GEORGE MUNROE (308)

George Munroe was born in Alness, County of Ross and Cromarty, Scotland, in 1795. On January 4, 1821, George married Ann Matheson-309, daughter of Alexander and Ann Matheson of Coirag. The marriage registration gives his residence as Blarich [Bl’airich], Parish of Rogart. The couple apparently made their home in Coirag, as this is the residence given in the Old Parish Registers for the births of their three children – Robert, Alexander, and Ann.  In 1830, the family left Scotland for the Selkirk Settlement. The couple had four more children at Red River – James, Frances, Marion, and John. In 1851, with the arrival of a Presbyterian minister to the settlement, George was chosen by ballot as one of the six elders for the new Kildonan Church. George died on 6 March 1864, and Ann on 14 October 1865. They are both buried in Kildonan Presbyterian churchyard, Winnipeg.

George was a weaver by trade, and according to family history he learned this skill in Paisley, the Scottish textile centre, and was brought out to Red River to teach his skills. In the early 1820s, the Buffalo Wool Company was set up at the settlement in the hopes of establishing a viable commercial enterprise. This failed, as the buffalo wool was unsuitable for weaving and also would not take the dyes. The settlers, undaunted, in 1829 formed the Assiniboine Wool Company, using the wool of sheep, and George Munroe’s expertise was sought. Unfortunately this enterprise was also unsuccessful due to the small number of sheep in the colony. In 1833, a sizeable flock was brought from the United States, but by that time the Assiniboine Wool Company had failed. However, the colony did finally acquire the beginning of a larger flock of sheep and also gained a valuable settler.

The Munroe family originally farmed on the west side of the Red River. George’s son Robert moved to the east side of the river to farm and his family was well-respected in that area. Robert’s son Donald was the first Reeve or Mayor of East Kildonan.

Skills

Posted on

March 4, 2015

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Skills

Posted on

March 4, 2015