Renfrew Family  

Renfrew: from the Scottish Gaelic 'Rinn Fr' (point of current) [1]


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This family is still being researched but a brief outline appears below:


John Renfrew (c1758 - 1834) was from either Glasgow or neighbouring Paisley, Renfrewshire, in Scotland. It is not known who his wife was but she probably died in Scotland. They had two known children, Thomas and Janet. Janet married a Roger Black (or Back) and died in Quebec 1849. John and his children were likely part of the wave of emigrants who came to Canada after the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815 when thousands left the British Isles for what they perceived to be a better life. The Renfrews settled in Quebec City. A wave of cholera epidemics struck Lower Canada (as the province of Quebec was known as then) and in 1834, John and Thomas died of cholera.

Thomas Renfrew (c1797 - 1834) became a merchant grocer in Quebec City and married Mary Ann Jane Henderson in 1830. They had two children: George Richard and Mary Ann. After Thomas' death in 1834, his widow remarried Wesleyan Methodist minister Reverend Edmund Botterell.

George Richard Renfrew (1831 - 1897) was brought up by relatives and became a furrier, later becoming part of the famous company Holt/Renfrew.  He married Eliza Jane Tweddell and they had ten children, though four died in infancy: George Henderson, Mary Matilda 'Maud', Louisa Caroline, Laura Isabella, John Henry, Allan Edmund, Alice Maud, Walter Charles, Kenneth Elliot, and Gordon Campbell. George died in Baildon, Yorkshire, England and was buried in Mount Hermon Cemetery. Eliza Jane died after contracting pneumonia on Christmas Day 1898 in Toronto.

Louisa Caroline Renfrew (referred to by her descendants as 'Granny Patton') was born 19 May 1859 and christened 28 December of that year in the Wesleyan Methodist Church in Quebec City. She married shipbroker Edvart Hans Jørgen Schwartz, originally from Dammen, Norway, 26 December 1887. They had two children, George Bryant and Olga Renfrew. After Edward’s death in 1893 from tuberculosis, she married clerk Thomas Harold Bertram Patton 31 August 1898. They continued to live in the Montcalm district but by 1911 had moved to and were living at 216 Heath St W. Toronto, where Thomas worked in a bank.

Louisa travelled frequently to England with her children before WWI, though Thomas only seemed to accompany them once. After the war, Louisa travelled three times more across the Atlantic. It seems her daughter Olga returned to live with them after her divorce from Major Thomas Geoffrey Leith. Louisa died in Toronto General Hospital 11 June 1930, having suffered for some years from diabetes and arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and was buried in nearby Mt Pleasant Cemetery.