back home   Most of my knowledge of the Dryden family comes from a history of the family compiled by Hugh Gordon. There is much more to the Dryden family than what I have on this page.

Dryden family

My great-great-grandmother was Jane (Jeanie) Grieve DRYDEN, d/o James DRYDEN & Mary SWAN. She was born on June 30, 1856 in North Dumfries twp., Ontario; she died October 29, 1938 and is buried at Mount View cemetery in Cambridge Ontario. On January 17, 1877, at her parent's home in Galt, she married Joseph WRIGLEY.

In the 1871 census, Joseph was living in Galt and his occupation was store clerk. In both the 1881 and 1891 censuses, Joseph & Jeanie were living in North Dumfries twp. Joseph was the township clerk from 1889-1924.

Joseph & Jeanie had three children:

Mary Swan WRIGLEY born in 1877, my great-grandmother.

Sylvanus Fearn WRIGLEY born in 1883, died Feb 1890 in Galt.

Isabella WRIGLEY born in 1891. The only record of her so far is a birth registration. It is probable that she did not survive infancy.

James DRYDEN & Mary SWAN

James DRYDEN was born October 23, 1822 at Branxholme Park, Woodfoot, Roxburghshire, Scotland. He was the s/o Andrew DRYDEN & Janet CAIRNS. James died December 08, 1894 at St. Andrews Street in Galt and he is buried at Mount View cemetery in Cambridge. The DRYDEN family came to Canada in 1834 where they lived at W1/2 of Lot 22, Conc. 9, in North Dumfries twp. James stayed on the family homestead until his marriage at which point he purchased the farm to the west - S1/2 Lot 23, conc. 9 (100 acres). His obituary (unknown newspaper):

".... Mr. James DRYDEN was the last but one, Mr. Walter K. DRYDEN alone surviving, of the family which in the famed year of the visitation of the cholera, over sixty years ago now, left Hawick, Scotland, and landing in Canada, made its way to Galt and thence shortly after to what became known as the "Dryden Settlement" in North Dumfries. Besides the parents, the almost aged, who died many years ago, the family consisted of six sons, Thomas and John, both subsequently residents of Galt, who died many years ago, Robert of Eramosa, also dead, we believe, and our well-known old residents of North Dumfries, Andrew and William, both of whom, for many years, occupied farms of their own int hat section and took an active part in may public matters. They too have passed away. The two sisters were Mrs. James BROWN and Mrs. William RAE, but death claimed them also, so that of all, with the death we now write of, Mr. Walter K. DRYDEN, the youngest of the family, is the sole survivior [note: the number of sons doesn't add up].

With but a few years absence, Mr. James DRYDEN lived continously in that section.... Never robust and certainly prefering the quiet social joys of his own fireside to active participation in the struggles of the world... his large family consisting of four sons and six daughters, knew but one blank, which came a few years ago by the death of his son Jared...... removed to Galt about six years ago.... Two sons, Andrew and Robert, are living in Manitoba and James occupies a responsible position in the Agricultural College in Utah USA. Four of his daughters are married, Mrs. John TAYLOR of Spragues Rd., Mrs. Joseph WRIGLEY, Mrs. William TAYLOR of St. George and Mrs. R.D. CAMERON of Lucknow. Misses Helen and Eliza reside at home..... the funeral took place from the family residence, St. Andrews Street, to Mount View cemetery on Tuesday afternoon."


Mary SWAN was born March 13, 1828 at Riddell Farm, Lillesleaf, Roxburghshire, Scotland. She was the d/o Jared SWAN & Jean GRIEVE. Mary died August 06, 1888 at Sprague Street in Galt, after suffering a "severe stroke of paralysis" 14 months before her death. She is also buried at Mount View cemetery in Cambridge. Her obituary (unknown newspaper):

"In Galt, on Monday, Aug. 6th, 1888, at 9 o'clock a.m., Mary Swan, beloved wife of James Dryden, aged 60 years, 4 months, and 24 days. It will be remembered that the deceased lady had a severe stroke of paralysis about 14 months ago, since which time she had been an invalid, and had little enjoyment of life, suffering a great deal at times. From the first there was no hope of recovery, and she became gradually weaker until the messanger of death put an end to her suffering on Monday morning last in the 61st year of her age.

Mrs. Dryden was the youngest daughter of the late Jared SWAN, one of the early settlers of Dumfries, and sister of Mrs. TURNBULL, Mill Creek. The family emigrated from Selkirkshire, Scotland, 56 years ago, settling upopn the homestead adjoining Galt, at present occupied by Mr. George HAY. Here Mr. and Mrs. SWAN continued to reside until the death of the former about 11 years ago. Mrs. SWAN survived her husband a few years, passing away at he advanced age of 89. The deceased lived with her parents until her marriage to Mr. James DRYDEN, when she took her abode in the Dryden settlement, the family moving to Galt only a few months ago. The issue of the happy union was four sons and six daughters, all of whom are living with the exception of the eldest son, Jared, who died very suddenly las spring. Of the remaining three sons, two are in Manitoba, while the youngest, James, who is a stenographer by profession, also proposes shortly to move to Winnipeg to enter the service of Lieut-Governor SCHULTZ. The daughters ar Mrs. John TAYLOR and Mrs. Joseph WRIGLEY, and four unmarried daughters remain at home..... "

Children of James & Mary:

Jared: b. 1847; d. 1887; m. Margaret STRUTHERS who was a d/o William STRUTHERS

In 1872 he tried farming in Lucknow, Bruce County but in 1884 he purchased his father's farm in North Dumfries and moved back. He and his family are in Huron twp., Bruce Co in the 1881 census (NAC C-13274 Dist 176 SubDist A Div 1 Page 31). His obituary is given below (He died, as a widower, in 1887). He is buried at Mount View cemetery in Galt.

Children of Jared & Margaret: James (b. about 1874), Mary (born about 1877) and Jane.

Andrew: b. 1849; d. 2 Aug 1922 in Winnipeg. He married Margaret MURDOCH on 25 Dec 1877 near Lucknow. Margaret was born in 1855 in Ashfield twp, Huron Co. and she died in Winnipeg in 1926. Both Andrw & Maggie are buried in Elmwood cemetery in Winnipeg.

In the 1881 census, Andrew & Maggie are in Cartier, Provencher, Manitoba (NAC C-13283 Dist 184 SubDist F Page 7), along with their son Arthur James who was born about 1879.

Children of Andrew & Maggie:

  • Arthur James b.1879, died of typhoid fever in 1887
  • William Murdoch b. 1881
  • Bertha b. 1883,   married Edward BLAIR on 15 March 1915 (1905, 002375)
  • Mabel b. 1885, married Hill RODGERS, 14 Dec 1910 (1910, 001006)
  • Olive b. 1888, married James WHILLANS on 11 Aug 1910 (1910,001003)
  • John Cameron DRYDEN b. 1893  Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_C._Dryden.  He married Luella Mary KEMP in Winnipeg on 30 June 1919 (reg 1919,033235).
  • Sarah b. 1897

Janet, b. 1851; d. 1921. She married John TAYLOR

Robert, b. 1853; d. 1938. Robert also went to Manitoba. In 1881 he was unmarried, living next to his brother Andrew (Cartier, Provencher, Manitoba, NAC C-13283 Dist 184 SubDist F Page 7). Robert was a farmer. He married Sarah, daughter of Steele & Catherine MURDOCH: Obituary for Mrs. Robert DRYDEN (Sentinel newspaper - of unknown town): "The readers of the Sentinel who were acquainted with the late Mrs. Robert DRYDEN, of McDonald twp., Manitoba, a notice of whose sudden death appeared in our paper a few weeks ago, will doubtless be pleased to receive the following additional particulars: Mrs. DRYDEN was the eldest daughter of Mr. Steele MURDOCH, of this place, and had many friends and acquaintances here. In the spring of 1883 she was united in marriage to Mr. Robert DRYDEN of North Dumfries, Waterloo county, Ontario, and the same year settled in the township of McDonald, Manitoba, where Mr. DRYDEN had taken up a section of land. ..... The illness which resulted in her death was of short duration. Three days her physician vainly endeavered to stay the internal hemorrhage which was draining her life away, and when the end came on Sept. 4th, she was entirely resigned to her Master's will... the funeral took place on Friday, Sept 7th... to their last resting place in the prairie graveyard by the little Presbyterian church at Union Point. Mrs. Dryden was 34 years of age, and leaves behind a little daughter, two little sons and a loving husband to mourn her loss. A large circle of friends, both here and in Manitoba, extend to MR DRYDEN their most earnest sympathy in this sad bereavement."

In the 1881 census, Steel MURDOCK (born in Scotland) is in Lucknow, Bruce Co. with his wife Catherine (born in Nova Scotia) and their children. Sarah is age 20. Other children: John, Janet, Steel, Mary, William, Catherine, Eliza, Mary, and Maud.

After Sarah died in 1895, Robert remarried - Agnes HOGG in Winnipeg in 1904.  Agnes was born on Aug 1866 in Ontario. In the 1911 census they are in McKenzie Dist. of Saskatchewan

Children of Robert & Sarah:

  1.  Mary, b.  20 May 1888 -1929, married Ronald GILCHRIST on 31 Dec 1913.  Ronald was born in Fenelon Ontario, on 8 Jan 1883, s/o James GILCHRIST & Jennet SPENCE (reg 34142-83) - in 1901 this Gilchrist family was living in Eldon twp. Ontario and in 1911 they were in Humboldt Saskatchewan.

  2.  Steele b. Nov 1889-1961 m. Edith AUSTIN. Steele  was unmarried in 1911 & was with his parents in the census

  3.  James R. b. Sept 1891-1967 m. Emma McKECHNIE, and

  4.  William who died as an infant.

Jane Grieve, b. June 30, 1856, N. Dumfries twp, Ontario; d. October 29, 1938; m. Joseph WRIGLEY.

Mary Cairns, b. 1858; d. 1946. At home in the 1881 census. She married William TAYLOR.

Annie, b. 1860; d. 1939. At home in the 1881 census. She married Roderick CAMERON.

James, b. February 27, 1863, Dumfries; d 5 Feb 1935 in Modesto Calif.; m. Alice Winnfield KEIM in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1894. James had gone to Utah to work at the Agricultural College. From unknown newspaper: "At the residence of the bride's mother, Salt Lake City, on June 16th, by Rev. James F. BEATES, assisted by the Rev. Harvey JONES, Logan, Miss Alice KEIM to Mr. James Dryden, of the Agricultural College, Logan, Utah, and son of James DRYDEN, Esq., Galt." Alice was born about 1868 in Pennsylvania and she died in April of 1939 in Modesto Calif.

Children of James & Alice:

Leone 1894 - 1906. Unmarried

Robert James, 1895 in Logan Utah - 9 May 1950 in LA. In June 1917 he married Grace HASS (1897-1961). His second marriage was to Amparo TORAL.

Winnfield Joseph, 1897 in Logan Utah - 1948 in Chicago. Unmarried

Horace Walter, 31 Dec 1902 in Logan Utah - Feb 1963 in San Mateo Calif. He married Dorothy GREGORY who was born 14 Dec 1906 in Torme Calif.

Helen Burnet, b. 1865; d.1932. In the 1881 census she is called Nellie. Still at home in 1894. Unmarried in both the 1901 and 1911 censuses. In 1901 she was in Manitoba with her brother Robert & 1911 she was with her sister Eliza. 

Eliza Cairns, b. April 10, 1868, Dumfries; still at home in 1894. Died 1941. Married Edmond JENKINSin 1898 in Manitoba.  Two children, Erma Swan JENKINS b. 1900 and Mary JENKINS b. 1907.  


Obituaries for Jared Dryden, who died on his 40th birthday


We regret to state that this well-known resident of North Dumfries passed away very unexpectedly on Tuesday morning last. Mr. Dryden was in town, we have been informed, on Saturday, and although then not feeling well, nothing serious was anticipated. On Sundayhe became much worse, and gradually sank until Tuesday morning, when death relieved him from his suferings. He was 40 years old the day of his death. Mr. Dryden was the eldest son of Mr. James Dryden, of North Dumfries. The family has suffered severely from sickness this summer, diphtheria and other diseases having visited them and Mrs. James Dryden having suffered a stroke of paralysis, from which, even yet, she has only partially recovered. Mr. Jared Dryden was a widower and leaves three children. We regret to learn that his brother, who has achieved a position as a stenographer and as a writer, has been laid up for quite some time with a disease of the arm and, while being somewhat better, anticipates being unable to accept any position for some time.

  SUDDEN DEATH OF MR. JARED DRYDEN. - It is our melancholy duty this week to record the sudden and unexpected death of this gentleman, which occurred at his residence on the 9th concession of North Dumfries, on Tuesday morning last. The deceased was seized with inflammation of the bowels on Wednesday of last week, but no fatal consequences were apprehended at first, and the news of his untimely death took the public by surprise. Mr. Dryden was a young man, having only attained his fortieth birthday. He was the eldest son of Mr. James Dryden, a well known and highly respected resident of the township. Some fifteen years ago he took up a farm in the county of Bruce, near Lucknow, upon which he resided for some twelve years when he purchased his father’s homestead and returned to his native township. Mr. Dryden was married to a daughter of Mr. William Struthers, of this town, who died some twoyears ago, leaving a family of three small children. The deceased was a young man of excellent parts, and his untimely death is a great blow to his three orphan children and other relatives. The funeral will take place today (Thursday) at 1 o’clock p.m., from his late residence to Mount View cemetery.



Family of James DRYDEN (born 1822) (son of Andrew DRYDEN & Janet CAIRNS)

Andrew DRYDEN was born 8 Aug 1779 at St. Boswells, Roxburghshire, Scotland, and he died in 1848 in Galt, Ontario. On 21 Nov 1803, in Hawick Scotland, he married Janet CAIRNS. Janet was born in 1785 and died in 1864 in Galt.

In 1834 they left Scotland for Dumfries twp., Ontario. They had nine children:

1. Mary Ann (called Ann), 1803 - 1890, married William RAE

2. Thomas, 1806 - 1881, married Agnes KENNEDY

3. John, 1808 - 1878, married Margaret SHIEL

4. Robert, 1811 - 1875, married Mary CLARK

5. Jane, 1813 - 1834, married James BROWN

6. Andrew 1817 - 1873, married Elizabeth KENNEDY, their children:

i. Mary, b. 1840; d. 1909; m. Robert LAMB, 1870.

ii. Andrew Atchison, b. September 23, 1843, North Dumfries; d. September 21, 1906, North Dumfries; m. Anna GRESS, 1868.

iii. John K., b. 1845; d. 1914, Galt, Ontario; m. Betsy BIGGAR, 1876.

iv. Thomes Hendry, b. July 23, 1847, North Dumfries; d. August 11, 1922, 99 Withrow Ave., Toronto; m. Jane Ellen SHARP, 1877.

v. Janet Cairns, b. 1850; d. 1929, Galt; m. William FULTON, 1868.

vi. James Atkinson, b. 1851; m. Sarah ROBERTSON, 1883.

vii. Elizabeth, b. 1853; d. 1936; m. Richard CONNOLLY, 1875.

viii. Annie, b. 1855; d. August 23, 1932; m. James CATHREA, August 22, 1877, Galt.

ix. Agnes A., b. June 24, 1858; d. September 1939, Alliance, Alberta; m. Robert DRYDEN.

x. Robert Scott, b. January 21, 1861; d. June 24, 1934; m. Margaret ORR, September 15, 1886.

xi. Isabella, b. September 06, 1863, Galt; d. July 28, 1948, Indus, Minnesota; m. Duncan J. ROBERTSON, September 30, 1885, Owen Sound.

7. William, 1820 - 1891, married Mary SUDDEN

8. James, 1822 - 1894, married Mary SWAN

9. Walter Kerr, 1828 - 1913, married Charlotte GREEN