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Skye Pioneers and "The Island"
Belfast Families - The MacQueens of Orwell


Donald Macqueen, [Among other members of the family two brothers, John and Angus, remained in Skye.] of Skye, and his wife Christina MacLeod, daughter of Malcolm MacLeod of Skye (later of Glashvin, Pinette), emigrated on the "Polly." After living for a few years near Macaulay's Wharf, Glashvin, Pinette, Donald Macqueen died, and was buried in the French cemetery, Belfast, P.E.I.

About 1815, the brave mother, with her six helpless children, moved to Orwell and took up a hundred acre farm on the north bank of the river. This was later divided between her two sons, Angus, who took the half fronting on the river, and John, who took the north half. Widow Macqueen died about 1864, aged over eighty, and was buried in the Belfast cemetery.

They had the following children:
I. CHRISTINA, b. in Skye, about 1802, wife of her cousin, John MacLeod, with issue, among others: William (Sengie) MacLeod, and Donald MacLeod;

II. MALCOLM, b. February 18, 1804, d. Oct. 29, 1886, married on Feb. 2, 1830, Margaret Martin, of Newtown, b. 1806, d. Nov. 5, 1892, with issue:
I. DONALD, b. March 5, 1832, d. 1915, unmarried;
2. SARAH CATHERINE, b. Sept. 8, 1834, d. Sept., 1895, wife of William Ferguson, miller, Cardigan, d. 1907, with issue, among others: Peter, married Minnie Macaulay, with issue; Marion Adelle, wife of Kimpton McGrath, Lorne Valley; William Henry, Margaret May, Elsie Catherine, wife of Munro McGrath, Lorne Valley; John Thomas, Robert Elliot, Minnie Florence, Winnifred Matilda;
3. JOHN ANGUS, b. March 10, 1836, d. May 25, 1918. On May 5, 1871, married Isabella Nicholson, b. 1845, d. July 3, 1926, with issue surviving:
a. JAMES, b. July 3, 1873;
b. MATILDA BROWN, b. Mar. 17, 1877, wife of Walter D. Ross, Kinross, with issue;
c. MALCOLM ALEXANDER, b. Dec. 8, 1878, married Harriet Murgatroyd Riley, Winnipeg;
d. PETER ISAAC, b. Dec. 15, 1880, married Bella Irene Ross, Kinross; Margaret Alice, Marion Munro, Cyrus, George Franklin, Christina and John Angus all died in youth unmarried;
4. CHRISTINA, b. July 17, 1839, d. June 16, 1913, wife of Malcolm Dockerty, Cardigan, d. Oct. 4, 1896, with issue :
a. KATE, unmarried;
b. ROBERT, married Adelaide Birt, Mount Stewart, with issue; Malcolm Birt, b. Sept. 19, 1909; Stuart Mills, b. Feb. 20, 1911 ; Cyrus Alexander, b. Nov. 4, 1914;
c. MARGARET, wife of Jonathan E. Birt, Mount Stewart, with issue: Barbara, Gladys, Ida, and Chester;
d. ANNE, wife of James McEachern, Cardigan, with issue Christina and Florence;
e. OLIVER, married Laura Vionette, Lunenburg, N.S.;
f. JEAN, wife of George Jardine, with issue: George S;
5. PETER ALEXANDER, b. March 26, 1842, now living in Townsville, Australia, married Elizabeth Parnham Marshall Neilsen, daughter of James Neilsen, with issue;
a. PETER ANGUS, married Ethel Cruckshank, with issue, among others: Cedric, Dulcie and Elizabeth; b. JESSIE MARSHALL;
c. ISABELLA BURT, wife of Mr. Cruckshank, Townsville, with issue: Reginald, Nancy, Leslie, Ronald;
d. MALCOLM TOWERS, Aus. Exp. Forces, died in Australia of wounds received in action, Flanders;
e. LEILA;
f. ORWELL, Aus. Exp. Forces, killed in action in Flanders;
g. ADELAIDE;
6. ALEXANDER ROBERT, b. Nov. 26, 1845, d. May, 1910, New Glasgow, married Nellie Williams, Cardigan, with issue: Georgina Gertrude, wife of John Goodwill Macphail, C.E., Ottawa, with issue: Andrew and Catherine; Herbert, married Anne Barbara Logan.

III. JOHN, b. 1806, d. Nov. 5, 1879, Orwell North, married, March 10, 1836, Katherine MacLean, Montague River, b. 1819, in Uig, Skye, d. 1915, with issue:
1. DONALD, d. April 1, 1886, aged 46, married Anne Shaw, Uigg, with issue: Katherine; John D., Uigg; and Margaret, married Mr. Grant with issue;
2. WILLIAM, Butte, Montana, unmarried;
3. ALEXANDER, married Elizabeth Steele, St. John, N.B., with issue: Arthur, William, Grace and Janet;
4. MALCOLM, b. 1844, d. 1912, married Sarah MacKinnon, with issue, Hamilton, N.Y. ; and second Katherine Nicholson, Orwell Cove, with issue: Willard and Louise;
5. MARY, b. 1853, d. 1917, unmarried;
6. JOHN, b. 1856, d. 1901, unmarried;
7. HUGH, b. 1858, d. 1912, unmarried;
8. MARGARET, b. 1846, unmarried;
9. CHRISTINE, unmarried;

IV. FLORA, b. 1808, wife of Donald Lamont, Lorne Valley, with issue, among others: Christy, wife of John Johnson, Lorne Valley, with issue: George;

V. ANGUS, Orwell, d. June 6, 1876, aged 67, married, Margaret (Kinloch) Macdonald, d. April 10, 1903, aged 88, with issue:
I . JOHN, Victoria Cross, married Lois Mellish, with issue: Frederick; Angus; and Laura;
2. DANIEL, married Miss Hay, St. John, N.B., with issue: Verna ;
3. ALEXANDER, Calgary, unmarried;
4. DANIEL, JR., d. 1927, unmarried;
5. MARGARET, wife of Mr. Fraser, San Franscisco, without issue;
6. WILLIAM;
7. ANGUS, b. 1853, d. Jan. 7, 1911, Orwell, unmarried;
8. MARY, wife of Neil MacNeill, Wood Islands, with issue: Angus; Alberta, married, with issue; Cassie, wife of James A. Campbell, C. E., Oakland, Cal., with issue: Roderick, Malcolm, Daniel, Margaret, William, Minnie;

VI. CATHERINE, d. Mar. 31, 1871, aged 57, wife of Donald Shaw, Uigg, d. Jan., 1883, son of Allan Shaw, Flat River, with issue:
1. DONALD A., d. July 12, 1874, aged 32, married Miss Masters, Vernon River, with issue: Catherine, wife of Angus Martin, Glen Martin ;
2. ANNE, d. 1915, wife of Donald Macqueen, Uigg, with issue;
3. KATHERINE, wife of D. Shaw, High Bank;
4. CHRISTY, wife of Mr. MacLean, Dundas;
5. ALLAN, Uigg, d. Feb. 3, 1915, aged 74, married Flora Shaw, High Bank, d. April 12, 1906, aged 52, with issue surviving: John Ernest, Uigg, married Murdina MacLeod, Newtown, with issue: John Allan, and Catherine; Florence, wife of George Johnstone, Lorne Valley.

Malcolm Macqueen was one of the first children born in Belfast. After living with his widowed mother on the river farm until about 1833, he leased, and afterwards purchased from Louisa Augusta, Lady Wood, wife of Sir Gabriel Wood, and Maria Matilda Fanning, daughters of Governor Fanning, the homestead fronting on Fletcher's road, a short distance east of Orwell cross-roads. To this new farm he moved, across the frozen Nicholson marsh, the frame dwelling house, which was used until 1859, when a nine-room house was built. This was the home of the family until in 1895 it was replaced by the one now in use.

Of average height, he was a man of powerful physique. In an age when books were possessed by the few, memory was cultivated to a degree that is not thought necessary today. In this respect he was a marked man. There was stored in unusual measure in his retentive memory the folklore of the distant Highlands, as well as a complete knowledge of his native Belfast. He was as true a Highland Seannachie as if he had been born and lived in Skye.

His wife, Margaret Martin, of Newtown, was a woman of delicate body, and refined intelligent mind. Fortunately refinement of mind and manner is not confined to those living in luxurious surroundings. Mrs. Albert Jenkins recently spoke of her and others of her neighbors, who were born in an age when wants were few, as possessing innate refinement and gentility of manner to a degree equalling, if not surpassing, that aimed at in modern ladies' schools.

Their son, John Angus, was born on the old homestead on which he died, near Orwell cross-roads. He was even more characteristically Highland than his father. In a community where honesty was as common a quality as chastity, he was distinguished for it to a degree that made business relations with him a thing of mathematical exactitude. He was outspoken and uncompromisingly honest. No act inconsistent with the strictest integrity was ever imputed to him. In all his relations with his fellow men he was distinguished by a virtue, defined as "punctuality." Four generations came and went and he was still in the same place. He is reported never, in that time, to have missed a Sunday in church, and never to have been late for service. The regularity of his life made him an unchanging and continuing institution in the district.

If there was any announcement to be made in church that was omitted from the minister's agenda, he would calmly arise in his pew, and facing the audience amend the omission in an unembarrassed tone. He knew the Bible from cover to cover, and was satisfied with nothing less than a Scriptural sermon. One day he became impatient at the wanderings of a clergyman into politics, and is reported to have rebuked him, almost in the words of Queen Elizabeth, who "when the Dean of Saint Paul's, at a public sermon, enunciated some observation that displeased her, threw open the window of her private closet, in which she always worshipped, and shouted to him `leave that ungodly digression and return to your text.' "

To him character was the one and only test of worth and position. He recognized no other ground for social distinction.

Possessing the variable Highland temperament, he would pass from brooding melancholy to Highland gaiety with electric speed. The changing moods of the elements awoke in him a ready response, and he watched the varying phases of wind and sky, foretelling with mystifying accuracy what the elements had in store. In an age of superstition, living among people who inherited and believed in it, he was practical to an unusual degree, and scorned what he could not demonstrate from actual experience.

Order was a passion with him, and the child who failed to return to its designated place any instrument or tool, was the recipient of a well earned rebuke. Deceit and dissimulation were entirely foreign to his nature. No one was ever left in doubt as to his estimate of him. It seemed perfectly natural and proper to disclose frankly his likes and dislikes. One possessed of so many virtues is usually austere and uncompromising by nature. For their virtues such men are respected, to a certain extent feared, and to a less extent loved. His physical strength was great almost to the end. In all his long life he was never treated by a physician. At seventy-eight his striking pale blue eyes could detect an open rowboat at Point Prim seven miles from where he stood.

His wife, Isabella Nicholson, had an insatiable appetite for the things of the mind. With the ardor for education that characterises the Scottish people, she engaged in the daily tasks, not infrequently with an open book or newspaper clipping beside her, to be perused at every favorable opportunity. Her knowledge of history, and of the involved inter-relations of families, not only in her native province, but among the great in foreign lands, was so intimate that she was known among her friends as the "historian." The death of five of her children after reaching maturity failed to crush her indomitable will; each recurring blow of fortune seemed to strengthen her power to meet the one to follow. With her own temper in complete subjection, she was wont to rebuke the ill tempered and passionate in the words, "greater is he that controlleth his temper than he that taketh a city."


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