Bill's Genealogy Blog

Bill Buchanan is a long-time genealogy enthusiast, living at Onoway, Alberta, Canada. This blog will describe my experiences as I research my family history and help others.

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Location: Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada

I am a retired online school teacher. During July 2007 - January 2010, and September 2011 - March 2014, I provided part-time support for https://familysearch.org This is very rewarding. I have helped others with the Family Tree and related FamilySearch products.
Since April 2010, I was an assistant director of Edmonton Riverbend Family History Centre. In recent months I was director of this FHC. I have a FHC blog at Bill's Family History Center Blog For information the Latter-day Saints and family history click http://mormon.org/

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Cuthbert Grant jr. Canadian Metis Leader

One of our patrons at the FHC is a descendant of this famous Canadian Metis leader. His father Cuthbert Grant sr. was one of the founders and partners of the North West Company, fur trading rivals of the Hudson Bay Company. The rivalry became increasingly bitter. On 19 June 1816 the local HBC governor, with a group of armed HBC employees, tried to arrest a group of armed Metis buffalo hunters led by Cuthbert Grant. Many people have asked, "What was Semple thinking? He was facing a larger group of armed men, who could shoot buffalo with deadly accuracy from the back of a galloping horse!"  The result was 21 HBC men and and 1 Metis dead. The news reached England and the British government forced a merger of the two rival companies. For more details on the battle see http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Seven_Oaks

Cuthbert Grant was credited with preventing a general massacre of the HBC population. While he was in Winnipeg answering charges resulting from the battle, his wife Bethsy and infant son James disappeared and were never seen again. Was it an act of reprisal against him because of Seven Oaks? We may never know. He remarried twice. After the merger of the HBC and the NWC, he was hired by the new HBC and given the title "Warden of the Plains". He was respected as the leader of the Metis nation and founder of the community that became St Francois Xavier, Manitoba.
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuthbert_Grant

This is interesting reading to anyone with an interest in western Canadian history, but my patron's problem was related to Cuthbert's family, and how it was shown in the FamilySearch Family Tree. One son Cuthbert Louis Marie George Grant was shown as dying at the age of 6 months, being christened several months after his death, being married to two different women at the same time and having several children. What a mess! With some research we found that the christening was for another brother named Cuthbert Grant, who married Marie Gingras and had a large family in the Dakota Territory. The other wife, Euphrosine Gladu, was actually married his brother Charles Grant. This family also lived at Pembina North Dakota.

The beauty of the FamilySearch Family Tree is that regardless how much someone has messed up your part of the Family Tree, you can normally correct the errors yourself. And the new Hints feature makes it easier to source the information. Hopefully, beginners will think twice before changing records that have good sources. Whim and logic need to be replaced by official sources whenever possible.

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