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."

Monday, June 8, 2009

Cemetery Picture Service

Pictures of headstones for your genealogy research in Carleton County.
$20.00 per request.   The cemeteries have to be in Carleton County or Lanark County. Send no money now. I will email you the pictures with my mailing address and you can send me a money order or cheque. The money only goes to pay for gasoline there and back, and I would do it for free for everyone if I could afford to.
email me at
Thank you
Karen Prytula