The Fleming Family History Is Ready

Image of the back and front of the book cover. Front shows the board and batten Springfield House.

It’s here! After many years of research by Ruth Larmour and Gwen Harris, much transcribing of original documents, countless hours building the family tree in Ancestry, much fact-checking, many interviews with descendants, many searches through land records, newspapers, directories, and other archives, much reference to written histories, the long-awaited Flemings of Derby Township: A family history has been printed.

It is available for purchase at Ginger Press in Owen Sound. Price is $85 CDN plus tax. Use the Contact Page to place an inquiry about ordering or contact me by leaving a comment to this blog post.

The project dates from the early 1900s when Roy Fleming, an artist and teacher in Ottawa,  and his cousin C.A. Fleming, a businessman and educator in Owen Sound,  had the idea to compile a family history.  As members of the generation of the firstborn in Canada, they were imbued with the family sagas of trials and triumph. From their fathers, they delved into their Scottish roots in Perthshire’s, Logeirait parish and from their uncle, William, captured the recollections of the voyage to Quebec in 1843 and pioneer life Canada West. In Vaughan Township they farmed leased land, and with their earnings, bought land in Derby Township where they settled in 1850.   Theirs is the story of determination, resolve, faith, resourcefulness, and good fortune.

This family history draws on many original letters and earlier family manuscripts supplemented and enriched by extensive research to describe the times and conditions and to gather biographical information about family members over four generations. In Canada, the period covered is roughly 1850 to 1920. The story follows the Flemings to many parts of Canada and the United States where they engaged in many different professions.

The book is richly illustrated with photographs, sketches, and maps. It is thoroughly indexed and footnoted. One might even say it is encyclopedic. This video provides a quick taste and view of what to expect.

Youtube video at https://youtu.be/bJ79v0QbTu0

Postscript: The book received this favourable review by Scott Dunn of The Owen Sound Sun TimesGinger Press carries on the tradition of celebrating local stories (December 10, 2022)

Flemings of Derby Township – Prepublication

Good news – the family history about the Flemings of Derby Township is nearly ready for the printer.  We expect to ship the book in late October 2022 (changed from early).

The book is a comprehensive account of the family of Alexander Fleming and Jean Stewart who emigrated from Perthshire to Canada West in 1843 and settled in Derby Township, Grey County, in 1850. Their stories show the spirit and resolve of the Scottish migrants to shape lives with more opportunities for their children. This narrative describes the Flemings’ Scottish roots, the perils of emigration, pioneering life in Derby Township, Grey County, and the lives of their nine children and grandchildren around the turn of the century as they undertook new travels and challenges.

Sources include Ruth (Fleming) Larmour’s extensive collection of stories and papers, contributions by other Fleming descendants, genealogical records, land records, and many other historical sources in archives and libraries. This wealth of information led to a large book that is richly illustrated, extensively sourced, and complete with name index and subject index. The table of contents will provide a view of the coverage in this book.

This is a limited edition with a pre-publication price of $70 Canadian (plus shipping if needed) payable by cheque or etransfer. Please order by August 8 (changed from July 25, 2022), if you would like a copy at this favourable price.

Why would you buy this book?

  • Alexander Fleming and Jean Stewart are in your family tree.
  • One of your ancestors came to Canada from the Scottish Highlands in the 1800s.
  • You would like to learn more about the Fleming Family of Kilsyth and Owen Sound, Grey County.
  • You are interested in pioneer life in Ontario in the 1800s.
  • Your family lived in Vaughan Township, Derby Township, or Owen Sound in the 1800s.
  • You enjoy reading family histories with illustrations and personal accounts from the times.

Contact us through the button in the menu bar or by posting a comment.

Progress Report

Proposed cover for book - The Flemings of Derby Township: A Family History
Proposed cover for book – The Flemings of Derby Township: A Family History

You may be wondering if the long silence at this blog means we have abandoned the Fleming Family History project. Quite the opposite.  We have been feverishly busy writing these past three months, editing, and designing, and can say with confidence that we are getting closer to print. The “we” means a team of six: family historian and sponsor (Ruth (Fleming) Larmour), writer (Gwen Harris), two editors, book designer, and printer. As well, some Fleming descendants have been assisting in reviewing sections. The book designer has determined the layout and design, and we have overcome major issues with the quality of images and handling of endnotes. Twenty-one of the twenty-three chapters have now been written, reviewed and edited – about 10% of Flemings of Derby Township: A Family History remains to be written.  We don’t have a definite launch date yet but are hoping for late summer, early fall. The book will be available through this website. The project plan also includes revamping this site because we will have more content to add, more to share, more to learn from readers and commenters, and more time to do it.

Continue reading

1903 Travel Diaries

We are pleased to announce that the  Rural Diary Archive of the University of Guelph Library  has added to its collection transcripts of the diaries Jennie Fleming and her nephew Roy Fleming kept of their trip to Scotland and England in 1903.

Page from Roy's 1903 travel diary showing the menu on the R.M.S. Tunisian
Page from Roy’s 1903 travel diary showing the menu on the R.M.S. Tunisian

The diaries are in the University of Guelph Library Guelph McLaughlin Archives–Scottish Collection (XS1 MS A337 ) and can be located through a search of Primo.

We hope to donate in 2019 Roy’s second book concerning their 1903 itinerary in Europe.

We had previously posted a blog entry about Jennie’s travel diary of 1869 and Roy’s childhood diary of 1891 being added to the Rural Diary Archive as well as a short description of Jennie’s 1869 travel diary.  Those two diaries are held at Grey Roots Museum and Archives in the Ruth Larmour Fonds PF114.

Some Updates

We have not foresaken the family history.  Gradually we are making progress through the period 1850 to 1900 during which the Flemings of Derby built up their farms, founded new businesses, and raised their children.  This website will carry shorter versions of the family annals.  Two are available now. If you have more information about the Fleming family please comment on this blog to connect with Ruth Larmour. We thank those who have done so already.

  • Isabella Fleming and Abraham Finch : the family tree (chart) has been updated to fill in some blanks for life dates and children’s names.
  • Janet Fleming – or as she preferred to be called – Jessie, and James Agnew : Jessie’s biography with capsule accounts for the children is now available and the family tree has been updated for new findings.

The Fleming family tree is also being built out in Ancestry.ca and now has some photos.  This is a public tree for easier viewing – the  only challenge is to get the hang of Ancestry’s display.

A full biography of Roy F. Fleming, Charles’s son – a man of many talents and capabilities as artist, historian, and teacher, is also available as a download. This was written for Grey Roots Archives in 2016.