Waterloo Region Generations
A record of the people of Waterloo Region, Ontario.

Alexander Harvie[1]

Male Cal 1792 - 1882  (~ 90 years)


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  • Name Alexander Harvie 
    Born CALC 31 Jul 1792  Muirkirk, , Ayr, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3
    Gender Male 
    Interesting life story, religion 
    Eby ID Number Waterloo-86875 
    Died 20 Nov 1882  North Dumfries Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Cause: Paralysis 10 days 
    Buried Mount View Cemetery, Cambridge, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Person ID I86875  Generations
    Last Modified 1 Dec 2019 

    Father Alexander Harvie,   b. 1753, , Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 16 Aug 1825, Beverly Twp., Wentworth Co., Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 72 years) 
    Mother Mary Cameron,   b. CA 1765,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Family ID F42056  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Catharine Campbell,   b. CALC 28 May 1802, , Ayrshire, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 26 Oct 1888, North Dumfries Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 86 years) 
    Children 
     1. Margaret Harvie,   b. CA 1818, of, Beverly Twp., Wentworth Co., Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     2. Janet Harvie,   b. CALC 26 Nov 1837, Beverly Twp., Wentworth Co., Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 Jan 1885, North Dumfries Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 47 years)
     3. Mary Ann Harvie,   b. 3 Sep 1840, Beverly Twp., Wentworth Co., Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 6 Jun 1923, North Dumfries Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 82 years)
     4. Catherine Caroline Harvie,   b. 3 Feb 1834, Branchton, North Dumfries Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 19 Jan 1904, Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 69 years)
     5. Malcolm Harvie,   b. 1843, Beverly Twp., Wentworth Co., Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 5 Dec 1922, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 79 years)
    Last Modified 2 Dec 2019 
    Family ID F22532  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • Alexander Harvie was a native of Ayrshire, Scotland who came to Canada about 1817 with a colony of settlers from Caledonia, Genesee Co., New York. He settled on a farm near Branchton and was regarding as a leading man in the community. He is credited with being the driving force behind establishing of the Presbyterian congregation that, in the early 1830's became the Strang church now the First United Church in Cambridge. The first Presbyterian serviced were conducted by Rev. Alex de Noon of Caledonia, New York in the home of Mr. Harvie.

      Cambridge Mosaic , Jim Quantrell, 1998, City of Cambridge [abbreviated snippet from original text in book]

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      The first clergyman who ever preached in Dumfries is believed to have been the Rev. Alex. De Noon, of Caledonia, New York, to whose congregation several of the first settlers near Branchton had belonged. A member of his church named William Forbes, had removed about 1818 to the head of Lake Ontario, where his family was attacked by what was then called lake fever a species of fever and ague-and, sad to relate, himself, wife and nephew, all died. Mr. De Noon, accompanied by one of his elders, Mr. Donald Mackenzie, father of the late Simon Mackenzie, of Branchton, came over to Upper Canada in 1819, to look after Mr. Forbes' property, and being within thirty miles of his former parishioners, he determined to make his way through the bush to Dumfries, and see them and their new home. He remained over one Sunday, and preached in the house of Mr. Alex. Harvie, which the handful of settlers in the neighbourhood greatly enjoyed and appreciated.

      Reminiscences of the Early History of Galt and the Settlement of Dumfries in the Province of Ontario, by James Young, 1880 Toronto: Hunter, Rose

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      At the meeting of the Synod of the United Presbyterian Church, held at Pittsburg, in May, 1822, the Synod appointed the Rev. Thomas Beveridge, the Rev. Mr. Hanna, and the Rev. Alex. Bullions, "to itinerate in Canada three months or thereabout, the expenses incurred by said Mission to be defrayed by the Synod." This Mission was a somewhat memorable one. Thirty-seven years afterwards (in 18.59) Mr. Beveridge gave an inter-esting account in the Evangelical Repository, of the journeyings of Dr. Hanna and himself through the wilds of Upper Canada, all of which was done on horseback, except in such places as they had to dismount in order to get themselves and their horses through. After describing their travels on horseback from Philadelphia, their visit to Stamford, near Niagara Falls, and the difficulty of finding settlements in Upper Canada with sufficient people to preach to, Mr. Beveridge describes at some length his experience in Dumfries, and the narrative throws such a flood of light on the condition of the settlement in 1822,, that the following extract there from will be appreciated:

      "So it was at last arranged that Mr. Hanna would re-main at Stamford, where he occupied the pulpit on the ensuing Sabbath, while I would endeavour to hunt up the people at Dumfries. This was a settlement consisting chiefly of Scotch Highlanders, and about eighty miles from Stamford. My route lay through Ancaster and Dundas. So far I had no difficulty in finding my way. After this I had to depend on what information I could get along the road, both about the road and the people. As I drew near to the settlement, I found that there was among them an aged Scotch gentleman by the name of Harvie, who had removed from Caledonia, New York, and was regarded as rather the leading man in the settlement. I accordingly obtained directions to his house On my arrival I knocked at the door, and heard someone in a somewhat gruff voice invite me to come in. As entered, the old gentleman was engaged either in making or mending shoes with his back towards the door He never looked round to see who was there, but continued busy at his work. After I had stood in silence for a few moments, he called out to me without getting up, What's your wull, sir? 'As he appeared somewhat blunt in his manner, I replied in somewhat of the same style, by asking, 'Do you want any preaching here? 'He immediately dropped both shoes and tools, and springing to his feet, exclaimed in accents which I shall never forget 'Oh, yes!

      "He and his neighbours had commenced a settlement in the forest about five years before, and had never had a sermon preached among them all that time. The nearest. approach to it had been by a Unitarian, or Christian, who had once preached in their neighbourhood; but that was a kind of preaching on which they felt no disposition to attend. Here, then, was an opportunity never before enjoyed by me, to build where no other had laid foundation since the beginning of time. Another singularity in my situation was, to be upon the very verge of the inhabited world. One of the families in which I spent a night, told me that they knew of no in habitant between them and the North Pole.

      "Mr. Harvie had been an elder in the Associate Reformed Church of Caledonia. Some of the High Landers, if I recollect rightly, were members of the church of which Mr. De Noon, of Caledonia County, was pastor. But neither he nor they were disposed to be very fastidious about my ecclesiastical connexion. It undoubtedly wrong to disregard any principle or usage which pertains to true religion; but long destitution of the Gospel by those who love it, tends to lessen very much the alienation which too often exists between different evangelical denominations. Mr. Harvie did not wait to ask me if I were a minister of the Associate Reformed Church, nor did the Highlanders first enquire whether I belonged to the same church with Mr. De Noon or the Establishment of Scotland, to which they had formerly belonged but they were all ready to take me into their arms as a minister of Jesus Christ. "My time here was chiefly spent at the house of Mr. Harvie. An incident occurred the first night of my sojourn with him, which, though not of importance, afforded me some amusement. His cabin consisted of two apartments: the larger one for general purposes, the smaller one affording between them barely room for a bed on the one side, and a loom on the other, with a very narrow passage between them. The was my sleeping apartment. It was hardly to be expected that in such a new country feather beds would be very plenty. I think it not improbable that I slept on the only one in the settlement. It was howevery so copiously filled as a straw bed beneath it. This latter was so completely stuffed that it had fairly assumed a round figure, and the feathers very naturally divided themselves in the centre, and lay over the straw like a pair of saddlebags upon a horse. When I went to bed I poised myself as well as I could upon the centre, but with a good deal of doubt about my ability to retain my position. My fears were not groundless, for no sooner had I closed my eyes in sleep, than down I rolled upon the floor. There I lay for a little, reflecting upon my whereabouts. After going over the history of my life for some time past, and pursuing it up to the time when I had gone to bed, I came to the conclusion that I must have landed somewhere between the bed and Mrs. Harvie's loom. So I picked myself up, fixed the bed in a flatter form, and slept very comfortably for the rest of the night. This little affair afforded some amusement to the family and me in the morning.

      "The people in the settlement consisted of about twelve families: With the exception of Mr. Harvie and an aged Highlander, they were young, married persons, having generally families of two or three small children. Several things respecting them were very encouraging. Although without any access to public ordinances, they had formed themselves into a society for prayer and conference, which met regularly on the Sabbath, and was well attended. Whether they had any meetings on the com-mon days of the week, I am not now able to say. Wor-ship was also observed in their families; and their general character, so far as I could learn, was unex-ceptionable.

      "They were exceedingly grateful to the Associate Synod for having sent them a missionary; and though none of them had belonged to this branch of the Church, they were anxious to be connected with it. This, with them, was one of the most powerful arguments, that this church alone had sought them out, and taken compassion on their destitute condition. As it was doubtful whether the synod would prosecute a mission for which there seemed so little encouragement, I dissuaded them from forming a connexion with us. But the more I urged them against it the more intent they became. Accordingly, after preaching to them on the Sabbath, I appointed a day on which I would meet with them for conference and for sermon. At this meeting I explained to them, as fully as I could, the principles of the Associate Church, the testimony of which they had not seen. The aged Highlander above mentioned, after listening to me a while, would address himself to the younger members of the society in their native Gaelic, giving his views of what had been said. The result was that they gave their assent to the standards of the Associate Church, so far as they were acquainted with them, and were received into communion. After sermon, somewhere about twenty children were baptized, most of the families having two or three to pre-sent for that ordinance. This was the beginning of the large and flourishing congregation of Galt, as it is now called, for many years under the ministry of the late Rev. James Strang and now of the Rev. Robert Acheson. Dr. Hanna having arrived from Stamford, we set out together from Dumfries for Esquesing, where we had heard there was another settlement of Scotch people who might be desirous of preaching

      Reminiscences of the Early History of Galt and the Settlement of Dumfries in the Province of Ontario, by James Young, 1880 Toronto: Hunter, Rose

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      Shade acted as Mr. Dickson's agent and attorney, and as soon as it became known in the Niagara district and other settled parts of the Province, that lands could be had on easy terms, a few straggling settlers made their way to the locality, and some returned to take up their abode. Scarcely any persons came in during the fall of 1816, and for several years afterwards, the progress made was not very promising. Report puts down the number of families in the township in 1817 as thirty-eight, com-prising in all one hundred arid sixty-three souls, and the whole of the farm stock as less than the number of animals now to be found on a single place. From a Government source, we find that in 1818 the estimate was only thirty-eight settlers, and sixty-three persons in all.

      These statements are doubtless not far astray, but the latter estimate is probably below rather than above the mark, for, besides a few settlers who early took up land in the St. George neighbourhood, a small colony, chiefly from Genesee County, New York State, had located in the bush between Galt and the present village of Branchton, as early as 1817. Among these were Messrs. Donald Fraser, Thomas McBean, William Mackenzie,* John Buchanan, Robert Carrick, Alexander Harvie, Daniel McArthur and Dugald McColl, whose descendants, in several instances, still continue to hold and cultivate the lands then taken up.

      *Donald Fraser, Thomas McBean and William Mackenzie walked all the way from Genesee Co., New York State, to Dumfries, during May, 1817. Mackenzie had assisted Mr. Marlett in surveying near Galt during the previous fall, and piloted the way. While on the road near Hamilton, the elder Dickson and his son William passed them on horseback. They knew Mackenzie, and informed the travellers that they could get Articles of Agreement immediately for any lands they might select, as they were then taking up these necessary documents. After arrival, Fraser, McBean and Mackenzie soon selected farms, and received the Articles therefor, which are said to have been the first three ever given by Mr. Dickson for any part of his Dumfries lands.


      Reminiscences of the Early History of Galt and the Settlement of Dumfries in the Province of Ontario, by James Young, 1880 Toronto: Hunter, Rose pg 33

  • Sources 
    1. [S116] Vit - ON - Death Registration.
      Mary Ann Milroy b. 3 Sep 1840 Beverly Township, d/o Alexander Harvie (b. Scotland) & Catharine Campbell (b. Scotland) d. 6 Jun 1923 North Dumfries, cause: apoplexy (3 days)

    2. [S336] Census - ON, Waterloo, Galt - 1881, Galt Division 1 Page 79.

    3. [S122] Cemetery - ON, Waterloo, Cambridge - Mount View CC#4495 Internet Link .
      In memory of/ Alexander Harvie/ died 20 Nov 1882/ aged 90 y'rs 3 mo's/ and 20 (?) days/ a native of Ayrshire Scotland/ Catharine Campbell/ relict of the late/ Alexander Harvie/ who died/ 26th Oct 1888/ aged 88 (?) years ? Mo's/ and 28 days

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - CALC 31 Jul 1792 - Muirkirk, , Ayr, Scotland Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - Cause: Paralysis 10 days - 20 Nov 1882 - North Dumfries Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Mount View Cemetery, Cambridge, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth