Auld Kirk Church and Cemetery
Town of Almonte, Ramsay Township, Ontario, Canada
A Designated Heritage Site and Pioneer Presbyterian Church
Painting by Ruth McMillan in 1976
Shows the Head of the Rideau Canal Locks in Ottawa, Canada in 1893
November 14, 2009:
The Auld Kirk at Almonte in 1905
Picture Source: Lanark Legacy by Harold Morton Brown, page 35
... and in 2009
Memorial outside the Auld Kirk
Keywords: John Mitchell, Drummond Township, Beckwith Township
John Lockhart, Senior
from Lanark, Scotland on the Earl of Buckinghamshire in 1821 *
* Source: The Lanark Society Settlers by Carol Bennett, page 151
photos by Al Lewis
May 8, 2003:
I'm Gary J Byron , past President and the current WebMaster of the Lanark County Genealogical Society.
I'm currently working on the recording and publishing an updated version
of the Auld Kirk Cemetery Book.
I'm looking for:
1) Information on people who are known to be buried, but are not
listed on any stone.
2) Plus I'm looking for any Death or Obituary notices on anyone
buried in the Auld Kirk Cemetery.
Can You Help Me Out?
Gary J Byron
past President and Webmaster
Lanark County Genealogical Society
E-mail Allan Lewis
August 13, 2004:
Dear Mr. Lewis,
I would like to know where I can access an index of the persons
buried in the Auld Kirk Cemetery. I would like to know if any
McQuarries are buried there. (specifically, a John McQuarrie)
also posted on August 13, 2004:
The Lanark Society Settlers by Carol Bennett, on page 115
gives information on the family of Neil McQuarrie and Flora McFarlane who came to
Ramsay Township in 1821. Neil, Flora and their son John are buried in the Auld Kirk
Cemetery. (see posting dated November 14, 2005 ... Al)
January 3, 2005:
Al Lewis wrote:
Good Morning Gary:
Thanks for including me in a copy of your e-mail to Nic.
Do you mind if I include a couple of your obituaries on my Auld Kirk
page at Bytown or Bust?
It will let people know what kind of useful work you are doing,
and what you are looking for.
... Al Lewis
also posted on January 5, 2005:
Thank you for your offer, Please find below three Obits that have an Ottawa
When I started this project of gathering together all the Obits of all the people
that are buried in the Auld Kirk little did I know, the size and scope of the project.
For I thought, at that time, it would be nice to have "a" book of Obits to
go along with the inscription book.
I've just published, the 3rd part of the Obituaries,
Wrapping up the 4th part and started the research and gathering for the 5th
part of what now looks like at least a book series of 7 parts. The collection
when it's finished, will be an interesting read of the people and history
Another interesting fact that I did not expect was the number of people
buried in the Auld Kirk that never managed to have a stone put over
their grave. That percentage is currently running at approx. 12% .
The most of these people are "found" because I'm going through the
newspaper-of-record for this cemetery. The Almonte Gazette, year by year,
page by page. 140 years of reading
But, I'm also finding, that a select few, of the people buried in the
Auld Kirk that do have a stone, never managed to get any type of notice
within The Almonte Gazette.
The main reason for this is; that they lived outside the Almonte Area and
did not have any living relatives that did. Therefore, no local interest,
thus no coverage.
It is with the help of my fellow Lanark Families Researchers that I have
found and hope to continue to find some type of notice for these "Strays"
in other papers within Eastern Ontario.
My Quest is:
For any information, and leads, on the People who are buried in
the Auld Kirk Cemetery, near Almonte. Nothing is too small.
Gary J Byron
Wedmaster, Lanark County Genealogical Society
1873, Friday May 30 STONE 256
The Almonte Gazette page 2
It is our mournful duty to chronicle the death of an estimable and much
respected resident -- Mrs Wylie, relict of Hon James Wylie. The deceased
lady met with an accident some weeks ago, and although every effort was
made to relieve her pain and prolong her days she unfortunately succumbed
to its effects. But for this accident, her naturally robust constitution
led to a belief that she might have be spared to her friends or many years
yet. She was a native of Paisley, Scotland, and was born in 1790, her
maiden name being Miss Hamilton. Marrying Mr Wylie, she accompanied him
to Canada about the year 1827. He husband being employed for some years
in connection with the construction of the Rideau Canal between Kingston and
Ottawa, and on its completion in 1830 he with his family settled in the
Township of Ramsay. Here he resided and engaged in mercantile pursuits
until his death in 1854. In 1848 he was called by Her Majesty to the
Legislative council of the Province of Canada. The offspring of the
union are numerous and some of them and their descendants are occupying
positions of high standing in Canada and Scotland. Mrs Wylie was a fine
type of the old Scotch lady, and united with intellectual accomplishment
of a high order, that tact and frankness of manner which endeared her
alike to rich and poor, educated and uneducated.
1887, Friday September 2 VIRTUAL STONE 2306
The Almonte Gazette front page
One More Gone
On Wednesday of last week Mr Michael Curry, father of our townsman,
Mr Matthew Curry, died in Ottawa, at the age of 85 years. He was one of
pioneer settlers of Carleton County, and was called upon to endure even
more than the usual amount of suffering and privation which fell to the
lot of those who undertook the task of making homes for themselves in
this country He was born in Leeds, England, when the present century was
in its infancy, and came to this country quite a young man. For some years
he acted as local preacher in the district surrounding Ottawa, and was the
first Methodist layman who preached in Bytown. He afterwards settled at
Long Island, on the Rideau, where he lived for a number of years, a much
respected and honoured resident. In his younger days he had given some
attention to the study of medicine, and was frequently called upon to
minister to the physical ailments of his neighbours, a task which, as well
as any other that was for their well-being, he was always willing to perform.
His funeral was a very large one.
1899, Friday May 12 STONE 747
The Almonte Gazette page 8
The Late Thomas T. Burns
The Herald says: Just as the clock indicated the hour of midnight last
night, Mr Thomas Burns, of Ramsay, passed quietly away from this scene
of strife, after a prolonged illness of several months, deceased being a
victim to heart affliction. He was a son of the late William Burns,
who came out from Ireland in 1842, first settling in Gloucester township,
then a forest, his nearest neighbour being five miles distant. A year
later he removed to Bytown (now Ottawa), where he spent five years, then
came to Ramsay, settling on the farm now owned by his son William, on the
5 concession. The father died in the early 60's and the mother in 70, and
left four sons, John, Thomas, William and Samuel, and one daughter, Mrs
Hugh Hasty. John died in 1877. Thomas, the subject of this notice, served
his apprenticeship as carder with the late Allan McDonald, of Carleton Place,
afterwards working with Samuel Reid and William Paisley. He later on went
to Pakenham and went to farming, which occupation he followed until his
death, making for himself a comfortable home in Ramsay, where he died.
He married Cecelia Waddell, daughter of the late James Waddell, and the
union was blessed with three daughters, Mrs James Bowes, and Miss Sarah and
Mary at home. Mr Burns was a man of strong religious convictions and
seldom took part in any public question. He was much esteemed by his friends
and neighbours and his sudden death is deeply regretted. He was a member
of the Reformed Presbyterian church. The funeral took place to the 8th
line cemetery, Ramsay, and was largely attended.
January 8, 2004:
Diane Moorhead has contributed some info to Gary regarding persons interred in the
Auld Kirk Cemetery. Here's an excerpt from one:
You were asking for information on those buried in the Auld Kirk Cemetery.
Some from my family tree are buried there.
Clayton Moorhead (Aunt Retta is also buried there, I do not have a copy
of her obituary)
Here's a "revised" edition of CB's obit which will appear in the Arnprior Chronicle:
MOORHEAD, Clayton Basil
April 25, 1911 May 23, 2002
Veteran of W.W.II R.C.A.F.
(Retired Royal Canadian Mint)
Peacefully at Forest Hill Nursing Home, Kanata on Thursday, May 23, 2002
at age 91. Clayton Basil Moorhead, beloved husband of the late
Retta Stanley and by first marriage of Georgina Marshall. Predeceased by his
sisters Bessie Fulford and Joy McCooey and his four brothers Ellsworth,
Gerald, Willard and Athol. The funeral service was conducted by Rev. Brian
Jarvis and was held in the Chapel of the Kerry Funeral Home in Almonte
on Monday, May 27, 2002. Internment was in Auld Kirk Cemetery, Almonte.
Donations made in memory of Clayton to the Ontario Heart and Stroke
Foundation would be appreciated by the family.
Another one of ours is: I do not have an obituary for her.
Ellen Jane McLellan wife of William John Moorhead. (Moorhead Drive next to Fitzroy Provincial Park).
Here is the info I have on Ellen Jane McLellan, her husband is buried in
the Lowry Cemetery.
Lowry Presbyterian Church, Carleton District Presbyterian Records
Marriages: 11 Mar 1891 William John Moorhead of Huntley Township and
Ellen Jane McLellan of Ramsay
Ontario Archives GS 932 Reel #71 Registration # 006421- 1891
SCHEDULE B MARRIAGES
County of Lanark Township of Ramsay
His Name: William John Moorhead
Age: 28 years
Residence when married: Huntley
Place of Birth: Huntley
Bachelor or Widower: B
(B or W)
Rank or Profession Farmer
Name of Parents: Mary Donaldson
Her Name: Ellen Jane McLellan
Residence when married: Ramsay
Place of Birth:Ramsay
Spinster or Widow: S
(S or W)
Name of Parents: Mary Rath
Name and Residence
of Witnesses: John James Lowry, Fitzroy
Georgie Wilson, March Township
Annie McLellan, Ramsay
Date and place of Marriage: 18 Mar 1891
Religious Denomination of Bridegroom: Presbyterian
Religious denomination of Bride: Do
By Whom married: John McLaren (from McLaren's Landing ?)
Lowry Presbyterian Church, Carleton District Presbyterian Records
Baptisms: 11 Sept 1892 Clarence Whitfield Moorhead son of William Moorhead
and Ellen Jane McLelland born 19 Jan 1892
Diane's e-mail address is: email@example.com
She is researching numerous other surnames.
November 1, 2005:
Hello Gary & others:
I am researching the Rea / Rae family. My great great grandfather was Hugh Rea
b. abt 1824. His sister Sarah m. Andrew Wilson. She was born in Ramsay Township,
From a book on the History of Blanshard [Perth County] in Review: "Andrew Rea Sr came
from Ireland and settled in Perth in Carleton County in Eastern Ontario... James Rea
and Hugh Rea, his sons came west to Blanshard..."
There is a record in Land Book M pg 272 Petition Perth 62 for Rae, Andrew,
emigrant Ramsay Twp. 2 Mar 1825.
I am wondering if you would have any cemetery record for Andrew Rea/Rae.
Barb Byers Bradley
November 15, 2005:
Dear Mr. Lewis,
It was Flora McFarlane, not "Sarah" who is buried with her husband,
Neil McQuarrie, in the Auld Kirk Cemetery.
I was the person who submitted the information about the McQuarrie family to Carol
Bennett for her book on the Lanark Society Settlers.
Hope you can amend this information on the web site. It's in the section about
Auld Kirk Church and Cemetery.
(changed name Sarah to Flora in posting above, dated August 13, 2004 ... Al).
May 13, 2006:
I came across your website and thought I would contribute the following funeral
notices I discovered for my grandparents and aunt.
"Died in Ramsay, Saturday, February 18, 1928 Henrietta Watson beloved wife of William
Waddell Anderson, age 73 years. The funeral will take place from her husband's
residence, 8th Line Ramsay, on Monday February 20, 1928 at 2:30, to vault at the
Auld Kirk Cemetery."
"Died at the Rosamond Memorial Hospital, Almonte, on Thursday, February 15, 1940,
William W. Anderson in his 81st year. The funeral will take place on Saturday,
February 17, 1940 at 2:30 p.m. from the residence of his son, William J. Anderson,
9th Line of Ramsay, to the Auld Kirk Cemetery.
"At the Rosamond Memorial Hospital, Almonte, on Thursday, Dec.11th, 1952, Edith Jeanie
Robertson, beloved wife of William J. Anderson in her 64th year. Resting at the Scott
Funeral Home, Elgin St., Almonte, until Saturday, Dec. 13th, at 2:30 p.m. Service at
the Funeral Home. Interment in the Auld Kirk Cemetery."
Edith's husband, Bill Anderson, is buried there as well. He died Feb 1983. His son, Robert
Anderson, of 9th Line Ramsay, died in January of 1983, buried in Auld Kirk Cemetery.
My grandmother, Harriet Anderson, was a Watson from Scotchbush, Grattan Township (in Renfrew County).
Submitted by Beverley Stiller (nee Anderson)
May 6, 2009:
The Kirk is open for only the one Sunday in mid August for Decoration Sunday and even then
the Memorial Service is held outside.
Only once in the last while, that I know of, that this service was held inside because
it was raining.
For as far as I know there has been no regular service in the Kirk for decades beside
the inside is quite plain with some old fashion benches. I've attached some photos of
the inside of the Kirk.
You can contact the following people in connection with the Cemetery and its Kirk
Chairman of the Auld Kirk Cemetery Committee: Alan Lowry, Pelow@trytel.com,
Almonte United Church
Church Office: Cynthia Nichols (Secretary) firstname.lastname@example.org
Office Hours: 9am -12pm Noon, Monday to Friday
Address: 106 Elgin Street Almonte, Ontario K0A 1A0
TEL: (613) 256-1355
FAX: (613) 256-0909
I hope this helps you
Gary J Byron
Thanks to Gary for the following two photos from inside the church.
May 23, 2009:
Linda Hanly Reid has written a short biography of her Great Grandfather, Dr. John Frederick HANLY,
who was an early physician and surgeon in Almonte.
Doctor John Frederick HANLY of Almonte
September 11, 2010:
The farm of James Leach, Montague Township, Ontario, Canada, in 1902
Picture Source: Lanark Legacy by Harold Morton Brown, page 119
April 19, 2011:
I did a story a few years ago about my mother and she is buried in the Auld kirk Cemetery. I can email you a
copy if you would like. Anyhow I go back every now and then to visit the grave…..My Aunt and Uncle are also
there and my grandparents. I was 4 years old when my mother was killed in a car accident and I spent a
great deal of childhood worry as to where she was buried. When I eventually found out where she was all
these years and visited the grave….I was so shocked and happy…The grave yard is so beautiful….Thank you…
P.S. Because I love grave yards so much I am going to work on one in our community now and so I would like
to correspond with someone that could help me with some information.
Have a wonderful day.
December 29, 2011:
I am researching my family and I have read that my great great great grandfather John Cobb was buried in Auld Kirk Cemetery
in 1829 but I cannot seem to find the gravestone on any sites that have pictures. Do you know where I could find such a picture?
John came with his family from Scotland in 1821 as a Lanark Society Settler and settled in Ramsay Township. I do notice that the
church was built in 1836 which would be after John died which poses a bit of a problem.
I would appreciate any help you can give me.
The family of John Cobb came on the ship Commerce in 1821. There is some information regarding this family in
Carol Bennett's book, The Lanark Society Settlers, page 192.
January 29, 2013:
A Cemetery Transcription of the burials for the Auld Kirk Cemetery is available for research in the Library of the
Ottawa Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society.