James Gillespie, b. 4-20-1810 d. 10-08-1899
James Gillespie, born in Scarnageeragh, County Monaghan,
Ireland, April 20, 1810, was the son of John Gillespie
and Sarah Woods Gillespie, his second wife. John
Gillespie, a farmer and a weaver, whose father came
from Glasgow, Scotland, was well-known in the county
and was instrumental in raising a company of volunteers
for Lord Charlemont in the Rebellion of 1798. Born in 1780,
John Gillespie lived to the great age of 100.
By his first marriage, John Gillespie had two daughters
and a son. The two daughters married brothers of the name
Greer and immigrated to the United States; the son remained
in Ireland. By his second marriage, he had 3 sons - Robert,
James and Alexander, and one daughter, Sarah, who married
John Smith. All of these immigrated to Canada, but Alexander
contracted typhoid on the ship and died in the hospital in Quebec.
James Gillespie, who was employed on the estate of Lord
Beresford, "Primate of all Ireland," was married in Lisnadill Church
on December 31, 1835, to Mary Jamieson (b. 3-3-1814), one of
four daughters of Arthur Jamieson and Mary Orr, who had a farm
about five miles from Armagh. She had a good voice and sang
in the choir of Lisnadill Church, her father being precentor.
James Gillespie and Mary Orr Jamieson
James Gillespie and his young wife came to Quebec
in 1837. For a time he managed the farm of George
Henderson at Little River, four miles from the city.
This farm later became the Hossack farm. He soon
rented the place, and lived there for about eight years.
Here, four children were born - Eliza Jane, Mary, John
and Sarah. In 1845, he rented the Hamilton farm,
directly north of Scott's Bridge, and in this home were
born James, George Arthur Stewart and Margaret.
It was here that Eliza Jane was married, in the
year 1857, to Alexander Buchanan.
Mary Orr Jamieson Gillespie
Old ancestral farm-house at Little River, Quebec
Photo as captioned by Edith Gillespie in 1965,
in her book, "The Gillespie Family Record."
In 1860, James Gillespie bought a farm nearby from
Mr. Prendergast, which the family still owned,
according to family records, as late as 1965.
Mary was married to Peter LeRossignol there
in 1862; Sarah to Alexander Gillespie (her cousin)
in 1867, and Margaret to James Jack in 1876.
The house was an old-fashioned, French-
Canadian type, with a steep roof and sloping
eaves. Fronted by the St. Charles River, the
house had farmland extending almost two
miles back towards Charlesbourg.
Two photos exist of Gillespie family homes in
Little River. There is a discrepancy in records as
to whether the house at left is actually the Hossack
house or the Prendergast house. Click on photo to
see a similar house captioned by Mary Gillespie
LeRossignol-Henderson, in her book, "Memories
of My Early Life," as being her "birth-
place." However, Mary Henderson's written
description of the Prendergast house matches
the architecture of the houses in both photos.
When James Gillespie arrived in Quebec in 1837, he became affiliated with St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church,
where he was an active member and an elder for 35 years, during the long ministry of Dr. John Cook. He
organized the first Sunday school in Quebec, and for a time, served as its superintendent at the Cameron
Church in St. Roch. Greatly interested in education, he secured the services of a teacher from Ireland, Mrs.
Story, and gave her the use of a cottage on the farm, in which she lived and where school was held. The
dairy business that they ran on the farm supplied the Officers' Mess in Quebec with butter, all made into
quarter pound prints with a thistle stamp.
After their children were married, with the exception of Agnes and Margaret, James and Mary Gillespie
stayed on the farm for several years, until it was bought by their son, James Gillespie II. They rented an
adjacent farm, where they lived until Mary Orr Jamieson Gillespie died on 2-25-1880. About 2 years after
this, James Gillespie married a cousin, Mrs. McRoberts, née Woods, at Lucan, Ontario, and lived
there for several years - and later at Park Hill. When his wife became too frail to keep house, she made
her home with a daughter and James Gillespie lived with the Rev. and Mrs. James Henderson until his
death on 10-8-1899. His body was taken to Quebec and buried in the family lot in Mount Hermon Cemetery.
Continue on to read about James Gillespie's siblings, Robert and Sarah Gillespie.
Please note that this web site is a work-in-progress, in its beginning stages. New pages will be added over
time, and family sources will be credited. In the future, as time permits, we will supply an e-mail link
for family wishing to contact us.
2004 - Diane Gillespie Stanislaw
|Robert and Sarah Gillespie
|Mt. Hermon Cemetery