The Ancestry of the Rev. Dr. Charles W. Gordon (the novelist Ralph Connor)
By John Blythe Dobson
After reading John Richthammers fascinating account in our last issue on the Rev. Dr. Charles William Gordon (better known by the pseudonym of Ralph Connor under which he wrote his well-known novels), our interest in learning more regarding its subject’s forebears was piqued by the statement in MacKay’s Pioneer Life in Zorra (1899) that the ancestry of his father’s mother (not named) “can be traced to the celebrated Stuarts of Fincastle [in the parish of Dull, Perthshire], and through them to Mary, Queen of Scots.” Now while it is absolutely impossible that this family could have descended directly (if that is what is meant) from Mary, Queen of Scots, there is nothing inherently unlikely in the idea of descent in some manner from the Stewarts (later Stuarts) of Fincastle. After presenting what little we have learned of the parentage of the Rev. Donald Gordon, and their possible Stewart connection, we then turn our attention turned to the accomplished family of his wife, Mary Robertson, which occupies the bulk of this paper. As we shall see, the Robertsons were a family in which Charles Gordon took a warm interest, and with which he maintained close ties. Indeed, his writings provide clues to the existence of an international kinship network of clerics and scholars, which appear to have been largely ignored by writers on the Canadian Robertsons.
Following the original appearance of this paper, we received a most interesting communication from Astrid Hess, of Beilstein, Germany, a descendant of the Robertsons, a keen researcher into the history of the family, and author of The family of the Rev. James Robertson of Sherbrooke, Quebec in this series. She has graciously supplied many additions and corrections which are now incorporated herein. It was she who brought to our attention the remarkable collection of 19th Century Sherbrooke, Quebec, BMD Vitals of Newspapers, by Mat Ardron, which have furnished almost all of the newspaper notices cited here except those from the Huntingdon Gleaner.
Since the original appearance of this page, a valuable note on the Gordon family was published. It reads, in part:
Charles Gordon, farmer at Carrick, near Fincastle, in the Parish of Dull … married Margaret Cameron on New Year’s Day, 1761. Following Charles Gordon’s death, Margaret Cameron is reported to have married a Robertson and emigrated to Antigonish, Nova Scotia.
Her oldest son … Donald Gordon … was born September 24, 1762. He married Christina Maclaren, daughter of James McLaren of Invernenty. They emigrated to Prince Edward Island in 1803 [and were the great-great-great-grandparents of the writer]. His younger brother was John Gordon, born 1766, whose son [or grandson?], Rev. Daniel Gordon, emigrated to Ontario, and whose grandson was Rev. Charles William Gordon, better known as novelist “Ralph Connor.” A third son, Peter, born 1768, was ancestor of a line that stayed in Perthshire.
In the 1803-1903 Centenary Celebration and Unveiling of Monument to the Memory of the Brudenell Pioneers, Brudenell Island, July 16th, 1903, Margaret’s birthplace is given as Inverness. J.M. Bulloch, in Gordons in Perthshire As Pioneers to Canada (Perth: The Munro Press, Ltd., 1930), while aware of the Brudenell pamphlet, found information giving Margaret’s birthplace as Edintian, Parish of Dull, which is just a short distance from Carrick.
Based on this note and other evidence, we offer the following brief account of the Gordons, all parish register extracts being from original registers as indexed in the IGI:
1. Charles Gordon, of Carrick, near Fincastle, in the Parish of Dull, Perthshire, farmer, living 1768. He m. (possibly as her first husband) 1 Jan. 1761 at Blair Atholl (also spelled Athole), Perthshire, Margaret Cameron, living 1761. A biographical sketch of a great-grandson, published in 1906, states rather fancifully that Charles Gordon “came from Inverness to Fincastle with his father, who built a castle [!] on the banks of the Tay, near Athol, and established a ferry there. He belonged to the Gordons of Huntly, and was related to the family of the first Duke of Gordon. His wife was a native of Inverness.” We concur with the doubt expressed above as to her Inverness origins, which would not accord with her marriage in Perthshire. A second marriage for her to a man named Robertson is claimed in Brudenell Pioneers (1953). Known issue, all baptisms at Blair Atholl:
- Donald Gordon, of Dull and of Brudenell, Kings Co., Prince Edward Island, b. 24 Sept. 1762, bapt. 26 Sept. following, d. 1819. He m. (1) 16 Dec. 1789 at Blair Atholl, Christian McLaren, d. 1804, daughter of James McLaren of Invernenty and of Brudenell aforesaid, by the latter’s wife Isobel McDonald, and had issue. Some secondary sources call her Christina, but her name is spelt Christian in the baptismal records of all three children of whom we have found record. He m. (2) by 1806, Jessie McLaren, of Hermitage, P.E.I., who does not appear to have been a close relation of his first wife. Donald Gordon’s sons owned much of the land near what is now New Perth (on lot 51, Kings County). He was by his two wives the progenitor of an enormous family, his known children being:
(by first wife:)
- Charles Gordon, b. 9 March 1794, bapt. 15 March following at Blair Atholl; probably d. young.
- Isobel Gordon, bapt. 25 June 1795 at Dull, d. (apparently s.p.) in childbed in 1817; m. (as his first wife) her first cousin, James McLaren, b. 1797, son of Donald McLaren and Elizabeth Stewart.
- Henry Gordon, bapt. 1 Sept. 1797 at Dull, d. 16 Jan. 1863, aged 65 years, and buried in Brudenell Cemetery with his first wife and three children. The 1841 census shows him as the holder of 130 acres of lot 53 in Kings Co., the remainder of which was in the possession of his younger half-brother, John Gordon. He m. (1) by 1837, Margaret McDonald, who d. 28 March 1850, aged 49 years, and is buried with him, and (2) (as her second husband) Betsy (Stewart) McQuarrie, leaving 5 children by his first wife and 3 by the second.
- James Gordon, b. 1800, d. 1886. He m. by 1825, Betsy Stewart, b. 1804, d. 1880, by whom he had 11 children. They are enumerated on lot 52, Kings Co., in the 1881 census, in which he is called a farmer.
- Donald Gordon, b. 1802. The 1841 census shows him as the holder of 50 acres of lot 50 in Kings Co.
- Betsy Gordon.
(by first wife:)
- John Gordon, b. 1806 on P.E.I., d. 1886. The 1841 census shows him as the holder of 65 acres of lot 50 in Kings Co., the remainder of which was in the possession of his older half-brother, Henry Gordon. He m. by 1846, Barbara Rose Mustard, b. 1814, d. 1878, and had issue, including Walter Frederick Gordon (1846-1911), a J.P. and well-known agriculturalist. The widowed John Gordon, farmer, is enumerated on lot 53 of Kings Co. in the 1881 census.
- Peter Gordon, b. 1810-11 (aged 70 in 1881) on P.E.I., living 1881. The 1841 census shows him as the holder of 150 acres of lot 52 in Kings Co. He was then married with two children. He m. by 1847 (even if she was not the wife of 1841), Barbara ——, b. 1816-17 (aged 64 in 1881) on P.E.I., living 1881. The are enumerated at lot 52 of Kings Co. in the 1881 census, in which he is called a farmer, with three children, Alfred, Fade, and Arthur, all born after 1845 and thus not identical with his two eldest children; Peter was Canadian Presbyterian in religion, but his wife and children were Free Will Canadian Baptists.
- Jessie Gordon.
- (perhaps) Charles, who d. young, unless this is a confusion with the son Charles of the first marriage.
- John Gordon, bapt. 22 June 1766, possibly the one continued as no. 2 below.
- Patrick/Peter Gordon, bapt. (as Patrick) 29 March 1768. As Patrick Gordon he m. 5 March 1790 at Blair Atholl, Christian McDonald. He is however called Peter Gordon in the baptismal records of all four of his known children, all baptized at Dull:
- Charles Gordon, bapt. 11 Jan. 1791.
- John Gordon, bapt. 6 Aug. 1793, possibly the one continued as no. 2 below.
- James Gordon, bapt. 24 Jan. 1802.
- Christian Gordon [female], bapt. 16 Sept. 1805.
2. John Gordon, of Blair Atholl, is said to have been the son of Charles Gordon and Margaret Cameron bapt. 22 June 1766 at Blair Atholl, although on chronological grounds he seems likelier to have been the son of Peter Gordon and Christian McDonald bapt. 6 Aug. 1793 at Dull. Given that these two men were uncle and nephew to one another, onomastics is of limited help in resolving the matter, but slightly reinforces the argument from chronology in that the names Peter and Christian, those of the presumed grandparents, were used for children of the present man before the names Charles and Margaret, those of the presumed great-grandparents, which would accord with the naming customs prevalent in Scotland at this time. If the present man was really born in 1766, his only known marriage in 1818 would have occurred after he had already passed his 52nd birthday, and his youngest child would have been born after his 75th. In any case, he was still alive in 1842, and thus the 1841 census, which we have not examined, would probably resolve the question of his birthdate. He m. 20 June 1818 at Dull, Helen Stewart, living 1842 (see STEWART below for a discussion of her possible ancestry). They baptized their first five children at Dull between 1818 and 1825, and their last seven at Blair Atholl between 1830 and 1842. We have not discovered a will for John Gordon or for his wife. Known issue:
- Christian Gordon, bapt. (as “Christ.”) 10 Aug. 1818 at Dull, less than two months after her parents’ marriage.
- Gilbert Gordon, bapt. 22 Feb. 1820 at Dull. In the autobiography of his nephew Charles Gordon he is mentioned as “head piper to the Duke of Atholl and the winner of many prizes in his day.”
- Donald Gordon, bapt. (as Don’d) 24 March 1822 at Dull; continued as no. 3 below.
- Peter Gordon, bapt. 28 Nov. 1823 at Dull.
- Helen Gordon, bapt. 26 Dec. 1825 at Dull.
- Charles Gordon, b. 6 Jan. 1830, bapt. at Blair Atholl. In the autobiography of his nephew Charles Gordon he is mentioned as “my uncle Charles, the Free Church minister at Douglas [near Edinburgh].”
- Ann Gordon, b. 22 Nov. 1831, bapt. at Blair Atholl.
- John Gordon, b. 4 Nov. 1833, bapt. at Blair Atholl.
- Margaret Gordon, b. 1 Nov. 1835, bapt. at Blair Atholl.
- Janet Gordon, b. 9 July 1837, bapt. at Blair Atholl.
- James Gordon, b. 22 Feb. 1840, bapt. at Blair Atholl.
- Henry Gordon, b. 15 March 1842, bapt. at Blair Atholl.
3. The Rev. Donald Gordon, pastor of Harrington Presbyterian Church, Zorra, Oxford County, Ontario, son of John Gordon and Helen Stewart, is said to have been b. 22 March 1822 at Tummelside, near Kinloch Rannoch, Perthshire, and was certainly bapt. (as “Don’d Gordan”) 24 March 1822 at Dull, Perthshire, Scotland (as documented above).
In the first version of this paper we unfortunately perpetuated a mistake of MacKay in giving the name of this man as Daniel. He is correctly identified as Donald in the 1899 marriage record of his son Charles, and other sources. He was apparently still alive in 1899 (when MacKay speaks of him in the present tense). There is an eighteen-page chapter on this man, with portraits of him and his wife, in MacKay’s Pioneer Life in Zorra (1899), some of the material in which is repeated in the same authors essay on their son in Zorra Boys at Home and Abroad (1900). According to Mackay (and we here quote only the passages which seem likely to contain clues as to our subject’s origins), “In 1840 Gordon entered Marshall College, Aberdeen, and here completed his Arts course in 1844. In 1845 he entered the Free Church Assembly Hall, Aberdeen, where he studied theology for three years. Then going to Edinburgh he studied for two years longer under such professors as Buchanan, Cunningham, Duncan, Candlish, and Fleming. On July 12th, 1849, he was licensed by the Presbytery of Dunkeld, and in the following month he set sail for Canada. He came here under the auspices of the Colonial Committee of the Free Church of Scotland.” He m. in 1851 at Sherbrooke, Québec, Mary Robertson, bapt. 7 Jan. 1827 at Old Deer, Aberdeenshire, d. 29 April 1890 at Toronto, daughter of The Rev. James Robertson, of Old Deer aforesaid, and of Sherbrooke, Québec, by the latter’s second wife, Elizabeth Murray (see ROBERTSON below). She was a graduate of Mount Holyoke Female Seminary. She is the subject of a nine-page biographical sketch written in 1897 by Miss L.T. Guilford, a classmate there, in the Charles Gordon collection at the University of Manitoba Archives. Donald and Mary Gordon are enumerated with four children in the 1881 census of Zorra Tp. West, in which his name is erroneously given as Daniel.
Issue (order uncertain):
- John Stewart Gordon, chemist, newspaper man.
- Helen Margaret Gordon.
(Lt.-Col.) James Robertson Gordon, mining engineer, b. 22 April 1855 (?). He was the subject of The Life of James Robertson Gordon (Toronto, 1908) by his brother Ralph Gordon, writing under the pseudonym of Ralph Connor, which we have not seen.
Daniel Gilbert Gordon, M.D., physician and professor of medicine, b. 1857-58 (aged 23 in 1881), living unmarried with his parents in 1881, and still alive in 1897.
The Rev. Dr. Charles William Gordon, b. 13 Sept. 1860 at Indian Lands (now St. Elmo), adjoining Kenyon Township, in Glengarry County, Canada West, where his father was then stationed, d. 31 Oct. 1937, aged 77 years. He m. 28 Sept. 1899 at Toronto, Helen S. King, b. 1875-76 (aged 23 at her marriage) at Toronto, daughter of John Mark King and Jane McPherson Skinner.
Dr. Andrew Robertson Gordon, professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto, b. 1863-64 (aged 17 in 1881), d. shortly before 19 Dec. 1916. He should not be confused with a much younger Andrew Robertson Gordon (1896-1967) whose career in some respects resembled his, being also a scientist (a chemist) and also of Toronto.
- Henry F. Gordon, druggist and chemist, b. 1865-66 (aged 15 in 1881).
We present here the possible ancestry of Helen Stewart, wife of John Gordon:
Donald Stewart, of Dull in Perthshire, living 1797, m. by 1793, Ann MacIntesh (her name being so-spelled in the baptismal records of all three of her children), living 1797. Possibly they were the Donald Stewart and Annie McIntosh married 5 Sept. 1788 at Kirkmichael in Perthshire. Known issue:
- Elspet Stewart, bapt. 30 Aug. 1793 at Dull.
- John Stewart, bapt. 8 July 1795 at Dull.
- Helen Stewart, bapt. 1 July 1797 at Edintian in Dull, possibly the one who married John Gordon (see GORDON above).
Charles Gordon’s interest in his Robertson ancestry is revealed in the information he supplied to his early biographer MacKay (1900) that his mother, Mary (Robertson) Gordon, “was a cousin … of the late Robertson Smith, Professor of Hebrew in Cambridge College.” Later in his own Postscript to Adventure, he delineated this relationship more clearly when his stated of his mother that “her father’s sister was the mother of Robertson Smith, that great Scottish Hebrew Scholar and great heretic who was ejected by the Free Church of Scotland for his advanced view on the Old Testament literature and became the editor of the Encyclopedia Britannica.” In fact, evidence exists of communication between Gordon and his mother’s famous cousin (once removed); for Astrid Hess writes, “When last year I was in Aberdeen and saw the William Robertson Smith Special Collection, there was a church-pamphlet, written and edited by Charles Gordon…. So I think Charles Gordon must have sent it.”
W. Robertson Smith and his mother, Jane (Robertson) Smith,
from The Life of William Robertson Smith (1912).
(Click for larger images.)
Charles Gordon’s autobiography Postscript to Adventure (1938) states further of his mother, Mary (Robertson) Gordon:
Her father, a man of fine culture and of high spiritual quality, unable to endure the chill of the old Moderate Church of Scotland, emigrated first to New England, and thence to Canada, where he found a more congenial spiritual home in the congregational church. Settling in the little town of Sherbrooke, Quebec, he reared and educated his large family, some of whom played a distinguished part in the history of the province. The eldest [recte third] son [Joseph Gibb Robertson] became a member of Parliament and for twelve years, under both political parties, held the office of provincial treasurer. Two other sons, Andrew and William, became distinguished members of the Montreal bar. A sister, Margaret, became a novelist, well known in her day.
Although Gordon neglects to name of his maternal grandfather here, he gave the name as James Robertson when supplying information for a biographical sketch of himself published in 1898.
Another early and valuable source on this family is a catalogue of the graduates of the University of Vermont, where the three brothers Andrew, George, and William Robertson, attended. At the time of their admission to the University, all three were recorded as having been born at Stuartfield, Aberdeenshire, and the birthdates given for them differ by no more than one day from those given in the parish register of New Deer. The eldest (Andrew) is recorded as being resident at Derby, Vermont, where the family lived briefly on their way to Canada, while the younger sons are recorded as resident at Sherbrooke, Québec. Finally, a good deal of additional information on this family may be gleaned from the well-documented articles on Joseph Gibb Robertson, Andrew Robertson, and Margaret Murray Robertson in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, which mentions the suggestion that Margaret Murray Robertson “influenced the writing of her nephew Charles William Gordon.”
We begin our account of the Robertsons with the Rev. James Robertson and his wife Elizabeth Murray, at the end discussing evidence which identifies one likely sibling of each of them.
1. The Rev. James Robertson, of Old Deer, Aberdeenshire, and of Sherbrooke, Québec, b. 1 June 1776, d. 7 Sept. 1861 at Sherbrooke. He m. (1) 30 Jan. 1797 (the banns being proclaimed at Kilspindie, near Errol, in Perth), Agnes Crab, from Kilspindie, who d. by 1807, probably in 1806. He m. (2) 2 June 1807 at New Deer, Aberdeenshire, Elizabeth Murray, bapt. on or shortly after 16 Dec. 1787, d. in 1832 in Scotland, daughter of Andrew Murray, of Clatt, in Aberdeenshire, a sheep-breeder, by his wife Isobel Milne (see MURRAY below). (It will be noticed that she named children Andrew and Isabella for her parents.) He probably m. (3) Sarah ——, for a Sarah Robertson, widow, aged 76 years, is found in the 1871 census of Montréal in the same household as his children Joseph Gibbs Robertson and Margaret Murray Robertson. According to MacKay, the Rev. James Robertson was “pastor of the Congregational church at Stuartfield for thirty years, and subsequently at Sherbrooke for upwards of 25 years, where he died in September, 1861.” This modern village in the parish of Old Deer, Aberdeenshire, not to be confused with Stewartfield in Jedburgh, Roxburghshire, was set off in 1772 from Crichie, and in a letter written by James Robertson in 1821 he signs himself from Crichie. Mackay continues, “Our subject came to Canada with his father in 1832 [sic], and finished his education in Derby, Vt., and Sherbrooke.” James Robertson was of Stuartfield at the births of his sons Andrew (1814), George (1816), Joseph (1817), and William (1825). The researches of Astrid Hess indicate that he lived at Derby, Vermont, for four years. His son Andrew is recorded as of that place at his admission to the University of Vermont about 1834 or 1835, while the younger sons George and William are recorded as of Sherbrooke on their admissions to the same institution about 1835-36 and 1845-46, respectively. These facts support the date of May 1836 given for the family’s arrival in the DCB sketch of the son Joseph, against the statement in an earlier biographical sketch of the same son which gives the year as 1832.
According to Astrid Hess, “my grandfather’s notes tell me that James Robertson emigrated with a third wife … [and] 13-15 children to America (all from his second marriage). But only 10 are proved. James Robertson was said to have had 18-19 children from both marriages in all, but not all names are given. I doubt that number, though there are several notes repeating that large amount.”
(by first wife:)
- Peter Robertson, eldest son; continued as no. 2 below.
- James Robertson, bapt. 26 June 1801 at Old Deer, who became a business-man at Totteridge, London.
- Elizabeth Robertson, bapt. 4 June 1803 at Old Deer, “who is said to have married a wealthy man in Liverpool.”
- Robert Robertson, bapt. 3 Feb. 1805 at Old Deer, who became a teacher at Aberdeen.
(by second wife:)
John Robertson, b. 22 Nov. 1809, bapt. at Old Deer, probably died young.
Andrew Robertson, b. 25 Nov. 1814 at Stuartfield, bapt. at Old Deer, d. 20 March 1880 at Côte-Saint-Antoine, Montréal, Québec. A lawyer, he is said to have “twice declined a judgeship,” but accepted the governorship of McGill College, Montréal (1868-1870). For further details of his career see the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, in which it is stated, “It is not known whether he married.” He should not be confused with an unrelated Andrew Robertson (1827-1890), of “Elmbank,” Montréal, merchant, who served as President of the St. Andrew’s Society (1868-69), President of the Dominion Board of Trade (1876), as President of the Montreal Board of Trade (1876-77), etc.
George Russell Robertson, of Sherbrooke and Stanstead Plain, advocate, b. 24 April 1816 at Stuartfield, bapt. at Old Deer, d. 18 Feb. 1871 at Sherbrooke. He is pretty surely the George Robertson who taught for some time at Stanstead Seminary. He m. in 1843, Harriet A. Smith, b. 25 Feb. 1823, d. 12 Oct. 1888 at Stanstead Plain, aged nearly 66 years, daughter of Ichabod Smith, of Stanstead, by the latter’s wife Amanda Ward, She is listed as “Mrs. G.R. Robertson, b. 1823” in an 1881 directory. They had issue:
- James S. Robertson, b. 23 April 1845, d. 1865.
- Mary Amanda Robertson, b. 11 Sept. 1846.
- George S. Robertson, b. 1 April 1849.
- Josephine Robertson, b. 25 Dec. 1850, living 1901. She m. 30 June 1869 at Stanstead Plain, Joseph Lee Terrill, b. 12 June (?) 1841, d. 6 June 1894 at Sherbrook, at which time he is said to have been aged 53 years and 5 months, son of H. Bailey Terrill and Laura Farnham. He “pursued the usual course of study of law; was admitted to the bar in 1865 … [and] has a good practice at Stanstead Plain.” In the 1881 census of Stanstead Plain they appear with three children, and a widow Laura Terill, aged 65, born in the U.S., who was presumably Joseph’s mother, the family’s religion being given as Episcopal, except for Laura Terill who was a Congregationalist. In his death notice he is called Sheriff of the District of St. Francis.” The widowed Josephine appears with two children in the Saint-Antoine quarter of the city of Montréal in the 1901 census. Known issue:
- Gretta I. Terrill, b. 1872-73 (aged 8 in 1881); no longer living with her mother in 1901.
- A son, not named in his birth announcement, b. 29 June 1875.
- Joseph L. Terill (twin to Josephine), b. 2 June 1878, still living unmarried with his mother in 1901, when he was a clerk.
- Josephine Terill (twin to Joseph), b. 2 June 1878. She m. Philip Robertson, b. 3 Aug. 1864 in the province of Québec, and they were living with her mother in 1901, when he was a mail clerk. As we cannot find a Philip Robertson in Québec in the LDS index to the 1881 census, we are unable to say whether this man could have been a member of the present Robertson family.
- William Duncan Robertson, b. 4 July 1853.
- Gordon F. Robertson, b. 9 Feb. 1855.
- Isabella F. Robertson, b. 16 Feb. 1857.
- Katherine E. Robertson, b. 6 Feb. 1859.
- Margaret Selina Robertson, b. 28 March 1863.
The Hon. Joseph Gibb Robertson, b. 31 Dec. 1817 (not 1 Jan. 1820) at Stuartfield, bapt. at Old Deer, d. 13 March 1899 at Sherbrooke, aged 81 years. He was named for his father’s close colleague — and his sister Catherine’s future father-in-law — Joseph Gibb, minister at Banff from 1809 to 1829, who afterward immigrated to America with about thirty members of his congregation, and eventually came to Stanstead, where he died in 1833, and is buried with several members of his family in Crystal Lake Cemetery. He was Secretary-Treasurer of Sherbrooke County (1847-1853), Mayor of Sherbrooke (1855-1871?), M.P.P. (Liberal-Conservative) for Sherbrooke (1867-1892), Treasurer of the Province of Québec, and finally Postmaster of Sherbrooke. For further details of his career, the long sketch of him in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography should be consulted. He was the author of Sketch of the formation of the Congregational church at Sherbrooke and Lennoxville (Sherbrooke, 1890) and other writings. He m. 19 July 1870, Mary J. Woodward, b. 1845-46 (aged 35 in 1881) in the province of Qébec, eldest daughter of A.G. Woodward, of Sherbrooke, and had by her four sons and two daughters, the names of the younger of whom are not known to us. Their family, with two servants, is enumerated in the Centre Ward of Sherbrooke in the 1881 census. Known issue:
- James J. Robertson, b. 1871-72 (aged 9 in 1881).
- William Robertson, b. 1873-74 (aged 7 in 1881).
- Nora Robertson, b. 5 June 1875, d. 21 July 1876 at Sherbrooke, aged “13 months and 16 days.”
- Joseph Robertson, b. 17 May 1877 at Sherbrook.
- Catherine Robertson, b. 1878-79 (aged 2 in 1881).
Catherine Robertson, b. 28 Sept. 1819, bapt. at Old Deer, living 1901. Evidence of her marriage was discovered in a somewhat circuitous manner. While browsing through obituaries published in the Huntingdon Gleaner, which had furnished a number of obituaries for the Robertson family, we spotted that of a “James Robertson Gibb, advocate, son of the late Rev. David Gibb, and grandson of the late Rev. James Robertson, of Sherbrooke, P.Q.” While printed sources were not helpful in identifying this man’s mother, the 1881 census revealed them in side-by-side households, solving the question of her identity. (We may also note that she was the only daughter of James Robertson hitherto unaccounted for.) Catherine Robertson therefore m. by 1843, the Rev. David Gibb, b. 25 June 1814 at Banff, Banffshire, Scotland, d. 6 March 1848, aged 33 years, and buried in Crystal Lake Cemetery, Stanstead, son of the Rev. Joseph Gibb, of Banff, aforesaid, by the latter’s wife Eliza Strachan. His tombstone calls him “Rev. David Gibb, Pastor of the Congregational Church in Granby, C.E. [Canada East], 3rd son of Joseph Gibb of Banff, Scotland.” In the 1901 death notice of his daughter Katherine (see below) he is identified as “the late Rev. David Gibb, at one time pastor of the Congregational Church, Franklin Center, P.Q.,” while the 1931 death notice of his daughter Elizabeth (for which also see below) calls him “the late Rev. David Gibb of Granby, P.Q.” The widow Catherine Gibb is found in the 1881 census, living in the St.-Antoine Ward of Montréal with two daughters and two servants, the family’s religion being given as Congregational; the census slightly overstates her age as 60 years. In 1901 she was living with all of her children, including her married son James and his family, at Westmount, Hochelaga Co., Québec; the birthdate of 28 Sept. 1819 there given for her agrees precisely with that in her baptismal record. Known issue (order partly inferential):
- Elizabeth Gibb, b. in Oct. 1843, living with her mother in 1901 although she is not to be found in the household in 1881, d. 12 Dec. 1931 “at her residence, Somerset apartments, 2076 Sherbrooke Street West,” her death notice describing her as “Miss. Elizabeth Gibb, daughter of the late Rev. David Gibb of Granby, P.Q., and Catherine Robertson, his wife.“
James Robertson Gibb, advocate, of Montréal, b. probably in 1844-45 (aged 36 in 1881) in the province of Québec, d. 5 May 1916 “at his residence, 356 Côte St.-Antoine Road, Montreal, P.Q.” He m. 4 Nov. 1875 at “Woodbine Cottage,” Sherbrooke, Mary Elizabeth Walton, b. 1846-47 (aged 34 in 1881) in the province of Québec, daughter of the late Joseph S. Walton, Esq., of Sherbrooke. They were living at 50 St. Matthew Street at the time of the births of their daughters Ellen (1876) and Eleanor (1878). James Robertson Gibb and his family are enumerated next door to his mother in the St.-Antoine Ward of Montréal in the 1881 census, in which he is called a lawyer and the family’s religion given as Congregational; his wife’s ancestry is shown as American. In 1901, they shared a household at Westmount, Hochelaga Co., Québec.
His death notice, as previously mentioned, calls him “James Robertson Gibb, advocate, son of the late Rev. David Gibb, and grandson of the late Rev. James Robertson, of Sherbrooke, P.Q.” Known issue:
- Ellen Walton Gibb, b. 12 July 1876, d. 13 Aug. 1876 at Montreal, aged 1 month and 1 day.
- Eleanor Gibb, b. 23 April 1878, in the province of Québec, living 1901.
- Murray Gibb, b. 1879-80 (aged 1 in 1881) in the province of Québec, d. 4 Dec. 1883 at Montreal, of diphtheria, aged 3 years 10 months, his death notice describing him as his parents’ only son.
- Robertson Gibb, b. 18 Jan. 1885, living 1901.
- Margaret Gibb, b. 8 July 1890, living 1901.
Marybella Gibb (called Mary E. in the 1901 census), b. in Dec. 1845 (per 1901 census) in the province of Québec, still living unmarried with her mother in 1901.
- Catharine/Katherine David Gibb, b. in Feb. 1848 (per 1901 census) in the province of Québec, still living with her mother in 1881, d. unmarried 15 Nov. 1901 at Westmount, Montreal, her death notice calling her “Katherine David Gibb, youngest daughter of the late Rev. David Gibb, at one time pastor of the Congregational Church, Franklin Center, P.Q.”
- Isabella Robertson, b. 28 March 1821, bapt. at Old Deer, d. 16 Sept. 1881 at Côte St.-Antoine, Hochelaga Co., Québec. She m. by 1852 in Canada, William Henry Fleet, of Montréal, advocate and journalist, b. 1815-16, d. 18 Feb. 1855 “at his residence in Belmont Street,” aged 39 years. He was for some time editor of the Montreal Transcript, and published, under the pseudonym of “The Hon. Francis Thistleton,” a satire on the administration of the English colonial governors entitled How I came to be Governor of the Island of Cacona (Montreal, 1852), which was famous in its day, its protagonist being immediately recognized as a caricature of Sir Francis Bond Head. The work was reprinted in 1989 with an introduction by the famous novelist Robertson Davies. The widowed Isabella Fleet is found at Côte St.-Antoine with her son Charles and daughter Mary in 1881. Known issue:
- Charles James Fleet, b. 24 June 1852 (per 1901 census) in the province of Québec, living 1912, a member of the Montréal Bar, became a partner in the firm of Robertson, Fleet, & Falconer, headed by his uncle, William W. Robertson. He did much voluntary work, serving as a governor of McGill University from 1894. He was still living unmarried with his widowed mother in 1881. He m. in May 1884, Augusta Eleanor Redpath, b. 6 June 1850 (per 1901 census), d. in Aug. 1910, daughter of John Redpath, of Montréal. They are found at Montréal with four children and four domestic servants in the 1901 census. Known issue, all alive in 1901 (birthdates per 1901 census):
- Isabella R. Fleet, b. 13 March 1885.
- Jane D. Fleet, b. 25 Sept. 1887.
- Charles A.R. Fleet, b. 8 June 1888.
- Eleanor M. Fleet, b. 7 June 1892.
- Mary E. Fleet, b. 1856-57 (aged 24 in 1881) in the province of Québec; living unmarried with her widowed mother in 1881. She was alive and still unmarried in 1890, when her name appears with that of her brother Charles and his wife Augusta in a list of shareholders in the Bank of Montreal.
Margaret Murray Robertson, b. 22 Aug. 1823, bapt. at Old Deer, d. 14 Feb. 1897, a well-known children’s novelist, author of Christie Redfern’s Troubles (1866) and other works.
William Willox (or Willcox?) Robertson, of Montréal, Q.C. (1883), LL.D. (University of Vermont, 1884), b. 11 April 1825 at Stuartfield, bapt. at Old Deer, d. 3 Oct. 1899 at Montréal, a death notice calling him “youngest son of the late Rev. James Robertson, of Sherbrooke P.Q.” He was called to the bar in 1852, and founded the law firm of Robertson, Fleet, & Falconer (the Fleet in the partnership being his nephew, Charles Fleet), solicitors to the Bank of Montreal.
Mary Robertson, bapt. 7 Jan. 1827 at Old Deer, d. 29 April 1890 at Toronto, She m. the Rev. Donald Gordon (see GORDON above).
- Jane Robertson, b. 6 Dec. 1829, bapt. 14 Jan. 1830 at Old Deer, who d. in 1850, aged 19 years, of tuberculosis.
2. Peter Robertson was the eldest son of James Robertson, of Old Deer, Aberdeenshire, by his first wife, Agnes Crab. He m. 30 March 1820 at Abderdeen (the ceremony being performed by his stepmother’s brother, John A. Murray), Isabella Giles, sister of the famous Scottish landscape-painter James Giles (1801-1870). It will be noted that their daughter Jane (Robertson) Smith, below, named a daughter Isabella Giles Smith, which establishes beyond any possible doubt that the wife of the Rev. W. Pirie Smith was a daughter of this Peter Robertson. Thus is proved the incorrectness of the sketch of Jane’s son William Robertson Smith in the DNB, which calls her “daughter of William [sic] Robertson, who for many years had been head” of the West End Academy, Aberdeen, a prestigious classical seminary. The DNB is however incorrect merely in regard to the name of Jane Robertson’s father, correctly stating his profession. Known issue:
Jane Robertson, b. 22 Jan. 1821, bapt. in the parish church of Saint Nicholas, Aberdeen, d. (intestate) 3 Dec. 1899. In the inventory of her estate she is described as “Mrs. Jane Smith, or Robertson, residing at 61 Fountainhall Road, Aberdeen, widow of Revd. William Pirie Smith, D.D., Free Church minister of Keig and Tough, Aberdeenshire.” She m. 16 July 1844 at Old Machar, Aberdeenshire, the Rev. William Pirie Smith, D.D., b. 14 April 1811 at Aberdeen, d. (testate) 24 Feb. 1890 at Aberdeen. He was Senior Minister of the Free Church in the united parishes of Keig and Tough, in the Vale of Alford, Aberdeenshire. His brief and simple will (Aberdeen Sheriff Court Wills) makes no mention of any relatives save his wife and sons. In the inventory of his estate (Aberdeen Sheriff Court Inventories, 18 March 1890, he is referred to as “Revd. William Pirie Smith, doctor of divinity, minister of the Free Church of Keig and Tough, residing at the Manse at Keig, thereafter at 2 Skene Place, then at 61 Fountainhall Road, d. 24 Feb. 1890 at Aberdeen, testate, deponed by William Robertson Smith.” The children of William Pirie Smith and Jane Robertson, all except the first baptized at Keig, Aberdeenshire, were as follows:
- Mary Jane Smith, b. 11 July 1845, bapt. 10 Aug. following at Old Machar.
- William Robertson Smith, b. 8 Nov. 1846, bapt. in Jan. 1847, d. 31 March 1894. He was an eminent pioneer in Britain of the “Higher Criticism” in biblical studies, being author of the much-reprinted Lectures on the Religion of the Semites (1889, etc.). He is perhaps best known as a contributor to, and subsequently joint editor (from 1881) and editor in chief (from 1887?) of, the famous 9th edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. He was also a contributor to the Dictionary of National Biography.
- George Michie Smith, bapt. 23 Feb. 1848.
- Isabella Giles Smith, bapt. 2 Oct. 1849.
- Ellen Deans Smith, bapt. 26 April 1851.
- Eliza Stewart Smith, bapt. 9 Nov. 1852.
- A son, bapt. 4 March 1857, d. at the age of a few hours.
- Alice Smith, bapt. 27 April 1858. In 1876 she and her younger sister Lucy went to Germany to complete their educations. There she met her future husband, and following a temporary return to Scotland, settled permanently in Germany. Her memoirs have been published as Children of the Manse, edited by Gordon Booth and the author’s great-great-grandmother, Astrid Hess.
- Lucy Smith, b. 22 Sept. 1859.
- Herbert Smith, b. 8 Feb. 1862.
- Charles Michie Smith, bapt. 13 July 1854; a well-known astronomer, he became the director of the observatory at Madras, India, and later at the observatory at Kodaikanal, India.
—— Robertson (daughter), bapt. 28 July 1822 in the parish church of Saint Nicholas, Aberdeen.
- Clementina Robertson, bapt. 21 May 1824 at Old Machar, Aberdeenshire.
- Mary Ann Robertson, bapt. 30 June 1827 at Old Machar, Aberdeenshire.
Charles Gordon’s awareness of his Murray ancestry is reflected in the information he supplied to his early biographer MacKay that his mother, Mary (Robertson) Gordon, “was a cousin of Rev. Andrew Murray, the renowned leader of the Dutch Reformed South African Church….”
The very tentative reconstruction of this family we offered in the first version of this paper can now be stated with greater certainty, thanks to information supplied by Astrid Hess (who is not herself a descendant). There are numerous genealogies of the South African branch of the family which we have not seen, including Unto Children’s Children (1909); Helen Murray, The Andrew Murray Family Register, 1822-1931 (1931); Emma Horn, Murray-Stamregister, 1794-1954 (Cape Town, 1956); Caroline Murray, The Murray Family Register, 1794-1977 (1978); Hester Walters et al., Andrew Murray nageslag, 1794-1996 (1997). We do not know how far back these works trace the Murray family.
Andrew Murray [IV] and his father, Andrew Murray [III],
from unidentified sources
(Click for larger image of picture on left.)
1. Andrew Murray [II], of Clatt, Aberdeenshire, sheep-breeder, said to have been the son of another Andrew Murray (see below), m. before 1784, Isobel/Isabel Milne, and had the following issue, all baptized at Clatt (the dates given below are possibly birth-dates):
- John A. Murray, bapt. 11 March 1784. He became a minister at Abderdeen, and performed the 1820 marriage of his sister Elizabeth’s stepson Peter.
- James Murray, bapt. 24 Feb. 1786; he appears to have remained at Clatt, married, and had children.
- Elizabeth Murray, bapt. 16 Dec. 1787, second wife of the Rev. James Robertson (see ROBERTSON above).
- William Murray, bapt. 4 Jan. 1790.
- Sarah Murray, bapt. 27 Sept. 1792.
- The Rev. Andrew Murray, bapt. 25 May 1794, continued as no. 2 below.
- Margaret Murray, bapt. 24 April 1796.
2. Andrew Murray [III], bapt. 25 May 1794, d. 24 June 1866. According to Leona Choy, Andrew Murray: Beelddraer van Ewige Liefde, not personally seen by us, Andrew Murray [IV] was the fourth in a line of men named Andrew Murray, from a family of Old Light Presbyterians settled in “Lofthills” in Aberdeenshire, a place we cannot identify, and which is probably only the name of a hamlet or farm. And according to another source, “Andrew Murray (26 May 1794 - 24 June 1866) was born in the Milltown of Clatt in the Aberdeenshire district of Scotland…. He arrived in South Africa in July 1822 from Scotland to act as minister to the mainly Dutch-speaking community of Graaff Reinet. He served the congregation in this capacity from 1822 until his death in 1866.” He m. 13 April 1825, Maria Susanna Magdalena Stegman, b. 5 March 1809, d. 29 Aug. 1889 at Graaff-Reinet, daughter of Johan Godlieb Stegman, of The Cape of Good Hope, apparently by the latter’ first wife, Jacomina Sophia Hoppe. Issue:
- John Murray, b. 15 Sept. 1826, d. 27 Dec. 1882; married and had issue.
The Rev. Andrew Murray [IV], minister at the Dutch Reformed Church of Welllington from 1871 to 1906, and a noted educationist, b. 9 May 1828 in the Dutch Reformed parsonage at Graaff-Reinet, d. 18 Jan. 1917.
- William Murray, b. 21 Oct. 1829, d. 16 July 1899; married and had issue.
- Maria Murray, b. 19 June 1831, d. 5 Dec. 1912; married and had issue.
- Charles Murray, b. 26 Feb. 1833, d. 23 Sept. 1904; married and had issue.
- George Murray, b. 1834, d. 1840.
- Jemima Murray, b. 26 April 1836, d. 3 Jan. 1904. She m. Andreas Adriaan Louw, b. 30 May 1827 at Paarl, d. there 24 June 1908, son of Johannes Rudolph Louw, of Paarl, by the latter’s wife Elisabeth Margaretha Seitz. They had eleven children.
- Isabella Murray, b. 1838, d. 1839.
- Isabella Murray, b. 24 Dec. 1839, d. 14 June 1927. She m. Jan Hendrik Hofmeyer, pastor of Somerset-Oos, b. 3 Feb. 1835, and had issue.
- Catherine Murray, b. 1841, d. 1860.
- James Murray, b. 1843, d. unmarried 25 Sept. 1914.
- The Rev. George Murray, b. 7 Aug. 1845, d. 18 May 1921. He m. Catharina Johanna Louw, b. 23 Jan. 1852, d. 22 Aug. 1942 at Somerset-Oos, daughter of Adriaan Jacobus Louw, of Paarl, by his wife Geertruida Anna Smuts, and had issue.
- Robert Murray, b. 1847, d. 1850.
- Helen Murray, b. 22 Sept. 1849, d. unmarried 20 Dec. 1937.
- Margaret Murray, b. 1852, d. 1857.
- Elizabeth Murray, b. 20 Nov. 1855, d. 5 Nov. 1917; married and had issue.
1. ||The Rev. W.A. MacKay, Pioneer Life in Zorra (Toronto, 1899) 352-3.
|2. ||This family was apparently founded by Robert Stewart of Fincastle, who was descended from James Stewart of Atholl, fourth natural son of Sir Alexander Stewart, “The Wolf of Badenoch,” fourth and youngest son of King Robert II; see G. Harvey Johnston, The Heraldry of the Stewarts, with notes on all the males of the family, descriptions of the arms, plates and pedigrees (Edinburgh: 1906), 30, 37, 38; Henry Lee, History of the Stewart or Stuart Family (Charleston, South Carolina, 1920), 47.
|3. ||Henry Scannell, Margaret Cameron Gordon Robertson, Perthshire & N.S., available online at http://genforum.genealogy.com/canada/messages/64235.html.
|4. ||Donald Alexander MacKinnon & A.B. Warburton, Past and Present of Prince Edward Island, Embracing a concise review of its early settlement, development, and present conditions (Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, 1906?), 369-70 (on Walter Frederick Gordon, son of John Gordon, son of Donald Gordon).
|5. ||Brudenell Pioneers (1953), cited in Donald Whyte, A Dictionary of Scottish Emigrants to Canada before Confederation (Toronto, 1986), 41.
|6. ||There is some account of Donald Gordon and his father-in-law James McLaren in MacKinnon & Warburton, Past and Present of Prince Edward Island, 76-77, 369-70, and Nathaniel MacLaren, “Memorial Address on the Occasion of the Centennary of the Brudenell Pioneers and the Unveiling of the Monument to their Memory,” reprinted in the same work, pp. 353a-356a (part of a series of pages instered between pp. 304 and 305). See also Lorne C. Callbeck, The Cradle of Confederation: A Brief History of Prince Edward Island from its Discovery in 1534 to Present Time (1964), 100-1, Donald Whyte, A Dictionary of Scottish Emigrants to Canada before Confederation (Toronto, 1986), 118-19, citing Brudenell Pioneers (1953), and Lawson Drake, The Brudenell Pioneers, available online at http://www.naturalchoicejournal.com/heritage%20website/vol1-2/KingsArticle2Brudenellpioneers.html. Some pictorial material relating to the Brudenell settlement is available on the Brudenell Pioneers website at http://www.brudenellpioneers.com/.
|7. ||Most of these Gordons are assigned to New Perth in Frederick’s Prince Edward Island directory and book of useful information for 1889-90 (Charlottetown, P.E.I.: 1889), p. 578.
|8. ||Some sense of the growth of this family may be obtained by looking at the Gordons listed as residents of the ancestral lots 52 and 53 of Kings County in the 1881 census [PAC microfilm no. C-13164; Family History Library microfilm no. 1,375,800]:
C. of S. = Church of Scotland
C.P. = C.P.
Christ. = Christian
F.W.C.B. = Free Will Canadian Baptist
F.W.B. = F.W.B.
Presb. = Presbyterian
Name Marital Gender Ethnic Age Birthplace Occ. Religion
District 3, Subdistrict O, p. 1
G[e]orge Gordon W m. Scottish 38 P.E.I. Farmer F.W.B.
Stanly Gordon m. Scottish 7 P.E.I. F.W.B.
District 3, Subdistrict O, p. 2
Peter Gordon M m. Scottish 70 P.E.I. Farmer C.P.
Barbra Gordon M f. Scottish 64 P.E.I. F.W.C.B.
Alfred Gordon m. Scottish 34 P.E.I. Farmer F.W.C.B.
Fade Gordon m. Scottish 25 P.E.I. Farmer F.W.C.B.
Arthur Gordon m. Scottish 21 P.E.I. Farmer F.W.C.B.
District 3, Subdistrict O, p. 2
Oswald Gordon m. Scottish 18 P.E.I. Servant C.P.
District 3, Subdistrict O, p. 21
Will[i]am Gordon M m. Scottish 35 P.E.I. Farmer F.W.B.
Melvina Gordon M f. Scottish 28 P.E.I. C.P.
[E]Lizebeth Gordon f. Scottish 9 P.E.I. C.P.
Lewelia/Lervelia " f. Scottish 7 P.E.I. C.P.
Russel Gordon m. Scottish 5 P.E.I. C.P.
Grase Gordon f. Scottish 2 P.E.I. C.P.
District 3, Subdistrict O, p. 29
Danial Gordon M m. Scottish 53 P.E.I. Farmer Christ.
Margerate Gordon M f. Scottish 39 N.S. C.P.
District 3, Subdistrict O, p. 29
John Gordon M m. Scottish 51 P.E.I. Farmer Presb.
Elisabeth Gordon M f. English 34 P.E.I. Presb.
Eliat Gordon m. Scottish 9 P.E.I. Presb.
Arther Gordon m. Scottish 6 P.E.I. Presb.
Isebella Gordon f. Scottish 5 P.E.I. Presb.
District 3, Subdistrict O, p. 30
James Gordon M m. Scottish 58 P.E.I. Farmer F.W.B.
Jane Gordon M f. Scottish 47 P.E.I. F.W.B.
Margerate Gordon f. Scottish 19 P.E.I. F.W.B.
Hattie Gordon f. Scottish 17 P.E.I. F.W.B.
Charles Gordon m. Scottish 16 P.E.I. F.W.B.
Kelso Gordon m. Scottish 14 P.E.I. F.W.B.
George Gordon m. Scottish 11 P.E.I. F.W.B.
Adah Gordon f. Scottish 5 P.E.I. F.W.B.
Frances Gordon m. Scottish 10m P.E.I. F.W.B.
District 3, Subdistrict O, p. 30
James Gordon M m. Scottish 81 Scot. Farmer F.W.B.
Betsy Gordon M f. Scottish 75 Scot. F.W.B.
Margerate Gordon f. Scottish 55 P.E.I. F.W.B.
James Gordon m. Scottish 39 P.E.I. Farmer F.W.B.
District 3, Subdistrict O, p. 32
Elizabth Gordon W f. Scottish 58 P.E.I. F.W.B.
Henery Gordon m. Scottish 20 P.E.I. F.W.B.
Fredrick Gordon m. Scottish 17 P.E.I. F.W.B.
District 3, Subdistrict N, p. 1
John Gordon W m. Scottish 74 P.E.I. Farmer C. of S.
Walter Gordon M m. Scottish 33 P.E.I. Farmer C. of S.
Barbara Gordon M f. Scottish 28 Scot. C. of S.
Jessie Gordon f. Scottish 35 P.E.I. C. of S.
John Heber Gordon m. Scottish 2 P.E.I. C. of S.
District 3, Subdistrict N, p. 1
John Alexd Gordon m. Scottish 31 P.E.I. Farmer C. of S.
District 3, Subdistrict N, p. 1
William Gordon M m. Scottish 40 P.E.I. Farmer Baptist
Jane Gordon M f. Scottish 24/27 P.E.I. C. of S.
Margaret Gordon f. Scottish 2 P.E.I. Baptist
______ Gordon f. Scottish <1m. P.E.I. Baptist
Elizabeth Gordon f. Scottish 42 P.E.I. Baptist
Hannah Gordon f. Scottish 32 P.E.I. Baptist
Stanley Gordon m. Scottish 6 P.E.I. Baptist
Percy Gordon m. Scottish 12 P.E.I. Baptist
|9. ||Brudenell Cemetery, available online at http://www.islandregister.com/brudenel.html.
|10. ||1881 Census of Canada, Prince Edward Island Kings Co., district 3, subdistrict O, p. 30; PAC microfilm no. C-13164 [Family History Library microfilm no. 1,375,800].
|11. ||1881 Census of Canada, Prince Edward Island Kings Co., district 3, subdistrict N, p. 1; PAC microfilm no. C-13164 [Family History Library microfilm no. 1,375,800].
|12. ||1881 Census of Canada, Prince Edward Island Kings Co., district 3, subdistrict O, p. 2; PAC microfilm no. C-13164 [Family History Library microfilm no. 1,375,800].
|13. ||The Helen Gordon of 19 Bank Street, Blairgowrie, Perthshire, whose intestacy was registered 16 Dec. 1896 in the Perth Sheriff’s Court (SC49/31/166), was not this woman.
|14. ||Charles Gordon, Postscript to Adventure: The Autobiography of Ralph Connor (New York, 1938), p. 31.
|15. ||Postscript to Adventure, p. 77.
|16. ||MacKay, Pioneer Life in Zorra, 352, who calls him Daniel and does not name his parents.
|17. ||While the autobiography of his son Charles, Postscript to Adventure, only refers to him as “my father” in the text, the index, and the caption to the photograph facing p. 14, correctly identify him as Donald. He is also identified correctly in the sketches of Charles Gordon in the 1898 and 1912 editions of Morgan’s Canadian Men and Women of the Time, and in John Graham Harkness, Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry: A History, 1784-1945 (1946), 353-54, 386-89.
|18. ||MacKay, Pioneer Life in Zorra, 352-69.
|19. ||The Rev. W.A. MacKay, Zorra Boys at Home and Abroad; or, How to Succeed (Toronto, 1900), 199.
|20. ||MacKay, Pioneer Life in Zorra, 355.
|21. ||MacKay, Pioneer Life in Zorra, 369.
|22. ||Death notice, Sherbrooke Examiner, 29 May 1890.
|23. ||Postscript to Adventure, p. 8.
|24. ||1881 Census of Canada, Ontario, Oxford North, Zorra West, District 166, Sub-district B, Division 2, p. 65; PAC microfilm no. C-13267 [Family History Library microfilm no. 1,375,903].
|25. ||The main sources here are the 1881 census, and Postscript to Adventure.
|26. ||the date is given as 11 April 1858 in Morgan, Canadian Men and Women of the Time, 1912 edition, but this would necessarily make him a twin to his brother Daniel.
|27. ||The manuscript for this work is in the Charles Gordon Papers in the University of Manitoba Archives.
|28. ||Two letters by him written in that year are in the Charles Gordon Papers in the University of Manitoba Archives.
|29. ||A number of valuable details on him and his family are given in Charles William Gordon (Ralph Connor): An Inventory of His Papers at the University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections, available online at http://www.umanitoba.ca/libraries/units/archives/ead/html/gordon.shtml.
|30. ||Toronto Marriage registrations, no. 002294-99.
|31. ||A copy of an “Address of Dr. Wallace at the funeral service Dr. Andrew R. Gordon in Bloor Street Presbyterian Church, Toronto, on Tuesday, December 19, 1916,” 2 pp., is among the Charles Gordon Papers in the University of Manitoba Archives.
|32. ||D.J. LeRoy, “Andrew Robertson Gordon, 1896-1967,” Proceedings of the Royal Society of Canada, 4th Series, v. 6, 103-5.
|33. ||Baptisms per controlled extractions in the IGI.
|34. ||MacKay, Zorra Boys at Home and Abroad, 199.
|35. ||Postscript to Adventure, p. 7.
|36. ||From Astrid Hess, personal communication dated 23 Feb. 2005.
|37. ||Postscript to Adventure, pp. 7-8.
|38. ||Henry James Morgan, The Canadian Men and Women of the Time, 1st ed. (Toronto, 1898), 391.
|39. ||General catalogue of the University of Vermont and State Agricultural College, Burlington, Vermont, 1791-1900 (Burlington, 1901), 64 (for Andrew), 66 (for George), 89 (for William). The three men are explicitly identified as brothers by the anonymous editor.
|40. ||Dictionary of Canadian Biography (hereafter DCB), 10:620 (Andrew Robertson), 12:901-4 (Joseph Gibb Robertson). 12:904-6 (Margaret Robertson). The birthdates of both men are given incorrectly therein; that of Andrew Robertson was not 1815 but 25 Nov. 1814, and that of Joseph Gibb Robertson was not 1 Jan. 1820 but 31 Dec. 1817. The name of a fourth sibling, William “Wilcox” [recte Willox?] Robertson, is incorrectly starred as a cross-reference in the entry for Andrew Robertson; but in fact there is no such entry in the work.
|41. ||Information from Astrid Hess.
|42. ||Information from Astrid Hess.
|43. ||General Register Office of Scotland reference 225/00 0002 [FHL microfiche no. 102,517]. The record refers to them merely as “James Robertson Minr. in the parish of Deer and Elisbeth Murray”; there is no mention of their parentage or of the bride’s place of residence.
|44. ||Information from Astrid Hess.
|45. ||This letter is printed in James Stark, Rev. John Murker of Banff (Banff, 1887), 21-24.
|46. ||We assume that their admissions were about three or four years before their respective graduations.
|47. ||“Hon. Joseph G. Robertson, M.P.P.,” in The Canadian biographical dictionary and portrait gallery of eminent and self-made men: Québec and the Maritime provinces volume (1881), 200-1, at p. 200.
|48. ||The dates, per the IGI, are doubtless of birth, not of baptism as there stated. All information on the issue of the first marriage is from Astrid Hess.
|49. ||General Catalogue of the University of Vermont (1901), 64; DCB 10:620 (which incorrectly gives his date of birth as 1815).
|50. ||The Rev. J. Douglas Borthwick, History and Gazetteer of Montreal to the Year 1892 (Montreal, 1892); George MacLean Rose, Representative Canadians A Cyclopedia of Canadian Biography, being Chiefly Men of the Time, vol. 2 (Toronto, 1888); W.H. Atherton, Montreal from 1535 to 1914, 3 vols. (Montreal, 1914), 3:474-8 (with portrait); Dictionary of Canadian Biography. It was this man, not our subject, who was father-in-law of James Stewart Tupper and of James Alexander Lawrason Strathy.
|51. ||General Catalogue of the University of Vermont (1901), 64. His death is noticed briefly in the Sherbrooke Gazette of 25 Feb. 1871, and also in the The Gleaner (Huntingdon, Québec) of __ Feb. 1871; see Gleaner Extracts, 1871, available online at http://www.rootsweb.com/~qchuntin/gleaner/1871.htm.
|52. ||B.F. Hubbard, Forests and clearings: The History of Stanstead County, Province of Quebec, with sketches of more than five hundred families (Montreal, 1874), 104.
|53. ||Sherbrooke Examiner, 19 Oct. 1888.
|54. ||Hubbard, Forests and clearings, 132, which shows the marriage and children of Harriet A. Smith.
|55. ||Illustrated Atlas of the Eastern Townships and South Western Quebec (1881), p. 82.
|56. ||Unless otherwise stated, our source is Hubbard, Forests and clearings, 132.
|57. ||Marriage notices, Sherbrooke Gazette, 10 July 1869 (noting that she was her parents’s second daughter); Pionnier de Sherbrooke 16 July 1869.
|58. ||Sherbrooke Examiner, 8 June 1894; it will be noticed that this does not agree with his date of birth as given in Hubbard, infra.
|59. ||Death notice of Laura (Farnham) Terrill, Sherbrooke Examiner 5 July 1889, which names her late husband, and calls her “mother of J.L. Terrill, Q.C., of Sherbrooke.”
|60. ||Hubbard, Forests and clearings, 140.
|61. ||1881 Census of Canada, Quebec, Stanstead, Stanstead Plain, district 56, sub-district B, p. 8; PAC microfilm no. C-13199 [FHL microfilm no. 1,375,835].
|62. ||1901 Census of Canada, Québec, district 175 (Montréal), subdistrict A (Saint-Antoine), division 21, p. 7; PAC microfilm no. T-6533.
|63. ||Sherbrooke News, 8 July 1875.
|64. ||Death notice, The Gleaner (Huntingdon, Québec), __ March 1899, as abstracted in Gleaner Extracts, 1899, available online at http://www.rootsweb.com/~qchuntin/gleaner/1899.htm.
|65. ||James Stark, Rev. John Murker of Banff, cited above, 39-40, 203-5 (where a letter from him to Murker concerning his resignation is printed), from a copy kindly supplied by Astrid Hess. He was the author of at least four works, Aids to the Study of Scripture, The Covenants, Directions for searching the Scriptures, and The first principles of religion. The Rev. Joseph Gibb, “minister of the gospel, sometime resident of Banff and afterwards at Stanstead, Lower Canada,” d. 14 June 1833 at Stanstead, leaving and eldest son, “Joseph Gibb, student of divinity, residing at Highbury College near London,” as appears from his probated will [original on FHL microilm no. 0,500,255, not seen by us], as abstracted in Janice Poskitt, Midlothian Testaments, 1830-1835, available online at http://www.scottap.com/family/Lanark/MLNTestaments/MLNTestaments1G.html. His tombstone in Crystal Lake Cemetery reads “Rev. Joseph Gibb, d. 14 Jan 1833, aged 56 years, served God 21 years in Banff, Scotland, and 4 years in Stanstead, L.C.”; see Leslie Nutbrown, Crystal Lake Cemetery, Stanstead, Stanstead, Quebec, available online at http://www.interment.net/data/canada/qc/stanstead/crystal/crystal_di.htm.
|66. ||Not seen by us.
|67. ||Appletons’ Cyclopædia of American Biography; W.J. Rattray, The Scot in British North America (Toronto, 1880), 3:761-3; The Canadian biographical dictionary and portrait gallery of eminent and self-made men: Québec and the Maritime provinces volume (1881), 200-1 (where his birthdate is however given erroneously); L.S. Channell, History of Compton County and Sketches of the Eastern Townships (Cookshire, Quebec, 1896), 31, 41; Morgan, The Canadian Men and Women of the Time, 1st ed. (1898), 868; various editions of The Canadian Parliamentary Companion; DCB 12:901-4. Despite the agreement of several of these sources in giving his date of birth as 1 Jan. 1820, this possibility is precluded by the birth of a child to his parents less than four months’ time before this date, on 28 Sept. 1819. He was surely the son Joseph born to them on 31 Dec. 1817, as there is no room for this child to have died and another one of the same name to have been born. Thus, it must be concluded that Joseph Robertson (was in his youth at least) mistaken as to the date of his own birth. The age of 81 years given for him in his death notice in The Gleaner is however correct.
|68. ||1881 Census of Canada, Québec, Sherbrooke County, Sherbrooke, Centre Ward, district 55, sub-district D, division 2, p. 32; PAC microfilm no. C-13199 [FHL microfilm no. 1,375,835].
|69. ||Birth annoucement, Sherbrooke News, 10 June 1875.
|70. ||Death notice, Sherbooke News, 27 July 1876.
|71. ||Birth announcement, Sherbrooke News, 17 May 1877 (the notice apparently appearing on the same day as his birth).
|72. ||Controlled extraction of the parish register, as indexed in the IGI.
|73. ||Leslie Nutbrown, Crystal Lake Cemetery, Stanstead, Stanstead, Quebec, available online at http://www.interment.net/data/canada/qc/stanstead/crystal/crystal_di.htm.
|74. ||1881 Census of Canada, Québec, Montréal, district 90, sub-district H, division 11, p. 60; PAC microfilm no. C-13220 [FHL microfilm no. 1,375,856].
|75. ||1901 Census of Canada, Québec, district no. 155 (Hochelaga Co.), subdistrict d (Westmount), enumeration district 8, p. 9; PAC microfilm no. T-6523.
|76. ||Death notice, The Gleaner (Huntingdon, Québec), __ Dec. 1931, as abstracted in Gleaner Extracts, 1931, available online at http://www.rootsweb.com/~qchuntin/gleaner/1931.htm.
|77. ||The 1901 census gives his birthdate as March 1843, but this is impossible if his sister Elizabeth was really born in October of the same year, and the date should probably be March 1844.
|78. ||Death notice, The Gleaner (Huntingdon, Québec), __ May 1916, as abstracted in Gleaner Extracts, 1916, available online at http://www.rootsweb.com/~qchuntin/gleaner/1916.htm.
|79. ||Marriage notice, The Gleaner (Huntingdon, Québec), __ Nov. 1875, as abstracted in Gleaner Extracts, 1875, available online at http://www.rootsweb.com/~qchuntin/gleaner/1875.htm.
|80. ||The 1901 census gives her birthdate as 22 May 1845, which is not compatible with this.
|81. ||1881 Census of Canada, Québec, Montréal, district 90, sub-district H, division 11, p. 60; PAC microfilm no. C-13220 [FHL microfilm no. 1,375,856]. The entry reads:
Name Marital Status Gender Origin Age Birthplace Religion
Joseph G.W. ROBERTSON M M Scottish 63 Ecosse Congregationalist
occupation: Frunier Dele P.Q.
Mary ROBERTSON M F English 35 Quebec Episcopalienne
James J. ROBERTSON M Scottish 9 Quebec Episcopalienne
William ROBERTSON M Scottish 7 Quebec Episcopalienne
Joseph ROBERTSON M Scottish 4 Quebec Episcopalienne
Catherine ROBERTSON F Scottish 2 Quebec Episcopalienne
Rebecca BURTON F Scottish 25 Quebec Episcopalienne
Mabel BURTON F Scottish 20 Quebec Episcopalienne
|82. ||1901 Census of Canada, Québec, district no. 155 (Hochelaga Co.), subdistrict d (Westmount), enumeration district 8, p. 9; PAC microfilm no. T-6523.
|83. ||Birth notice, The Gleaner (Huntingdon, Québec), __ July 1876, as abstracted in Gleaner Extracts, 1876, available online at http://www.rootsweb.com/~qchuntin/gleaner/1876.htm, describing the father as “James Robertson Gibb, advocate, at 50 St. Matthew Street, Montreal.” This announcement does not give the child’s name, but on chronological grounds, the Ellen Walton Gibb who d. one month and one day later must be the same child.
|84. ||Death notice, The Gleaner (Huntingdon, Québec), __ Aug. 1876, as abstracted in Gleaner Extracts, 1876, available online at http://www.rootsweb.com/~qchuntin/gleaner/1876.htm.
|85. ||Birth notice, The Gleaner (Huntingdon, Québec), __ April 1878, as abstracted in Gleaner Extracts, 1878, available online at http://www.rootsweb.com/~qchuntin/gleaner/1878.htm. Although the child’s name is not given in the notice, this date agrees precisely with the one given for Eleanor in the 1901 census.
|86. ||Death notice, The Gleaner (Huntingdon, Québec), __ Dec. 1883, as abstracted in Gleaner Extracts, 1883, available online at http://www.rootsweb.com/~qchuntin/gleaner/1883.htm. In the online edition the child’s name appears as Mary Robertson Gibb. A briefer death notice appeared in the Sherbrooke Examiner of 7 Dec. 1883.
|87. ||Per 1901 census and birth announcement, Sherbrooke Examiner, 23 Jan. 1885.
|88. ||Per 1901 census and birth announcement, Sherbrooke Examiner, 11 July 1890.
|89. ||The age of 30 years given for her in the LDS transcription of the 1881 census is impossible, as it would place her birth long after her father’s death, and it would also make her younger than her sister Catharine despite placing her name before Catharine’s.
|90. ||Death notice, The Gleaner (Huntingdon, Québec), __ Nov. 1901, as abstracted in Gleaner Extracts, 1901, available online at http://www.rootsweb.com/~qchuntin/gleaner/1901.htm.
|91. ||Death notice, The Gleaner (Huntingdon, Québec), __ Sept. 1881, as abstracted in Gleaner Extracts, 1881, available online at http://www.rootsweb.com/~qchuntin/gleaner/1881.htm, which calls her “Isabella Robertson, daughter of the late Rev. James Robertson, of Sherbrooke P.Q., and widow of the late William Henry Fleet, of Montreal, advocate.”
|92. ||Death notice, Canadian Times (Sherbrooke), 22 Feb. 1855.
|93. ||Gagnon, Philéas, Essai de bibliographie canadienne: inventaire d’une bibliothèque comprenant imprimés, manuscrits, estampes, etc. relatifs à l’histoire du Canada et des pays adjacents avec des notes bibliographiques (Québec, 1895), p. 493, which notes the caricature of Bond Head. This point was also remarked upon in a contemporary (and highly favorable) review in The United States Review, 1 (1853), 478-479, available online in the Making of America project, at http://cdl.library.cornell.edu/cgi-bin/moa/moa-cgi?notisid=AGD1642-0032-62.
|94. ||How I came to be governor of the island of Cacona by Francis Thistleton, with an introduction by Robertson Davies and 22 drawings by Andrew Hoyem (Arion Press, 1989).
|95. ||1881 Census of Canada, Québec, Hochelaga, Côte St.-Antoine, district 91, sub-district L, p. 32; PAC microfilm no. C-13222 [FHL microfilm no. 1,375,858].
|96. ||We are indebted to Astrid Hess for pointing out this connection, which is confirmed by the entries for Charles Fleet in Morgan’s Canadian Men and Women of the Time, 1st ed. (1898), 335, and 2nd ed. (1912), 402, which call him “son of the late Wm. Hy. Fleet … by his wife Isabella, dau. of the late Rev. James Robertson, Sherbrooke, P.Q.”
|97. ||1901 Census of Canada, Québec, district 175 (Montréal), subdistrict a (Saint-Antoine), Ward 43, p. 4; PAC microfilm no. T-6534.
|98. ||In the LDS transcription of the 1881 census her name appears as “Mary I. Fleet,” which may match the original record (which we have not checked), but which is incorrect.
|99. ||Documents de la session [vol. 23, no. 3 (1890)] (Ottawa, 1890), p. 198.
|100. ||Sherbrooke Examiner, 19 Feb. 1897.
|101. ||MacKay, Zorra Boys at Home and Abroad, 199; DCB 12:904-6. She is one of the subjects of Carrie MacMillan, Lorraine McMullen and Elizabeth Waterston, Silenced Sextet: Six Nineteenth-Century Canadian Women Novelists, which we have not seen. Her novel Stephen Grattan’s Faith: A Canadian Story is available online at http://www.canadiana.org/ECO/ItemRecord/17020?id=9c3772a76557f7dd.
|102. ||Death notice, The Gleaner (Huntingdon, Québec), __ Oct. 1899, as abstracted in Gleaner Extracts, 1899, available online at http://www.rootsweb.com/~qchuntin/gleaner/1899.htm. In this abstract, at least, his middle name is spelt Willox.
|103. ||General Catalogue of the University of Vermont (1901), 89; death notice in the Gleaner; Morgan, The Canadian Men and Women of the Time, 1st ed. (1898), 869-70.
|104. ||This entry, which does not give the mother’s name, was pointed out to us Astrid Hess.
|105. ||Death notice, Sherbrooke Examiner, 29 May 1890.
|106. ||Information from Astrid Hess.
|107. ||Controlled extraction of parish register in IGI, and additional information from Astrid Hess.
|108. ||DNB, s.v. William Robertson Smith.
|109. ||Information from Astrid Hess.
|110. ||Aberdeen Sheriff Court Inventories, 21 April 1900, indexed online at www.scottishdocuments.com/.
|111. ||Controlled extraction of parish register, in IGI.
|112. ||Aberdeen Sheriff Court Inventories, 21 April 1900, indexed online at www.scottishdocuments.com/.
|113. ||Controlled extractions of parish registers, in IGI; information on child born in 1857 from Astrid Hess.
|114. ||W. Robertson Nicoll, “Dr. Robertson Smith” [obituary], British Weekly, 5 April 1894, reprinted in his Princes of the Church (London, 1921), 62-73; DNB; Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th ed.; John Sutherland Black & George Chrystal, The Life of William Robertson Smith (London, 1912); Gordon Booth, William Robertson Smith (1846-1894), Ph.D. Thesis, available online at http://www.gkbenterprises.fsnet.co.uk/ wrs.htm; He is also the subject of William Smith Johnson (ed.), William Robertson Smith: Essays in Reassessment (Sheffield, 1995), which we have not seen. In the first version of this paper, we speculated about a possible relationship between Smith and his eminent biographer, The Rev. W(illiam) Robertson Nicoll (for whom see the DNB), a son of the Rev. Harry Nicoll (d. 1892), Free Church minister of Auchindoir, Aberdeenshire, who m. 29 Dec. 1850 at Birse, Aberdeenshire (IGI), Jane Robertson, of unknown parentage. However, Astrid Hess informs us that this Jane Robertson “came originally from from the region of Struan (Strath Tay, Glenerochie), and was unrelated to the Robertsons of whom we treat.
|115. ||Alice Thiele Smith, Children of the Manse, ed. Gordon Booth & Astrid Hess (Edinburgh, 2004).
|116. ||MacKay, Zorra Boys at Home and Abroad, 199.
|117. ||We cannot find this marriage in the IGI.
|118. ||Controlled extractions of parish registers, in IGI.
|119. ||Information from Astrid Hess.
|120. ||See generally Rev. Andrew Murray and his family, available online at http://www.murray.org.za/e_history.asp; Dr. Andrew Murray: Voorouers, available online at http://reforma.moreson.org.za/Dr_Andrew_Murray_se_voorouers.html.
|121. ||Choy is quoted in Dr. Andrew Murray: Voorouers, available online at http://reforma.moreson.org.za/Dr_Andrew_Murray_se_voorouers.html.
|122. ||Rev. Andrew Murray and his family, available online at http://www.murray.org.za/e_history.asp.
|123. ||C.C. de Villiers, Geslagsregisters van die Ou Kaapse Families, 2 vols. (Capetown & Rotterdam, 1981), 2:925.
|124. ||From Rev. Andrew Murray and his family, at http://www.murray.org.za/e_history.asp.
|125. ||Lutheran Cyclopedia, rev. ed., ed. Erwin L. Lueker (St. Louis, Missouri, & London, 1975), 562. He is also the subject of a biography by J. du Plessis, The Life of Andrew Murray of South Africa (London, 1920), of W.M. Douglas, Andrew Murray and his message (Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, 1957), Leona Choy, Andrew Murray: Beelddraer van Ewige Liefde, and of William Lindner, Andrew Murray (Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1996), none of which we have seen.
|126. ||De Villiers, Geslagsregisters van die Ou Kaapse Families, 1:500.
|127. ||De Villiers, Geslagsregisters van die Ou Kaapse Families, 1:326.
|128. ||De Villiers, Geslagsregisters van die Ou Kaapse Families, 1:502.
Miscellanea Manitobiana, no. 5
URL = library.uwinnipeg.ca/people/Dobson/Manitobiana/issues/005.cfm
Published by John Blythe Dobson, 1170 Spruce Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3E 2V3, Canada
This page created 1 January 2005; last revised 15 June 2007