William McGregor was born at Cairnarget, Glass on 17 January 1851 to James McGregor, farmer and Isabella Taylor. He had two older brothers James born 1840 died December 1885 Cairnarget and Alexander born 1844 died 1916 also at Cairnarget. On the death of their father James in September 1885 the three brothers took over the running of the farm.
After the death of their brother James, Alexander with the help of William successful ran the farm of Cairnarget for a number of years. However sometime between1881 and 1891, William acquired the farms of Dykehead, and Midplough, Rothiemay. Whether he still helped Alexander at this point, is unknown. Perhaps when Alexander’s son James was born in 1891, William assumed the son would inherit Cairnarget and moved to the other farms. William was on the 1891 and 1901 census at Dykehead, Huntly, married to Christina Watt of Drumduan and their children William, Isabella, Jeannie and James.
In the Huntly Express of May 12 1911 was the following advert.
Displenish sale at Midplough, Rothiemay on Monday 22nd. Farm stocking, household furniture and other effects belonging to Mr Wm. McGregor, way going tenant.
Black Mare “Rose” 8 years old with foal at foot
Brown mare “Bess” 4 years old
Chestnut horse “Prince” 6 years old
Brown Mare “Kate” Mid aged
All quiet correct workers
Brown cold 2 years old
7 Dairy cows in good season13 2 year old Stots & Heifers
14 Yearling Stots & Heifers
All home bred and in good grazing condition
3 young calves
4 Boxcarts with Hay Tops: Long Cart: Phantom: 2 single ploughs; double plough; 3 sets wooden harrows, 2 drill harrows, grubber, metal roller, wooden roller; turnip sower; broad-case sowing machine; BD reaper (Albion); 2 reaper rakes; drag rakes; cart and plough harness; gig harness; turnip cutter; box barrows; barn fan; bushel & strake; weighing machine & weights; riddles; scoop; ladders; picks; spades, piling mail & wire stretcher; scythes; grindstone; troughs; paraffin cask; saws; hammers, yokes & singletrees, wire netting, corn bags; chicken coops; cheese presser; watering trough & all minor implements.
Walnut sideboard; 2 easy chairs & 6 single chairs in Haircloth; bed chair; round table; 2 tables with folding leaves; 12 bedroom & other chairs; lobby tables; washstands & toile tables; sofa; chest of drawers’ 5 iron bedsteads with spring & straw mattresses; bookcase; stair carpet & rods; carpets & linoleum; curtain poles & rings; towel rail; whatnot; barometer; pictures; fenders; kerbs & firestones; kitchen tables; chairs; forms; “Hathaway” churn; baking case & boards; meal girnal; lamps; tubs; clothes screen; crockery ware; pots; pans & kitchen & dairy utensils.
Sale to commence with implements at 11 o’clock. Stock at 1.30; Furniture 2.30. Refreshments will be supplied on the ground at moderate charges.
Presumably the sale went well and the next information found on William was when he sailed for Quebec on board the Lake Champlain from Liverpool arriving Canada 5 July 1911. He was accompanied by his wife, his sons William and James and daughter Bella.
To date, we have no further information on William nor his wife Christina, however a friend in Canada sent has obituaries of their two sons, William and James.
Reston Recorder October 25 1956
Wm. McGregor, Buried.
Reston, Manitoba – Last rites for Wm. McGregor, 67 were held last Wednesday afternoon in the United Church here. Rev G.H. Whidden officiated.
Burial was in the Reston Cemetery with the pallbearers being, Dennis Smith, Clarence Lennon, Cornelius Otte, Walter Ashley, Alex. Mennie and Duncan Fraser.
Bill, as Mr McGregor was popularly known, had been a resident of the Reston district since 1911. He died at his home here on Monday afternoon of last week, following an illness of some duration.
Coming from Scotland, his birthplace, he farmed in the Lambton and Linklater districts until two years ago when he retired and moved to Reston. He is survived by his brother James who shared in the farming operation and retired to live in Reston with his brother, two years ago.
Reston Recorder November 6 1969
BRANDON – The death of James McGregor, the last member of a pioneer family of the Reston district, occurred in the Assiniboine Hospital on October 27th after a lengthy illness.
He was born in Midplough, Scotland, February 1st 1899, the son of William and Christina McGregor and came to Canada with his parents and other members of the family in 1911.
His passing marks the end of an era for he was the last living member of a family who came to Reston district to settle and none ever married. Well remembered for his quiet good nature, he had the distinction of never having said an unkind word about anyone in his 70 years – a record we would search long and far to find equalled, if ever.
Many hearts were warmed on a crisp winter’s night, as the sound of music from Jimmie’s fiddle and Bill’s melodeon came floating from the old school house. And many will have moments of nostalgia recalling the gatherings at Christmas when the rafters of the old “hoos” would fairly ring with the music.
His last eight years were spent at Fairview House in Brandon and much of the time in hospital after he had suffered a stroke. Here again, he made many friends among both staff and residents alike. The world has benefitted by Jimmie McGregor having been here and we wish him a fond farewell.
He was predeceased by his parents, two sisters, Isabella and Jean and his only brother William. The funeral service was held in the Reston United Church, of which he was a member, on October 30th with the Rev E. Schuman conducting the service. Active pallbearers were Dennis Smith, Walter Ashley, Alex. Mennie, Frank Curtis, Clarence Lennon and Alvin |Birnie. Honorary Herb McIntosh, E.J. Guthrie, Ed Wilson, Walter Brown and J.D. Bulloch. Honorary in absentia J.L. Bulloch, Joe Scorgie, S. Hendry and F. Wyatt. Burial was in the Reston Cemetery.
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