The original owner of the book, Maggie C. Banks, is on the left in this photo, with her husband, Samuel Guest, and daughter, Lyla.

by Melanie Low

As a follow up to my original post concerning my antique book The Popular Art Instructor, inscribed “Maggie C. Banks Kemptville 1887”, which was published in the NG Times in June, I’m pleased to announce that a descendant of the original owner has been traced! Thanks to a third cousin, once removed, Stephen Guest, who has a love of genealogy, I now have more information. Stephen reached out to me via The NG Times, to share pictures and stories of one of Kemptville’s once prominent familfies.

According to Stephen, “I would date the photo at 1897, since the handwritten note on the back refers to Lyla as being 7 years old, and she was born in 1890. Lyla’s father, Samuel, was the grandson of our pioneer ancestor who came to the Burritt’s Rapids area from Tipperary in 1819. That was Thomas Guest, 1776-1860. He is buried in McQuigan’s Cemetery, just west of Burritt’s.”

As we know from my earlier article, Maggie later had a son, William H. Guest, who I was able to trace to the mid ‘40s, and it is his daughter I was looking for to, perhaps, pass the book along to (as Lyla, the young girl in the photo, did not have children). With the help of Stephen, this niece, the daughter of William H. Guest, last descendant of Maggie C. Banks, has been traced, and a letter in the form of snail mail is heading her way. Her name is being withheld at this time to protect her privacy.

I hope that she might be pleased at this book finding its way back to her, and perhaps she might host me for a tea and story telling so that I may hand deliver it.

On a side note, this portrait of Maggie and her young family, was completed by D. E. Pelton Photography, (Daniel Edson Pelton (1868-1901)). I’m now wondering if he is descendant from Phineus Pelton, who settled near Kemptville in the early 1800s, and which Pelton’s Corners, my beloved hamlet, is named after. Oh, how the large world of genealogy shows us just how small the world can be!

To answer Melanie’s questions, follow the following link to an article on the Pelton Brothers from the North Grenville Historical Society’s book: “School Days Past” (click here)


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