Ireland to Osgoode Township, Ontario, Canada
A Beautiful Methodist Obituary from the Christian Guardian, 1863
Possibly ML# 353 on the McCabe List
Painting by Ruth McMillan in 1976
Shows the Head of the Rideau Canal Locks in Ottawa, Canada in 1893
January 21, 2012:
Robert Wallace and family came from Ireland to Osgoode in the early days of the British settlement of the area.
He may have worked on the Rideau Canal before getting a homestead. He established a family tradition of farming and
having big families. Many people in the area today are descendants.
(Note: There is a good possibility that Mr. Robert Wallace came from County Leitrim and is ML# 353 on the 1829 McCabe List.
We're still wondering what ever happened to "His writings (a large manuscript volume) ".
Obituary of Robert WALLACE
April 12, 1778 - April 2, 1863
(copied from photocopy from The Christian Guardian, June 24, 1863)
The subject of this brief sketch was born in Ireland, April 12th, 1778. His father died when he was quite
a child; an elder brother and an uncle, who each in their turn assumed the paternal oversight, were in less
than twelve months numbered among the dead. His mother was now his only guardian and instructor; she was
a member of the Church of England, and agreeable to the light she possessed, trained her fatherless boy
up in the fear of God. From a very early age he was the subject of powerful religious impressions, and
under their restraining influence, he was preserved, while on the slippery paths of youth, from open vice.
Attendance on the public ordinances of God's house, he regarded both a duty and privilege, but remained
a stranger to the converting grace of God until he reached the age of twenty-five.
About this time, in the public market, whither he had gone on business, seeing a crowd of people, he
was attracted by their singing, which he was wont to say "he thought was the most heavenly he ever heard."
He drew near; the Rev. Gideon Ousley was commencing Divine service. It was the first time he ever heard
the Gospel preached by a Methodist minister. The word proved powerful; under its searching influence he
was convinced of sin, and soon after found peace with God. He now sought the privilege of union with
the Methodist Church, and soon after was appointed a class leader and exhorter, and became the honored
instrument in the hands of God of the conversion of many precious souls.
His writings (a large manuscript volume) which he has left to his family, is an evidence that he was a
genius, and if in his early days he had been favoured with a liberal education, he would have shone in
the literary world. His judgment was remarkably sound and clear; he was well versed and mighty in the
Scriptures; to the doctrine and discipline of Methodism he was warmly attached, and regarded them as
in strict accordance with the word of God.
He emigrated to Canada in the year 1828, and in several places in the backwoods where he resided,
he gathered its scattered people for worship, and formed classes, and thus as a pioneer prepared the way
for the regular ministration of the Gospel, and laid the foundation of many present flourishing Christian
As in the vigor of manhood, so also in the feebleness of old age, he was sustained by the consolations
of the Word and Spirit. His infirmities prevented active service in the cause of God, but patience,
the passive grace of the Spirit, was being perfected. He never murmured, although he frequently desired
to depart and be with Christ, which is far better, but would add: All [upon] my appointed time will I
wait until my change come.
The last time he met the class in his own neighborhood, a few months before his death, he rose above his
wonted strength. He seemed to be on the margin of Jordan, and was longing to cross the stream to the better
country. About two weeks before his departure, when the writer last saw him and held service in his house,
with strong confidence, he said, "The time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight and
finished my course, henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness."
His removal was, however, to his friends sudden and unexpected. On the morning of April the 2nd, he arose,
dressed, and partook of refreshment as usual, but shortly afterwards the summons came, and in joyous hope
of a better life, without a struggle he calmly resigned his spirit into the hands of Jesus, and sweetly
fell asleep in death, aged 85 years.
His mortal remains were followed by a very large concourse to the burial ground [now Metcalfe Union Cemetery]
of the Metcalfe Methodist Church, Osgoode, where they rest in hope of a joyous resurrection.
Contributed by Mrs. Stanley
E-mail Allan Lewis