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, 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.

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