I only recently came across the RootsWeb site, and read your message while surfing. I may be able to provide some details on the Carnegie family for you. I have done extensive research into the family genealogy, and have carried out research in the Scottish national archives and have visited the communities of Montrose, Arbuthnot and Fettercairn in my travels. I offer the following extract for your reference.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CARNEGIE FAMILY IN PORT PERRY
This branch of the Carnegie family has lived in Canada since 1865, and has grown and prospered in the Port Perry area for more than one hundred years.
The first of the Carnegie family to locate in the area was my great-grandfather, JAMES CARNEGIE, who emigrated to Canada from Scotland in 1865, and who moved his family to Port Perry in 1888. James was born on the east coast of Scotland, in the Parish of Arbuthnot, Kincardinshire, on June 2, 1843; the second of eleven children, and oldest son, of Alexander Carnegie and Ann Crammond (or Cramond).
James' father, Alexander, was a meal miller by trade, and often found himself in dire financial trouble in his business endeavours. It is known that he married in 1840, and thereafter moved his growing family frequently in a desperate attempt to make ends meet. Between 1840 and 1861, he operated various mills within a 25 mile radius of Arbuthnot, including Blackhall Mill and Brethens Mill, in the Parish of Menmuir, Newton Mill, in Strickthrow, Blacks Mill, in the Parish of Aberlemno and, finally, the Mill of Criggie, north of Montrose. Alexander died at the Mill of Criggie in 1861 at the relatively young age of 43. He left a widow and a large family with very few prospects for a happy or prosperous future. His death certificate was witnessed by his son, James.
The cause of Alexander's demise was listed on his death certificate as cirrhosis of the liver, which was probably a speculation on the part of the attending doctor. Nonetheless, this was not an uncommon illness for millers at the time; a bit of an occupational hazard. Having a ready supply of grain, meal millers often brewed their own beer and alcohol, and they frequently relied on their home brewed spirits to clear their throats of chafe and to quench their thirsts throughout the day.
Due to a general lack of gainful employment opportunities in Scotland in the 1860s, and also to lessen the financial burden on his family, the 22 year old James packed his belongings and emigrated to Canada in 1865. He arrived in Quebec City on June 4, 1865 with only a shilling in his pocket. It is said that a generous female passenger on the ship gave him enough money to get passage to Toronto as thanks for his having watched over her child on the voyage from Britain.
In time, several of his brothers followed him abroad, leaving their mother and sisters behind in Scotland. Younger twin brothers, Joseph and William, emigrated to Canada in 1869, and settled in the area. Joseph married Ann Ross, and had 7 children. William married Mary Christie in 1877. Their son, Peter, farmed the Reuben Crandel farmstead, (founded 1821), at Manchester. He was Reeve of Reach Township (1879-1883), Warden of Ontario County (1881), and MP for Southern Ontario (1904-1908). Another brother, Alexander; went to sea, and died in a fall from the rigging of a Scottish ship while it was docked at Riga, Latvia. Brother, David; became a missionary in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe). Many of the Carnegies still living in that country are his descendants.
Once in Toronto, James found work with the Wm. and J.G. Gray Mill Building Company, dressing mill stones. He stayed with this firm for 5 years; but always retained a desire to go into business for himself. In 1870, the opportunity he sought finally arose. The lumber mill at Utica became available for purchase and James bought the business and moved to that location. He ran that mill at Utica until 1876, whereupon he sold it and purchased another in Raglan. While living in Raglan, he gained his first experience in municipal affairs, sitting on the township council.
James married Louisa Fincham (third child of twelve, born March 5, 1847, at Osnabruck Township, Stormont County, Ont.) at St. Andrews Church in Toronto on March 21, 1871. Reference to Louisa's family can be found in the 1851 and 1861 census records for Osnabruck Township. Her father, Abram Fincham, was listed in those records as being of British descent, belonging to the Anglican Church, and a blacksmith by trade.
Louisa is thought by many local citizens to be the so-called "ghost" of the Murray House in Port Perry. As young boys, Carnegie grandsons: Gord and Don, used to try to sneak downtown past grandmother Carnegie's home. However, they could never seem to elude Louisa, who would always find them and send them home. The boys always thought she was somehow psychic.
1. Alexander James; b. Dec.20, 1871, d. May 7, 1892; (drowned in L. Scugog while rafting logs to the mill, at age 20).
2. Caroline Ann; b. Mar.9, 1873, d. Dec.28, 1873
3. Alice Maud; b. Oct.20, 1874, d. Dec.25, 1966; m. Robert J. Bruce; (child: Keith: 1892), family lived in Rosedale.
4. Abram J.; b. Aug.19, 1876, d. Sept.22, 1924; m. Anita Marie Flood; (children: Jim, Norm, Anita, Kathleen). Abram was living in Port Perry in 1901, and was listed as a shoe merchant. Abe's wife, Anita, was a sister of William, who was married to sister, Margrat.
5. Arthur John; b. Mar.30, 1878, d. Sept.9, 1959; m. Mabel Irene McCaw in 1903; (children: Jack McCaw: 1906, m. 1928, Hilda Lawson; Louise: 1908, m. R.M. Savage; William J.: 1911, Arthur: 1913). Art Sr. was Master of the Port Perry Masonic Lodge in 1912.
6. Louisa May; b. Nov.28, 1879, d. 1950s; m. Howard B. Clemes; (children: John C., known as Jack, Exec. Vice Pres. of Robt. Simpson Co., d. Oct.5, 1981, Howard L., d. Mar.1, 1970). Howard Sr. was Master of Port Perry Masonic Lodge in 1903. He ran the Port Perry Creamery before becoming the head of the United Farmers Cooperative, moved to Toronto, lived in Rosedale.
7. Margrat Ann; b. Feb.21, 1881, d. Jun.10, 1945; m. William H. Flood; (child: Billy: a girl). The family moved to the west.
8. Charles F.; b. Nov.25, 1882, d. Nov.28, 1928; m. ? Mark; (children: a daughter, Kathleen). Charles was a Captain in the Forestry Regiment in WW I. He resided in Oshawa after he married.
9. David; b. Nov.28, 1884, d. Dec.16, 1950; m. Marion Bigelow McCaw (7 children).
10. William Urbane; b. Jul.30, 1886, d. Oct.23, 1950; m. Beatrice Whiteway (both lived in Toronto, separate and apart for many years) (children: George, (d. Jan.11, 1980), Jean, Peter). Jean was married to Jack Kent Cooke. George was also a millionaire, living in the Bahamas at the time of his death.
11. Eva Naomi; b. Oct.18, 1888, d. July 29, 1969; m. Norman Edgar; (child: Norman). Family lived in Regina. Norm Jr. was a Wing Commander at Brandon during WW II.
12. Harry Edgar; b. June 8, 1891, d. Dec., 1966; m. Alice Mary Haskins; (children: David, Richard). Harry was living in Regina in 1930 (at time of his mother's death). He lived on Scarth Road in Rosedale at the time of his death. The house was originally bought jointly with Louisa May.
In 1888, a business opportunity arose to the north of Raglan, in Port Perry, which caught James Carnegie's attention. That year, he bought the assets and property of the bankrupt Trounce lumber, planing and flour mills, and moved his large family and pregnant wife to Port Perry. This decision was to eventually influence the lives of the next four generations of Carnegies
When they moved to Port Perry, the Carnegie family lived at the residence at the mill site. However, James and Louisa eventually built a brick home on Queen Street (known locally as the Murray House). Louisa's brother, Charles, also lived with the Carnegies at that residence for many years. Louisa's sister, Kerry Lamb, lived at Manchester.
The Carnegie family also has family connections to the Bigelow family in Port Perry. Joseph Bigelow had been active in the lumber milling business in Port Perry for a number of years after taking over a woolen factory and planing mill which J.C. Bowerman & Co. had operated in the late 1850s. To this mill, which produced sawed lumber, sawed shingles and wood turnings, Bigelow had added the manufacture of barrel staves, sashes and doors. He later added a carding mill, a planing mill, and a tannery. The mill was eventually moved to the corner of John and Paxton Streets, from where it was operated until the property was expropriated in 1870 for the Port Whitby and Port Perry Railway; which was also partly financed and managed by Bigelow. The mill was demolished shortly thereafter.
By the 1870s, Bigelow had also acquired Stephen Doty's mill, which was located on Scugog Street, just west of the bridge. There he cut all the wood for the fencing of the right of way for the Port Whitby and Port Perry Railway. These mill operations were the basis of much of the towns prosperity for several years, and also the subject of much heated debate among contending businessmen.
Bigelow had also acquired an interest in the T.& G. Paxton flour-milling and planing business, in partnership with his brother-in-law, Thomas Paxton. This business was located on Water Street (at the present-day site of the local library, and the former site of the Carnegie Mill). The mill site was strategically located, with access to both Lake Scugog and the railway.
Paxton and Bigelow sold their interests in the milling and planing business on the waterfront to a third partner, W.J. Trounce, in 1887. Trounce operated the mill until the spring of 1888 when the business failed, and the property was turned over to the bank. It was at this point that the Carnegie family entered onto the scene in Port Perry.
It was this waterfront property that Carnegie purchased in 1888. He ran the mills, located side by side until they were destroyed by fire in June of 1902. Instead of re-building right away, Carnegie put up a semi-portable saw mill in the yard. By September of that year, a large brick building was erected to replace the former wooden structures, and the business was back in operation. The head miller was Mr. James Hortop.
To secure a reliable supply of lumber for the mill, Carnegie acquired cutting rights to forest lands north of Lake Scugog, in the Durham County cutting limits. Logs were rafted to the mill, drawn by Carnegie Milling Company steamer tug, "Stranger", which James had acquired from George Crandell. A second steamer tug, the "Cora", was acquired from Captain Bowerman in 1910. At that time, these were the last two steamers operating on Lake Scugog. With their demise, the age of steam ceased to exist as a part of industry on the lake.
Five sons, Alexander, Abram, Arthur, Charles and David, were involved in the lumber business with their father at one time or another, but not necessarily at the same time. Tragically, the oldest son, Alexander, and another young man, drowned in Lake Scugog while moving logs to the mill in 1892.. After working in the lumber business for a short time, the second son, Abram, opened an auto sales dealership on Queen Street.
In 1897, the present system of elected County Councils was instituted, and James was elected to represent Port Perry and Scugog division. He was returned to office five consecutive times. The second year of his tenure, he was elected Warden of the County. He was also the Chairman of the Building Committee of the County Home of Refuge, Chairman of the Board of Management, and also Chairman of the Finance Committee of the County Council.
The 1901 Census of Ontario South, Village of Port Perry, holds records for the Carnegie family. It is reported therein that James was a Presbyterian, and was a manufacturer. It also states that James arrived in Canada in 1860, rather than 1865; but this information is almost certainly erroneous, since James witnessed and signed his father's death certificate in Scotland in 1861.
James was a Mason, and was confirmed as a member of the Shriners on December 11, 1903 (document in my possession). That year, his son-in-law, Howard Clemes, served as the Master of the Fidelity Lodge No. 428, of the Masonic Lodge.
James died in Port Perry on October 4, 1921, and was buried in the Pine Grove Cemetery in Prince Albert, Ontario. Louisa died on December 13, 1930, and was also buried in Prince Albert, Ontario.
The Carnegie and Bigelow/McCaw families were joined together through marriage in the early part of the 20th century when two of the Carnegie brothers married two of the McCaw sisters, granddaughters of Joseph Bigelow. Arthur Carnegie married Mabel McCaw on November 25, 1903, and moved into the house at the mill site (land now occupied by the Port Perry Library). His younger brother, my grandfather, DAVID CARNEGIE, married Mabel's younger sister, Marion Bigelow McCaw, on September 16, 1914 at Port Perry. Marion was the sixth of eight daughters born to William Hugh McCaw and Emma Josephine Bigelow, the only daughter of Joseph Bigelow.
The children of my paternal grandparents, David and Marion Carnegie, were:
1. Robert James; b. Oct.16, 1915, d. Oct.31, 1979 (suicide), m. Georgeen Hood, (children: Robert, Richard, Jane, Martha, Charlotte)
2. Kathleen; b. Ju1.13, 1917, d. Mar.24, 1991 (cancer), m. Ralph Daniel Burley, d. Aug.28, 1974, (children: David (adopted))
3. Harry Bigelow; b. Nov.9, 1919, d. Dec.18, 1996 (Parkinson's Disease, leukemia, prostate cancer), m. Ella Marie Armstrong, (children: Gordon, Connie, Elizabeth);
4. Ruth Marion; b. Feb.6, 1921, d. Jun.3, 1996 (heart aneurism), m. George Fraser Manning, (children: Fraser, Douglas, Mary Louise, Barbara)
5. David Gordon; b. Oct.27, 1923, d. Jun.3, 1995, m. Margaret Janet (Jamieson) Bigwood, (children: Stephen Bigelow, Janet).
6. Donald Albert; b. Feb.2, 1925, m. Louise Howsam, (children: Beverly, Karen)
7. Mary Elizabeth; b. Oct.2, 1930, d. 1997 (lung cancer); m. William John MacGregor, (children: Lynne, Cheryl, Andrea)
The Carnegie Hardware business operated for three generations on Queen Street in downtown Port Perry. The history of the business may be of interest to family and to local historians.
Robert Bruce, known as Bert, (husband of James' daughter, Alice Maud) started the hardware business in Port Perry that was later to become Carnegie Brothers (Crest) Hardware in about 1893. He first started in business in the Parson Building, but moved into new premises (present location of the business) in 1895, the year after he married. He operated the business at that location, with six employees, until 1906, when he sold it to his brother-in-law, Arthur Carnegie, who had just returned to Port Perry from Edmonton.
Arthur Carnegie kept the hardware business for only one year, selling out to his father in 1907. Arthur moved to Saskatchewan with the intention of selling real estate in Regina with his brother-in-law William (Bill) Flood. However, that enterprise didn't work out, and Arthur returned to Port Perry in the fall of 1907. The Flood family remained in the West.
James Carnegie subsequently offered the hardware business to two other sons, William Urbane and Charles. Charles did not stay long in the business; preferring to work for a lumber company in Toronto. He subsequently served with the forestry service in England during WW I.
Art and David took over the Carnegie Milling Company from their father in 1907 and ran that business until about 1919 or 1920. They had previously made plans to start a lumber business in British Columbia and move west, but the deal was incumbent upon the sale of the Carnegie mill. However, that sale fell through and they were unable to close the deal in B.C.
William continued to run the hardware store alone until David joined with him about 1920. William dropped out of the business about 1922 or 1923, and Art bought out his share. Dave and Art ran the hardware business together for the next 26 years.
The Carnegie brothers also built houses in Port Perry. One was the brick house located behind the United Church on Mary Street. David and Marion moved into this house after they were married in 1914. Three of their children, Bob, Kath and Harry, were born at the Mary Street residence. David and Marion purchased the Ebbels residence at 196 Cochrane Street in 1920.. Ruth, Gord, Don and Mary were born at 196 Cochrane Street. This home has remained in the Carnegie family since 1920.
The "dirty thirties" were hard times for many people in Port Perry. Money and jobs were scarce commodities. For many, the war in Europe offered an opportunity as well as an obligation to serve. All four of David's sons, Bob, Harry, Gord and Don, enlisted and served in the Canadian forces during WW II.
By the end of the war, the Carnegie Hardware business was perilously close to bankruptcy. At the request of his father, Gord, left the employ of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and returned to Port Perry to work in the family hardware business, joining his three brothers Bob, Harry and Don, who were already working there. The four "boys" bought the hardware business from their father and Uncle Art on January 1, 1949. Art and David then retired.
A few years later, about 1956, the Carnegie brothers bought a half interest in the Christie Hardy farm, at the north end of Scugog Island. The other half interest was acquired by their cousin, Bill Carnegie, and his father, Art. Together, they sub-divided the lakeshore lots and built cottages for sale. The area was renamed Carnegie Beach. The brothers sold their interest in the farm to Bill Carnegie in 1963 in order to secure the capital necessary to buy out brother Don, who wanted to leave the hardware business to pursue other business interests.
From 1949 to 1976, the "Carnegie boys" turned the business around, and operated a highly successful business on the main street of Port Perry. Operating under Carnegie (Crest) Hardware banner, the family business grew to include a tinsmith, plumbing and heating, and furniture and appliance operation, plus propane gas sales. A second hardware business (Pro Hardware) was acquired in Bowmanville in the early 1970's, and was operated by Gordon Carnegie, son of Harry.
Both the Port Perry and Bowmanville hardware businesses were sold out of the family in 1976, and Bob, Harry and Gord went into semi-retirement, continuing to operate the propane gas business on North Street on a part-time basis until 1986. At that time, the property was sold and the propane business closed.
My father, Gord, was also active in local politics for a time during the 1950s. He was twice elected to the Port Perry Town Council, in 1954 and 1955. The pay for serving as a councilor in those days was $50/year. He also served as the local Hydro Commissioner for those two years, at no pay. He left local politics at the end of his second term.
Gord was also a life member in the Port Perry Legion, the Masonic Lodge and the Oddfellows Lodge. He often marched in the Remembrance Day parade, and attended Legion dinners, but never attended lodge meetings.
The oldest Carnegie brother, Bob, died in 1979. Gord passed away in June of 1995. Harry died in December of 1996. Several of James Carnegie's great-grandchildren still live and work in the Port Perry area.
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