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.

Concession 3,

Lot 2

The Cober family took up 1,000 acres, lots 2-6 in 1833. Lot 2 was the farm of Nicholas Cober 1822-1904. He came to Puslinch from York County in 1843 and except for 1848-62 he remained until 1903 when he retired to Hespeler. His son, John Cober built a shingle and planing mill on the south end of this farm, which was owned by B. Neustadt and the rest of the farm by W. Pannabaker. On the same lot in 1860 a carriage shop known as Cober's Carriage Works was opened by Jacob Cober who was a wagon maker; later he & brother in law Cyrus Bechtel manufactured buggies etc there before moving the business to Hespeler

Lot 3

The south half of lot 3 was eventually owned by Cornelius Pannabaker He had two sons, Elias, who succeeded him on the farm and Samuel, a blacksmith, David Baer 1855 had a blacksmith shop on this farm, which was afterwards occupied by Sam Pannabaker.

Lot 5

Nicholas Cober operated a cider mill for a number of years and also a lime kiln.

Lot 6

Mr. Collins operated a brick yard for a number of years.

Lot 6 was divided into two parts. The south 50 acres was owned by Neil Holm 1867 resident Neil & Daniel. 1871, Daniel Holm, Elis Holm, by R Chester. and Leonard Bowman. The north 50 acres was owned by John Evans. Evans gave it to his daughter, Mrs. James Sault, and her son Samson. The 1851 census shows James Sault, of England age 46 with his English born wife Anne age 39,and their Canadian born children: Samson age 13, Jane age 11, Mary age 9, John age 6, James age 5, Joseph age 3, and Anne age 2, lived on it a number of years, and it was owned by his brother John Sault in 1875, finally Lloyd Auliffe. A lot on the south centre was purchased by David Goudie 1871, then Nowa Bowman, now owned by Alex Stewart, the centre by Ben Chester, then his son, Richard Chester, 1950 William McIntosh 1895-1967.

1885 Lot 6 west Estate of N. Holm East part Estate of J. Sault

Lot 7

Lot 7 was the home first of Michael Berges, then of William Evans 1865 1867 resident; 1885. His family were Fenton who married Annie Sault (Salt) and bought the farm north of the homestead. (Front of lot 7, con. 4). John, (Manitoulin Island, but had settled in Guelph by 1906). Mary Jane (Mrs. John Taylor, Guelph) Her tombstone at Howitt Memorial Cemetery says she died 1924, aged 70; Alfred (died 1936) m. Margaret Porter Addy, tombstone for Addie Evans in the Howitt Memorial Cemetery, giving dates 1853-1902). Thomas took over homestead from his father. Children: Louis, and Calvin. Louis married and had son Carl, and daughter Ruby. David m Alicamon Thomas Evans 1950 John McIntosh lived on the place.

Lot 8

Lot 8 was purchased by Mr. Oak who must have died. By 1851 Margaret Oaks from Ireland, of the Ceceder Church, age 56 was there with her family, Sarah age 26, born in Ireland, and Canadian born Margaret age 19, Mary age 17, Rachel age 14, and Hannah age 11. Benjamin Chester who came from Beverly there in 1875; 1950 Norman Chester. 1871 Benjamin Chester also had R3 L1.

Lot 9

J Little of front owned it 1885

Lot 10

1867 resident James McGinness. 1885 Metcalfe on west half; Wm Moran on east half. 1923 J. Spruchan & Mrs. M.O. Donohue

Lot 11

John McGinnis was an early settler He and his seven sons at one time owned 700 acres in this locality and all left the township. The 1849 list of Roman Catholic births indicates birth of twins, male & female in 1849. The 1851 census indicates 2 households, one headed by John McGinnis from Ireland, age 60, with Irish born sons Hugh age 34, and James age 40 with wife Jane, age 30, born in US with their children Margaret age 13, born in US, and Canadian born Mary age 9, Ellen age 6, Catherine age 4, Jane age 2, and Joseph age 7. The other household was John McGinnis age 38 born in Ireland with his US born wife Margaret, and their Canadian born children, Jane age 3, Catherine age 5, Joseph age 6, and Daniel age 8. The seven sons of John were John 1814, Hugh 1818, James and mentioned above. Francis 1815, David 1819, Constantine1824, and Joseph 1829. There was one daughter, Sarah 1809.

By 1885 the west part of this farm constituted a portion of the property of William Moran b 1848 m. Sarah Cassin. 11 children Daughter Grace m. Frank Steffler.. Wm Moran, for many years, was known as a cattle dealer in this county. East part John McKenna. 1923 H. Huck

Lot 12

MacKenzie says Andrew Farrel was the first settler here. In 1827 James Cantwell settled this 13, & 14; [Waterloo Wellington OGS Aug 97 says James & Mary Cantwell had a male child July 29, 1848] Martin Spruhan there 1867 Resident & in 1872 and 1905. There is also an 1851 census record for Thomas Cantwell, age 32 of Ireland with his wife Mary J age 32 and their Canadian born children. Catherine age 8, Mary J age 7, Ellen age 3, James age 12, John age 10, and Thomas age 1.

Lot 13

John Cantwell settled lots 13 & 14 in 1834. He owned 300 acres in this locality. 1867 resident. He had six sons, Thomas, Patrick, Martin who was 1851 census enumerator, John, Michael and James and two daughters, Elizabeth and Mary Anne. By 1905 his grandsons Michael and James owned lots 13 and 14. About 1920, John Conroy purchased the farm.

Lot 14

Patrick Cantwell there in 1872. The farms were later purchased by Spruhans. The last surviving member of this family passed on a few years before 1950. The Cantwell property remained in the name until 1920 when it was sold, one farm to Fenton Jackson. James Adams was there in 1871-72 Patrick Cantwell in 1875. 1885 J. Cantwell.

Lot 15

Constantine McGinnis son of John on lot 11 was the first settler Thomas Moran and wife Mary Meagher emigrated in the 1830's from Ireland. Their son Patrick was born in Ireland; was there 1867 Resident & in 1875; married Catherine Carroll, daughter of William Carroll and Ellen McKilty in 1863 They had 6 children: Robert m. 1875 Maggie Mulrooney d. 1967. Elizabeth m. Arthur Byrnes 1894 and their family was Rita, Artie and Agnes. 1885 P. Moran. Dick McEllistrum later bought rear 3 lot 15 from Robert Moran. 1923 C Holly

Lot 16

Lot 16 was farmed by James Moran b. 1834 before the family came. He m. Mary Jordan. 1867 Resident They had 7 children Annie m. John McNulty Mr Wm Moran sold lot 16 to Oliver Bennett. 1923 Q.C. Bennett

Lot 17

In the early years of settlement the Kinsella Family took up lot 17. James Kinsella is an original name. 1867-c1880 resident Gazetteers have John and Richard on 13,14 2/3 . 1885 Mrs. Kinsellla. 1923 E. Kinsella; This property remained in the original name with Ted Kinsella being the last member of the family to live on it. He died about 1942 and the farm was then rented.

Lot 18, 19

The widowed Catherine McNaughton Stewart and her 10 children emigrated from the St. Fillans area of Perthshire in 1834. 1843 Catharine & Robert Stewart on lot 19 - In the 1851 census, Peter age 27 and his sister Catherine age 29 were there with the orphaned children of their brother Robert. They were Robert 14, Hugh 12, and Catherine 10 Peter m Catherine McLean c 1873, and before her 1893 death at age 39, they had a family of 9 - five sons and four daughters, viz: Robert, Harris, Kenneth, Annie, (Mrs. David McNaughton in Manitoba) and Mary, Neil (1872-1954) m. Catherine McPherson, farmed at Morriston, Duncan, Elizabeth a nurse, and Margaret (1880-1967) (Mrs. Harvey Stewart of Morriston). This property is now the Donkey Sanctuary of Canada.

STEWART: written by Peter Stewart

Peter Stewart was born in St. Fillians, Perthshire, Scotland in 1822 and arrived in Canada and Puslinch in 1834 and bought this farm from a man named James Burnside and has lived here ever since and have now 200 acres of land, all in good order and a well stocked farm. Another time we had a shanty to live in without any door but an old country blanket hung over, when the bear came and got among the pigs and took one of them. I have raised a family of 9 children 4 girls and 5 boys, all at home but 2 in Manitoba. MacKenzie says he came in 1833 and settled on lot 19. Died in 1901. Founder of Duff's. Married Catherine McLean, and she died age 39. five sons: Neil, breeder of carriage horses, on the homestead; Robert of Marigold BC; John Harris of Portage La Prairie; Kenneth in Manitoba; and Duncan of Calgary; four daughters, Mary, Annie, (Mrs. David McNaughton) of Brookdale MB grandson of Hugh McNaughton & Elizabeth); Margaret, Mrs. Harvey Stewart; and Lizzie, a grad of Guelph Hospital. 1885 P. Stewart 1950 C. Rueitz

Lot 20

It appears that the widowed Margaret McLennan (1783-1871) emigrated to this property with her family. As early as 1843 Donald McLennan; 1867 Alexander McLennan; Thomas McLennan leased this lot too. He later moved to Bruce, after 1871. Roderick McLennan in 1875. Children of Margaret c1783-1871 Catherine (c1809-1887) m. Alexander McKay. Donald (1805-1875) m. Barbara Morrison; Alexander (1811-1869) bachelor; Mary unmarried d. 1893 Kinloss; Roderick (1817-1890) unmarried; Thomas (1821-) m. Barbara Little 1825; William (1825 -1907) m. Janet MacDonald in 1859. 1906 Henry Smith

Lot 21

John Smith, brother of Alexander was an early settler on lot 21. The John McLennan family next occupied it by 1843. His widow Margaret McLennan lived with her family on this lot. Her oldest child, daughter, Catherine McLennan. m. Alexander McKay. Other McLennan children were Donald 1809 m. Barbara Morrison; Alex 1811; Mary, 1813 Margaret 1817 Thomas 1821 who went to MB; Wm. 1825 m. Janet McDonald & went to Culross; Simon m. Jessie Patterson, Mary, William m. Janet McDonald whom he met in Culross (Lucknow); Roderick; 3 went west. When Donald McLennan died in 1875 James Cattanoch was executor, and was a tenant close by. The McLennan family sued him for satisfaction re the estate; his wife was Mary; their children, 1871 Puslinch Census: Charles, John, Hugh, Mary, Isabella. Pauline McKay found a record of marriage Donald McLennan m. Margaret Cattanach in Urquhart/Logic Wester April 29, 1802. they had a son Alexander July 23, 1823, christened at Urray Parish, Ross & Cromarty. Possibly Donald was brother to Donald's father John. In 1906 property of Angus McPherson with lot 22. John Smith went to Oregon with John McKenzie and was detained in New Orleans owing to fever and was never heard of again.? K. McKenzie in 1871. 1885 R. McLennan Wm. Smith 1923 McPherson Gordon Crow. By 1906, Samuel Smith m. Annie McKay; family Catherine, William and George; 1922

Lot 22

1867 Resident Charles Borthwick. John and Mrs. Borthwick; 1885 Mrs. Borthwick; 1923 G. Borthwick; from Jean’s Book: Silomie French born Armaugh Ireland. M 1830 Charles Borthwick, b. Edinburgh 1806-1866, Came in 1833 with daughter Ellen and Charlie’s brother George. By 1851 the 43 year old Chas. Borthwick from Scotland and his 39 year old wife Silomie from Ireland were raising their family. H(Ellen) was 19, William 17, Charles 15,Robert 13, Silena 12, Elizabeth 9, John 6. One son d in 1851. By 1905 John Henry Borthwick, their 8th child was living here with his wife and Louie Wideman built their stone house. Marg (Borthwick) & husband Phil MacDonald were there in 1970, and their son Ronald continues to live on the property with his family. Marg had 2 volumes of Borthwick history back to 11th century.

Lot 23

a wedge 1877 David Stirton; 1906 it was added to Borthwick property

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29 Brock Road South
Aberfoyle, Ontario


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

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