SCOTLAND: Argyll Isle of Islay Immigrants to Ontario

Individual and family records will be on the Ontario and Scotland pages. This is just a brief summary to identify those who left Scotland for Canada, and where they settled in the Province of Ontario, grouping county locations from East to West, then South. Some Township names have changed by today, but listed under the one used during the settler’s lifetime.


To VICTORIA COUNTY (Central Ontario)

Eldon Township:

Archibald Gillespie (1826-1889), wife Anna Harvey  IR by 1851

Agnes Buchanan, wife of Arch’d Gillespie d 1879. Buried Old Stone Church Cemetery, Beaverton

Christiana Gillespie , d/o Fonald, 1819 -1853 & Alexander McMillan 1817-1891 – Beaverton Old Stone Church Cemetery

Donald Gillespie (1793-?) & Isabella to Brock Twp

Dugald Gillespie (1781-1835) and Mary McEachern IR by 1833

Dugald Gillespie & Sarah Baxter IR 1828-32 from North Carolina with his brother, John Gillespie.

John Gillespie (1774-1872)  IR by 1832

John Gillespie & Ann McDougall

Robert Gillespie (1820-?) & Bell from Kilchoman

To ONTARIO COUNTY (Central Region)

Brock Township 

Christina Gillespie & Alexander McMillan

Donald Gillespie (1783-) & Isabella McVicar

Dr Donald Gillespie & Isabella Couthard

Squire Malcolm Gillespie to Cannington via Milton

Thorah Township

Angus Gillespie (1831-1906) & Margaret McArthur

Archibald Gillespie  (1805-) & Agnes Buchanan 1833 They moved to Gunton, Manitoba. Visited by Squire Malcolm Gillespie of Cannington in 1881. His diary record of the trip on file.

Donald Gillespie ( 1810-1877) & Margaret

Duncan Gillespie & Margaret Campbell


Flora Gillespie, wife of Donald, D 1873, age 73.  Buried in Melville Cemetery, Caledon.


Malcolm Gillespie of Cannington’s first wife died and is buried in Milton.  Mary Miller, wife of Malcolm Gillespie d Feb 15, 1847. Buried Moore’s Cemetery, Malton   Daughter Catherine d July 18, 1844 at 10 months.   The couple where from Islay. He later married again and had three sons who became doctors, with Paul dying in South Africa.

To SIMCOE COUNTY (Western area)

Nottawasaga Twp – Collingwood area

Donald Gillespie-(d 1883) & Mary McNeil,  Children: Alexander, Herman, Mary immigrated by 1837 on Con 11, Lot 30.  Son Herman died in Michigan, USA. Family buried Collingwood Presbyterian Cemetery.

John Gillespie & Mary Currie – at least 2 children

Catherine McAlister, nee Gillespie, d 1910, wife of Peter, Simcoe Co.


Angus Gillespie (1787-1860) & Ann McMillan – 12 children. This family was listed at Consiby, Islay

Oro Twp (near Barrie)

Archibald Gillespie ( 1790-1857) & Janet McDermid – 6 children

Malcolm Gillespie & Sarah

Margaret Gillespie d 1888, age 58. Buried Knox Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Oro Twp.

Town of Staynor

Margaret Gillespie (died 1888)

Sunnidale Township

Alexander Gillespie (1790 – 1883) & Janet Jamieson on Con 10, Lot 12 with 10 children of which four were born in Octovulin, Isle of Islay.


City of Owen Sound

 Margaret Gillespie 1812 – 1901 & spouse Archibald BROWN and children. Buried Greenwood Cemetery.

Proton Township

Alexander Gillespie 1851 – 1913 (wife Janet Young) from Islay with parents.

John Gillespie ( -1884)

Mary (McKenzie) Gillespie died 1885

John Jardine (mother Mary Gillespie 1834-1922) eldest son of Andrew.

To KENT COUNTY (Southern Region)

Howard Twp

John Gillespie (-1885) Presbyterian farmer

(Many more early Gillespies living in Kent County were from Islay)


Total Records:  33

NOTE:  Watch for males with first names starting with the letter D, such as Dougald, Donald (but not David). No other location of origin except  Islay has been found for these early Gillespie men.

Record Sources:  tombstone photos;  Vital statistic records, County histories. Personal contacts.