Janet (Jean) Polson-3510, widow of Hugh Matheson, emigrated from Kildonan, Sutherlandshire, in 1815. She was 60 years of age and headed a party of three: herself, her daughter Helen, and John Matheson (son of Alexander Matheson of Coirag and his first wife). Also on board the Hadlow were two sons and another daughter: Alexander with his wife and family; Angus and his wife; Catherine with her husband Alexander Polson and their children. (1) Another son, John, had been in the 1813 group. An older daughter, Janet, immigrated in 1823.
In documents and letters written at the time, Janet-3510 is referred to as Widow Matheson, and further identified as being from Aultbreakachy. Although the family lived at Caen at one time, they seem to be associated more with Aultbreakachy.
The Red River census of 1830 gives the information that Janet was residing in the household of her son-in-law John McBeath. She died at Red River in 1837 and was buried in St. John’s Churchyard.
Janet Matheson-3511: Janet was the eldest daughter of Janet-3510, and the wife of Robert Sutherland of Caen. She came to Red River in 1823, a widow, with her son John. She died in 1865.
Alexander Matheson-3151: The 1815 list of passengers denotes him as a shoemaker and sergeant of the passengers. He was accompanied by his wife, Ann Matheson of Gartymore, and four children: Hugh, Angus, Catherine, and John. Another daughter, Janet, was born in 1817 as the settlers were returning to Red River from Jack River, where they had wintered after the forced exit from the colony in 1816. Alexander was granted lot #15 by Lord Selkirk in 1817.
Angus Matheson-2931: Angus had served with the British Army, attaining the rank of Corporal. He married Christian Matheson of Badenloch just prior to sailing with the 1815 settlers. He is noted on the ship’s list as aged 30, occupation taylor [sic], and steward of the Provisions and Stores. He was granted Lot #13 by Lord Selkirk in 1817. Angus and Christian had 12 children.
Catherine Matheson-3512: Catherine came to the settlement with her husband Alexander Polson of Torrish and their children: Hugh, Ann, John, and Donald. They had four more children at Red River.
John Matheson-3513: John sailed with the 1813 group. He spent the winter of 1813/14 at Churchill Creek Camp, the settlers having been disembarked at Churchill Fort instead of York Factory due to an outbreak of typhoid on the ship. He was with the group which trekked on snowshoes to York Factory in the spring and reached Red River in June 1814. He married Barbara Sutherland of Kenacoil, daughter of James Sutherland-307. In June 1815, John and Barbara left for Upper Canada.
Helen Matheson-1573: Helen married John McBeath, eldest son of Alexander McBeath of Liribul. John had come to Rupert’s Land in 1813 as an employee of the HBC, and did not arrive at Red River until 1816. He and Helen were married about 1817 and had nine children.
?Jane Matheson-18406: Jane (referred to in some records as Jean or Janet) was possibly a daughter of Hugh and Janet Matheson. She was the second wife of Alexander Matheson of Coirag, with whom she had three children. The marriage registration shows that she was from Aultbreakachy and it is known that Janet Matheson-3511 was the sister-in-law of Alexander Matheson of Coirag. However, Alexander’s first wife was also a Matheson.
(1) LAC Selkirk Papers, vol. 5, pp.1659-1661, List of passengers landed at York Fort 26th August 1815; also see HBCA C.1/345, passenger list of the Hadlow, outward bound, 1815