The Douglas Archives

A collection of historical and genalogical records

The ink sketch is haunting: A roughly clad Scottish Highlander and his young wife on snowshoes, trekking alone in swirling snow 200 years ago near Hudson Bay.

He's wearing a highland bonnet, shouldering a musket. She holds a bundle wrapped in tartan to her heart.

The bundle is a baby, born hours earlier in a tent banked in snow for insulation; the final Herculean finish to a winter in Churchill where survival counted as a miracle.

Fort Douglas was a fort of the Hudson's Bay Company that was built by Scottish and Irish settlers in 1812 in what is today Winnipeg, Manitoba. It was in the immediate vicinity (down river) of the North West Company establishment, Fort Gibraltar.

During the conflict between the Hudson's Bay Company and the North West Company, the fort was burned by the Métis and employees of the North West Company. The fort was soon rebuilt and there was a short period of relative peace. It was used as a trading post.

In 1812, Miles Macdonell established the headquarters of the Red River Settlement nearby on Point Douglas. Named for Thomas Douglas, 5th Earl of Selkirk, it was also the Hudson’s Bay Company’s first post in this area.

The lore of the Highland lords

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Making conections

The more information you can give about the people you mention, the more chance there is of someone else connecting with your family.

Dates and places of births, deaths and marriages all help to place families.

Professions also help.

'My great-grandmother mother was a Douglas from Montrose' does not give many clues to follow up! But a bit of flesh on the bones makes further research possible. But if we are told who she married, what his profession was and where the children were baptised, then we can get to work.

Maybe it is time to update the information in your profile?

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