Alexander Rose of Nairn, Scotland, his wife Lilly/Lilias, and their six children sailed on the Eddystone from Orkney to York Factory in 1820. The children were all born in Nairn and their births appear in the Old Parish Registers: Hugh (1803), Margaret (1805), Colin (1810), Isabella (1812), Alexander (1814), and Charles (1817). They reached the settlement in the fall of that year.
An 1822-1823 plan of Red River lots drawn up by William Kempt, surveyor, shows Alexander Rose on lot #103 on the west bank of the Red River. This lot was situated between lots occupied by Alexander Matheson and James Fraser.
Both Rose daughters married men at the settlement. In 1825, Margaret married David Esson, an HBC man from Stromness, Orkney. They had seven children baptized at Red River between 1826 and 1839: Sally Campbell, Sally, Isabella, Margaret, an unnamed female child, Colin, and Joanna. The repetition of the name Sally may indicate that the first child died in infancy. In 1830 Alexander’s younger daughter, Isabella, married Hugh Livingstone who had come to the settlement in 1819. Hugh and Isabella had three children at Red River: Ann, Duncan, and Lily.
By the mid 1830s, dissatisfaction with life at Red River led about one hundred settlers to look to Iowa and Illinois, USA, for more favourable conditions. In 1835, the first small group to leave for Iowa included Hugh Livingstone, his wife Isabella, and their three children. The Livingstone family stopped in Dubuque, Iowa, where their fourth child was born. They left Dubuque and made their home in Delaware County, Iowa. They had five more children born in Iowa. The 1835 party was followed by two more groups in 1837 and 1838. Alexander Rose, his wife Lilias and their unmarried son Hugh were in one of these groups. They also settled in Delaware County, Iowa. The last of the Rose family to make the trek south was Margaret. She and her husband, David Esson, and their children left Red River with a group in 1840 and made their new home in Dubuque County, Iowa. Three more children were born there.