Robert Clouston was born in Orphir, Orkney, ca 1793. In 1812, he joined the HBC and sailed on the King George to York Factory. (1) He first served as a blacksmith at YF, and then was sent inland to various posts. He was at Fort Wedderburn in the Athabasca district 1818-21, where he was promoted to clerk. He took charge of Berens House in 1821 and then was at Fort Chipewyan for seven years. In 1828 he retired from the Company and took up residence at Red River.
He was married to Nancy Sutherland, daughter of Chief Factor James Sutherland, according to the “custom of the country” ca 1826. Their first daughter, Jane, was born in 1827, probably at Fort Chipewyan. When they moved to Red River in 1828, Robert and Nancy were formally married on September 2nd by the Rev. William Cockran. Clouston received a grant of land on the west side of the Red River in the Parish of St. Andrew and became a successful farmer. The couple had six more children.
Nancy died in 1848 and Robert in 1850. They are both buried in St. John’s churchyard.
(1) HBCA C.1/424, passenger list of King George III, outward bound 1812