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 Tennant "Cancer Cure"

George Cardiff Tennant

George Tennant, son of Thomas and Mary Ann and grandson of Richard Tennant and Jane Cardiff, was renowned for his ability to apply the "Tennant Cancer Cure" to those he came across who had skin cancer. My dad and mom recount many times they heard and saw cancers being cured by George. Many of his "patients" were locals in the Chalk River and Pembroke area. George also cured several Railroaders as they travelled through Chalk River on the CPR line. George's son Wesley Tennant of Chalk River also had the cure and applied it up until just a few decades ago. My dad Thomas George Tennant has the ingredients for the "cure" but not the amounts required and thus for all intents and purposes it has been lost with time and modern medicine rules and regs.

Here is an excerpt from the Perth Courier of 1899:

Perth Courier, June 2, 1899
John Dunlop of Pembroke Township, we regret to hear, is troubled with a cancer in the lower hip. Mr. Dunlop is about 83 years of age but apart from the cancer is in excellent health. Mr. Tennant of Chalk River who, a couple weeks ago, treated Charles Cornwith so successfully for the same condition, came down on Monday and hopes to effect a cure in Mr. Dunlop's case in a short time.

Here is another quote from the Coppsville/Clarkesville website:
Chalk River is not without it's folk heroes and legendary sons. The Tennant family, prominent even today in the area, deserves special mention. It seems that Mr George Tennant Sr. , now deceased, had an uncanny ability to prescribe herbal cures for a variety of ailments. Mr Tennant's abilities were certainly well appreciated, considering that Doctors were few and far
between in those days. Mr Dick Tennant, George's brother, performed many pioneer veterinary services for the areas sick animals. His sister-in-law, Mrs Andy Tennant who acted as midwife, delivered many of today's (1979) village residents. The Tennants and the services of this family were undoubtedly greatly appreciated by the early settlers of the area.

In the photo above we have from left to right:
George McKay, George Cardiff Tennant, Unkown, Richard (Dick) Tennant and William Cuthbert - CPR Yard Chalk River ON.






Interestingly in August of 2010 while visiting family and doing some genealogical research out in Egerton Alberta at the Egerton Cemetery my wife Jeannie and I met up with some long lost cousins. They too were in the wee town of Egerton cemetery conducting family research. What are the chances of two families that live 3000 kilometeres apart and unbeknownst to each other would pick the same time and day to visit the same cemetery to search for the same gravesites? Well the stars were aligned that day as Jeannie and I met up with Hugh Tennant (son of Robert Gordon Ttennant and Sara Symington), his sister Isabelle West (nee Tennant) and their neice Lynn Currier (daughter of Colleen Tennant) and Lynn's step father Carl.

Egerton Cemetery - August 2010






After introducing ourselves and a very brief enquiry as to whether or not they had ever heard about the Tennant cancer cure, Lynn and Isabelle recounted almost verbatim the detailed descriptions that my Mom and Dad and grandparents would tell of the Tennant cancer cure. It seems that the Tennants carried their not so secret cancer cure with them from the Wilberforce Township/Chalk River/Tennant Settlement area all the way out west to Alberta. Some of the details that Isabelle and Lynn recounted included the painful manner in which the cure slowly killed the cancer just under the skin, how it looked like a large spider with its tendrils and the hole or depression that it would leave after dying and falling off the body. They also mentioned how you had to let the cancer die completely and not to pick at it or remove part of it until it had all died before peeling it out of the hole in the skin.

A healing poultice would then be placed over the area until it "haired up and healed over". My Mom and Dad both explain in detail how the never ending pain kept those under the cure from getting any proper sleep for the 2-3 weeks it took the cancer to die.

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