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Caroline Cook McKay (b. 1827)

Caroline Cook McKay (b. 1827)

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Caroline was one of the Metis matriarchs of the Fort Walsh, Cypress Hills area.
Caroline was one of the Metis matriarchs of the Fort Walsh, Cypress Hills area.

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Published by: Lawrence J. Barkwell on Oct 19, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Caroline Cook McKay.
(b. 1827)Caroline Cook was born in 1827, the Metis daughter of Joseph Cook Sr.
and CatherineSinclair. Joseph C
was born around 1792, probably at York Factory, to a Cree womannamed
ahnawpawamakan and 
William Hemmings
(1768-1846), an Englishmanwho became an HBC Governor at Fort York. Caroline’s mother, Catherine Sinclair was born around
at York Factory. She was the daughter of 
Margaret N
ohavway and William Sinclair 
(1766-1818). Catherine's father also became an HBC Governor In 1845, at Mapleton (Selkirk), she married Edward McKay. He was born on May 11,1824, the son of John Richards McKay and Harriet Ballenden. His father John RichardsMcKay (1792-1877) was born at Albany Factory on August 10, 1792, the son of JohnMcKay Sr., a Scottish fur trader and Mary Favel a Metis. He was educated in England before joining the HBC in 1808. He worked initially at Brandon House under his father then at Pembina River, and at Qu’Appelle House where he supervised its’ reconstruction.In her scrip application Caroline says she lived four years at Kildonan, then 21 years atFort Ellice wintering on the plains and going to Manitoba in the summer. Then livedthree years at Fort Qu’Appelle then seven years at Fort Walsh, and had been at MedicineHat for three years when she made the application.Caroline and Edward McKay established a trading post and farm on Battle Creek in theCypress Hills on May 19, 1872. He was the interpreter for the adhesion to Treaty 6 atFort Walsh on July 2, 1879. The family also hunted for buffalo and traded for robes withthe Peigan, Nez Percé, and Crow in the Sweet Grass Hills and with the Cree, Assiniboineand Metis at Cypress Hills. When the North West Mounted Police arrived they becamecontractors for buffalo meat and small traders with the newly established Fort Walsh.Edward was also the mail carrier from Fort Walsh to Fort Benton. Two of their daughtersmarried NWMP officers: Jemima married John Henry Bray, and Emma married Peter O’Hare. Their daughter Maria (b. 1855) married Metis entrepreneur James FrancisSanderson (b. 1848) in 1872. That year the McKay clan settled in the Cypress Hills butthey continued their buffalo hunting, and with them Sanderson travelled the western prairies, learning much from his father-in-law as they went. The family ranch had horsesand cows and grew potatoes and barley.In 1875 a North-West Mounted Police detachment under Inspector James Morrow Walshestablished a post, Fort Walsh (Sask.), near the McKay’s family headquarters. Sandersonserved the police as scout, meat and hay procurer, and interpreter, being able tospeak French and Cree. In 1877, he brought in a small herd of cattle from Montana. Theywere essential to his meat-supply contract with the police since the buffalo were rapidlydisappearing. Edward McKay died on November 29, 1884 at Medicine Hat
Joseph Cook was well educated, he was fluent in English as well as Cree and Ojibwe. He was recruited asa school-teacher by Reverend Cockran and in 1832 was Cockran’s interpreter when he was trying to enticethe Peguis band to take up farming. Joseph Cook opened a school in 1834, with 32 children attending, atSugar Point (Mapleton-Selkirk)
Alexander 1847-1902. Alexander married Virginia Larocque they had 8 children.He passed away on 1902 in Medicine Hat.
Eliza, 1847 She passed away in Humbolt, Saskatchewan
Colin 1851-1884. Colin married Philomene Birston and had 2 children. He passedaway on 1 March 1884 in Medicine Hat, Alberta.
Samuel 1852-1932. Samuel born at Headingly, married Madeleine Birston andhad 11 children. Samuel married Catherine Laframboise and had a child. He wasemployed with the HBC at Qu’Appelle then worked on the plains as a freighter.He passed away on 1932 in Wild Horse Creek.
Maria 1855-1952. Maria married James Francis Sanderson and had 4 children.She passed away on 25 Aug 1952 in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada.
Jemima 1858-1926. Jemima married John Henry Bray and had 11 children. She passed away on 1926 in Medicine Hat.
Rachel, 1859-1940. Rachel was born at Qu’Appelle, she married Jules Quesnelleand had 4 children. She passed away on 19 Oct 1940 in Piapot, Saskatchewan,Canada.
Clara, 1861-1880. She passed away in 1880 in Ft Walsh.
Emma, 1863-1865. Emma married Peter O’Hare and had 3 children. She passedaway on 10 Aug 1945 in Maple Creek, Saskatchewan,
Edwin, 1865-1865. He died as an infant.
William Edward, 1866-1938. William Edward was born at Pembina, he marriedJustine Christina Boudreau and had a child. William Edward married EliseLaframboise. William Edward married Justine Cayan Boudreau and had a child.He passed away on 17 Apr 1938 in Kamloops.
Arthur, 1869-1890. Arthur was born at Qu’Appelle. He passed away on June 1,1890 in Medicine Hat.Scrip Records:McKay, Caroline - Concerning her claim as a head of family - Address, Medicine Hat -Born, 1827 at Winnipeg - Father, Joseph Cook, (Métis) - Mother, Catherine Sinclair,(Métis) - Married, 1845 at Mapleton Parish, Manitoba to Edward McKay - Childrenliving, eight (names on declaration) - Children deceased, four - Scrip for $160 - Claim360.McKay, Arthur; address: Medicine Hat; born: September, 1869 at Qu'Appelle; father:Edward McKay (Métis); mother: Caroline Cook (Métis); scrip for $240.00; claim no. 38.McKay, Rachel; address: Maple Creek; born: Dec., 1859 at Qu'Appelle; father: EdwardMcKay (Métis); mother: Caroline Cook (Métis); married: 1877 at Fort Walsh to JulesQuesnelle; children living: Edwin and William; children deceased: 1 unnamed andJosephine; scrip for $240.00; claim no. 36.2

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