Now back to Oak Lake where Dan and Bob homesteaded. Dan got his wife and older children out from Ontario. His wife was Isabella Robb. A sister to Edward Robb, Christina’s husband. Dan’s children were Jessie, Margaret, Catherine, Edward and Christina. Catherine married Robert Scott. Still defendants [sp.] of the Scotts at Oak Lake and Virden. Edward did not marry so no more McBeth names from that line. Dan’s wife died when there was young children. Then the mother Catherine and the younger brother William came out from Ontario to live with Dan. Dan become to be a well to do farmer and accumulated more land as time went on. Dan appeared to be a sort of an opportunist. Dan and brother Bob were very involved with the Church. Dan was by himself supporting a missionary in Africa and when Dan died one quarter of land was willed to the church.
The younger brother William died in Manitoba a young man. Robert “Bob” married Ellen Frame in Manitoba. Their children were William, Thomas, James, Howard, George, and Robert. Robert died at ten years old. Bob’s wife Ellen died when some of the children were small. William “Bill” worked some for the Grand Trunk Railway at Wainwright Alberta. Tom took a homestead at Rosetown Saskatchewan. Bill was at Rosetown for a bit, but there was a problem there, no water. They moved to Edgerton Alberta, not far from Wainwright and got land on the Battle River. There they were joined by brothers Jim and George. Jim and George joined the army W.W.1., and seen action in France. Despite the very strict upbringing in the McBeth -Southerland Presbyterian Church, in Alberta George McBeth was a dashing figure. He dressed well and danced well, and socialized well and drove fast horses. He went to all the country dances.
Then Tom and George bought C.P.R. land at Edgerton just in time for the depression to start, having only made a down payment. Tom and George gave that up and moved to B.C., homesteading land west of Dawson Creek. Howard never did farm. Worked for a Biscuit Company in Regina. Later on lived at Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver.
Margaret McBeth married Thomas Bailey in Ontario. They and children Christina, Jennie, and Russell moved to Manitoba and got land at Oak Lake near the McBeths. Another daughter Margaret was added to the family in Manitoba. A number of Baileys still at Oak Lake and Virden, descendants of Russell Bailey.
Jane McBeth married James Slimmon in Ontario, James Slimmon died, then Jane with boys Glad and Edward moved to Oak Lake. Jane then married Albert Hood of Oak Lake. They had one daughter, Alberta “Erta”.
After the railroad got to Calgary, Catherine McBeth “the daughter” went there to visit her sister Christina Robb. As there is always a shortage of women on the frontier, she lost no time in getting a husband. She married Duncan McArther. The McArthers had a ranch in the Cypress hills. Their children were Norman, Jessie, and Gordon. Norman was killed in W.W.1. Jessie married Talbot Hollies. Gordon lived most of his life in Edmonton. He was married and had three daughters. One girl Margaret was a noted singer. Margaret McArther sang on the radio station CFRN Edmonton in the 1930's. She was called “The Girl of the Golden West”.
Christina and Edward Robb had three children. William “Morris” born in Ontario. Isabel, married Gobel, a sheriff in Montana. Robb’s other son was killed in a car accident a young man. Morris was a veteran of the Boer War in Africa. On the way back from the Boer war he stopped in Manitoba and visited all the relations. He said he was going to Grande Prairie to get this script land given to the Boer War veterans. There was a number of these Boer War veterans went to Grande Prairie, no doubt some of Morris’s pals. Morris got three quarters of land just south of La Glace in the Grande Prairie area. Christina and Edward Robb separated. She moved to Great Falls Montana and started a boarding house. Morris had a stroke in the 1920s and he was confined to a wheel chair. He then moved to Great Falls and lived with his mother. Morris was gone from the Peace River Country before Tom and George McBeth moved to Dawson Creek. Morris Robb appeared to have been well known. Tom and George met a number of people that knew him. Morris hauled the mail from Edson with horses some and done some auctioneering. Also worked on railroad grade construction.
Now this is where the search for the McBeths began. In the 1980's some of us with the McBeth family name began to do a genealogy or a research on the McBeths. [deleted] ... before John and Catharine, our knowledge of the McBeths in Ontario was very dark. There was very little brought down through the family . All we knew was that the McBeths came to Canada from Scotland with the Selkirk Settlers to Manitoba. Then they moved from Manitoba to Ontario. Catherine’s people the Sutherlands also came with the Selkirk Settlers, then moved from Manitoba to Ontario.
One other thing brought down was Johns father died when John was a child and the mother remarried to a man by the name of Ferguson and had children from Ferguson. One of these Ferguson’s was to Manitoba and visited the McBeths when George McBeth was small. This Ferguson was an uncle to Georges father, Bob McBeth.
About fifty years ago, Howard McBeth and some of his cousins started to do a research on the McBeths. They did not really find out that much and some of it was misleading. Then we found some of the information we got was misleading. Howard and friends may have been mislead by the same information. They said John was a son of Andrew McBeth who came with the Selkirk Settlers and that John was born in the Red River Settlement in Manitoba. Ruby sent to the Manitoba archives and got a list of the one boat load of Selkirk Settlers. In Sutherland Shire Scotland these small farmers or crofters were swept off the land in the early 1800s by the land lords to make way for raising sheep. This was known as the infamous “clearances” . Tomas Douglas, the Earl of Selkirk felt bad about this situation and spent a lot of his fortune to replace these people. Thomas Douglas had shares in the Hudson Bay Company and started a colony on the Red River in what is now Manitoba. In the spring of 1813. The ship the Prince of Wales left Scotland with 96 passengers. On the list there was widow Barbara McBeth age 45, her son Charles age 16, her daughter Hanny age 23, her son Andrew McBeth age 19 and his wife Janet age 19. Also on the list was William Sutherland age 22, his wife Margaret age 15, then there was Robert Sutherland age 17 brother to William and a sister Christian age 24. Also their aunt Elizabeth Fraser age 30. There was a number of single women in their early 20s on board. Some of the men on board were fathers age 50. The rest of the men were teenagers and some 20 or 22. There was almost no men in the 25 - 30 age bracket as the Napoleonic Wars were on some men were no doubt pressed into service in the army or into the factories in England.
Then there was no families with a number of smaller children with the settlers. The ship the Prince of Wales left Stromnes in the Orkney Islands. I read in a Manitoba history that the ship made a stop at Kilchoman in the western islands of Scotland, authorities came on board and took off a young man that was supposed to go to the army. The young mans wife left the ship too. The ship was bound for York Factory on the Hudson Bay. There was a plague of scarlet fever sprang up among the passengers. The Captain of the ship panicked and dumped the passengers at Fort Churchill on the Hudson Bay, about 150 miles short of their destination at York Factory.
About 30 years ago there was a story in a magazine we still have, about these Selkirk Settlers that were dumped at Churchill. The Factor in charge of Churchill was a miserable Scotsman. He would not let the settlers stay at the Fort. He made them go up a creek about 12 miles and they made crude huts and shacks to live in and some of the people were sick and a few were dying. Then they had to go to the fort and get food that was doled out to them. The factor even took away the settlers guns so they could not shoot the Kings ptarmigan or game.
On in the winter a bunch of the young people snow shoed overland to York Factory where there was food and shelter. In the spring, the rest of the people were moved to York Factory by boat. Then they were all taken upriver to the Red River Settlement, arriving there in the spring of 1814. The Red River Settlement was badly managed. The settlers did not have enough to eat and there was a lot of trouble. There was a war going on between the Hudson Bay Company and the North West Fur Co. These settlers were sponsored by the Hudson Bay Co. but the North West Co. did not want the settlers there. The North West Co. offered the settlers transportation to the land in Upper Canada now Ontario. A hundred or more of the settlers counting women and children took the North West Co. up on their offer. Only a part of the settlers as there was other boat loads of settlers but most of the ones that came in 1813 went to Upper Canada. They were transported by canoe through the Great Lakes in the summer of 1815.
From the Manitoba archives we got a list in Miles Macdonnell’s hand writing of the ones that left and went to Upper Canada. On the list was the Mother Barbara McBeth and Charles and Andrew and wife. It did not mention the sister. Some of the other single women were not mentioned either. These girls may have got married in the Red River Settlement. Also on the list of the ones that left for Upper Canada were the Sutherlands.
Catherine (Sutherland) McBeth told some of the granddaughters that her oldest sister was born in the Red River Settlement. The list said that William and Margaret Sutherland had a daughter Christy with them. The list did not say anything about Andrew and Janet McBeth having any children with them. The list did not say anything about any babies. Only children a year old or more. We got other information that Andrew and Janet McBeth did have a baby with them when they left the Red River Settlement.
We are unable to find out anything about these Selkirk Settlers in Wellington County. There don’t seem to be any information about these people. [deleted] [ed:He took a ] look in the Glen Allen Cemetery to see if there is any McBeth graves there. [deleted] had a look. There was one solitary McBeth grave. A child of John and Catherine named William. [deleted] took a picture of the grave and a picture or two of the surrounding country side. But this is puzzling . John and Catherine had a son William who died a young man in Manitoba. Ruby figured it out. The child buried at Glen Allen was John and Catharines first child, born December 1850. The child died at age 4. Then John and Catherine named the youngest son William.
The rest of the McBeths are still not accounted for. There was a lady living in Moorefield Ont., close to Glen Allen. A McBeth relation from the Bailey Clan. Ruby Noecher is her name, a very old lady in her late 80s. [deleted] got this lady’s phone number and phoned her to ask her about the McBeths. This lady’s mind was very good. But she did not know anything about the McBeths beyond John and Catherine. Not anymore than we know.
[deleted] got some information from archives in Ontario, but there seemed to be more than one John and more than one Andrew. All very confusing. We had a census of the McBeths in Peel township Wellington County 1861 and 71. It listed John and Catherine and their children. John was born in Upper Canada in 1828, not at the Red River. Then we got a piece of paper showing where Andrew McBeth got a license to marry Jane Lang in May 1839. Then there was another piece of paper showing that John McBeth got Crown land in Peel Township Wellington County. So I told [deleted], if John got crown land in Wellington County, maybe that is new lands opening up. Maybe John and Catherine moved there from someplace else. One of the older settlements. Then we started to look elsewhere. Somebody told us these Selkirk Settlers settled at West Gwillimbury Township in Simcoe County, near Bradford. There was a church and a cemetery there.
Then Ruby got a copy of Catherine McBeths death certificate. It said Catherine was born in Simcoe County. Her parents were William Sutherland and Margaret Gunn. The Gunn family were listed with the rest that came on the boat with the McBeths and the Sutherlands. There was Donald Gunn age 65, his wife Janet age 50, George Gunn age 16, Esther age 24.
Catherine age 20 died at Churchill, Christian age 10, Angus Gunn age 21 and his wife Janet.
This family was listed next to the Sutherlands so we assume Margaret Sutherland was on of that family. The Gunns were also on the list that moved to Upper Canada. Angus and Janet Gunn then had a youngster age 2. Then we got a paper from the archives and these Selkirk Settlers that came to Upper Canada were petitioning the government for land. Having left their lands on the Red River due to a bad situation. They wanted land grants in Upper Canada. They all had their names on the petition. Most of them were illiterate and they signed with an “X”, but Andrew and Charles McBeth were educated, and they signed their own names. The paper did not say where these people were at.
We have a paper with a story about the Auld Kirk. It is a church. These people did get some kind of a land deal. In the early part of 1819, the people from the Red River, men wives and children, a total of 140 moved to what is known as the Scotch Settlement in West Gwillimbury Township. With these people was Andrew and Charles McBeth, also William and Robert Sutherland. A settler donated land for a cemetery which became the final resting place for many of the Selkirk Settlers. In 1828 a church was built. The first building. This church was known as the Auld Kirk. William Sutherland was one of the first elders. The sermons were in Gaelic.
About that time I gave Cliff and Lynn Washington at Dawson Creek a copy of a book that I had written, called Homesteading and Ranching, all about the McBeths in the Peace River Country. As we were associated with the Washingtons, they were in the book. So I gave them a copy. In the preface of the book I told of the McBeths being with the Selkirk Settlers and had settled in Simcoe County.
Cliff and Lynn came to my place. They had a whole armful of information that we needed. Lynn had been busy tracing down ancestors in Ontario. They had visited the Auld Kirk and taken pictures of it and had a list of the cemetery. There was about 20 McBeths buried at the Auld Kirk cemetery including married daughters and children that had died. Many McBeths we never knew anything about.
It was passed down that our John McBeth’s father died when John was a child, but Andrew McBeth did not die young. In 1834 Andrew had two teenage children die, a boy and a girl. Then four years later, his wife Janet died. The lady that came from Scotland with Andrew. Then Andrew married a spinster Jane Lang in 1839 and had seven children from Jane. Andrew died in 1864 at the age of 69. All the ones that came with the Selkirk Settlers had this inscription beside their name on the cemetery list. “Native of Sutherlandshire Scotland”
It is beginning to appear that Andrew is not the father of our John McBeth from Wellington County. We have some censes records of McBeths in West Gwillimbury 1861 and 71 and some of 81 and 91 and some pages from Simcoe history, also a copy of Andrew McBeths will.
Andrew did have a son John who was born in the Red River Settlement. This John McBeth lived in the Scotch Settlement on a farm beside his father Andrew and had a wife named Isabella. They had 12 children. Andrew in his will made reference to his son John of West Gwillimbury. John and Andrew’s wife Jane and George McKay were executors of the estate. The will mentioned Andrew had sold land to John McBeth of Gwillimbury. When the will was probated in 1864 John McBeth was then of Nottawasaga Township Simcoe County, so History of Simcoe states. A son of Andrew McBeth (John McBeth) moved about 1864 to Nottawasaga where he was a resident until his death on Dec 4, 1889 at an advanced age. Members of his family, on various occasions, occupied seats at the Town Council Board of Stayner. Census reports in 1871 say that John McBeth of Nottawasaga was born in the Red River in 1815. Andrew’s will made no mention of our John McBeth from Wellington County.
Many interesting things turned up in our information about the Scotch Settlement. Andrew McBeth was a very well to-do farmer for that time. He owned 6 lots of land of 100 acres each. 3 lots in Gwillimbury and 3 lots in Nottawasaga. Then he seemed to have money and had horses, cattle, pigs and sheep. Andrew appeared to be an outstanding figure in the Scotch Settlement.
The brother, Charles McBeth appears to have married Christina Gunn, a sister to William Sutherlands wife Margaret. They had at least 6 children. Charles and Christiana’s family grew up and some may have left home when the 1861 census reports were made.
Charles died in 1883 at the age of 85, Christina died in 1885 at the age of 83. “Natives of Sutherlandshire, Scotland”
Charles McBeth also had a son named John. This John McBeth married Lundia Jane McKay. They had eleven children. John and Lundia are buried in the Charles McBeth plot at the Auld Kirk Church. In the Families of Andrew and Charles and the two Johns there was more boys named Andrew and Charles and girls named Barbara and Janet. Now where does our John McBeth of Wellington County fit in? That is still a puzzle.
Ruby has information from the Mormon Church that there was a John and Barbara McBeth in Scotland. Their children were the girl Hannah, sons William, Andrew, and Charles. The father John had died. The mother, Barbara with Hannah, Andrew and Charles came to Canada with the Selkirk Settlers. But William is not listed as being with the Settlers. There is a grave at the Auld Kirk, William McBeth died Aug 3 1830 age 40, native of Sutherlandshire Scotland. Simcoe history says this William McBeth drowned in the Holland River, on the same page beside the part about John McBeth moving to Nottawasago. This William is the same age as the son of John and Barbara of Scotland. There is a possibility he may have been in the Napoleonic wars and showed up at the Scotch Settlement later on. We have no definite information that he was a brother to Andrew and Charles, but he may be related as according to Lynn Washington’s cemetery records, there were no other McBeths in that area. There is no information as to if this William McBeth was married or had family. Our John McBeth of Wellington was born in 1828, so he would be 2 years old when this William McBeth drowned. Then we got information that July 10th 1833, Christian McBeth married John Ferguson. Witnessed by Andrew McBeth and James McKay. There is no information if this woman was married before. This couple is buried at the Ald Kirk. John Ferguson 1795 - 1865 – Christina 1807 - 1884.
The names William and Christina are very prominent in the families and descendants of John and Catherine McBeth of Wellington County. Catharines father was named William too. It was a Scottish custom to name the first children after their grandparents.
We have information that John and Catharine McBeth were married in St Andrews Church, Fergus Ont., March 4 1850. It said John was of West Gwillimbury and Catherine was of Peel. There was Sutherland graves beside the McBeth grave in the Glen Allen cemetery. It appears Catharine may have had relations who moved to Peel Township Wellington County and may have been staying there. We are sure now that John was from West Gwillimbury.
William and Margaret Sutherland are not buried at the Auld Kirk Church. In the early 1800s evictions and clearances of the crofters was general through northern Scotland. The church of Scotland would not support these crofters. The church said it was Gods will that the people had to move. These people were very bitter about this. In Scotland there was a split in the Presbyterian Church. The Second Presbyterian Church or the Free Church was started in 1843. A second Presbyterian Church was built in West Gwillimbury, a mile south of the Auld Kirk Church on the next road. Most of the congregation moved to the Free Church. William and Margaret Sutherland and many others are berried in the cemetery at the Free Church. They built a new brick Auld Kirk Church in 1869, but the congregation remained small and it was closed in 1871. It was then only used occasionally and finally fell into disrepair. Fifty years ago or more, the cemetery and church were restored and it is now a historical site.
We have very little information on the Sutherlands. There was the older sister born in the Red River Settlement. There is a James Sutherland buried at Glen Allen. He was one or two years younger than Catherine. Another sister to Catherine, George McBeth thought her name was Esther, was married and living with a man by the name of John Thomas. They moved to Manitoba. These are the only Sutherlands that we know of. This John Thomas did not seem to be blessed with very much ambition. He came from the southern United States to Canada to get away from the Civil War. John Thomas died at Oak Lake.
Bill McBeth took his father Bob to the funeral. Bill tied up the horses putting halters on over the horse bridles, then took the bits out of the horses mouths. Bob visited until on into the evening. Bill went somewhere and Tom was to drive the father home. Bob was in poor shape from arthritis. Tom took the halters off the horses in the dark and they started out. Tom could not hold the horses and they ran away. The buggy upset and Tom hung onto the lines and they dragged him through the brush a ways and he finally let go. When Tom got back to his dad his dad said “did you put the bits back into the horses mouths.” “Tom said no.”
In their last years Catharine and Esther lived together in a house in Oak Lake, Manitoba, barely on speaking terms and each one did her own cooking. Catharine passed on in 1912.
The McBeths that came from Scotland had their name spelled McBeath with an ‘A” in the surname. Still pronounced McBeth as in Bread. Later on the spelling was changed to McBeth.
Some of the girls that came from Scotland were named Christian. In most cases the name was later changed to Christina.
About the only story that was brought down and came from Ontario was of Wellington County and at the John McBeth farm. The younger boy William went to bring in their Cows. There seemed to be mostly bush except for the cleared fields. In the fall everybody turned their pigs loose. The pigs would eat up all the acorns and buds and berries and so on that fell off the trees. As most of the farming was hand work and limited cultivation there was limited grain to feed the pigs. While William was looking for the cows he heard the pigs squealing and went to investigate. The pigs had a wolf up on a high stump. All the pigs in the country were there. The big old sows up next to the stump and all the pigs around in a circle with the small pigs on the outside of the bunch or circle. The wolf probably tried to get a tender young porker and the cantankerous old sows put the wolf up on a stump where he was sitting and playing. The wolf got a bit careless and let his tail drop down over the side of the stump. One old sow clomped onto the tail and pulled the wolf off the stump. That was the end of poor old Mr. Wolf. The pigs just tore him to pieces and no doubt ate him up.
At the school we attended at Arras B.C. there was a small library. There was a children’s storybook. The story was about some people who got land in the bush. The father and mother and two children. The father built a log house for them to live in. Then the father started cutting down trees. He spent days cutting down trees with an axe. He was going to turn these gloomy slopes into smiling fields. Then the children, a boy and a girl, went exploring in the woods and they saw bears. There were new people that moved into the bush close to them and so the children had friends. In the fall the father took their oxen, Buck and Sam, and a cart. He drove to the nearest town to get supplies for the coming winter. He was gone for a few days. As a youngster I found this to be a very good story.
Years later as we are working on the history of the McBeths, I realized the story was written about early life in Ontario. The trees that the father cut were Beech and Maple and so on as grow in Ontario. This is what the McBeths did when they got land in Ontario. Ontario was headily wooded and they had to cut the bush down to make fields. The Queens Bush the settlers called it where they got the land.
We obtained information and a picture of McBeth House in the Scottish Settlement. This house still stands. It was built by Andrew McBeth in 1835. Andrew bought this farm lot 6 next to his lot 7 from Captain Robinson for 100 pound Stirling in 1833. Andrew appears to have turned his lot over to his son John. According to the ages of Johns children, John must have got married about that time. Then Andrew built this new brick house on the Robinson place. Andrew’s first wife Janet would have lived in this house three years before passing on. In the front room there is a fireplace. This was originally the kitchen and the cooking was done on this fireplace.
According to Andrew’s will, Andrew bought lot 7 back from John.
Our John McBeth got title to his land in Peel Township, Wellington County. He then mortgaged it to Andrew McBeth.
Dan McBeth was supposed to have went to Dauphin Manitoba to visit his father John once. Then Bob sold his land at Oak Lake to his brother Dan. Then bought land from his brother in law Ab Hood, this land being at Dauphin. Bob went to have a look at this land at Dauphin and being it was flat country, the land was under water. Bob then went and got land near Virden Manitoba. There seemed to have been some of John’s family at Dauphin from time to time. Any contact the family may have made with John, they had been very quiet about it.
One time Tom Bailey, the son of Russell was traveling on a train in Manitoba about fifty or more years ago. There was an Indian or Half-breed fellow on the train. This fellow said his name was McBeth and that he was from Dauphin. Tom said the fellow looked like a McBeth, as he resembled Ed McBeth the son of Dan.
[Deleted] have visited Dauphin Manitoba and went through the cemetery. There did not seem to be any McBeths at Dauphin or any McBeths tombstones in the cemetery. . At the present time they have not got any more information on the cemetery or if there had been any McBeths at Dauphin.