After their marriage in 1839, Robert and Charlotte settled down and eventually had five girls and one boy, as well as parenting a niece that they adopted as their own around 1840. Their eldest child, Laigh Elizabeth Sarah Watts, was born on October 8, 1840. According to her grandfather William Sheppard, she was a bright and vivacious girl. She grew up to marry Alexander Johnson, a Scot who had been a professor of mathematics and natural sciences at McGill University since 1857. The couple were married on May 7, 1862, at St. George’s Anglican Church in Drummondville, and moved into a stylish home in Montreal near the university. They had 11 children. Laigh died in 1914, one year after her husband.
Sarah Watts was born in Brussels in 1837, the child of Robert Nugent Watts’ brother, Gordon. Charlotte and Robert adopted Sarah after she was orphaned at 3 years old, following the death of both her parents by suicide. She was described as a graceful and attractive child, but died in 1859 when she was only 21 years old.
Harriet Heriot Watts’ path was similar to her older sister Laigh’s. Born on March 29, 1843, she grew up to marry Alexander Johnson’s brother John, who was a classics professor at Dalhousie University in Halifax, a post he had held since 1863. After an illustrious career, John Johnson retired in 1894 and the couple moved to Drummondville, where they had a lovely home built around 1890. They called it Comfort Cottage, and it was located on the current site of the long-term care home named after Frederick George Heriot. Harriet died in 1906, and her husband John passed away in 1914.
Charlotte and Robert’s only son, William John Watts, came into the world on May 1, 1846. Following in his father’s footsteps, he was admitted to the bar after studying law at McGill, and opened a law office in Drummondville shortly after. He then entered politics in 1874, when he was 28 years old, and was elected to Québec’s Legislative Assembly, representing the riding of Drummond-Arthabaska. He held the seat until 1885 when he resigned after the controversial Louis Riel affair. As well as being a significant land owner, he was mayor of Drummondville from 1875 to 1885. He had a home built on the corner of Heriot and Loring streets in 1881, then married Mary Louisa Millar on January 25, 1882, at St. George’s Anglican Church. He was appointed Registrar of Montreal West in 1901, and died six years later in 1907, followed by his wife in 1915. The couple are buried in St. George’s Anglican Cemetery in Drummondville.
Charlotte and Robert’s third daughter was born on July 29, 1848, and christened Charlotte Mary Ann Watts. She later married George McDougall in Acton Vale on October 18, 1888. George McDougall was the manager of the John McDougall & Company ironworks in Drummondville from 1886 to 1906. George was also a town alderman, and since the business that he managed was the region’s main employer, he was often accused of conflicts of interest. George and Charlotte Mary Ann lived in a house called Riverview at the end of Des Forges Street, close to the river and adjacent to the ironworks. The couple remained childless, with George dying in 1906 and Charlotte Mary Ann passing away over twenty years later, in 1928.
The fourth child, Susannah Elizabeth Henrietta Watts, was born on August 1, 1850, only to die one year later, on September 18, 1851. It was several years after Susannah’s death that Charlotte Sheppard gave birth to one last child, a daughter, Margaret Ann Nugent Watts, born on March 25, 1857. The youngest of the family became known as a skilled horsewoman, still riding into her 80s. On March 1, 1881, Margaret Ann married Samuel Newton, a shareholder and manager of the Drummond County Railway who was also a town alderman at the beginning of the 1900s. Newton was closely involved in Grantham Hall affairs until his early death in 1905. In 1907, two years after the death of her husband, Margaret Ann sold the luxurious manor house and most of its surrounding grounds to Montreal Notary Herbert Meredith Marler. The one exception was the small piece of land upon which Robert Nugent Watts had built a family burial vault in 1851, following a dispute with the Reverend George McLeod Ross of St. George’s Anglican Church. The private cemetery was consecrated by Bishop George Jehoshaphat Mountain in 1852, and holds the remains of nine family members. In chronological order of their passing, their names are: Susannah Elizabeth Henrietta Watts, Harriet Campbell Sheppard, Sarah Watts, Robert Nugent Watts, William Sheppard, Margaret Sheppard, Charlotte Sheppard, Samuel Newton, and Margaret Ann Nugent Watts, the last to be buried there after her death in 1937.