Friday, July 24, 2015

Are you a living descendant to these founding families of Ottawa, Canada?

City of Ottawa, Canada West. View of Parliament Hill and Chaudière_Falls. ca. 1859, by Stent and Laver 

Mike More of the Ottawa Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society has put this notice on the society's Facebook page - 

Bruce Deachman at the Ottawa Citizen is trying to find living descendants in the area of Ottawa’s founding families:

THOMAS AHEARN (1855-1938): Inventor, businessman, co-founder of the Ottawa Car Company, founder and president of Ottawa Electric Railway Company, brought electric streetlight to Ottawa, first chairman of the Federal District Commission. Partner with Warren Soper. 

BRADDISH BILLINGS (1783-1864): First settler in Gloucester (Billings Bridge). 

JOHN RUDOLPHUS BOOTH (1827-1925): Lumber and railway baron.

HENRY FRANKLIN BRONSON (1817-1889): Lumber baron. 

LOUIS-THEODORE BESSERER (1785-1861): Businessman, lawyer. Owned a large estate that became Sandy Hill.

CHARLES CUMMINGS (1801-1848): Businessman, founder of Vanier. Built the first Cummings Bridge, joining Ottawa with Janesville (Vanier). 

EZRA BUTLER EDDY (1827-1906): Lumber baron, politician. 

IRA HONEYWELL (1785-1852): First settler in Nepean.

WILLIAM PITTMAN LETT (1819-1892): Editor, poet and Ottawa’s first city clerk, a position he held for 36 years. Chronicled Ottawa’s development in poetry and journalism, including pamphlets on local history such as “The City of Ottawa and its Surroundings” and “The Transition of Bytown to Ottawa 1827-1877,” and poetry, such as the oft-cited “Recollections of Bytown and its Old Inhabitants.” 

THOMAS MacKAY (1792-1855): Architect, stonemason, politician. A Montrealer, he came to Ottawa to build the lower locks on the Rideau Canal, then stayed in Bytown, buying land where the Rideau and Ottawa Rivers meet and founding New Edinburgh. Built the stone house that is now the Bytown Museum. Also built Rideau Hall, where he lived, and Earnscliffe, for his daughter and son-in-law. 

JAMES MacLAREN (1818-1892): Early settler and entrepreneur in Western Quebec. Sawmills mostly. Helped found the Hull Iron Company in 1880, the North Pacific Lumber Company of British Columbia in 1889 and the Bank of Ottawa, later merged with Scotiabank, in 1894. 

FRANK HENRY PLANT (1883-1952): Ottawa mayor and businessman (carriage maker). Was heavily involved in Ottawa sports, as president of the Ottawa City Hockey League and the City Baseball League during the 1920s. Plant served as a member of the Ottawa Hydro Commission from 1936 until 1951. Plant also served as a director of the Ottawa Senators hockey team, a director of the Ottawa Nationals baseball team, vice-president of the Ottawa Amateur Athletic Association, president of the Ottawa Kennel Club and a long-time (over 20 years) director of the Central Canada Exhibition Association. The Plant Bath is named for him. 

WARREN YOUNG SOPER (1854-1924): Partner to Thomas Ahearn. His cottage is now residence to the U.S. Ambassador to Canada. 

NICHOLAS SPARKS (1794-1862): Labourer on Philemon Wright’s farm, he saved his earnings for years and eventually bought 200 acres of land where now is located the Parliament Buildings and downtown Ottawa. Also a financier and politician. 

PHILEMON WRIGHT (1760-1839): Farmer and entrepreneur, he founded Wrightsville (later known as Hull), the first permanent settlement in the area. 

He would appreciate hearing from any descendants in the world and he can be reached at or 613-726-5834.

Thank you, Mike, for bringing this to our attention. 

Canadian Genealogy News (CGN) 24 July 2015

Here are some news items which have come across the desk this morning -

Family Tree Magazine (FTM) has released their Family Tree Magazine's 101 Best Websites this year, and the four Canadian website are - 

La programme de recherche en démographie historique (The Research Program in Historical Demography) at

Library and Archives Canada at

Nova Scotia Historical Vital Records at

As long as we understand that this is definitely US centered, with an small after thought to Canadian websites,  I guess the five chosen isn't that bad. But to say they are the best Canadian sites is a bit of an overstatement, I believe. 

To read the complete list, go to

Do you have ancestors in your family tree or did you used to live in Ottawa, Canada, then this may be a place that you should look at, because the city is decommissioned street name signs and they are available for purchase from the city. 

The City of Ottawa sells signs that have been replaced for maintenance, or removed from in order to avoid duplication of names in the wake of amalgamation, and they are available for $10 apiece.

A list of other available signs can be found on the

Artist John Horton has designed the silver coin which shows HMS Terror and HMS Erebus on the Arctic Ocean, and Nova Scotian Michael Little helped draw two  new stamps to commemorate Sir John Franklin's doomed Arctic expedition. One depicts HMS Erebus, the other shows a mapThe stamps were unveiled at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic on Wednesday, alongside a new silver coin from the Royal Canadian Mint.

Franklin's crew became locked in the ice during a doomed search for the Northwest Passage to the Pacific Ocean in 1845. All 128 crew members eventually died, though there's evidence to suggest some may have survived for several years.

Many searches throughout the 19th century attempted to find the lost ships, but the mystery of what happened to John Franklin and his men has never been solved.

HMS Erebus was discovered last summer, and you can read about it at

Until tomorrow, have a nice day researching!


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