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The Gilmours of Puslinch


(from the Puslinch Pioneer, v. 17, issue 6, February 1993.)


John Gilmour and his wife Jane (Johnston) emigrated from Dungannon in Ireland in the early 1800’s.  John was a weaver by trade, but it is not known whether or not they immediately settled in Puslinch or where they did eventually live in Puslinch.  They had five children, four boys and one girl.  Andrew, the author’s great-grandfather, born in 1847, lived for a time on the east corner of lot 35, front conc. 10, at the “jog” in what is now known as Leslie Road, right across from the observation tower of Blue Heron Marsh.(1)  Little is known of the sons, Joseph and Dick, as they apparently moved away.  William and his wife Mary lived on lot 25, front conc. 9.(2)   The only girl, Margaret, the youngest, married Joseph Roach on July 5, 1869.  Joseph operated a blacksmith shop on lot 21, rear conc. 7, in the Village of Aberfoyle. (3)   They lived in the first house north of the present Community Centre grounds, with the shop situ­ated just north of the house, and close to the sidewalk.(4)   A grand­daughter of Joseph and Margaret is presently receptionist/secretary for Dr. G. G. Kuder of Guelph.


Some mystery surrounds the death of John Gilmour and the location of his burial is unknown.  His wife Jane died in 1893 and is buried in Crown Cemetery.


Andrew, eldest son of John and Jane, married Elizabeth McEdwards (lot 36, front conc. 10).  Aileen, Margaret, and Helen McEdwards, great-nieces of Elizabeth still live at this location.  There were 9 children, 6 girls and 3 boys, Mary (Frank), John, James, Jean (Brooks), Andrew, Edith (Frank), Elizabeth (Taylor), Catherine (Watson), and Elsie (Boucher). All three boys remained in Puslinch for a time: John (Johnny) at the second house on lot 36, rear conc. 10,(5) James (Jimmy) as a blacksmith in Aberfoyle(6) and later at Badenoch on lot 31, rear concession 9(7), and Andrew (Andy) on the east corner of lot 35, front conc. 10.  The youngest daughter, Elsie, and her husband Edgar Boucher farmed on lots 31 and 32, front conc. 7.  More re­cently Elsie lived in the Village of Morriston and her later years at Morriston Nursing Home.  Mary and Edith lived in Nassagaweya Twp, Jean in Esquesing Twp. and Elizabeth and Catherine in Alberta and Saskat­chewan, respectively.


The house of Andrew Sr. was de­stroyed by fire about the turn of the century.  Elsie related the story of the family Bible found lying almost intact in the burned­-out ruins. However, it disintegrated into ashes immediately upon being touched with a stick.  Shortly there­after Andy was stricken with appendicitis and surgery was performed on the kitchen table at his brother Johnny’s house.  While recovering, he was quite distressed as he was afraid his prized horse might have perished in the fire.  He was only consoled when his horse was led close to the window so he could see it from where he was convalescing.  In 1906 and 1907 he purchased lot 6 then 5 in the 14th conc. of East Flamborough Township.(8)  (This property was sold to Garnet and Ida Law in 1950.)  Previous to this, he and his father both worked in the “Heading Mill” making barrel heads on lot 35, front concession 10. (9)   He purchased the Flamborough property for his father and mother as he had acquired some land in central Alberta near his sister Elizabeth.  On Nov. 10th, 1915 he married Euphemia (Effie) Ord of Aberfoyle(10) and they settled on the farm with his parents.  They also had 9 children, 6 girls and 3 boys, Kathleen (Mooney), Richard, nicknamed Dick, Doris (Cummins), Helen (Martinson), Jean (Collard), Douglas, Evelyn (Winer), John, and Wylda, nick­named Billie (Billings).  All the children, despite living in Flam­borough, attended school in Badenoch, S.S. No. 9 of Puslinch.  Before the youngest two children were born, Andy’s sister Jean and her husband Arthur Brooks died.  Two of their children were taken in and raised in his home.


Besides farming, Andy was a plas­terer.  He and his brother Johnny (now living in Campbellville) work­ed together and many area houses were plastered by the pair.  They were in great demand.  The jobs were quoted verbally, no contract signed.  Andy would specify the quantities of material to be purchased when the customer provided house dimensions.  Both men chewed tobacco; Andy pre­ferred “Big Ben”.  It was not unusual to see them spit tobacco juice in the mortar for the first coat of plaster.  However, there is no knowledge of a miscue when they were applying the pure white finish coat!


During depression years Andy ceased driving his car.  It was a Chevrolet, between 1923 or 1927, known as a 4 - 90, jokingly referred to as “4 days on the road, 90 days in the garage”.  About 1934, this car was sold for the princely sum of $15, all one dollar bills!


On August 25th, 1933 his wife Effie died, leaving Andy with nine children ages 17 - 2.  Each of the girls, starting with the oldest, kept house until they married.  Helen stayed after marriage, as husband Jim was overseas during the Second World War.  After Billie married, Andy lived first with John and Norma on lot 36 rear of conc. 9, then until his death at age 95, in 1976, with Evelyn and her husband Roy Winer on lot 34 rear conc. 8.  It is a coincidence that when Andy died at his daughter’s home, it was the house he and his brother were plastering when his wife Effie died.  (This farm was then owned by Ernest Nicol).


Son Dick farmed on lot 24, front conc. 8, was a livestock drover, and in later years raised and raced Standard Bred horses.  Doug farmed on lot 36, front conc. 9 where he still resides.  He served as tax collector for the Township of Puslinch from 1950 to 1955, then assumed also the duties of clerk-­treasurer until 1967.  On February 1, 1967 he started working for Grand River Conservation Authority, retiring on July 31, 1990 from

the position of Office Manager and Deputy-Treasurer. 


Evelyn and husband Roy operated a dairy farm for many years, and presently

have a fine herd of beef cattle.  John worked for many years for Canadian Pacific Railway, then for the University of Guelph in 1962.  He retired from the position of Chief Agricultural Assistant in May, 1992.  John excelled as a softball pitcher.  In 1954 and 1960 he played an important part in the Badenoch Ball Team, winning the O.R.S.A. Class "C" championships.  In 1957 they were also finalists.  His father was an ardent fan of this ball team, and was a compet­itive soccer player as a young man.


The rest of the family moved to other areas; Kathleen and Helen to Hamilton; Doris to Beechgrove; Jean now in Campbellford; and Billie in Owen Sound.  Direct des­cendants of the Gilmours, still living in Puslinch, are: Audrey (Cummins) Gunson, husband Ken, and daughter Janice, hog producers on lot 33, rear conc. 8:  Barbara (Winer) Jefferson, husband Bob, children Leah, Luke, and Johanna, dairy farmers at Arkell:  and Steve, landscape architecture, with wife Ruth and children Greg and Jeff on lot 36, rear conc. 9.


There was a persistent Irish pride in Andy.  Even though his mother was as Scottish as anyone with the name McEdwards could be, and considering he married an Ord, whose mother was a Black (both families only one generation away from Scotland), he would proudly proclaim, if anyone asked, his Irish heritage.


He leaves a legacy, a credit to the Gilmour name, that his children and his 110 grandchildren and great­-grandchildren cherish with pride.



























Elsie Boucher, aunt of the author

Township of Puslinch Assessment Roll-1901


Township of Puslinch Assessment Roll-1876


Annals of Puslinch, page 36

Township of Puslinch Assessment Roll-1901


Edna Bell, long-time resident of Aberfoyle


Mary Black, a long time friend of the Gilmour family

Township of Puslinch Assessment Roll-1901


Annals of Puslinch, page 36


Township of Puslinch Assessment Roll-1901


Mountsberg Heritage, published by Mountsberg Heritage Society


Andy Gilmour, father of the author

Annals of Puslinch, page 67


Duff’s Church Marriage Register



The foregoing article was contributed by Mr. Douglas Gilmour.