The Craig Family

"The early history of the Craigs is traced in admirable detail in the book The Craigs of Goulbourn and North Gower by James Beverley Craig, (Hanson and Edger Ltd. November 1929).The ... Craigs are descendants of Thomas Craig, who came to Canada from Momesk, Ireland, with his wife Elizabeth Moffatt, eight sons and two daughters in 1840." Carsonby, A Community History, published by the Carsonby Historical Society, 1969.

Carsonby: A Community History has a list of businessmen in North Gower in 1871. There are 2 Craigs on the list, Richard a saddler, and Robert J.P., a farmer.

A portrait: 91st anniversary of Mr. Jas. Craig, April 15, 1907.

The picture is taken in front of Craig House, Craig Street, North Gower. Mr. Craig built four brick homes in 1989: this one, and houses for Ab Craig (later Horace Seabrook's home), the Andrew Wallace house, and a house for Willie Craig, near where the ball park once stood.

In this picture:
first row: children
second row: James E. Craig, Ab Craig, Hiram Scott (who ran the post office for 65 years), James Craig (on his 91st birthday), Jonathan Craig (Howard's father), Bob Craig (Rex's father), James Craig's son-in-law, Bill Bell
third row: Howard Craig, Willie Craig, Alice Pratt, ?,Beulla, ?,?,Annie, J. Cryderman, ?, Billie Pratt (baby)
last row: Gus Craig, Stuart Craig, Florence Montgomery, ?, ? Montgomery, ? Craig, ?, Grace, Ethel, ?, ?, Ned Kidd

From The Craigs of Goulbourn and North Gower: "Voyage of the First Craig Party to Canada" (pages 24-26)

On Friday, May the 2nd, 1834, The First Craig Party sailed from Sligo, Ireland, on the ship "The Richardson," in charge of Captain McVernon.


The party was composed of the following members,--

1. HUGH CRAIG, with his wife and seven of their nine children, (two married daughters, Mary and Jane, remained in Ireland, -- Jane only temporarily). Hugh's eldest son, Thomas, being married, brought his wife and three children. It is probable that Hugh's fourth son, Robert, was married before leaving and that his wife came in the party.

2. WILLIAM CRAIG, brother of Hugh, with wife and family of seven.

3. MARY, sister of Hugh and William, with her husband, James Graham and four members of their family, (the eldest son, James Graham, Jr. and wife having emigrated to Oswego , New York State, five years previously). Their married daughter, Susan, and husband, Robert Moffatt came out at this time. In addition to being a relative by marriage, Mr. Moffatt was a great friend of his wife's uncle, Hugh Craig, and they refused to allow the party to leave without them. This brought their number to a total of thirty members in all.


They landed at Brockville and made their way inland through the forest by wagons and oxen. They probably crossed the Rideau at Rideau Ferry (the only crossing-place along that part of the river at that time and for years later). It is also likely that they passed through Perth and from thence followed the "old Perth road".

They finally arrived at Goulbourn Township, Carleton County, where Hugh settled on the East half of Lot 3, Con. 4, and William on the West half of the lot.

The Graham family settled in the adjoining Township of North Gower, on Lot 14, Con. 3.

Some years later, Hugh bought 400 acres in North Gower Township, consisting of Lots 16 and 17, Con. 3, which he divided as follows,--
To Robert Moffatt ........ West half, Lot 16
To son James ............. East half, Lot 16
To son Robert ............ West half, Lot 17
To son Hugh .............. East half, Lot 17

William died two years after coming to Canada, through an accident, when a tree, which he was cutting down, fell on him in the bush, where he was working with his son James.

From The Craigs of Goulbourn and North Gower: "Voyage of the Second Party to Canada" (pages 30-33)
... about April 1st, 1840, [Thomas] set out, with his wife and family of eight sons and two daughteers, on the vessel "Industry" for the new land.


Several of the Moffatts, who were related to Thomas' wife, came with the Second Party at this time. Other members of the Moffatt family (the mother of John Kerr, North Gower) came from Ireland in 1842, two years later.


On arriving in Canada, The Party followed the St. Lawrence route as far as Montreal, where they took a shorter course up the Ottawa River to Bytown, and from thence continued their way to North Gower Township. They were met at Bytown by Hugh's son, James Craig, Senior (1-2-6) who carried the infant, Mary Ann, in his arms through the forest to their destination.

They lived for three months with Thomas' cousin, Robert Graham, and first considered the purchase of the West half of Lot 20, Con. 3, upon which Robert Allen Craig, Senior (1-2-6-6) now resides. Upon the advice of his brothers, however, he settled on a bush farm, Lot 12, Con. 3, the present occupants of which are his great-grand-daughter, Sarah Anne and her husband, Matthew Arbuckle. They lived here for about one year, when they permanently removed to the West or Rear half of Lot 13, Con. 2, North Gower Township, the Moffatt family settling on the East or Front half of the same lot.

A note on some of the Craig family members:

The author of The Craigs of Goulbourn and North Gower , James B. Craig, was the son of James E. Craig and Grace Clara O'Loughlin. He was born in North Gower, but his work as a bank teller for the Bank of Montreal took him to various cities across Canada. After his retirement, he collected and compiled his book on the family. He was also the Ottawa Journal's local correspondent for a number of years.

James B. Craig's brother, A.J. Craig, was Vestry Clerk at Holy Trinity Church for 26 years.

Howard Craig, longtime reeve of North Gower, was warden of Carleton County.

Also, see pictures of Craig Street, and some of the reminiscences of Hugh L. Craig in the note on Echo Farm.

A picture of Hugh L. Craig on the occasion of his 100th birthday, with the Hon. R.A. Bell (left). Among others attending: Bill Tupper, Bob Mitchell, and Erskine Johnston.

We are indebted to Mr. Craig Stratton, who generously provided information for this page.

North Gower-The Way We Were
Echo Farm

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