Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Fisher family, from Perthshire, Scotland to Beckwith, Ontario

As with all pictures, click to enlarge

The Fisher coat of arms

     The Fisher clan is a sept. It means the family is associated with another family/clan. Popular history has it as a sept of the Campbell clan originating in and around Perthshire, Scotland. A little digging online also has it associated with the Gregor or MacGregor clan in the same area. The Gregor connection has some very interesting history if anyone cares to Google it and see for themselves. Either way, there are many variations of the name,coat of arms, badge, motto and tartan.

The MacGregor black and red or Rob Roy tartan

     The Campbell tartan, the one we are most associated with

     The surname is considered to be an occupational surname or given to someone who lived near a fishing weir. It is a variation of the old English word "fiscere" a derivative of the word "fiscian" to catch fish or a combination of the middle English "fisc", fish and "ger/gere" weir. Surprisingly, or not, there are origins for the name listed in several different countries, my favourite being the mistranslation of the French word for passion to "poisson" which means fish.

     The motto for the Fisher clan is "Respice finem". It translates to "Regard the end", a little cryptic, but there it is.

Perthshire, Scotland

     Our story starts with Duncan Fisher born in Perthshire, Scotland about 1782. I say about because I have a range of dates to choose from, from 1782-90. I haven't found much about his origins in Scotland as of yet but I have a lot of information from his arrival in Canada in 1821 to the present.

     Duncan Fisher arrived in Canada in 1821 on the Swiftsure/Swiftshire ( I have seen both spellings and people insist each is the correct one). He settled in Beckwith township of Lanark county, lot 11 concession 11. His original grant is, as of 1958, under water. In December of 1822 he married and also became part of the militia formed from the "eligible" men of Beckwith and Ramsey. I don't know what constituted eligible.

An old concession map of Beckwith,
Duncan's grant is around Mississippi Lake

     On December 5th, 1822 Duncan married Janet "Jessie" Ferguson. Their marriage banns are part of the LAC collection and the picture I have from online is a terrible copy, I'll have to see if I can't get a better one.

Duncan and Janet's marriage banns,
There is a second page with Duncan's signature on it

     Duncan and Janet had 10 children.

John b)1823, married Ann Lockhart, Feb.22 1867
Catherine b) 1826-July 1, 1896, married John Nicol, April 18, 1847
Peter b) 1827, married Elizabeth Hall May 5th, 1856
James b) 1830
Lillian b) 1832
Margaret b)1835-1901, married Thomas Hughes Nov. 10, 1859
Jessie b) 1837
Duncan b) 1839
William b) 1840-May 9th, 1909, married Sarah Leach July 15th, 1867
Sarah b) 1844-1929, married John McLauglin Oct. 2nd, 1868

     The next three images are the 1851 agricultural census of Beckwith. Duncan is on line 4. For all the farmers in the family, this is how they did it "old school"

     I have the Fisher family on the household census of 1851 as well, Janet's age is incorrect. I'm not going to post it, but if anyone is interested I do have it.

     Duncan died May 20th, 1872. His death registration is the only document I could find that gives any clue to his origins in Scotland. It also makes his DOB eight years earlier than I had seen previously.

Janet died May 9th, 1887

I haven't found pictures of Duncan,  Janet or any of their children but hopefully some will surface.

     William and Sarah Leach (remember the Leach name, it has a unique place in our family) had 5 children. William and family at some point hopped the fence into Goulbourn township in Carleton County.

Jessie A. b) 1869
Jane E. b) Sept. 19, 1969
Susan M. b) 1872
Margaret b) 1874
William Arthur b) Sept 3rd, 1875-Dec. 6th, 1966, married Maria Lavina Porter Oct. 16, 1901

William and Sarah with William Albert behind them

     I have no other pictures of William, Sarah or their children, but here's hoping.
William Albert and Maria Lavina Porter were married Oct. 16, 1901.

William Albert and Maria Lavina Porter

     William and Maria had 9 children.

William Duncan b) May 25th 1903-Sept.5th, 1938, married Elizabeth Merle "Bessie" Brownlee in 1925
William was killed in a hunting accident, here is the link to the newspaper, the article is on page six, tragic story.
Ellen (Elanor) Mildred b) Sept. 20th 1904- 1995
John Arthur b) April 29th, 1907- Feb 14th 1980, married Ida Matilda Geddes Feb. 11, 1931 after 1967 he remarried to Willow Elizabeth Featherstone
Howard James b) Dec. 20th, 1908-Jan. 1984, married Evaline Anne Montgomery Mar. 30th, 1932
Iva May Maria b) Sept 10, 1910-1950, married William Cecil McBryde Apr. 12 1944
Marion Evelyn b) Aug. 8th, 1914-Jan. 5th, 1986, married Robert Edward "Ned" Daly Oct. 26th 1932
Harold Lewis b) Feb. 27th, 1917, married Laura Graham Sept. 2nd, 1939
Herbert Leach b) Dec 6th, 1919-2006, married Beatrice Sadler Dec. 16th, 1942.
Ernest b) Aug 21st, 1922-1979

circa 1945 (Lois Fisher was born in 1944)
Ernie Fisher, Ned Daly?, John Fisher, Ida Fisher (Geddes) (with Lois
Fisher ) Maria, Jennie (Porter) ? Harry Geddes?  William
Front Clarence Fisher, Marion Fisher, Lloyd Fisher, William (Willie) Fisher
Sorry, I don't have the dogs name.
William Maria and Family
c 1941 - Lloyd Fisher was born in 1942 and is not in the picture.
From lower right
1st row - Howard, Ernie, Herb, Lawrence Fisher, Willie Fisher, Clarence
Fisher, Marion Fisher
2nd row children from left - Glenn Fisher , Dorothy Fisher, Evelyn Fisher
3rd row from right - John, Ernie Smith, Bessie (Brownlee), Ned Daley?, Iva
Fisher , Marion? Nellie, Laura (Graham)?, Ida (Geddes) Harold Fisher,
Eveline (Montgomery)?, Gerald Fisher? (with Maria), Maria, William

From right William, ?, Maria, Nellie Smith (Fisher) , Ida Fisher(Geddes)
behind and to the left of Nellie.,
Evelyn Fisher (Brownlee), Iva behind Evelyn Fisher
John and Harold, Laura (Graham) in the rear
Ernie Smith behind Maria, Ernie Fisher, behind Nellie and partially blocked,
Unknown behind Ernie Smith, maybe Herb (looks like a military hat)
Eveline (Montgomery) Fisher in front, child may be Gerry Fisher Duncan's

Ernest "Ernie" Fisher and his wife Doris

Iva Fisher McBryde

John Fisher

John and Ida Geddes Fisher

From left -John Fisher, Ida Fisher (Geddes)
Front - William Fisher (Willie), Clarence Fisher, Marion Fisher
 Lloyd Fisher in Ida's arms
Taken at Henry Porter's farm, Maria's brother,
bordered William and Maria's farm on the east side

A later picture of John and Ida

Ellen "Nellie" Fisher

"Nellie" with her husband Ernie Smith

Right to Left
Harry Geddes, John, Howard, "Nellie and Iva Fisher
Harry Geddes married one of Maria Porter's sisters

       Herbert Leach  married Beatrice Elizabeth Sadler, Dec.16th 1942.

Herbert and Beatrice

     " Herb and Bea" had 11 children.

William Robert "Bob"
Herbert " Butch"

     I have not included details for the "current" family, I'll leave the decision to them as to what they choose to share.

Herbert and Beatrice's family about 1980
Back row: "Butch", Leonard, Gordon
Middle row: Deb, Barb, Rita, Marlyn, Jean, Joan
Front: "Bob, Beatrice, Herbert, Susan

   Joan Fisher married Eric Craig and had me, Paul Craig, November 16th, 1964.

Eric, Joan and Paul about 1968-70

     I would like to thank Garth Fisher, not related, for sharing so much information with me. I got a 17 page history of the family, so there is lots I haven't posted if anyone is interested. As I go through the family albums, I will update the page with any other photos that come to light.

     I would also like to thank Bob Moore for his photos, identifying the photos I have and adding to what I know of the family.

     I will continue to update the current family on the page for Grandma and Grandpa Fisher, one new arrival already with one on the way soon. It is a natural point for me to keep track of family members. Feel free to pass along any family stories, pictures or information you would like to share. To contact me, click on my profile, About Me, on the right and it will provide an email link. You can leave your email address in the comments and I will re post it with the address removed if you wish. However you decide, please do contact me, it is always interesting to share family stories and see what happened to all of the other Fisher's in the tree.

     Thanks for stopping by, Paul


  1. So we have both Irish AND Scottish blood! No wonder me likes a nice cold ale! Really, there's just no escaping your genes is there. LOL
    Another amazing thing is that I have a wool blanket I bought at a fair I can't remember....of all the tartans/plaids on display that day and that I could have picked......I choose the blue one you have above. Funny that.
    And mom says she will be talking to someone when all the girls get back from their trip so hopefully she will have some info and photos for you.

  2. Hi Paul, thanks for all your info on the Fisher family. I am a descendant of Duncan Fisher's son Duncan born abt 1839. I have info on him and his sister Jessie. Please email me at if you would like the info.
    Thanks, -Mary

  3. This is great Paul!
    My names Mitchell Fisher. I am Kevin Fisher's son. I am the grandson of Clarence Fisher. Garth Fisher is also my first cousin. Truly great to see all the photos. Especially since I never got to see Clarence, its nice to see how he looked when he was a young lad. I have photos of him and his wife, Lillian (coulter ) around 1950s. They lived and raised 5 Fisher boys on oak creek. Bobby Moore is their first cousin. Im 17 and live in Carp.
    Youve done a great job and really brought a warm feeling to my heart!

  4. I am just wondering if you are related to Lawrence Fisher who died in 1977 and was married to Shirley Fisher and had a daughter named Katharine and possibly a son. If anyone could give me any information on this family it would be greatly appreciated.


Thanks for your comment, I hope you enjoyed your time in the "Kitchen".