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I was very interested to receive your e-mail and most impressed with your

web-site. I have a little information which may help you.

A branch of the Gilchrist family came from Ontario to Alberta in the last

1800's and settled in a community called ISLAY. Subsequent family members moved to Edmonton.

My uncle in Green Valley, Arizona may be able to fill in some details to

help you. His name is Dr. Milton "Gil" Gilchrist and his address is 3360

Calle de Albano, Green Valley, Arizona.

Uncle Gil tried to do a little genealogical sleuthing in Scotland some years

back. He told us he gave up when he learned that our most immediate ancestor might have left Scotland to avoid being hung for sheep stealing. I don't know if he really found this out or if it just made a good story.

I have also been told by one of my colleagues from Northern England that the Gilchrist were "border reevers". That is, they lived in the border region between England and Scotland and robbed travellers, regardless of nationality.

Sounds like we come from a band of brigands and thieves.

I also find it very interesting with respect to the names. I have a brother

named John Gilchrist and another named William Angus Gilchrist. Third

brother is named Tom. Guess these are good names for the family.

Keep up the good work. If you can establish a connection between the Ontario family and the Alberta one - perhaps I can help you fill in details of the newer generations.

Dawna Gilchrist MD

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

>>>>>>> And of course, I had to write to her uncle...

Thank you for your letter of 1-9-98. I know that Dawna may think that I am the historian of our local family - not so. I can only repeat what my Grand mother told me and a few facts that I dug up.

The Rebellion of the' 45 (1745) or the attempted ascension of the rightful King - BONNIE PRINCE CHARLIE, produced a defeat for the Prince and he returned to France. The winners - Campbells, rode roughshod though the Highlands killing indiscriminately, on orders from the King of England. Since there was a shortage of English soldiers, the King decreed that the male followers of Charles Stuart had a choice - either join the English Army or be hung. A Gilchrist joined the Army and served for many years in the French and English Wars in America. When General Wolfe was ordered to take Canada he defeated the French on the Plains of Abraham above Quebec and the English Army remained in Canada as Occupation Troops, including at least one Gilchrist also spelled MacAghuillacreest or some such. Anyway when the enlistment term was over, those Scots had no home to return to in Scotland, Most of them remained in Canada but some went into America and settled while others joined the fur trade and became Voyageurs - marrying French women and in some cases Indian women. These half-breeds scattered over the West and in Canada were known as "Metis".

There were two main fur trading companies - Hudson Bay Co. and The Northwest Co. There were those that stayed in Upper Canada (Ontario) and settled with the emigre's from the USA following the end of the Am. Revolution. There were some Gilchrists who had been in Boston that came to Upper Canada - Relatives?

Another happening that can be authenticated was in the Sioux Rebellion in Minnesota during the Civil War. This band massacred in New Ulm, Mn. and escaped to Canada. There was a trading post at Pembina Mn. at the border with Canada, the Sioux raided the Post and killed the Factor a Gilchrist. The Sioux were rounded up and sent back to Minnesota where they were tried and hung.

Hugh Gilchrist - my Grandfather - was born in Ontario to the first wife of John Gilchrist, I think the date of birth was in the 1860's, two other children were siblings with birthdate? At some time the wife of John died and John decided to move West to Northwest Territories, now Saskatchewan, where he had a second wife presumably from Ontario. John settled on a farm near what is now Rosetown. There a large number of children were born - depending on who was telling - either 8 or 13. Most of these scattered over Canada and the US. I have no definite record of these. My Grandfather was a wanderer having been in the Gold Fields of Montana and elsewhere. However he married and settled on a farm at Islay, not yet Alberta. He was not a very good farmer. The call of gold again was heard, this time in Alaska and he was off, My Grandmother managed the farm with the help of her two eldest sons, Nelson (oldest) and John Roy my father. Grandpa returned without gold and had two more children Nellie (MacFadden) and Gordon. My father moved to Edmonton where he married Lottie Girling having three children - Milton Roy(myself), Beryl and Don. Hugh. My Father was killed in an accident in 1930. Nelson Gilchrist had three sons - Bruce(deceased), Gordon of Edmonton, Hartley of Chicago(deceased). My brother and sister live in Wetaskiwin - Beryl Ballhom married a farmer of that area and my brother farmed 10 miles out of Wetaskiwin, bordering on the Cree Reservation. Beryl has 5 children scattered around Canada, Don has 4 children all in Alberta. Dawna is Don's daughter. Some of my Great Grandfather's second family live in Edmonton but I only knew them by name - two were named Dan - whether father and son or what I never knew.

An Interesting story concerns the Selkirk settlers: Alexander Selkirk was a Scot that had great sympathy for those Scots driven off their land by the Lairds who wanted their land for sheep. And some of the Scots were in trouble for sheep stealing - to eat. Selkirk received a grant of land from the Canadian Gov. adjacent to Fort Garry, now Winnipeg. This happened in 1812. This land was occupied by the Metis - descendant of the French and English Voyageurs. At first the two parties got along until some hot heads drove the Metis off their land - this did not happen until in the 1830 - 40's. The Metis organized and with their leader Louis Riel (a Metis educated in Montreal) attacked and drove off those that had settled on their land. There was a Gilchrist with them - a Metis. Things settled for a short time until the Gov. in Ottawa sent troops to settle the uprising. Louis and his followers were defeated and sought shelter in the Turtle Mtns. of the US now North Dakota. Later Louis Riel reorganized and again raided but was caught, tried and hung.

Incidentally my Grandfather on my Mother's side was a member of the Northwest Mounted Police sent to the West to pacify the Indians. Sitting Bull and followers had escaped to southern (now) Alberta following the Little Big Horn Battle. He served in the 1880 -until the 1900's dying in his nineties. He farmed in Alberta.

While I was a Medical Resident at the Veteran's Hospital in Mpls., Mn. another resident was of Norwegian extraction and a history buff of Vikings. He had read that in a Viking raid into Scotland, a number of captives were taken back to Norway. One of those was a chap named Gilchrist. He became a great friend of the son of the King of Norway. Later the King died and was succeeded by his son who shortly after was assassinated by Gilchrist who set himself up as King of Norway. Sometime later he in turn was killed. An interesting group these Gilchrists.

Milton - nickname George

Milton Gilchrist M.D.
3360 Calle del Albano
Green Valley  AZ   85614

EDITOR'S NOTE: Milton's (George's) address is listed above if you wish to post a letter to him, the following link is for his niece, Dr. Dawna Gilchrist

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