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Isabella Jessie Anna Norquay

Isabella Jessie Anna Norquay

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Isabella, the Metis daughter of Premier John Norquay, worked as assistant Provincial librarian.
Isabella, the Metis daughter of Premier John Norquay, worked as assistant Provincial librarian.

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Published by: Lawrence J. Barkwell on Oct 28, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Isabella Jessie Anna Norquay
Isabella was born on June 11, 1865, the daughter of John Norquay
(1841-1889) andElizabeth Setter 
(1842-1933). In 1878, Isabella’s father became the first Metis Premier of Manitoba. John Norquay served in the government until 1889 and for twelve of thoseyears he was Premier. Norquay first represented High Bluff in the Legislative Assemblyof Manitoba, 1870-74, then he represented St. Andrews south and lived in that district.He was re-elected in the elections of 1878, 1879, 1883 and 1886.Elizabeth Setter Norquay
and daughters, Caroline Ellen (McAllister) and Isabella Jessie Anne and grandson John Norquay McAllister.
Isabelle was educated at the St. Andrew’s parish school, Old St. Mary’s Academy, andSt. John’s Ladies College. She moved to Winnipeg with her family in 1885, living in ahome on Hallet Street near the Red River. In 1900, she was appointed AssistantProvincial Librarian, under J. P. Robertson, in the Manitoba Legislative Library. Shecollected photographs of every member of the provincial legislature since 1870, exceptfor two, and had them framed for display in the Legislative Building. She died atWinnipeg on 19 June 1915 and was buried in St. John’s Cathedral Cemetery.Scrip affidavit for Norquay, Elizabeth; born: February 2, 1842; husband: John Norquay; father: George Setter Jr. (Métis); mother: Isabella Kennedy (Métis);claim no: 2129; scrip no: 11002; date of issue: Oct. 2, 1876; amount: $160.
John was the second son of John and Isabella Norquay. His parents died when he was very young and hewas adopted by his grandfather, James Spence. Norquay died unexpectedly on 5 July 1889. At the time of his death he was the only MLA who had continuously held a seat in the Legislative Assembly since itsinception.
Elizabeth’s father, George Setter, was born in 1815 at Fort Ellice, the son of Margaret Spence (Metis) andAndrew Setter (Orkneyman). Elizabeth’s mother, Isabella Kennedy (Metis), was the daughter of MaryAggathus Bear (Metis) and Alexander Kennedy (Orkneyman).

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