Bruce County Genealogical Society - Newsletter Article
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Serving Bruce County Families --past and present

Bruce County Genealogical Society

Box 1083, Port Elgin, Ontario, Canada N0H 2C0

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Previously printed in the Bruce Bulletin, Volume 13, Issue 4, November 2002

One Member's Creative Solution to Cemetery Restoration Fundraising

Mary MacKay has just published her fourth book in a series of six about the lives of early settlers in the Paisley / Elderslie / Arran/ Saugeen area.
Each book in the series focuses on an actual family who emigrated from the tiny island of Colonsay, Scotland to this area and is now buried in Rusk's Cemetery, on Sideroad 5, just off Concession 10, Elderslie Township.
In narrative form, combining fact and fiction, the people in these books come alive as Mary chronicles their experiences. One does not have to be a descendant to enjoy reading about the characters because their experiences likely were also the experiences of your ancestors.
Although this series is not intended to be a genealogy, Mary has included family charts in each. They can be read in any order, but major characters in one book appear again as minor characters in the next.
Book I "We Must All Stay Together" centers on the Galbraith-McNeill family who settled first in Mariposa Township, coming to the Paisley area the same time as Orchard and Rowe. They claimed land at the top of the 'Hog's Back', just north of town in Saugeen Township. All eleven of their adult children came with them and claimed land too. One of the sons went to every gold rush. Many of this family were stricken in the prime of life by consumption (TB).
Book II "Lauchlan's Legacy" tells the story of the McNeill family who brought the Baptist faith to these parts. Lauchlan McNeill and his three sons all were lay preachers. One son, Donald, was ordained and started the Baptist Church in Paisley and Williscroft (Con. 12, Elderslie). Donald drew all the Colonsay people together and converted them to the Baptist doctrine. Three grandsons also were Baptist preachers; one rose to become the head of Baptist Foreign Missions in the world.
Book III "Tatters In My Life" tells the very unusual story of Kirsty McCalder who left behind her husband and small daughter in Mariposa Township and came to Concession 1, Arran Township with her brother Donald Galbraith. The fact that she was pregnant when she came and that her husband signed an agreement and sent her money every year until 1894 adds to the puzzle. You must read the book to find the answer.
Book IV "I Think We'll Go Too" is the story of Flora McNeill, her children and grandchildren and the many lives she touched as a pioneer in Prince Edward Island and Elderslie Township. Widowed eight years after settling on Concession 13, Elderslie Township, her indomitable spirit sustained her through difficult times for ninety-three years. Of her sixty-one grandchildren, only six remained in Ontario and only one of them has descendants living in Elderslie today.
Book V "The Scooptown Diary" is well underway and should be ready for
printing early next year.
Book VI "Down Petticoat Lane" will recount the experiences of the early settlers
in what is now Saugeen Bluffs.
The books are available at the Arran-Elderslie Township Office in Chesley, the Museum in Southampton, and in Paisley at the Tea Room, the Museum, Flotsam & Jetsam, and Majury's Barber Shop or from the author.
All proceeds from the sale of these books goes to the Restoration Fund for Rusk's Cemetery. Last fall a new fence was erected and this spring new bases were put under half of the stones. Work is scheduled to be completed this fall.

Bruce County's Townships (before  1998 amalgamations)

Albemarle Township
Colpoy's Bay United Church, Colpoy's Bay, Albemarle Township, Bruce County

Amabel Township
Wiarton, Amabel Township, Bruce County

Arran Township
Christ Church Anglican Cemetery Record, Tara, Arran Township, Bruce County

Brant Township
Walkerton town clock, Walkerton, Brant Township, Bruce County

Bruce Township
Underwood United Church, Underwood, Bruce Township, Bruce County

Carrick Township
Mildmay church, Mildmay, Carrick Township, Bruce County

Culross Township
Salem United Church, Culross Township, Bruce County

Eastnor Township
Barrow Bay, Eastnor Township, Bruce County

Elderslie Township
Memorial plaque, hamlet of Williscroft, Elderslie Township, Bruce County

Greenock Township
Plaque, village of Pinkerton, Greenock Township, Bruce County

Huron Township
Huron Township Hall, Ripley, Huron Township, Bruce County

Kincardine Township
Mural, village of Tiverton, Kincardine Township, Bruce County

Kinloss Township

Lindsay Township
War Memorial, Lindsay Township, Bruce County

Saugeen Township
Dunblane Presbyterian Church, Saugeen Township, Bruce County

St. Edmunds Township

Lighthouse, Tobermory, St. Edmunds Township, Bruce County
Bruce County Genealogical Society
PO Box 1083, Port Elgin, Ontario, Canada N0H 2C0
Copyright 2003 - 2012