News

Come to Almonte Old Town Hall on Sunday Sept. 23rd, 2018 for a Sunday afternoon Stone Fence Theatre Matinee of “I Come from the Valley! Tales and Times of Joan Finnigan” sponsored the Lanark County Genealogical Society

Lanark County Genealogical Society hosts the Stone Fence Theatre as they present their new musical of 2018 – I Come from the Valley! Tales and Times of Joan Finnigan, by Playwright Ish Theilheimer, with Johanna Zomers, directed by Chantal Elie-Sernoskie.  Date Sunday Sept. 23rd, 2018 at 1:30 pm at the Old Town Hall in Almonte, ON

This all-new musical brings to life the stories that the Valley’s most illustrious author, Joan Finnigan, collected from Valley old-timers as well as the tumultuous times she lived through. Joan  was the daughter of one of the NHL’s first super-stars, Frank Finnigan, and she was raised in Roaring Twenties Ottawa. Her parents came from Shawville, which was her second home as a child, and there she absorbed the Valley’s story-telling tradition. She published 28 books.

In the mid-’60s she suddenly became a single mother of three and set out to raise them on what she could earn as a freelance writer. She had a huge success with the script she wrote for NFB film Best Damned Fiddler from Calabogie to Kaladar, which became Canada’s Film of the Year.

Joan quickly became a Canadian literary celebrity in the ’70s but turned from that to focus on what really drove her – collecting oral histories from the Valley’s old-timers before their stories died with them. Always outspoken and often controversial, Joan, herself, was a legend. The play follows her life and work in story and song – most of the songs set to traditional Celtic tunes in light of Joan’s Irish roots.

The songs and dialogue in the show are drawn, as much as possible, from Joan Finnigan’s works and words, including stories, poetry and personal interviews. The music is Celtic and Irish in flavour, with most of the songs based on traditional Irish fiddle and pipe tunes. Musical accompaniment is by the Donohue Family of Douglas – Aidan (17), Mhari (15), Hannah (13), Kieran (10), and their mother Siobheann, who is a member of Lakefield, Ontario’s famous Leahy family. All are multi-instrumentalists and born show people.

Stone Fence Theatre favourite and Ottawa Valley’s famed vocalist Fran Pinkerton assumes the title role of Joan Finnigan. Cast of Stone Fence Theatre veterans and new faces.

Almonte Old Town Hall
Sunday September 23rd, 2018
(seating for 200 people)
14 Bridge Street,
Almonte, ON K0A 1A0

Doors Open at 1:30 pm

  • Refreshment Buffet at intermission (Leatherworks Catering)

Buy Tickets
$45.00 CAD is the cost per ticket and includes applicable taxes
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Electronic funds transfer is available, please contact: president@lanarkgenealogy.com

 

A High Five to a Young Researcher

A young boy in the US has been doing his own genealogy research, and we received this nice note from his mother. We have indeed added the suggested resource in question to our Genealogy Research Links page. Thanks Garrett!

Just wanted to let you know that your genealogy page (https://lanarkgenealogy.com/research-tools/genealogy-research-links/) has been helpful. My son (8 years old, 3rd grade) is working on a family tree project for his Social Studies class. (I loved doing this project as a kid!)
I’ve been helping him do some research, and just wanted to let you know this guide from Maryville University was a big help to us, too: http://online.maryville.edu/online-masters-software-development/developing-your-family-tree-with-genealogy-software/

I thought you might want to include it on your page? My son, Garrett, found it. If you add it, let me know! I’d love to show him!

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

A High Five to an International Team of Young Students

We recently received a lovely note from an international (USA) educator:

“I’m a mentor and tutor for a small group of kids in my local area. My class and I wanted to give you a shout and send you some virtual “high-fives” on your page, Genealogy Research Links. We enjoyed your genealogy resources and bookmarked them for our family tree project. 🙂

“While looking for more resources, the kids thought it’d be a brilliant idea to send you a page they found: History at Home-A Guide to Genealogy. They figured it’d be a great resource to add with your other resources on your page. Do you mind adding it? They’d feel so accomplished knowing it would benefit your web visitors.

We were very pleased to add this new resource to our Links section, and are delighted by the interest from and cooperation with these local students.

How exciting to know that a love of local history and genealogy is being cultivated in young students.

Lanark County Genealogical Society 2018 Organizational Chart

President: Jayne Munro-Ouimet
Vice President & Treasurer: John Morrow
Corporate Secretary & Privacy Officer: Janice Earl
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 full Board of Directors

AGM & Potluck Luncheon Saturday, December 3rd

Our Annual General Meeting and Potluck Luncheon was held in the Centennial Hall 152 Church Street Franktown ON  (GPS Coordinates: 45.042956, -76.055936).

Guest Speakers: Claudia Smith and Linda Seccaspina

Barns: A Reflection of Changing Times book coverFascinated by old barns or have fond memories of being in a barn,  Claudia Smith’s presentation of her book: Barns — A Reflection of Changing Times.

Claudia’s presentation celebrated and honored the wealth of heritage barns in Lanark County. She  shared farm histories and anecdotes collected over the past 25 years, as well as photographs from her book that document the changes in agricultural life over the decades from early settlement to the 1950s.  We learned about different barn styles and how people went about getting a barn constructed, how barns were filled and how they were used on a day-to-day basis from choring, to milking, to getting cows used to the brightness of electric lighting. You will never drive along a country road again without seeing the barns in a new light.

Linda Seccaspina shared short Christmas tales from her blog writing on our Facebook page and her website https://lindaseccaspina.wordpress.com

 

 

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 Harvest Festival

2016 Lanark County Harvest Festival

This year’s Lanark County Harvest Festival was held on Sunday, September 11, 2016 in beautiful Beckwith Park. Festival admission was free and the Harvest Church Supper was a great success – no one left hungry as traditional stew and homemade pie flowed in plenty.

The Blue Skies Community Fiddle Orchestra and The Bowes Brothers provided an afternoon of entertainment.

Food seminars, cooking demonstrations,  children’s activities, local producers, artisans and community service organizations market place attracted many.

Work in underway for the 2017 Festival

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