(The following article has been provided by the Culross Historical Society.)
was the descendent of an old Scottish family of the Lochbroom
John, his two brothers and four cousins left the Lochbroom area to work in the Lothian area near Edinburgh
on a large estate, but were not satisfied working for a landowner who
exploited their many skills as tradesmen for his own benefit. They had built a reaper, the forerunner of
the grain binder. The landowner took
the reaper to the Royal Show in
John and Margaret MacKenzie and their
family of five sons and one daughter, all under seven years of age, arrived
in Canada at Quebec City on June 28, 1838 to the sound of cannons and bells,
celebrating the coronation of
They made their way to
Two more sons were born to John and Margaret, and as the boys grew
up, extra land was needed for them.
Hearing that land was available in
John (1831-1904) settled on Lot 18,
John Brock took possession of the farm in 1940,
and his mother moved to
Kenneth (1833-1904) was the only son
to never own land in Culross, but joined his
brother Duncan in
Alexander (1835-1904). In
1868 his father bought lots 22 and 23, Concession 4 for his son Alexander (
In 1874 Sandy and Betsy bought Lot
23, Concession 5 from John Reid, and in 1891 they bought
Donald MacKenzie took over Lots 22 and 23, Concession 4, and in 1913 he married Annie Whytock. They farmed until 1919 when they sold the farm to Duncan Keith.
Betsy MacKenzie and her youngest son, William continued to farm Lot 23, Concession 5, from 1904 until her death in 1911, then William continued on the farm. He married Mabel Donaldson in 1914 and farmed until his death in 1950. He was known as an excellent farmer, and was particularily interested in developing his herd of Shorthorn cattle. The farm and the Shorthorn herd were taken over on his death by his son Alex MacKenzie, who married Bessie McInnes. They continued to farm until 1962 when the Shorthorn herd had to be sold due to animal health problems. The farm was sold to present owners, Ray and Donna Pennington. Alex and Bessie live retired in Teeswater.
John A. never married.
Isabella (Mrs. John Mowbray) went to
Donald (1837-1872) and Murdock (1843-1923). In 1866,
In conclusion, the family of John and Margaret MacKenzie was very instrumental in opening up and farming what is considered some of the best land in Culross, owning 850 acres at some period in time. Five John MacKenzies have trod this acreage in the last century.
John and Margaret MacKenzie visited their sons in Culross
several times, walking from Puslinch to Culross. Only their daughter, Isabella, never came
to Culross, having died in 1857, at age 25
years. She, her father (d. 1877 at age
89), and her mother (d. 1880 at age 72) are buried in Duff’s Cemetery,
Many incidents from the MacKenzie family history have been handed down to the present generation. They are typical of the pioneers of Culross. For example--
Mary Wilkinson MacKenzie was called "Mary Swift". When she married at age 28, she had already raised her dead sister's five children, so work was well known by her. She carried her eggs, cheese and butter in baskets through the back fields to her customers in Teeswater. When the large barn was built, she made all the buns and bread for the men. Mrs. McNaughton and Mrs. Keith made the pies.
There was trouble when John MacKenzie backed notes for a Teeswater flaxing mill. The bailiff appeared and left again. John and Mary had to pay for their farm over again.
By this time they had two children,
Mary Phemie and John Donald. These two grew up working hard, milking cows
and helping with the crops and livestock.
They were experts on horses and loved to tease the old ram by throwing
a coat over a stone and letting it hit its head. They played in the pond at the front of the
farm in summer and skated in winter.
Mary Phemie would drive to Lucknow, Clinton,
In 1900 John MacKenzie took his daughter to Walkerton and bought her the best gold watch and chain he could find in the jewellery store there. He was breaking her engagement to a chap who had consumption. There was quite an epidemic of this in Culross before 1900. Several families were wiped out.
In 1917, John Donald bought his first car, a Chev touring. For this, he traded ten acres of maple bush across the road from his stone house.
The Alexander (
Back Row (L to R) Catherine (Mrs. David Grant), Donald (Dan), Margaret (Mrs. F. Wocks), Isabella (Mrs. J. Mowbray), Kenneth, Annabella (Mrs. W. Trench)
Front Row, Mother Elizabeth (Betsy), William, Father Alexander (
"Creek" MacKenzie, born 1788 or 1797,
died October 10, 1877,
Margaret MacKenzie, born 1808, died September 7, 1880,
John MacKenzie, born 1831, died June 29, 1904,
Duncan MacKenzie, born 1831, died 1904.
Isabella MacKenzie, born January 6, 1832, died January 22, 1857,
Kenneth MacKenzie, born 1833, died May 29, 1904.
Alexander Mackenzie, born 1835, died July 6, 1904.
Donald MacKenzie, born 1837, died June 6, 1872,
MacKenzie, born 1841, died January 31, 1890,
Murdoch MacKenzie, born 1843, died September 4, 1923.
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