A Teacher for Orkney:
David Rintoul

A map of Wentworth County from the period,
showing Orkney and Sheffield  in Beverly Township.
 Click on the map to view it in a larger scale.

David Rintoul was born in Glasgow in 1796.  His father, James, had been a merchant in Glasgow for some years and had just married David's mother, Janet Anderson, the year before.  Neither he nor his parents could have known that the tiny settlement of Orkney had just been founded in Upper Canada.  However, both David and Orkney grew over time to the point that Orkney needed a schoolmaster and David was qualified for the position.

David Rintoul became that schoolmaster, emigrating to Canada to accept the position aboard a ship called the Albion.  He arrived just as the school was being built.  At that time, there was no post office, no church and no doctor in Orkney.  David remained there and was the schoolmaster of Orkney until 1840.


A photograph of a typical 19th century Upper Canada homestead.

A second school was built nearby in 1840 on Orkney Road at the second concession of Beverly Township.  This is now the main corner of the village of Orkney.  David Rintoul was also the master of that school.  He married Margaret Elliot in 1840 and purchased land on Lot 6 Concession 7 of Beverly Township, very close to the community of Sheffield.  David was twice her age.  He was 46 and she was 23.


A drawing of a typical Upper Canada Homestead in 1832

David Rintoul and Margaret Elliot had eight children, David, born on January 12, 1844, James Renwick, born on October 2, 1845,  Margaret, born on May 26, 1847, Janet Anderson, born on September 23, 1849, John Anderson, born on November 30, 1851, Adam and Robert (twins), born on November 28, 1853 and William, born on August 29, 1856.

Sadly, four of these children died young.  The twins, Robert and Adam, did not survive their first  winter.  Robert died February 1, 1854 and Adam died four days later on February 5, 1854.  John and Janet both died as young adults and neither married.  John died on April 4, 1870 at the age of 18.  Janet died on December 29, 1872 at the age of 23.

Margaret Rintoul married Thomas Grummett and moved to a farm near Brandon Manitoba.  They had five children: Jennie, Annie, Wesley, John and Frank.  Thomas abandoned Margaret, left for the United States and was never heard from again.

David and William each settled in Manitoba for a time but then moved on.  David moved to San Francisco and William moved to Vancouver.

In August, 1850, David's nephew James Rintoul and his wife, Annie Morton Smith arrived in Canada.  They moved in with David's family and stayed for four years.  They had three children during this period, James, Helen and William.  On October 11, 1854, James Rintoul purchased a farm on the West half of Lot 21 Concession 3 in Amaranth Township from the Canada Company for 100 pounds sterling.  On December 27, 1854, James Rintoul and his family took possession of the property.  It became a family farm that would stay in the Rintoul family for more than a century.

David died June 8, 1872 and Margaret Elliot died within a year of that time.

David Rintoul recorded his own genealogy back to 1685 in a memorandum book, which Richard Mathews of California has been kind enough to publish on his family web site.  Donald Rintoul, who now lives in Peterborough, Ontario, has written an account of the Rintoul family in Beverly Township, entitled The Rintoul Saga.  You can read the full text of these documents by choosing the links below.

View the map in a larger scale
Read David Rintoul's Memorandum Book
Read the Full Text of The Rintoul Saga
Back to the Homestead