FIRST GENERATION

THE FAMILY OF PETER McGregor AND CATHERINE FERGUSON


JOHN McGregor

John McGregor was born on the south half of lot eight concession nine in the township of Beckwith, county of Lanark (near Carleton Place) Ontario, Canada. His date of birth was February 7,1822 and he was baptized February 24,1822 by the Presbyterian clergyman, the Reverend William Bell, of Perth Ontario.

On July 15th 1853 at his father’s home in Beckwith he married Ruth Priscilla (Traveller) McLaren, the daughter of Rueben Traveller of Bytown and the younger sister of Fortune (Traveller) McGregor. Ruth had been previously married to John McLaren of Three Rivers, who was drowned before her first son John Rueben McLaren was born in 1837.

 

We do not know a great deal about the Beckwith township days of John McGregor. The Squire Peter his father carved a farm out of the woods along the Mississippi Lake and no doubt young John being the oldest son contributed his time and energy to the expanding farm. He probably went to the lumber camps in the winter, which was the custom in those days. In 1848 John’s mother died and his father remarried about two years later. It would be safe to assume that Peter’s marriage to Fortune Traveller led to John’s meeting Ruth Traveller.

The 1861 census shows very crowded households at lot eight, concession nine Beckwith Township. In addition to John and Ruth and their four children, Archibald and his wife Margery and their two children were occupying the house with Squire Peter, Fortune and Janet. Sometime prior to 1861 John’s sister Christiana married William Groves and was operating a hotel at Douglas in Renfrew County (previously known as the Third Chute). In the fall of 1860 John travelled to Douglas and made a deal on a farm on the edge of the village. Late in the summer of 1861 the family moved to the south half of lot six, concession eight of Bromley Township in Renfrew County. A Judge Malloch of Perth, who was a county court judge and land speculator, had deeded the farm from the crown. He was a frequent visitor to Douglas and great plans for the village. Some ten years previously he sold the farm to a John Ellis who had constructed a shanty in one of the lower fields and had started construction on a barn near the site of the present buildings. Also during the 1850’s ten acres of land were sold to the Dioceses of Bytown for what is today St. Michael’s Church and cemetery

According to the stories passed down in the family, life in the shanty was not too luxurious from 1861 to 1875 when the present home was built. A part of each winter was spent with the Groves in the village at the hotel and someone had to walk up to the farm to feed the livestock. John McGregor probably went to the lumber camps to derive some extra income during the winter.

John McGregor lived the rest of his life on the ninety-acre farm at Douglas. He was a well-respected member of the community, being active in community activities, including the school board.

He had the ability to set broken bones and provided a service to his family and neighbours, including Raymond Rice who told me about being brought to John as a small boy, when he fell and broke his arm. John and Ruth had strong religious convictions and as well as being supporters of the local Zion Presbyterian (United) Church they seemed to be searching for additional religious stimulation as shown in the attached census summary. After their son Peter was married and their family was arriving, the house was divided, the west side being occupied by John and Ruth.

John died at the age of eighty-one years in March of 1903 and is buried in the family plot in the Public (Protestant) Cemetery.

 

CENSUS RETURNS - SUMMARY

JOHN & RUTH McGregor & FAMILY

 

Beckwith Township - 1851

JOHN McGregor - Labourer -Place of Birth - CANADA
Religion - Free Church - Age - 29

 

Beckwith Township - 1861

JOHN McGregor - Farmer - Place of Birth - Upper Canada
Religion - Free Church - Age - 38
RUTH P. McGregor - - Place of Birth - ENGLAND
Religion - Free Church - Age - 43
CATHERINE C. McGregor - - Place of Birth - Upper Canada
Religion - Free Church - Age - 6
PETER McGregor - Labourer - Place of Birth - Upper Canada
Religion - Free Church - Age - 5
CHARLES McGregor - Labourer - Place of Birth - Upper Canada
Religion - Free Church - Age - 2
SARAH P. McGregor - - Place of Birth - UPPER CANADA
Religion - Free Church - Age - 1

 

Bromley Township - 1871

JOHN McGregor - Farmer - Place of Birth - Upper Canada
Religion - Free Presbyterian - Age - 50
RUTH P. McGregor - - Place of Birth - ENGLAND
Religion - Free Presbyterian - Age - 51
CATHERINE McGregor - - Place of Birth - Upper Canada
Religion - Free Presbyterian - Age - 16
PETER McGregor - - Place of Birth - Upper Canada
Religion - Free Presbyterian - Age - 14
CHARLES McGregor - -Place of Birth - Upper Canada
Religion - Free Presbyterian - Age - 13

 

Bromley Township - 1881

JOHN McGregor - Farmer - Born ONTARIO - Scottish
Religion - Bible Christian - Age - 60
RUTH P. McGregor - - Born ENGLAND - English
Religion - Bible Christian - Age - 64
KATE McGregor - - Born ONTARIO - Scottish
Religion - Bible Christian - Age - 24
PETER McGregor - - Born ONTARIO - Scottish
Religion - Bible Christian - Age - 23
CHARLES McGregor - - Born ONTARIO - Scottish
Religion - Bible Christian - Age - 21
ALLAN W. McGregor - - Born ONTARIO - Scottish
Religion - Bible Christian - Age - 3

JOHN McGregor 1822 - 1903

RUTH TRAVELLER 1816 - 1904


MARY McGregor PEDEN

Mary McGregor, the oldest daughter of Squire Peter McGregor and his wife Catherine Ferguson, was born on the south half of lot eight, concession nine in the Township of Beckwith, County of Lanark (near Carleton Place) Ontario, Canada. Her date of birth was 1823 but the month and day are not known at this time. She married William Peden a prominent Carleton Place merchant in the late 1840’s.

The 1851 census shows the following information -

In the book "Carleton Place" written by Howard Brown the following quotation appears, "Peden’s Store was just at the end of the bridge, and from there down to the old flour mill there were perhaps a dozen buildings (the 1850’s recalled first hand). William Peden was president of The Mechanic’s Institute library in 1851. Mary Peden was a witness on January 5, 1860 at the marriage of Richard Otway and Ann Knox

For some reason I was unable to locate the Peden family in the 1861 census. However they seem to be still a part of the Carleton Place scene. Mary Ann Peden, younger sister of William married the Reverend Peter Gray and he was the minister at the Knox Church at Black’s Corners and possibly Carleton Place as well. He performed a number of family weddings including John McGregor and Ruth Traveller in 1853. In 1866 William Peden was an executor of the estate of Squire Peter McGregor.

The 1871 census of Carleton Place shows a growing family -

The Peden home in Carleton Place seemed to be a very popular stopping place for visiting relatives, especially ones from Douglas. Muriel MacGregor Gerard recalls visits to Carleton Place as a young person and remembers the warm welcome at the Peden’s.

Mary McGregor Peden died in 1910.


CHRISTIANA MCGREGOR GROVES

Christiana McGregor was the third child and the second daughter of Squire Peter McGregor and Catherine Ferguson. She was no doubt born at home on the south half of lot eight concession nine in the Township of Beckwith probably about the year 1824. Baptismal records appear to be missing for the older members of the family, except for John. Not much is known about Christiana until she married William Groves and moved to Douglas in the late 1840’s.

The Township of Bromley 1851 census is as follows -

The census also stated, they lived in a log house called a "Tavern".

In the Bromley census of 1861 the following information appeared -

The Grove’s hotel in Douglas operated for many years and no doubt was a focal point for the relatives coming to the Renfrew County area. The fact that the Groves were living in Douglas definitely had something to do with John and Ruth McGregor moving up in 1861. William and Christiana Groves assisted them in settling on a new farm in a new community. Another family event that involved the Groves was the marriage of Christiana’s brother James that occurred in Douglas on the sixteenth of June 1860. The witness was another brother Archibald who was probably living in Renfrew and teaching school at that time. Information is plentiful on William Groves who lived to be over one hundred years old.

Unfortunately in the early 1860’s, probably 1862 Christiana died a young women. Her only child, a daughter was the only grandchild mentioned in Squire Peter’s will. William Groves remarried and by 1871 had five additional children. The family remained on very friendly terms with the Douglas McGregors, and although we do not know what happened to Lucy, her half sisters Charlotte and Harriet and their sister Mrs. John Moran lived to an old age on Stewart Street in Renfrew. The grandson of William Groves, John Moran Junior, sold the land for a retirement home on the edge of Renfrew and stipulated that it be called "Groves Park Lodge".


CATHERINE MCGREGOR

As mentioned earlier very little information exists on Catherine McGregor. She probably was born on the farm in Beckwith and seems to fit into the family between Christiana and Robert. An educated guess would put her birth date at about 1828. She does not show up in the census of 1851 nor 1861 so likely she was away from home and probably married. In 1866 she was mentioned in Squire Peter’s will and received a small inheritance.

The record of marriages found in the Ontario Archives in 1985 show a Catherine McGregor marrying a George McRae of Ramsay Township Dec. 17, 1847. The witnesses were Hugh McLean and Gillian McLean and the minister was James Hughes, Westlean Methodist. We do not know at this time if this is our Catherine McGregor.


ROBERT MCGREGOR

Robert was the second oldest son of Squire Peter and his wife Catherine. He was born on the farm in Beckwith, about 1830 although neither birth nor baptismal record has been found. He appears on the 1851 and is shown as age twenty, but does not appear on the 1861 census. He is mentioned in his father’s will in 1866. At the farm in Douglas many years ago there was a picture of a man in cowboy attire on horseback and the caption read "Robert McGregor Colorado".

The Carleton Place Herald in the 1850’s made many references to people in the area moving west and south-west even as far as California. It would be likely that Robert followed this route leaving home in the 1850’s. On a trip to Aspen, Colorado in 1988 a few phone calls to local genealogical authorities indicated if one had time and patience it would be possible to trace the path of Robert McGregor through the census. There was also an opinion held by some family members that Robert may have come to an untimely end, but no proof exists.

 


LUCY MCGREGOR CAMPBELL

Lucy Stewart McGregor appears to be the sixth child and the fourth daughter of Peter McGregor and Catherine Ferguson. She was born on the farm lot eight, concession nine, Beckwith Township in 1833.

No special effort was put forth to research Lucy, but she kept popping up in various records. She was visiting her sister Christiana Groves in Douglas during the 1851 census. Christiana called her only daughter Lucy so the two sisters must have been very close. The next time we hear about Lucy is in the Carleton Place Herald, when she married Colin Campbell about the same time as John McGregor married Ruth Traveller McLaren. The Reverend Peter Gray performed the marriage. Their first child, Cristry Ann is buried in St. Fillan’s Cemetery Carleton Place; she died Dec. 22,1854 age 7 months 2 days. Shortly after, they settled in Eganville and started a hotel. They had four children all born in Eganville. By 1871 Lucy was alone with the children. Colin had apparently died sometime in the late 1860’s. In 1881 Lucy was no longer on the Eganville scene and one daughter Catherine was married to Robert King, the rest of the family were living with them on a farm in Grattan Township.

I am attaching my data sheet to this resume and it appears most of the family moved north and lived in the North Bay area.

Lucy was the only member of the family to have a second name. An early Beckwith census refers to a family of Stewarts, which were listed just before the McGregors. Possibly Catherine called Lucy after the Stewart family. Lucy and Colin could well be buried in an Eganville area cemetery, but so far I have not found the location.

DATA ON LUCY STEWART MCGREGOR

1851 Census: At Douglas with sister Christina Groves and husband William Groves (cooper). They lived in a log house and operated a tavern and Lucy was classified as a "servant".

1853 CARLETON PLACE HERALD - July 21,1853

Mr. Colin Campbell and Miss Lucy Stewart McGregor daughter of Peter McGregor Esq. of Beckwith were married July 13,1853 at the home of the brides father by Rev. Peter Gray.

PIONEER REMINISCENCES OF THE UPPER OTTAWA VALLEY by E. C. Lake P.189 - Colin Campbell (1828) an innkeeper and his wife Lucy S. McGregor (1833) dwelt in a two-storied house in Eganville built in 1850. They had Maria (1856), Catherine (1858), and Robert I. (1859).

WALLING’S MAP AND DIRECTORY OF THE COUNTIES OF LANARK AND RENFREW, CANADA WEST, 1860 EGANVILLE - lists -

Colin Campbell - Hotel

THE EGANVILLE AND DISTRICT "OLD HOME WEEK" AUGUST 1948 -HISTORICAL REVIEW AND OFFICIAL PROGRAM

In the section "History of Business Life in Eganville" P.38
Refers to Colin Campbell as one of five innkeepers doing business in Eganville in 1857.

CENSUS 1871 - TOWNSHIP of GRATTAN

 

CENSUS 1881 - TOWNSHIP of GRATTAN

BIRTHS, MARRIAGES & DEATHS from the RENFREW MERCURY 1901-1910

1910

Campbell - JUNE 23,North Bay, Robert Campbell formerly of Eganville, "Bob" son of the late Colin Campbell who conducted a hotel in Eganville .Age 53 years.(June 30)

1910

King - AUG. 16, Eganville, Mrs. Robert King of North Bay, a daughter of the late Colin Campbell of Eganville. Age 54 years (Sept. 8)


PETER MCGREGOR

Peter was born in Beckwith in 1835. Starting that year the births and baptisms of Peter and Catherine’s children were found in the records of The Sixth Line Scotch Church. Peter was born on the twenty second of April 1835 and baptized on the tenth of May 1835. The usual problem, occurring here, is that when working with McGregor family history, there are too many Peters. For the sake of clarity we will call this Peter what my father always called him, "Uncle Peter".

He was the owner, during most of his life, of one of the family’s finest antiques, a violin brought out from Scotland and passed down through many generations. Apparently he left Beckwith at an early age to work in the woods or for lumbermen in some capacity. We have a key chain and name plate that places him at Temagami about 1910. My father recalled him coming to Douglas to visit and entertaining with his violin on numerous occasions. He was married but his wife predeceased him by some twenty years. A son and daughter are also mentioned in his obituary.

He died in the Renfrew Hospital on November 17, 1912 at the age of seventy-nine years.

Additional Information on Peter

Census Pembroke Village - 1861

Census Town of Pembroke - 1881


JAMES MCGREGOR

James McGregor was born and brought up on the farm in Beckwith. He was born on the eighteenth of June 1837 and was baptized on the eighth of October 1837. He appears at home in the 1851 census, so no doubt spent his formative years on the family farm. He next appears at his marriage, which for some reason was held in Douglas, on the sixteenth of June 1860. He married Isabella Collins of Perth and the witness was his brother Archibald. The minister was The Reverend William Lochead, a member of the Presbyterian Church of Canada. James was mentioned in his father’s will and inherited the large sum of five shillings as did brothers John, Robert and Peter.

In 1871 the Carleton Place village census showed the following -

It appears as though James spent most of his life working in and around Carleton Place. We think the youngest son, mentioned in the 1871 census, was Dr. John James McGregor V.S. who lived from 1868 to 1940. Another brother, Robert Ferguson McGregor 1862 to 1924 is also buried in the United Cemeteries at Carleton Place.

Dr. Jack McGregor visited the cousins in Douglas. He was the only Carleton Place McGregor to attend the funeral of Laura Jane MacGregor in 1917. In addition to being a veterinarian was also a liquor inspector and many amusing stories came out of that profession. Dr. Jack appears to be the last contact we have with our relatives in Carleton Place. There may be others.

James and his wife are probably buried in a Carleton Place area cemetery, which is yet to be located.


ARCHIBALD MCGREGOR

Archibald was born on the farm in Beckwith in 1840. He was probably the youngest member of the family of Squire Peter and Catherine Ferguson. Since he was eight years old when his mother died, his stepmother Fortune Traveller would have raised him. In about 1856 at the tender age of sixteen he married Margery McGregor, possibly a cousin because she was living with the family and appeared in the 1851 census. According to the ages given at that time she would have been six years older than Archie. They had at least five children and their son Rueben T. died May 18,1862, age one year, 11 months and is buried in the Union Cemetery at Carleton Place near the plot of his grandparents.

Archie was a very versatile individual, being a farmer, a teacher and a merchant. In the early 1860’s he taught school in Renfrew. In 1866 his father left him the farm in Beckwith with provisions that he pay various amounts of money to other members of the family and look after his stepmother.

The 1871 census for Beckwith indicates the following -

Shortly after this he sold the farm and went into business in Carleton Place. In 1877, according to his obituary he headed west and after sojourns in Winnipeg and Pilot Mound he ended up in Victoria, British Columbia. Here he went into business with his son Peter and operated a hardware business under the name of McGregor and Son, until his death in 1900.

Additional information on Archibald McGregor

Research carried out by Roderick MacGregor Beauprie and his sister Laura Lothian Kollenberg in 1992 produced some very interesting information. The 1891 census for Victoria BC shows the family living in the Yates Ward consisting of Archie a 52-year-old accountant, Margery his 60-year-old wife. Fontane (Fortune) is 83 years old and still with them and Catherine is 26 and is a music teacher, Sarah is 21 years old and is a "house wife. Peter and Adolphus are not mentioned.

In 1892 the Victoria Business Directory, Archibald McGregor is a commercial accountant for Page & McGregor in Trounce Alley and lived at Oak Lodge on Oak Bay Avenue. P.C. McGregor (son Peter) is shown as a real estate agent for the same firm living on Terrace Avenue.

The 1894 directory shows Archie living on Terrace Avenue (Peter’s former home). Now they are in the hardware business "A. McGregor & Son" at 95 Johnson Street. Adolphus G. McGregor apparently lives above the store but works as a bookkeeper for Ames, Holden & Company. In the 1897 directory Adolphus is now living on Oak Bay Avenue

Archie died on July 26, 1900 and is buried in Ross Bay Cemetery, about one hundred feet from the sea. His tombstone is well preserved and states he was a native of Lanark County

The 1904 directory shows Adolphus running the hardware store.

P.C. McGregor stayed only a few years in Victoria, but was extremely successful in business. He moved to Port Angeles, Washington in 1900. His success in the U.S.A. was even greater and he died at his winter home in Hollywood California in 1931. Peter Campbell McGregor was buried in Port Angeles.

Margery died on Nov. 5, 1907 at home (88 Johnson Street.) Near Archie’s tombstone is the stone of another son, William M. C. McGregor 1873 - 1955, obviously born after they left Lanark County.


JANET MCGREGOR

Janet McGregor was born on the farm in Beckwith, probably the daughter of Squire Peter McGregor and Fortune Traveller. Her birth date was about 1850, although no baptismal record has been found. Janet appears in the Beckwith census of 1851 and this shows her age to be two years, the 1861 census shows her to be 10 years of age. As mentioned previously, census ages are not very accurate.

The most accurate record we have on Janet is her marriage which was found in the Ontario Archives and it reads as follows-

Peter McEwan - age 23 - Drummond, son of Duncan and Ann McEwan, married Janet McGregor - age 18 - Beckwith, daughter of Peter and Fortune McGregor.
Witness - Archie McGregor - Beckwith
November 28, 1868
Minister - Lawrence Halcroft - Baptist

No further record has been found of Janet and her husband in the Lanark County area. Many years ago, probably in the 1940’s a gentleman came to visit for a few days at the farm in Douglas, he was from the area of Grand Forks, North Dakota and if my memory serves me right, his name was Duncan McEwan. My father said he was a cousin.

My best guess is that Janet and Peter moved west shortly after their marriage. Possibly the trail may be picked up in North Dakota.