Family History John Gillespie, Bruce Co, Ontario


Possible son of James Gillespie & Isabella (from Scottish naming pattern). Another researcher says wife was Janet Rae

From Scotland to Bruce County, Ontario,  CANADA

  • Born: 1797 Fort George, SCOTLAND, where his father was a soldier. Near Inverness.
  • Immigrated to Canada 1843, leaving May 4th on ship Jean Duffries (from history written by a close family member). He would be about 46 yrs.
  • May have lived at first in Dalhousie, Lanark County before moving to Western Ontario.
  • Died in Culross:   Feb 6, 1867
  • Buried Teeswater Cemetery, Bruce Co, Ontario CANADA
  • Became a farmer in Canada Con 3, Lot 13 Teeswater, listed in 1890. He lost his wife, then a son, a daughter and a granddaughter before he died.

Married Agnes Gibson July 16, 1819 in Glasgow.  She was born 1794. Died in Glasgow, Scotland Feb 19, 1835. Buried in Scotland.

Their Children: (6 sons, 1 daughter) Family did not live in the Village of Teeswater, but on farms in outlying areas. Two boys moved to Western Canada after their father died; two sons moved elsewhere in Ontario, and another son moved to the States.

  1. James Gillespie  – b 1819 Scotland. Died 1895 in Cromarty. Farmed Cromarty Con 11, Lot 18 in 1890 (probably the name of the father of John Gillespie Sr, because of the Scottish naming pattern). As the oldest son, he remained close to home all his life. He married Agnes McKellar. Son John.
  2. Robert Gibson Gillespie b 1821 Scotland. Died 1909 in Creeford, Manitoba, where he and his family had moved to settle near Douglas in 1879. Married Katherine McLean. Four sons, four daughters, all born in Ontario: Jack; Hughie; George; Robert; Mary; Agnes: Bella; Katie (not in birth order).
  3. John Gillespie Jr- b 1823 Glasgow, Scotland. Died Oct 10, 1889, aged 66 yrs.  Married Jean Hamilton (1827-1928) in 1855.  Moved to Wingham Twp, Huron Co near Whitchurch.  Both buried Wingham Cemetery). He died before his father. Children John, Charles mentioned on Tombstone.  Photos. Archive family history.
  4. Hugh Gillespie, 1825 Scotland-May 17, 1908 aged 82 in Hamilton, Ontario where he had moved. Married Martha McAllister. She died Jan 13, 1912, aged 74. Their children: Agnes Gibson died April 8,  1888 aged 23 yrs; Annie died Nov 24, 1896 aged 19 yrs;  John W died Feb 4, 1899 aged 33; Isabella Murray (Moffat) died March 28, 1898 aged 34 yrs. All their children died before the parents.
  5. Isabella Murray Gillespie, born June 6, 1827. Died in Culross Nov 23, 1863 age 36. Buried Teeswater Cemetery, Culross Twp, Bruce Co, Ontario.
  6. William Gillespie – b 1829. Died 1910. Farmed in Teeswater Con 3, Lot 12, 200 acres 1880 and still there in 1890. Married Flora McAuley Jan 2, 1862. Moved to Saltoun, Saskatchewan. Children: Agnes Isabella b 1862 Culross. Died there July 30, 1884, aged 22 yrs.
  7. George Gillespie b March 16, 1832 Glasgow, Scotland. Died in Denver, Colorado Oct 27, 1914, Farmed on Con 3, Lot 13 in Teeswater in 1890. Never married. His mother died when he was barely 3 years old.

Source of Records

  • Tombstone records for family members
  • Vital Statistics for many of these people: births, marriages, deaths.
  • Bruce Co Historical Atlas
  • 1890 Farmers Directory of Bruce County
  • Bruce County; Huron Co, Wentworth Co Cemetery Records.
  • Census Records beginning with 1861 listing John Gillespie, widower with four children from Scotland in Culross Twp.
  • County of Bruce 1867 Directory (earliest one available) Note: Teeswater is a flourishing village situated in Township of Culross. Distance from Walkerton, the county seat about 19 miles, from Kincardine 24 miles. Population about  400 in 1867. No Gillespie listed in Teeswater. Gillespies in CulrossTwp included William on Con 3, Lot 12 and John on Concessions 2 & 3, Lots 13 & 13. An unnamed Gillespie on Con 12, Lot 26. No Gibsons. Robert Gillespie  in Twp of Kinloss.
  • Published family history stories.
  • Note: considerably more family history is archived with newspaper accounts of the family.
  • Researchers: Mr & Mrs John Muirhead of Medicine Hat, Alberta provided the first detailed history of this family.  Summary published in Gillespie newsletter March 2001 with photos.
  • Bruce Leeming, (linked to John Gillespie Jr) provided an extended history published in  March 2011 Gillespie Newsletter. Extensive research archived.
  • Note: My work is a brief overview from records on file. Contact the authors for more information about this family history.