North Gower Township, Carleton County, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
History and Genealogy



January 24, 2008:

We already have many pioneer families who settled in North Gower Township on our web site.
They can be found by searching for the word "Gower", without the quotes, using the Google search engine at the bottom of this page. 
Or, as usual, you can search by surname.

Bytown or Bust will be expanding to include all of the townships between Ottawa, Ontario,
Canada and Kingston, Ontario. The new townships will be those which front on both sides
of the Rideau River / Rideau Canal system in the 1800's.

One pioneer family in North Gower Township came from County Wexford, Ireland
in the 1820's and, after a brief time in Beckwith Township, moved to North Gower,
to a farm just south of the village of Wellington, today known as Kars.

To see a map of North Gower Township in 1879, see Belden's Atlas (digital version).

The farm of William Willis and Esther Leach and their neighbours
can be seen on the map below:

William Willis and neighbours in 1879

January 26, 2008: I just spotted John Hanahan on the North Gower map. Hanrahan searchers should consider this spelling and search in North Gower Ontario. I've seen many spelling variations of this name. ... Alexa Pritchard ________________________ As far as I can tell, there was no Catholic Church in North Gower Township in the 1800's. The few Catholic families (Hanrahan, Goodall, etc.) attended church at either St. Philip's in Richmond or St. Patrick's at Fallowfield (Nepean Township). Recently I've been going through the Drouin records at ancestry.ca for St. Brigid's Church on the River Road in Osgoode Township. This church was built c. 1870, and with the "new bridge" across the River at Wellington (see map) and the new church, many folks began going to St. Brigid's. March 16, 2011: A prominent French Canadian family in North Gower at that time was the Laplante family who were godparents and witnesses for many of the local Irish Catholic families. ... Al
March 14, 2008:
North Gower United Church Photo taken on March 13, 2008, a year of several record snowfalls North Gower United Church

April 1, 2008:
Map of the Village of North Gower, Ontario in 1879 (see Church location on map following) Source: McGill University Digital Maps North Gower Village in 1879
Names on map: James Trimble, Andrew Trimble, William Trimble, Thomas Craig, John Wright, Lewis Cayes / Cayis, J. Murphy, T. Mills, O'Laughlan, William Pettapiece, Cryderman, James Craig, Donahue, Alexander Callender, David Barrows.
April 8, 2008:
Irish Emigration from the North Gower, Ontario, Canada area to Howard County, Iowa
Thanks to Lynn Logue for the following: From "The History of Assumption Parish, " Cresco, State of Iowa, USA: The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church dates from the year 1858, making it the oldest Catholic Church in Howard County. Four pioneer Catholic Families from North Gore [sic], Canada moved to the area about that time. Their names were: Ryan, Welsh / Walsh, Hannegan / Hannigan, and Christmas. Masses were celebrated in their homes by missionary priests from Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, USA, and by Father Clement Lowrey, pastor of the Catholic Church in Decorah. When neither was available the four families boarded a wagon and drove to Spillville, 20 miles away to attend Mass. The original four families were soon joined by another twelve families named: Long (Longfields subdivision in Barrhaven), Schaefer, Mullen, Sweet, Carroll, Donahue, Glass, Ploff (Plouffe?), Logue, Conry, Barnes, and Reynolds. Together they built the first church and established a cemetery at Vernon Springs in 1863 and 1664. ... Lynn Logue
June 19, 2008:
CARSONBY Village
The village of Carsonby is located between Manotick and North Gower village. Leslie Grauer is researching her Carson ancestors after whom Carsonby was named: Carsonby, Ontario Sign February 4, 2013:
Today I bought a used car from Mr. Neil Williams at the Jack May Chevrolet dealership on Prince of Wales Drive. I trust this car dealership !! ... Al Neil Williams, Jack May Chevrolet, Prince of Wales Drive, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Map Source: Belden's 1879 Historical Atlas of Carleton County Carsonby, Ontario Map Names for search engine: Moffitt / Moffatt, Craig, Nixon, Kennedy, Carson, Clark, Bradley, Goodall
_________________________________ Hi Al and John, Al, you are a historical keener, for sure! Getting out there.... Thank you for your venue (your excellent website) to share my research findings. I hope that you enjoyed the drive to the location of my gggrandparents' homestead. ... nice time of year to venture into the countryside around Ottawa! It IS a small world, but one with a VERY large history of inter-twined early Eastern Ontario families. I think that starting a new Carsonby page would be a fine idea, hopefully linked to North Gower data, if possible, as some people who lived there early were EASTMAN (I think they were there first), CRAIG, ORR, MCEWAN, MONTGOMERY, MOFFATT etc.(see 1852 census) and identified with North Gower Twp. vs. Carsonby, per se. Some of these other families have earlier roots in the Upper Ottawa Valley, the U.S. and the Cornwall area as loyalists and settled there before the CARSONs. Carsonby was settled mostly in the 1830's, although land grants were distributed, but many not "improved" earlier, so were sold. I am fairly sure that my gggrandparents, Eliza Carson and Thomas Craig held land on the corners near the sign that you have filmed!, if one compares the lots and maps and census records across times. The Rideau Archives in North Gower sells (at least they did in 2003/4), a book written by a descendent of the Carsons. This book is also online at http://www.nosracines.ca/ and has photos of my family and some others from the area. The senior Gloucester CARSONs are also mentioned in Robert Gourlay's 1896 book, also online, around p.105-111, as I recall (online). Personally, I have sooo much data about the descendents that I have not yet found the time to verify and enter it all into my database, but I do have the data from other sources! In 1852 at least, children Robert, James, Charles and Eliza (m. Thomas CRAIG) CARSON lived in/near Carsonby. They probably received the town namesake by their numbers, local names for locales or connections, as some relatives (CRAIG) were reeves. Other siblings settled in Finch Twp., Stormont County and Cumberland, south and east of Ottawa, as well in the USA. All were born in Ireland (most likely County Tyrone) and immigrated with their parents and other siblings to Gloucester circa 1829 - 1834. Their parents were John CARSON and Mary CUMMINGS. My research suggests that Mary's brother or her close relative was Charles CUMMINGs of Cummings Island in Ottawa, as Charles appears to have resided with his "brother-in-law" ??? (having no land, but enumerated with them) when he first immigrated in the mid 1830's). Both "brothers-in-law" initially were settled in "The Gore" of Gloucester in the mid-30's, but then John purchased the Montreal & Carson Road quarry / farm property and Charles bought "the Island" before 1840. Many roads in Gloucester (in Ottawa suburbs east of today's St. Laurent shopping Centre up to the Carson Grove neighbourhood) are named for the Carsons and Cummings relatives, Borthwick, Carson and Ogilvie Roads being among these. When I took my children for bike rides and ground-hog watching on/near Carson Road in the 1970/80s, I had no clue that I was walking on my ggggrand parents' land! How amazing is this!!!! Neither did I pay attention to the origins of the road names we drove on them going about our lives as a busy family. After all, I and my parents were born in western Canada and I had only vague inklings of my Ontario roots at that time. Who would have known that my very own grandparents were married there, in CARSONBY, even though they both resided in Alberta in 1891, had I not researched this? In another e-mail, I can link you to my SMIRLE and COWLEY ancestors (who also have roads and records in Ottawa [near Richmond Road etc.] and links to the Carsonby families. ... Leslie
July 1, 2008: Happy Canada Day !! The 1879 map above shows the village of Kars (Wellington). Just south of Kars, on the Rideau River, are several farms belonging to the Lindsay family. The following photograph, taken in 1914, from Lindsay's Wharf, shows the family of Ephraim Lindsay. Mr. Lindsay built this boat and named it the "Kars". It's an amazing example of the contemporary boat-building skills of persons who lived along the Rideau Canal System. Important boat building businesses opened up in Manotick, Smiths Falls, Westport and Portland. In 1958 we bought a 14 foot wood plank / lapstrake boat built by the Mason Company in Smiths Falls. It was called a dory. A few years later, I bought a real fast hydroplane for $200.00 from the Dowsett boat builders in Portland. I was underage and my parents were not impressed about it, all summer. Was it fun, though!
Photo Source (below):On a Sunday Afternoon -- Classic Boats on the Rideau Canal, page 35 Lindsay family sloop, 1914

July 11, 2008: The following is an excerpt from an article by Mr. Alec Ball. The article appears in the current (June 2008) edition of the Newsletter of the Osgoode Township Historical Society and Museum. The Wellington Bridge, also known as the Lorne Bridge crossed the Rideau River from the town of Kars / Wellington to Osgoode Township. In 1961 this bridge was replaced by a new one, built about a mile downstream towards Ottawa. Old Wellington Bridge at Kars, Ontario Surnames for search engine: Marquis de Lorne, Duke of Argyle, Adam Easton, George L. Dickinson, J. R. Craig, Charles Lindsay, William Kerr, Robert Easton, Sir John A. McDonald, James Cullen, John Rochester, A.J. Baker, John Craig, James Mills, John Reeve. The contractor was Thomas Bingham, son of Samuel Bingham (sometime mayor of Ottawa). The first bridge master was Stephen Martin and he was succeeded by McKenzie Eastman.
July 25, 2009: Paddy Erwin is researching an ancestor, Robert McMullen, from County Derry, Ireland, who came to the Richmond / Marlborough / North Gower area c. 1820. He was a pensioner from the 47th Regiment of Foot.
November 11, 2009: Lisa Henderson is researching the family of John Good and Margaret Magee who came from Ireland and settled in Marlborough Township and then North Gower. The Good family was related to the Brownlee family.


January 4, 2010: The late Mr. Robert Sample compiled a very large database of early families in Goulbourn and surrounding townships. One of the families which he researched was the family of James Brown and Jean Wallace who came from Rutherglen, Scotland, in 1828.
January 16, 2010: The House of James Lindsay, from Ogdensburg, New York, USA to North Gower Township, in 1827
Photo Source (below):National Capital Region Heritage, page 189 Lindsay House, built 1850, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

April 11, 2010:

Swing Bridge at Kars, Ontario, Canada New Bridge, Downstream from Kars Village
Surnames for Search Engine: Kerr, Eastman, Byce / Bice, Ault, Gibson, King, Martin, Patterson, Montgomery, Bradley, Gilbert, Lynch, Neeland, Richardson. St. Andrews Presbyterian Church at Kars, Ontario, Canada Elmview Presbyterian Cemetery at Kars, Ontario, Canada
We have had an enquiry about a James Dunlop family who settled in the Richmond area (Goulbourn Township). It's possible that Gabriel Dunlop, who settled in the Chelsea, Quebec area, in the 1820's, was related to this early James Dunlop. Here is another James Dunlop, 1810 to 1895, who is buried at the Elmview Cemetery in Kars, Ontario, James Dunlop, 1810-1895

April 14, 2010:
Roger Stevens Creek was named after the pioneer Roger Stevens, who drowned there. The photo shows part of the creek in the village of Kars. The Rideau River is about 300 feet downriver. There is a boat launch on the Rideau in Kars and another one (a secret launch, good for canoes) on Stevens Creek, accessible to the Rideau River by water. William Pratt floated his saw logs in the spring from the headwaters of Steven's Creek in Marlborough Township to the Rideau River at Kars. Roger Stevens Creek at Kars, Ontario, Canada


April 16, 2013: Mr. Ron Moffatt is researching his Brown, Moffatt and Hodgins ancestors.
July 2, 2015: The LaPLANTE family of North Gower Township in the 1800's.
New July 25, 2016: Throughout all of the "historical literature" from 1827 to 2013, all of the social ills were blamed on the Irish Catholic canal workers. Here is an example of four of them being hired by the Authorities to maintain law and order and prevent trespassers from illegally poaching timber in North Gower Township. During the construction of the Rideau Canal, Colonel John By rented 1,000 acres of land in North Gower Township to the four Murphy brothers, James, Patrick, Edmund and Michael. Their role was to control timber poachers in North Gower Township. See document below.
Four Murphy Brothers in North Gower Township, c. 1830 Source: Rent Records at the Rideau Canal from ancestry.ca.

E-mail Alexa Pritchard, Lynn Logue, Leslie Grauer and Al Lewis
Back to Bytown or Bust - History and Genealogy in the Ottawa, Canada area
Bytown or Bust is also on