52 Ancestors in 52 weeks

Amy Johnson Crow has put out a challenge to write about one Ancestor each week for the next year.  That means telling the story of 52 ancestors in 52 weeks.  I am up for the challenge!  My goal is to publish a new story every Monday in 2019 that gives as much detail as I can find about one of my Ancestors.

For the first week, I am writing about one of my distant cousins Archibald McTavish (1828 – 1908).  Arch’s father, also Archibald McTavish (Sr.), was the brother of my 3x great grandfather – Duncan McTavish.  Arch Sr., Duncan and another brother Dugald emigrated from Argyll, Scotland together in 1830.  They were the first McTavish’s in my direct line to emigrate to Ontario.  In a stroke of coincidence, they settled very close to Milton, Ontario which is now my home town, even though my ancestors moved farther West in the early 1850’s.

Archibald McTavish Jr. was born in Ballygown, Kilmartin, Argyllshire, Scotland on 29 July 1828. His parents were Archibald McTavish and Catherine McNevin. In 1830, when he was just two years old, his family emigrated from Scotland settling in Nassagaweya, Halton County, Ontario. His father would take up lot 30 in the fourth concession, becoming a farmer. Archibald Jr. would marry Mary McMillan, the daughter of neighbour Neil McMillan, in 1854. In the 1861 census, Archibald is living with his parents, his wife and his two small children. He is farming the land with his father. Also living there are his younger siblings – Mary, John and Malcolm. Archibald Sr. passed away in 1863 and the land is bequeathed to Archie. He can be found living in the same location in the 1871, 1881, 1891 and 1901 census’, along with his growing family. He and Mary had 11 children.

  • James Marwell McTavish (1856-1930) m. Nettie McLaren and moved to Tama, Iowa in 1893. Two children. He was a house carpenter/builder.
  • William Sharpe McTavish (1858-1932) m. Margaret Jane McKay. He was a Minister and moved often to different churches in Ontario. Eight children.
  • Neil McTavish (1861-1883). He died of internal injuries suffered from a fall from atop a house he was helping to build.
  • Angus McTavish (1862-1919) m. Annie Gordon, had three children. He worked for Bell Telephone and died after being electrocuted on the job. His children lived in Buffalo, NY. He is buried in Acton.
  • Archibald McTavish (1865-1915) m. Agnes Carr Wren. They had two children who died as infants. He was a tailor in Acton and is buried there.
  • Catherine McTavish (1867-1948) m. John A. McTaggart, a veterinary surgeon. They lived in Brookville for a number of years and then moved to Toronto.
  • Malcolm McTavish (1869 – ?) spent time out West and was living with his sister Catherine in 1921. He was a grain buyer.
  • John “Jack” McTavish (1872 – ?) fought in WWI and was a labourer in Campbellville as listed in the 1935 voting lists.
  • Mary McTavish (1874-1938) m. James McNair. They farmed in Campbellville and are buried in St. Davids Cemetery.
  • Nancy McTavish (1878-1937) m. Charles Augustus Ramshaw.
  • Janet McTavish (1880 – ?) is a loose end at the time of writing.

Archibald died in 1908, only four months after his wife. Their obituaries tell of their marriage and life in Halton County. Highly esteemed neighbours and respected members of the Presbyterian Church. Archibald and Mary are buried in the Nassagaweya Presbyterian Church Cemetery, near Brookville.

arch mctavish baptism 1828arch mctavish 1871 censusarch mctavish obitarchibald mctavish & mary macmillan 1908(1)


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