017 Heritage Bus Tour of Beckwith Township

The 2017 Heritage Bus Tour on September 9th will be a guided tour made possible by Barr Bus Lines Ltd. Pakenham, Ontario.

We’re stepping back in time to Beckwith in its days of yore! Join Beckwith Historians and the Society’s Genealogists on this guided historical tour throughout our township. We’ll hear about young Ashton, Political Blacks’ Corners, Prosperous Prospect, Military Red Coats of Franktown, take a House Tour of “Rev Smith’s Manse”, Earlier Settler families, Rural One Room Schools, Annie E. Duff, Beckwith’s Photographer and Painter, and more. Enjoy the catered BBQ; visit the displays, hear our Guest Speaker local author John McKenty and tap your toes the entertainment.

The bus will leave from the Beckwith Township Recreation Complex at 9:30 a.m. sharp. The complex opens at 9:00 a.m., allowing time to register for the event or take a few minutes’ walk on the Goodwood Marsh Nature Trail while waiting for the buses to arrive.

2017 Heritage Bus Tour of Beckwith Township
September 9th, 2017
Beckwith Recreation Complex (seating for 100 people)
1319 9th Line Beckwith
Carleton Place, Ontario  K7C 3P2

  • Bus Tour leaves 9:30 a.m.
  • BBQ lunch at 12:30 p.m. (The Waterfalls Catering)

Lunch time programming includes:

  • Key Note Speaker: Local Author John McKenty
  • Commemorative Sand Ceremony, dedicated to Beckwith Township Early Settlers
  • Farm related displays, family photos, farm photo, some historical artifacts and treasures from life on the farm
  • Beckwith Township Display with opportunity to purchase their Beckwith History Collection of Books
  • Author Linda Seccaspina will have her book “Tales of Carleton Place” and others available for purchase
  • Lanark County Museums Network Displays

We may even get a chance to hear Irish Traditional music and taste some black blood puddin’, colcannon, soda bread, barmbrack, or apple crumble cake from recipes that provided nourishment on the table in an Irish household during the 1800s and 1900s.

Buy Tickets

Click below to buy your tickets online:

Photo Gallery:  Blending Beckwith Past & Present

Lanark County Genealogical Society 2017 Organizational Chart







President: Jayne Munro-Ouimet
Vice President & Privacy Officer: John Morrow
Corporate Secretary: Janet Dowdall
Treasurer: Frances Rathwell
Director of Communications and Marketing: Karen Prytula
Director of Membership Networks: Fran Cooper
Director of Community Outreach: Don Cooper
Director of Research and Administration: Shirley Sommerville
Director of Society Development: the Board of Directors 

President’s Message 2016 Closing Remarks

A Year in Review- 2016

It has been a busy and amazing 2016 for LCGS and I would like to share a few highlights on what we have accomplished thus far.

We can say “LCGS had a great year”, but our success is really measured in how well we support our projects, users and our contributions to preserving Lanark County Heritage and Genealogies for generations to come.

Our monthly meeting guest speakers, with their varied topics, resulted in interesting meetings and a gain in knowledge on the endeavors of our forefathers.  They introduced to the new generations, the need for hard work, the art of bartering and trade, skilled labour, festive food tables, family values and fun that make us Lanark County folks unique and with a language of our own.  Ehhhh!

Our volunteers, Shirley Sommerville, Helen Benda and Walter Brown provided excellent hands-on training and direct user support to the 100+ researchers that frequented our Genealogy Resource Centre in the Heritage House Museum at Smith Falls.  We thank you.

Many folks of the county and visitors to the area took advantage of the various learning opportunities as our special events committee experienced new ventures in promoting our Society through active community event participation.

Throughout the year this committee of volunteers could be found exchanging historical facts and stories at our displays in Perth, Carleton Place, Maberly, Glen Tay, Smiths Falls, Almonte, Beckwith and Lanark Highlands.

Our volunteer participation at Pioneer Days, the Kilt Run, Expos and fairs, Harvest Feast, Heritage Symposiums, Genealogy Conferences and Community Speakers Series brings a much needed exposure and the opportunity to promote our Society.

One thing I learn while studying Conference Management & Event Planning at the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management is that every event and every day brings something new. So get out there and enjoy what you do.  I know I do! Preserving Lanark County heritage is my passion and moving back to Lanark County just fit in.

Our special event, Perth Heritage Bus Tour, and the many hours of research, planning, marketing and follow-up provided additional exposure of our Society to the county council members and their organizational structured teams on the need for preserving our County heritage and that our Society has a positive effect on the Heritage and Tourism industries. It is to Karen Prytula, Sylvia Pék, Janet & Brain Dowdall, Linda Secasspina, Steve Yaver and Frances Rathwell that we owe our thanks.

It is through the dedicated efforts of Helen Benda, Shirley Somerville, Walter Brown, Ron Lyons and the Heritage House Museum staff that the Genealogy Resource Centre continues to flourish. We have impressed the County and Regional Councillors!

Our eldest, Archives Lanark has moved out and on-word to new experiences in life. As I gaze through the crystal ball I see a successful future and a short message-Remember the doors to home are always open.

The society continues grow at a rapid pace.  Our student Janelle Richardson from Smiths Falls District Collegiate Institute, contributions to one of our upcoming Publications “Notable Folks of Lanark County” has gained her the required community service contributions for her High School Diploma.  It is my wish and that of all our members that Janelle’s interest in furthering her career by joining the bachelor of Arts in history program at Trent University is successful. LCGS will be quite interested in learning more on your archives management, or museum studies successes and your offer to continuing researching Lanark County Notable folks is one that I as project leader cannot pass up.

Thank you to the 2016 Boards Officers and Directors for their efforts over the past year and who provided more than 3725 hours of service in 2016.  They are: Janet Dowdall (Past President and Corporate Secretary), Frances Rathwell (Treasurer), Don Cooper (Director), Frances Cooper (Director) Karen Prytula (Director), Shirley Somerville (Director) a John Morrow (Vice President) and Councilor Brian Dowdall (Advisor and Beckwith Township Heritage Committee liaison to the President).

The upcoming year will continue to be busy. Already the wheels are turning as the volunteer team plans the Sept 9th, 2017 Heritage Tour in Beckwith Township.  There will be other opportunities throughout the county as the word is out there LCGS can put on quite a display.

The election of the 2017-2018 Board of  Directors takes place this afternoon and my current term of office has come to a close I thank you for the opportunity to service as your President and to give back to the county that no matter where my life roads take me—will always be my home.


Lanark County Genealogical Society Celebrates it’s 35th year

35th Anniversary – Saturday, October 1, 2016

The 35th Anniversary Celebration included an exciting 200th Anniversary component, the donation of an early settler’s Family Heirloom to the Beckwith Heritage Committee for perpetual keeping.

The Kerfoot Family Bible

Time sure does fly when you are having fun! Waterfall BBQ catered lunch was enjoyed by all.  The many activities included historical and antique exhibits, family history research assistance, readings by local authors Arlene Stafford Wilson and Linda Secasspina, and the awards and recognition presentation ceremony for the Lanark County Pioneer Families Humanitarian Award, Long Standing Community Service Recognition, Dedicated Volunteer and the Honorary Life Memberships Awards.

This event took place at the Beckwith Township Municipal Office Complex, five minutes south of Carleton Place on Highway #15

The 35th anniversary celebration was organized and presented by the society’s Board of Directors and sponsored by the Beckwith Township Council.



2016 Lanark County Plowing Match and Settlers Heritage Day

A Tay Valley Township Signature 200th Anniversary Event, Saturday, August 20, 2016

2016 Lanark County Plowing Match Poster
Click to enlarge poster

The 2016 Lanark County Plowing Match will include an exciting 200th Anniversary component, the Settlers Heritage Day, a family oriented, entertaining celebration of the first settlers to the area, their lives and their contribution to the founding and development of this community, and the agriculture farm sector.

All ages of the family will enjoy a fun, interactive tour of our area’s 200 Anniversary, our history and our farm community. Come for the real-maple-syrup pancake breakfast from 7:00 to 9:00am, and stay on to enjoy the many activities of the annual Plowing Match, farm displays, historical and antique exhibits, family history research assistance, fence building, sheep shearing, blacksmithing, local entertainers, and presentation ceremony for the Legacy Farm anniversary certificates.  For the children there will also be wagon rides, the Paddling Puppeteer, miniature animal farm, Story Corner, First Nations Drumming, colouring table, and other play activities.

This event will take place at the Cameron family property, 2677 Scotch Line, in Tay Valley Township, five minutes south-west of Perth on Highway #10, from 9:00am to 4:00pm.

The annual Lanark County Plowing Match is organized by the Lanark County Plowmen’s Association.  Settlers Heritage Day in 2016 is presented by the 200th Anniversary Working Group of Tay Valley Township.

For more information

Contact: Tay Valley Township
Clare Dwyer (613) 267 5353, ext. 133 events&promotions@tayvalleytwp.ca
David Taylor at (613) 264 0094 deftconsult@storm.ca

For information on Tay Valley Township’s celebration and legacy activities, for our Perth Military Settlement’s 200th Anniversary please visit: www.tayvalleytwp.ca.

Hidden Treasures at Archives Lanark

At a recent general meeting of the LCGS, Archives Lanark was asked to show some “Hidden Treasures at the Archives” since there are some collections that are quite specific and so only pertain to a few researchers.

The first one chosen was the Ellen Foster collection which was one of the very first we received and is still in the metal bookcase it arrived in. It is in the back room used for documents from the Land Records. Ellen worked for years collecting family records in a group sheet format in 3 ring binders covering such families as Foster and Dillabaugh. A surprise is the Index for the Wills in Leeds and Grenville from 1821 to 1985 which she must have had photocopied.

Then there is the Delmar Dunlop fondsan eclectic collection of everything from photos in early Glasgow, Lanark Village and Carleton Place to family histories. Of special interest is the Cummins Rural Directory map that lists the landowners in 1920 in Ramsay and adjoining townships.

There are 18 large binders of documentation from the research of Scott Shane who lives in Seattle WA but traveled to the Pakenham Township area to find his Shane, Bayne and Ellis ancestors. He published a large book on the family which he donated to us but the next year he brought all the binders containing copied pages from records from North Dakota and other states as well as Lanark County since his family wasn’t interested and there was a better chance someone here might be. Due to lack of space the binders are stored off site but can be retrieved if someone finds their family in the published book.

A unique set of photos is found in the Ed Carbonell collection. He was a well-known musician all over the Ottawa Valley who hoped to publish a book of photos of people he’d played with -Ward Allen, Mac Beattie and Joe Brown. However he gave up on the idea and gave us the books of photos which we indexed after grouping them under fiddlers, step dancers, etc.

The Tweedsmuir Histories of the Women’s Institutes form a major part of our collection. For half a century, the curators of each branch wrote up histories of the farms and villages in their area and kept scrap books of the community activities. There used to be 17 branches in South Lanark and 11 in North Lanark but so many have disbanded that now there are 4 and 2 respectively. There is so much information available now online and so many women working full time with children to care for that a social group of neighbours is not a priority any more.  We have collected all minute books and histories available so early photos and stories are often found there. Wendy Roberts, a volunteer, has spent hours indexing the names in the books.

As part of the Land Records, there are 2 books listing the sale of land to the B&O Railway as it passed from Carleton Place, north through Ramsay & Pakenham in 1861 & 62.

The Poll Books of the North Riding of Lanark for elections in 1863 (Bell & Shaw) and all of Lanark in 1872(Rosamond & Caldwell) arrived as part of the Land Records. They are useful because they list the street name or lot & Concession of each voter. This was before the secret ballot since every vote was recorded.

The Viola Reid and Hilda Geddes collections represent decades of work by dedicated women when everything was hand written but they recorded amazing amounts of records before we were restricted by privacy concerns. Viola’s work was mostly in the Pakenham Township area and Hilda lived in Snow Road so hers covers the far west of Lanark County and into Frontenac. She also published the book “The Canadian Mississippi River” after she was 80 years old.

Barbara Griffith is a more modern researcher who has volumes of work in North & South Sherbrooke Townships as well as some family histories.

So there is still some luck as to whether someone else has worked on your family but visitors coming to Archives Lanark usually find something of interest when they visit.

Submitted by Marilyn Snedden    2015 Chair of Archives Lanark Board of Directors