The William Grant Family Records

Brief Biography of Lewis Grant (1771-1855)

Lewis Grant was born in 1771 at Carron, Parish of Abelour, Morayshire,  Scotland, the son of William Grant, a half-pay lieutenant, First Royals,  Aberdeen, Scotland. His father had fought under General Wolfe at the  Battle of the Plains of Abraham in 1759 during the Seven Years War, and as a soldier had earned the right to draw land and settle in Canada, but  chose instead to return to Scotland, and passed his land benefit to Lewis,  his eldest son. Lewis studied medicine at Aberdeen, Scotland, but quit  before completion, and in 1791, with the help of his uncle James Grant, who was a friend of John Graves Simcoe, he arranged to come to Canada.

He “was sent out from Scotland as a land surveyor by [Colonel] Simcoe and arrived at New York as there was no landing place at Montreal in those days. He crossed over to Canada at what was then known as Little York, now Toronto, in the winter of 1791-92 and surveyed and laid out some of the streets, calling one Simcoe after the General and another Grant after himself. He served the Government in this capacity until the year 1800.” In July 1793 Mrs. Simcoe, from Lewis Grant’s boat, identified and named the Scarborough Bluffs.

South Gower Township in the Eastern District, Upper Canada, “was first blocked as a township in 1794, by Lewis Grant, a Government Surveyor. In 1798, Mr. Grant, assisted by William Froster, PLS, surveyed the first five concessions into lots.” In 1800 “he came east down the Nation River, cleared the spot as it was all woods then.” He “built the first gristmill in the district, hauling the machinery 100 miles from Montreal by oxen, as there were then no railroads. [..] In connection with his mill he built an oak kiln for drying the oats and he ground flour, oatmeal and feed for cattle with millstones. This mill was known as Grant’s Mills.”

He married Anna Guernsey, daughter of Daniel Guernsey and Rachel Jones, on 16 March 1805 at Edwardsburgh Twp, Johnstown District, ON. Lewis and Anna had seven children: Mary, Nancy, Rachel, Lewis, Daniel, Alexander and Allan Patterson Grant. Lewis died on 3 June 1855 at Grants Mills, Grenville Co, ON. He was buried, and has a prominent roadside memorial, at South Gower Cemetery, South Gower Twp, Grenville Co, ON.


Transcriptions and copies of letters generously provided by their owners: Sharon Grant Ranson [SGR], Barbara Grant [BG] and Mary Lou Fry [all the rest].

1791 Aug 31, Letter, William Grant to Lewis Grant [SGR] – Transcription

1792 May 20, Letter, William Grant to Lewis Grant – Transcription

1794 Feb 15, Letter, William Grant to Lewis Grant [SGR] – Transcription

1798 Aug 16, Letter, William Grant to Lewis Grant – Transcription

1802 Feb 22, Letter, William Grant to Lewis Grant – Transcription

1808 Mar 24, Letter, William Grant to Lewis Grant [SGR] – Transcription

1823 Feb 22, Letter, Lachlan Grant to Lewis Grant – Transcription

1829 Jan 12, Letter, Lachlan Grant to Lewis Grant [SGR] – Transcription

1829 Aug 25, Letter, Eliza and Mary Grant to Lewis Grant – Transcription

1840 Apr 21 – Marriage certificate, Daniel Grant and Eliza Sarah Montgomery – Transcription

1841 Dec 04, Letter, [J Smith?] to Lewis Grant – Transcription

1850 Aug 14, Letter, Thomas Christie to Daniel Grant – Transcription

1881 Sep 24, Letter, Wesley Montgomery Grant to Maria Montgomery –  Transcription

1909 Sep 22, Letter, Dan Grant to Mrs William Imrie – Transcription

1924 Oct 29, Letter, Maria A. Grant McQuaig to Harry & Gertrude Grant [BG] – Transcription

1957, Letter, Eliza Adams to Harry Grant [BG] – Transcription

Other Documents

Old Parish Records

  • Marriage, Parish of Forres, Lachlan Grant and Jane Beaton
  • Marriage, Parish of Aberlour, Lachlan Grant and Jane Beaton
  • Baptism, Parish of Aboyne, Lewis Grant
  • Baptism, Parish of Aberlour, Lachlan Grant

1801 May 16, Entail, Robert Grant, transcription

1810, Probate, William Grant, transcriptions – Page 1,  Page 2,  Page 3,  Page 4

1827, Probate, Thomas Grant, transcription

1844, Obituary, Lachlan Grant, Aberdeen Journal [JPG]

1855, Will, Lewis Grant, transcription

1883, The Second Grants of Wester Elchies, ‘The Chiefs of Grant’, p 503, William Fraser [PDF]

1894, Pedigree of the Family of Grant of Carron, ‘History of the Island of Antigua’, p 426, Vere L. Oliver

Related Information

William Grant Letters: The James Grants – Notes by Malcolm Grant and Hugh Campbell

The Family of Lieutenant William Grant – Notes by Rod Giddens

The Survey of Leeds and Lansdowne Townships by Lewis Grant – By Glenn Lockwood

Knockando, a parish, in the county of Elgin, 14 miles (S.) from Elgin …

Strathspey In The Canadian Fur-Trade

They Left Their Mark

The Trials and Tribulations of Thomas Smith

Travels with Elizabeth Simcoe, 1793

The Grants of Grant’s Mills, “A History of the Township of Edwardsburg”, p 65-68; pub. 1967


Descendants of Lewis Grant
LIBINDX, Local Heritage Service of the Moray Council


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