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

I assumed I had some Scottish in me given my 2x great-grandparents last names are McKenzie and Leckie.

I just recently received my updated DNA estimates via Ancestry and this lit a little fire under me to finally document my proud Scottish pedigree.

Ancestry DNA Estimate

With its center in the northern third of the island of Great Britain but stretching down to Brittany in France, my Scotland ethnicity region is known for its geographical beauty, medieval architecture, and folklore. Gaelic and Scots have influenced regional English dialects and are both still spoken in some areas. National symbols, including the Lion Rampant, clan tartans, and bagpipes, are often recognized internationally alongside symbols of traditional cuisine, like whisky and haggis. I’m proud to document my Scottish roots and as always, am grateful to my ancestors for all they went through so that I am where I have the privilege of being today.


There are 2 originating sides to my Scottish family – the LECKIE’s and the MCKENZIE’s.  I was able to get a generation further back on the Leckie’s side.




I’ve been able to trace the Leckie line as far back as William Leckie (1762-1799) and Margaret Buchan (1752-????), my 5x great-grandparents, who appear to be from Govan, Lanark, Scotland.  Thus far I have nothing else on them, yet.

Interesting though, that the Leckie’s originate from Lanark, Scotland and my immigrating ancestors will land in Ontario and be founding member of Lanark County, Ontario.

They had a son named …


**Immigrating Ancestor**

Together William and Margaret had a son named ROBERT LECKIE, who, based on my research is my immigrating ancestor.  I am not certain if the record I found is for “my” Robert Leckie, the Canada, Passenger, and Immigration Lists Index simply state the arrival place of Ontario.  Census films are available from the National Archives of Canada in Ottawa.  I will have to request these if I would like to confirm with 100% certainty.  Source Publication Code: 1823.18.

Robert Leckie was born in about 1789 in Scotland (exact location unknown) and immigrated to Canada in 1871 at the elder age of 82.

He had a wife, MARY (last name unknown) who was born in 1787 in Kincardine, Scotland.  She passed away on 24 Jan 1888 in Lanark County, Ontario.  She would have been 84 at the time of passage.

Why would they emigrate so late in life?



I don’t have a date or an exact place of birth for Andrew other than Scotland.  He married ELIZABETH, all I am to locate for her was that she was born in/about 1811 in Scotland.

I am still confirming Elizabeth’s maiden name, her last name in the documents is McKenzie. I saw somewhere that someone located the last name of Scougall – I am going to use it for my searches now.  If it changes, I’ll update.

Scougall 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. Also spelled Scougal.

I am unable to confirm who the immigrant family was for this line.   Was it Andrew and Elizabeth who brought over their son Andrew?  Or did Andrew II leave his family behind in Scotland for Canada? 



ANDREW MCKENZIE II married AGNES LECKIE (3x grand-parents)

Andrew McKenzie I and Elizabeth had a son named ANDREW MCKENZIE II who was born about 1810-1811 in Scotland. We know this because his Marriage Certificate to his second wife states that he was 66 years old on Jan 8, 1877. The 1891 census has him at 71 years old, making a year of birth of 1810.  At this point it’s negligible, it could be 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 same year. We know that he was one of the original settlers in Lanark County, Ontario based on his obit in the Perth Courier which wrote “another old settler had gone to rest”. 

Andrew 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 County, Ontario, Canada.

Andrew and Agnes had the following children:

  1. Robert (1837-1875)
  2. Andrew (1845-???)
  3. William (1847-1920)
  4. Alexander (1850-1910)
  5. Agnes (1850-1921)
  6. Georgina (1850-????)
  7. Cecelia (1852-1921) *
  8. Mary-Anne (1854-????)

Below is a land record for Andrew McKenzie (and wife) in the Township of Ramsay. Date of Registry, Sept 9, 1859. They owned all of Lot 27, Seventh Concession. 

Land Registry – they owned all of Lot 27, Seventh Concession.  Line 3 on the record

From the Library and Archives, I know that the 1861 census started on 14 Jan 1861, for Canada East and for Canada West.  I locate them on the 1861 census.  They’re living in Admaston, Renfrew County, Ontario.   They are noted as being from the Free Church.  He is a farmer, and they reside in a log house.

1861 Census

I located them both again in the next 10-year census, it is 1871.  They are noted as being Presbyterian this time. He is again documented as being a farmer. Andrew is 60 and Agnes is 57. Living with them are Andrew III 22, Agnes 20, Cecelia 19, Mary Anne 17, and Mary 4 (1 of the children’s daughters?). They’re living in the same region, Admaston Township, which is still in Renfrew County.

They are household 206 in the census.

After Agnes passed on 27 Feb 1875, Andrew then married (2) JANET GREVILLE TOSHACK on 08 Jan 1877 in Almonte, Ontario. She was the 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. Janet was from Ramsay, Ontario.  The witnesses were Alexander Gray Almonte and James Snedden Ramsay. I query if the witnesses were kin of Almonte/Ramsay who founded the local towns nearby? I’m not ruling out that their ancestors founded Almonte and Ramsay. Andrew is listed as being a *Colporteur.  We know from his obituary that Andrew was a *Colporteur for 20 years visiting shanties in the Ottawa Valley. I cannot determine which years he did this.  I will write a separate blog on the Toshack’s, they too have a rich history in Lanark County.

*A colporteur is a peddler of devotional literature.

From the Perth Courier, Jan. 19, 1877 – McKenzie – Toshack – Married, on the 8th inst., by Rev. Robert Knowles, Mr. Andrew McKenzie of Renfrew to Mrs. Grenville Toshack of Ramsay.

From 1881 census, Ontario, Lanark North, Almonte:

  • McKenzie, Andrew  male      71  Scotland  C. Presbyterian  – Retired Farmer  – married
  • McKenzie, Janet      female   57  Scotland  C. Presbyterian – married

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

Andrew died of lung congestion

Almonte Gazette, Friday, 28 Oct 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 wintertime he visited the shanties in the Ottawa Valley, selling bibles to the shanty men, 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.” 

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 also mentioned in the blog Up and Down the Shantymen Used to Roam, posted on 6 Feb 6, 2017, by lindaseccaspina.

CECILIA MCKENZIE married GEORGE RICHARDS (2x grand-parents)


Andrew and Agnes had a daughter named CECILIA MCKENZIE who was born on 09 Dec 1851. She died on 12 Sep 1921 in Mattawa, Ontario. She married GEORGE RICHARDS in 1886 in Mattawa, Ontario, who was the son of Ambrose Abraham Richards and Olive Moore. He was born on 26 Jul 1859 in Eardley Township, Quebec. He died on 25 Apr 1942.

Estimate this photo was taken in/abt 1914 – hard to make out the date on the top. Pearl was born in 1913 and she looks to be 1 y/o or less

A review of the 1881 census shows GEORGE HOWARD RICHARDS as 23 years old and married but not to Agnes, he was married to ROSY (maiden name unknown) who is 19 years old from Ireland but born in Ontario. She is Presbyterian. George reports he was born in Ontario and is Scottish (I will have to look further into this).  He is a farmer and is also Presbyterian.

The very next entry on this census is the family of Donald and Agnes Fraser. We find CECELIA MCKENZIE living there, with her sister Agnes. It is likely that she and George knew one another and married after the death of his first wife, Rosy.  In this census, Cecelia is employed as a Seamstress.

George and Cecelia marry on April 11, 1888, in Mattawa, Ontario.  Their son, Ambrose Richards was born in 1887 (according to his baptismal certificate).

In the 1901 census, I can locate them at the township of Papineau is a municipal township in northeastern Ontario, Canada, in Nipissing District. The township is located on the south side of the Mattawa and Ottawa Rivers along Highway 17.

Cecelia died on 12 Sept 1921 of “general paralysis”. Unable to locate a Death Certificate for her.

George died on 26 Apr 1942. 

George’s Death Certificate

Death Certificate Summary: Scottish. Widower.  Farmer. Retired in 1929, was a farmer for 50 years.  Died of a cerebral hemorrhage (was hemiplegic) at 82 years, 9 months and 1 day. No autopsy.  It’s interesting to see the lack of knowledge his daughter, Mrs. Roy McOrmand had when she was asked to give the basics – she wasn’t aware of who his parents were – ? Richards (born in France) and ? Moore (born in Canada).  She is not entirely incorrect though, her grandmother, Olive Moore was in fact born in Canada, and that entire line is from America and is quite rich with history, some rooting back to the founding colonies and famous kin. 

To see more on this line and these interesting finds, check out these blogs:

On Genealogy: My Connection to President Lincoln

On Genealogy: My Salem Witch Trial Connection

On Genealogy: Whipped for Baptist Beliefs - My Connection to Rev. Obadiah Holmes

On Genealogy: Say What? I'm Connected to Amelia Earhart!

On Genealogy: MY Relation to Ezra CORNELL - Founder of Cornell University

In respect of her grandfather, Pierre Antoine, I haven’t been able to find out that much (yet).


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 Sacré Coeur Parish, Sturgeon Falls, Nipissing, Ontario.

Ambrose converted to Roman Catholicism 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.

On the Richards Farm about 1914

In 1921, they are living at 253 Cache Bay, Sturgeon Falls, Ontario. At which point did they sell the farm?  Did they own the farm or farm the land?

Google Maps Street View – Aug 2009


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 – Verdun, Quebec)

For more info you can refer to my blogs on my LEE family from England or read more about my great Uncle Private George Lee who was killed in action in Flanders in WWII.

You can also read more about my grandpa  WWII, Private Benjamin Richards for details about his life in WWII and their life in Témiscaming, Québec.


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


Owning a Piece of Land in Scotland

Getting more familiar with my Scottish roots really got me wanting to take a trip to Scotland, to visit the land of my ancestors.

Knowing that, for Christmas, I purchased ONE square foot of dedicated land on a private estate in Ardallie, Aberdeenshire, Scotland for my eldest and me (we each own a square foot).  My intention in purchasing the plots was to own a piece of my ancestral land and to preserve and protect woodland in Scotland.

We have unique plot numbers, and we are the title holders and have a title certificate to prove it.   The plots of land themselves are recognized as ‘souvenir plots’. Though souvenir plots are typically too small to be registered with the Scottish Land Registry directly, the site that I purchased the plots through maintain their own private records and take the arrangements with their Lords and Ladies very seriously.

The title packs are based on a historic Scottish land ownership custom where landowners have been long referred to as “Lairds”, the Scottish term for “Lord”, with the female equivalent being “Lady”. Most jurisdictions will allow you to update your title when you choose to do so.  I have not done this yet; I may start with my Costco card and see 😉

Where’s my Plot?

Coordinates: 57.441751778894, -1.95569932342


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