John Farquharson (1) was from the Parish of Kirkmichael, Co. of Perth. He signed on with the HBC as a labourer and sailed from Stromness in 1815 on the Prince of Wales. (2) He was with the HBC only two months, as on October 14, he married Christian McKay at Jack River. He may have been one of the HBC men assigned to the boats transporting the new settlers from York Factory to Red River, or he may have been posted to Jack River and was there when the settlers arrived.
He and Christian took up land on Point Douglas but were driven out after the confrontation at Seven Oaks and the destruction of the settlement. Along with the other settlers, they fled to the north end of Lake Winnipeg, where they spent the winter of 1816-17. Their first child, a daughter, was born at Winipic Settlement, also known as Norwegian Point, in December 1816. The Farquharsons returned to Red River in the summer of 1817, and Lord Selkirk granted 100 acres of land to John, provided that he first brought his small acreage at Point Douglas under cultivation. On an 1818 list of Red River settlers, Farquharson is listed with a family of three. A second child, Robert, was baptised in 1821.
It seems that Farquharson never took up the 100 acres Lord Selkirk had allowed him. On Kempt’s 1822-1823 plan of Red River lots, Farquharson is listed on Point Douglas, but a note has been added stating that the land “is now occupied by D. Hoerner”. (3) The Red River account books say Farquharson left in 1821. It is possible the family went to Upper Canada as Christian’s mother and two brothers had gone there the previous year.
Christian McKay sailed on the Hadlow to York Factory in 1815. She was accompanied by her widowed mother (4) and three brothers, Alexander, Adam and Robert. (5) In 1820 Widow Gunn/McKay went to Upper Canada with her sons Alexander and Adam.
(1) Various spellings: Farquharson, Farquarson, Farquahson
(2) HBCA, C.1/783, passenger list of the Prince of Wales outward bound 1815
(3) Hoerner was one of the Swiss settlers who arrived in 1821.
(4) The Widow is referred to as Widow Gunn on the list of passengers landed at York and as the Widow Gun McKay on the 1818 settlers list.
(5) LAC Selkirk Papers, vol. 5, pp.1659-1661, List of passengers landed at York Fort 26th August 1815 [ship Hadlow]