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The Story behind the Headstone

Robert McLachlan 1800-1894

It is mid-1830 and Robert has just spent 4 years in Breadlebane (Vankleek Hill) with his father John after emigrating from Scotland with his wife - Mary McDonald. They are on a river boat coming up the Ottawa River with the promise of land and ownership - provided they clear a percentage for farming.

They are not the first to be promised land from the McMillan tract and are welcomed by the Campbell brothers and Lambs who have already established themselves on the shores edge .. later to be known as Lochaber Bay.

Who gets the good land and who struggles with the rocky brush was likely determined by who came first. Judging from the present-day, Robert's father John was a lucky one! His lot (L27 R2) runs south of Linda Road towards the Bay in what appears to be rich soil with little rock. On the other hand, Robert's lot (L25 R3) runs north of Linda Rd and to this day has not been fully cleared and does not appear nearly as fertile.

For some reason, John does not stay long in Lochaber and either moves on to the Carolina's or back to Scotland. Robert, on the other hand, settles successfully and has a family of 10! Robert continues his trade as a blacksmith and now farmer. Eight of his ten children are eventually buried in the same cemetery as he. Sadly, his son Robert (b 1838) contracts pneumonia after serving jury duty in Hull and dies in Dec 1893 at age 59. His father passes away 3 weeks later at age 94.

Robert McLachlan 1800-1894

Robert McLachlan 1834-1893

The descendants of Robert Sr lived in the Lochaber region for many generations marrying McCallums, McDonalds, Campbells, McDerminds and Lambs to name just a few. The legends of the blind brothers (Donald and Bobby), Rory and his bull, Dr Pete of Buckingham and of course the writings of Dorothy Lamb enrich the memories of the region and are all connected to Lochaber Bay Cemetery in multiple ways.

Who lived Where ..

In a quest to try and figure out who lived where, we've put together an incomplete map of the region with dates and family names mostly from the 1900s.

Check it out here: Lochaber - who is where and feed us any corrections!

Your Stories

Well as you can see, we are not great at facebook but we do respond to emails and over the years it is amazing what stories and new connections we have made through the Lochaber Bay Cemetery website.

If you have a story that you would like to share, please contact us by using the Contact form on our website!

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