This article is being prepared for a group of Alexander Cameron’s descendants who are preparing a genealogical/historical trip to Scotland to explore the farm from which his grandfather was evicted in 1804. So why not share it with our Caboose readers.
Our Cameron ancestor’s farm was named Inverskilavuline (spellings are varied), so we refer to our Cameron ancestors as Camerons of Inverskilavuline. And Cameron Street in Cumberland, Ontario, is not named after our Camerons. It is named after Camerons of Fassiefern.
Alexander Cameron was three years old when his grandfather, John Cameron, his father, Paul Cameron, and several of his uncles crossed the Atlantic Ocean together in 1804 from Oban, Scotland, to Montreal. Alexander spent most of his life in the area of Hudson, Québec, before moving to Cumberland, Ontario, on to land that his son, John R Cameron, had previously purchased: Lot 19, Concession 1 (Old Survey).
We are not sure of the circumstances of the move from Hudson to Cumberland. Although the land was purchased by Alexander’s son, it seems clear that some kind of family cooperation was involved in the move. Alexander, aged 65, arrived in Cumberland in 1866 with the following family members:
- his wife, Nancy (nee McMillan), sometimes called Anne
- his daughter Jessie, 36 years old
- his son Donald (referred to as Daniel in our family history), 19 years old
- his grandson Archibald McMillan, 26 years old (the 1871 census lists him as a Cameron, but he is a McMillan, son of Alexander Cameron’s eldest daughter Isabella, married to Hugh McMillan.
- his grandson Alexander, 22 years old, and granddaughter Mary Ann, 20 years old, whose father Ewen had drowned before Mary-Ann was born and whose mother had abandoned to their Cameron grandparents.
They joined the Presbyterian church in Cumberland. One of their immediate neighbours were John and Margaret Quigley, devout Irish Roman Catholics. Two farms over toward the village were Laughlan McMillan and Flora McPhee, devout Presbyterians. We will describe these families more in detail later.
Alexander’s son Donald, whom we will now refer to as Dan, ended up marrying Ann Quigley from next door on June 25, 1878, in Cumberland’s St Andrew’s Presbyterian church. There were probably some religious misgivings on the Roman Catholic Quigley side, as the religions did not always mix well in those days.
John Quigley and Margaret Carroll had established themselves in Cumberland around 1855, purchasing the 50-acre Commons between Lots 18 and 19, Concession 1 (Old Survey). Anne Quigley was probably already born when they first came to Cumberland, but Margaret and Mary were born there. Margaret married John Fitzpatrick, an Irish immigrant who arrived in Cumberland in 1880. John Fitzpatrick and Margaret eventually took over the Quigley farm. Mary married Michael Summers and they established themselves in Mayo, Québec, across the river from Cumberland. Both the Fitzpatricks and the Summers are important to remember as they eventually played an important religious part in one of Daniel (Donald) Cameron’s and Anne Quigley’s children.
Dan Cameron and Anne Quigley had six children: John R., Alexander, Isabella, Mary, Dan and Hugh between 1878 and 1887. They continued to live on Lot 19, Concession 1 (Old Survey) with his parents, their nephew Archibald McMillan, their nephew Alexander Cameron and their niece Mary Anne Cameron. Dan’s sister Jessie married Donald McMillan (son of Archibald McMillan and Christine McMillan from l’Ange Gardien) sometime in the late 1870’s and moved in with her husband in L’Ange Gardien, also across the river from Cumberland. However, Jessie still maintained a part interest in the Cameron property in Cumberland.
In 1885, John R. Cameron, the original proprietor of the farm in Cumberland and his parents Alexander and Nancy Cameron, decided to split the 150-acre property into four equal strips. Alexander explained the result of this transaction in a letter written in 1886 to his half-brother, Dougald Cameron.
…The title of the front farm was vested in my son, John R., as trustee in fee simple and agreeable to my wish he has deeded to each one and their share vis. – one fourth to Jessie, my daughter, with whom I am living and the remaining three fourths to his brother, Donald, and to his nephew, Archibald. He, John R., having sold out his claim to the boys. So I am pleased to be able to say that those who had a right to the land have got it.
We finally get to the key link between these ancestors and the group that are about to visit Scotland. We mentioned earlier that Anne Quigley married Dan Cameron in 1878. They had six children: John R., Alexander, Isabella, Mary, Dan and Hugh. And then Dan Cameron Sr died suddenly in 1888 and his widow married Archibald McMillan (Dan Cameron’s nephew who had been living with the family since their arrival in Cumberland in 1886. Archibald McMillan and Anne Quigley had five children to add to the six that Anne had brought to the marriage. It would be interesting to list the subsequent marriages of all of those Cameron and McMillan children, but we will only concentrate on Isabella Cameron.
Isabella is the only one of her family, other than her mother, to have become a Roman Catholic. There exists in our family possession a certificate of First Communion for Bella Cameron from the parish of St Malachie dated May 21, 1898. Isabella was 15 years old at the time. As there was no Roman Catholic church in Cumberland at that time, we wondered where St Malachie parish was located. We eventually discovered that St Malachie is the Roman Catholic parish of Mayo, Québec, a tiny settlement across the river from Cumberland but further inland. It was the home parish for Isabella’s aunt Mary (nee Quigley) who had married Michael Summers. We also noticed that Isabella was listed with her Quigley grandparents in the 1891 census, though by 1901 she was back with her mother, Ann, and her stepfather Archibald McMillan.
In 1903 Bella Cameron married George Morin, son of Philippe ( or Philip if you prefer) Morin and Sarah Summers who lived near Beckett’s Creek. George and Bella lived in Rockland in their early married years, as he worked for W.C. Edwards as a carpenter. They later moved to Ottawa for a while and eventually returned to Cumberland, moving on to Lot 10, Concession 1 (Old Survey) in 1914, which some later generations would consider the Morin homestead. The group going to the Cameron homestead in Scotland in August of this year are connected to the children of George Morin and Bella Cameron.
Sarah Morin married Thomas McNeely; Gertrude Morin married Archibald MacRae; Muriel Morin married Jack McWhirter. There will be plenty of Scottish ancestral sites to visit given these name combinations. Our group also includes some MacDonalds who married in.
Written by Gérard Boyer