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.

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

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