PHS Research

Township of Puslinch Crest

As part of our ongoing mandate to not only preserve our heritage and history but also to make it accessible to the public we have created this online research portal. Below you will find a wealth of information on the history of Puslinch categorized for easy search. Simply choose a topic below to begin your search.

Rural townships were divided into school sections when public education first began in the mid-nineteenth century. Each area soon became a community of its own and people in Puslinch would say, for example, “We’re from Badenoch.” Immediately other residents would know that they lived in southeast Puslinch. The school sections in the Township were numbered S.S. 1 to 12.

In 2015 the Puslinch Historical Society offered public viewings of their compilation, The Communities in Puslinch. This was presented over 3 evenings, with four of the twelve school districts offered each night.

There have been many requests to see this presentation by people who were unable to attend, so it was decided to post the document on our website. Since the files are mostly pictures – making them large files to download and view – the complete file has been divided into four parts.

Peter and Margaret McLean

Narrated by their great, great granddaughter Lois McLean
Spirit Walk at Crown Cemetery
September 17, 2012.

Good evening: My name is Margaret McLean, wife of Peter McLean, originally from Baileguish District of Badenoch, Invernesshire, Scotland.

In 1831 our eldest son Donald, along with Donald Martin, Peter Grant, John Kennedy and Mr. and Mrs. McBain sailed from Greenoch, Scotland to Canada. They came via Montreal to Glengarry, where Martin, Kennedy and the McBains spentthe winter. Donald and Peter Grant came on to Crook's hollow [now Greensville] and worked for the winter.

In the spring of 1832 they went north looking for suitable land on which to settle, travelling through Galt to Elora. Here they paid an Indian a penny to take them across the river.

After looking they felt this was too far back and too stony.

They next came south down through Guelph along the Aboukir Trail [now Brock Road and Highway 6] where they met two woodchoppers, the Nicoll Brothers. They took them to Stalhs on Lot 35. Rear Concession 8.

The Stalhs knew of unclaimed land a little north of them, so went with them to select lots. Donald claimed Lot 31 Front and Rear of Concession 9. Here they built a shanty and the McBains joined them, with Mrs. McBain keeping house for them. That year they cleared enough land to plant a little wheat.

In 1833 Peter and I and the rest of our family along with several other families left our homeland for the wilds of Upper Canada.

When we arrived Donald gave Lot 31, Front Concession 9 to us and kept Lot 31 Rear Conc. 9 for himself. He also chose Lot 30, Rear Concession 9 for his brother Alexander, Lot 29 Rear Concession 9 for his brother John, and Lot 29 Front Concession 10 for his brother George.

Since George was not interested in farming he gave this lot to his sister Margaret [Mrs. Hanning]. There are still two of these farms owned by our direct descendants.

Although Peter and I knew that we would never see our homeland again, we were happy to think our family would have a chance to prosper in a new land. Our son George, along with Peter Clark built a grist and saw mill in Morriston.

When this mill burnt, he built the Aberfoyle Mill which still stands to-day.

Son Donald was a member of the first cemetery board of Crown Cemetery.

Son Alexander laid one of the corner stones of the East Presbyterian Church, now called Duffs.

Our daughter Anna married Rev. Wm. Meldrum, the first minister of Duff's Church.

Peter always made it known that when his time came he "didna want to be trundled in a cart to his final resting place, but carried shoulder high as his fathers before him". He was the last to be borne to Crown Cemetery in this way.

Time does not allow us to tell of all the accomplishments our family and descendants have made to the community, church and township.

Now we would like to thank you for visiting with us to-night.

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Membership in the society is open to anyone interested in the history of Puslinch Township giving you access to the archives, assistance with your research from committed volunteers, a newsletter and occasional events of historic interest.

Click here for full membership information or to help by donating or volunteering.

Contact Us


29 Brock Road South
Aberfoyle, Ontario


Puslinch Historical Society
c/o Puslinch Library
29 Brock Road South
Puslinch, ON N0B 2J0

Click here for full contact information including email addresses and telephone numbers.

This is the work of volunteers in the community.
If using any of the content, please acknowledge the Puslinch Historical Society as the source of the material.