The Baillies (Part II)

Although most of the Baillies emigrated between 1814 and 1832, there was one exception in the late 1700’s.  A John Baillie of Sutherland, likely a soldier in the American Wars, settled on the Pictou – Antigonish border in a place known to this day as Baillie’s Brook.  Patterson in his history of Pictou County mentions that he was from Sutherlandshire but little else is known about him.

Much has been written about the Highland Clearances and, in recent years, more has been learned about the Sutherland clearances.  This was a social-economic experiment in converting from a cattle based economy to a sheep and wool industry.   The principal landowner of the day, the Countess of Sutherland, was counselled to clear out her small tenantry and create vast sheep farms.  There were many practical aspects to such a policy.  There would only be a handful of tenants to administer, the labour would be a fraction of what was required for cattle and the returns would be many times greater.

The disposition of the people was the main problem.  However the Estate made plans to relocate the small tenants and lotters to the coast where they would be employed in either the fishery, the local coal mine, the salt pans or, later, a distillery.  This did not go over well with the tenants.  They had been cattlemen for generations and had no love of either sea or coal pits.  Those with money made plans to emigrate to Nova Scotia.  Those without means rebelled.

The politics and atrocities are beyond the scope of this post.  In summary, a few leaders managed to extend their leases for a brief period, some were forcibly evicted,  the minister sided with the landlord, the military was brought in to finish the evictions, etc..   The end result was that a vast swath of the Parish of Clyne, including Kilbraur, was cleared of all its people and their homes were destroyed.

The next known Baillies to arrive in Pictou was an early player in this mass eviction.   Robert Baillie and his wife Marion (Margaret) were living near Kilbraur on lands that were part of the Carroll Estate.  The Gordon family had owned the Estate for several generations however the last resident owner, John Gordon, died in 1807 leaving his family with massive debts.  To clear the debt, his son and executor, Joseph Gordon sold the estate to the Countess on the condition that the tenants would not be evicted.  That promise was empty and the Sutherland estate began clearing Carroll in 1813.  (Joseph Gordon, greatly vexed by the broken promise, would become instrumental in relocating the evictees to Nova Scotia).

Robert Baillie, in a family of seven, arrived in Pictou in 1814 along with five other families from the same neighbourhood.  Their land petition, unique in its narrative, explains that the memorialists emigrated from the county of Sutherland in North Britain this month and had done so in consequence of their having been turned out of their possessions to make way for sheep dealers and were thus looking for asylum in Nova Scotia. They had certificates of character from their parish minister, “and have nothing to recommend them further but to assure your Excellency that they were faithful subjects at home to his Majesty and will now so continue.’

The group were awarded a generous 1400 acre swath of forest extending from Saltsprings to Lovat in Pictou County. This began the allure of a new life in a distant colony where one could own one’s farm and, for a pittance of taxes, be free of landlord whims forever.


Part I

Baillie does not immediately come to mind when thinking of Highlanders who settled the forests of Northern Nova Scotia, yet they are a family at the root of many genealogies of the people of Earltown and West Branch.    Although the name appears among the clans of Scotland, family would be a more apt description in Nova Scotia as they all seem to share a common ancestor not too many generations before emigration and most came from a very defined locale in the Parish of Clyne, Eastern Sutherland.

There is a consensus among scholars that the family evolved from the Baliol bloodline, a noble family that entered the British Isles in the time of William the Conqueror. From there, they migrated north into the Lowlands.  Among their ilk was King John Baliol, a successful competitor to the Scottish throne with the backing of King Edward I of England.  King John abdicated the throne after losing to the English in 1296. His extended family, wisely, fell into line behind the successors to Robert the Bruce.  It was during this era that the family changed the name to Baillie to distance themselves from the unpopular King John.

The new name and new alliances quickly brought titles, lands and recognition to the clan.  The main line became associated with Lamington, a parish in Lanarkshire.  Sir William Baillie 2nd of Lamington married Isabel Seton, a lady with ancestry in many of the powerful families of Scotland as well as being a great granddaughter of the Sinclair Earl of Orkney and thus carrying the royal blood of Norway.  Of this union came Lady Margaret Baillie, wife of the 7th Earl of Sutherland.

There is no hard evidence of the birth of Lady Margaret but it is known that she died in late 1509 or early 1510 aged approximately 95 years.  Her husband, John, was bestowed the Earldom in 1442.  All subsequent Earls or Countesses descended from this union.  She was noted as being a woman of considerable beauty.

It has long been told that the Baillies became a fixture of the Sutherland landscape with the marriage of Lady Margaret to the heir apparent of the Sutherland title.  In those dangerous times, when marriage was often a means of a strategic political alliance, one might assume that Sir William Baillie sent an entourage of dependable cousins to ensure the safety and proper treatment of his young daughter.


Lives of the Baillies by James William Baillie of Culter-Allers has one sentence about the settlement of Baillies in Sutherland:  Certain persons from Lamington of the name of Baillie went to Sutherlandshire with Margaret Baillie,Countess of Sutherland, who have ever since been officers of the Sutherland family.. (1)

Another reference to the family dates to 1589 when Angus Baillie of Uppat effected the rescue of the Earl’s forces from a battle of vengeance with the Caithness men.

The family was planted in the Parish of Clyne, an area that was held directly by the House of Sutherland and not by intermediary gentry.  The designated area appears to be have been at the upper end of Loch Brora in the vicinity of Kilbraur and extending down the south bank of the Loch.   A brook or burn that enters the Brora near Kilbraur was commonly known as Baillie’s Burn although it is on the ordinance survey maps as Scottarie Burn.


The area to right of the right of River Brora, where it enters the Loch, is the homeland of many Baillie families as well as others who settled around Earltown, Nova Scotia.

It is in this township that we find most of the Baillie families that migrated to Pictou during the Sutherland clearances.  While there were a couple of families with homes a few miles upstream, most were small tenants in Kilbraur or on the nearby hill of Scottarie.

Few stories of their life in Strathbrora survive in Nova Scotia, the narrative being lost along with the Gaelic language.  We do know that they were small farmers.  Some held their holding direct from the Sutherland Estate.  Others were subtenants.  The tenants seemed to have some modest means with a cash income from selling cattle to the south.  The subtenants were of very limited means.   The structure of their farming was much different from Nova Scotia.  They had strips of arable land in the river valleys and then shared common pasturage in the hills.  Instead of isolated farmsteads, the homes were clustered in townships with the fields scattered nearby.

Education was limited.  A few were able to attend a nearby parish school when it operated. Some learned to read while working for periods in the south.  Many never learned to write.  Many of the original land papers in Nova Scotia are executed with their “x” in lieu of a signature.

What they lacked in reading and writing skills was compensated by a profound ability to remember and reason through anything they had heard.  This was particularly true with respect to scripture and religious dialogue.  Scripture could be quoted at length and sermons heard in distant parishes were recited back to those unable to travel.  In many instances these men were far more familiar with the Bible than the local minister and, in the case of Clyne, more inclined to follow its teachings.  There were two Baillies who were remembered for generations in Clyne due to their grasp of religious doctrine,  Angus Baillie and George Baillie. (2)

(1)  Baillie, James William  Lives of the Baillies, Edmunston and Douglas, Edinburgh, 1872

(2)  Munro, Rev. Donald, “Records of Grace in Sutherland”, Free Church of Scotland 1953 (A biographical collection compiled by Rev. Munro of Rogart in the mid 1800’s)

Earltown Heritage Sunday Update

Thanks to all who braved the heat and humidity to attend our function in the Church Cemetery this afternoon.  In addition to the locals, we had people from New Brunswick, (and formerly Quebec), Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia and New England.

We raised approximately $400 to go towards the maintenance of the cemetery.


Gunn Cemetery Update

Good news!

A group of volunteers met in Earltown on June 24th to put in motion the Gunn Cemetery Association.  The cemetery has been kept in excellent shape by a number of interested individuals  over the past few decades.  However there has never been a board, bank account or resources to maintain stones and secure the site.

Last year’s tour raised over $600 towards starting a fund.  We will soon have a formal account and be in the position to accept donations.   Donations will be used to repair the oldest stone, improve signage and install an information box where there will be a guest book and information on the cemetery.   We are also obtaining a deed to the land so that it will properly registered.  The day may come were we should be paying for the upkeep of the grounds and repairs to the access.

Donations for the upkeep of the cemetery are gratefully accepted but we do not have charitable status so CRA tax receiptscannot be issued.
Cheques can be made out to the Gunn Cemetery and mailed to:
        Gunn Cemetery
        c/o Joyce Ferguson
        7787 Hwy 311, The Falls
        RR #5 Tatamagouche, NS
        B0K 1V0
For security reasons please do not leave cash or cheques in the mailbox
For information  on the history of the cemetery contact:  Glen Matheson 902-957-0532




Earltown Heritage Sunday: In the Shadow of the Church

Earltown was a remarkable community in the 1800’s.  Its hills and valleys were thickly populated with over 1,000 highlanders and it also served as a trading center for nearby communities in Pictou and North Colchester thus extending its influence  over 2,000 souls.

And souls were of great import to these emigrants who arrived with little more than an axe and a bible.  They belonged exclusively to the Church of Scotland, (later evolving into the Free Church of Scotland), and worshipped in their native Gaelic tongue.  The clergy, elders and catechists commanded great respect and exerted considerable influence over all aspects of life in the area, whether it be religion, education, justice or social welfare.

In due course a church was erected in the geographic centre of the district. Like in their home parishes of Eastern Sutherland, a cemetery was established in near proximity.  A second church was erected in the late 1860’s to accommodate the growing congregation.  Like in many rural communities, the congregation dwindled and the building had to be removed in recent years.


This is the 8th in a series of annual presentations by Glen Matheson, local historian, on the social history of Earltown.  In addition to an overview of the history the Knox Presbyterian Church, there will be the customary tour of the adjacent cemetery with stories of the early settlers who chose to be buried in the shadow of the church.

The presentation will be Sunday July 29th at 3PM at the Earltown Church Cemetery,  Highway 326, two kilometers north of Earltown Village.   Scots will be pleased that there is no admission however donations towards the upkeep of the cemetery would be appreciated.

Earltown Church Cemetery

Colchester Heritage Award


Margaret Mulrooney, curator at the Colchester Historeum, presents an award to Glen Matheson, in appreciation for his work in researching, preserving the history of the Earltown area. He maintains an Earltown heritage blog. – Lynn Curwin

It was an honor to have been selected for this award.  When I started out on this journey in the 1970’s,  G.R. Sutherland’s “Rise and Decline of the Community of Earltown” (1) had yet to be written.  “The Historical and Genealogical Record of Colchester County” (2), aka The Miller Book was silent on the area.  The “History of Tatamagouche” (3) provided a footnote.  Isreal Longworth, in 1866, did provide a brief narrative in his “History of Colchester County” (4).   I was convinced that there must have been a richer history awaiting discovery.

I had the good fortune of being raised on a multi-generational farm and met many of my grandparents’ generation who would visit our home at Balfron.  The topic of conversation would often venture into family history and stories of people in the surrounding communities.  Three of my grandparents were descendants of the people who settled at Earltown and the sister communities of West Branch and Scotsburn.  The remaining grandparent was the descendant of the Montbeliard and Lowland settlers of Tatamagouche and New Annan.

My early research took me into the homes of the elderly of Earltown, The Falls, Balfron and Tatamagouche Mountain.  These people either remembered the child settlers or the first generation to be born in those hills.  Some thought genealogy was a waste of time as everyone in those parts were related.  That turned out to be nearly true so the question became not  to whom were we related but how were we related.  A couple of trips to Sutherlandshire brought a new dimension to the story and things evolved from there.

Two mentors come to mind.   Gladys Sutherland MacDonald had a treasure of information gathered over her lifetime which she shared without hesitation.   Margie MacKenzie Wilson offered great encouragement and freely gave me most of her intellectual property.  I also have to mention my great aunt, Reta Murray MacRae.  She had scrapbooks of old newspaper obituaries which I would pour over in the dim light of her kerosene lamp.

A book has always been a goal but finding time to work on one has been a challenge.  Consequently this blog was formed to share some of these stories and findings in case the book never happens.  Unfortunately the frequency of posts has not been to my satisfaction.  We do what we can.

In addition to connecting with some fine people of the Earltown diaspora throughout the continent, the blog has opened a few doors with historians in Scotland who are studying emigration from Sutherlandshire as well as matters of faith and gender.  This led to frequent correspondence with Professor James Hunter while he was writing “Set Adrift Upon the World – The Sutherland Clearances”,  during which we were able to connect the dramatic events in the clearance of Clyne with the settlement of The Falls and West Earltown.  Prof. Elizabeth Ritchie of the University of the Highlands and Islands in Dornoch has been a tremendous help in understanding the lifestyle and faith of our people at the time they emigrated.  I also have to mention Dr. Malcolm Bangor-Jones of Lochinver, long time correspondent, who saves me from myself when writing about things that I don’t fully understand.

It is my understanding that some regular followers of this blog submitted nominations.  Thank you !

The accompanying article has a couple of facts slightly off, (my fault), but otherwise correct.   Here is the link to the  Truro Daily News article.

(1) Sutherland, G.R., The Rise and Decline of the Community of Earltown, Colchester Historical Society, Truro, NS 1980
(2) Miller, Thomas, The Historical and Genealogical Record of Colchester County, A.W. McKinley, Halifax, NS 1873
(3) Patterson, Frank, History of Tatamagouche, Royal Print and Litho Co., Halifax, NS 1917
(4) Longworth, I., History of Colchester County, circa 1886

Earltown Farm Forum

Murray Baillie, formerly of Tatamagouche Mountain, has generously agreed to share his memories of the Earltown Farm Forum.  His article perfectly captures a time when rural communities made a concerted effort to expand their knowledge in a social setting – long before Facebook.   

I was the teacher in Earltown School in the village of Earltown, Nova Scotia from September, 1961 to June, 1962. I was all of 20 years old when I began teaching Grades Primary to 6 at the beginning  of the academic year.

At the beginning of the year, I was invited to attend the weekly  meetings of the Farm Forum held on Monday nights. Before going to Earltown, I had never heard of the National Farm Radio Forum. National Farm Radio Forum was sponsored by the Canadian Broadcasting Co-operation, the Canadian Federation Agriculture and the Canadian Association for Adult Education and founded in 1941.  The program was a one-half hour radio broadcast followed by discussion.

Other things, sometimes gossip, were discussed besides the topic of the evening. I remember that the subject of seat belts came up before the days when the law made them mandatory for use in cars and trucks when driving. Allister Murray had doubts about their usefulness.

There was a discussion on encouraging young people to farm. This was probably on February 5, 1962 when the topic was “Technical and Vocational Training for Young People”. Lawrence Sutherland said that there should be a compulsory agriculture course in high school. Of all the students in the North Colchester High School in Tatamagouche, very few, if any, became farmers. When I was a student there, we did not see that as a productive future.

Mary Murray, a high school teacher, said once that we can’t educate the masses. I disagreed because I thought we should consider the intellectually disabled, then called retarded. I heard later that Mary enjoyed our arguments and told a relative of mine, Jennie Mingo, that she would like to adopt me.

On one evening, James M. Minifie, was quoted on the radio. Mary said, “That sounds like Mr. Minifie”. I said, “It is.” I was used to hearing his commentaries on the CBC radio program, “Capital Report”. I was at ease with this group and did not mind expressing my opinion.

Howard Murray, a land surveyor, complained about government regulations making life difficult. Everyone agreed.  And this was in the early sixties when life was much less regulated than it is today.

The meetings rotated among different homes.  Every meeting had a published National Farm Radio Guide covering the topic for that week. There was information on the topic of the evening with discussion questions at the end. I was elected secretary so I submitted (i.e., mailed) a report for each session and discussion to Betty Campbell, the Farm Forum Provincial Secretary for Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, in Truro. I don’t remember how this was done other than but I must have summarized the discussion on the questions asked on the back page of each Guide. I talked to Mrs. Campbell by phone on May 26, 2017 and asked her about this. She said that it was a long time ago and she did not remember how the reports were submitted nor whether they were preserved.

It is interesting that there were Farm Forum groups all over the province (79) and eight in New Brunswick. In the 1961-1962 Annual Report on Farm Forums, Earltown is listed along with my name and address as secretary.

What is interesting to me is that there were Farm Forums in Balfron, Tatamagouche Mountain and Four Mile in North Colchester. Although Tatamagouche Mountain was my home, I never heard about these Farm Forum meetings as I was growing up.

 Some people in the Department of Agriculture really promoted Farm Forum. Robert Murray, an Agricultural Representative (Ag Rep) attended many of the meetings in Cumberland County.

I still own two Guides from that period:

  1. Marketing by Teletype. Volume 19, No. 8, February 12, 1962. 8 pp.

The questions for discussion were:

  • What do you think about the use of the teletype system for marketing hogs?
  • Do you feel that the price of your commodity could be improved if all buyers had to bid competitively on all supplies of the commodity available for sale? Do they bid on all supplies now? Do you think the teletype marketing system could be applied to your commodity?
  • Do you feel that a national marketing system should be organized using teletype? Give reasons.
  1. Transportation and the Farmer. Volume 19, No. 9, February 19, 1962. 12 pp. Basically, this was a discussion on the recommendations of the Royal Commission on Transportation (MacPherson Report) which reported in 1961.

The questions for discussion on this topic were:

  • Have you used your railway recently?

–for livestock?

–for passenger service?

–for the movement of grain?

  • What problems do you have with freight rates?
  • How will the recommendations affect you and your community if they are approved by the government?

As I remember, those who attended the Earltown Farm Forum in addition to myself were Rod and Barbara Murray, Allister Murray, Howard and Mary Murray, Lawrence and Helen Sutherland, John R.E. and Marion MacKay. As of 2017, I am the only member still living.

Only Rod, Barbara and Allister Murray were farmers. Every meeting closed with a delicious lunch.  Lunches were a rural custom that I enjoyed even though they did not help my weight problem.

Howard Murray commented that the Forum was a good way to keep social contact with neighbours at a time when community visiting was declining.

The National Farm Radio Forum broadcasts came to an end in 1965. For myself, I am happy that I had this social and educational experience since many hours were spent in the school and at home working on my teaching duties. I grew up on a farm so that may have helped me contribute. I am grateful to the people of Earltown for their contribution to my life; this was one of those ways.

Appendix A

Topics List – 1961 – 1962

The subjects for each broadcast were listed by date.

Appendix B

Annual Report : Farm Radio Forum

Nova Scotia; New Brunswick


The cover has the signature of Betty Campbell, Secretary.

Appendix C

Acknowledgement of Sources

  • Telephone Interviews with Betty Campbell (May 7, 2017), Dale Ells (May 7, 2014, May 26, 2017 and June 1, 2017) and Robert Murray (May 26, 2017).
  • Ells’ book: Shaped Through Service; An Illustrated History of the Nova Scotia Agricultural College. Truro, Agrarian Development Services Ltd., 1999. Pages 103-104.
  • Agricola collection (i.e. Archives) of the MacRae Library, Nova Scotia Agricultural College, Bible Hill, N. S.


The Grahams of North Earltown

In 1820 a substantial group left Strathbrora, Clyne, for Nova Scotia.  Many of the group, upon arrival in Pictou, were dispatched to Earltown with tickets of location. Among that group were John Graham, his wife Catherine Sutherland and young sons, William, James, John and George.  George was an infant and was born on the Atlantic Ocean as the ship approached Nova Scotia.  Also on board was John’s sister Catherine who was the widowed wife of Strathbrora miller, George Ferguson, and her six young children.

John was granted land stretching between the present Matheson Corner Road and the Church Road. It was a mix of side hills and a swampy basin which is the source of the Matheson Brook.  We are not sure which of the three subsequent Graham farms that John personally inhabited.  In addition to the main grant, additional surrounding land was acquired from grantees who didn’t improve their lots.

The three eldest sons all lived in what was known, unofficially, as Graham Settlement with all three homesteads accessed by a now unrecognizable trail known as “Toad Road”.  William’s homestead can be found in the brush beside the Corner Road, a patch of Tiger Lillies marking the perimeter of the old house.


Lloyd Graham of North Carolina on foundation of the house of his Great Great Grandparents, William Graham and Hannah Sutherland,  Matheson Corner Road.

 James lived on an adjoining clearing south of William while John had an upland farm on the opposite hill near MacKenzie Cemetery.   The fourth son, George, lived on the county line near West Branch, a fifth son Robert died young and the only known daughter, Catherine, married James Graham of Earltown Village.

William was married to Hannah Sutherland who came to Nova Scotia from Strathbrora in 1820 and settled with her family at Upper Barney’s River.  In the early 1830’s she came to Earltown as the bride of Hugh Sutherland “Nickie”.  They settled in a cabin beside the Waugh River on Campbell Road. Three days later Hugh drowned in the stream while fishing.  After an appropriate time, Hannah married William Graham.

James married Mary MacDonald.  She was one of the “Soldier” MacDonalds that settled on the Berrichan Road. There are many descendant of this couple in Earltown and surrounding communities, mostly under the name Sutherland.

John married Isabel Murray.  She was a native of Rogart.  Her parents moved from Rogart to Kildonan just in time for the clearances of 1813.  The family found sanctuary in Strath Halladale. Several of her siblings drifted into Earltown between 1819 and 1840.  Her parents settled late in life on Spiddle Hill.  John’s descendants are mostly found in Alberta and British Columbia.

Catherine married James Graham, son of another John Graham. His family came to Earltown in 1819 and settled behind the present stores in the village.  Catherine and James had three children before her early death.  James remarried to Dorothy Gunn and settled at Plainfield.  Of Catherine’s three children, only Mary returned to live at Earltown.

John and Catherine Graham are buried in the historic MacKenzie Cemetery alongside James Sutherland who believe to be Catherine’s father.


Lloyd Graham, North Carolina, beside the stone of Catherine Sutherland Graham and the stone of James Sutherland

2017 Heritage Talk – Gunn Cemetery

“We buried him darkly in the dead of night”

So goes a line of a poem penned by a local blacksmith commemorating the burial of a local farmer late at night in Gunn’s Cemetery, East Earltown.  The poem, a parody of “The Burial of Sir John Moore”,  that described this bizarre but pragmatic internment, was a dark secret in Earltown for a half century and only mentioned in privacy and confidence.  It was peppered with the nicknames of the local Scots, many considered offensive by the bearer, and dredged up some petty feuds.

This and other stories will be highlighted in our annual heritage talk at the historic cemetery.  Learn why the area was unofficially known as Spain and New Portugal, follow the adventurers of a one armed settler who fought in the Battle of New Orleans, and visit the grave of a lady widely believed to be the daughter of the Earl of Caithness. Many in this cemetery were removed from their Highland homes in the large scale Sutherland clearances.

The event will be taking place on Sunday, July 23rd at 3PM.  The cemetery is located on the Squire William MacKay Road, 2 kilometers from Highway 256.  Squire William MacKay Road is approximately 1 kilometer east of MacBain’s Corner heading towards Scotsburn.  If not familiar with area, you may check in at Sugar Moon Farm,  ( before 2:30 and someone will be there to direct or escort you to the cemetery.

There is no admission charge.  Donations towards cemetery maintenance greatly appreciated.

Map – Squire William MacKay Rd

Vimy Ridge – April 17, 1917


Canadian Attack under heavy shelling at Vimy Ridge, France


2017 marks two defining moments in the history of Canada.  It is the 150th anniversary of Canada’s birth as a self governing nation.  It also marks the 100th anniversary of a famous World War I battle in which Canada fought as a unified force on the world stage.

The German forces occupied a 7 kilometer ridge that gave them a distinct advantage over the combined allied forces.  In the weeks and months leading up to April 9th, France had over 100,000 casualties while trying to capture the ridge.   Meanwhile Canadian forces were going through detailed training exercises and preparing the field for battle.  Prior to this, Canada’s regiments were assigned to various allied forces.  This was the first time they  were under common command.

At 5:30 AM, under protective fire from British and Canadian artillery, 15,000 Canadian troops charged overtaking Germans in the front line trenches. They continued up the ridge and, in small and isolated groups, captured machine gun nests along the ridge and eventually captured the main hill.  The fighting would continue through to April 12th and resulted in a victory which marked a turning point in the fortunes of the Allied Forces.

It might be described as a bittersweet victory.  With 3,598 deaths and over 7,000 wounded, it was a costly victory for a young nation of only 7 million people. Although greatly reduced in numbers, Canadians went on the participate in other battles during 1917.

Few communities in Canada were untouched by grief.   To date, three men from North Colchester and part of the Earltown Gaeldacth  were known to have perished on this battlefield.

Archie John MacKay was born at The Falls in 1885.  He was a son of  William G.A. MacKay “Achany”  and Martha Hayman, merchants at the cross roads.   He was one of seven children.  His brother Roach lived in Springhill, a brother Bill, (Alberta Bill MacKay), lived in Waldegrave, and the remainder in Fairview, Alberta.  Archie died in the April 9th assault.

Donald Ferguson was born ca. 1879 at Ferguson Crossing, Waugh River.  His parents were Robert Ferguson and Maria MacKay.  His father was born and brought up near Knox Church in Earltown.  His mother’s father, of the Caribou MacKays,  came from the Berrichan.  Donald died in combat on April 10th.

Arthur MacKay Ross was born at Waldegrave, a son of Duncan Ross and Johanna MacKay.  The Ross family were originally from Gulf Shore, Cumberland County, and Mrs. Ross was a descendant of the both the Tailor and Black MacKays.  Arthur died in the April 9th assault.  Prior to going overseas, he was married to Nettie Hynds and left a young son Arthur.  Arthur’s brother,  William G. Ross, later of Glenholme, served in both World War I and World War II.

There may be others from the area of which we are not aware but would be most grateful to learn about their service.


Vimy Memorial at Vimy Ridge, a site given to Canada by France to

commemorate the battle.



World War I Casualties – Wikipedia

Wilson, Margaret,   The Descendants of Catherine Ferguson, unpublished

Files of Janet Ruby MacKay  “Tailor”