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Saturday, 8 February 2014

Week 6 - William George Kinnaird

William George Kinnaird (1861 - 1926)

George was born on May 20, 1861 in Kitley Township, Leeds County, Ontario to parents George Chester Kinnaird and Mary Ann Nesbit.  I believe (from my online research) that his grandfather Francis immigrated to Canada from Ireland in the early 1800's and settled to farm in Leeds County.  His death certificate however says his father was William Kinnaird who was born in Scotland.  Perhaps this blog about George will help uncover which version is correct!
When Aunt Marjorie loaned me this photo of him to copy she lamented that there was not a nicer one of him.  He looks like a hard working man, just one of many in my family tree.  That makes me proud of where I come from, more so than if he were dressed in his best clothes and posing at a photographer!  I am so glad to have this photo!
His father died when he was very young and his mother was remarried to Thomas Cummings.  In 1871, George can be found living in Dundas County, Ontario with his mother and Thomas, a millwright, his older brother James and younger sister Elizabeth.  They all were listed with the surname Cummings.  George also had four step-siblings in nearby Leeds County as his father had been married previously to a woman named Ann Wallace. Ten years later the census lists the same Cummings family but now George is listed as a carpenter like his stepfather and he is 20 years old.
George married Margaret Carruthers in Russell, Ontario on the 8th of
 August in 1888.  Do you suppose they chose that date for the 08-08-88 numerology
Margaret and George has 2 sons William Francis (my grandfather) and Stephen Alden.  Sadly Margaret died of consumption, later kown as Tuberculosis, in 1894 at age 29.  George remarried to Elizann Crump in 1896 and went on to have twin boys (George Ellis and John Thomas) and another boy (Willis) and a girl (Alice Luella Casselman).  Interesting to note that on the Ontario birth records in Stormont for his twins in 1897,  one spelled the surname "Kinnaird" and the next right under it was "Kinniard".  Willis' record of birth gives his full name as Willis Lile "Kinnard".  Someone seems to be spelling challenged!
In the 1901, 1911 and 1921 censuses, George and Elizann and their children can be found in Cannamore in Finch Township and George is listed as a farmer.  This town is southeast of Ottawa and north of Chesterville, Ontario.  They lived right down the road from his first wife Margaret's brother Archibald Carruthers and his family.  Their blended family seems to be much less than a happy one however.  My grandfather Frank Kinnaird came west to Hargrave, Manitoba at the age of 13 and lived with his mother's sister Christina O'Neil and her husband John Joeseph while he went to school and started out farming on his own.  Francis (Frank) kept in touch with his hometown via the local paper and visits in later years but made his own life in Manitoba.
George died January 29, 1929 at in Osgoode Township at the age of 65.  His death is attributed to rheumatic carditis, a heart condition resulting from rheumatic fever. It is unknown where in Morewood where he is buried but his second wife and three of her children have a grave stone (misspelled by our standards however) at Morewood Presbyterian Cemetery in Ontario. 


  1. I think you need to take a trip out here this summer to see these Eastern Ontario places in person, Sharon (hint hint)!

  2. Also to see the Frank Kinnaird Arena in Russell, Ont (although no relation, we think!)

  3. Great idea! Is it spelled with "ai" ? Guess I could google it!