On Genealogy:  Great Scott! Descendants of Andrew McKenzie & Agnes Leckie of Lanark Co, Ont.


Today’s blog #7 on genealogy features my SCOTTISH roots.  Before my AncestryDNA results, I hadn’t spent too much time on this line – it follows my father’s line – through my 3x grand father George Richards’ wife, Cecelia —>  see tree below. I’m unable to go back any further – the records stop at Andrew and Elizabeth.

I will document what I know as of now and I continue to research and reach out to genealogical societies as are more records become available, I will update.

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I assumed we had some Scottish in us given my GGG Gramma’s last name was McKenzie.  I hadn’t spent all that much time on this line yet.  Not because I didn’t think it wouldn’t be interesting, just that I have my hands in so many different lines at the moment that sometimes I bounce around and forget to go back to a line I started.

Generation 1 


At this stage I can’t confirm who the immigrant family was.  Was it Andrew and Elizabeth who brought over Andrew or did Andrew Jr leave his family behind in Scotland for Canada?  I can confirm father’s name – mother’s name is confirmed as Elizabeth (last name in documents in McKenzie) – saw somewhere that someone located the last name of Scougal – I am going to use it for my searches now.  If it changes, I’ll update.

Scougal is an unusual name and is of early medieval Scottish origin, and is a locational surname derived from the place called Scoughall in the old parish of Tyninghame, on the coast near North Berwick.

Not a lot is known, I have a lot of investigating to do.

Generation 2

ANDREW MCKENZIE II was born about 1810-1811 in Scotland. We know this because his Marriage Certificate to his second wife states that he was 66 yrs old on Jan 8/1877. The 1891 census has him at 71 y/o, with a year of birth of 1810.  At this point it’s negligible, it could a matter of a difference between the month the census was taken and the month he was married. We do not have a location as to where he was born in Scotland, yet.

We know he immigrated to Canada before 1836 since he was married in Canada, that year. We know that he was one of the original settlers in Lancaster County Ontario based on his obit in the Perth Courier.

He married (1) AGNES LECKIE on 21 Oct 1836 in Ramsay Township, Ontario. He was 26 years old and Agnes was 23.  She was born in/about 1813, in Scotland. She died on 27 Feb 1875 in Pembroke, Renfrew, Ontario, Canada.-  I am unable to confirm this – it was just a “hint” I had on my Ancestry.ca site.

Andrew and Agnes had the following children (I will add children and DOBs once I confirm them):

  • Robert
  • Andrew
  • William
  • Alexander
  • Agnes
  • Georgina
  • Cecelia
  • Mary-Anne

We know from his obituary that Andrew was a Colporteur for 20 years visiting shanties in the Ohio Valley. Which years did he do this? Unsure –  I’m leaving it wide open starting in 1836 since it’s his marriage date and I’m stopping at 1871 as in that census he is noted as being a retired farmer.

The first time I’m able to pick up Agnes and the kids is the 1861 census.  They’re living in Renfrew County, Ontario,  Canada.  Agnes is noted as being married, however she is the Head of the household. Andrew is not identified. A man by the name of Alexander McKenzie is named on the census w/ them (he is 51) – is this a typo? Was he colporting at the time of this census? Who is Alexander McKenzie if it’s not a typo?  I know from the Library and Archives through the gov’t of Canada that the 1861 census started on January 14, 1861 for Canada East and for Canada West.  It is known that as a Colporteur he would visit shanties in the cold of winter based on his obit from the Almonte Gazettte.

Note: the Andrew listed in this census is only 16 (he’s their son, and note that he’s already working as a Labourer at that age).

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I locate them both again in the next 10 year census.  They are noted as being Presbyterian. He is now documented as being a Farmer. Andrew is 60 and Agnes is 57. Living with them are ___ 22, Agnes 20, Cecelia 19, Mary Anne 17 and Mary 4 (1 of the children’s daughter?). They are household 206 in the census.  They’re living in the same region, Admaston Township, which is still in Renfrew County.

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After Agnes passed on Feb 27, 1875, he then married (2) JANET GREVILLE TOSHACK on 08 Jan 1877 in Almonte, Ontario, daughter of William and Margaret. She was born about 1821. She died on 15 Nov 1893 in Ottawa, Ontario.  Andrew was 66 and Janet was 50 y/o. Janet was from Ramsay, Ont.  Witnesses were Alexander Gray Almonte and James Snedder Ramsay. I queried if the witnesses were kin of Almonte/Ramsay who founded the towns? However, I know just think that they’re documenting where each were from.  But, I’m not ruling out that their ancestors founded Almonte and Ramsay just yet.

By the 1881 census, he and Janet were still living Almonte, he is noted as being a retired Farmer. Living with  He is 71 and Janet was 57.

Later that same year, on October 16, 1881, Andrew passed away at the age of 72.  His death registration states that he died of Lung Congestion (likely pneumonia) and suffered with it for at least 10 weeks. His death reported by R. McKenzie assuming his son, Robert (who was a Farmer). Robert reported that his father was a “Bookseller” i.e. Colporteur

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Almonte Gazette, Friday, October 28, 1881: 

OBITUARY: Another old settler has gone to his last rest. Mr. Andrew McKenzie died of congestion of the lungs at his residence in Almonte on the 17th Oct., 1881, aged 72 years. Mr. McKenzie was for over twenty years a *colporteur in the service of the Ottawa Valley Branch Bible Society. In the winter time he visited the shanties in the Ottawa Valley, selling bibles to the shantymen, and speaking to them of Him who came to seek and save the lost. Dreary and long were the journeys he often took, and many were the hardships he endured, and the dangers he escaped as he passed from shanty to shanty. But his work is done, and we doubt not but he has received his Master’s approval, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from henceforth; yea, saith the Lord, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them.” 

* A colporteur is a peddler of devotional literature.

From The Renfrew Mercury, Friday, October 21, 1881:  DEAD – The corpse of Mr. A. Mackenzie, the colporteur, a former resident of Renfrew, was taken through the village on Tuesday, from Almonte, for interment in Admaston.

Andrew is mentioned in the blog Up and Down the Shantymen Used to Roam, posted on February 6, 2017 by lindaseccaspina.

Note for Andrew McKenzie:  Admaston Cemetery records show Georgina McKenzie Brown, wife of John Brown, born June 11, 1850, died March 4, 1939. It is probable that Georgina is the daughter of Andrew and Agnes since Andrew’s will mentions Georgina Brown, wife of John Brown. The will of Andrew’s second wife, Janet, refers to “Mrs. John Brown”. Georgina’s relationship to Andrew has to be verified but she is included with his children based on the circumstantial evidence in the estate files.

Generation 3

CECILIA MCKENZIE was born on 09 Dec 1851 in Ontario. She died on 12 Sep 1921 in Mattawa, Ontario. She married GEORGE RICHARDS in 1886 in Mattawa, Ontario, son of Ambrose Abraham Richards and Olive Moore. He was born on 26 Jul 1858 in Eardley Township, Ottawa County, Quebec. He died on 25 Apr 1942. Screen Shot 2017-06-25 at 11.15.40 PM

1881 Census:  George Richards, married, 23, born: in Ontario, Scottish, Farmer, Presbyterian. Rosy Richards, married, 19, Irish, born in Ontario, Presbyterian.

The next entry on this census is the family of Donald and Agnes Fraser. We find Cecelia McKenzie living there, with her sister Agnes, at the time. She and George likely knew one another and married after the death of his first wife, Rosy.  Cecelia was employed as a Seamstress.

Their son, Ambrose Richards was born in 1885 (according to his death certificate), however Cecelia and George were married in 1888.  Some 3 years later, was he born out of wedlock?

Generation 4

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Ambrose driving the grinder & Cecelia McKenzie – Richards Farm abt 1914

AMBROSE RICHARDS (B: Dec 12 1887 – Mattawa Ontario, D: 1957 – Mattawa Ontario) m. BRIDGET ANGELINA MULLEN (B: Jan 3 1887 – Vinton, Québec, D: April 10 1976 – Témiscaming, Québec) on 20 Nov 1912 in Sacre Coeur Parish, Sturgeon Falls, Nipissing, Ontario.

Of interest, Ambrose converted to Roman Catholic from Presbyterianism – apparently to marry Lina as he was baptized only 10 days before they were married.  

His Godparents were Denis Leaghy & Mary Brown.  He was baptized Catholic on 10 Nov 1912 in Sturgeon Falls, Ontario, Canada.  

Screen Shot 2017-06-25 at 11.32.53 PM.pngGeneration 5

BENJAMIN GEORGE RICHARDS (B: Feb 10 1916 – Sturgeon Falls Ontario, D: June 17 1977 –Montréal, Québec) m. SARAH ANN LEE (B: Dec 7 1922 – Meltham Mills, Yorkshire England, D: March 1993 – Montréal, Quebec)

Refer to my blogs on the LEE family and Pte. Benjamin Richards for details about my grandparents.

Generation 6

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PATRICK JAMES RICHARDS (B: Jan 15 1954 – Témiscaming Québec, D: Nov 18 2014 – Témiscaming, Québec) m.  MONA ROSE LAMOTHE (B: Jan 20 1956 – Bonfield Ontario, D: —-)

Generation 7


UPDATE: As of today, February 14, 2021 – I have emailed the Lanmark County Genealogical Society to see if they are able to locate any further information on Andrew, Agnes and/or Janet.

Stay Tuned ….


One thought on “On Genealogy:  Great Scott! Descendants of Andrew McKenzie & Agnes Leckie of Lanark Co, Ont.

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