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Mini Biographies of Scots and Scots Descendants (Mc)
McInnes, Simon

Country: Canada
James Campbell McInnes was born on January 23, 1874 at Halcombe, Ramsbottom, Lancashire. He was the son of Archibald McInnes and Mary Gallacher. Archibald was born in Scotland in 1834, and died in Ramsbottom in 1901. James McInnes was a baritone singer, who made his living entertaining well-to-do Victorian families in London with after dinner performances in their houses. His best friend was Graham Peel, related to the English Prime Minister of the same last name. James McInnes married Angela Mackail, granddaughter of E. Burne-Jones, the pre-Raphaelite painter, in 1910. Graham McInnes was born in 1912, and Colin McInnes was born in 1915.

James McInnes divorced Angela in 1917. In 1919, he moved to Toronto, Ontario, Canada, where he taught elocution and singing for the rest of his life, including working at the University of Toronto. He died in 1945, and was buried in Bala, Ontario.

Angela McInnes remarried - George Allnut Thirkell, a Tasmanian. They and the two children moved to Hobart in 1919, and then settled in Melbourne. In 1930, Angela Thirkell left Australia with her youngest son, Lance Thirkell, and returned to England. She made a very successful career as a novelist, writing 40 books or so. She died in 1960.

Graham McInnes left Australia around 1934, sailed across the Pacific to San Francisco, took a train to New York, then a train to Toronto, where he arrived at Union Station, looked in the telephone directory, and rang his father who was extremely surprised and delighted to hear from him.

Colin McInnes also left Australia a year later, met his father in Canada, and then moved on to the U.K. Colin joined up in WWII, and then spent the rest of his career as a successful writer and novelist, writing as Colin MacInnes. He died in 1976.

Graham McInnes married Joan Burke, of Melbourne, in London, in 1938, and they returned to Canada. Graham McInnes became art editor of the Toronto publication Saturday Night in the late 1930s. He joined the National Film Board in 1942 and moved to Ottawa. In 1948 he joined the Department of External Affairs, where he served as a foreign service officer in India, New Zealand, London (UK), Jamaica, and at UNESCO in Paris, where he was Canada's Ambassador.

Graham wrote and published two editions of Canadian Art, the first comprehensive look at art in Canada. He also wrote two novels. He is best remembered for his four volume autobiographical interpretation of growing up in Australia in the 1930s: Road to Gundagai; Humping my Bluey; Finding a Father; and, Goodbye Melbourne Town (originally published by Hamish Hamilton, recently reprinted in paperback). He died in 1970, aged 58, in Paris, France, and is buried in Pontevès, Var, France. Joan McInnes lived in the U.K. until 1979, then returned to Canada living in Toronto until December 2000. She died in Ottawa on April 7, 2002, aged 87.

Michael McInnes, born 1941, now lives in London, England. Susan McInnes, born 1944, now Susan Hill, also lives in London, and has two children, Toby Crick, and Edmund Crick. Simon McInnes, born 1948, married Heather Maclachlan in 1977. They have four children: Margaret McInnes was born 1979; Clare McInnes born 1981; Christiane McInnes born 1985; and, Angus McInnes born 1986. Simon McInnes and Heather Maclachlan reside in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

As far as Simon is aware, he is not directly related to any of the many McInnes clan members living in Canada. However, proving the power of the Internet (and of ElectricScotland), the first version of this brief history of Simon’s side of the McInnes family was read by Ruth Farnworth in May 2001. Ruth contacted Simon to point out several errors, and this second version is now corrected. Ruth, the granddaughter of Archibald McInnes Jr., brother of James McInnes, resides in Bury, Lancashire.

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