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Fallbrook Farm Heritage Site
Update 54

To begin the New Year, we wish to send you our warmest regards. The Fallbrook saga continues for its forth year, moving forward because of your interest and support. We shall continue the series of the everyday life of the first Celtic pioneers by journeying home to our Ballianafad roots. We build our theme from original sources in which the pioneers or their immediate descendants describe in detail the hardships they endured and the ingenious methods they developed to survive. Let us remember that this occurred in the 1800's, only four generations separated from our own very comfortable way of life.

It is the Kirkwood family who will return us to our Fad roots. Alan Kirkwood (on the right) has meticulously documented the history of his and other Fad families. Jim Kirkwood plays a major role in the continuing efforts to conserve the Fallbrook site and is a driving force in the oral history project.

Jim and Alan Kirkwood, Oral History Gathering, 2008

They are great grandsons of Donald McKay, the patriarch of Fallbrook, through the marriage of his daughter Mary with their great grandfather William Kirkwood. The Kirkwood’s arrived originally in the 1820,s in the Caledon area, specifically at Rockside. These first Celt immigrants were known as the Rockside Pioneers. A wonderful book was written by Robert Chrichton's Rockside pioneer, of his memories without which much of their story would have been lost. It is very rare today. After consultation with John Denison of the Boston Mills Press, we are showing you extracts of this invaluable source of original history.

These extracts introduce you to this gem of a book, the Rockside Pioneers, which so eloquently relate the memories of Robert Chrichton, "nom de plume" Timothy Hayseed. He describes the coming of his own ancestors in these first chapters. The coming of the Kirkwood’s is described in later chapters and will be the subject of our next update.

Another fine book has been found by Alastair and can be read in its entirety at the main site of electricscotland by linking directly to

Once again, we wish you all a New Year rich in heritage and the conservation of our cultural and historical roots. No matter what our ethnic origins.

S.McKay, Ballinafad Oral History Project, N.H.C.H.S... January, 2010.

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