Our Clarke Township Pioneer Families



The founder of the Gamsby family was an Englishman who came, sometime in the last century, from Newcastle-on-Tyne. He settled in New Hampshire in New England, where three sons, John, Guy, and Jones were born to him. His fidelity to the English flag caused him, with a multitude of U.E. Loyalists, to forfeit his belongings, and to cross the line and seek a home in Canada.

The family established itself near Lennoxville in Lower Canada, where two of his sons, Guy and Jones, subsequently married two sisters belonging to another Loyalist family - the Moultons. These sons afterwards left their farms there, and came to the Township of Clarke; John, however, remained at Lennoxville, where some of his descendants still reside.

Originally belonging to the English church, they became connected with the Baptist denomination; but, after their removal here they joined the Christians. It was because of the gatherings of the Gamsbys and other families of the Chrisitian denomination at the school house east of the village that it received the name Antioch, - there being a reference more or less remote to the words of Acts 11, 26.

Guy Gamsby came to the Township nearly 65 years ago. For some years he lived at Antioch on the farm he bought there; but he afterwards bought the block of land which takes in the whole south-east corner of the village, upon which he died. Jones Gamsby, who drove himself, his wife, and two children, with a sleigh and three horses, all the way from Lennoxville, bought Lot 24 on the 5th concession, giving 8 dollars an acre for it. At first ill fortune seemed to be his lot; on the first fallow he chopped his only cow was killed with a falling tree; and the log house he erected fell a victim to the flames. But as time passed by fortune favoured him. He had been to Clarke several years before he came here to reside, now some sixty two years ago; and at length, though he was happily settled in Lower Canada, he suddenly resolved to sell out and make his way hither. Some of his descendants have questioned the wisdom of this plan, but the Gamsbys are here to stay.

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