Beckwith Township, Ontario, Canada
History and Genealogy
Painting by Ruth McMillan in 1976
Shows the Head of the Rideau Canal Locks in Ottawa, Canada in 1893
Welcome to Beckwith Township, Lanark County
December 21, 2010:
Source: Ottawa Waterway: Gateway to a Continent, by Robert Legget, page 198
E-mail Allan Lewis
Keywords: Breadalbane, Scottish Highlands, James McArthur, John Robertson
January 15, 2019:
Here are three of the Scottish pioneer families in Beckwith Township
Source: A Pioneer History of the County of Lanark, by Jean S. McGill. page 34
Keywords: Cram, Dewar, Kennedy
Descendants of John Robertson and Catherine Douglas
(buried in St. Fillan's Cemetery, Cemetery Road, Beckwith)
Source: Database created by the late Mr. Robert Sample)
1 John Robertson 1792 -
.. +Catherine Douglas 1799 - married in 1834 in "the Bathurst District"
........ 2 Catherine Robertson 1835 - 1872
........ 2 Janet Robertson 1836 -
........ 2 Donald Robertson 1836 -
........ 2 John Robertson 1837 -
........ 2 Duncan Robertson 1839 -
........ 2 James Robertson 1841 -
........ 2 Peter Robertson 1845 - 1893
............ +Elizabeth McGregor 1857 - 1934
........ 2 Margaret Robertson 1847 -
St. James Anglican Church, Franktown, Ontario
St. James Anglican Church in Franktown was built in 1822. It is one
of the earliest stone churches built in the Ottawa area and is still
in good condition. Franktown is on the road connecting Perth and Richmond.
It is the "Lilac Capital of Canada".
Franktown was a supply depot for early settlers in Perth, Lanark and
Richmond. Some of the surnames in the Pioneer Cemetery at Franktown are
Salter, Kidd, Lewis, Ford.
The Rectory at Franktown
Some Roman Catholic Families in Beckwith Township, 1852
Many of the following families who came to Beckwith Township were
related to or descended from either the 1823 Peter Robinson settlers
from south-west Ireland or the Scottish Emigration Society Settlers in Lanark
Township who came in 1820 from the Scottish Lowlands. The Peter Robinson
Settlers were almost all Catholic -- the Scottish settlers were almost all
Presbyterian. Many of the Irish Protestant families who settled in the
Franktown area came from County Wexford, Ireland (see Bruce Elliott's article).
The year is the approximate year of birth.
Most of these families are found in the records of St. Michael's, Corkery,
at one time or another.
|James BOYLE|| 1827|
|John BRENNAN|| 1809|
|Mary BURGESS|| 1788|
|James BURROWS|| 1812|| Had tavern at Franktown|
|Daniel CLEARY|| 1802|
|Nicholas DIXON|| 1820|| (see posting dated Nov. 10, 2004)|
|David DOWLIN|| 1777|
|Patrick GALVIN|| 1821|| Tailor|
|Martin JORDAN|| 1814|
|John KELLY|| 1822|
|James KINSELLA|| 1812|
|Hanna LEAHEY|| 1792|
|Timothy MANN|| 1790|
|Patrick McALINDEN|| 1792|
|Michael McCANN|| 1816|
|Mary McDERMOTT|| 1802|
|Angus McDONALD|| 1817|| Innkeeper|
|Donald McDONALD|| 1838|| Son?|
|John McDONALD|| 1817|
|Ronald McDONALD|| |
|John McEWEN|| 1817|| Scotland|
|Mrs. McGOVERN|| 1802|
|Ellen McKENNA|| 1802|
|Angus McLELLAN|| 1804|| Scotland|
|John McLELLAN|| 1806|| Scotland|
|Michael MURRAY|| 1816||Shoemaker|
|Patrick NAGLE|| 1822|
|Michael O'NEIL|| 1810|
|Maurice O'HARA|| 1817|
|Catherine ROCHE / ROACH|| 1810|
|Moses SHIELDS|| 1814|
Source: Glen Lockwood's book on the history of Beckwith Township.
November 10, 2004:
Thanks to Taylor Kennedy for the following:
Your list of inhabitants for Beckwith, Nicholas Dixon was the
gentleman who married Mary Goodall, daughter of Arthur Goodall and
They moved to the Windsor area, Maidstone to be exact.
December 30, 2005:
Thanks to Robert Sample for sending along the grave marker inscriptions and
photographs for some Beckwith Township Cemeteries .
(Kennedy, Dewar, Prospect United/Methodist, Maplewood, Pine Grove, St. Fillan's,
These cemetery listings are on Scott Naylor's web site.
January 15, 2006:
Here's the best history of Beckwith Township:
BECKWITH: Irish and Scottish Identities in a Canadian Community, 1816-1991
by Glenn J. Lockwood, ISBN 0-9695758-0-7, Corporation of the Township of Beckwith
Now you can read it online.
My friend Chris won a copy of this book a few of years ago. He made the best
Chili in Franktown and the book was given as first prize.
March 30, 2006:
Duncan McCuan (not McEwen), from Scotland, was an early settler in Beckwith Township.
November 18, 2007:
My new book, Founding Families of Beckwith Township 1816-1846 was launched
on October 27 at the Carleton Place Public Library. I won't be making a profit on it,
although I hope to cover the costs of printing. I'd be grateful if I could get a
mention on Bytown or Bust, please.
Cost of the book is $30.00 plus $9.00 shipping.
My new web address is http:/web.nrtco.net/juniper2/
My postal address is:
127 McCuaig Road,
R R 2
Carol Bennett McCuaig
February 8, 2008:
Rory Griffith has sent along some history of several families who came to
Beckwith Township from Counties Carlow, Kilkenny and Wexford in Ireland, 1819-1822.
March 29, 2008:
Beckwith Township in 1879
This map from 1879 shows Mississippi Lake, Carleton Place,
Franktown, Ashton, Black's Corners and the village of Prospect.
May 8, 2008:
Robert Lewis (from County Wicklow) and Mariah Lucas (from County Carlow) settled in
the Franktown area and are buried in the pioneer cemetery there.
February 4, 2010:
I've created a website which is a listing of the pioneers who settled in
the Derry in Beckwith Township. The site is organized by farm,
following the format of "The Story of the Derry", written by George
Kidd, 1943. The site isn't 100% finished yet (what site ever is), but
it has a lot of information uploaded already. The website is pretty
basic - mostly lists of the descendants of the pioneers who settled
there. In some cases the information repeats what is available
elsewhere (eg Kidd, Leach, Lucas); however, there are some
relationships among these families which is unique to this site. For
other families (eg. Ferguson, McLaren, Stewart) the information has not
been presented elsewhere to my knowledge. There are a number of points
where the "lost" have been found and descendants now listed which were
not previously found by others. I've tried to focus the site on the
relationships which developed among the families as they intermarried
over the generations. The site draws together a lot of information in
which family links were not previously made.
The website is at http://sites.google.com/site/familiesofthederry/home .
Note, that contrary to the comment on Bytown or Bust, "The Derry" in
Beckwith is not named after County Derry in Ireland, but is in fact
based on Scottish Gaelic.
Could you link this page to the "Beckwith Township" pages on "Bytown or Bust"
Bill Mains (note: We no longer have an e-mail address for Bill Mains ... Al
Thanks for this. I've changed the incorrect information on our County Derry page.
February 7, 2010:
More interesting material from Bill Mains:
Here is more about "The Derry" in Beckwith Township as found in "The Story of the Derry", George Kidd,
1943, p. 52.
The origin of the name "Derry" is directly connected with this farm (S.W. 1/2 Lot 22, Concession 5,
Beckwith; Robert Ferguson farm). The story is told by James D. Ferguson of Winnipeg: "The word
'derry' means a grove, such as is comprised principally of ash, oak or birch trees. It seems
probable that my grandmother, finding all these trees growing on her son's farm gave the place
this name, which eventually came to include the whole community." Mr. Ferguson states further:
"There is a song which I heard sung long ago, but I remember only the chorus-
Hame, Derry, hame: and it's hame we ought to be
Hame Derry, hame: to our ain countree
Where the ash and the oak and the bonnie birchen tree
Are all growing green in our ain countree."
There is a place in Perthshire, Scotland, of the same name. The fact that it is always spoken of as
"The Derry", and not "Derry" seems conclusive evidence that the word is the Gaelic name for a grove,
containing especially those trees mentioned in the song.
Thanks again, Bill. This auld song is a beautiful example of early Scottish Gaelic in our region. A
few years ago, I met a man in Dunvegan, Ontario, where Highland Scottish pioneers settled beginning
in the late 1700's. This man had retained the Gaelic language and was equally comfortable speaking
Gaelic or English.
And, some of us were talking about the almost lost art of calling people by nicknames. Even when I
was young, almost everyone, adults and children, had a nickname. Alexa Pritchard sent along some early nicknames in Glengarry County. These names
were used in a community where is was necessary to distinguish among all of the persons named "MacDonald".
April 2, 2010:
The family of Andrew Lucas and Elizabeth Edwards also settled in Beckwith Township.
April 16, 2010:
Photo Source below: Carleton Saga, by Harry and Olive Walker, page 507.
Does anyone have a photograph of the original building?
May 14, 2010:
Many of the pioneer families in Beckwith Township immigrated from County Wexford in Ireland. Here, our village of Prospect gets it's name from
Prospect in County Wexford. The church below dates back to 1854.
Photo Sources below: Al Lewis, Bytown or Bust
There is a herd of what are commonly called "Oreo Cookie Cows" in Beckwith Township
November 11, 2010:
Late Autumn, The Jock River in Beckwith Township
The river originates in Beckwith Township, flows through Goulbourn Township and
empties into the Rideau River in Nepean Township
Alexander Stewart was an early settler in Beckwith Township. He was born in 1825.
December 28, 2012:
Some descendants of William Fennell and Mary Rathwell came from Ireland to Beckwith Township.
March 6, 2013:
Thanks to Ian White for the following:
Al, The Henry W. CRAM shown on the map of Ramsay Township at Concession XI, lot 7
is a descendant of the CRAM family who emigrated from Perthshire, Scotland to
Beckwith Township in 1818 and 1820.
March 15, 2016:
We have a new page for Richard FLEMING and Mary ROSE of Franktown, Beckwith Township, Ontario, Canada