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The McGillivray Brothers & the War of 1812

The McGillivray Brothers & the War of 1812

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Two Metis brothers who fought in the War of 1812 defending Canada.

Two Metis brothers who fought in the War of 1812 defending Canada.

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Lawrence J. Barkwell on Feb 13, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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09/17/2013

 
The McGillivray Brothers & the War of 1812
Joseph McGillivray
(1791-1832)Joseph was born March 1, 1791 at Ile à La Crosse,
 
the Metis son of NWC partner William McGillivray and his wife Susan, a Metisse.
Lieutenant Joseph McGillivray, whosemother resided at Fort William, was on active duty with the Corps
of Canadian Voyagers (hisfather held the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel). October 23, 1812, saw a 31-man detachmentof the Canadian Voyageurs encamped at the Akwesasne village of St. Regis along theLower Canada (Quebec) and New York borders. The Akwesasne, like the other Iroquois peoples, had remained neutral until then, and it fell to 43-year-old Lieutenant PierreRottote to determine where their allegiances lay. Serving alongside him was JosephMcGillivray, the 22-year-old son of corps Commandant William McGillivray.Joseph’s father was a North West Company partner, Joseph was chief trader for theHBC at Norway House. Joseph married Fanny Francoise Roy (Boucher)
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, also Metis.Simon McGillivray listed below is his twin brother.
Simon McGillivray
(1791-1840)Simon was born on March 1, 1791, at Ile à La Crosse,
 
the son of WilliamMcGillivray and Susan (a Metisse). Simon married Therese Roy
2
 circa 1816 at Isle-a-la-Crosse. They had eleven children. Theresa was the daughter of “Freeman
Vincent Roy:one-time interpreter in the North West Company’s Fond du Lac Department.
3
A contemporary describes Simon:Mr. McGillivray is a half breed, and the most accomplished & intelligent of any thatI have met. His travels in Europe, and European fashions are ill assorted, I mean therelation of the first, and display of the latter, with the squaw wife and savage inmatesthat surround him. His wife tho’ a native is a half breed, upon recollection.
4
Simon was named after his uncle, Simon McGillivray. He was the first born andoldest of the twins. He was the twin brother of Joseph; they were born at Ile a la Crosse atthe North West Company post in the Churchill River basin, where their father wasstationed. He was baptized at Christ Church (later Cathedral) in Montreal. The churchregister records:
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In Simon McGillivray's Will of 1840, she is called “Mrs. Francoise Boucher Widow of the late Jos.Macgillivray Esq.”
2
Therese Roy was born circa 1800 in Minnesota and died November 1869, at Ottertail. She was thedaughter of Vincent Roy and Josephte “Ogiwens.”
3
A Listing of the North West Company Staff at its Posts, 1805, With Notations of Financial Standing andother Remarks, Masson Collection, MG 19-C1, Volume 55, Page 13, LAC.Delafield, Major Joseph.
The Unfortified Boundary: A Diary of the First Survey of the Canadian Boundary Line From St. Regis to the Lake of the Woods
. Edited by Robert McElroy and Thomas Riggs. New York: Robert L. Cheney, 1943: 423; R. Harvey Fleming, ed., Minutes of Council NorthernDepartment of Rupert Land, 1821-1831, Toronto: 1940: 71.
4
Delafield,
Unfortified Boundary
, 432 (entry of 5 August 1823).
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