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Orcadians in the Red River Settlement
Census of 1827

Who Were These Orcadians?

Each June, Hudson Bay Company ships arrived in Stromness where they filled with fresh water and recruited staff to run their fur trade in the Canadian Northwest. The majority of these recruits came from the islands of Hoy, Rousay, South Ronaldsay, Stonsay and Westray. Some completed one term, some completed two terms, but in the end most chose to return home.

However, not all chose to return to Orkney. The 1827 census for the Red River Settlement in the Canadian Northwest gives 236 heads of households. Of these, 44 were listed as being from Orkney. These Orcadians are listed below.

This list has been checked against a list of genealogies in Genealogies of the First Metis Nation by Sprague & Frye. (ISBN 0-919143-34-2) For those where were noted as Orcadians in both list, basic family information is posted below.

So who were these Orcadians? If you can add any additional information to what is posted below, please E-Mail me.

ANDERSON, James, age 52

From Genealogies of the First Metis Nation (1983 edition)
James ANDERSON (born 1775, Orkney) married Mary DEMORAN (born 1780)

As per Hudson Bay archive records, James T ANDERSON was born 10 February, 1775 and died in 1856. He was recruited in Stenness, Orkney 1796, travelled to Churchill aboard the ship Queen Charlotte, and served in the HBC until 1823. (source: correspondence from Mona ADVOCAAT - data posted at Ancestry.ca http://trees.ancestry.ca/tree/8862729

On 23 Jan 1821, he married Mary DEMORAN, a Saulteau Indian, at Brandon House (Manitoba). Mary was baptised that same day, along with 6 of their 12 children.
Elizabeth (1802 - 1872)
John (1804 - 1884)
Thomas (1806 - 1908)
James (1808 - 1900)
Hannah (1810 - ????)
Mary (1813 - 1890)
Christy (1816 - 1864)
Euphemia (Effy) (1821 - 1881)
Catherine (1824 - 1851)
Charles (1826 - 1880)
Peter (1827 - 1879)
Henry (1832 - 1873)

BIRSTON, Alexander, age 52

Beyond The Gates of Lower Ft Garry, pg 215: Alexander BIRSTON (1775-1829) and his older brother, Magnus, came to this country around 1795. The HBC was expanding inland to compete with the NWC, manpower was a problem as they had no Voyageurs, or River Rats as they were sometimes called, as the NWC had. The Company hired many Orkneymen to man the boats that travelled the inland routes. In 1801 the brothers were listed as Steersmen at York Factory, and remained together much of the time. (source: Gary STILL)

BIRSTON, Magnus, age 57

From Genealogies of the First Metis Nation (1983 edition)
Magnus BIRSTON (born 1769, Orkney) married a widow (born 1775, NWT)

CORRIGAL, Peter, age 49

DUNNET, William age 45 (born about 1782)

This is probably William DENNETT (1780-1864) - [Genealogy of First Metis Nation (GFMN-1226)]
William was born on the Island of Ronaldshay, Orkney Islands.  He married (1830) Sophia BALLANTYNE/ BELLENDINE b: 1791, either an "Indian or Metis woman", with their first child, Isabelle, born around 1804.
(source: Gary STILL)

As per Hudson Bay archive records, William was born in Ronaldsay, Orkney about 1780. He died in 1864 (location not stated). He entered into service with the HBC from 1796 through 1821, when he retired to the Red River Settlement. William & Sophia married on March 23, 1830. They had at least 7 children; (source: 1. Wilfred Gayleard, & 2. HBC archive records).
Andrew, (b. 25 Dec. 1807 Cumberland House, bapt. 5 June 1823, m. 1 Ellen Moore (1818-1838); 2 Mary Martinois [Martineau] 26 Sept. 1838)
Elizabeth,
(b. 1811, bapt. 17 July 1827, m. John Slater)
Margaret
(b. ca. 1814, bapt. 5 June 1823, m. John [Jean Baptiste] Spence 8 Dec. 1831)
Jessie (Janet, Jessie),
(b. 1815, bapt. 5 June 1823, m. John Hourie 2 Jan. 1833)
William, (bapt. 29 Oct. 1823, d. June 1893, m. Margaret Calder 21 Nov. 1844)
Isobel
Sabrina,

ESSON, David, age 27

FLETT, George age 53

FOLSTER, James , age 55

James FOLSTER was born about 1772 in Orkney and died March 22, 1841 in St. John's, Red River Settlement

B. 1771- 81 Orkney Islands, Scotland
D. 22 Mar 1841 St. John's, Red River Settlement
M.  Jane/Nancy (1790) b.1783/ Josephte Patenaude (1814)

Children:
Margaret - bapt 5 Jan 1824 St. John's;  d 11Mar1880  St. Clements
Susan - born: ~ 1806;  d 7 Jun 1876   St. Pauls
Nelly- born: ~1810 Sk Valley; d 7 Jan 1872/3  St. Clements
John - born: ~1811/2  bapt 5 Jan 1824 St. John's; d 28 Mar 1834/5
Elizabeth- born: ~1822  bapt 6 Jul 1832 St. John's
Jenny - bapt 1824; d  8 Mar 1850
Jane- born: ~1824  bapt 10 Nov 1824 St. John's
William- born:  Apr 1826/7.

(source: Cathy COSS)

FOLSTER, John , age 44

FOUBISTER, John , age 35

From Genealogies of the First Metis Nation (1983 edition)
John FOUBISTER (born 1792, Orkney) married Catherine ROBERTSON (born 1805)

GADDY, James, age 57

GARRIOCH, William, age 40

GIBSON, Hugh, age 50

GIBSON, Hugh, age 37

From Genealogies of the First Metis Nation (1983 edition)
Hugh GIBSON (born 1790, Orkney) married Angelique CHALIFOUX (born 1810)

GIBSON, William, age 45

From Genealogies of the First Metis Nation (1983 edition)
William GIBSON (born 1788, Orkney) married Nancy FLETT (born 1800)

HALCROW, Thomas, age 45

From Genealogies of the First Metis Nation (1983 edition)
Thomas HALCROW (born 1787, Orkney) married Mary SUTHERLAND (born 1775) most like;y in the North West

HENDERSON, Peter, age 31

HENDERSON, Samuel, age 38

HOURIE, John, age 48

From Genealogies of the First Metis Nation (1983 edition)
John HOURIE (born 1779, Orkney) married Margaret (born 1787)

INKSTER, James, age 53

From Genealogies of the First Metis Nation (1983 edition)
James INKSTER (born 1774, Orkney) married Mary (born 1790)

INKSTER, John, age 27

John INKSTER married Mary SINCLAIR
Their daughter Margaret married William SUTHERLAND at Portage la Prairie in 1861

http://www.btinternet.com/~niccoleman/treedata/mclennans/f351.htm

JOHNSTON, David, age 45

KNIGHT, James, age 44

From Genealogies of the First Metis Nation (1983 edition)
James KNIGHT (born 1783, Orkney) married Sophia HALLETT (born 1792, NWT)

LEITH, William age 49 (born about 1778)

From Genealogies of the First Metis Nation (1983 edition)
William LEITH (born 1784, Orkney) married Elizabeth SPENCE (born 1777)
NOTE: This birth date does not correspond to the info in the Red River Census (above, age 49)!

In the IGI, I find no record of a William LEITH born in Orkney +/- 5 years of this time frame.

According to Hudson Bay archive records, William Leith (b: ca 1784, Streness, Orkney) married (28 Feb. 1826) Elizabeth SPENCE, daughter of James SPENCE and "an Indian woman". Known children of William & Elizabeth were:
-
William, bapt. 26 Dec. 1826;
- Peter, bapt. 20 Jan. 1829;
- James, bapt. 27 Feb. 1831, bu. 18 Feb. 1836;
- Thomas, bapt. 1 Oct. 1834
- Joseph, born abt 1836
- Elizabeth, born abt 1840
- Mary, , born abt 1845

William Leith was listed in Red River Census for 1828, 1829, 1830, 1831, 1833, 1835, 1838 and 1840.
Age given as 50 (1828-1833), 51 (1835), 54 (1838) and 56 (1840).

MOAR, John, age 50

MOWAT, Adam, age 50

From Genealogies of the First Metis Nation (1983 edition)
Adam MOWAT (born 1767, Orkney) married Jane ASHAM (born 1772)

PARK, John , age 57

ROBERTSON, George, age 60

ROWLAND, Robert, age 43

From Genealogies of the First Metis Nation (1983 edition)
Robert ROWLAND (born 1784, Orkney) married Elizabeth FLETT (born 1799)

SCARTH, John, age 61

SETTER, Andrew, age 51

From Genealogies of the First Metis Nation (1983 edition)
Andrew SETTER (born 1781, Orkney) married Margaret SPENCE (born 1790)

SHORT, James, age 60

From Genealogies of the First Metis Nation (1983 edition)
James SHORT (born 1767, Orkney - died Red River, MB, 1840) married Bethsy (a Cree or Saulteaux Indian, born 1783 - died 22 Apr 1863).

From Glen OHS
James SHORT is the son of Thomas SHORT & Jeanne GUNN of Orkney. James (born 1767, Orkney - died Red River, MB, 1840) married Bethsy, a Cree or Saulteaux Indian (born 1783 - died 22 Apr 1863). Known children of James & Bethsy are:
- Sarah, born 1795;
- Isabelle, born 1804;
- Genevieve, born 1808;
- Susanne, born 1809-1811;
- James Jacques, born 1811 - died 1871;
- Susannah, born 1815;
- Betsy, born 1815;
- Marie, born 1820;

SINCLAIR, William, age 41
SINCLAIR, William, age 38

Born around 1790 in the Orkneys, William SINCLAIR must have arrived around 1826. Around this time Manitoba land was offered to secure the Crown's claim, and to discourage American interests by populating the prairies with "Tough Scots" who would stay. William married Jan 31, 1826 to Elizabeth ANDERSON born c1805 at Brandon House, daughter of Mary Suzette (nee DE MORAN) and James ANDERSON (1765-1856) who was also from the Orkneys. (these are my sister-in-law's maternal great-great grandparents) (source: Gary STILL)

SLATER, James Sr., age not given

From Genealogies of the First Metis Nation (1983 edition)
James SLATER (born 1777, Orkney) married Mary (born 1780)

SLATER, John, age 30

John SLATER was born Nov. 5 1799 in Orphir, Orkney Island, Scotland, and died April 29, 1873 in St. Andrews, Manitoba, He married Elizabeth DENNETT (born July 11, 1826 in St. John's, Red River Settlement. She was the daughter of William DENNETT and Sophia BALENDEN. She was born 1811 in NWT, and died March 4, 1875 in St. Andrews, Manitoba. (source: Bill SLATER)

SPENCE, George, age 57

Gary STILL believes this to be George SPENCE (1773-1859) who was born in the Orkney Islands, Scotland, and who may have been a Selkirk Settler. He married a Cree woman named Catherine. (There are several members of our family who are descendants) (source: Gary STILL)

SPENCE, James, age 50

Some sources seem to indicate that James came from the Orkneys, but I believe this is the James SPENCE JR born around 1777 who was a son of Nestichio BATT and James SPENCE SR (1754-1824) from Orkneys, descendants of Margaret JOHNSTON and Magnus SPENCE I who was born in the mid 1600's in the Orkneys. James SPENCE JR married twice; first to Mary (Stone Indian) and 2nd to Jane MORWICK (1788-1874), a Metis. (source: Gary STILL)

SPENCE, Joseph, age 60

The only Joseph SPENCE I've found was a son of Jane MORWICK (1794-1874) and James SPENCE - one son, David, was only 3 in 1827. Other son, Joseph Jr, no bd. (source: Gary STILL)

SPENCE, Magnus, age 65

Not firmly established, but I believe this to be the Magnus SPENCE II born: 1755 Birsay, Isle of Pomona, Orkney Islands, Scotland, son of Janet ALLEINE and William SPENCE (1722). I believe he worked for the HBC from 1790-1831 (another ref says 1790-1831). He married a Cree woman named Christanna. (source: Gary STILL)

TAIT, William, age 32

From Genealogies of the First Metis Nation (1983 edition)
William TAIT (born 1795, Orkney) married Mary AULD (born 1804)

TAYLOR, William, age 39

WHITEWAY, James, age 43

James WHITEWAY was born in 1778 and married Ann MONKMAN, daughter of James MONKMAN and Mary, a Swampy Cree. James Monkman was also known as Charles DENNEY.

They had  seven children: James (b:1826), Mary Ann (b:1828 -d:1839) Joseph (b:1830), Catherine (b:1830-1839), William (b:1831), Margaret (b:1883-1835), Mary (b:1837)

Son James married 1) Chole SPENCE and 2) Jane though there is no formal record of their maraige.

Son William married Jane. They had 7 children: Eliza (b:1852), James (b:1853), Robert William (b:1856), Joseph (b:1858), Mary Jane (b:1861), Donald (b:1865), Catherine (b:1868-1903).
(source: Dawn BROWN)

WORK, Alexander, age 40 (born about 1787)

From Genealogies of the First Metis Nation (1983 edition)
Alexander WORK (born 1785, Orkney) married Isabella (born 1786)

In the IGI, I find no record of an Alexander WORK born in Orkney +/- 5 years of this time frame.


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