Dedicated to the Tennants and Grawbargers who settled the Ottawa Valley in the 1850's.

The Grawbargers sailed to New Amsterdam (New York) in 1710 or so on the "Elizabeth". Some of their family members (Andrew Grawbarger) migrated northward as loyalists to the British Crown in the late 1700s or early 1800s.

The Tennants sailed to Canada in June 1820 on the "Commerce" out of Greenock Scotland and Dublin Ireland . They originally settled in Lanark Township in Lanark County Ontario and subsequently spread throughout Canada and the USA.

Meeting up in the Wilberforce Township area (near Killaloe) in the 1850s the Tennants and Grawbargers became fast friends and intermarried quite extensively.

Moving northwest into the Petawawa area together in the 1870s they founded the "Tennant Settlement" on what is now part of the Petawawa Military Base. Being bought out by the Military in 1906 some moved into nearby Chalk River while others made the trek to the Restoule/Golden Valley area and others rode the rails to Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia.

Their story of hard toil and heavy burdens marked them as they set down roots and pioneered the Lanark area in the early 1800s. Finding strength in each other and through their fantastic familial relationships as their descendants married other pioneers, the Tennants and their extensive families spread out from Lanark to explore whole new homesteads and occupations.

Thomas Tennant and Ann Hill would be proud of the varied and broad legacy of their descendants. Their heart-wrenching decision to sail to a new world would in a few short decades after their death, ultimately be rewarded with their progeny weaving themselves into and becoming a part of the very essence of Canada.

Their never ending spirit lead their descendants to become explorers, clergy and pastors, shanty-men, hunters, trappers, doctors, farmers, scientists, administrators, lawyers, railroaders, soldiers, writers, educators, paramedics, morticians, elected officials, police officers, firefighters, sports enthusiasts and entrepreneurs of the day.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

The Hollmer side of things

Peter Hollmer and Katarina Martinsen
Peter Hollmer was born on March 17, 1848, in Wöhrden, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, the son of Jacob. He married Katharina Christine Elisabeth Martinsen and they had four children together. He then married Margaret Ann Hudson on April 14, 1903, in Renfrew, Ontario. He died in Chalk River Ontario on November 18, 1903, at the age of 55.

Peter Hollmer is listed as passenger #1 on the ship "Steinhoft". He left Hamburg by himself at the age of 48 as listed on the manifest on the Steinhoft with 148 other passengers on the 15th of September and arrived in Montreal on the 4th of October 1894.
Peter's wife, Katarina, and their children left Hamburg on September 29, 1894 on a different ship called the "Baumwall" and arrived in Quebec City on the 17th October 1894.
John Hollmer, his son Percy and my grandpa George Tennant
One of those children was Jacob (John) Hollmer, my great grandfather on my dad's side. When John (Jacob) Christopher Hollmer was born on March 20, 1881, in Germany, his father, Peter, was 33 and his mother, Katharina, was 32. He married Ella Lena (Elsie) Bergman on October 24, 1905, in Chalk River, Ontario. They had eight children in 10 years. He died on June 8, 1948, in Chalk River, Ontario, at the age of 67. When Elsie Bergman was born on October 21, 1885, in Germany, her father, Paul, was 35, and her mother, Annie, was 34. She married John (Jacob) Christopher Hollmer on October 24, 1905, in Chalk River, Ontario. She died as a young mother in the great influenza outbreak of 1918-1920 on October 21, 1918, in Chalk River, Ontario, at the age of 33.
Annie Pearl Hollmer

One of those eight children of John and Elsie was my grandmother Annie Pearl Hollmer. When Annie Pearl Hollmer was born on January 7, 1909, in Chalk River, Ontario, her father, John, was 27, and her mother, Elsie, was 23. She married George Edward Tennant (my grandfather) on January 11, 1927, in her hometown of Chalk River. They had six children in 26 years. She died on December 20, 2002, in the hospital at Deep River, Ontario, at the age of 93.

George Edward Tennant
When George Edward Tennant was born on June 3, 1906, in Chalk River, Ontario, his father, George, was 29 and his mother, Margaret, was 19. George Edward Tennant was born on June 3, 1906, in Chalk River, Ontario, to Margaret McAuley, age 19, and George Cardiff Tennant, age 29. He married Annie Pearl Hollmer on January 11, 1927, in his hometown. They had six children in 26 years. He died on June 9, 1989, in Chalk River, Ontario, at the age of 83. George worked on the local Canadian Pacific Railway establishment in Chalk River. George and Pearl are buried in Forest View Cemetery (just off highway #17 at Fields Road) in Chalk River Ontario.
Pearl Hollmer and George Tennant - Xmas 1977

Pearl Hollmer and George Tennant
Tom Tennant, his father George, his mother Pearl Hollmer and me - Doug Tennant 1978

Sunday, July 7, 2013

65th Wedding Anniversary - Tom Tennant & Elaine Cuthbert

On Wednesday June 30, 1948 Tom Tennant and Elaine Cuthbert were married by Rev. Carl Dean in St. Andrews United Church on Main Street in Chalk River ON. The maid of honour was Eunice Moore and the best man was Tom's brother Jack Tennant.

Tom and Elaine celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary at a garden party at their home in Chalk River with approximately 70 family and friends including several great grandchildren. Deputy Mayor Anne Giardini brought greetings from the Town of Laurentian Hills while Marjorie Kellow, their daughter, read out greetings from the Governor General, Prime Minister Harper and Her Majesty the Queen.

Tom and Elaine (front) with Jack and Eunice (rear)

Family Photo June 30, 1948

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Cuthbert Connection & Rosehall Farm

The Cuthberts and Rosehall Farm

This next part of the blog focuses on the Cuthbert side of the Tennant/Grawbarger journey. While no Cuthberts ever married a Grawbarger (that I know of), Tennants and MacDonalds did as described elsewhere in this blog. Indeed there is also the case where two MacDonald Sisters (Laura and Margaret) married two Cuthbert brothers (Ira and Ken) from Rosehall Farm. Margaret or Maggie is my maternal grandmother and she married Ken Cuthbert while her sister Laura married Ira Cuthbert. Ken was known as the gardener at Rosehall while Ira was the true farmer.

The Grawbarger connection comes about where it is made clear that Maggie and Laura MacDonald's mother was Mary Grawbarger (married to Alfred MacDonald).

The photo on the right, taken at Rosehall Farm, shows Glenn Cuthbert (son of Maggie MacDonald), Winston Cuthbert, someone I don't know, Maria McLeod (Winston's grandmother), my mom's brother Tom Cuthbert and my aunt Ida MacDonald (married to Bill Shultz). I think the wee gaffer in front is Alec Agnew. If you can correct and/or identify any of these individuals please contact me or leave a comment.

Rosehall was owned and cared for by the Cuthberts from about 1879 up through to 2005 when Winston Cuthbert and his wife Cory Vermeer-Cuthbert sold Rosehall. Winston and Cory (a minister in the United Church of Canada) along with their children Rory and Thomasina had to part with Rosehall as they moved up to Espanola where Cory had received a call for her services as a minister. Not wanting to be far from a steward of the land, Winston bought a farm just outside Massey ON so that he could carry on with his labour of love as a farmer.

This photo to the left taken behind the milk house at Rosehall Farm shows the three Cuthbert brothers (sons of William and Maria) Ira, Ken and Lorne (married to Helen McDavid).

My wife Jeannie and I were very fortunate and blessed to be able to buy Rosehall (all 199 acres of it) and bring it back into the extended Cuthbert/MacDonald/Grawbarger/Tennant family in December of 2010. So sit down, sit back and relax as you go on a journey to Rosehall Farm.

The Cuthberts of Rosehall

Thomas Cuthbert & Margaret Downey 1879-1893
William Cuthbert & Maria McLeod 1893-1943
Ira Cuthbert & Laura MacDonald 1943-1973
Winston Cuthbert & Cory Vermeer 1973-2005

The Scottish beginnings of Rosehall Farm

Thomas Cuthbert (1819-1893) was born in Bathgate, Linlithgowshire Scotland and he married Margaret Ogilvie Downey on 16 August 1844 in Scotland. Their daughter was Isabella Arthur Cuthbert in honour of Tom's mother Isabella Arthur who died at the age of 26 (1800-1826). Tom's father was David Cuthbert who may have been a weaver from Bathgate Scotland (according to the 1841 Scottish census).

Tom and Margaret moved to the Glasgow area and in the 1851 census they are listed with their children Margaret (age 9) and Isabella (age 3) as living at 10 Duke Street Glasgow College.

In 1861 Tom and Margaret are listed in the English census and are living in the Cripplegate Ward of the City of London and they have Isabella, Thomas, George and another son (Arthur? age 6 months) living with them.

In the 1871 English census Tom (listed as a harness maker) and Margaret are living at 10 Adam Street in Portman Ward of the City of London. Their children that are living with them at this time are Isabella (age 23 a machinist, sewing machine?), Thomas (age 16), William (age 8) and a daughter Marion (age 5).

In 1872 the Cuthberts emigrated to Canada and initially moved to the Beachburg area in Renfrew County. They subsequently ventured a wee bit northwest and homesteaded at Rosehall Farm Lot 4 and part Lot 3 Concession 9 of Wylie Township in Renfrew County. Today their farm has a municipal address of 244 Law Road Chalk River (in the Town of Laurentian Hills).

The first home that Tom and Margaret built for which we have records was a log house constructed in 1879. William, their son, would have been 13 years old. As he became of age and married Annie Maria McLeod, William assumed the responsibility for the farm after his father Tom died in 1893. William's mother Margaret died on 28 July 1901 in Pembroke hospital of heart disease. Here is the clearest and best photo of William and Maria with their children and some neighbours and Margaret Downey in front of Rosehall in 1900.

This photo of the Cuthbert homestead is from 1907. That's William standing on the right and I think Maria in the centre. The road should have been way over to the left of this photo and that may be a summer kitchen or woodshed to the right and behind the house. I don't know who is who for the children around them.

In this 1934 photo William and Maria are posing at the back of the house. Notice the corner of the milk house just behind them to the right. The original log house has been covered over and an addition has been put on the front of it facing towards the road. A small porch is visible to the left of the rear of the house.

This 1908 photo shows the Cuthbert family posing out in front of their log home once again with 6 of their children. Bill is looking very distinguished with his fancy hat on with the children surrounding him and Maria. There is still lots of the "ivy" growing around and over the milk house at Rosehall today.

This 1910-1915 photo depicts Maria and William working on the farm. Never too far from his formal attire, Maria is holding Bill’s hat for him as he smokes the bees.

This photo of Maria and others behind the milk house was taken in the 1940s or 50s. You can see the bank barn off to the right and a couple of other drive shed type buildings on either side of the milk house.

This photo (to the left) of the ubiquitous ivy covered milk house has Marion Cuthbert and her husband Herb Gunning posing with some cousins (siblings?). The bank barn and another wee building are visible on the right hand side.

Here is the milk house (above) as photographed on July 31, 2011. The farm house with light blue siding can be seen off to the left.
This is the rear of the farm house in a photo (above) taken on July 31, 2011.
This photo (above) from October 2010 shows the east and south side of the bank barn with the modern hay barn off to the left.

Here is a photo (above) of the front of the farm house at Rosehall Farm taken in October 2010. The deck has been replaced with new flooring and lattice work is now up all around the deck. That's me and Kevin Hickey talking on the deck.

This is a photo of my wife Jeannie Tilson who is out standing in her field at Rosehall Farm.

Looking westward towards the buildings of Rosehall Farm on July 30, 2011.

Various images of Rosehall Farm taken July 30, 2011.

This is a photo of me (Douglas Tennant) east of the bank barn at Rosehall in October 2010.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Manitoba leg of the Tennant/Grawbarger Journey

Thomas & Sarah Ann (nee Tennant) Grawberger

Thomas and Sarah Jane Grawberger came to Badger Manitoba about 1900 from the Tennant Settlement near what is now known as Chalk River, Ontario. They brought five of their children with them: George, Isaac, Sarah (Sadie), Margaret (Maggie) and Bill.

Their oldest daughter, Mary, remained in Chalk River and married a man named Alfred MacDonald on October 31, 1900. Mary & Alfred had chicken stew for their wedding supper as recounted by Elaine (Cuthbert) Tennant. The photo on the right is Alfred and Mary on their wedding day. Photo supplied by Perry MacDonald - Chalk River.

Badger was a thriving little town then, with a Post Office, stores, dance hall, section house, station and freight sheds. There were quite a few saw mills in the area and a lot of wood business. Tom worked on the Canadian National Railway and his wife Sarah Jane operated a boarding house.

Margaret, Sadie and Bill went to school in Badger.
In 1906, Tom took a homestead on S.E. 1/4 of 14-2-11 where he moved later after retiring from the C.N.R. because of illness. He lived there until his death in 1925 at the age of 70.

Their son, George joined the Army in 1914 and was reported missing in action in 1916 in World War I.

Bill married a girl in Vancouver and he died in 1954.

There are several Grawberger (notice that their name spelling is with an "e" not an "a" in Grawberger) families still living in the Piney Manitoba area.

ref: Pine Valley Echoes: a History of Badger, Menisino and Piney, p. 229
Author: Piney Area History Book Committee
Publisher: Piney Area History Book Committee, 1988ISBN0920739474, 9780920739471, Length343 pages

Thomas Tennant & Mary Ann Grawbarger

Thomas and Mary Ann and Robert Tennant (brother to Thomas) and his wife Elizabeth Grawbarger (sister to Mary Ann) rode the rails out to Manitoba in the very early 1900s. They probably came out just after they were bought out on the Tennant Settlement by the Federal Government to form the Petawawa Military Base in 1907/08. That's Thomas and Mary Ann on the right.

The major rail head where they moved to was Minnedosa Manitoba and they set up their new homes near Fairmount Manitoba just north of Basswood. They were members of the Fairmount Church and Thomas and Mary Ann and Elizabeth are buried in the Fairmount Cemetery (just off Fairmount Road which is east of Manitoba Highway #270 - off Hwy #16). This is a photo on the right of Fairmount Church.

After Elizabeth died in 1913 her husband Robert Tennant (in his early 70s) picked up with his remaining family and they carried on the journey out to Egerton Alberta to become farmers once again. Egerton is just south east of Wainwright Alberta. That's Doug Tennant standing beside the headstone for Thomas Tennant and Mary Ann Grawbarger at Fairmount Cemetery in Fairmount Manitoba.

This is a photo of Fairmount Cemetery looking to the rear of it toward where Thomas & Mary Ann and her sister Elizabeth Grawbarger are buried.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Tennant/McAuley Connection

The Tennants and McAuleys knew the value of keeping it all in the family. (No they didn't all marry Grawbargers but perhaps they dated a few - you never know?) Three of Thomas and Mary Ann Tennant's sons, George (the son of George Tennant and Lily Ann Hamilton) and Sophia and her brother Andrew Tennant (the daughter and son of Edward Tennant and Sarah Grawbarger) went to the family of James McAuley and Mary Jane Leach for their spouses. James was originally from the Alice Township area. All tolled five Tennant boys and one Tennant girl (from three different Tennant families) married six of James and Mary McAuley's children.

The picture above is James McAuley (b. 3 June 1851) and his wife Mary Jane Leach (b. 13 January 1857). James was born in Shady Nook, Alice Twsp Renfrew County.

Jim and Mary's oldest daughter Nancy Foster McAuley was married at the age of 17 to Andrew Tennant age 28 on Wednesday March 28, 1894. Reverend E.S. Logie the Presbyterian Minister performed the ceremony either at the home of James and Mary or at the Presbyterian Mission Hall (church) near Forestview Cemetery. Daniel Stewart and Mary Boyle were the official registered witnesses. Andrew and Nancy moved to the Lakehead and the 1911 Census shows that they were living in Dorion with 8 of their children. Sadly Nancy died in Great Pandemic of 1918-1919 and the younger children were dispersed throughout Canada. Some of them went to live in Westlock Alberta with their Uncle Bill Tennant and Aunt Belle Mallard.

On Dominion Day Tuesday July 1, 1902 George Tennant, (son of George Tennant and Lily Ann Hamilton) age 40 and first cousin to Andrew, George and John and Sophia and her brother Andrew Wesley Tennant, married Mary "Minnie" McAuley age 26. They were both living up north at the time in the Restoule and Parry Sound area respectively but for some reason (perhaps because Mary's parents were living in the Tennant Settlement/Chalk River area) they got married in Renfrew County.

My Great Grandfather George Cardiff Tennant ( 16 April 1877 - 10 October 1952) was next on the list of the Tennant boys to marry a McAuley . (The Cardiffs are another whole blog entry some other time). George was born in the Tennant Settlement and at the age of 26 he married my Great Grandmother Margaret McAuley on Tuesday September 1, 1903. Maggie McAuley was 17 when she was married to George. The details are sketchy but as the McAuleys and Tennants were both Presbyterian it is a fair guess that in 1903 George and Maggie were married in the Presbyterian Mission Hall (church) in Chalk River by Rev. George Campbell who served as Minister in the area from 1899 - 1912.

The photo above is of George Cardiff Tennant and his wife Margaret McAuley in their Loyal Orange Lodge and Ladies Orange Benevolent Association regalia.

See elsewhere in this blog about George Cardiff Tennant and his cancer cure.

The following story is passed along by Margaret Ann McAuley - grand daughter of George and Maggie.

"Since Grandpa (George Cardiff Tennant) worked on the CPR he
would always send the hobo's as everyone called them, over to his log house on Railway Street for a home cooked meal that Grandma would have prepared. They were fed and treated well when they came and always left with a full stomach. When they would leave the house they would put little notches on the side of the house. When I asked Grandma why the notches were there, she said that the men put them there to tell others that there were good meals at this house".

The photo to the right is of Margaret McAuley, her husband George Cardiff Tennant and her sister Sarah McAuley at a 12th of July parade.

John Tennant was born 30 October 1874 in the Tennant Settlement (d. 1955 in Westlock Alberta). John was 30 years old when he was married to 20 year old Charlotte Jane McAuley (b. 25 June 1884 d. 1959 Westlock Alberta) on 1 November 1904. The ceremony would have been conducted at the Presbyterian Church on Main Street in Chalk River by Rev. George Campbell. The witnesses for John and Charlotte's marriage were Charlotte's brother John McAuley and his wife Sophia Tennant. Sophia was John Tennant's first cousin. There are no children present so the picture at the right could be their wedding photo.

John Tennant's son - Hugh Wesley Tennant - is married to Betty Mortelette. Betty was widowed after her first husband Richard McAuley son of John McAuley and Sophia Tennant past away in 1980. Hugh and Betty are currently (as of May 2009) living in Barrhead Alberta.

In 1905 John Leach McAuley (the only son of James and Mary McAuley to marry a Tennant) married Sophia (pronounced "sof eye yaw") Tennant age 18. Sophia was the daughter of Edward Tennant and Sarah Grawbarger and sister to Andrew Wesley Tennant (see below). John and Sophia moved out west to Alberta with his sister Charlotte and her husband John, several other Tennants and Grawbergers after the federal government bought them out to turn the Tennant Settlement into the Petawawa Military base in 1907.

Andrew Wesley Tennant (son of Edward Tennant and Sarah Grawbarger) who died in the great 1918-19 Pandemic was married at the age of 29 to Sarah McAuley age 23 on April 21, 1910 in Alice by Rev. M. Blakely. Andrew Wesley Tennant stayed in the Chalk River area with his wife Sarah.

So here is a summary in case you weren't able to keep track:

Wednesday March 28, 1894

Nancy Foster McAuley married Andrew - son of Tom Tennant & Mary Ann Grawbarger

Tuesday July 1, 1902

Mary "Minnie" McAuley married George - son of George Tennant & Lily Ann Hamilton

Tuesday September 1, 1903

Margaret McAuley married George - son of Tom Tennant & Mary Ann Grawbarger

Tuesday November 1, 1904

Charlotte Jane McAuley married John - son of Tom Tennant & Mary Ann Grawbarger


John Leach McAuley married Sophia - daughter of Edward Tennant & Sarah Grawbarger

Thursday April 21, 1910

Sarah McAuley married Andrew - son of Edward Tenant & Sarah Grawbarger

Sunday, February 8, 2009

More Grawbarger and Tennant Connections

Thomas Grawbarger and Sarah Jane Tennant

Thomas Grawbarger 1859-1926 (son of Andrew Grawbarger and Sarah Jane Tennant) married Sarah Jane Tennant 1867-1941 (no not his mother!!). Sarah Jane or "Jennie" as she was known was the daughter of Thomas Tennant and Mary Ann Grawbarger. "Jennie" was also affectionately called "Grandma Crowbar". A picture of them later in life is above.

Thomas and "Jennie" had four sons and three daughters. The daughters were Mary (1881-1961), Margaret Anne (1898-1963) and Sarah Jane "Sadie" (1895-1969).

Mary or "Grandma MacDonald" as she was affectionately known married Alfred MacDonald (see blog post elsewhere) on October 31, 1900 when she was 16 years old. Alfred was 32 when he married Mary. Mary was a kind soul and always had a joke or story for every occasion. Alfred was a stern business like man who farmed his whole life. Every now and then he would act as a hunting guide for dignitaries. One of those who hired him was General A.G.L. McNaughton.

General McNaughton (on the left) commanded the expeditionary force that the Canadian government sent to England in 1940 during World War 2.

Margaret Anne (Maggie) Grawbarger married Charles Newman Kenyon in 1914. Charlie came from Mill Shoals in Illinois USA. Like her sister Mary, Maggie was also 16 when she got married to Charles. Charles' family was living in Elm Creek Manitoba and he went to Winnipeg on March 13, 1916 and joined the 221st Overseas Battalion of the Candian Expeditionary Force. He also served in the 78th Battalion. The photo below is from Charles and Maggie's wedding day in 1914.

After the 1st World War Charles and Maggie moved to Elm Creek Manitoba where he bought land from the S.S. Board until 1928. He moved to Badger, Manitoba shortly after and from there to Piney, Manitoba in May 1934. Cox Family Notes state Newman returned home from the First World War with shrapnel in his leg and hand.
While living around Piney, Newman was digging a well that collapsed and killed him. Chester, his son remembers this.."that he was watching his father dig the well and he told him to get away, seconds later the well caved in." (From Grawbarger/McConnell Family Tree by Corinne Grawbarger.

Sadie Grawbarger (1895-1969) married twice. She was married to George Boyd (8 August 1912 in Winnipeg) and also to Harvey Thibideau (23 May 1921 in Woodridge near Piney Manitoba). Let me know if you can help out with more information about Sadie and her first husband George.

The photo on the left is of Sadie and her first husband George Boyd.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Start of the Journey

In the 1861 Census Thomas Tennant (1835-1909) and Andrew Grawbarger (1835-1907) were neighbours in Wilberforce Township. Thomas had moved there with his father from Lanark County and Andrew came with his father from Westmeath Township and previously from Dundas County. Andrew Grawbarger Sr. was born in the United States.

Thomas and his wife (Andrews sister) Mary Ann Grawbarger (1837-1911)( in the photo on the right ) lived on 100 acres on Concession 25 lot 17.

Andrew (in photo below) and his wife Sarah Jane Tennant (1837-1882) who was sister to Thomas lived on 100 acres as well on Concession 25 lot 9 in Wilberforce Township
Thomas and Mary Ann had 10 children - 7 boys and 3 girls. Andrew and Sarah Jane had 12 children - 10 boys and 2 girls.
Edward Tennant (Thomas' brother) married Sarah Ann Grawbarger (b. Nov. 7, 1847). Robert Tennant (born on the Twelth of July 1846) married Elizabeth Grawbarger (Sarah and Mary Ann's sister).
Four Grawbargers married four Tennants and thus the Tennant/Grawbarger Journey started.
Tom Tennant m. Mary Ann Grawbarger
Edward Tennant m. Sarah Ann Grawbarger
Robert Tennant m. Elizabeth Grawbarger
Sarah Jane Tennant m. Andrew Grawbarger
As of the 1871 Census data Andrew Grawbarger Jr and his wife Sarah Jane Tennant had moved to Petawawa Township to what would become to be known as the Tennant Settlement (Damn Tennants stole the name of the settlement). In 1871 Richard Tennant and Jane Cardiff and their sons Thomas (& his wife Mary Ann Grawbarger), George, Edward and Robert were still living in Wilberforce Township.