Selkirk settlers



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Auld Kirk

The Auld Kirk in the Scotch Settlement. The congregation, many of them Scottish immigrants, began gathering in 1822, and a log church was built in 1823. This building was built in 1869. It closed its doors in 1885.

Auld Kirk Cemetery

The Bannerman family are one of the many of the Scotch Settlement buried here (the Hunters, Magees, Faris' and Macbeths are others who have family plots within the cemetery).

Bradford West Gwillimbury Public Library

Auld Kirk Cemetery

The Auld Kirk Cemetery on the 5th Line in the Scotch Settlement marking the final resting place of many early settlers.

Auld Kirk with garage

The Auld Kirk Church is located on the south half of Lot 8 on Concession 6 of West Gwillimbury. In 1819, a group of Scottish and Irish settlers arrived in Upper Canada, and developed the area known today as the "Scotch Settlement". After the initial goal of building homes to fulfill the stipulation of the land grants, their thoughts turned toward building a church and school to educate their children. In 1822, land was obtained from John Faris, an Irish farmer, for a graveyard. In 1823, a log church was built on the land, and it also served as a school house during the winter months. This building, which was later moved to a different location, was the first school and church in Simcoe County. The congregation first met On January 6, 1822. James Sutherland, a settler, was authorized by the Church of Scotland to conduct baptisms and marriages until there was a settled minister. The first settled pastor was not until 1831. In 1832, they decided to send for a minister from the Established Church of Scotland, which resulted in a split in the congregation, and a new Church being formed in Bond Head. The remaining congregation stayed true to the belief's of the Church of Scotland, and the church never had an organ, and only Psalms were sang, not wrtten hymns. All of the sermons were long and in Gaelic, and were interpreted. In 1869, the present church was built costing $1000 to the congregation. Due to dwindling numbers, the church was closed in 1885. A new roof was put on in 1912, and in 1929, shutters were put on the church and the doors repaired. A fence was also put around the cemetery, and the driving shed was moved to a local farm where it still exists today. Another restoration of the church was done in 1958, when a new roof was put on, the windows were put back in, new steps were built, it was painted inside and out, and the floor was jacked up. Two plaques were dedicated in 1958. One was unveiled by Henry McKay in honour of his aunt and uncle, Mr. and Mrs. James McKay, some of the first settlers. The other was unveiled by Angus Campbell, for the Ontario Government's recognition of the Selkirk Settlers.

Bannerman Tombstones

Two tombstones belonging to the Bannerman family. Behind them is the Bannerman family plot.
"To the memory of George Sutherland: Native of Sutherlandshie, Scotland, who departed this life Feb 10 1859, Aged 66 years."
"Christina, wife of George Bannerman Died Dec 17, 1875, Aged 86 years. Native of Sutherlandshire, Scotland"

Office Window - Aurora Yacht Club/ Holland River/ Hurricane hazel

Article features news on the construction of Aurora's Yacht Club, an editorial on what Bradford can do with its river at the entrance to the town for publicity, and Holland River's history. It also mentions the upcoming 10th anniversary of Hurricane Hazel's path through Bradford.

Bradford Witness

Selby, William Cyril obituary long

Event Date : Friday, April 22, 1966
Event Type : Death

Description : William Cyril Selby, whose pioneer ancestors in York County became early settlers in West Gwillimbury, died in York County Hospital on April 22, following a coronary. He was the last surviving member of his family to reside in this area. Born on the 9th Concession of West Gwillimbury, 76 years ago, Mr. Selby served throughout the years of the First World War with heavy artillery. Returning after the war, to the farm of his birth, he made his home there, and that farm his life interest, until 1960, when he purchased a home on Church Street and retired to Bradford. Of a quiet and kindly disposition, he was liked by his neighbours and other friends. He was a member of St. Paul's Anglican Church. The story of the Selby family is one which reminds us of the early history of this area, his great-grandmother having been Isabel Sutherland, a Selkirk settler, and another grandparent being a U.E. Loyalist. Mr. Selby was predeceased by two brothers, Mr. Ernest Selby and Percy, one time reeve of West Gwillimbury, and by a sister, Mrs. Roy Kneeshaw (Mary). Two sisters survive him, namely Mrs. Lena B. Selby of Asbury Park, N.Y., and Mrs. Thomas (Stella) of South Orange N.J. The funeral service was held in St. Paul's Anglican Church, Coulson's Hill, with the services being conducted by his rector, Rev. W. H. Warnica, and interment in St. Paul's Cemetery. The pallbearers were Dr. Selby Kneeshaw, Messrs. Carl Bowles, Keith Bowles, Victor Sloane, John Fennell and Sam Lee. Flower bearers were Messrs. Norman Bowles, J. L. Henderson, Waldy Crossland, Thos. Brown and Seward Lee.

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