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Sun 17 December 2017
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 Clan Macrae in Canada
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Rae family in Canada: I'm kind of new to this genealogy stuff, but I've been looking into the migration of my ancestors from the Orkney isles to Canada. My great, great, great grandfather, Thomas Rae, was brother to the famous (?) Dr. John Rae, Arctic explorer and discoverer of the lost Franklin expedition. Thomas Rae was one of 9 children and youngest son born to Thomas Rae, Sr. (don't know wife's name) of Weir (Wyre?) Isle, Orphir, Orkney Isle on May 23, 1818. Thomas Rae, Sr. was factor of Sir William Honeywell's estate and the family lived in relative wealth compared to most people at the time. Thomas Rae Sr.'s children's names that I know of are my G3 grandfather Thomas, Dr. John Rae, William Rae, Richard Rae, Jessie (married name Munro), Marion (married name Hamilton). There were 3 other children but I don't have their names.
Thomas Jr. left Scotland as a boy (18xx?)and lived in New Brunswick, then Kingston, where he married Helen McPherson (Jan.5, 1843), then to Hamilton, Ontario in 1843. He was a partner with one of his brothers in shipping (Richard Rae?) and built 4 sailing vessels. He was about to build a propeller when he died Sept.28, 1868). He had two sons, John Rae and Glen Rae.

John Rae was an Indian Agent in the North Saskatchewan River area (Battleford?) in 1888. Not sure if he was involved in the native uprising there or not. This is where it gets sketchy. I'm not sure whether John or Glen is my great great grandfather. Anyways, my great grandfather was Thomas Rae (m. Elizabeth Miller). My grandfather was Thomas Miller Rae (m. Helene Simpson) and my father is Stewart Rae.

What I would like to know is:
1. Anybody out there connected to any of these branches of the Rae family?
2. Anybody know how or when the Rae's got to the Orkneys from the traditional clan territory on the west coast of Scotland highland (Kintail area), if that's where they came from? (Making and assumption there!:)

Diana Rae
British Columbia

Query posted by : Diana Rae

17 Mar 2005 at 15.24
Tip
The following replies have been posted in response to the above query. They are sorted chronologically according to the time of receipt, with the most recent at the end of the page.
 
 
I'm also new to this. I now live in England but know from my Scottish grandmother (Ella Rae, who was one of ten children)that she was a relative of Dr. John Rae, who has received a lot of interest in recent years. Will try to trace parish records. Not sure of her parents' names, but think that her father might have been William( she had a brother named William who was killed in the First World War).
Will let you know if I find anything.
Good luck in your search
Dr June Kerr

Reply posted by : June Kerr

25 Mar 2005 at 18.51
 
 
A update on my previous reply. John Rae Sr was born in Lanarkshire, Scotland, and married Margaret Glen in Edinburgh on 15 April 1804. They moved to Orkney where John was factor of the Honeyman estate, and afterwards took over the Hudson's Bay Company agency in Stromness. The sons and daughters were among those you named, but I also don't know the names of the others. William and Richard joined the company in the late 1820s and went to Canada. Thomas and Marion later settled there, and perhaps Richard did as well. What happened to William (who I think is my ancestor)is more hazy.
I've traced back my family line to William Rae, born 1841, and according to the marriage certificate (in Kirkcudbright, Scotland), his father was William Rae, a sailor (deceased) and mother Elizabeth Shennan - but have now got stuck, since I don't know where they lived, or where the former William was born. I think that this latter William (the brother of Dr. John Rae)was my great great great grandfather - the dates and circumstances all fit - and brother of your ancestor Thomas - but still have to find the missing link.
Dr. John Rae was an explorer (and ethnographer -since he made a large contribution towards understanding Canadian ethnology), employed by the Hudson's Bay Company. He retired in 1856 and spent the last of his days in London, England
June Kerr

Reply posted by : June Kerr

31 Mar 2005 at 13.55
 
 
Hi my name is Rachel I am currently helping my grandmother research her family tree. She is the Great*3 granddaughter of John Rae snr and is currently trying to find her Grandmother Helen Rae Mcpherson Ballantine. We have found a helen Rae who married George Wilson Jobson but we are not sure who her mother and father are. We think she is the Daughter of James Rae. We found in the 1841 census a girl called Helen living with Margaret Glen Rae. If anyone can help we would be very grateful

Reply posted by : Rachel

5 Apr 2005 at 14.50
 
 
Regarding your second query, Diane. A possible simple explanation may have been the Highland Clearances as many clans moved to coastal or island areas in order to gain a living by fishing. Just a notion but there would have been many, many families moving to the West coast from central areas but less so Orkney giving more opportunities?

Reply posted by : Stuart Frew

6 Oct 2005 at 12.21
 
 
This reply is to Diana, June, and Rachel. My name is Mark and I live in British Columbia, too. I was drawn to the Rae part of my family tree by a book entitled "The History of the Northern Interior of British Columbia" by A.G. Morice, which gave me my first reference, and then Ken McGoogan's "Fatal Passage", which I recommend, but might assume you've already seen.

First, I have family information that matches with much of what is already listed (somewhat lengthy):

John RAE (1772-1834) married Margaret GLEN (1781-1855) 15 Apr 1804. John is likely the son of James RAE and Marion SIBBALD. Margaret is daughter to William GLEN and Janet LOVE. I have some family listed for these previous generations, too.

John and Margaret had 8 or 9 children by my records:

1. James RAE (who died somewhat young) had a daughter, Helen RAE, who married George Wilson JOBSON 19 Mar 1846. I have 7 children listed for them. I believe that Helen RAE's upbringing was entrusted to her mother, Margaret Glen RAE, and that she did appear in a census, as noted.

2. Janet RAE (b. 1806) whom I have only found the birth registration for. I had her the mother of Hamilton MOFFATT in BC/HBC history, but I'm not sure of that source.

3. Marion Sibbald RAE (1808-1890) is my ggg grandmother and married Dr. John Macaulay HAMILTON (1799-1872) on 2 Jun 1831. This line, of course, I have plenty of information on. They moved to Hamilton, Ontario, in the 1850s. Our Hamiltons settled in BC with the HBC.

4. William Glen RAE (1809-1845) married Eloisa Maria McLOUGHLIN (1817-1884) in Feb 1838 (she later married a Daniel HARVEY). I have 4 children listed: John RAE, Margaret Glen RAE, Maria Louisa RAE, and William RAE. I have a little more information about the 2 girls. William Glen RAE Sr. committed suicide in 1845 while working for the HBC in San Francisco, which might be a reason that little was known or passed on about him.

5. Richard Bempede Johnstone Honyman RAE (1811-1874) was in business with Thomas RAE, his brother, at least part of the time that they were in the Hamilton area.

6. Dr. John RAE (1813-1893), the HBC/Arctic explorer, married Catharine Jane Alicia THOMPSON (1838-1919) in Jan 1860. They had no children. He discovered the fate of FRANKLIN. As it turns out, FRANKLIN's last stop before leaving Stromness, where the ship was watered, was at the RAE home and the home of Dr. John Macaulay HAMILTON and Marion Sibbald RAE HAMILTON.

7. Thomas RAE (b. 1815) was the first with this name, and must have died in infancy.

8. Thomas RAE (1817-1868) married Helen McPHERSON (1812-1897) in 1842 (she later married Rev. Robert Burnett). Thomas was in business with his brother, Richard, at some point, and had children, John RAE and Glen RAE.

9. ? Jessie Love Glen RAE, whom I do not have from the birth registrations but who was definitely a sister listed in other sources. The one thing I am not sure about was whether she is the same person as Janet RAE, or another sister. She married a Hector MUNRO, and they had a number of children. This family seems to have ended up in Canada, too.

One interesting side note is that Marion RAE and her sister, but which I am not sure, were used as a basis for the two sisters, Brenda and Minna, in Sir Walter SCOTT's "The Pirate". This has been noted in the "Letters of Letitia Hargrave".

In any event, I will have sources for information listed, if I can figure out my notes, and I may have scans for some of the information. Feel free to contact me at mrhuston@telus.net. If you have things to add down any of the lines, I'd be interested. Thanks.

M. Huston
British Columbia

Reply posted by : M. Huston

12 Nov 2005 at 05.04
 
 
Hello, I am new to this site as I am researching my Rae family background. I have a GGG Grandmother Helen Rae born c. 1830 and died 9/2/1895 married to John Gavin. I have Helen's parents as James Rae and Margaret McPherson. If anyone has any information I would appreciate hearing from you.

Lisa Jackson
Cleveland, Ohio

Reply posted by : Lisa Jackson

8 Dec 2005 at 20.17
 
 
Hi Diana
John Rae's parents were John Rae and Margaret Campbell Glen. Children were James, Janet Love Glen (aka Jessie), Marion Sibbald, William, Richard B J Honeyman, John (the explorer), Thomas (died young), and a second Thomas.

John Rae senior was Factor to Sir William Honyman, who lived at Hall of Clestrain in Orphir.

Marion Sibbald Rae married Dr John Macaulay Hamilton and their daughter Jessie Stewart Franklin Hamilton married my 1st cousin thrice removed William Bain Scarth.

Reply posted by : Heather Lewington

17 Oct 2006 at 22.21
 
 
I also believe our family is related to the John Rae 'explorer' family.

My father was Gerald Owen Rae born is Spokane WA
His father was Orville Sidney Rae born in Minnewaudan ND
His father was (not for certain) Francios John Rae born in North Dakota (married to Julia) His father was born in Canada. I have heard stories of our family operated a trading post in Canada and of our family linkage to John Rae.
Can anyone help?

Reply posted by : Jolene (rae) Salazar

6 Aug 2008 at 20.36
 
 
Hello, my name is Tyler and I was kind of researching family backgrounds as well. My grandfather is Dennis Lane Rae who is brother to a Gerald Owen Rae. His father was Orville Sidney Rae and his mother was Sonja Marie Ledgerwood. All I know about Orville is that he was a pilot in WW2 and that he flew Eisenhower once. Right now I know next to nothing, so any help I could get would be appreciated. Thanks.(?)

Reply posted by : Tyler Rae

29 Nov 2008 at 04.10
 
 
My name is Christian Rae. My mother's name is Diana Rae. I believe we are related. My grandfather? was a cousin to Stewart, I believe. Dr.Rae was a great? uncle to my grandfather, who he was named after. I was told my great grandfather Peter settled on a farm on the main land. It was a rocky place he made into a decent farm. Cool to find a relative on here.

Reply posted by : Christian Rae

1 Nov 2009 at 00.50
 
 
I believe Thomas brother would have been George, to fill in the family blanks.

Reply posted by : Christian Rae

1 Nov 2009 at 01.09
 
 
Sorry, George was a nephew? to Thomas. According to the birth date.

Reply posted by : Christian Rae

1 Nov 2009 at 01.16
 
 
Hi
I was just browsing the net at work looking for some family stuff and came across this site. My grandfathers name is Thomas McLean Rae and he is from Shotts in Lanarkshire, he moved to Sunderland,UK 50 years ago+ but his brother still lives there, I have never looked into my family tree but I think the similarities are quite spooky!! Emma Rae

Reply posted by : Emma Rae

20 Apr 2010 at 15.56
 
 
This is a reply to the information written up by June Kerr 5 yrs ago. I am not directly related to the name but found myself pursuing it so that what records I have are sound. I have a marriage certificate for William RAE whose parents were William RAE and Elizabeth SHENNAN and tracing backwards the trail has just come to an end. If any one can tell me who William (who married Elizabeth SHENNAN in 1866) is I would be extremely grateful and can supply details of the children of the marriage and more if required. I can comment from what I have already established that people moved around surprisingly well about that time because, I think, the routes they took were direct, sometimes those of the drovers. Hoping to hear from someone having caught up with you after so long.

Reply posted by : Janet

30 Jul 2010 at 16.37
 
 
Hello Diana
I was born in Scotland and seem to be related to Dr. John Rae, the explorer, though I've had trouble in tracing the exact lineage.
John Rae Sr (from Lanarkshire) was the factor of the Orkney estate. He married Margaret Glen Campbell (from Argyll) in Edinburgh in 1809. John Rae Sr. later took over the Hudson's Bay Company in Orkney - 3 of his sons, William Glen. Richard and Thomas, and also a daughter, Marion, went to live in Canada.
In 1848, Dr. John Rae (another younger son) was on a search for the lost Franklin expedition (headed by Sir John Richardson). He was a controversial figure in the UK for many years, mainly because of his assertions towards cannibalism in the Franklin expedition.
Hope this has been of some help
June

Reply posted by : June Kerr

7 Aug 2010 at 19.48
 
 
Hello Diana
I was born in Scotland and seem to be related to Dr. John Rae, the explorer, though I've had trouble in tracing the exact lineage.
John Rae Sr (from Lanarkshire) was the factor of the Orkney estate. He married Margaret Glen Campbell (from Argyll) in Edinburgh in 1809. John Rae Sr. later took over the Hudson's Bay Company in Orkney - 3 of his sons, William Glen. Richard and Thomas, and also a daughter, Marion, went to live in Canada.
In 1848, Dr. John Rae (another younger son) was on a search for the lost Franklin expedition (headed by Sir John Richardson). He was a controversial figure in the UK for many years, mainly because of his assertions towards cannibalism in the Franklin expedition.
Hope this has been of some help
June

Reply posted by : June Kerr

7 Aug 2010 at 19.48
 
 
Hello, Dr. John Rae was the Uncle to my Great Grandmother, Margaret Glen Rae Hamilton (Locke). I have found the information about Dr. John Rae very interesting, especially the recent developments this past Autumn of a plaque being placed at Westminster Abbey in his honor, and the discovery of the Erebus, one of Sir John Franklin's ill fated ships. I live in Seattle and would welcome any further information about this line of my family.

Reply posted by : Peter Hamilton Locke

2 Jan 2015 at 18.39
 
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