19 December 2011


Peter Dougall family home, Renfrew, Ontario. Photograph BDM family collection.

Like many GeneaBloggers, I have decided to pay tribute to the ancestors by remembering them more often in my blog. It will be monthly, minimally, in my case. Starting in January. Perhaps not always regularly (the old CYA principle) in case I get caught up in something else displacing all other rational thought. It happens. A writer must go with any sudden new creative current and paddle like mad or perish.

Renfrew. A place I have never seen. My great-grandparents--Peter and Catherine “Kate” Dougall--spent the majority of their lives there. I've pored over Renfrew newspapers. I did the usual census returns, vital stats registrations, Presbyterian church records, cemeteries, wills/estate files, local correspondence, and family papers and reminiscences. I've contributed to a local history of the place. I'm lucky enough to have old photographs showing Peter and Kate at different stages of their lives.

I regret I still don't really know them. Peter and Kate raised nine children during the late nineteenth century when Peter adapted his blacksmithing trade to carriage-building. Some of the sons took it up and eventually adapted the trade to motor vehicles. It seems the couple had their share of progeny who either prospered, sadly stumbled, or quietly carried on.

As a preview for my proposed monthly discipline, Kate (Fraser) Dougall was born and died in December. My favourite photo of her was previously shown here.

© 2011 Brenda Dougall Merriman


Deb said...

Hello, I just came across your blog today, and was looking at the lovely photo of the house your ancestors lived in. Any idea what street in Renfrew it was on? I live in Renfrew, and am curious to know if it still exists.

Cathy said...

That is a fine-looking house; I wonder if it still stands? Am I correct in thinking this Catherine is my namesake?

BDM said...

To both: I'm sorry to say I don't know if the house is still there, or what street it is/was on! Visiting Renfrew is one of my "unfinished business" goals. Yes Cathy, shall we call you Kate?