The first group of settlers was severely hampered by their September arrival, with winter fast approaching. There was no time to clear land for fall wheat and little time to erect shelter. They lived first in tents made of bark and branches, then in crude log shanties.
Land in the area had been surveyed prior to their arrival, and each male over twenty one years of age had been granted 100 acres. In addition, they were given tools, farm implements and seed. Now all they had to do was locate their granted property (in the middle of the forest) and get started. These were weavers, remember. To say this was all new to them has to be massive understatement.
Details of their experience, and most of the information I have gathered regarding the McLarens in Canada, can be found on the website of the Lanark County Genealogical Society.
Peter McLaren died in October of 1827, seven years after settling in Lanark. He was forty eight. The land passed to his wife, whose eldest daughter still at home, Margaret, was twenty and eldest son, John, was nineteen. It is impossible for me to believe that the trials of this first year didn't contribute to Peter's early passing.