Elizabeth Jane Bulloch Adams
Born January 8,1886 Lanark, Ontario, In March 1904, her family traveled to
Sinclair, Manitoba in order to farm near their extended family. They brought
five carloads of livestock, furniture and lumber with them from Ontario. In
1906 she married Robert Adams in Sinclair, and the pair moved to their own
homestead. They had hired help for the maintenance of the house as Adams
worked alongside her husband farming, driving the binder. She also assisted
the doctor in Sinclair with maternity cases and farm accidents. Her story
was recorded in Voices of Yesteryear, part of the Westman Oral
History Collection of Audiocassettes.
Born May 25,
1824. Died March 23 1912, Lake Hill District, British Columbia. Nancy was a
free black who married a free Black carpenter, Charles Alexander, in
Springfield Illinois, U.S.A. on December 25, 1849. The couple originally
settled in St. Louis Missouri, U.S.A. In 1855 the family, now including two
children, travelled four months to reach the gold fields of California.
Charles did not have much success as a prospector and the family was on the
move again by 1858. Sir James Douglas, of the Hudson Bay Company had put out
the call for settlers to come to Vancouver Island. The Alexander family were
one of some 700 Black families to answer the call to settle in Canada. In
the fall of 1861 the family settled in South Saanich, British Columbia to
raise their family of twelve children. Charles would build the 1st
school in the area and the 1st Shady Creek Methodist Church. The
Church was then and is now racially integrated. He also assisted in
establishing the 1st Temperance Society. In 1894 the family moved
to Lake Hill District of British Columbia. Nancy was one of the 1st
members of the local Women’s Institute. As of 1992 the couple had 400
Source: British Columbia Black History Learning Centre online (Accessed
Died 1801 Toronto, Ontario. As a widow with five children
Sarah left Chester County near Philadelphia and moved to Upper Canada. She
was fleeing after the American Revolution escaping persecution against
Quakers. As a United Empire Loyalist she was granted 600 acres of land on
Lake Ontario. Settling in an area outside of York (now Toronto) she began
clearing land in 1794. She built her home near the mouth of the Don River.
In the 1920's the family land was parceled off with the house being left on
two acres of land. The city of Toronto honoured this early pioneer settler
by naming a street in her honour. The family house build in the 1850's is
now an historic site.
Born 1818, Rupert's Land, Western Canada. Died 1853 Edinburgh,
She was one of 8 children of a North West Company Trader and
an aboriginal mother. In the 1830's she married John Ballenden and the
couple would have four children. She died in Edinburgh, Scotland supposedly
of a broken heart. She had been the victim of strong racism that occurred in
the early Red River Settlement. She had been accused of having an affair
with a white man and even though her name was legally cleared the stigma
remained and she was snubbed and an outcast in Red River society. Source
Dictionary of Canadian Biography Vol. lll pg. 573-74.Recommended
reading: The Reputation of a Lady: Sarah Ballenden and the Foss-Pelly
Scandal by Sylvia Van Kirk Manitoba History, No. 11 Spring 1986.
Frances Hornby Barkley
Born 1767 Bridgewater Somersetshire, England. Died 1845. At 17 she married
Captain Charles William Barkley, a fur trader. The couple arrived in
Vancouver, British Columbia in June1789. She was the 1st European
woman in British Columbia. In 1788 she gave birth to her first child,
William in Mauritius and the family headed back to England thus having
circumnavigating the globe. She was the 1st women to have
circumnavigated the globe without having hidden the fact that she was a
woman. In 1791 a daughter was born in India as the family headed back around
the globe. In 2009 the University of Auckland, New Zealand established the
Barkley Scholarship in her honour. The M.V. Frances Barkley, a vessel
carrying passengers on the west coast was named in her honour. She managed
to keep a detailed diary of her trip to Canada and her additional
globetrotting adventures which provides a rich record of this adventuresome
more Canadian Heroines by Merna Forster, Dundurn Press, 2011.
Died 1888 Morleyville,
Alberta. Like many young women of her era Elizabeth attended Normal school
to become a teacher. In 1874 she was teaching at Orone, Ontario when she
decided to head the call for teachers and missionaries to go to the Canadian
Northwest. Her 1st post was at Whitefish Lake Mission100 miles
northeast of Fort Edmonton with the Rev. Henry Bird Steinhauer
‘Shawahnekezhik, an Ontario Ojibwa she was the 1st First Nation
Christian Missionary in the Northwest. Elizabeth taught there two years and
made sure that Henry’s son, Egerton Steinhauer could continue with the
Whitefish Lake school. While at Whitefish Lake Elizabeth had learned the
Cree language. In 1877 she was one of six white women to sign Treaty No. 7
with the local tribes. Her second assignment was with Reverend George
McDougall and his family at the Morley Mission. Here she studied the
language and customs of the Stoney. She was soon relocated to Fort Macleod
where she opened a public School, the 1st in southern Alberta.
She also held the 1st Methodist Services at Fort Macleod.
Suffering from ill health she returned to Morleyville. Cochrane, Alberta is
proud to be home to the
Elizabeth Barrett Elementary
School, named for the 1st professional teacher in Alberta.
Source: 200 remarkable Alberta women.
Online (Accessed October 2014)
Pioneer, painter, teacher, and founder of early Toronto Society.
April 16, 1760
Lausanne, Switzerland . Died September 18, 1839.
On Novembe1, 1785 young Charlotte married Wilhelm Albrecht Ulrich Moll AKA
Guillaume (William) Berczy. The young couple were bonded together by their
love of art and their painting. They would move around Europe and settle in
London, England for a short time in 1790 when William became involved with
the Genoese Company which was interested in settlements in New York State.
They sailed for the USA in 1792 and by 1794 William was working with the
German Company with plans for settlements in Upper Canada. William and
Charlotte are considered early founders of Toronto, with William responsible
for settlers in the Markham area to the north. Business meant that her
husband traveled extensively and for long periods of time. She often found
herself in charge of the settlers. She also supported her two sons by
establishing a textile shop. In 1798 the family settled in Montreal where
she supported herself by opening an academy to teach painting, music and
languages (French, Italian and German) She was one of the first women on
record to teach art in Montreal. The Royal Ontario Museum holds some of her
Source : Dictionary of Canadian Biography Vol. Vll pg 13 (Toronto:
University of Toronto Press)
Lucie "Ruthie" Blackburn
National Historic Person
Born 1804 West Indies. Died February 6, 1895 Toronto, Ontario. 'Ruthie/Ruthy'
, as she was originally named, was sold as a
slave for the Backus family in New Orleans. She became a house slave and
cared for the daughter of the house. She eventually ended up in
Louisville, Kentucky where she met and married Thornton Blackburn (died
a fellow slave. In
June 1831 she was sold when their daughter suddenly died. That year the young couple
posed as freed blacks and escaped with forged papers they managed to escape
to Cincinnati and on to Detroit Michigan which was a free state. The couple lived there
for two years until Thornton was
recognized as a runaway slave. The couple were imprisoned but with help they
escaped to Upper Canada where they were free according to the law. The next
year she was reunited with her husband and the
couple settled in Toronto where 'Ruthie /Ruthy' took a non slave name of Lucie.
Thornton worked as a waiter and then they began in 1837 the 1st cab
company in Upper Canada. They were successful in business and were able to
purchase a small home. Sometime in the 1830's he defied chance and
returned to Kentucky to bring his mother back to Toronto. The couple were
active in anti slavery activities and in their community. They helped to
build the Little Trinity Church the oldest surviving church in Toronto.
In 1985 an archaeological dig uncovered the foundations of the Thornton home
and instigated the book I've Got a Home in Glory Land; A lost Tale of the
Underground Railroad published in 2007 sinning the Governor
Generals Literary Award for Nonfiction. . In 2002 an historic plaque was placed at the site of
their Toronto home and the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada
recognized the couple as persons of national historic significance. In 2015
a mural was installed in the area of their home depicting the history of the
area and included the Thorntons' cab. In 2016 George Brown College, Toronto
named their conference Centre for Thornton and Lucie Blackburn.
née Coy. Born September 1, 1771 Grimross (Gagetown) New Brunswick . Died March 12, 1859. She and her first husband, David Morris took up
farming in the Saint John New Brunswick area in 1801. Widowed in 1817 she
remarried in 1819 to Levitt Bradley. Unable to speak out at church meetings
simply because she was a woman gave her a cause. She spoke out whenever she
could and sought out a church that accepted women as speakers. In 1803 she
joined the Wesleyan Methodists. In 1849, although a relatively uneducated
person, she published A Narrative of the life and Christian experience of
Mrs. Mary Bradley of Saint John. Her life was dedicated to the expansion of
the Christian word. In her will she left a large portion of her substantial
estate for continuance of the teaching of the Christian gospel.
Born circa 1718. She was the first
person of the Jewish faith to set foot in New France. Disguised as a boy and
using the name of Jacques La Farque she sailed to Quebec in 1738. Once her
disguise was discovered she told a tale of having been the only family
member to have survived a shipwreck and having survived as a cabin boy and
baker’s boy in a Christian community. She was unwilling to accept the
Catholic teachings of the Nuns of Quebec and after being deported back to
France she disappears from written history.
Born ca 1759. Died November 23/24, 1837. Her aboriginal name is Ohtowa
kéhson and she was the head woman of the Turtle Clan of the Mohawk. In 1779
she married and became the third wife of Chief Joseph Brant. The couple
would have 7 children. The family moved to the Grand River in 1785 where
Joseph founded the City of Burlington where he build for his family a fine
new house that today houses a museum. While she knew and understood English
she much preferred to speak her own native language. As Clan Mother of the
Mohawk she wielded much influence among the 6 Nations. Both she and Joseph
are buried at Her Majesty’s Chapel of the Mohawks which they had built in
1785. It is the oldest protestant church in Ontario.
Dictionary of Canadian Biography Vol. Vll.
Molly / Mary Brant
Konwatsi'tsiaienni = someone lends her a flower) Born circa 1736 Died April
16, 1796. She was one of the powerful Six Nations Indian matrons who were
chose the chiefs of the Iroquois Confederacy. She was also the life partner
of William Johnson, the British Superintendent of Northern Indians. She was
the chatelaine of Johnson Hall in New York state, where she entertained and
took over total management when Johnson was absent. She encouraged the
Iroquois to support the British during the American Revolution. Her lands in
New York were ravaged by the Americans for her stand with the British and
she was forced to flee to Canada. The Governor of the area had a house build
for her and she received a pension of 100 pounds a year, the largest pension
ever paid to a native person during this era.
née McKay. Born January 1, 1858. Died March 31, 1926 Medicine Hat, Alberta.
Jemima lived with her family in Fort Walsh, Alberta. On November 16, 1876
she married John Henry Grisham Bray (1840-1923) a member of the North West
Mounted Police. Jemima was one of the 1st police wives in the
Canadian North West Territories. After their marriage the couple transferred
to Fort MacLeod. The couple would have 13 children. From 1881 through 1892
they lived at Pincer Creek, Alberta. In 1883 Sergeant Bray retired from
policing. The family resettled in Medicine Hat in 1992.
Kay Saunderson, 200 Remarkable Alberta Women, (Famous Five
Sarah 'Allie' Brock Brick
Lendrum. Born December 1, 1877 Vanleeck Hill, Ontario. Died May 23, 1947
Victoria, British Columbia. Allie married and independent fur trader Alfred
‘Fred’ Lambly Brick and the couple took a 700 mile journey to their home in
Fort Vermillion. The voyage included 300 miles don river on a 100 foot raft
on which supplies possessions and animals where housed. Fred had to teach
his wife the basics of keeping a house on the Canadian frontier as she could
not even make bread. The couple had four children three of who were born in
Amelia Lemon Burritt
Pioneer & Suffragist
Born August 1, 1822 on the banks of the St. Lawrence River Died January 29,
1929, Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. She came to Winnipeg with her husband in
1880. During the work of the Political Equality League to gain the vote for
women, at the age of 93 years, she got 4,000 names on a petition to Premier
T. C. Norris.
Interviewed on the occasion of her 103rd birthday in 1925, making
her the province’s oldest women at that point.
Prominent People of Manitoba Online version 2007, Manitoba
Historical Society; Memorable Manitobans Online (Accessed December
Sarah Foulds Camsell
Born 1849, Red River Settlement, Manitoba.
Died January 9, 1939, Penticton, British Columbia. In1868, she was invited
by the wife of fur trader William Lucas Hardisty to accompany her on her
return to Fort Simpson, North West Territories. There, she met and married
Camsell on 28 January 1869. The couple lived much of their lives
in the North West Territories raising a family of eleven children, nine of
whom lived to adulthood. Sarah returned to Winnipeg in 1900. In 1923, her
reminiscences about her life were included in the book Women of Red
River, published by the Women’s Canadian Club of Winnipeg. She moved to
Penticton, British Columbia in 1931, where she died.
Source: Memorable Manitobans. Biography
by Gordon Goldsborough. Accessed March 2012 .
Zina Young Williams Card
Young. Born April 3, 1850, Salt Lake City, Utah. Died January 31, 1931,
Salt Lake City, Utah. Zina was the daughter of Mormon leader Brigham Young
(1877) . As a member of Jesus Christ of. Latter Day Saints religion , Zina
was in favour of plural marriages. On October 12, 1868 she became the second
wife of Thomas Williams
The couple had two sons. After the death of her husband, Zina, to support
her small children, learned how to produce silk, raised silkworms and turned
the silk into fabric. In January 1879, Zina and Emmeline B. Wells travelled
to Washington, D.C., as delegates to the 1st women’s Congress. There, Zina
met powerful women including Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and
others. Returning home, Zina attended school at Brigham Young Academy where
she became Matron of young ladies. Her son Thomas died in 1881 and she
turned her efforts to working harder at the Academy. On June 17, 1884 she
became the second wife of Charles Ora Card (1839-1906). Charles’ 1st
wife had divorced him so in fact Zina was his third marriage. June 3, 1887
Zina moved with ten other families to join her husband at Lee’s Creek in
southern Alberta. Charles other wife and children remained in Utah. Zina
used some of her own monies to fund a school and local businesses in the
settlement. Her 1st home was a log cabin nick named the ‘Cotton
Flannel Palace” because she lined the walls with bright cotton flannel.
Charles was often absent from the community as he visited his other wives
and families in Utah and Iowa. Perhaps the wide distribution of his families
was his way of avoiding the law against plural marriages. Zina meanwhile
welcomed visitors and new settlers as guests in her home. In 1900 Charles
gave Zina some land and she funded the building of a large brick home to
accommodate the family and numerous visitors. Zina's many responsibilities
were establishing a drama society, leading the Young Women’s Mutual
Improvement Association, raising her own children and sometimes the children
of other wives, entertaining literally hundreds of visiting dignitaries, and
acting as a surrogate mother to much of the western Canadian province. She
also served as a midwife.
Sanderson, Kay. 200 Remarkable Women of Alberta. (s.l., s.d.) online
(Accessed September 2014) ; Aunt Zina; the life of Zina Young Williams
Card. Church History. History.lds.org (accessed September 2014)
Eliza Ann Chipman
Born July 3, 1807 Nova Scotia. Died October 23, 1853. She would marry the
Reverend William Chipman May 24, 1827 and become stepmother to 8 children
at 19 years of age! She and William would also have 12 children of their
own. From 1823 until her death she kept a personal and secret journal. Two
years after her death her husband, published the diary his wife had left
behind. The importance of such a work lies in the insight provided into the
daily life of the pioneers themselves. Eliza Ann was a strong individual
with close connections to her Baptist belief. Her writings show her support
and encouragement for education for education. After all she did have a
household with 20 children! The Memoirs of the life of Mrs. Eliza Ann
Chipman… left a literary legacy providing a portrait of women’s lives in
early 19th century Nova Scotia.
of Canadian Biography V. 111 pg 148-149.
Fille du Roi
Born 1646? St Jean Nermours, France. Died December 31, 1708 Montmagny, New
France (Now Quebec) Jeanne was one of the brave young French women who
answered the French Royal Call for women to go to the colony of New France.
She arrived in Quebec June 30, 1669. She married Pierre Rousset dit
Beaucourt and after his death she married Francois Lavergne
Born 1788. Died August 14, 1862. She was also known as La
Sauvagess or as Suzanne Pas de nom. She was partnered/married as was the
custom of the fur trade era with William Connolly in 1801. Usually when
traders returned to the urban centers of Canada they made a choice of either
leaving their partner/wife and children or taking them with them. Most
traders simply left. Suzanne moved to Lower Canada with William where he
married Julia Woolrich in the Catholic Church. In 1841 Suzanne and her 6
children moved back to the Red River Country where she took residence in the
Grey Nuns Convent and was supported by William and later by Julia. Her
daughter Amelia would marry Sir James Douglas (Governor of the Hudson Bay
Company). Her son John sued and a case for part of his father’s estate. The
case was pursued through various levels of the British court system before a
settlement was accepted. Suzanne was the only Canadian woman who’s “legal”
marriage question came before Privy Council. She had lived as wife to
William Connolly for 28 years.
Source: Dictionary of Canadian Biography vol. IX pg 150-151.
Elizabeth Isabelle Couc-Montour
Died 1667, Quebec. Died circa 1750 Harris Ferry,
Pennsylvania. U.S.A. (now Harrisburg)
of the life of tis woman is contradictory and she has been written into
history in various accounts. She was captured by the Iroquois about 1695 at
an uncertain location. She was ransomed by her brother-in-law Maurice Menard
and she accompanied him to Michilmackinac to serve as an interpreter. Tales
of her being sent to Quebec and from there to France abound. However she was
supposedly rescued by her future husband a chief of the Ottawas, Outoutagan,
also known as Jean LeBlanc (1698-1712) By 1704 she was living in Detroit as
Mme La Chenette or Mme Techenet. Here she reportedly led a scandalous life
with Etienne de Veniard, Sieur de Bougmont (1679-1734) . By 1709 she called
herself Mme Montour and was working once again as an interpreter as the wife
of an Oneida Chief. In 1727 she and her husband attended an Indian gathering
in Philadelphia where she was regarded as a French woman. She remained in
this area, eventually blending in and living with one of her sons near
Regina Mary 'Polly' Rowell
December 13, 1882
Regina, Saskatchewan . Died 1965. She was the firs
settler child born is what is now Regina, Saskatchewan. Thomas Rowell
brought his wife from Durham County, England to take up free Canadian Land.
They named their daughter in honour of their new hometown. Regina was
presented with Deed no. 1, Regina on April 11, 1883, a deed to lot 23 in
block 282. Unfortunately the land was not tax free for the baby and the land
was seized by the town for non-payment of taxes and sold. The deed itself
was eventually useful to Regina when she went to claim her old-age pension,
she used the deed as proof of age. Regina married Henry Craig and the couple
had two sons. Regina Rowell Craig was honoured by the City of Regina by
having a street, Rowell Crescent in northwest Regina, named after her.
Source: City of Regina. Heritage. Online (Accessed January 2012.)
Born 1836?, New Brunswick. Annie was married when she was
young and was the mother of 10 children. In her late 60's, as a widow, she
relocated from her native New Brunswick to Calgary , Alberta to be closer to
four of her remaining children. In 1906 she started the Calgary Women's
Literary Club in this untamed western Canadian settlement. The members read
and discussed the classics. The club soon thought the town of 12,000 needed
a library. Annie contacted the American Philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie who
was a known library supporter and she was guaranteed $80,000.00 towards the
library project. The Calgary municipal council said they would lend support
to the library project only if a petition of 10% of the voting population
was procured. Since women could not vote at the time this meant the
signatures had to be gentlemen of the community. In 1912 the new Calgary
Public Library was opened. Today it is the Memorial Park Library and
in 2018 it was declared a National Historic Site as the 1st public library
in the province. Annie never saw the finished library building as she
relocated before it was completed. There is an opera. The Annie Davidson
Opera that tells the story of this former book reading citizen of Calgary.
Marie Rose Delorme-Smith
Born 1861, Manitoba. Died April 4, 1960, Lethbridge, Alberta. She was the
daughter of Métis fur traders. She had two years of convent education and
was fluent in English, French and Cree. In 1877 at 16 she married Charlie
Smith who paid her parents $50.00 for his bride The couple had 17 children.
Marie out lived Charlie and 12 of her children. In 1881 they started the
Jughandle Ranch near Pinchi Creek, Alberta. Marie not only cared for her
family but she also sewed buckskin cloths by hand while acting as nurse and
midwife. When Charlie bought her a sewing machine she was to trade hew sewn
goods for food and clothing. She. She and 2 other women sewed 36 tents for
Canadian Pacific Railway workers to use. The ranch was sold and a house was
purchased in Pincer Creek where after Charlie’s death in 1914 Marie took in
boarders and expectant mothers. Marie wrote an account of her life leaving a
legacy of a firsthand account of western Canadian pioneer life.
Herstory, the Canadian Women’s Calendar 2006 Coteau Books, 2005 : Métis
Culture and Heritage Resource Centre. Accessed April 2013.
Catherine Jérémie de Lamontagne.
Baptized September 22, 1664.
Died July1, 1744. In her era, this mother of some 11 children would become a well
known midwife and amateur botanist. She collected plants and sent them back to
France for study. Her shipments were made more valuable by the descriptive notes
she included with explanations of the properties and effects
of the medical herbs.
Francoise Marie Jacqueline de la Tour
Born July 28, 1621, France. Died 1645 Saint
John, Canada. She sailed to Port Royal in New France to marry in June 1640,
Charles de Saint-Etienne de la Tour (1593-1666).The couple settled at Fort
la Tour at the mouth of the Saint John River (modern day Nova Scotia) .
She soon became involved in the Acadian Civil War. In 1643 gave birth to her
only child. She escaped a blockade of the Fort and headed to France to plead
her case before the King. The decision came down against her husband and she
escaped to England where she hired a ship to get her back to her husband.
The ship was stopped by LaTour's rival Charles de Menou d'Aulnay de
Charnizay (1604-1650) and Francoise was forced to go to Boston. Eventually
she and her husband were reunited in Fort la Tour. In spring 1645 la
Tour was in Boston in the American colonies when the fort was attached.
Assuming command of the Fort Francoise refused to surrender and fought three
days to defend the Fort only to be forced to surrender on the forth day of
battle. Charles de Menou d'Aulnay de Charnizay (1604-1650) slaughtered the
remaining defense forces forcing Francoise to watch the executions. She died
three weeks later. She earned the nickname of Lioness of la Tour.
She was the 1st European woman to make a home in
the colony that would grow to become Acadia.
née Osborne. Born 1715 Massachusetts . Died May 24, 1798. As a
young woman she married Captain William Myrich who was lost at sea. The
widow then married William Pain who dies within a year of the marriage. Her
third marriage was to Edmund Doane in 1749 and the amalgamated family was a
total of 7 children. The new family settled in Nova Scotia. Since there was
no doctor in the area her skills in roots and herbs as remedies were welcome
in the province. She was well known for her doctoring, nursing and midwife
skills well into her 80's.
Mary Barbara Fisher
née Till Born 1749. Died February 15, 1841 Fredericton, New Brunswick. She
married Lewis Fisher who fought for the Crown with the New Jersey volunteers
during the American Revolution. In 1783, along with 34,000 other Loyalists,
the family fled to Nova Scotia and then on to New Brunswick by November of
that year. They left their comfortable living conditions to suffer some of
the most frightening winter weather conditions of the British Colonies
without having had time to construct solid living shelters, surviving in
tents their first winter in their new homeland. One of Mary’s sons, Peter
(1782-1848), is regarded at New Brunswick’s first English language
historians and based his work Sketches of New Brunswick, published in
1852 on his mother’s memories. Her granddaughter, Georgiana, no doubt named
from the families Loyalist cause, left a manuscript recalling stories her
grandmother told her. These stories were published by Natural Heritage Books
in 2012 providing a new generation of Canadian with a apt description of
what early hardships the loyalists survived in support of the King.
Source: Early Voices: Portraits of Canada by women writer’s 1639-1914.
Natural Heritage Books, 2010.
Courturier. Born August 9, 1879. Died November 1953, Chapleau, Ontario. As a
youth Arthamise left her home in Quebec to work in a cotton factory in Fall
River, Massachusetts, U.S.A. Her sweetheart Philias (Felix) soon followed
and the young couple married on April 28, 1898. They would raise a family of
15 children. With nor steady work in Quebec, the family decided to try
living in Ontario and in May 1909 Felix landed a job with the Canadian
Pacific Railway (CPR) in Chapleau in Northern Ontario. When the family 1st
arrived there were few houses and they lived in a railway box car. The
depression years of the 1930’s were difficult years but the family survived.
Laid off from the CPR, father and older sons worked providing cord wood for
sale. Felix also left his family in late summer , hoped on train cars
heading west to work harvesting in the grain fields. Arthamise kept the
family clean, healthy and made sure they were all bilingual. Some of her
sons went on to work on the trains when Chapleau was a central train hub.
Michael J. Morris, Philias (Felix) Fortin. Michael J. Morris Report.
Online (Accessed June 2015)
Caroline Blowers Gaetz
Hamilton. Born April 12, 1845, Nova Scotia. Died December 20, 1906, Red
Deer, Alberta. In 1865 Caroline married Methodist minister, Leonard Gaetz.
(1841-1907). The couple would have 11 children. Ill heath forced Leonard to
resign from his ministry in 1883 and he took his family to the North West
territories near Red Deer Alberta. It must have been quite a shock for
Caroline to move from a comfortable home that she would have had with a
church for which her husband worked to living in a log cabin in the far
west. In 1890 the family had relocated to a large house in Red Deer itself.
In 1897 Leonard once again returned to the pulpit and served at churches in
Brandon and Winnipeg, Manitoba. In 1901 the family returned to Red Deer to
retire. In 1909 the newly built Methodist church in Red Deer was named to
honour Rev. Leonard Gaetz and in 1925 with church union it became the Gaetz
Memorial United Church.
Sanderson, Kay. 200 Remarkable Women of Alberta. (s.l., s.d.) online
(Accessed September 2014) ; Cemetery Project, Red Deer Cemetery, Red Deer
Alberta. Online (accessed September 14, 2014)
Theresa Mary Gowanlock.
née Johnson. Born July 23, 1863 Tintern,
Upper Canada (Ontario) . Died September 12 1899. She was married in
her home of Tintern, Lincoln County, Ontario on October 1, 1884. The
newlyweds headed for western Canada to begin life where she one of two
white women at their settlement. Her husband, John was massacred by the
Cree Indians at Frog Lake, North West Territories (now Alberta) during the
Northwest Rebellion on April 2, 1885. Theresa was taken captive into the
camp of Chief Big Bear, and held captive for two months before being rescued
by the Northwest Mounted Police. Theresa and the other white women captive
Theresa Delaney wrote of there experience. Theresa returned home to Ontario
but never overcame the terrors of the ordeal which broke her spirit.
Born Iceland. Died 980. As a youth she and her family
followed Erik the Red to Greenland. She was a seasoned traveler by the time
she found herself at a settlement in North America (Vineland) and gave birth
to a son, Snorri in 1007. He was the first European child to be born in
North America. The young family remained in Vineland for some three years
before they abandoned the settlement and returned to Greenland. Her story
was put into writing by great grandson, Thorlak who became Bishop of
AKA John Fubbister; Mary Fubbister
Born August 10, 1780/81 Tankerness, Scotland. Died November
7m 1861Stromness, Scotland. Disguised as a man she travelled
to North America to work for the famous Hudson's Bay fur trading company
(HBC). Was she an adventurer? Was she following her lover? The stories are
not clear. The truth is she had to disguise as a man as women were not hired
by HBC and women were not allowed to sail on HBC ships. In 1806, using the
name, John Fubbister, she signed a three year contract to work with the HBC
sailing for Canada on June 29 of that year and arriving at Moose Factory (in
modern northern Ontario) in August. Travelling up the Albany River the work
journal reports she performed servants' tasks. In 1807 she travelled 2,900
km to Martin Falls to take supplies to HBC outposts and that fall she
travelled up the Red River to Pembina (in what is now North Dakota, U.S.A.).
She is believed to have been one of the 1st European women to travel in
western Canada then called Rupert's Land. At the end of December 1807 she
was not feeling well and gave birth to a son. A HBC employee, John Scarth
was the father of the child but had kept Isobel's true identity to himself.
From this point she was known as Mary Fubbister. She took work as a
washerwoman and a nurse, appropriate work for a women at the time. September
20, 1809 she sailed for Scotland. Little is known of her life after she
returned to Orkney, Scotland. Having a child out of wedlock would have
brought same to her family and she may have had to find her own way in life.
It is said she became a stocking knitter and lived in Stromness. In the 1820
a satirical skit written by fur traders mentioned a washerwoman which may
have been a reference to Isobel. In 199 author Audrey Thomas published an
historical fiction work called, Isobel Gunn. In 2001 a documentary
film was produced called: The Orkney Lad: The Story
of Isabel Gunn.
Eliza Victoria Hardisty
McDougall. Born 1849. Died 1929. Her parents were Wesleyan-Methodist
Missionaries in the Canadian North West territories. Her mother, Elizabeth
Chandler McDougall (1818-1903) believed in equal education for all her
children and sent them all to Canada East for their education. After
attending the Wesleyan Female College , Hamilton, Canada West, Eliza joined
her family at their Victoria Mission on the North Saskatchewan River. It was
here she met Richard Charles Hardisty (1831-1888) an employee of the Hudson
Bay Company. The two were married on September 21, 1866. The couple had 4
children, three of whom lived to adulthood. In 1877 Richard became Chief
Factor for the Hudson Bay Company in Edmonton. He built his family home on
what is now the site of the Alberta Legislature. As 1st Lady at
Fort Edmonton, Eliza welcomed visitors and her home became the social centre
for the fort. In 1877 Eliza was one of only 6 women who signed Treaty No. 7
between the government and the Aboriginal people. In 1883 the family spent
two years in Calgary where Eliza one more was a main force in the social
life of the town. In 1885 the couple returned to Edmonton and Richard was
appointed as Alberta’s 1st senator.
Sanderson, Kay. 200 Remarkable Women of Alberta. (s.l., s.d.) online
(Accessed September 2014)
Simonson, Gayle. Eliza McDougall Hardisty; Prairie pioneer (2005)
online (Accessed September 2014)
Alexandra 'Lexie' Helen Hargrave
Boren June 23, 1853, Kent, Ontario. Died June 5, 1932, Medicine Hat,
Alberta. Lexie came to the Canadian Northwest as a young woman. On February
17, 1875 she married James Hargrave (1846-1935) an employee of the Hudson
Bay Company to who she had been engaged for 2 years. James was ill when they
were married but her good nursing brought him back to health. Lexie followed
James as he was posted to Norway House, Fort Frances and Cumberland House,
all HBC posts. In 1882 James resigned from HBC and became an independent
trader and rancher. In 1884 Lexie and their younger of 5 children joined
James on his property. Lexie had become fluent in Cree and she made sure all
her children learned the language as well. Knowledge of the language and
respect for the Aboriginals was a great help to making friends wherever they
settled. In 1888 after suffering some setbacks with fire and poor crops,
James, his 11 year old son Thomas and an aboriginal friend, Corn Man,
searched for natural pasture land. They established a home that was fueled
by gas from a one of the 1st wells drilled in the area.
200 Remarkable Alberta Women. Online (Accessed October, 2014)
; Butler, Lorna Michael. The Hargrave Ranch 1888-2013. (2013) ; Hargrave:
Our family tree. Online (Accessed October 2014)
née McTavish. Born Rupert's Land, Canada. .Died
September 18,1854. In 1840 she married and accompanied her husband James
Hargrave to his job as Chief Trader of the Hudson Bay Company at York
Factory. She was one of the earliest pioneer women of the fur trade in
Western Canada. She enjoyed corresponding with her family back in Scotland
and her letters have been saved over the generations providing written
accounts of her insight as to the daily life in the Canadian “wilderness”
of the Hudson Bay Company and the fur trade. She realized early that the
morals and norms of British society had to be “relaxed” for the lifestyle of
the HBC outposts. She wrote of adapting her wardrobe to include the warmer
native clothing. Can you imagine the beautiful fur s that might have been
her winter clothing? Sources: Dictionary of Canadian Biography vol.
lll pg. 589-90 &
www.furtraders.ca accessed March 10, 2008.
Born 1883 Knoxville, Tennessee, U.S.A Died 1984. She moved to
the long established black settlement in Vancouver, British Columbia in
1911. She and her husband Ross would raise their family including James also
know as Al. Al would raise his family back to the U.S.A., but would send
his son, Jimi , to visit Grandma during summers and young Jimi’s would live
with his musical and talented grandma Nora. She was one of black Vancouver’s
pioneers. A well know church choir singer she also was involved with a
theatrical performance troop that accessorized in colourful and rich long
fitted gloves, giant hats and feather boas. What fun for a grandson, who no
doubt became influenced by what he saw. Jimi later played at one of
Vancouver’s’ east end night clubs the Smillin’ Buddha Cabaret and
went on to perform around the world creating a musical legend. Nora is
buried in the Hendrix family plot in Seattle Washington, U.S.A.
née Whitmore. She married and settled with her husband to raise a family in
the Saint Lawrence River area near modern day Cornwall, Ontario. During an
uprising, she was captured by Indians and forced to live 7 years with her
captors. Her infant daughter was killed by the attackers and her daughter
Sally was taken from her and she never saw her again. Returned to her own
people she became the local woman to seek out during illness. In the famine
of 1788 she was able to locate berries and roots to eat. This knowledge,
which she had gleaned from her aboriginal captors, allowed her to help save
people, many of whom were United Empire Loyalists settling along the St.
Lawrence River, from starvation. The area of settlement around her family
home is still called Hoople’s Creek. Her story is almost legend in the area
where she is sometimes called the witch of Hoople’s Creek or simply Granny
Hoople. She is also sometimes credited as being Ontario’s first woman doctor.
Source: Local History Collection, Cornwall Public Library. Cornwall,
Born 1879 Michigan, U.S.A. Died June 10, 1972. At 16 she
married Charles Hunter (d1939) and the couple followed the call of the
Klondike gold rush. It was shortly after they arrived in the Yukon that
Lucille gave birth to their daughter. Lucille worked their mining claim on
Bonanza Creek alson side of her husband. Their daughter , Teslin, died
shortly after her son, Buster, was born and the couple took to raising their
grandson. After the death of her husband Lucille and Buster kept on mining.
Lucille did not drive and each year she would walk the 140 miles to
register work on her claims and walk 140 miles back home. With the advance
of the Alaska Highway in 1942 Lucille and Buster relocated to Whitehorse
where she opened a laundry business. Lucille in later life was almost blind.
She lived in a small house that was piled with newspapers. She heated with a
wood stove and then the inevitable happened and she lost her home to fire.
She was forced to live in a small basement apartment where she was content
listening to her radio. Source: A Guide to Who Lies
Beneath Whitehorse Cemeteries. Online accessed 2019.
Peters. Born January 2, 1763 Hebron, Connecticut, U.S.A. Died September
9,1845 Toronto, Upper Canada. . During the American revolution the family to
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A. and left Hannah with family while he fled in
exile to England and France. Joining her father they lived in poverty in
London, England and then in France. At 20 years of age Hannah married
William Jarvis a Loyalist military officer who was appointed provincial
secretary and Registrar of Upper Canada (now Ontario). The family including
their three children settled in the area of Niagara-on-the-Lake in 1792. The
couple would have four more children born in Canada. Hannah was not only a
prolific letter writer but she also kept a diary where she wrote of items
she was kept from talking about in the political era of early colonial
Canada. Her family life, struggles, hardship of providing daily necessities,
her anger and other emotions which society required that a lady should not
voice. Hannah was left bankrupt with the death of her husband in 1817 since
all the estate had been transferred to her son Samuel. She received a modest
pension of $100.00 a year from the government but all other finances had to
come from her son. Her journals and letters are in the Archives at the
University of Guelph.
Born 1889, Finland. Died April 29, 1979. A Finnish immigrant woman who was a
conventional wife, mother and grandmother who also showed an independent
side by writing columns for the Finish Canadian Newspaper. She was a pioneer
in the bush of Northern Ontario being among the 1st women to work
in the Lumber camps. She was a widowed homesteader described as having ‘sisu’,
a work that is most closely understood as ‘having guts’. Taking an interest
in Canadian politics she became a dominant for in the 1930’s Liberal Party
of Canada. Often when she wrote she used the name Mokin Muori meaning ‘Log
Cabin Granny’. Her writings helped members of the Finnish community to
assimilated to the community She often wrote to advance women’s issues.
Source: Great Dames, University of Toronto Press, 1997. (2018)
Born August 2, 1780 Maskinongé,
Quebec. Died December 14, 1875
Saint Boniface, Winnipeg, Manitoba. She Married Jean-Baptiste Lagemodiére
( 1778-1855) on April 21, 1806
and traveled with her fur trading husband and in
1806 she was one of the 1st white women to visit such outposts as Red River (
later Winnipeg) and
Fort Edmonton in the Canadian west.. Her daughter, Reine, was the 1st legitimate white child to be
born in the Canadian west in 1807. Marie-Anne led an adventuresome life and was
the mother of eight children. Marie-Anne has sometimes been called the
Grandmother of the Red River and she is also the grandmother of Louis David
Riel (1844-1865) the political leader of the Métis
peoples who led rebellions against the Canadian government.. In 1978 a
fictionalized story about Marie Anne became a Canadian feature film. (2019)
Catherine Beaulieu Bouvier Lamoureaux
née Beaulieu. Born 1836 Salt River Region, North West Territories. Died 1918
Fort Providence, Northwest Territories. Catherine was baptized in the Roman
Catholic Church at Portage la Loche, Saskatchewan. Between 1848 and 1852 she
attended the Grey Nuns’ school in St. Boniface, Red River. At 16 in 1852 she
married Joseph Bouvier (d1877) and the couple had 5 children. She was known
for driving her dog team 150 miles along her own trail to old Fort Rae to
visit family members and deliver mail. The Mackenzie Highway now follows her
travel route. She also snowshoes out in spring to gather birch sap to make
her Birch syrup. In 1879 she married Jean-Baptiste Lamoureaux (d 1918) While
they lived in Fort Providence, Northwest Territories she help established
the Sacred Heart Hospital and worked with the Grey Nuns to establish a
school. She was a strong believer of preserving her Métis culture and
language. She was known as Kukum Baie which meant grandmother of us all, one
who gives and sustains life. In 2011 the Canadian Sites and Monuments Board
declared her a Historical Person, the 1st Métis woman of the
Northwest Territories to receive this distinction.
Jeanne LeMarchant / LeMarchand de La Celloniere
et La rocque Le Neuf
Born 1575? Normandy, France. Died 1647 New France. Jeanne married in France
on December 5, 1599 to Mathieu Le Neuf du Herrisson. Jeanne arrived with
her sons Michel and Jacques and daughter Marie in New France June 11,1636.
The family settled near Trois Rivières. Jeanne also had a daughter. They
were the 1st noble family to settle in New France. The family
immigrated to New France in the hopes of reestablishing the family fortunes.
Her children would become well established in Trois Rivières becoming
Governors of the area. (2018)
née Allyn. Born May 3,1692. A
daughter of a Massachusetts Puritan family, Sarah was kidnapped from
Deerfield by the Indian allies of the French and taken to live in Quebec.
She was 12 years old. She trekked through the harsh wilderness of New
England and New France and grew strong in her survival of the ordeal. She
was baptized as a Catholic in 1705 in Bellevue, Quebec. At 18 she married
Guillaume LaLonde dit L'esperance and they had 10 children.
Born August 29, 1860 Trilick, Ireland. Died October 20, 1922, Wetaskiwin,
Alberta. In 1875, at 15, Margaret arrived in Aylmer, Quebec with her family.
On December 12, 1883 she married Frances “Frank’ Arnold Lucas. She and her
husband traveled by train to Calgary, Alberta and loaded their worldly goods
on a wagon and headed for the Peace Hills Agency Farm where Frank was to
work as a government farm Inspector. Margaret was the 1st white
woman to settle in the Wetaskiwin District. Their home was a stagecoach stop
on the route from Edmonton to Calgary and Margaret was host to stage
drivers, mail carriers, North West Mounted Police Officers, missionaries and
all other travelers. During the Riel Rebellion of 1885 Margaret was sent to
the Hudson Bay Company site in Edmonton for two months for safety. When she
returned home she found that Fort Ether had been built by the NWMP (the
block house of the fort still remains on the site) Frank and Margaret would
raise 9 children in 1897 the top floor of their home was the school until
the children were able to attend a school in Wetaskiwin. Margaret would
serve on the Wetaskiwin School Board. In February 1898 the family survived a
house fire and were forced to spend the chilling winter in makeshift
accommodations. Margaret and Frank were the first farmers to grow grain in
the area and to have the first cattle site. They had the 1st white baby in
the district, 1st baptism and funeral. Their youngest son, Cortez and the
1st car (1915 McLaughlin), 1st tractor and helped build many roads in the
region. In 1915 Margaret and her daughter Maude founded the Wetaskiwin
Women’s Institute. Her descendants still live on the family farm.
Kay Sanderson, 200 remarkable Alberta Women. Online Accessed July 2015;
Wetaskiwinonline.com. Accessed January 2016.
née Soules. She married Samuel Lount in 1815 and had a family
of seven children. Her husband was a well respected blacksmith and surveyor.
He was reported to b a generous man. However, he had what was considered at
the time by the powers of the community to have questionable political
beliefs. He sided with the rebel William Lyn Mackenzie and participated in
the Upper Canada Rebellion of 1837. Unfortunately for him and his family he
was caught attempting to flee to the United States the same as other rebels
had done. He was arrested and sent to trial where he was sentenced to hang
on April 12, 1838. Elizabeth Lount stepped up in defense of her husband. She
spoke out on his behalf and gathered 35,000 signatures on a petition to
grant clemency to her husband. Governor John Beverly Robinson would not
listen to her efforts. Several years later, the rebels who had escaped were
granted amnesty and many like William Lyon Mackenzie returned to the serve
the colony. In a letter addressed to Mackenzie in 1850, Elizabeth Lount
provided a written description of her husband which gives historians insight
to this historical figure.
Sara Mary Lynch-Staunton
Born 1864 Galway, Ireland. Died 1953. As a young girl Sara attended a
convent at St. Leonards-on-the-Sea in Sussex, United Kingdom. She followed
her brother Frank to Pincher Creek, Alberta, where he started the Deer Horn
Ranch. In 1890 she married Alfred H. Lynch-Staunton of the North- West
Mounted Police at Pincher Creek. The couple would have 8 children. Even
though raising children and working a ranch Sara also worked at a tea house
of the Pincher Creek Polo Club that had been established by her husband.
Sara even found time to paint the world around her. She producing small
sketches and party invitations and for larger canvases she painted the doors
in her home with landscapes.
Source: CHIN website (accessed September 2015); Kay Saunderson, 200
Remarkable Alberta Women, (Famous Five Foundation, 1999).
Born 1805 Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. Died
February 11 1922 Toronto, Ontario. Susanna was born to free black parents.
She was orphaned when very young and was placed with a white family as an
indentured servant until she became an adult. She was treated fairly by the
family who made sure that she could read and write. Just prior to the
civil war in the United States she and her husband narrowly escaped being
kidnapped and being sold into slavery. The couple who would have 5 children
decided to escape to the safety of Canada. The took the underground railroad
settling near Richmond Hill, Ontario. Later in life Susanna ran a
laundry with her youngest daughter Charlotte Matilda, Known as Tilly in
Toronto. At the time of her death at 116/117 she may have been the oldest
woman in Canada. Source: DCB (2019)
née Boyd. Born 1853 Grey County Canada West
(Ontario). 1853. Died March 31, 1941. As the wife of a Methodist missionary
husband she accompanied her husband to his postings. She took the trek
across the early plains to become the first white woman in the Alberta
foothills. For some 25 years she and her husband worked to share their faith
at the Stoney reserve. She managed to travel with her husband by all of the
traditional conveyance of the time including canoe, wagon and dog sled. She
would raise her six children in the foothills. In 1898 she retired to
Calgary where she became president of the Southern Alberta Pioneer Women and
Old Timer’s Association. She held the strong belief that it was the presence
of the frontier women who allowed the frontier families to survive. She
pointed out the large number of bachelors who found it necessary to leave
prairie life when they did not have the emotional and physical support in
their work from a loving, energetic and sympathetic woman.
Elizabeth Chandler McDougall
England. Died 1903, Morley Alberta. Elizabeth married the Reverend George
McDougall, a Wesleyan Methodist minister and missionary. The couple had 9
children. She believed in education equally for boys and girls and all the
children were sent back to eastern Ontario to be educated. The family
settled at Morley Mission, Alberta where Elizabeth not only cared for her
family but she also administered to the sick of the Mission. While her
husband was away, often for long periods visiting various points of his
large geographical charge, she also took over the running of the entire
business of the Mission. Upon the death of her husband she remained at
Morley Mission in order to carry on business.
Sanderson, Kay. 200 Remarkable Women of Alberta. (s.l., s.d.) online
(Accessed September 2014)
née Amey. Born 1855 Cannington, Canada West (now Ontario). Died 1943,
Edmonton, Alberta. In 1878 Lovisa married her high school sweetheart John
Alexander McDougall (1854-1928). John had headed west in 1873 to trade for
furs. By 1877 he had settled in Edmonton to trade. Lovisa moved west with
John but returned home to Cannington in 1880 to give birth to her 1st
child, Alice. She then took the long trip, much of it by wagon train, back
to Edmonton. The couple would have a family of 6 children. John was very
successful and soon built a general store which thrived. He soon built a
mansion for his family and Lovisa made the home a social centre in Edmonton.
John became a politician and served as a councilor and mayor in Edmonton and
became a member of the provincial legislature. In their later years the
couple enjoyed world travel. His company McDougall and Secord exists in
Edmonton as one of the oldest surviving companies in the area. In 1978 the
Historic Resources Department of Alberta Culture published the Letters of
Lovisa McDougall 1878-1887.
Saunderson, 200 Remarkable Alberta Women, (Famous Five Foundation,
Jane Flett Mckay
Born December 1857 La Pierre’s House, Canadian Northwest. Died1947. She was
the daughter of an aboriginal parent and a French Canadian Parent which
meant she was a Métis. The family lived at a Hudson Bay Company site north
of the Arctic Circle and she was brought up in the cultures of both parents.
In 1874 she married Dr William Morrison McKay who is considered Alberta’s 1st
resident doctor. Jane became a medical assistant to her husband. The couple
had a family of 13 children. In 1898 they retired to Edmonton, Alberta where
Jane proved to be a keen bridge player and an avid reader.
Kay Saunderson, 200 Remarkable Alberta Women, (Famous Five
Elizabeth Ferguson McKellop
née Fisher. Born 1858 White Lake, Renfrew County, Ontario. Died 1938
Lethbridge, Alberta. In 1881 Elizabeth married Presbyterian minister Charles
McKellop. In 1887 traveling with 2 of her young children she followed her
husband to Lethbridge, Alberta. Charles had traveled west a year earlier as
clergyman to arrive in the area. When Elizabeth moved
west she brought with her some comforts for their new home, comforts such as
her piano and a washing machine. The couple would have 8 children in total
but two sons died as infants and a daughter died of appendicitis at 17. In
her later years Elizabeth often lectured on pioneer life in the area. In
1954 the new church in Lethbridge was named in honour of the couple McKellop
Kay Saunderson, 200 Remarkable Alberta Women, (Famous Five
Mckay ? Born 1796. Died October 4, 1886. Her mother was probably descended
from a voyageur and her father was a Nor’Wester who abandoned his family to
return to Scotland. Mary became the wife of another Nor’Wester, Charles
McKenzie. Together they traveled and lived in the undeveloped Canadian
north west. She was an accomplished hunter and kept her family and at time
other non hunting families of her community in wild game, including bear
meat. She was also a competent business woman of her era, for her husband
left her in charge of his fur trading post while he took care of company
business in the south. Her story is told through the pages of her husbands
journals. She did not keep a journal of her own. She outlived her husband by
three decades living with her son and his family in St James, west of the
Red River along the Assiniboine.
Source: The Beaver,
née Waddens. Born 1775(?) Canada. Died Oregon City, Oregon, U.S.A. 1860.
She was the young “country bride of Alexander McKay a fur trader of the
North West Company. The would have been married by mutual contract as was
the custom of the day for “country wives” . The couple had 4 children. By
1811 she was a widow of a murdered husband and she became the “Country wife”
of a medical doctor John McLaughlin (1784-1857), in Sault Ste Marie. John
brought Margaret a step son and the couple would have four children of their
own. The family first settled in Fort William (Thunder Bay, Ontario) with Dr
McLaughlin working in the fur trade which meant he travelled the north. In
1824 the great fur companies amalgamated and the doctor was chief factor for
the Hudson Bay Company in the area of Oregon. Margaret and the family soon
followed to the west where the doctor helped found Fort Vancouver. Margaret
was hostess to other wives, many of who were like herself aboriginal
“Country wives” She was also known to have travelled on shorter trips with
her husband for his work. A true pioneer her family became spread across
North America, some following their aboriginal roots and others following
their father’s people. Dr. McLaughlin is considered by some to be the father
of Oregon. There were formally married November 1842 when the church became
established in their area.
Sources: Pioneers every one by
E. Blanche Norcross (Burns and MacEachern Ltd. 1979) : Dictionary of
Canadian Biography under “John McLaughlin” by W.K. Lamb Vol. viii.
Born circa 1789 Scotland. Died 1876. In
1813 she courageously left her homeland as on one the settlers of Lord
Selkirk’s Red River project. The party landed in Fort Churchill where they
spent the long, cold winter. On June 21, 1814 the settlers finally reached
the Red River Settlement. Catherine married Alexander McPherson and they
began a pioneering adventure that would see their home burned in a raid,
their crops destroyed in raids and in naturally bad weather. The family
survived floods and droughts and plagues of grasshoppers as well as
epidemics of small pox. These early prairie pioneers were true heroines of
Nancy McTavish Leblanc
Aboriginal name Matooskie. Born 1790 Hudson Bay Lands, Canada. Died July 24, 1851.
Her Father was a North West Company Trader and her mother an
aboriginal woman. She herself was abandoned by her first husband, McTavish,
a fur trader. It was the custom held by man fur traders to cohabit with
aboriginal women and when they decided to leave the fur trade and the area
they would abandon their fur trade territory wives and children and perhaps
legally marry a white women and start a “legal” family. The Hudson Bay
Company arranged a marriage for Nancy with another trader Pierre LeBlanc in
1831. Nancy was just one of many victims to the whim of the HBC. The
practice of abandoning aboriginal partners and their children and then the
HBC custom of partnering the women with other traders fostered racial
discrimination that lasted for many decades in the Canadian northwester
regions. Source: Dictionary of Canadian Biography, Toronto, University of
Toronto Press, (also online) vol. lll pg 560-561.
Fur trader & businesswoman
Born Fusheeyea Mitre Tabashrant 1864 Beirut, Lebanon. Died
February 12, 1947 Parent, Quebec. At 18 she was working in a silk factory in
Beirut. She married Nadar Midlige, the factory manager and the couple had 4
children. 11 years later she was a widow leaving her children with family
members and sailing for America. She worked as a cook in a Lebanese
restaurant in New York City, U.S.A. prior to relocating to Ottawa, Ontario
where she worked as a housekeeper for a Lebanese family and a peddler. She
traveled by canoe up the Gatineau River peddling goods to the Aboriginals in
the Abitibi region. She would trade for furs each summer becoming a rival in
the area with the famous Hudson Bay Company. She spoke only Arabic and some
of the native language but never learned English or French. Eventually she
earned enough money to send for her family and made sure they were educated
in Ottawa. She bought a 400 acre farm in Baskatong and opened a hotel and a
store. She encourage son John to return from the gold fields of the Yukon to
return and become her fur trading farmer. The whole family would become
involved with her businesses with multiple stores open for trade. She
settled in Parent, Quebec in the 1920's.
Born circa 1740 Labrador. Died 1795, A
daughter of an Inuit Chief, Mikak lived with her husband and son in a small
British fishing station when the settlement was raided and her husband was
killed. The young widow learned to speak English from a British solder,
Francis Lucas. She and her son went to England with Lucas. Here she was
treated like the Inuit Princess that she was. She and her son had their
portrait painted by the famous artist John Russell. In London she met Jens
Haver, a Moravarian Missionary. She helped the missionary raise funds for a
mission and in the summer of 1768 she returned to Labrador with Francis
Lucas. When Jans Haven arrived in 1769 she helped establish the mission for
which she had helped to raise funds from the British. She remarried an Inuit
hunter, Tugavina, and settled with her family in her homeland.
Sally Ainse Montour
1728. Died 1822. She grew up on Susquehanna River (now New York State,
U.S.A.) and learned English at the colonial school. She married at 17 to
Andrew Montour. She left her drunken husband circa 1750 and her 2 children
were placed with a family in Philadelphia. She had her 3rd child
shortly after the break up while living with her Oneida relatives. She
became a fur trader with the British, eventually trading in the Great Lakes
area. By 1774 she settled in Detroit as a prosperous businesswoman with
slaves. She purchased properties on the Thames River near Chatham Ontario
and married an English trader, John Wilson. After the American Revolution
she had a legal battle for her Detroit properties. Her husband’s claims in
Canada were reduced substantially and fire destroyed her harvest in Canada
where she was forced to exist on charity. She continued to submit land claim
through to 1815 when the Claims Council insisted she was dead. An historical
plaque in Chatham, Ontario commemorates the life of this fiery aboriginal
Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online, accessed 2011 : 100 More
Canadian Heroines: Famous and Forgotten Faces by Merna Forster (Dundurn
née Mount. Born March 17, 1848, Yorkshire, England. Died December. 14, 1939,
Vancouver, British Columbia. Ruth arrived in British Columbia in 1884 to
marry John Morton,(1834-1912) She was the first white woman to settle in
the area of New Westminster, British Columbia. The couple would make their
first home on English Bay. John Morton and his partners Samuel Brighouse and
William Hailstone, are known in local history lore as The Three Greenhorns.
After their first business failed he and his partners bought 550 acres in
what is now the West End, at $1 an acre. When the Canadian Pacific Railroad
arrived, "the Morton Ranch" proved a bonanza. Upon his death in 1912, John
Morton left funds to build a church, The Ruth Morton Memorial Baptist
Church, to be named in honour of his wife.
Source: The Vancouver Hall of Fame online ; “Romance…” by Bruce
Woods, Newsletter, Vancouver Historical Society Vol. 51 no. 7.
Born 1860, England. Died Alberta. Mary and her husband arrived from England
in 1886. Mary had her nursing training through St John’s House which was
affiliated with the Anglican Church of England. Her training predated the
formal education that was established by Florence Nightingale. In fact St
John’s House provided 6 nursing sisters for Nightingale when she left to
serve in the Crimean War. Mary had been a professor at Queen Charlotte’s
Maternity hospital in London, prior to immigrating. She arrived at
Hermitage, near Edmonton in the summer of 1886, is considered the 1st
lay nurse in Edmonton. She had suffered ill health in England and she came
to Hermitage to recuperate at her brother's mission. There was already a
small log hospital there and Mary recovered her health and went quickly to
work. In 1891, she put an advertisement in the paper saying that she would
do nursing and midwifery in private homes--for ten dollars a week. She is
also credited with introducing lilacs to Alberta.
Source; Kay Saunderson, 200 Remarkable Alberta Women, (Famous Five
Amanda Matilda Nilsson
née Johnson. Born July 14, Fairview, Utah, U.S.A. Died August 17, 1940
Raymond, Alberta. At 17 Amanda married Christopher Nilsson (1857-1943). The
couple would have 13 children and also opened their hearts to 5 foster
children. In 1901 the family immigrated to Raymond, Alberta. Here Amanda
settled in to being nurse and doctor to her community. She founded the
literary club and also helped organize a womens club that promoted education
and literature, a part of the Alberta Women's Institute. She also supported
the basketball team in Raymond, a team that brought honour to the town. She
allowed the 1st press in town to be set up in her living room and
the Raymond Chronical was born with herself as reporter and a regular
literary contributor of poems. Amanda sold homemade donuts to raise monies
for her various charities. The family also provided free coffins for the
community which Amanda carefully lined. She also helped established the
Raymond Brass Band which was well known in its day throughout the area. She
was a true community spirit.
Sources: ‘Christopher Nilsson and Amanda Matilda Johnson’, Mary’s
Genealogy Treasures Online (Accessed October 2015) ; Kay
Saunderson, 200 Remarkable Alberta Women, (Famous Five Foundation,
Pioneer and Political
Born 1863, Ontario. Died 1943. She arrived in the Canadian was as a
youngster when her family relocated to Prairie Grove, Manitoba. In 1881 she
married Frank Oliver (1853 -1933) and the newlyweds set out by oxcart on the
three month trip to Edmonton where she helped her husband publish the 1st
newspaper in Alberta, the Edmonton Bulletin. The couple had 7 children. In
1885 the family refusing to take refuge in a nearby Hudson Bay Company post
survived a month long Indian uprising. Harriet was also a prime instigator
in the founding of the 1st Presbyterian church in Edmonton.
Harriet enjoyed exploring the land by taking annual trips and she even
reached the Yukon and went down the Mackenzie River. In 1896 Frank left
provincial politics and was elected to the House of Commons in Ottawa as the
1st member from Alberta. In 1906 Frank was appointed as a
federal cabinet minister and Harriet became a popular hostess in Ottawa. Two
of her sons were killed during World War l and she would travel to England
and France to visit their resting places.
Kay Saunderson, 200 Remarkable Alberta Women, (Famous Five
née Shishido. Born 1864 or 5 Kanagawa, Japan. Died 1914 Vancouver, British
Columbia. At the age of 23 she married Washiji Oya and the couple headed
for Canada. Landing in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1887, Yoko was the 1st
Japanese woman to immigrate to Canada. The couple settled in an area called
Little Tokyo and opened the 1st general store in the community.
In 1889 Yoko gave birth to the 1st Canadian Japanese child, a
son. The couple would have two sons both of whom were educated in Japan
before returning home to take over the family business. The business was
vandalized in September 7, 1907 during the racist riots.
née Quevillon. Born March 14, 1686 Montreal, New France. Died
March 30, 1781. As a youth in 1693 she was
carried off by the Iroquois and was ransomed only after several years in
captivity. During her full lifetime she would marry four times. She had on
child with Van Tekakwitha (d 1703) a young Aboriginal brave who had
protected her during her captivity and returned her and his daughter to New
France. July 30 1703 she married Guillaume Lacombe dit Saint-Amand
(1673ca-1703). In 1704 she
married Samuel Papineau de Montigny (1668 or 1670-1737), a soldier, in
Rivière-des-Prairies, Montreal, Quebec. They would had nine children together
and founded a Canadian family dynasty. In 1742 at 56 years old she married
Jacques Daniel and February 18, 1754 she married Jean Baptiste Nicolas
DeVerac/Devarac/Verac/Verrat also called Parisien an upholsterer from Paris,
Kate 'Fanny' Partridge
née Pridham. Born 1854 Bristol, England. Died January 10,
1931 Yukon Territory. Kate married Otta Partridge (1857-1930). She joined
her husband in Millhaven Bay near Carcross where he ran a saw mill. The
couple lived in a houseboat. After trying his hand as a mine owner the
couple built a homesteas called Ben-My-Chree. The name came from the Manx
language of the Isle of Man and means 'girl of my heart'. Here Kate grew two
acres of flower gardens on the rich glacial silt. In 1912 seamwheelers began
stopping at Ben-My-Chree not only to drop off supplies but to also stocke up
on fresh garden vegetables. By 1916 tourists were arriving to view the
spectacular gardens which were framed by towering snow caped mountains. Some
9,000 visitiors came annually and Kate, always dressed in long formal gowns,
greeted visitors at the garden gate. In the evenings she entertained
visitors with organ music. Visitors included the Prince of Wales, President
Roosevelt, Governor General and Lady Bing as well as silent picture movie
Source: A Guide to Who Lies Beneath Whitehorse Cemeteries.
Online accessed 2019.
Arabelle "Belle" Frances Patchen
August 10, 1874
St. Paul, Minnesota, U.S.A. Died 1952. As a child she
had moved with her family to the American northwest coast. In 1898 in
Spokane, Washington she married an older gentleman of local society named
Allen and became a trophy wife. She was the talk of the town after a popular
scandal when, for charity, she road a horse bareback sporting only pink
tights with a short knee length skirt! She married a second time to Thomas
Noyes and the couple headed north to Nome , Alaska in 1900. Here the couple
adopted a half Inuit girl, Bonnie, in 1905. After the death of Tom, Belle
married a 3rd time in 1919 to surveyor, Bill Muncaster and the
family took a honeymoon across two northern glaciers. The couple spent years
searching for gold along the Canadian U.S.A. boarder finally staking a
claim. Fighting off wolves, wolverines and severe winter weathers the
scraped by with a meager earning that barely paid for expensive supplies. It
is a common story of life in the north. In her 60’s she was teaching young
men how to pack supplies and seek their fortune in the North. A true pioneer
who embraced Northern life to the fullest.
Source: “Pioneer woman of Squaw Creek” by Michael Gates in Yukon News
November 23, 2007 Accessed online June 2011.
née Tapley. Born
March 19, 1891 Maine, U.S.A. Died August 1986. As a young teacher she met and married Alex
Philip in 1908. This adventuresome couple eventually settled in Vancouver,
British Columbia but cold not resist the call of the mountains. In 1914 they
established Rainbow Lodge at Alta Lake, which is now the modern famous
Whistler ski area. Myrtle became a well known horsewoman, fisher, hiker,
organizer and community builder. In 1915 she petitioned the Government for a
post office and became the areas first post mistress. She established the
first school even though the government offered no help. The Rainbow Lodge,
under the Philip’s expert management, grew and prospered and in the 1940’s
was expended to accommodate 100 guests. The couple sold the Loge in 1948 and
it continued operation through to 1977 when the main building was destroyed
by fire. Toda the area is preserved as Rainbow Park with some of the
original cabins on site. In 1976 the Myrtle Philip Elementary School was
established and in 1992 the Myrtle Philip Community School became a centre
of activities. There is also the Myrtle Philip Community Centre. Each year
Whistler celebrates Myrtle Philip Day on March 19th
. Sources: Herstory: the
Canadian Women’s Calendar 2007 Coteau Books, 2006 page 78.; Myrtle
Philip Community School. On line Accessed June 2011.
née Dumas. Born
1862. Died 1959, Batoche, Manitoba. Christine Married Barthelemi Pilon and
the couple, along with Christine’s widowed mother settled in Batoche in
1882. The couple would have 8 children. She often helped her neighbours by
writing their letters either personal or for business. Their home was burned
in 1885 during the North-West Rebellion and the family was forced to flee.
Christine and her children win in the woods with the ill Mme Louis Riel.
Eventually Christine and her children walked 18 miles back to Batoche. A new
home was build and the couple started over again making a home for their
family. The couple celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in 1932.
Source: Diane Payment. Christine Dumas Pilon. Métis Resource Centre.
Metisresourcecentre.mb.ca (Accessed April 2013.
Ada Annie Rae-Arthur
June 19, 1888
Sacramento, California, U.S.A. Died Port
Alberni, British Columbia April 28, 1985. In 1915 after having lived in
England, South Africa and the Canadian Parries, Annie with her husband and 3
children came from Vancouver to settle on a 5 acre tract of forest
wilderness at Boat on the west coast of Vancouver Island. With great
hardship, they cleared the land and made a large unique botanical garden, a
mail order nursery business, post office and general store. Defending her
land against prowling animals, Annie used her shotgun skills as well that
she earned the nickname “Cougar Annie”. After four husbands ( the last one
was a drunkard and was run off with a shotgun in 1967) and eleven children,
she finally left her home and beloved garden when she was over ninety.
Cougar Annie’s garden became derelict but was lovingly returned by
Businessman Peter Buckland and run as a tourist attraction with botanical
study centre opening in 2007 by the Boat Basin Foundation. However in 2010
the property was up for sale because of high debt.
Cougar Annie Further fabulous Canadians hysterically historical
Rhymes by Gordon Snell and Aislin. Toronto: McArthur & co. 2004. Pages
59-63: Ecotrust Canada Ecotrust.ca accessed August 2011.
In 1899 Mary and her husband Tom arrived by canoe to bee the
1st white settlers in Atikokan, Ontario. The following year they she up the
Pioneer Hotel which would become a magnificent two story, 18 room hotel.
Tome went prospecting while Mary ran the hotel. A devout Roman Catholic she
made sure that church services were held each month in the largest place in
toen, her hotel. Rawn Road bears the family name.
1st farmer's wife
Born circa 1580 France. Died May 27, 1649. In
1617 she arrived in New France with her husband and young children. Her
husband would be known as Canada’s first farmer. He was also an apothecary
and Marie befriended the local natives to whom her husband administered. She
is Canada’s first farmer’s wife. Their farm was on Cape Diamond which is
located in the heart of the modern city of Quebec. She may also be
considered Canada’s first teacher as records show she enjoyed teaching the
local native population. After the death of her husband in 1627 she remained
in her new homeland. She would marry a second time to a settler by the name
of Hubot and they would raise an adopted native daughter
A Québec, La première de la colonie, veuve de l'apothicaire Louis Hébert,
pratique " l"interculturalisme" avant l'heure: elle instruit les "sauvagessess"
et les forme ...à l'éuropéenne.
Marie-Henriette LeJeune Ross
Baptized August 13 1762 Rochefort, France. Her family would
emigrate and settle in Acadia only to be deported back to France twice as
the area transferred back and forth from the France to England. As a young
girl in France she married Joseph Comeau and in 1784 the young couple headed
back to Cape Breton where Comeau drowned leaving a young widow. Marie-
Henriette married Bernard Lejeun dit Briard and after being a widow again in
1792 she married James Ross. She not only raised her family of 11 children
but she became a known healer herbalist and midwife who traveled hundreds of
miles tending to the care of the people of Nova Scotia for over 60 years.
Her name and stories of her life deed have been passed down through the
family from generation to generation merging fact and fiction. She is said
to have killed two bears one with a musket and one with a fire shovel! She
is known to have spent hours in the forest studying plant life and learning
the medical properties of the flora and fauna making her a knowledgeable
scientist of her day. Sources : Canadian women in Science, Library
and Archives Canada, accessed March 2006; Dictionary of Canadian
Biography vol. lll p. 498-499
Olive Blewett Ross
United Kingdom. Olive immigrated to Canada with her family when she was a
child. By 1878 she had moved to Edmonton, Alberta. She married a miner,
Donald Ross, and the couple had 3 children. Eventually the couple opened the
Edmonton Hotel which may have been the 1st such establishment
west of Brandon, Manitoba. It is said that during the Gold Rush that people
even competed to rent sleeping spaces on the billiard tables. Olive as an
avid and active gardener and was well known for her produce. She is said to
also have been very active in her local church.
Kay Saunderson, 200 Remarkable Alberta Women,
(Famous Five Foundation, 1999);
Born December 26, 1754.
Died 1822. After the death of her father she moved to the Canada's
with her older half brother, Peter. Peter was an administrator in the
colony. She became an able entertainer on behalf of her brother and his
position in York (Toronto), socializing with the elite society of the day.
In her letters and diary she has left a detailed picture of one woman's life
in early Upper Canada.
Wife of the Governor of the Hudson Bay Company,
her companion, Mrs. Maurice, and a maidservant are the
English women to come to James Bay in 1683.
Alice Mary Schnieder
née Baylie. Born
1875, England. Died 1962. Although she was engaged and her fiancé was away
serving in the Boer War in South Africa, Mary fell in lover with another
man. Against her family wishes she followed Frances 'Frank' Joseph Schneider
(b 1876) to Canada and the couple married in what is now Thunder Bay,
Ontario on August 13, 1902. They followed the gold trail to northern
Ontario were there were almost 100 men at the mine and Alice the only woman.
When the Elizabeth mine panned out the couple settled in Atikokan, Ontario
in 1902 and soon they became proprietors of the General Store and Frank
became Post Master for almost 25 years. The couple raised four children.
Barber. Born September 25, 1803. As a young woman she was a teacher. She worked in Sutton Township
( Lower Canada) in 1834 for her room and board and a salary of $1.00 a week! She
married a farmer, Stephen Scovil. At 44 she was pregnant, a widow and already
a mother of three older children. She worked harder than ever with her farm. Against
the sentiment of her own era she worked herself into the position of a prosperous
farmer. A strong minded individual she left her estate to her family assuring
that her daughters inheritance could not become part of the estate of their husbands!
Eudoxia Sorochan Shewchuk
Died 1967, Manitoba. She immigrated to Canada at 16 with her widowed mother
and three siblings. Landing in Montreal with only $4.00 to their name,
Eudoxia took simple jobs to earn enough money to send her mother and
siblings on the train to Winnipeg. She remained behind to earn money for the
family as a live in house keeper until she could afford to join the family.
In 1908 she married Peter Shewchuk and the couple settled in Saskatchewan in
1909. Here they would raise their 11 children. She often took their farm
produce to market. In winter she had to break a path for the horse and wagon
to reach the market with goods. She was a well known midwife in
Saskatchewan. She was also a natural negotiator and helped people solve many
conflicts peacefully. In 1944 the couple sold their farm and relocated to
Herstory: The Canadian Women's calendar. 2008 (Saskatoon Women's
Calendar Collective / Coteau Books, 2007)
née Mein. Born November 29, 1783 Fowey, Cornwall England
. Died July 9, 1866. In 1807 she married Col. Sibbald.
After the death of her husband in 1835 she emigrated to Canada to
investigate her sons' activities and to find a suitable farm for the, She
took a day tour on Lake Simcoe and decided to settle on what is now called
Sibbald Point. Mrs. Sibbald and John Coomer donated land for a cemetery and
church near the entrance to her estate which she name Eldon Hall. She was a
close friend with the daughter of Governor General Simcoe. A great grandson
published her memoirs that included letters covering her years in Canada (
Frances Ramsay Simpson
Born March 28, 1812 London, England Died March 21 1853. She
married her cousin, George Simpson February 24 1830. His
career a Governor with the Hudson Bay Company would bring her to Canada. She
and her companion, Catherine Turner, wife of another HBC employee, were the
first white women to travel to remote Hudson Bay Company areas. After a
visit to Rainey Lake ( in modern Ontario) the settlement was named Fort
Frances in her honour. Living in Red River she became homesick and lonely
and remained semi invalided after the birth and death of her first child.
Eventually the family settled permanently in Lachine Quebec in 1845 were
their five Canadian born children could be raised. The diaries she wrote
during the time she spend on her adventures in the Canadian west left a
vivid written record of the times.
Died 1834 Scarborough, Upper Canada. She married Parshall Terry, becoming
mother to his seven children. The couple had 12 children together. After the
death of Parshall she married William Cornell (1773-18??) and adding 12 more
step - children to her family. In all she was mother to 37 children.
Toronto’s Historical Plaques Torontoplaquws.com accessed May 2012.
Born 1786 Canadian North West. Died 1857. Charlotte was the daughter of fur
trader Patrick Small and a Cree wife. Her father left the business and
abandoned his fur trade family when Charlotte was just five. As a young
woman of 13 she married the 29 year old explorer and well known map maker
David Thompson on June 10, 1799 at Ile-à-la Crosse in the Canadian North
West . They remained together for 58 years and would have 13 children.
Charlotte and children often traveled with David Thompson on his exploits.
She was possible the best traveled Canadian woman of her time! Thompson
mapped the largest expanse of North American than anyone else. He retired
from the North West in 1812 and relocated his family to an area near
Montreal. On October 30, 1812 the couple were remarried according to his
tradition and Charlotte and the children remaining at home were also
baptized. Charlotte signed the church registry in a clear and confidant had
leading historians to believe that she could both read and write. The couple
never returned to the Canadian North West but lived their lives out together
in the Montreal area Charlotte died only three months after her 87 year old
Source: Travels with Charlotte by Aretha Ven Herk, Canadian Geographic Vol.
127. No. 5 July/August 2007 Pages 54-64.
Born March 7, 1842, Auchinleok, Ayrshire, Scotland. Died April 3, 1925,
Lethbridge, Alberta. On December 13, 1863 Jane married William Stafford
(1842-1907) who would become a Galt Mine superintendant in Canada. The
couple resided in Scotland for the 1st portion of their married
life where they became parents of 7 children. In 1871 the family settled in
Wolfville, Nova Scotia where 4 more children were born. In 1882 William and
his son Henry left for the coal mines of Alberta. Jane took the arduous
journey west a year later with her other children. The family settled in the
rough mining area of Coal Banks, Alberta where Jane was the 1st
white woman I the area. Here she gave birth to Henrietta, the 1st
white child born in the area and two more children. Jane made the Stafford
house a welcome place for all visitors and it was in her home that the 1st
church services in the area were held. Jane took a great interest in the
lives and welfare of all the peoples of the community from the miners,
settlers and Aboriginals alike. She had left the relative comfort of a life
with all community conveniences in Nova Scotia to be participant and witness
to the rough and tumble coal mine town into the settlement that would become
the town/city of Lethbridge.
Sanderson, Kay. 200 Remarkable Women of Alberta. (s.l., s.d.) online
(Accessed September 2014)
née Estes. Born enslaved Clay Co. Missouri, U.S.A. She taught herself how to
read and write by learning from the lessons of the white children she cared
for as a slave. Her father , owned by a different person, wanted to gain
freedom for himself and his family. He earned money working the gold fields
in California with his slave owners and had to seek legal help in order to
purchase his freedom and that of his family. The freed family originally
settled in Missouri but fear of the Klu Klux Klan forced them to move to
California. Sylvia married Louis Stark in 1855. California law changed in
the late 1850’s and it was not favourable to freed slaves. The Stark and
Estes families moved to British Columbia in search of full freedom. Sylvia
and Louis and their children settled as pioneer farmers on Salt Spring
Island, a fertile gulf island between the mainland and Vancouver Island. In
1875 she and her husband left the farm to the oldest son, Willis, and
resettled in Naimao on Vancouver Island. In 1895 Louis was murdered and
Sylvia returned to Salt Spring Island to farm with her son.
Sources; Sylvia Estes – women in BC
http://bcarchives.gov.bc.ca (accessed December 2011) : Sylvia Stark
. March 4, 1997 Section15.ca (Accessed December 2011)
Frances Anne Stewart.
Born 1794 Dublin, Ireland. Died October 24, 1872. She married Thomas
Alexander Stewart on December 16, 1816. When Thomas lost his job with a
bankrupt company the young couple decided to emigrate to Canada with other
family members. They left Ireland on June 1, 1822 spending seven weeks
aboard ship for the crossing to Canada! A true pioneer to Upper Canada, she was a diarist and letter writer.
Her letters to home have left us with a rich insight into early
Canadian life of such of her friends as the Strickland family. Her
family published her writings after her death. Many of her personal
writings are stored in the Archives at Trent University , Peterborough,
London, England between . Died Tabusintac, New
Brunswick. April 25, 1841. In the 1775 she reportedly ran off to the West
Indies to escape the disapproval of her family. Here she would experience
the death of her partner and would find herself along and heavy with child.
In that same year she married Captain John Blake and gave birth to her first
child Elisabeth Williams. The Blake’s found their way to Canada’s east coast
and became pre-loyalists. Charlotte was a true pioneer of the Canadian
Maritimes, being among the first to settle in wilderness areas. A son Robert
Blake Jr. (1782-1853) was born in the Canadian wilderness. After the death
of Robert Blake Sr. in 1785 she partnered with William Wishart (perhaps a
neighbor) and a son William Wishart (1785-1851) was born. Within the next
two years Charlotte married Philip Hierlihy ( - 1804). In all Charlotte
would have 10 children. In 1785 she would snowshoe to Fredericton, the
centre of New Brunswick government, to ensure the title of land from the
estate of her first husband. The land ownership battles would be a major
part of the families’ life struggle. Charlotte survived and ensured the
survival of her family . She was a land owner and a desirable widow who
married, as was the style of the era, several times to ensure survival. She
outlived her husbands and some of her children, but was comforted by a
family members who made up a true dynasty. She is considered the Mother of
Sources: Charlotte Taylor: Her life and Times by Mary Lynn Smith
http://ww3.bc.sympatico.ca/charlotte_taylor Accessed July 2007.
Nancy Lee Tegart
née Lee. Born
October 28, 1912, England. Died February 10, 2012, British Columbia. In 1927
Nancy Lee moved to British Columbia with her mother and her sisters. She
took to the rugged life on a ranch and began a life long love of horses. In
Edgewater British Columbia she became a rebellious tomboy. A cousin funded
her to attend Agricultural College at the University of British Columbia.
Returning home she worked on various ranches and particularly liked working
with horses. In 1936 her mother sold the family B Arrow Ranch and Nancy
headed to Vancouver working at whatever job she could find. Late in 1942 she
enlisted in the Women’s Division of the Royal Canadian Air Force. She
trained in Toronto but declined officer training preferring to drive trucks.
By December that year she was posted to Canadian Bomber Group no. 6,
Yorkshire, England. After the war she took time to visit France before
sailing home to British Columbia. She married Lloyd Tegart in May 1958 and
with the aid of the Veterans Land Act they purchased Hidden Valley Ranch
outside of Invermere, British Columbia. Lloyd died in 1967 and while she
ranched on her own for a few years she before she sold her land and worked
for other ranchers doing whatever job need doing. She planted Christmas
trees and she even bred horses. In 1975 she set up an animal ‘baby sitting’
business. Everywhere she lived she became involved in community life through
groups such as the Ladies Auxiliary or the Saddle Club. At 88 she wrote
short stories about the horses she had known. In 2004 she published her
autobiography with the help of her friend Susan Wass. She had also been
active in the East Kootenay Agricultural Society and was pleased when this
group established the Nancy Lee Tegart Award for youth who were considering
a life in agriculture. Nancy had her photo taken on her 90th
birthday riding a horse and she drove her own truck until she was 92.
Elinor Florence, Nancy Lee Tegart. Eleanor Florence blog (Accessed
July 2015); Ian Cobb, ‘Nancy Lee Tegart was a true British Columbia
Pioneer’, e-Know.ca 2010. (Accessed July 2015)
Ile à la Crosse, Manitoba. Died 1957, Manitoba. In 1864 she married George
(Geordie) Thomas (1840-1927) at Brochet, Manitoba. The couple lived off the
land and she trapped muskrats to sell for provisions up to 1952! She was
also known for her Maple syrup. She sewed long leather Métis coats with
intricate beadwork and fringes to sell at the Hudson Bay Company store. In
her later years she lived with her daughter.
Adelaide Morin-Thomas. Métis Resource Centre of Manitoba. Online.
(Accessed April 2013)
Born January 4, 1872 Saint-Joseph-d’Alma, Quebec. Died Victoria, British
Columbia April 22, 1949. She moved with her family as a teen to Cohoes, New
York, U.S.A. December 11, 1893 she married a miner from the Canadian Yukon
Pierre-Nolasque Tremblay. He would take his bride across country to access
trails to the north. In 1894 she was the 1st white woman to climb
the famous and traitorous Chilkoot trail. She learned to cook on the trail
and also learned English to converse with the miners they met. The couple
lived in a small log cabin and opened their doors that first Christmas with
Emilie cooing a full course Christmas meal for one and all. During a trip
home to New Your, gold was discovered in the Klondike and the northern live
changed with a flood of hopeful fortune seekers. The Tremblay’s returned
home to the north laden with supplies to sell to the miners at Bonanza Creek
located close to the new Dawson City. In 1906 the couple travelled to Europe
in style and visited relatives in Quebec on the way home. The couple adopted
one of Emilie’s nieces to return home with them. In the family settled in
Dawson City where Emilie opened a dry goods business known simply as Mrs.
Tremblay’s Store. Emilie was active in charity work with her church. She
knit 263 pairs of socks for soldiers in World War l. She founded the Society
of the Ladies of the Golden North in 1922 and in 1927 she was president of
the Yukon Order of Pioneers. In 1937 she received the King George IV Medal.
In 1940, now a widow she married Louis Langois and once again, of their own
choice, the couple lived in a small northern cabin. In 1946 she attended the
annual Convention of Alaska and Yukon Pioneers in San Francisco. The
following year the aging couple sought comfort living in Victoria, British
Pioneers every one by E. Blanche Norcross (Burns and MacEachern Ltd,
1979) : Emilie Tremblay. The great names of the French Canadian
Community Online (Accessed November 2012)
née Lewis. Born 1871, Toronto, Ontario. Died 1905, Brooks, Alberta. Leaving
Toronto as a youth, Mildred headed for the Canadian West and settled in
Calgary. Alberta. Here Mildred met a former American slave who had moved to
Alberta after the American Civil War and had prospered as a rancher. Mildred
married John Ware (1854-1905) at the First Baptist Church in Calgary on
March 2, 1892 and the couple settled on the Ware ranch. In 1902 the family,
now including 6 children, moved to Red Deer Alberta building a ranch house
near what would become known as Wear Creek. They were flooded out in their
first year and John rebuild a home on higher ground. Mildred did all the
bookkeeping for their cattle business and also home schooled the children
for their primary education. The children would move to Blairmore to live
with their grandmother to attend school.
Source: Slavery in Canada. Online
WWW.canadachannel.ca/slavery/index (accessed February 2015)
Catherine Kate Weldon
Pioneer telegraph operator
née Liggett. Born
February 4, 1850 Ireland.
Died 1903. She and her brother sailed to settle in the U.S.A in 1871. It was
there that she met and married another Irish immigrant, George Weldon in
1876. Emigrating to Hamilton, Ontario George was approached by the
representative of the Canadian Pacific Telegraph line who enticed the couple
to build establish and maintain a telegraph station in the Canadian
northwest site of Humboldt. Kate was an expert telegraph operator and soon
taught George. On August 25, 1878 Kate sent the first commercial telegraph
message from the earthen floor, rough wood station they had built. Known for
being a good hostess her hospitality even welcomed the Marquis of Lorne,
Governor General, on his visit in 1881. In 1882, despite the attempt to
receive instructions of help for their sick child over the telegraph, the
Weldon daughter died. In 1883 the Weldon’s left for Grenfell where George
worked as a CPR agent and Kate would give birth to their son.
Source: Saskatoon Women’s Calendar Collective. Herstory 2007: the Canadian
Women’s Calendar (Regina: Couteau Books, 2006) pg. 6..
Captive of the Aboriginals
Born September 17, 1694 Deerfield, Massachusetts U.S.A. Died November 26, 1785. She was also known by the names Marie, Maria, Margueritte,
Marguarett, Gannenstenhawt (meaning she who brings in the corn), Ouangote, Aongote
(meaning they took her and placed her as a member of the tribe). Eunice was captured
by Indians in her home in Deerfield, in the colony of Massachusetts in 1703 or 1704. She was taken with
100 other prisoners to Canada. Her father spent many years trying to trade or
exchange his daughter and bring her home. The tribe she lived with became very
fond of the child and she learned their ways. Eventually she married a brave.
She would keep in touch with her family and often visited her brothers with her
own husband and children. Her children took their mother's name as is the native
tradition. One of her grandsons became a chief of Sault-Saint-Louis. Her descendants
may be found living in this same area today.
Julia Smith Winder
Born 1846, Quebec. Died 1926, Lennoxville, Quebec. Julia (Some sources call
her Jane) married William Winder (1844-1885) and the couple first lived in
California before returning to Quebec in 1872. The following year William
joined the new North West Mounted Police and was assigned as superintendant
to Fort Macleod in Alberta. Julia moved west with her two children and would
give birth to her third child at the fort. Life in the early north west
Canadian frontier was not easy but Julia was able to share the hardships
with other North West Mounted Police (NWMP) wives at the fort. Hardships and separation from their
husbands was a part of NWMP family fife. In 1881 William retired from the
NWMP force and with the financial aid of supporters like his brother-in Law,
Frederick Stimson, entered into pioneering cattle ranching in the area.
Julia returned to Quebec in 1884 for the birth of their forth child. After
the death of her husband 1885.
Sanderson, Kay. 200 Remarkable Women of Alberta. (s.l., s.d.) online
(Accessed September 2014)
Born 1809? Kettle Falls, Washington, U.S.A. Josette’s father, like many
early settlers of the era took an Spokane Indian woman as his wife. When she
was in her mid-teens she married in the traditional manner to as Hudson Bay
Company employee, John Work. The couple would have 10 children. Josette
traveled with her husband throughout the Washington area and into British
Columbia. Some of her children were born during their travels in the
wilderness. In 1836 she joined her husband to settle in Fort Simpson,
British Colombia. The children were educated at home and in 1849 they
relocated to Victoria, British Columbia to afford better education for the
family. On November 6, 1849 she and her husband formalized their wedding in
an Anglican Church ceremony. Josette became the wife on one of the most
prominent land owners in Victoria. Her home was well known for its
hospitality. Josette would out live her husband by 35 years becoming the
matriarch of a large clan. Upon her death the British Columbia gave special
tribute to her for her ‘usefulness in pioneer work and many good deeds”.
Born 1852. Died 1945. Libbie moved to Alberta with her
family in 1863. She returned to Ontario to attend the
Wesleyan Female College in Hamilton. By 1870 she was
back in Alberta at the family Wesleyan/Methodist Mission
at Morley. In 1873 she married Harrison Stevens Young,
an employee of the Hudson Bay Company (HBC). The young
couple settled at the HBC post at Lesser Slave Lake.
Libbie spoke fluent Cree and was readily accepted by the
aboriginal community at the HBC outpost. During the
Northwest Rebellions the family lived at Lac La Biche
where they were forced into hiding in the woods to
ensure their safety. The couple had nine children, 6 of
whom lived to adulthood. Between 1887 through 1909 the
family lived in Edmonton where Libby was known as the
last chatelaine of Fort Edmonton.
Source: 200 Remarkable Alberta Women.
Online (Accessed October, 2014)