Renfrew County, Ontario, Canada
History and Genealogy in the 1800's

Painting by Ruth McMillan in 1976
Shows the Head of the Rideau Canal Locks in Ottawa, Canada in 1893

December 6, 2020:

Picture Source: Destination: Ottawa Valley, by Peter Hessel, Runge Press Limited, Ottawa, 1984, page 77.

Opeongo Road
The Opeongo Road

September 28, 2020:
A Pointer Boat at Work on the Petawawa River in Renfrew County
Picture Source: Ottawa Waterway, Gateway to a Continent by Robert Legget, University of Toronto Press, 1975, ISBN 0-8020-2189-1, page 154 Pointer Boat on the Petawawa River in Renfrew County See also our Lumbering web page
New May 5, 2022: Geographical Names of Renfrew County, by A. Rayburn, Geographical Branch, Department of Energy, Mines and Resources, Geographical Paper Number 40, 1967, no ISBN. March 14, 2008:
Renfrew County Weather Forecast from CFB Petawawa
Some Pioneer Families in Renfrew County
CAHILL, Thomas wife=Margaret FRAWLEY from Osgoode Township to Allumette Island
COLE, Ezekiel, b. 1797 wife=Mary LA ROCK from Goulbourn Township to Horton Township, 1840's
CRAIG, William wife=Mary SWAN Scotland to Lanark then Calabogie brother John married Christina GEMMILL
ENRIGHT, Patrick,1812-1868 wife=Ann McMAHON to Renfrew
FLUKER, George wife= Frances LOWE m. in Pakenham to Renfrew County
HEENAN, Michael wife = Anne WHITE connected to many families in Renfrew County
KENNEDY, Michael wife = Hanora HOGAN from Ireland c. 1845 to Eganville area
KENNEDY, Thomas wife = Winnifred RYAN both born in 1760's
McCOSHEN, John from Austria in 1867 to Renfrew County
McDOUGALL, William from Scotland ? to Ompah, Ontario son William Gordon in CEF
QUILTY family Ireland to Ottawa Valley Mount St. Patrick and Ashdad
SHEEDY Ireland to Renfrew County
SULLIVAN, John wife=Johanna MURPHY Renfrew
WINDLE / WINGLE, John from County Limerick wife = Bridget KIELY to Renfrew County, 1840's

The family of Thomas O'GORMAN / Gorman (born 1786) of County Clare, Ireland, came to Canada in 1840 to Renfrew Town, Ontario. His wife was Ann O'Brien. Two other pioneer families in Renfrew County were Thomas DONOVAN and his wife Sarah CURLEY and Lawrence Curley and Bridget Farrell.
Calabogie Lake in Renfrew County in 1862 Map Source: Wallings 1863 Map of Renfrew County Calabogie Lake, 1862
Calabogie Lake is about twenty miles south of the town of Renfrew. The lake is part of the Madawaska River System. Since this map was created, a lage hydro-electric dam has been built where the Madawaska River enters Calabogie Lake, at the point on the map marked as "High Falls". Where the word "LAKE" is printed on the map, a causeway now exists, across the mouth of Grassy Bay. The causeway is crossable by car. It was built to accomodate the Kingston and Pembroke Railway, called the Kick and Push or K and P Railway. There is a golf course south of Grassy Bay and Calabogie Peaks Ski Hill is located at approximately Lot 19 at the western edge of the lake. A Portage Trail leads towards Black Donald Lake. I believe that this is now the highway which runs from Burnstown to Calabogie to Centennial Lake. On the north side of the lake, adjacent to a John Windle (above) farm, is the road which leads to Mount St. Patrick, a strong Irish Catholic pioneer community. James Dobson and Mary Mussell also settled in Renfrew County, probably in the 1850's. 1860-1910 Records from Our Lady of Holy Angels at Brudenell. A very large database of Catholic pioneers in Renfrew County.
March 19, 2008: Visit the Official County of Renfrew Website.
March 28, 2008: Below is a photo of David Atcheson and Margaret Robinson from Pembroke, Ontario, Canada. Sitting is their daughter Margaret. This photo was taken in WestBend, Iowa, USA. This family left Pembroke to homestead in Iowa in the 1860's. ... Louise Atcheson e-mail:
Iowa Homestead of David Atcheson and Margaret Robinson

April 5, 2008:
McNab Township, Renfrew County, in 1863 Map Source: Wallings 1863 Map of McNab Township McNab Township, Renfrew County, in 1862
On the map above you can see the Madawaska River flowing from Burnstown to the Ottawa River. This is the area settled by the Scottish Laird of McNab in 1825. The Madawaska River was one of the important rivers for the logging industry in the Ottawa Valley from the 1830's until the present time. The logs were floated down the Madawaska to the Ottawa River and on to Quebec City in the 1800's. Today the logs are trucked away from the Madawaska Valley. Shaw Lake on the map is part of the Ottawa River. It's correct name is Chats Lake. White Lake, Stewartville, Burnstown, Braeside, Arnprior, Mansfield Village, Carswell and Sand Point are some of the places shown on the map.
April 26, 2008:
1879 Map of Grattan Township, Renfrew County, Ontario, Canada Map Source: Wallings 1863 Map of Renfrew County
The villages of Eganville and Dacre are shown on the above map. Eganville was named after John Egan from Aylmer, Quebec, one of the early lumber barons in the Ottawa area. The Bonnechere River was used to float logs from the Eganville area downstream through the neighbouring township of Horton which includes the town of Renfrew. From the town of Renfrew the logs were sent along to the Ottawa River. Mink Lake is just east of Eganville and Constant Creek, shown on the map, flows into Calabogie Lake. A lot of second generation Peter Robinson Settlers who arrived in Huntley, Ramsay and Fitzroy Townships in 1823 made their way to the Eganville area in the latter half of the 19th century.
September 10, 2008:
Map of Sebastapol Township, Renfrew County, c. 1879 Including Lake Clear and the villages of Clontarf and Vanbrugh Source: McGill University Digital Atlas Project Sebastapol Township, including Lake Clear, c. 1879

October 9, 2008:
Map of Westmeath Township, Renfrew County, c. 1879 Including the village of Beachburg. The Ottawa River flows along the northern and eastern borders of Westmeath Township. This area is noted for it's white water rafting. Source: McGill University Digital Atlas Project Sebastapol Township, including Lake Clear, c. 1879

October 19, 2008:
Horton Township in 1879, including the Town of Renfrew Source: McGill University Digital Map Project Horton Township, Renfrew County, Ontario, Canada in 1879

November 11, 2008: The McNEE or McNIE family were early settlers in Bagot and Blythfield Township.
March 19, 2009: The Town of Pembroke was being settled around 1822.
May 2, 2009: Last week, one day, the sun was shining and it was time to take a tour up into the area around Ompah, Ontario. Palmerston Lake has a large population of Lake Trout. Here is a photo of All Saints Anglican Church, established 1885, on the South Bush Road, across from the Trout Lake Hotel:
All Saints Anglican Church in Ompah, Ontario
See a link to our Ompah / Parmerston Lake area under date of November 24, 2011, on this page.
May 29, 2009: Here is an interesting history of Calabogie Lake and Village.
June 7, 2009: Here we go again -- I've rediscovered my addiction to Calabogie Lake. A beautiful part of the Ottawa area - clear, deep lakes, rivers and hills. Here's a photo from yesterday's trip:
Photo taken below Barrett Shute Dam on the Madawaska River system Cottage at Calabogie Lake

October 19, 2009: Hi Al: I've transcribed the 1847 Diary of Hugh Falls, a Provincial Land Surveyor with his survey of Bennett's & Bissett's creeks in Renfrew County. He refers to a few men he hired as well as a few he encountered during the survey. I thought these names might be of interest to anyone researching these families. Feel free to post any of the diary that might be of interest. I'm not certain that I've transcribed all of the place names correctly as I'm not too familiar with the geography of the area. Perhaps you can correct any mistakes I've made if you notice any. I was surprised that it only took Hugh Falls one day to travel from Bytown to Montreal-thought it would take longer than that. I think he was paid 114 pounds for this survey. Linda Falls
October 23, 2009:
The Opeongo Line was surveyed in 1852 by Robert Bell. It's purpose was to provide access for settlers travelling from the town of Renfrew to Barry's Bay, Wilno and Eganville. Photo Source: The Upper Ottawa Valley - A Glimpse of History, page 148. Opeongo Line, Opeongo Road, Renfrew County, Ontario, Canada
December 6, 2020: Picture Source: Destination: Ottawa Valley, by Peter Hessel, Runge Press Limited, Ottawa, 1984, page 77.
Opeongo Road
The Opeongo Road

March 17, 2010: The Graphite Mine at Black Donald was in business from the 1890's until 1955. Taylor Kennedy has sent in an interesting history of Black Donald Mines.
April 4, 2010: Al / Ken I am attaching a map I drew over a 1939 Renfrew map before the flooding from Hydro dams. I need to confirm the approximate location of the specific chutes and was hoping you guys could help. I plotted them in yellow dots. This map will be the bases for the next map, years after all the dams went in and new lakes formed. The Ottawa Valley sure has changed landscape over the years. ... Taylor PS It is an Excel file. And there are 2 roads from Black Donald Mine. The solid orange was the original route they took Graphite from the mine to Calabogie to meet the train. I also plotted train tracks. The dotted orange line was the new one cut through the bush as stated in the story of Black Donald Mine. ... Taylor Kennedy Madawaska River Map, Ontario, Canada

Barrett Chute Dam on the western end of Calabogie Lake Summer, 2009
This thread (more maps, charts and photographs) are followed up on Taylor Kennedy's web page for the Madawaska River System. Nice maps and photographs. November 24, 2012: We are on a quest to find the location of a ghost town on the Madawaska River System.
June 8, 2011: Renfrew County is celebrating it's 150th Anniversary this year. One of the events will feature the return of a refurbished, historic Alligator Steam Boat to the Ottawa River between Pembroke and the Chats Falls in Fitzroy Township. A flotolla will travel from Norway Bay to Braeside on June 25, 2011.
September 29, 2011: 2015 is the year for the 150th Anniversary of Petawawa Hi! The Town of Petawawa will be celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2015. We are working on the history of James MacGregor who was the first reeve of Petawawa. I have attached the info that we have collected for our news article but what we need is a photo of James. If you have one we would love a copy for our anniversary celebrations. Look forward to hearing from someone in the family. Ann McIntyre (E-Mail) President Petawawa heritage Society / Village
November 24, 2011: Here is a topographic map showing the Ompah / Palmerston Lake area.
May 11, 2012: Michael John O'Brien was an entrepreneur who lived in the Town of Renfrew. He was involved in building railways and in the mining industry. His biography is contained in the book O'Brien, by Scott Young and Astrid Young, Ryerson Press, 1967, Hardcover, no ISBN. A very good book. M. J. O'Brien married Jennie Barry (Barryvale on Calabogie Lake). The Causeway at Calabogie, Ontario, Canada, built by M. J. O'Brien Railway Bridge over the Causeway at Calabogie, Ontario, Canada, built by M. J. O'Brien
October 10, 2012:
Thanks to Taylor Kennedy who made a tour of Renfrew County this past weekend and took the photograph below: Canaan Church built by pioneers from Scotland to serve Horton and McNab Townships in Renfrew County after 1840 Keywords: Scotland, Scots, Canaan Church, McNab Township, Horton Township, Reverend Alexander Mann

December 2, 2012: Here is a song written by Mac Beattie - Renfrew County Home - played by Charlie Gardner and the Dooleys May 27, 2013: Come to Matawatchan in Renfrew County to celebrate the 131st Canada Day events.
September 1, 2013: The village of Douglas is located on Highway 60, west of the Town of Renfrew.
February 6, 2015: John W. DaFoe was born in Combermere in Renfrew County in 1866. He went on to become the influential editor of the Winnipeg Free Press.
August 29, 2020: Many of the Irish immigrants to Renfrew County came from County Limerick so we thought this map would be a useful tool for researchers.
The Roman Catholic Parishes of County Limrick
Source: A New Geleaogical Atlas of Ireland,2nd edition, by Brian Mitchell; published by Genealogical Publishing Co. Inc., 2002; ISBN: 0-8063-1684-5

E-mail Allan Lewis

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