The Perth Military Settlement will launch its bicentennial celebration in 2016 by bringing our community’s history to life in a digital format.
The Historical Mapping Project is a years-long project initiated by Barrie Crampton, and will be made public for the first time on Friday, Jan, 8 at the Perth Civitan Club. The project is an online, searchable database and map of the original settlement and the people who settled here, making it a genealogical tool for the public to learn more about our Lanark County ancestors.
Crampton resurrected original maps of the survey of 1815, and used those to digitally outline the settlement of the soldiers and settlers by individual lot, concession, names of the original and subsequent families and telling their stories for a lasting online legacy on the history of the current municipalities.
“The historical records obtained in this project are a way of understanding of how the Perth Military Settlement was established,” he explains. “We now know who they were, their country of origin and the number of family members who travelled with them.”
As he worked through the 2,000 plots of land, Crampton unveiled stories from that era, and has confirmed that about 20 of those settlement plots are still owned by the original family today.
“We can now also see that a lot of the young soldiers didn’t stay,” he says. “They got their land grant in 1816, and there’s no record of them ever after. A lot of them got their land and didn’t perform their settlement duties. We can then see who took that land over after they left.”
Crampton worked alongside Algonquin College’s Ann MacPhail and CGIS, who both helped with the historical research and mapping technology. The project’s completion received support from the Military Settlement’s four municipalities – Beckwith Township, Drummond/North Elmsley Township, the Town of Perth and Tay Valley Township – making the project launch an ideal way to begin 200th anniversary celebrations.
“We’re thrilled to launch this project, and we couldn’t even count the number of volunteer hours put into turning this idea into reality,” says Lanark County Warden and Drummond/North Elmsley Deputy Reeve Gail Code, who also chairs the township’s 200th anniversary committee. “By showcasing our original story in a user-friendly platform, we’re giving the public access to 200 years of history. It’s hard to express our gratitude to Barrie, Ann, CGIS and all who contributed to this legacy project.”
The Project Launch
The Historical Mapping Project will officially go live on Friday, Jan. 8, 2016 with an official celebration at the Perth Civitan Club from 1-4 p.m.
With a meet and greet beginning at 1 p.m., the afternoon will officially begin at 2 p.m. with the four municipal representatives speaking about their respective anniversary plans for 2016.
Crampton will then present the project and have it go live for the first time. Following his presentation, guests will have the opportunity to try out the project and ask any questions. The event is open to the public, and all are welcome to attend.
For more information about the Perth Military Settlement’s 200th anniversary, please visit http://200thanniversary.lanarkcountytourism.com.