I have included only the opening intrduction
to the book on the Strathee family in Canada. This book has been updated
with all descendents by several members of the family and has been
reprinted since the original edition. If anyone is interested they can
contact me at email@example.com
THE HISTORY of the STRATHDEE FAMILY (1961 edition)
This is the second edition of the Strathdee Family History (references
to jobs etc. are at the date of publication aprox 1960).The text has
been changed where we have added members to the family of George
Strathdee and Lily Wivel but the rest is coppied directly from the book.
Anyone wishing to have changes made or additions to the family should
forward them to Reg Rumble, PO box 697 St.Mays, Ont N4X 1B4
Since the first edition was printed in 1953 the names of two generations
preceding have been obtained for which we are indebted to Edna Smith of
Cairo, Ontario, who has corresponded with James Duncan, present owner of
the Strathdee homestead, "Blackmuir", in Scotland. it is interesting to
know that James Duncan is a direct connection, having married Mary
Strathdee; also a niece of his, Mary Strathdee McEwan, on the adjoining
farm, "Bankhead", who is now a pen pal of Edna's. from them she has also
received photos of relatives and pictures of Blackmuir farm and other
interesting mementos. The following are insets of the farm and house on
Blackmuir farm is located about six miles from the town of Keith and
half way between Aberdeen and Inverness, being sixty miles from either
one. It is a small farm of eighty or ninety acres. As you see by the
picture, it is hilly sort of land. We are told it was really mostly
hillside and moss. It took hard work for many generations to turn it
into productive ground. There was never much cash to spare. They did not
have all the good things their descendants have, but they were hard,
steady workers and the Blackmuir bairns had a fairly happy childhood.
their early training stuck to them. As much education as possible was
the order of the day. Botriphnie was the parish; Drummuir the railway
station; Banff the shire (Banffshire), and Keith was the market town
Philip Duncan, who visited here in Canada on the Junior Farmers'
exchange, is a nephew of James Duncan and his mother is a daughter of
the late James Strathdee. Philip remarked at the reunion in his honor,
that if we went to Scotland he couldn't get as many Strathdee's together
there as he met here.
The connection has been traced back to William Strathdee who married
Elspeth Kew at Botriphnie on August 29, 1745 ( three generations in
The name "Strathdee" means--Strath is the land drained by the river, and
Dee is the river Dee.
It may be of interest that there is no Strathdee tartan. Of course they
are eligible to wear the tartan of other family connections. They
recommend we use the MacDuff tartan.
John Strathdee was far from a strong youth and a change of climate was
considered advisable. Emigration to Canada had begun. George was a
pickle steady and sure, ready for anything. Bettie, anxious for
adventure and wanting to get to Canada, married Alexander Bremner.
One morning in 1841, three carts started from Blackmuir. John Strathdee,
his wife Jane Edward's and son Alexander in the first one with as many
comforts as possible. Bettie Strathdee, her husband, Alexander Bremner,
and George Strathdee in the second vessel and the crossing took almost
eight weeks. They settled on a farm, Lot 20, Con. 5, Downie Township,
George did not like such level land and went to Dorchester where it is
more rolling. When Elsie Cumming Phillips, a daughter of Elspeth
Strathdee, visited Canada, she remarked how like Blackmuir his farm was.
Bettie Strathdee and her husband settled on fifty acres adjacent to
In 1892, Martha Strathdee, a daughter of Alexander Strathdee, came to
Jersey City, N.Y., and later to George Strathdee's home, Dorchester. She
married John Armstrong Mossop, a native of Dorchester, and they lived in
Hamilton, London and Toronto.
Some years ago it was felt that it would be a good thing to have a
gathering of all the Strathdee clan. The first reunion was held at
Lakeside in 1922. It proved to be a success and it was unanimously voted
to make it an annual event.
The picnics are held the second Saturday in June; usually in Stratford
or London park; has been in St. Thomas and Exeter and sometimes in
In 1930 reunion in St. Thomas park, was outstanding. Margaret Allen from
Glasgow, Scotland, was present and also Anne Strathdee Meehan, from
The family history was begun by Jennie Strathdee of Dorchester,
continued to 1953 by Hannah Pringle and to 1961 by Lillian Billington
with hope and confidence that future generations will keep up the record
to hand to posterity.