Janet Burns Millar travelled from Scotland to the forests of 19th century Upper Canada as an eight-year-old. Her family were members of the first wave of settlers to Dalhousie township, Lanark County. Her father William Millar was forced to wait in the military settlement, later to be known as the town of Perth, while surveyors completed their work before he could move his family to their new home north of Lanark village.
Among the settlers who became neighbours was a young man, John Callander, who became her husband in 1830. Shortly after the birth of their first child they settled near North Gower village in Carleton County, south of Bytown (Ottawa), Ontario.
John and Janet Callander had a family of seven children before John died at the age of 43 in 1850, the same day as his father Alexander Callander. Just weeks before, John and Janet lost two of their children, James and David, to an epidemic raging in the community.
Janet remarried to James Brownlee, a widower, after Alexander, their eldest son, assumed responsibility for the family farm. As the remaining children came of age, they followed the trails west, first within Canada and later into many of American states, particularly Ohio and California.
Among Janet’s descendants are doctors, veterinarians, bankers, business entrepreneurs, land developers and farmers. Their stories, told through community histories, obituaries, marriages and other public sources, are a testament to Janet’s legacy.
This tribute to the role of women in the settlement of the ‘new land’, both in Canada and the United States, documents what is known of this family and will be a valuable resource for historians and researchers of local and family history.
soft cover, 20×25 cm, 456 pages