Annual Membership Drive

For the past 43 years each December, the Lanark County Genealogical Society has announced its Annual Membership Drive. This year is no different and the fees remain the same again.

Greetings of the Day!

My name is Jayne Munro-Ouimet,  I am the President of the Lanark County Genealogical Society. Our society was established in 1981. It is a nonprofit all-volunteer organization. dedicated to the preservation of family histories of the people of Lanark County. We do this in several ways. We have monthly meetings from February to June and September to December. During the summer we set up displays at local events to market our society. Since Covid, we have had many meetings via Zoom so that we included our members who live in all parts of Canada, the US and other countries around the world. This year we have returned to local meetings which we hold in places of interest to our local members. Zoom meetings will resume in December for the winter months. We have speakers who share their knowledge of local history and local family history. We also have published a series of books of local historical interest. We try to help people who send us queries regarding their particular Lanark County family.

Lanark County Genealogical Society has a Genealogy Resource library that for the last 22 years has been housed in Heritage House Museum. This resource is available to the public when the museum is open. Other resources that a membership in the Society includes are membership in, and We have access to the historical Perth Courier, and to the current Lanark Era. As well we are also in the process of digitizing records that may be of use to researchers through our “Members Only” link on our website.

I would like to take this opportunity to invite you to join our society and am confident the members will be pleased to have you on board. I am hopeful that you will be pleased with the benefits our society has to offer.

For further information see our website and check under “Membership” to join, or phone 613-257-9482 if you do not have access to a computer.

Best regards… Jayne

Now accepting orders for Lanark County Routes Volume 3 and Volume 4

LCGS expects to take delivery before month end November 2023 of our new publication Lanark County Routes Vol. 3 East and Vol. 4 West.

This sequel is a follow-up to Vol. 1 East and Vol. 2 West of the same title published in 2021. These farm history books are a great source of information regarding ownership of rural properties since the time of settlement. Many have detailed information regarding the people who lived on the farms in the past. In some cases, the land records may be the only place where a person’s ancestors are found since they did not all remain in Lanark County.

We have taken the information found in the local Tweedsmuir histories and tried to update it if the information was available. Several families have participated in sharing their farm stories.

Each book is again in the 12″ x 12″ format so that the maps included are readable. Both books are more than 200 pages each.

The books have an index of names. The West volume has about 2,800 names and the East volume about 3,000.

The books also include the 1890 Farmer’s Directories for each township in that book. (These names are not in the index.) The directories tell the Lot and Concession for each person, what their post office was, and whether they owned the land or were a tenant. The books include the 1863 Walling Maps for each Township, maps of the cemeteries in each township, as well as a modern map showing the location of each lot. There are also a few bonus maps in the West book, designed by one of our members.

Plans are underway for a book launch at the Almonte Public Library. Details will be shared when we know them. They will again be available locally and by post from the Society. The price will be $65 each. Shipping costs are extra.

Pre-Order Yours

Vol 1 – East: How many copies do you wish to order:

Vol 2 – West: How many copies do you wish to order:

Vol 3 – East: How many copies do you wish to order:

Vol 4 – West: How many copies do you wish to order:

Would you like your copies mailed to you?(required)

Preferred payment method:(required)

Commemorating our British Home Children

Article writer – Amy Gilpin

They often came from poor families or orphanages. Some were in poor health; others were in trouble with the law. Some had no living family and were orphans in the truest sense of the word. Beginning in 1869 and continuing through 1948, over 100,000 children were shipped from the United Kingdom to Canada as part of the British Child Emigration Movement. The vast majority were hosted by farm families, where the children were put to work performing farm labour or domestic duties.

Many were moved from family to family, place to place. Others were lucky enough to end up with families that treated them well and gave them the love and care they needed. Most were ignored by the placement society and in too many cases abuse and neglect went unreported. Some grew up to live happy, productive lives. Some ran away and were never heard from again. Sadly, some died.

On September 28th each year, we remember them. We honour and respect them. It is estimated that about 10% of Canadians descend from one or more British Home Children. For more information, please reach out to British Home Children/Home Child Canada, a charity established in 2012 that is dedicated to preserving their memory.

Copyright © 2023

Blakeney Bridge and Cheese Factory

an LCGS volunteer group-researched document led by Kirsten

In 2022, the state of the bridge over the Mississippi River at Blakeney was a hot topic within the county. Like several in Eastern Ontario, this bridge needs occasional closing in the spring during the high water levels period. Engineers throughout the area were busy inspecting and confirming the continued use of bridges affected. After years of rushing spring waters, wear and tear it was agreed the bridge requires replacement.

The photo on the left is the bridge as it was built in 1915. It consists of three structures as shown in this painting by Doris Comba (1968) of Almonte of the earliest bridge whose parts were removed or replaced to become the current bridge. Mrs. Comba, wife of Murray Comba painted this from a photo card. The paint is displayed at the home of Mrs. Munro in Almonte. Until the Producers dairy was built in Almonte her husband, Bill, drove across the bridge with his team of horses to bring milk and cream to the cheese factory on the north side of the bridge. The photo on the right is the bridge as of 2022.

Source Lanark County: “In 2000, the County undertook a major rehabilitation of the Blakeney Bridge in order to extend the life of the structure by 25 years.  The rehabilitation included replacing the railings with a new thrie beam guiderail and handrail and repairing the substructure and superstructure, which involved removal and replacement of sections of the deck and wingwalls and the entire ballast wall at all abutments.  New approach guiderail systems were also installed at this time. The rehabilitated structure remained at a load posting of 12 tonnes.

 When building a new bridge many rules and regulations come into place and after the cultural heritage evaluation report and heritage impact assessment was completed as per a regulation of the Ontario Heritage Act, it’s been deemed of cultural heritage significance.

LCGS, Kristen lead the group in researching the history of the Cheese Factory “Blakeney Cheese Factory” at the north end of the bridge.

On Tue, Jun 27, 2023, at 10:33 AM Kirsten wrote:
Good morning

In researching the Blakeney and Waba cheese factories, I have come across the following articles/information that lead me to believe that the Blakeney Cheese factory was once the Glasgow cheese factory and neither that of Waba nor Pakenham.
Article 1 – The Arnprior Chronicle – 12 May 1932 p4 – Glasgow is losing cheese factory
Article 2 – Almonte Gazette – 27 May 1932 p5 Cox of Pakenham building Cheese Factory in Blakeney
Article 3 (obit) – The Ottawa Journal – 23 May 1952 p32 – Cheese Manufacturer James P Cox Dies
Article 4 – Almonte Gazette – 19 May 1933 p5 – Blakeney – cheese factory opened under mgmt of Mr Cox of Pakenham
Article 5 – Almonte Gazette – 19 May 1933 p5 – Pakenham Cheese commenced ops Mr John Redmond manufacturing
Also, I compiled information from a few editions of the “List of Cheese Factories and Creameries in Canada” published by the Department of Agriculture. The 1928 edition includes Glasgow, Pakenham, Rosebank (owner J.B. Wylie), and Waba. While the 1932 edition includes ‘Pakenham Cheese and Butter Company’ and ‘Snedden Cheese Factory and Creamery’ – Glasgow, Rosebank and Waba no longer appear. Note that Glasgow’s 1928 registration number was reassigned to the Snedden factory in 1932; see two attached docs. (Note also that the Waba 1928 registration number was reassigned to the new Appleton cheese factory in 1932; the previous Appleton factory was destroyed by fire in 1931.)

The “transcribed” (edited) version of Mrs. Ringereide’s article. Please note, under Rosedale Cheese Factory, I change the name of Mrs. MacIntosh to McIntosh (Mc instead of Mac), as I believe I identified her in the Middleville museum’s ancestry tree:

The specific cheese factories mentioned in her article are Appleton, Rosedale, Tennyson, and Balderson. I found the attached picture of Rosedale c.1910 that you may wish to use. It was attached to one of Linda Seccaspina’s blog posts. The attached picture of the Balderson factory comes from the Perth Remembered website; page on Rural Life – on which there are many other cheese factory pictures.

Her article also includes the Mammoth Cheese created at Perth. Here is a link to a photo in the LAC collection of the “World’s largest cheese, 22,000 lbs., loaded on C.P.R. (Canadian Pacific Railway) flat cars in Perth, Ont., Sept. 1892” and of “Poster advertising the Mammoth Cheese made at the Dominion Experimental Dairy Station, Perth, for display at the World’s Columbian Exposition, Chicago”.

With the flip of the switch? the loss of the historic Appleton General Store

Stately standing since 1850 in its beautiful spot along the Mississippi River at Appleton, the Appleton General Store was one of the oldest commercial buildings in the village.

The Village of Appleton, located west of Ottawa, was without power since the ice storm swept across much of Lanark County on Wednesday, April 5th, 2023. Residents said the power came back on Friday morning, just before the fire started in the historic building.

The Store, built by Thomas Arthur, as a two-and-a-half-storey brick building was among the few remaining examples of commercial brick architecture in the village. The general store was once the hub of the village having also been a post office, a gas station and a home over the years.

The building recently purchased by young entrepreneurs in Almonte was undergoing renovations to turn it into a café/bakery and Airbnb. The store was a historic landmark of Lanark County and no fire marshal investigation will take place.

History of the Women’s Institutes

Submitted by Marilyn Snedden

This organization was founded in 1897 by Adelaide Hunter Hoodless with the help of Erland Lee (since back then a woman alone would have trouble getting recognition). Her son had died from drinking contaminated milk and she formed a group of her neighbours in the Stony Creek area of Ontario to improve the education of rural women about health & sanitation. Within a few years the motto “For Home & Country” was approved along with an oval royal blue & gold pin bearing the slogan.

In most rural communities it was the only group that all women could join, regardless of politics or religion. In the beginning, the women joined as a break from the drudgery at home and a social outing where they could learn from each other or a speaker. Over the years branches were formed in most communities and the organization grew to have a District level (usually a County), an Area level, Provincial, Canadian, and finally the ACWW (Associated Countrywomen of the World). Queen Elizabeth was a member in England.

The Department of Agriculture supported the W.I. with a Home Economist in each county who conducted workshops for leaders sent by local branches to learn crafts such as bread making or quilting. The leaders then returned to share the info with all their members. The 4-H Clubs also gained leaders from the W.I. who were trained by the Home Economists. Unfortunately, the Ontario Government cut out these programs some decades ago which was a great loss to rural people. Over the years many resolutions have been sent through the levels supporting worthy projects or seeking changes in many items affecting rural life.

Agriculture in the Classroom is an Ontario-wide project widely supported by the W.I. As few teachers have an agricultural background, children were missing this part of their education.

Preserving history became a major focus when in the late 1940’s Lady Tweedsmuir, wife of the Governor General, was afraid rural history was being lost. She sponsored a competition for the best community history across Canada and this became a focus of each branch with curators appointed who created Tweedsmuir History Books to preserve photos and stories.

Many of these are available online since the FWIO (Federated Women’s Institutes of Ontario) obtained a large grant to digitize many of the books. Online you go to FWIO, then to the History Tab, then Digitized Histories and then click the “Virtual archives” link to take you to a page where you enter the name of the branch you are searching.

When the FWIO celebrated their 100th Anniversary in 1997, there were 16,000 members but that number has declined greatly since so many women are working out of the home and information on homemaking skills is quite available online. Many members kept on with their rural branches when they retired to town so that a survey back then showed 1/3 lived on a farm,1/3 lived in a rural area and 1/3 had retired to town.

In Lanark County, we had 11 branches in the north and 17 in the south but now only have 2 and 3-a drastic change. Archives Lanark is striving to store the Tweedsmuir Histories and Minute Books of the disbanded branches and has scanned most of what is stored there. These books are a great source of old photos and farm histories recorded over the years so many people have been excited to find a photo of what their farmhouse looked like decades ago or photos of their ancestors.

The histories of the W.I. are especially useful for finding stories on female ancestors since there was a competition in 1997 for the best collection of autobiographies so detailed stories of women were documented then along with photos and stories of their work in the W.I. They also contain newspaper stories collected over the years.

Resources: Tweedsmuir Histories: FWIO Digital Collections

Archives Lanark

Some of the W.I. branches that Archives Lanark have books for are Appleton, Beckwith, Cedar Hill, Clayton, Pine Grove, Rocky Ridge, Rosetta, Union Hall from the North and Balderson, Fallbrook, Ferguson Falls, Franktown, Rosedale, Snow Road, Otty Lake, Second Line of Drummond

Archives Lanark is open Fridays from 10-3 at 1920 Concession 7 Road (Drummond Center) or by appointment on Saturdays. The website is or you can get information at

Home (

Photos of Harper, Park, McDonald, and Easton families

My great-great-great-grandparents Alexander Park, Mary McDonald, Thomas Easton, and Mary McDonald Chambers came to Lanark in 1820 onboard the Prompt. My great-great-grandfather Daniel Harper came a few years later and his son Samuel Knowles Harper married Lillian Easton. My grandmother Rosemary Harper was born in 1876 in Lanark. I have a few old pictures of the property and people that I am prepared to share with you.

Walter Udell

Harper home in Orillia or Lanark
Hillier Street, Lanark, Lanark County ON
Samuel Knowles Harper and Lillian Easton
Lillian Easton Harper with children
Daniel Harper, born in 1892 son of Samuel Knowles and Lillian Easton
George Wesley and Rosemary (Harper) Udell’s Wedding
in Lanark, Ontario, 29 October 1909
Lillian (Harper) Marcy, daughter of Samuel Knowles Harper and Lillian Easton
John (Jack) Harper, Hugh Harper, George Wesley Udell,
Lillian Harper, Florence Deachman (Jack’s wife), Rosemary (Harper) Udell.

Patents – Early Patents in Lanark County Ontario

Did any of your ancestors have a great idea for an invention?

If they did they may have applied for a patent. A Canadian patent is the government giving the exclusive right or title for a set period, especially the sole right to exclude others from making, using, or selling an invention. This patent is only valid in Canada. Patents issued before October 1, 1989, were valid for 17 years from the date of issue and after that date, they were valid for 20 years provided you paid the maintenance fee in full.

Here we present a overview of some of the registered patents of citizens from Ontario’s Lanark County, compiled by the Lanark County Genealogical Society and other contributors.

Lanark County Ontario patent owners are often considered as “Mothers of Inventions” that reflect the needs in the everyday life of our county’s creative minds. It’s an invaluable resource for scholars, students, and general readers interested in Lanark County Ontario Canada history.

You can find records on both application that did not get granted and those that did. You can search the Canadian Intellectual Property Office and the Library and Archives Canada. There are also some on

Contribute your summary and photos for those who are worthy of note to add to this posting. Email us at:

A guiding example to assist you with your submission. (maximum 250-300 words)

Patent number:299
Patent Year filing:1870-01-01
Name/City:ADAMS, F.M.: PERTH, Ontario, Canada
Year granted:1870-03-18

The simplest of the “modern” calculators is slightly more complicated than using an abacus that uses beads that slide on rods. It can be used to count, add, subtract, multiply and more.  The most common abacus is split into two basic rows: The top row for the “5”s, and the bottom row for the “ones”.  There are two beads in the top row, and five beads in the bottom one.

Some Lanark County Patents of early years

The Royal Canadian Geographical Society (RCGS) releases THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLES ATLAS OF CANADA GIANT FLOOR MAP that shows Unsettled Land Claims, as well as Treaties and Settlement Lands, Reserves, and locations of former Residential Schools in Canada

The only resource of its kind, this unique Giant Floor Map is not like the typical map you are used to seeing. It is without provincial and territorial boundaries and spans 11 x 8 metres (35 x 26 feet). It highlights spoken languages and language groups and, displays outlining the key historical events of First Nations, Inuit and Métis people in Canada.

Unveiled in the fall of 2018, this fun and interactive experience allows you to explore the multiple aspects connected to both history and present-day Indigenous Peoples living in Canada.

This Map caught the attention of many cartographers from around the world, including the organizers of the 2019 International Cartographic Conference being held in July in Tokyo, Japan. “People want to learn about this unique cartography project. It resonates with so many people, Indigenous and non-Indigenous,” noted Bearhead. “There are many colonized countries in the world and many countries where Indigenous peoples and knowledge have been and continue to be oppressed. An initiative like this is very inspiring.”

In this atlas, you will find reference maps of Indigenous Canada, as well as a section devoted to Truth and Reconciliation and detailed pages on the many aspects of the topic with contemporary and historical photography and maps. There’s also a glossary of common Indigenous terms.

This atlas was created by The Royal Canadian Geographical Society in conjunction with the Assembly of First Nations, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, the Métis Nation, the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation and Indspire. Digital Atlas copies are available at, and print copies are available for purchase at Chapters or

A letter to a dear friend back home (1821)

Ramsay township settler, John Toshack writes back home to his dear old friend Aleck Sinclair.

In 1820, Ramsay Township, Bathurst District was surveyed by Reuben Sherwood and associates. The survey was completed in January 1821 and the first European settlers began to arrive in February of that year. It was in the late summer of 1821 that a large inpouring of settlers known as the Lanark Society Settlers arrived.

More than forty settlement societies, from the Glasgow area of Scotland, organized, managed and assisted the mass emigration of Scottish families to the New Lanark Settlement in Bathurst District, Upper Canada under the auspices of the British government.

The immigrants were granted undeveloped land in the townships of Dalhousie, Lanark, North Sherbrooke and Ramsay. Many of the settlers were unemployed/underemployed weavers who suffered years of financial hardship as a result of Britain’s faltering economy and the industrialization of the textile industry in Glasgow following the Napoleonic War.

John Toshack’s letter is one of the few letters which remain from those written by the Lanark Society settlers in the Ramsay township’s first year. In a letter dated 11 Sep 1821, we are given a first-hand account of this settler’s first year in Lanark County, Bathhurst District, Canada

Suggested Resources for more on the Lanark County Settlers

Detailed research works of Amy Gilpin Lanark Society Settlers ( Keith Thomspon Lanark Society Settlers – Land ( and Michael Stephenson Lanark County Ontario Pioneer Settlement Records (

The Lanark Society Settlers publication by Carol Bennett BOOK – The Lanark Society Settlers by Carol Bennett includes many family/genealogical sketches of individual families.