Margaret McInnes, widow of Hugh McLean from Cambus, Kilfinichin parish, Argyll, Scotland, sailed on the Robert Taylor from Sligo, Ireland, in June 1812 with the first party of settlers for Selkirk’s colony. (1) She was 45 years of age and was accompanied by four sons and a daughter: Hector-2526, Alexander-2527, John-2528, Hugh-2529 and Mary-2530. (2) The group also included Hector’s wife, Catherine McGilvera. (3) They arrived at the settlement in October and continued to Pembina where they spent the winter, returning to the colony in the spring. Margaret and her family held fast to the settlement during its early years. There is no record of her death.
Hector McLean (2526) married Catherine McGilvera just prior to the departure from Scotland. Hector and Catherine had one daughter, Mary, who was born at Red River in June, 1813. Two months later, Hector died in a fever epidemic. His widow married John Pritchard in 1815.
Alexander McLean (2527) was granted Lot #6 by Lord Selkirk in 1817. He married Christiana McKay at Red River in 1832. About 1837, this family left to settle in Scotch Grove, Jones County, Iowa. Alexander died in Iowa prior to 1850 as census records for Jones Co. show her married to Jacob Rearick.
John McLean (2528) was granted Lot #5 by Lord Selkirk. He married Catherine Livingstone at Red River in 1823. This family left Red River for Scotch Grove in 1838. John died prior to 1841, as Iowa records show that Catherine married David McCoy (McKay) in 1841.
Hugh McLean (2529) When the colony was attacked in June 1815 and the settlers forced to flee to Jack River House, Hugh was one of the men who stayed with John McLeod of the HBC to defend the site and tend the remaining crops. He was also marginally involved at Seven Oaks as he started out with a horse and cart transporting the cannon, although he returned without reaching the scene of the shooting. He went to Canada in 1818 to testify during the trials regarding these events. He remained in the east and took up land in South Plantagenet, Upper Canada. He married Grace Cameron and had eight children.
Mary McLean (2530) married Martin Jordan of the working party in January 1814 at Fort Daer. They would have four children. Martin left the HBC and joined the NWC after the trials in Upper Canada in 1818. He returned to Red River and took his family east with him, but Mary and her children were back in Red River by 1822, presumably after Martin’s death. She lived with her brother Alexander and then married Ewen (Hugh) Cameron, with whom she had five children. The Camerons farmed at Kildonan, and later moved to land on the Assiniboine River near Headingley.
(1) LAC, Selkirk Papers pp. 560-562, fo. 198-200, Owen Keveny’s list of settlers and servants 1812.
(2) Mary does not appear by name on Keveny’s list. She is just referred to as a sister.
(3) Catherine is also not named on the list. She is erroneously referred to as a sister.