As Canadian as can be. Looking over my research for the children of Amable Hogue and Marguerite Taylor, I realized that I did not have a date of death for their daughter Elizabeth.
I had her listed as being born 20 Oct 1848 in St. James, and married to a Frank Aymond, but no other details. That prompted a search to find out more about her, and what an interesting search it turned out to be! I started with the 1870 Census of Manitoba. This is a very valuable census, as it names every member of a household, not just the head, and gives the name of each person’s father. Hmm, I didn’t remember coming across the name Marcellais before. John Marcellais was still alive in 1876 when he received Metis scrip. What happened to John? And who is Frank Aymond? So, I went looking for records of Elizabeth and Frank in Pembina (in what is now North Dakota). I don’t believe Joseph and Mary are Elizabeth’s children. From a link on ancestry, I discovered the Dakota Territory 1885 Census Index Okay, now what?
How do I know? Mr. As Canadian as can be. Untitled. Looking up the Fraser River from Fort Langley, toward the Coquihalla Mountain and the brigade trail.
George Stewart Simpson would have admired this view many times over. When my book was published in November 2011, I was also in the throes of writing a talk to be given in front of the Victoria Historical Society. In order to write the speech, I re-read and quoted from “The Private Journal of Henry Newsham Peers from Fort Langley to Thompson’s River, Summer 1848,” found in the British Columbia archives under [its old] number E/A/P34A. Alexander Caulfield Anderson had, as his clerk, a young man named Simpson. I had no idea who he was and he remains entirely unmentioned in my book. But of course he wasn’t important to the story I was telling in The Pathfinder; he might not even be more than a spear-thrower in my next book. James Raffen, author of Emperor of the North: Sir George Simpson and the Remarkable story of the Hudson’s Bay Company, says this about Sir George Simpson’s son, George:
As Canadian as can be. So who was Margaret Taylor, and why is her name in so many history books?
The answer is that she was the “country wife” of Sir George Simpson, governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company. This was the fact I discovered when I found her name in the book in the gift shop. It was common practice for men in the fur trade to take a native or Metis woman as a “country wife” or marry “à la facon du pays” (in the custom of the country). Sometimes these relationships were long-lasting, with provisions made for any children of the union. Sometimes, if a man was transferred to another post, he made provisions to “turn off” his partner, meaning he would arrange a marriage for her to someone else, and perhaps make some financial provisions.Although “love” may or may not have been a consideration, the relationship was often beneficial to both parties. The Chronicle of the Kings of Alba. The Chronicle of the Kings of Alba, or the Older Scottish Chronicle as it is sometimes known, is the only surviving narrative account to derive from the nascent kingdom of Scotland.
It recounts the careers of the kings from Cináed mac Ailpín (d.858) to the middle of the reign of Cináed mac Maíl Choluim (971-95), and is mostly an account of internecine strife, raids on Northumbria and campaigns against the Vikings. Whilst it is not a work of any great literary merit it is the only native source to the history of this period which has otherwise to be reconstructed from later fanciful poetry and chronicles or the occasional notice of 'Albanian' affairs by Irish and English chroniclers.