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Angus/Aeneas McPhail Biography

Angus was born in Gearrannan, Lewis Island, Scotland.1. Lewis is the largest of the islands in the Outer Hebrides. His actual date of birth at this time is not known. Oral tradition is strong on these islands & to this day Gaelic is still in use. This would explain Angus's fluency in the language.

Angus signed on as a laborer for the Hudson's Bay Company in 1837. He sailed at that time from Stromness, Scotland to York Factory on the Prince Rupert. The following is a list of his appointments & service while in the employ of the Hudson's Bay Company: 2.

1837: Signed contract

1837-1838: General Charges Post: Not yet assigned District: Northern Department

1837-1846: Laborer Post: Fort Langley District: Columbia Department

1846-1855: Dairyman Post: Fort Victoria District: Columbia Department

1855-1856: Listed under "Sundry Accounts" District: Columbia Department

Upon completion of his service in the Hudson's Bay Company Angus settled on the Saanich Peninsula of Vancouver Island. Local history has it he was the first white settler in the area. He was to spend the remainder of his life in the area. Angus apparently had 2 to 3 wives during his lifetime & 2 daughters, Anne & Mary, that we know of. Anne married Alphonse Verdier & Mary married Frank/Francois Gravelle.3. Descendants of both these families still reside on Vancouver Island to this day. Angus McPhail is related to another Fort Langley employee, Francois Xavier Vautrin, through the marriages of their descendants.

1. Angus McPhail's place of birth information courtesy of Phil LaFortune

2. Hudson's Bay Archives, Manitoba, Angus McPhail Biographical Sheet courtesy of Saanich Pioneers Society

3. Victor E. Virgin, History of North & South Saanich Pioneers & District, 4th edition, Saanich Pioneers Society, 1997, 14

*Please note this biography is also posted on The Children of Fort Langley site.

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UPDATED October-20-2001
Copyright 2001 Laurel Katernick