Alexander McBeath was born in Scotland ca 1760. He served in the 73rd regiment of the British Army and was wounded in 1780 at the battle of Pollilur during the Second Mysore War. He was an out-pensioner of Chelsea Hospital. Alexander married Christian Gun(n) of Dallagan on 12 Feb. 1791. He was described as a tenant in Liribul. The Scottish Old Parish Registers contain birth records for nine children: John, Grizzel, Margaret, Girzzel [sic], Mary, Roderick, Robert, Adam and Morrison. (1) Alexander and Christian came to Red River in 1815 with eight children: Margaret, Molly (Mary), George, Christian, Roderick, Robert, Adam, and Morrison. The McBeath family fled to Jack River after Seven Oaks in 1816, and when they returned to Red River in 1817, Alexander McBeath was granted lot #3 (Fidler’s survey) by Lord Selkirk. Alexander later gave up this lot so that a church (St. John’s) and school could be built on the property. He took land further north on the Red River. He died at the settlement in 1848; his wife died in 1853. They are buried in St. John’s Churchyard.

John McBeath, Alexander’s eldest child, had come to Rupert’s Land in 1813 as a HBC servant. (2) He was assigned to various postings throughout the country, and in May 1816 he arrived at the settlement. He married Helen Matheson about 1817 and they had nine children.

Margaret McBeath married John Sutherland in December 1816 at Jack River. John Sutherland had been on the Eddystone in 1813 with Margaret’s brother John and had worked for the HBC before his marriage.  John and Margaret had twelve children and left for Scotch Grove, Iowa, in 1837.

Mary McBeath married Donald Ross, a young HBC clerk at Norway House, in 1820. Ross was appointed a Chief Trader in 1829, later Chief Factor, and for many years was in charge at Norway House. The Rosses had nine children.

George McBeath married Catherine Sutherland, daughter of John and Christy Sutherland, who had arrived at Red River in 1823. They had seven children at Red River and in 1839 they left for the Talbot Settlement in Upper Canada.

Christian/Christie McBeath married Robert McVicar, an HBC man. In 1824, he was at Norway House when Christie was visiting her sister Mary, wife of Donald Ross.  A marriage was agreed upon, and they then left for Athabasca. In 1827 they were officially married by Captain John Franklin at Fort Chipewyan. That same year, McVicar was transferred to the Montreal Department. He left the service of the HBC in 1830 and spent the remainder of his life in Canada West. He and Christie had four children.

Roderick McBeath married Mary Livingstone, daughter of Donald and Ann Livingstone. They had a family of ten at Red River. Roderick farmed in the settlement until his death in 1855. After his death, Mary and the children went to Iowa where her family had relocated in the late 1830s.

Robert McBeath married Mary McLean, daughter of Hector McLean (deceased 1813) and Catherine McGilvera. Robert farmed on the river lot which was designated #33 by the Dominion Land Survey. He also freighted goods from York Factory and operated a small trading store. Robert and Mary had thirteen children.

Adam McBeath went into the service of the HBC. He worked at various posts in the North West over the course of almost 60 years. He married Mary McKenzie at Fort Simpson on 25 May 1838 and had a family of nine.

Morrison McBeath married Isabella Gunn, daughter of John Gunn and Ann Sutherland. Morrison farmed at Red River, eventually taking over the lot which had belonged to his father. He and Isabella had eleven children The family moved to the Prince Albert district about 1873.



(1) HBCA C.1/345: passenger list of the Hadlow, outward bound 1815

(2) HBCA C.1/298: passenger list of the Eddystone outward bound 1813


Posted on

March 4, 2015

Submit a Comment


Posted on

March 4, 2015