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, December 18, 2008

The mystery of the "Man Servant"

Thomas Tennant and his wife Ann Hill and their children emigrated to Upper Canada in 1820. Thomas and his family left their Aghade home on April 12th 1820 and made their way to Dublin. On April 18th 1820 Thomas made the purchase for the ticket for the sailing ship passage to the "New World". Robert Dawson Tennant included a copy of the receipt for his passge in his book "Carlow to Lanark". The receipt details that it was for passage to Quebec for Thomas Tennant, his wife and family of nine children, a daughter in law and "one man servant".

The grand sum of 39 pounds was paid for the passage on the ship "Commerce" which sailed out of Greenock Scotland with 402 passengers on June 21, 1820. According to the newspaper Quebec Mercury of 1820 the Tennant family's ship landed at Quebec on August 5, 1820.

Travelling by wagon they made their way to Lachine Quebec where they prepared to go upstream on the St. Lawrence River to Prescott (Fort Wellington)- a duration of five days.

The women stayed in Prescott while the men travelled once again by wagon to the Perth area. From Perth they walked up the blazed trail or precursor of the "Pakenham Road" to their chosen lots on what would become the 10th line of Lanark. Officially Thomas settled on "Crown reserve Lot No. 8 in the tenth concession of Lanark Township".

As confirmed in information from the first draft of the "Carlow to Lanark" book provided by Colin Chalmers Tennant (nephew of Robert Dawson Tennant) the "Man Servant" referred to in the receipt for passage was actually Betty Neal. She met and married a British Army soldier, William Wilson, while staying in Prescott in 1820 with the Tennants and returned to England with him when he retired from his duties in Upper Canada.

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