The Kilgour Family*
of Beauharnois and Montreal

From "The Storied Province of Quebec Past and Present"
Ed. Col. William Wood, Dominion Publishing Company, Limited, Toronto 1931

In Beauharnois, Province of Quebec, where they established themselves more than a century ago, the Kilgour family has since that period of Canadian history figured prominantly in different branches of local and Provincial life. William Kilgour, founder of the line here, was a Scotsman, born at Leith, Scotland, July 22, 1804; and while still young, he removed to Edinburgh, Scotland where he received his formal education and learned the house building trade.  

Leaving Scotland, his native country in 1829, he came to Canada to make his home, settling first of all in the City of Quebec, where he spent a short time, and coming thence to Montreal.  In 1830 he removed to Beauharnois, which was destined to remain long the home of the family, and where he was among the pioneer settlers.  Here he settled down to a career of contracting and building, continuing these activities most usefully over a period of half a century, and becomming after a time a furniture dealer , so adding to his original enterprises. He built a frame dwelling house when he first came to Beauharnois; but after he had occupied it for a number of years, sold it and built in it's place a stone house on the banks of the St. Lawrence river, which he named " Bonnie Banks". This house is now (1931) occupied by his youngest and only living child, Mary Kilgour.

A widely known and highly respected citizen, Mr. Kilgour was noted for his honesty and uprightness, his sterling character and many Christian virtues. He was a staunch Liberal in his political views, a member of St. Edward's Presbyterian Church in Beauharnois and one of it's elders, and for a time ruling elder having filled that office for more than thirty years, and a man who's life was not lived in vain. He was noted for his many acts of charity and benevolence, and was ever ready to do his duty as a citizen and a Christian.  He lived to the ripe old age of eighty years, honoured by all and universally admired, and died as he lived, a true scion of a fine and noble family.

 The members of the family who he reared rose to positions of commanding esteem in their careers, reflecting credit upon him and his early teachings. Devoted to his home and family, he died in Beauharnois on July 22, 1884, aged eighty years, and was laid to rest in the General Cemetery in this place.  He married, in Beauharnois, Quebec, on September 28, 1836, Ann Wilson, born October 19, 1810, at Lochwinnoch, Scotland, daughter of John Wilson and Anne Orr, both natives of Scotland and pioneer settlers of Beauharnois.  William Kilgour and his wife lived happily together for more than half a century, she dying at the age of eighty-four in 1894. She, too, was buried in General Cemetery, Beauharnois.  She was a Presbyterian in her religious beliefs and a faithful wife and mother, as well as a woman of fine Christian character.

  To them were born nine children: 

1. Ann, who became the wife of John Holmes, a farmer of Howick, Quebec, both now deceased. 

2. Margaret Kilgour, who became the wife of L.M. Livingston, of Montreal, both deceased. 

3. Isabelle Kilgour, who became the wife of Rev. W. Coulthard, a Presbyterian divine, both deceased. 

4. Jean Kilgour, who was married to James C. Wilson, a well known paper manufacturer of Montreal, and Lachute, both now deceased. 

5. John Wilson Kilgour

6. William Kilgour, a widely known furniture manufacturer of Morrisburg, Ontario, who died there October 31, 1901; he married Mary Gibson, of Morrisburg, and left two children - Ralph, now president and manager of the J.W. Kilgour and Brother furniture company, manufacturers of Beauharnois, where he lives, and Elizabeth ("Bessie"), who resides with her brother. 

7. Robert Kilgour, a manufacturer of Toronto in his day, who died in that city. 

8. Mary Kilgour, who lives at home. 

9. Joseph Kilgour, a manufacturer of Toronto, who also died there.

Mary Kilgour, the only living child of William and Ann (Wilson) Kilgour, lives at the homestesd place in Beauharnois, where she is a faithful member of the Presbyterian Church.  She is noted for her many acts of charity and benevolance; and like her parents and her forebears before her, is possessed of many Christian virtues and excellent qualities of character and personality.

*Researching the Kilgour family - Patty Brown (g-g-g-grandaughter of William Sr.)

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