Family History Alexander Gillespie & Grizel Paterson

A brief summary of a family well researched by others.

ALEXANDER GILLESPIE, SR of Minholm, Douglas, Lanarkshire, Scotland

about 1729-July 24, 1797

m Grizel Paterson in Lanarkshire, between 12 to 14 children, a merchant family. Considerable wealth as the boys did well in their careers and influenced the society of their day.

Some of their Children:

  • Thomas Gillespie b 1764 at Wiston, Lanarkshire, Scotland. Married 1851 Grizzel Greenshields. Thomas died in Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies April 29, 1799, age 34 years.  A merchant.


  • Mary Gillespie b Dec 22, 1765


  • James Gillespie b July 5, 1767. d March 17, 1840 m Mary Paterson. (family history well researched by others) Photo available from another researcher. 10 children including Alexander 1799-1884 . Alexander was a widower by 1881, age 82 living in Surrey, England.  Estate record found for evaluation of his assets at death.
  • John Gillespie, 1769-1817 3rd son married Catherine Hope, Residences Bedinglea, Robertson & Wiston and Sunnyside. Immigrated to Quebec, Milton, Sheffield County. Son Charles b 1803; son Robert b 1805. He married Lydia Paterson. Moved to Abbotsford, St Hycinth, Quebec.
  • George Gillespie 1772-1842 married Helen Hamilton. 14 children. Immigrated 1780 to Montreal, Quebec, Canada. In charge of  North West Company at St Joseph’s.  He was involved with the company Gillespie, Moffat and Co. Returned to Scotland 1812 to settle at Biggar Park, Lanarkshire.  Links to descendants in Hamilton, Ontario. Mentioned in The Dictionary of Canadian Biography by W Stewart Wallace, as is his brother, Robert. His will available.


  • Sir Robert Gillespie 1785-1863, merchant, Immigrated about 1800 to Montreal, Quebec, Canada, which was his base of residence. Involved in fur trade. Married Anna Agnes Kerr 1815 at Niagara Falls, Ontario (their prenup found); In Canadian Militia . To England 1822. Children of 1st marriage: Robert 1818-1901; Alexander 1823-52; Thomas Clark d 1891; Elizabeth; Mary Ann; Ellen; Catherine; Anne Agnes. His wife died. Robert remarried, Caroline Arnoldi (baptism for 7 children, marriage record and militia records) He retired to Scotland near Biggar until his death around 1841-1842.


  • Alexander Gillespie b Feb 25, 1799. Died June 4, 1846. Married.  Jane Menzies. Resided at Sunnyridge Lodge near Lanark, Scotland. Died in Edinburgh suddenly Jan 15, 1846 in his 64th year. His will found. 13 children. One daughter married a Canadian cousin, George Hamilton Gillespie, a commission agent. See Hamilton, Ontario records for more details of their family and others.


Other records found:

  • Alexander Gillespie 1819-1865 (‘son of Alexander of Sunnyside’), merchant in Canada


  • Grace P Gillespie married 1856 Thomas Bell


  • Jane Gillespie married 1859 John Johnstone


  • Jean Gillespie married 1871 Jas Leadbetter

Note:  Main researchers of this family line are Jonathan Edwards and Don Hutton of New Zealand. Their detailed records in the Library Archives.   Includes photos of Scotland home, cemetery of burials, and church memorial stain glass windows, and family photos.