Garthbeg Coat Of Arms

The Lost Families of Stratherrick, Strathnairn, and Dunmaglass, Inverness-shire, Scotland



William MacGillivray (1764-1825)


“William was born about 1746 in Stratherrick, Inverness-shire, Scotland, and was the son of Donald MacGillivray and Anne McTavish, sister of Simon McTavish.  He was educated at his uncles expense; and in 1784 he came to Canada, and entered the service of the Northwest Company as a clerk.  In 1785-1786, he was in the Red River Department, and in 1786-87 he was in charge of the post at Lac Des Serpents, and, with Roderick McKenzie was mainly responsible for bringing about the union of the North West Company and the Gregory, McLoed Company in 1790, and a member of the firm of McTavish, Frobisher and Co in 1793.  On the death of his uncle, Simon McTavish in 1804, he became the chief director of the North West Company.  Fort William was named for him in 1807.  He directed the policy of the North West Company in regard to the Selkirk settlement at the Red River, and in 1816 he was arrested by Lord Selkirk at Fort William and sent down to Canada for trial.  With his brother Simon, he helped to negotiate the union of the North West Company and the Hudson Bay Company in 1821, and after the union he became one of the joint board for consulting and advising on the management of the fur-trade.  He bought the estate of Peine-au-Ghael, in the Isle of Mull, Scotland, but does not to appear to have lived there.  He died at St John’s Wood, London, on October 16, 1825, at the age of 61.  He married in 1800, Madeleine (d. 1810), the daughter of Captain John McDonald of  Garth and Magdeleine Small, and the sister of John McDonald of Garth, and by her had two daughters.  By Nancy, an Indian woman, he had before this two sons, Joseph and Simon and one daughter Elizabeth, who married Jourdain of Berthier, Lower Canada.”[1] 


As a lesson in checking and rechecking the validity of your sources........

Wayne A Jones, a direct descendant of William MacGillivray sent me the following corrections to the above "exact" quotation from Wallace's book, Documents Relating to the Northwest Company.  Wayne has been researching his families history for many years, and I consider him to be an authority on the McGillivray's in the Fur Trade business in North America.

Corrections to the above are: 

1)            Williams Indian wife’s name was Susan

2)            Elizabeth’s husbands name was Daniel Jourdain

3)            Children of William McGillivray and Susan are:

+ 2   i. Simon McGillivray Jr. was born 1 MAR 1791 in Ile ŕ La Crosse, Saskatchewan, and died 14 JUN 1840 in one day's journey from Bois de la Riviere. 

+ 3   ii. Joseph McGillivray was born 1 MAR 1791 in Ile ŕ La Crosse (Saskatchewan), and died 22 APR 1832 in Montreal, Quebec.

  4   iii. Elizabeth McGillivray was born ABT. 1792, and died AFT. 1840. She married Daniel Jourdain 9 FEB 1807 in Berthierville, Berthier, Quebec, son of Daniel Jourdain and Marie Francoise Grenon. He was born DEC 1775 in Berthier, Quebec. 

  5   iv. Peter McGillivray.  


Children of William McGillivray and Magdalen McDonald are:

  6   i. Magdalen McGillivray was born 1 DEC 1801 in Montreal, and died 7 DEC 1801 in Montreal.

  7   ii. Mary McGillivray was born 1 MAY 1803 in Montreal, and died 1803 in Montreal.

+ 8   iii. Anna Maria McGillivray was born 19 MAY 1805 in Montreal, and died 1856.

  9   iv. Helen Elizabeth McGillivray was born 1806, and died 1806.

+ 10   v. Magdalen Julia McGillivray was born 17 MAR 1808 in Montreal.

  11   vi. William McGillivray was born 2 AUG 1809 in Montreal, and died 6 MAR 1810 in Montreal.

[1] Documents relating to the Northwest Company. W. S. Wallace, the Champlain Society