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Inverness Quebec Scottish link with Settlers from Arran Islands

Inverness Quebec

Hello dearest friends,

As you might know by now, I’m passionate of all things Scottish related!

Therefore, in my ongoing quest of Quebec-Scottish links, I’m very happy, as a native Quebecer, to share a glimpse on the origin of a brave, courageous and thoughtful municipality in the Centre-du-Québec region of Canada named Inverness ( referring to Inverness, Scotland) which first colony dates to 1829 with the arrival of 12 families from the Isle of Arran in Scotland.

By the way, Arran Island is also known as ‘Scotland in miniature’, as it is divided into Highland and Lowland areas by the Highland Boundary Fault.

In the majority of cases, these are families driven from their land by wealthy lords. The village still retains many testimonies of Scottish culture.

inverness quebec scottish scotland

DOWN MEMORY LANE

In the early 19th century, many British and European immigrants were crossing over to Quebec city and then to the United States, while few Scottish pionners upon arrrival followed from Quebec city, the Craig’s Road to the timbered highlands in the township of Inverness.

FLASH BACK…

The first road linking Quebec City to the Eastern Townships, the Craig’s road, was built by James Henry Craig, Governor of Lower Canada in 1810.

Cutting a path through 120 km of woods and swamps was not an easy task. It took the determination and courage of 180 soldiers during a three months period to make travel possible by stage coach on this road.

It’s upkeep was neglected and the Craig’s road was declared unfit in 1829 and the population of neighbouring Inverness township which was only skirted by the Craig road, dropped from 84 in 1819 to eleven in 1821.

FAST FORWARD to 1829

Following is an excerpt of a memorial from the Duke of Hamilton and Brandon to the Government acknowledging the Isle of Arran emigrant’s journey to Lower Canada.

To the Right Honourable The Secretary of State
for the Colonial Department
The Memorial of His Grace the Duke
of Hamilton and Brandon

Sheweth,
That early in the year 1829 an arrangement was entered into between His Majesty’s Government and your Memorialist whereby a number of Emigrants, chiefly from your Memorialist’s Estates in the Island of Arran, were agreed to be provided with lands in Canada ; to the extent of 100 acres for each family. — Your Memorialist then urged His Majesty’s Ministers to make a grant of a Township to your Memorialist, in as much as it was in contemplation that successive bodies of Emigrants should from Season to Season proceed from the same districts in Scotland to the same neighbourhood in Canada to which their Countrymen and precursors had removed.
That His Majesty’s Government did not deem it expedient to accede to this proposition, but agreed to make a grant on certain terms, to the families who then removed ; and undertook that whenever additinal bodies of Emigrants should go out, the Governor of Canada should be instructed to locate them as near to those from the same Estates in Scotland, already settled, as should be practicable.
That the families who went out upon the faith of this arrangement, obtained Lands at the distance of about 40 miles from Quebec ; and your Memorialist is happy to be able to add that as far as the experience of the period for which they have been settled reaches, the Settlement has been completely successful and prosperous, and the conduct of the Settlers has met with the entire approbation of the local Government and Authorities.

Source: theshiplist.com

It is also mentioned in the above document that in April 1831 another group of families were migrated to the same location but under different terms. A list of the family name that boarded the ship is annexed.

scottish emigrants to Inverness Quebec

Omalley family – Inverness- Province of Quebec

I found interesting that a family name of Dugald was part of the emigration as my family name is Dugas. I do have Scottish ancestry as my Dad’s mother was born from a Scottish father. I’ve tried to trace my heritage but would have to give it more time and research to be able to discover more. It’s on the bucket list. 🙂

 

inverness_journal_le_tartan

Journal Le Tartan, Inverness, Province of Quebec

Inverness is known as one of the prettiest villages of Quebec for its landscapes and its heritage. I’m planning a road trip this summer to visit! Can’t wait to admire the Lysander falls and discover all things scottish.

parc des chutes lysander inverness quebec

parc des chutes lysander inverness quebec

 

Never stop exploring…adventure awaits.

Until next, stay safe and strong,

Janice

 

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