McEwen in the 'Ottawa area'? Hmmmâ€¦ Do you know *anything* about where yours came from?
Although I know nothing of involvement with the Rideau Canal construction, I do know about an Ottawa area McEwen family, all descended from David McCuen (b. 1746 Ireland) & Sarah Carr/Kerr, who emigrated from Ireland to the extensive land holdings of Sir Wm Johnson in NY state. From thence, they, having been loyal to the British side, *had* to relocate to Canada after the American War of Independence. The family settled initially in Cornwall, Ontario on the St. Lawrence River where they ran a ferry to St. Regis Island; they had at least 3 children: David McEwen Jr., b. 1765 (m. Rachel McLaughlin), Margaret and Mary.
David Jr., of course, sired those continuing the McEwen surname ot this day, and many of *his* family migrated to the Ottawa area. His children were Margaret (Mrs. Benjamin Eastman), Sarah , Wm (marr. Lucy Ann Anderson), David, Robert, Mary (Mrs. Daniel Alguire), Elizabeth, Rachel, Alexander John (marr. Eliz. Eastman), George (to Hopkin, NY), and Nelson (to Potsdam, NY).
Many resettled, in particular, in the village of North Gower (now officially part of greater Ottawa).
Since the Wm and Lucy McEwen family of North Gower is the key one for my own research, I list their children with the hope of hearing from others interested in this McEwen family! My own gg grandmother, Rachel W. (Mrs. Andrew Brown), James (marr. Johana Revit), Dorothy Harriet (Mrs. John Anderson), Eliza Ann (Mrs. Charles Carson), Mary Mathilda, William, Lucy, and John (marr. Elizabeth Elliott).
So Carol, if you think this might be your McEwens (Rideau Canal labourers or no!) be in touch, and hopefully others too who recognize this family line, could fill in blanks, answer questions, and generally share McEwen family info!!
The Rideau Canal labourers were largely new immigrants (many of them Irish), desperate for cash to get started, not families who had come to Canada after the American Revolution, some 40 years before the Canal construction began. Mind you, your McEwen might have just been young and anxious for cash to head to Huron County(!!)â€”perhaps even one of the sons above, about whom I know nothing. Maybe other McEwen reseachers seeing this might help us both out!