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In 1817, George Higginson and his wife Rose Lough Higginson and their children, George, Rosemary and John, left their home in Carncastle, County Antrim, Northern Ireland intending to sail to Baltimore, Maryland. The ports along the New England coastline were closed to ships from Ireland and elsewhere because of the rampant spread of cholera and other ship-borne diseases. Their ship was diverted to Quebec City and eventually they made their way to the tiny community which was building up around the Hamilton Brothers sawmills at what became known as Hawkesbury, nestled along the southern shore of the mighty Ottawa River.

Two years later, in 1819, George’s mother, Jane Crawford Higginson, his brother John and his wife, Eliza Sheriff and their children, Nancy, Eliza and Thomas, his brother William and his new bride, Jane Tweed, his brother Thomas and his new bride, Nancy Park, along with his sister Jane and her husband William Holliday set sail on board “The Pitt” to join them in the this eastern corner of Upper Canada.

Sadly, Jane Crawford Higginson would die on the voyage and be buried at sea. Brother John would die soon after arriving in Canada. His young son, Thomas, would become the Member of Parliament for Prescott from 1863-1867, thus becoming one of the “Fathers of Confederation,” a notable achievement as we celebrate the 150th Anniversary of Confederation.

In 2017, we celebrate the bicentennial of the first members of our Higginson family in Canada along with sesquicentennial of Confederation.

You are invited to join in on this once in a lifetime opportunity.