Sunday, May 20, 2012

Montrose McGillivray

This is a quick post, to give a little information to descendants of Montrose McGillivray I have already spoken to, and whose current email I cannot easily locate -- descendants of George Simpson, Junior, whose letter is below, will also be interested in this information:
Reel 3M91, D.5/28, Letters to Governor Simpson, HBCA
"Fort Colvile, April 18th 1850
"Sir George Simpson
"My dear father: The express being about to start for the east side affords me the opportunity of [sending] you a short letter and to acknowledge the receipt of your favor by Mr. [Eden] Colvile. The news from these parts are of so varied a description, that I will not attempt a detail, as you will doubtless have all from those who have been at the scenes.
"I am happy to inform you that Mr. Peers' new route to Langley has been tried last summer, and found to answer very well, the fact of the Colvile and Thompsons River men having made two trips without any mishap, is I should think a sufficient proof that the road is practicable.
"There has been a disease raging in the interior the past winter, which has swept off numbers of the inhabitants, with some of the companys servants and amongst the number Montrose McGillivray -- most of the best hunters of New Caledonia are no more, it has received a shock which it will never recover. The trade in that quarter has been very indifferent, Thompsons River as good as preceding years.
"I received a most welcome letter from my mother last fall, I understnad she is in poor circumstances, and it is my duty as a dutiful son to relieve her, she shall not want as long as I have the means....
"Your affectionate son, Geo. Simpson."


  1. I find this most interesting, as the writer's mother is Margaret Taylor, my great-great grandmother. Gov. Simpson had arranged for her to be married to Amable Hogue after he married his cousin Frances. In Red River and Manitoba census returns for 1849 we find "Hogue, Amable, age 55, Canada, Catholic, 1 man and 1 wife, 5 sons under 16, 4 daughters under 15. 1 house, 3 stables, 1 barn, 1 horse, 2 mares, 3 oxen, 6 cows, 2 calves, 3 pigs ,2 ploughs, 1 harrow, 6 carts, 1 canoe, 20 acres." (HBCA MG2 B3 ) That doesn't sound like "poor circumstances" to me.
    Amable died in 1858. In Red River Census for 1870, HBC Archives, MG2 B3, 1870, No. 400.
    Margaret is widowed and living with my great grandparents Thomas Hogue and Philomene McMillan (yes, she was the grand daughter of James McMillan of Fort Langley). In 1881 Canada Census, Assiniboia, Selkirk, Manitoba. Roll: C_13282, Page: 51, Family No: 208.
    Margaret is listed as 60 years of age, widowed, living with her daughter Mary Anne and son-in-law Francois Welch, as well as 3 grandchildren. Margaret died 16 Dec 1885.
    I would love to discover what led George to make that comment.

  2. I would suspect that she told him she was not in good health but I don't know. Sorry.

  3. This blog post has been updated and is at