Research and Stories
This is a place where I can share some of my research pertaining to early settlement and family histories intertwined with the story of Lanark County, Ontario, Canada. I’ve been researching and writing for many years and want to make some of my work more widely available.
This blog was originally designed to share my artwork and creative activities during the years when I was exhibiting widely. My art has now taken second place to refining and publishing some of my research, but I have left the art posts available for perusal.
Whatever your interest might be, enjoy, and provide feedback if you can.
Posted by Diane Duncan on February 1, 2023 in Blog Posts, Community & Family History, Featured Flag | 0 comments
William Murray Gibson, my first cousin twice removed, was a lad of 18 when he travelled on a freighter from Edmonton to Hay River on Great Slave Lake and back again. He was born on the Scotch Line, not far from my childhood home near Perth, Ontario, and received his early education at the Allan’s Mills school. His mother Janet Miller, my great aunt, was a sister of my great grandfather Robert Miller. He homesteaded on 15-40-27-W4 near Lacombe, receiving his homestead grant in 1898, just before leaving for his voyage north that year....
Posted by Diane Duncan on December 12, 2022 in Blog Posts, Community & Family History, Featured Flag | 3 comments
I’m in the process of reviewing, updating, and ‘closing’ research on various branches of my ancestral lines. I gathered a vast amount of research over the years and need to consolidate, paper, electronic and other information. This is the first post identifying the research I am finalizing and I am inviting readers to contact me if this family is of interest to you. My philosophy is that there is a point where I can say “I’ve taken this as far as I want to, now over to you.” My connection to the Rowat...
Posted by Diane Duncan on January 11, 2022 in Blog Posts, Community & Family History, Featured Flag | 0 comments
Lanark Rural Routes, Volumes 1 and 2 Lanark County Routes, Lanark County Genealogical Society, 2021 In addition to my personal research, I enjoy contributing to the work of historical and genealogical societies that share my interest in family and community history. Among recent publications of Lanark County Genealogical Society (LCGS) were these two volumes detailing some of the history of rural Lanark County. A third book is planned for 2023. These books are organized by lots and concessions of each township and record what is...
Posted by Diane Duncan on January 8, 2022 in Blog Posts, Community & Family History, Featured Flag | 0 comments
Marriage Practices in the New Community Seeking a marriage license The settlers in the early settlement of Perth, and surrounding townships came from diverse religious backgrounds. Rev. William Bell arrived in 1817 to minister to the Scottish settlers from Edinburgh but soon decided to serve a much larger community. His friend Rev. William Smart, located in Brockville, had convinced the settlers during the preceding winter that they should set aside their differences and petition for a minister from the Edinburgh diocese. When he arrived, and...
Posted by Diane Duncan on January 4, 2022 in Blog Posts, Community & Family History, Featured Flag | 0 comments
We often wonder what illnesses affected our ancestors and caused their death. Although Rev. Bell was careful to record marriages and baptisms during the early years, he did not record all deaths. He, and other diarists of the time, would mention the name of someone who died in passing. For the early settlement years our most source is found on memorial stone in cemeteries of the area. An these records can sometimes be misleading as they were often erected years after the death occurred by subsequent generations. Reproduction of Luke...
Posted by Diane Duncan on December 26, 2021 in Blog Posts, Community & Family History, Featured Flag | 0 comments
The Final Letter to a Scottish Newspaper (XXIV) Before leaving Scotland Rev. William Bell agreed to provide reports back to a Scottish newspaper. The editors wished to assist in the recruitment of people to settle in Upper Canada. It is evident that, while fulfilling the commitment to provide information to entice settlers, he reported both the opportunities and challenges of the emerging community. However, he often glossed over the challenges that would face a settler and this is especially true in the matter of getting from one place to...