Hugh Weir and Elizabeth Hodgson

Hugh Weir and Elizabeth Hodgson

Hugh Weir was born at Blantyre in May of 1837 (died 5 Dec. 1917)

Elizabeth Hodgson was born on January 6, 1832 (died 6 Nov. 1913)

They were married in Argyleshire on March 20, 1857.

They are buried in the Crawford Cemetery west of McDonald's Corners, Ontario.

Margaret (McKim) Hodgson - mother of the above Elizabeth Hodgson.

This picture was supplied by a anonymous donor.                                                            Posted - 21 June, 2002.

Letters from John Gemmill to his son Andrew, in Scotland.

When John Gemmill emigrated to new Lanark in 1820-21 his son Andrew was denied passage because he had a club foot. This letter from John to his son shows his affection and longing John maintained for his son. The Doctor referred to in the letter was Dr. John Gemmill who lived in Lanark seven miles from Rosetta where John's farm was located.

A letter  :    The envelope inscribed:  To:  Mr. Andrew Gemmill care of Mr. Andrew Gemmill No. 19  Portugal Street Laurrieston, Glasgow

(Across the end in a different hand received:  Friday 17th Feb 1826 - on the reverse:  21 November 1825 , letter from Mr. John Gemmill, Canada.)

Lanark , U. C. 21st Nov  1825

Dear Son,

A few days ago I received yours of the 19th August and before that one of the 11th of May , both of which gave us great satisfaction to hear that you still enjoying good health , and this at present leaves us all in the full enjoyment of that valuable blessing for which we have great reason to praise God. Before I say any more I shall first comply with your request with respect to the statement of Marriages, Births and Deaths of the family, which is as follows;

                John Gemmill                        born 15th of August  1774 married 2nd April 1799 , New Cumnock

                Ann Weir                             born  4th of August  1781          

                Margrate (?) Gemmill           born 15th October 1797 at Neilston

                Jean Gemmill                        born 14th January 1800

                James Gemmill                      born 8th August  1801at Glasgow and Died 28th August  1802

                Andrew Gemmill                   born 30th April 1803 at Glasgow

                Jannet Gemmill                      born  22nd January  1805 at Cumnock

                Ann Gemmill                         born  18th April  1807 at Cumnock

                Mary Gemmill                       born  22nd June  1809 at Cumnock

                Elspeath Gemmill                  born  13th April   1811at Cumnock and Died 11th May  1812

                John Gemmill                        born 28th March  1813 at Cumnock

                Marion Gemmill                    born  8th March   1815 at Cumnock

                Elizabeth Gemmill                 born 14th Feby    1817 at Cumnock

                David Gemmill                       born 10th May     1819 at Gorbal Glasgow

Janet Gemmill married to Adam Craig 28th May 1824 at Lanark, U. C. their son John , born 14th September 1824 as for Margrate and yourself I daresay you can find the dates of marriages yourself. We have been very much disappointed with your not coming to this place as there have been several vacant situations which you might have had with very genteel salaries, there is one at present were you here of L150 per annum which you could have at Kingston -- Mary and Ann are gone to service  during the winter season and the little ones are attending school.

It is my earnest desire that you will dispose of the house at whatever it may bring, and detain no longer with it but move yourself  to this country & bring your sister Jean & Margrate & her husband if they will come along with you. If you don't come soon the bottom will be out of the kettle. I wish you would bring me a good Rifle Fowling piece & I will keep you in venison. The Deer is very plentiful here. If you come Jannet wishes you would lay out a small part of your inheritance (sic) for a dress for her ald (?) son , & to tell Jean to bring her a red and white plaid. I also wish you would be good enough to bring me a few half round files & a few three square ones and also a few pounds of Spanish Brown & a line or two as I have a great deal to do amongst timber.

Should you all come you may expect enough of work for I have got another 100 acres of land, last summer I had 24 acres under crop & expects to have as much next besides hay therefore you may expect very little idle time.

It is some time since we have seen any of the Doctor's family  but as far as we know they are all in health but I expect to see them in a few days when I shall let him know respecting Mr. Lang.

Immediately on your arrival at Quebec write to us that some of us may come & conduct you up the country which you would find to be of some advantage.  You may give all our best respects to all enquiring friends and acquaintances as present I will bid you Adieu, leaving you to the Protection & Mercy of Providence who is the all wise disposer of all things & sure.

Dear Son

I Remain Your , Loving Father - John  Gemmill.

A letter from Mr. John Gemmill of Rosetta : 30 April, 1824

The envelope :      To  Mr.  Andrew Gemmill on the reverse care of John Gemmill No. 19 Portugal Street, Lauriston, Glasgow

(across the end Received Saturday 11th September  1824   A. G.)

The letter:

Dear Son

We had the pleasure of receiving a letter from you dated 3rd Sept. about the 10th December and another dated 31st January on the 23 of this month. We are all very happy to hear of your welfare and the welfare of all our relations, but truly sorry to hear of the accident which happened Uncle Andrew but happy to hear how he is in a mending way. We would have written you sooner had we thought  you were not coming on the testimony of the last letter you received, but now you require a more explicit statement. We shall proceed to answer your numerous budget of queries just as they stand and leave you to judge in some measure for yourself. First  then we have got one hundred acres English, the soil is in general very good, the surface partly level partly diversified with little hills or we may say hillocks for there is not many hills in this country  like the hills in Scotland. There is a good deal of stones in these hillocks and sometimes rock. The soil approaches some times nearly to sand and sometimes there's a clay bottom. It is all very free to work but for the roots, these in a short time will decay. We believe that an acre of land here will produce, bear as much crop as the land at home if the same pains is bestowed on it  may with even less attention, however all that is done to new land is to remove the timber by fire, sow the grain drag it with a harrow, two and often three crops are put in this way then sow it down in grass in which state it may remain for six or seven years a good crop of hay taken off each year without further sowing. The land produces all the different kinds of crops of the old country and some others that cannot be produced at home without the aid of hot houses and timothy, potatoes, turnips, pumpkins, squashes, water melons, sugar melons and cucumber are what we sow and plant and they all grow to perfection with a variety of other smaller seeds too tedious to mention. In new settlements the land is mostly wrought with the hoe and the harrow , but in old settlements when the stumps are out the same as at home. We have four seasons here as distinct as at home. Some snow falls in November  but the severity of the winter does not come on in general until January  this month and the next are the two severest  in the season

then she wears more mitts as the season advances and the snow disappears about the middle of April sometimes sooner sometimes later. The winter is a little colder and the summer is a little hotter than at home. It is a very healthy country a doctor is not  much required. We are 7 miles from Dr. Gemmill. Every settler has just such a house as he pleases to put up. They are however all of wood as being most readily put up.

We have two cows, one yearling, one yoke of oxen, a cock and seven hens, three swine by the time you arrive these we expect will have brought a great many more.  We are not far from neighbours every hundred has generally a family on it. Pigeons and partridges abound in old settlements. Deer are very plentiful and sometimes she hear he is not ferocious unless he be roughly handled. Wild ducks and geese are plenty about lakes and rivers of trees we have

the maple which produces sugar in spring as much as we want. Birch from which we may have beer if we take (?) the trouble to make it. Beach, Basswood, ash Black and white rock and swamp elm, pine, hemlock, pine tree makes beautiful furniture I had almost forgot the Royal Oak . Some are very large some are very small. There may be some four feet through they are pretty close  This depends much on their size, where the trees are large, the space between them is greater  than when they are small. Our lands are not named they are numbered. A concession is ten miles long, on this concession there are twenty seven lots Nos. 2 , 3 , etc.  ours is No. 13 . Our market is new settlers coming into the country at present  and there is a canal arriving through the country that will be a means of conveyance after a few years. New settlers cannot dispose of much for a while. Men's wages may be averaged at  three shillings per day throughout the year serving women from four to six dollars a month, remember that both have their board included .

The best implements you can bring to this country is a piece of very strong cloth, plaiding, harren (?)  for shirts. Bring some files, I want some. I need good sole leather.  Other implements can be had here better adapted to the country .

Respecting your coming to the country we feel most desirous you should.  We have twice had an opportunity of a good situation for you had you been here and likely we may fall in with a third. If your uncle Andrew intends coming here I propose getting other two hundred acres. John McFarlane desires to be remembered to your uncle and neighbour and all enquiring friends. Our best respects to Jean &  Marg, all Uncles and aunts and if you come bring Jean and Marg with you. All your sisters and brothers join us in kind love to you.

We are

Dear  Son, Your Loving Affect , Father  &  Mother - John Gemmill

Along the edge a P.S.    Janet will be married before you can get here though you put on spurt .

There are more letters - see Historic Documents.


The above photo is of Margaret Weir, daughter of Hugh and Elizabeth (Hodgson) Weir, born 28 August, 1863.  She taught school at SS # 5, Heron Mills in 1885, where she met William Craig Stead, born 12 January, 1865.  They were married in Perth, Ontario in 1886 and had the following children; (Ida Mary is on the left and Margaret Weir is on Margaret's lap)

William J., born Feb. 1887

Elizabeth "Bessie" born Feb. 1888

George., born Apr 1889

John William, born Jan 1891

Agnes Catherine, born June 1892

Allan Hugh, born March 1894

Eva Jean, born Feb 1896, Mrs. Edward Lawrence Desjardins (Jardine).

Ida Mary, born Aug 1898

Margaret Weir, born 1902. 


George Stead and Mary Jane Rodger                    John Stead and Margaret Lawson

William Craig Stead and Margaret Weir - and Family.

William & Margaret Stead's - Four Boys.

George Stead and his wife, Mary Jane Rodger, who were married April 20, 1892.

There children: Jennie Stewart Stead, born September 1893; William Henry "Harry" Stead, born April 1896 and Addie Craig Stead, born March 1897.

Other children were: Frank George Stead, born September, 1900 and Mary Edith Stead, born May 1908.

An Obituary - The Ottawa Citizen, Saturday, November 25, 2001.

STEAD , W. Franklin  " Frank "

Suddenly and peacefully at his home  R. R. #2, Lanark on Wednesday, November 21st., 2001.  Frank Stead at the age of 79, beloved husband for 55 years of Kathleen E. Roger.  Dear father of Rodney ( Sharon ) of Stittsville, Ruth ( Earl ) Johnson of Nepean, Karen ( George ) Ennis of R. R. #1 Balderson  and Kerry ( Joanne ) of Nepean.  Lovingly remembered by his grandchildren, Lynne, Sarah and Robbie Stead, Martin ( Estelle ) and  Andrew ( Kim ) Ennis, Christopher and Craig  Stead, and great granddaughter Jessica Ennis. Frank is survived by three brothers; Earl ( Dorothy ), Harold ( Lilias ), Leonard (Helen) Stead and one sister Mildred ( Welly ) Munro of R. R. #2  Lanark.

William Franklin Stead was the son of  William Harry Stead  ( April 2, 1895 - November 8, 1983 ) and Ida Louella Pretty.

William Harry was the son of George Stead  ( September 16, 1867 - July 4, 1951 ) and Mary Jane Roger.

George Stead was the son of William Stead ( February 28, 1840 - March 8, 1921 ) and Agnes Craig.

William Stead was the son William Stead of Farndale, Kirbymoorside ( May 24, 1802 - October 1894 ) and Elizabeth Weldon of Lastingham.

This William emigrated to Lanark County, Ontario with his family in 1830.   

William was the son of George Stead  ( August 14, 1774 - 1858 ) This George emigrated to Lanark Township from Yorkshire before 1820. He married Catherine Thompson of Knaresborough.

George was the son of John Stead  ( abt 1750 ) and Ann Foster. Ann was from Bilsdale and John from Farndale.

There is a possibility that John Stead was the son of  the  John Stead who married Mary Mercer on November 25, 1727 at Lastingham , and that John was the son of William Stead, a Farndale stay-maker who married Margaret Pearson in 1696

This is a photo of Aggie Stead, daughter of William Craig Stead and Maggie Weir.

Agnes Catherine was born June 30, 1892, and she married Tom McCurdy in June 1913.  

On the right is Eva Jean Stead, born February 10, 1896, and she married Edward Lawrence Desjardine (Jardine) in April of 1917.

Posted: 29 September, 2002.

 The William Stead who emigrated to Lanark County in 1830.

 William b. May 24, 1802 in Farndale Parish, North Yorkshire

              d. October 18, 1844 , at Middleville, Lanark Twp.

              m.  Jan 19, 1828 at Lastingham Parish, N. Yorkshire

 Elizabeth Weldon

              b. April 17, 1796 - Lastingham parish, N. York.

              d. May 16, 1889  at Middleville, Lanark Twp.

Children :

              1. George Stead        May 25, 1828

              2. Ann Stead              March 24, 1830

              3. Jane Ellen Stead  March 18 , 1832

              4. Elizabeth Stead    January 20 , 1835

              5. Mary Ann Stead    1836

              6.                                 Feb. 20 , 1840

George, b. 1828, at the age of 21 went to New York city and took a ship to San Francisco. He spent five yrs in the gold fields. He returned to Lanark County about 1853 and established a mill (April 9 , 1855) on the Mississippi River (Ontario) at  the  mouth of Dalhousie Lake. He had both a saw mill and a grist  or flour mill.  He sold this property to the Geddes family in 1880. The mills burned in 1878. George went to the Dakota  territory and bought some land near Turtle Creek (Manvel). He returned to Dalhousie Lake and moved with his family to the Dakotas. (1882)

In 1854, George married, December 21, Elizabeth Henderson of Middleville, Ontario.

Their children were :

     1. Martha                          September  3 , 1856

     2. William Henderson      May 23 , 1858

     3. Helen Myra                   April 11 , 1860

     4. Anne Maria Henderson S.  July 26 , 1861

     5. George Henderson      December 29 , 1865

     6 Jane A  Stead                June 1868

     7. John Lawrence             June 22 , 1876

From letters written to the parents of Ronald Thompson in 1852 and 1853 George Stead relates his experiences. George Stead left New York for San Francisco on a sailing vessel April 1, 1852 to make the entire trip via Cape Horn. After a stormy  winter passage of the Horn and encountering ships in distress with whom they shared food they  arrived in San Francisco on September 1. After  four days in San Francisco they  boarded steamers for Marysville and Sacramento for the mining country. Mr. Stead spent  three years in the gold fields. He then returned east walking across the isthmus of Panama and carrying enough gold to purchase sawmills and flourmills on the Mississippi River (Dalhousie Lake). He operated these mills for twenty years, until suffering a heavy loss by fire. He sold the remainder of his property  and went to North Dakota in 1880.(The Geddes family purchased this site March 10, 1882 from The Canadian Mississippi River by Hilda Geddes) He bought a section of land 16 miles north of Grand Forks and made his home there until his death  twenty-one years later. The letters stating these adventures were  preserved by his parents and were received by his son, George Henderson  Stead, from a sister Mrs. W. A. Moore, of Hamilton, Ontario.

This is the text of George's letter (I transcribed it as it appeared to be spelled in the letter without any corrections of spellings): letter from George Stead to his father, William Nov 28, 1853, from the gold mines of California. (The I is Bob Douglas husband of Susan) Letter is in the possession of Susan Middleton Douglas:

"To William Stead Lanark Co., Lanark Canada West"

"Long Bar November 28th 1853

Dear father I once more take the opertunity of writing you a few lines hoping that they may find you in good helth as they leave me at pressent when I wrote to you last I did not know where to tell you to direct my next letters to in my last letter I sent you a draft for six hundred dolars on the (crossed out word) people's Bank in montreall which I hope you will have gott some 2 or three weeks before you git this letter  when I wrote last I was In sacrimento citty I took a tramp away into the southren mines and every place I came across looked to me to be a very dull show for making much money this winter so I came back to where I was last winter I can make 2 or 3 dolars a day here but I consider that very small waiges in this country  I had the offer of 50 dolars a month for the winter but would not take it I always like to be my own bos in this country and keep trying my luck althoug I should not make so much money as I perhaps might doo by hiring out I hired out 3 days last week to an acuaintance of mine and he gave me 5 dolars a day I intend going about 15 miles from where I am tomorrow for to take a weeks prospecting in some coarse gold digings for where I am there is no cahace for making very big waiges because the gold is very fine and thinly  sold and every yeaar the ground gits more and more worked over  my old friend Peter Lawson favoured me with a letter some time ago  I once wrote him a letter and I had it in that old pocket book which I got of you the night before I left home along with all the letters that I got from home and I lost the whole consern and I never have had an opertunity to write him another  some time last winter I wrote to you of having sunck prety dep and got a good prospect  he wished to know how I sucksedid in it I never went to the escpence of gitting a pump and working it but left here shortly after that for the mountains and through the sumer there was a man jopt (?) into my old hole and hired a lot of china men and made about (crossed out word) seven hundred dolars in about 2 months  that's california all over I do not escpect to make much for a month or 2 because it rains mostly every day at this time of the year it is poring it down now if cousin John Affleck comes to this country next spring tell him to start about the 10th of march and then he would sail from new york on the 5th and be to sanfrancisco about the 15 of april I think he can come for about 100 dolars when he comes to sanfrancisco he will take the steam boats from there to sacrimento and then to marisville and there he must stop and hire out to the first offer he can git and write me a letter and slip it into the post office I can send for it from any part of the mines by escpres every week and when I git one from him I will come down to where he is and learn him a few of the ropes of california I wish him and you to write me an answer to this as soon as you git it for I am anxious to hear If you have got the money which I sent you I would go to austrilia if I thought I wold better myself I would start for home tomorrow If I thought I could do as well as I can do here so I beg of you Dear Father and mother not to think long of our seperation give my best love to grandfather to my Brother William and sisters so no more at preasent from your afectionate Son George Stead put the same direction on my letters that you have formerly"


Posted: 26 October, 2002.

Persons left to right;

William Craig Stead; their daughter; Margaret Stead; his wife, Elizabeth Weir and Ida Stead (Mrs. Peter Dunlop); Eva Stead (Mrs. Edward Lawrence Desjardins (Jardine).

Posted: 01 June, 2003.

This is Peter P. Dunlop (1898/1964) and Ida M. Stead (1898/1982)

This is a picture of George Stead, who died in Grand Forks, North Dakota.  He is at a birthday party for grand-children and friends.

Jack Farrell

The "Milk Run" or "Down To The Creamery"

Aggie Stead and The Homemakers in Training.

Wilma Stevens, a Carleton Place girl who married Thomas Nichols.

The Hugh Weir farmhouse near Elphin.

The Baker and his shop

The farm yard - with Stewart Thompson's grandma.

Pine Grove School - approximately 1925

George Smith

Unknown Young Lady with her doll

Stewart Thompson, OPP officer at Windsor in early 1930's.

Eva, Ida & Margaret Stead with Bill Hutton.

Old Car with unknown persons.

A street in Lanark Village

A Child In A Walker.

A Cup presented to Rev. John Gemmell - 1798

Maggie (Weir) and William Craig Stead about 1931.

Posted: 06 April, 2004