Friday, April 23, 2010

Archibald and Margaret's son, Archibald

In the spring of 1843, Archibald and Margaret welcomed their third son, Archibald, into the family. Eighteen months later on 10 October 1844, little Archie died of bowel trouble. This information is found in The Life of Archibald Gardner, by Delila Gardner Hughes. I have made an attempt to document Archibald's death information, but clearly there were no records being kept in this pioneering area of Canada at the time. What I did find was the following:

The Alvinston Cemetery
"The first cemetery in this vicinity comprised a plot of ground on the west side of River street, just south of the Alvinston brick yard. About 1854 this piece of land from lot 19, con. 7, was donated to Brooke Township by John Gorsuch, although no formal deed of transfer was ever recorded. Prior to this time some burials had already been made. It is believed that an infant child of Archibald Gardner may have been one of the first buried in this spot."(1)

River Street is on the east side of Alvinston, and the cemetery is to the southeast of town. I have added a marker on my Google map to show the location to the best of my knowledge.

1. Sara Leitch Campbell, Brooke Township History (1833-1933) (Sarnia, Ontario: Ontario Genealogical Society, Lambton County Branch, 1995), 114.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Birth of Margaret Livingston

Throughout her life, Margaret Livingston Gardner stated that she was born in Lochgilphead, Argyll, Scotland. After a lengthy search to document her birth, I have found that she was actually born in Ardfern. Ardfern was a settlement located approximately 15 miles north of Lochgilphead in the parish of Kilmartin. It would appear that Margaret was naming a nearby large city so others would know approximately where she was from. Below is the page in the Kilmartin parish register that recorded her infant baptism.

Kilmartin Parish Register, 1746-1856, vol. 1, p. 132 (FHL #1,041,071 item 1)

Following is a map to show the relative locations of Ardfern, Kilmartin, and Lochgilphead. You may need to zoom out or drag the map north and south to see all three markers.

View Argyllshire, Scotland in a larger map

Archibald married Margaret Livingston

Archibald shared several stories about his courtship years, and he told of falling in love a number of times and even proposing to several girls. Before he started building the grist mill in Brooke Township, he had the opportunity to meet Margaret Livingston. They visited for about five minutes, and then she left for her work in Detroit. He was so taken with her that he walked 110 miles through snow 16 inches deep to see her. They visited at the gate of her work, but she was not permitted to leave or make other arrangements to see him. In frustration, Archibald went back home.(1)

After finishing the grist mill and working to pay off his debts in 1838, Archibald "sent to Detroit" for Margaret. He then says simply, "She came and I married, February 19, 1839, my little Highland Scotch lassie."(2) I have forever been amazed, not only that he would send for her after these two brief meetings, but also that she came. I guess some things are just meant to be.

Attached is an image of Archibald and Margaret's marriage record. It is located in the London District Marriage Register, Record Group 8, Series 1-6-A, Vol. 16 (1833-55), p. 99 (FHL #1,030,053).

1. Delila Gardner Hughes, The Life of Archibald Gardner (West Jordan, Utah: Alpine Publishing Co., 1939), 21.

2. Hughes, The Life of Archibald Gardner, 21.