Welcome to our genealogical family history site!

Sirnames in the direct line here are: Young; Gardner; McLean; Peters; Mussell; Taylor; Stevens; Bruce; Foulds; Prince; Thomas; Fidler; Mackagonne; Wilson and Brown. On-going research is providing more all the time!

I encourage you to email family stories, pictures, personality profiles and interesting facts to me (along with the appropriate sources) and I'll see that they get posted. These would help us all to appreciate our strong, rich heritage as something to be immensely proud of!

While you're here, watch the slideshow (links on the left) and watch some aboriginal YouTube at the bottom of the page where you're invited to listen to some great Metis fiddle music from Trent Freeman and others. Soon, I hope to feature Stan and Sam Young - so keep watching!

Don't forget to have a look at the 'helpful links' for some FREE excel spreadsheets. I'm providing them for your personal use only to help you keep track of your own family tree. They're for Windows Microsoft Excel 97. I have Office 2007 versions as well, with a few more features, so if you email me at wsoapco@gmail.com , I'll be happy to send them to you.

**NEW** I have a full list of Metis Scrip Affidavits for the Thomas line! I can send you the spreadsheet - just ask me!

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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

James Young & Isabella Stevens

The Canadian Patriarch of the Red River Métis Young family is James YOUNG, Métis ID #5213. At this point nothing is known about how he came to be in Canada or when exactly he arrived. It should prove to be a very interesting story though since we have on our record that his father Dick (Richard) Young was probably here before. James’ mother was a native woman – however, James was apparently born in England. I’m not totally convinced he was really born in England and would like to see their travel papers... and birth/baptism records. Also unknown, is who his siblings are.

So far, we know James was born in 1822. Around 1848, at the age of about 26, he married Isabella STEVENS (1826 - Jan 17, 1919) at St. Andrews Parish in Red River who would have been around 22.

Around the time of Isabella's birth, the Metis community was dealt a couple of very hard blows. In 1825, the buffalo hunt was a total failure and the Metis, who had ranged far out onto the plains, survived their homeward trek by eating their dogs, horses, their buffalo robes, leather tents and their shoes. The Reverend David Jones, (1798 - 1844), noted that this severe lesson may teach the thoughtless Canadian half-breeds to turn their attention to diligence and industry on their farms. (sic) He considered hunters to be "idle, roving, imprudent and, in times of want, even threatening and dangerous." He however, indulged in pemmican when it was available and it was the staple food of his mission school.

Then on May 5, 1826, the year Isabella was born, a flood drove many Red River farmers from their homes. This great flood carried away houses, cattle and trees. They were swept away in 1/2 hour when an ice jam broke. Fortunately, only five people were killed. Three churches and the mill survived. This is the largest flood in recorded times. They survived by digging cellars in the prairies, roofed with sod, and thereby lived underground through the winter; much as the first Scots had when they arrived. Many departed for the United States and some estimate the number was as high as 500 people! Most of the Swiss and German mercenaries, some 250, quit Red River. The flood waters didn't crest until May 22.

This rugged family survived and even thrived.

Isabella was the third child of Richard Stevens, (ID #4476) who was born in 1793 in Severn, Glouchester, England and a Cree woman named Mary or Nancy. I have found records for six children. James Young died in 1870 at the age of 48 in St. Andrews, Red River – before the census was taken that year. Isabella was enumerated as a Widow in St. Andrews with their children.

Information on Isabella’s mother is conflicting but here is the information I have collected so far. At 'peterfidler.com/descendants' they have Mary’s last name listed as O’Connor, others have her last name – or Indian name as “Meenish”, and one family member told me she was Eskimo from the east side of James Bay. According to one source, she may have been born in 1781, baptized December 27, 1831, and died Oct 24, 1828. This information needs more substantiation though, she would have already passed on before her baptism! If we were to guess, she was probably born c.a. 1890. It would be great to sort this information out, so if anyone has some solid sources please email me and I’ll update this posting. Also, a source (ancestors.ca) reports she was previously married c.a. 1810, to John Thomas Jr. (Sept 25, 1782 – Jun 3, 1816) of Moose Factory. He was an HBC man from 1797 to 1816 and was the son of Chief Factor John THOMAS and Margaret.

In 1875, Isabella - living in St. Andrews, applied for scrip as the wife of Malcolm MCLEOD, and the widow of James YOUNG. Here is some information on him. According to the census of 1870, Malcolm was the occupant of Lot 135, St. Andrews Parish (east side of the Red River, across from Lower Fort Garry). He was born Oct 21, 1821 at Green Lake, Saskatchewan, an illegitimate child of Charlotte (nee Pruden), half-breed daughter of John Peter Pruden (the Scottish patriarch of the Pruden family of Red River) and John McLeod Sr., born 1788, a Chief Trader for the HBC (Hudson’s Bay Company).

Malcolm was sent to Edinburgh, Scotland, to be educated as a lawyer. He studied law in Montreal, was admitted to the Bar in 1845, and became a judge there. The census of 1881 for St. Clements/Lisgar lists the family as: " Malcolm McLeod Sr., age 35; wife Isabella, age 52. Children: Jemima Young, age 15; and Malcolm J. McLeod Jr., age 7. "


Children of John Thomas Jr. and Mary (Nancy; Meenish; O’Connor; Thomas):

Charles THOMAS born 1811 married Mary BOUVER (born 1827 and baptized Apr 7, 1828) and died in 1904... and Eleanor THOMAS

Children of Richard STEVENS ID#4476 and Mary (Nancy; Meenish; O’Connor; Thomas):

1. Thyrza STEVENS
2. Henry George STEVENS born 1821 NWT
3. Isabelle (Isabella) STEVENS born 1826 at St. Andrews, Red River, MB. and died Jan 17, 1919 age 93, as Isabella MCLEOD in Lockport.
4. William Richard STEVENS born June 15, 1829 at St. Andrews, Red River MB. and died in 1918 in Halcro, Saskatchewan. He married in Dec 1850 at St. John’s Parish, Mary Anne FOULDS (born Mar 22, 1828 St. Andrews; died Aug 17, 1883 St. Andrews) daughter of English HBC man John FOULDS (born 1798 in Liverpool, Lancashire, England; died Aug 27, 1868 at St. James, Red River) and Mary FIDLER (born June 27, 1811 on Charlton Portage on the Assiniboine River; died Oct 17, 1842 at St. Johns). More information on this family can be found in the “Fidler” section of this blog. (not entered yet)
5. Mary born 1832 in NWT (Red River)
6. Robert born 1838 in NWT


Children of James Young and Isabella Stevens

1. Jane YOUNG was born July 21, 1849 in St. Clement, married William FIDLER , and died in 1916 at the age of 66

2. Louisa Rachel YOUNG (a.k.a. McLeod) was born Mar 1, 1851, married William McCORRISTER.
3. Mary Ann YOUNG (Marianne) was born Jan 9, 1853, and married on Jul 9, 1868 at St. Andrews, Thomas TAYLOR (ID#4940), a trader born in 1843 also at St. Andrews. He was baptized Jul 26, 1843 at St. John, and died Jul 14, 1875. His parents were Capt. George TAYLOR (1800-Nov 8, 1844) and Jane BRUCE (1808 – Oct 1, 1844) who was the Cree Chief PEQUIS’ daughter, adopted by Benjamin BRUCE . Mary Ann’s second husband was
4. Henry George YOUNG was born Nov 11, 1855 at Red River Settlement, baptised Dec 9, 1860, and married Apr 12, 1877 Catherine Jane TAYLOR born Nov 11, 1859 at Little Britain (St. Catherine’s) MB; died Dec 18, 1954 in Birch Hills, Saskatchewan) daughter of George TAYLOR ID#4636 (born Oct 3, 1829 in Red River) and Isabela COOPER ID#4638 (born in 1835 at Red River).
5. Isabel YOUNG born c.a. 1859
6. James YOUNG Jr. Born Jul 10, 1862, married Margaret Ann GUNN
7. John YOUNG born Jul 17, 1863, married Lydia Catherine COOPER
8. Jemima YOUNG born 1866, married Roderick MCDONALD
9. Lara YOUNG born 1868

Children of Malcolm J. MCLEOD and Isabella STEVENS

1. Malcolm J. McLeod Jr born 1874


  1. janwhyte@shaw.caJuly 6, 2010 at 4:37 PM

    Hi! Love your page! I am a descendant of the Magnus Brown/Isabelle (Dog Rib Native) line....I am trying desperately to finding something on "Belle" and have a picture referencing a fur trader from 1938 with Chief Peguis. As I see their daughter, also "Belle" is listed as a fur trader on the Metis census - with her husband John McKinley, also a fur trader. I am thinking this picture references the mother, ie Magnus Brown's wife, as working with Peguis. Would you have any info to buttress/contradict this? Many thanks, Jan.

  2. This is very interesting and it would be great if you could let me know when you get videos of Stan and Sam as Stan is my grandfather.

  3. I was told Meenish was Inuit. My family researched this back in the 80's

  4. You have done a wonderful collection on our family. Thank you!