Saturday, December 29, 2012

Family, Ancestry, and Genealogical Research
in Lanark and Carleton Counties.
Family Research : Price depends on the type of question the client would like answered on their family's past. Normally the rate is $25. The information is provided to you electronically, and includes pictures where applicable and sources. The most common questions for this price range are:
  • I have a lot and Concession number but don't know where that is, can you help?
  • OR
    My ancestors lived in this small town but I don't know where they are buried, can you check the cemeteries ?
    More detailed research will cost more. For instance:
  • Do you have any information on the Smith family ?
  • General questions require more sources and take more time; you will pay more and you will still receive quality work.
    I am a historical researcher, not a licensed genealogist. I have accumulated an extensive library over the years and would like to use this information to help you research your family tree.
  • Of Course you Pay Nothing if I Find Nothing!
  • Cemetery and Homestead Photo's - These usually run about $20 to $25 depending on distance and location. I take several photos so you can see the subject and the surrounding area.
    Headstone Cleaning - Once people see the state of their ancestors headstone they often want it cleaned. While some headstones hold up well over the centuries, others become illegible and that's what we don't want to happen. Pricing below includes Before and After pics and usually takes about 3 weeks. Price is : $25.00 for one side, and $15.00 for each additional side. Note: Some headstones are engraved on one side only, some are engraved on two, three or four sides..
    Send no money up front. I will inform you by email of the costs and send you an invoice when the project is finished.

    Sunday, December 9, 2012

    “The Journals of John Allen Snow"

    This book will be of interest to anyone who descends from John Allen Snow; Ottawa Valley Pioneer. His father John Snow was born in England, and his mother Barbara Allen was born in Massachusetts. They met in Quebec, Canada, and had two known children before John drowned in the Ottawa River. Their son John Allen Snow grew up on the Aylmer Rd., married, had many children, and had a career as a surveyor, which involved travelling across Canada. He was involved in the Red River Rebellion 1870, had a gun pointed at him, was almost drowned, and was horse-whipped. He traveled to east and west, and died in Ottawa. He is buried at Beechwood Cemetery. His life story and the stories of his descendants are told by him from the grave. He is the great great grandfather of a great many people in Canada and in the northern USA. This 250 page book is fully indexed and loaded with pictures.

    The book sells for $30, and shipping is included. Email me at if you are interested in purchasing a copy of the book.

    The index can be viewed at the link below; to post it here would be too lengthy.


    Please send me another copy of your wonderful book...M.S.

    Headstone Cleaning in Lanark County and Ottawa

    S T O N E S   U N T U R N E D


    At STONES UNTURNED we help to keep your ancestors alive by bringing back to life a tangible part of their legacy, and your memory of them. In many cases only a headstone, gravestone, or tombstone is the only memorial to the existence they had on this earth. Aren’t we all afraid that the day will come when we will be forgotten? Are we not afraid that one day there will be absolutely no sign that we even existed? It’s a frightening thought and no doubt our ancestors had those same thoughts. As I walk the cemeteries and old burying grounds, I see so many forgotten graves. Some were taken care of 100 years ago, but now those caretakers are gone forever too, and the stones have fallen into disrepair and are no longer legible.

    We do not repair, or resurrect broken headstones but merely do our best to make them recognizable again, legible if possible. Due to years of neglect we cannot bring these headstones back to their original state. Most are extremely heavy and have cracked and fallen off their bases. These will remain that way but they can still be cleaned up, improved, and with this preventative maintenance we can slow down the effects of UV rays and other erosives. (headstones will fall over naturally as water gets into the base, freezes, expands, then cracks the base, causing this foundation to break, and over the years the headstone topples over.) Let us improve on what there is left to work with, before its too late.

    We remove decades of accumulation of moss, lichens, mould, dust, dirt, bird droppings, etc. These accumulations will do permanent damage if they have not done so already. Then we give the stone a soft buff and shine. Minor gardening is the last thing we do. We trim whatever bushes might already have been planted, rake away the dead leaves, cut out the dead undergrowth, and cleanup any weather beaten fake flowers, garbage, and dirty, busted vases. We can replace these deteriorated items with new decorations for a small additional fee.

    Headstones usually give us a wealth of information especially to the family genealogist. Aside from death or birth dates a headstone can explain certain relationships, how a person died, their place of birth, and the clubs or fraternities they belonged to. Sometimes more. To demonstrate, the Harvey headstones in Laidley Cemetery, Tay Valley Township, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada say:


    And on a stone close by:
    APRIL 22, 1884

    The above transcriptions were written down 40 years ago. But today they are practically illegible. These two stones are on the list to be cleaned up.

    We work seven days a week between sun-up and sun-down and during holidays as well – so don’t be shy to contact us. Contact info below.

    What we need from you:
    • Name of the cemetery or burial ground
    • Name of the deceased
    • Other supporting information about the deceased, usually year of death. This helps to distinguish between common names like Peter Campbell where their could be a dozen people of the same name buried there.
    • Your contact information. Name, email address, mailing address, and phone number.

    OUR FEES: Minimum charge is $25.00. The minimum charge is for a one-sided headstone or footstone that takes one hour to clean. We charge $15.00 for each additional hour The average cleaning takes about two hours so you are looking at $40.00. This includes gas and supplies.

    • Footstone $25.00
    • One-sided headstone $25.00 + $15.00 for each additional hour
    • Two-sided headstone $50.00 + $15.00 for each additional hour
    • Three-sided headstone $75.00 + 15.00 for each additional hour
    • Four sided headstone $100.00 + 15.00 for each additional hour
    (four sided headstones can list numerous headstones therefor the graves of several ancestors are cleaned at the same time, not to mention the wealth of information you will find on this size of stone)

    Contact Info:
    If you have decided to have your family headstone cleaned by Stones Unturned, please contact
    Karen Prytula:

    By Email: You will receive a response within 48 hours.
    By Phone: 613-325-1354 This is a cell phone. Please be prepared to leave a message, as we are usually on the road or on the job when the phone rings. We will return your call as soon as we can.

    Other services: Many people researching their ancestry would like a photo of the gravesite only, having never seen it before due to distance. For that we charge $20. This figure is derived at mostly because of the price of gasoline. The photo will be sent to you via email, and if you don’t have email it will be mailed to you if you are in Canada, on a glossy paper.

    If you would like decorations placed at the gravesite call to discuss. Phone number above.

    Stones Unturned thanks you for your interest and looks forward to helping you preserve your past for your future generations.

    P.S. My apologies for any goofs in this blog, I had a hard time creating it, and it still does not look the way I wanted it to.

    Thursday, December 17, 2009

    Matthew Garrett and Sharbot Lake

    The photo of the white pillars marks a boundary of an old graveyard in Sharbot Lake. It is believed to be the burial place of Matthew Garrett.

    Friday, December 4, 2009

    Here are the pictures that would not post below:

    Home Children

    On another one of my lunch-time walks I ventured further down the Richmond Rd, where it turns into Wellington and came across this Orphanage for lack of a better word. From what I can remember from reading the sign, it was a place where British children were kept until a suitable home could be found for them.

    I understand today that there are a lot of people who are researching their ancestry/genealogy and have found themselves descended from a a British Home Child. I have included some pictures here, of where some of them once stayed. We have all read the negative aspects of being a child, sent over to this land, and being placed in an unsuitable home.
    I'm going to voice my opinion on the lighter side, and say that not everyone of these children could have experienced a bad personal upbringing by these Canadian families. Times were not great over here in Canada.  Canada, being bigger, and more prosperous, would no doubt offer these children opportunities that Britain could not.   But I try to take a look at what else might have happened. What would Britain have done with the children? Was their life so grand over there that being sent to Canada was a detriment to the children? I agree that life here in Canada was not good for all of them, but would life have been better for them if they were not sent here. Not all of these children were orphans, but were born to mothers who could not properly feed and clothe them. I would like to think these mothers (parents) put their children in the homes in the hopes that life would one day be good for these kids, and in turn, the Canadian Government thought the same by taking them in. I can't think for a moment that all Canadian people would have treated tall of these children unjustly, inhumanely, cruelly and unfairly, especially since many of the adoptive parents were born in Britain themselves, and now living their life in Canada. Life was not that much more easier in Canada either, regardless of what era we speak of. There was not the health care we have today, and statistics still claim that almost 9% of all Canadian children live below the poverty line/level. I guess what my point is, would the kids that were sent here as "British Home Children" , have a better life today if they stayed in work houses/orphanges in Britiain? I have seen a few documentaries now,  British Home Children researching their past, and finding out how they came to be in Canada. Their stories are the beginning....but in the documentaries I have seen they all grew up, got jobs, and raised children. I don't know if that would have been the outcome if they remained in these work houses in Britain....would they have grown up? would they have got jobs? I'd like to think that these people turned out better, just like their own parents hoped they would have, than if they remained in Britain in the work houses, and the orphanages. The following are some pictures I took of the place of where the Home Children stayed while in Ottawa....I only had a disposable camera, and while it took a good pic of the building it did not take a good pic of the sign in front of it, which would tell us a lot more on the subject.

    This area where the orphanage is on Wellington Street is very old. There is a beautification project going on in the vicinity. This building has a very nice statue atop the doorway. I think it's the Virgin Mary, but I cant' remember for sure. Like I said the camera was a disposable, so I had to fill the film which took me about a month before I got it developed. Once a month has gone by, I forget. But if any of you have traced your ancestry back just far enough that you found out they were stationed at Ottawa before being farmed out to families, then you can probably assume they saw this place.

    Saturday, October 24, 2009

    Peter Aylen

    The plaque says:
    “C. 1830. Aylen Heney House,150 Richmond Road. As built in the 1830's. This building housed labourers on the farm of Peter Aylen. Aylen was notorious as a Leader of the shiners, Irish labourers whose riotous habits enlivened early Bytown. In the 1870's, John “Buffalo” Heney added the metal clad mansard roof.”
    Just when I was about to snap the picture a woman drove up and parked her mini-van. She ran to the brick house next door. I waited for her return, but eventually had to take the picture as I was on my lunch hour.

    “Enlivened” was a polite and generous term, in my opinion. Peter Aylen was nicknamed King of the Shiners. He was born in 1800, probably in England. (While not researching Peter Aylen myself, I have since learned that Peter was born in Ireland). As a teenager he was a cabin boy on a British frigate. He had a stone house and a stone barn on the Ottawa River. (but it was probably set far back from the river, situated where the Canadian Bank Note Company is today).  Are the ruins still there today? (the ruins are no longer there today as the Canadian Bank Note Company is on the manicured site today)   “Imbedded in the wall of his barn was a mysterious stone inscribed with the initials P. A. V.(1).  Peter employed shiners who were “fearless, fighting rivermen.”. I have read that they even fought with Big Joe Mufferaw (Joseph Montferrand). Peter Aylen was many things in his lifetime, one of them being a lumberman. “All his timber rafts to Quebec were manned by shiners...Peter...married a daughter of William Thomson, and his son married into another great river family when he became the husband of a daughter of Charles Symmes.” The son’s name was also Peter Aylen, and the woman he married was my 3rd cousin 6 time removed! The house in picture above sits kitty corner to the Canadian Bank Note Company, which was the site of the original Peter Aylen homestead

    (1) I have since been informed that the P.A.V. in the wall of the barn stands for Peter Aylen Villiers (or de Villiers) the name he was born with but took the name of his mother when he jumped ship at Quebec City. (the reason for this has not been researched but as a guess he may have owed money for his passage)  This information comes to me from a great grandson of Peter Aylen, and Peter's birthplace according to family, was near the border of northern Ireland, and not in England.

    Still not sure how this blogging works.....but UPDATE :  I have since learned after posting the above paragraphs that a great uncle of mine Edward Sands Bradley (1802-1836) was beat up by the Shiners, in the late 1820s.  He died as of a result of his injuries some years later, in 1836.  Newspaper reporting in the Ottawa Valley was scant to say the least.  I have only been able to find a one or two lined death notice for Sands, but no account of the beating.  If you have information on Sands demise, please email me at

    John Burrows Headstone at Beechwood Cemetery. This stone lies flat on the ground. He was probably moved here from another Cemetery (Sandy Hill, or one in Hull) since he died before Beechwood Cemetery opened. It reads "John Burrows, Born in Plymouth, England, May 1st 1789, Died in Bytown July 27th 1848, Honored Pioneer gentleman, civic and religious leader, Royal Engineer, and Superintendent of the Rideau Canal, Came to the wilderness of Canada in 1816, From England.
    From "Women's Canadian Historical Society", 1901: "Mr. Burrows lived for a short time on the uncleared land he eventually sold to Mr. Sparks, the only settler in a wilderness of forest and rugged hills. He had come out to Canada in 1818, and settled on a farm between Hull and Aylmer. After Colonel By's arrival he was appointed on the engineering staff of the Ordnance Department, where he remained until his death in 1848. He build the first Methodist Church, which had the honor of being as well the first of any creed erected in Ottawa at his own expense. It was a little frame building on Chapel Street, just below Rideau St. and gave it's name to the former street. Unfortunately it was destroyed by fire a few months later....We are told that the first school in Nepean met at the house of Mr. Burrows."