Fortune is an old family name that originated in northern England or Scotland.
At some time, not recorded, a Fortune moved to Ireland and in 1832 Francis Fortune came to Canada at age 16. He settled in Leeds county and eventually purchased a farm, and with his wife Catherine Dixie raised a family of nine children. The youngest, also named Francis Fortune, purchased a farm in Leeds county and with his wife Margaret Green raised a family of four children.
Arthur Fortune, one of the children, inherited this farm and with his wife Harriet Cochrane raised two children, Ray and Edna. Both left the farm for other careers.
When Ray Fortune and his wife Ruth Westover moved to Ottawa in 1968, they began making maple syrup as a family hobby at a rented sugar bush. With a family of four boys and one girl to keep busy they purchased an established maple operation from the MacIntosh family in 1972 and continued making syrup but on a larger scale.
The operation steadily grew in size and in 1998 with the purchase of a second sugar bush the operation was named Fortune Farms and is now operated by Ray and Ruth with Jamie Fortune and wife Sherry Holt. It is truly a family operation, with all five children, their partners, and nine grandchildren participating during the season. There are also many friends who come to help during the season making a large extended family.