A Story of Two Amulrees & The Highland Clearances

Explanation & Supplement to SCOTLAND: Coast to Coast Hike 2006

During our walk across Scotland in 2006 we stayed four nights at the Amulree Country Hotel. One evening, after a wonderful day of hiking and a very good dinner, we went exploring. Not far from the hotel was Amulree Church. We checked out the cemetery and then found the church door unlocked so in we went. Just inside the entrance was a glass-covered display case. The story we discovered surprised us and was emotional.

The display appeared to be a project, perhaps done by children of the church. In the early 1800's some residents of the glen emigrated to Canada. One of the photographs below is a small portion of information about the pioneers that settled in North Easthope near Stratford, Ontario. Upon my return to Canada I decided to visit the Amulree area and discovered the tombstone of Annie Menzies Merrylees. I also discovered the pioneer monument on Hwy 7/8 in Shakespeare, Ontario. In the Stratford, Ontario area in the 1930's Mary Louise McLennan interviewed some of the descendents of the Scotland emigrants and compiled a scrap book that became a book entitled A history of the North Easthope pioneers, County of Perth, Ontario, Canada, from Perthshire, Scotland. A copy of this publication was delivered to Donald Scott, Esq. Senior Chieftain of the Gaelic Society, Perth, Scotland. It is this document that appears to be the resource for the display in the Amulree Church, Scotland.

Not only is Amulree, Ontario near where we live but we have hiked through Amulree, Ontario on the Avon Trail.

Amulree Church, Amulree, Scotland

Amulree Church, Scotland


Amulree Church, Scotland


Amulree Church, Scotland

Display Case in Amulree Church, Amulree, Scotland

Picture taken through glass.

Display Case Amulree Church, Scotland

Below this picture is a copy of the text that is easier to read.

Letter written by Annie Menzies from Canada to relatives back in Scotland.

Display at Amulree Church, Amulree, Scotland

Annie Menzies

The following quotations are Annie Menzies Merrylees talking to Mary Louise McLennan in the early 1930's during the compilation of A history of the North Easthope pioneers, County of Perth, Ontario, Canada, from Perthshire, Scotland.

“There was no door or window in our first log shanty. For chairs we used 3-legged stools made from saplings, and for tables we used packing boxes brought by us from Scotland. But cooking was done over a fireplace, but later, when stoves were peddled around, my father bought one and then we were warm.

My father assisted by my brothers and neighbours, cleared 100 acres of bushland .....

Annie Menzies


In Spring we gathered the sap, and made every year about 300 pounds of maple sugar, and 20 gallons of molasses. With these we made preserves from the wild berries.

With yarn spun from the wool of our own sheep both men and women knitted for we had to make everything we wore .....

The year I was married (in 1867) I spun 60 lbs of wool and made two pairs of blankets and a fancy with plaid. I have seen Stratford grow from a few shanties to a fine city.”

  Annie Menzies Merrylees

Annie Menzies was born at Shian, Glenquaich in 1839 near Amulree, Scotland and emigrated to North Easthope, Ontario (Shakespeare-Amulree area) in 1842 at age 3 years with her family during the period in Scotland known as The Highland Clearances or 'Fuadach nan Gàidheal'. In 1867, at age 28, Annie married George Merrylees.

>>> See picture of tombstone here.

Click here to download a PDF summary of all Annie Menzies pages (~ 320 Kb)

Major Online Resource and Other Online Resources appear below.


Amulree Church, Scotland

Cairn "Hail to the Pioneers" of North Easthope

Google Street view of Cairn on Hwy 7/8, Shakespeare, ON at coordinates 43.369665,-80.842076


Inscription at Top of Cairn

Amulree Church, Scotland

Major Online Resource

A history of the North Easthope pioneers, County of Perth, Ontario, Canada, from Perthshire, Scotland
Author: Mary Louise McLennan, 203 William Street, Stratford, Ontario, Canada. June 25, 1934.
Introduction: Donald Scott, Esq. Senior Chieftain of the Gaelic Society, Perth, Scotland
Note: This online resource is part of the Our Roots, Canada's Online Histories. The original publication contains 194 pages. All pages have been converted to images that you may read online. A copy of the online Index is provided below.

Index - refer to paragraph above

Other Online Resources