my personal space on the web

McArthur Family

Islay, Scotland

This branch of my maternal line originated in Islay, Scotland. The earliest McArthur I am aware of was Peter McArthur.

I’ve recently uncovered some information that lends credence to the possibility that Peter’s parents were John McArthur and Catherine Gilchrist. John and Catherine were married 17 July 1805 at Kilarrow, Islay, Argyllshire, Scotland. The difficulty is in determining whether one of their children, Peter, is actually my gg-grandfather since there are records for several Peter McArthurs.

If you click this link [TBA: this article is not yet finished], you will be presented with a chart showing how Peter and I are connected (warning: some dates are approximate as I have yet to locate a number of original documents).

The IGI provides the following marriage record, which may pertain to my great-great-grandfather, Peter McArthur:


Spouse: Mary BANATYNE Marriage: 29 Jan 1839 Location: Killarrow, Argyll, Scotland


Whatever the case, I do know that Peter and his family settled in Oro Township, Simcoe County, Ontario, Canada (date unknown, but possibly in the 1850s), and it is at Oro Station in this township that my great-grandfather, Samuel McArthur, was born. Both Peter and Mary died in 1899 in Oro Township.

Samuel married Sarah Jane Douglas (b. 8 May 1863 in Holland Landing, Ontario) 29 Mar 1882 in Oro Township.

Quite a few decades ago when we lived in Orillia, Ontario, we used to stop by “Archie and Pearl’s” in the village of Guthrie and I now believe that Archie McArthur was a cousin of my grandfather’s. Sadly, I remember very little of those visits, except the sound of a ticking clock. As a restless youngster, the time between ticks of the second hand seemed to be forever!


About 1899, Samuel and his family moved to Pasqua in the North-West Territories (now Saskatchewan), a short distance from the town of Moose Jaw. I’ve heard in the last few years that Samuel may have moved out of Oro Township after a jealous competitor poisoned all of his horses.

Here are a number of details related to Sam’s land grant:

    • • Farmer, built house Mar 1900, wife & 6 children, age 48 on 22 Nov 1902
    • • Applied 2 Jun 1899, Pasqua, sworn by S.B. Jameson
    • • Sworn statement by James Knowles of NE7.17.24 W2 at Moose Jaw, 22 Nov 1902 [Note: I need to check my copy of the land grant as there seems to be a discrepancy in James’ and Nelson’s locations]
    • • Sworn statement by Nelson Allcock of 18.17.24 W2 at Moose Jaw, 22 Nov 1902

Granted 10 May 1906

Might this office building in Moose Jaw have been where the statements were sworn?:

Here are Samuel and Mary’s children:

  • • Harriet Ann MCARTHUR, b. 17 Apr 1883, Oro, ON
  • • Mary Catherine MCARTHUR, b. 28 Jun 1884, Oro, ON
  • • Peter Alexander MCARTHUR, b. 15 Jul 1886, Oro, ON
  • • William James MCARTHUR, b. 15 Dec 1887, Oro, ON
  • • Hector Douglas MCARTHUR, b. 28 Jun 1889, Oro Station, Ontario, Canada
  • • Roy Wilfred MCARTHUR, b. 12 Dec 1894, Oro Station, Ontario, Canada
  • • Gladys MCARTHUR, b. Abt 1902
  • • Margaret MCARTHUR, b. Abt 1911

A fellow genealogist and relative sent me this photo [TBA] (Photo Of Samuel McArthur Family), and I have also managed to collected a number of registrations (see Registrations Samuel McArthur Family).

One day when I’m feeling wealthy, I’ll arrange to obtain the Saskatchewan birth registrations for Gladys and Margaret.

The photo of Pasqua below was taken in 2001:


They later moved to Vancouver and were living there when my grandfather, Roy Wilfred McArthur, moved his family from Moose Jaw to Vancouver.

Samuel McArthur

Sarah Jane Douglas

The following link contains my grandfather’s rather “belated” birth registration, as well as photos of him and my grandmother!

Roy Wilfred McArthur

It’s interesting to note that my mother’s father’s family have Islay origins, as do my father’s mother’s family (Bell, McCuaig…). Although both of my parents were born in Saskatchewan, they met in British Columbia.

Calgary, Alberta

My grandfather, who had asthma (perhaps due to being gassed in the trenches in WWI), was told he should relocate to the dry climate of Calgary for health reasons. The family moved to Calgary in the 1940s.

Written by Doug

January 24th, 2012 at 7:06 pm