Alexander and Catherine's oldest son John Keith was born at the farm of Kinknockie, in the Parish of Old Deer, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, on the 12th. of January, 1809. When a young man he learned the trade of carpenter and cabinet maker at Stuartfield, about four miles from his home, and in 1832, while assisting at the building of a Manse at Auchreddic, in the adjoining parish of New Deer, he became acquainted with Alexander Watt and his sisters. This led to his marriage on the 23rd. of May, 1834, with Christian Watt, and to their emigration to Canada. They first met with Mr. Elmslie at Grosse Isle, near Quebec, when on their voyage out, and again, at Toronto where they decided to cast in their lot with the Bon-accord colony.
On their arrival in Elora they found that the only available shelter was a log house on the west side of the river; the one which Henry Wilbee had built the year before to be used by him while he was building the first sawmill at the Elora Falls. The party of four-Mr. and Mrs. Keith, Mr. and Miss Watt took possession of this; Mr. Keith opened his `Kist', or Kit of tools, and soon made the house very comfortable for the approaching winter. Having provided a home, Mr. Keith then did the carpenter work on Mr. Elmslie's house, afterwards on Mr. Watt's and his own. Men were hired to make a clearing on the farm which he chose, which was Lot 15, on the 11th. Concession. By spring time a log house was built; to one end of it was an extension which he used as his workshop; out of the trees growing about him making many necessary articles for himself and his neighbours.
Mr. Keith assisted at the building of the first Grist Mill in Elora, in 1843, and afterwards built several houses in the village which are in use to day, monuments to his good workmanship.
John's younger siblings also came to Upper Canada, William, David, and George Keith, with their sisters Catherine, Ann, and Helen, stayed at John's home for some time after their arrival. William cleared a farm in the upper part of the township and in later years lived retired near Fergus. He died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. John Simpson, of Shoal Lake, Manitoba. David was a blacksmith in Salem for some years and then was one of the first settlers near the town of Chesley, where some of his family are living. George was a manufacturer in Belleville. Ann was the wife of Hugh Fraser, for many years a shoemaker in Salem; while Helen married Alexander Hamilton and lived near Durham. Catherine was for a time housekeeper for the Rev. Alex. Gardiner of Fergus, and then became the wife of James Walker there. No names in Fergus were more closely associated with its early history, or were more highly esteemed for their large hearted kindness and hospitality than those of Baker Walker and his wife. Their history was the history of Fergus. One of their sons, Mr. William Walker, is a well known resident of Preston. (From ELORA by John Connon, 1931)