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Henry Purvis Moffat and Margaret Young

Article about Henry Purvis Moffat and Margaret Young written by Marion Doidge.

Henry Purvis Moffat and Margaret Young
(1806-1878)     (1811-1886)

by Marion Doidge

At this point I have not seen documentation to verify it, but it would appear that Henry Purvis Moffat and Charles Moffat (1803/4-1887) were brothers. Until proved otherwise, let us include Henry Purvis Moffat in the family of Charles and Jane Bowhill Moffat. The IGI shows that Henry Purvis Moffat was born about 1806 in Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland, and that he married Margaret Young born about 1811 in Edinburgh ; the marriage is shown as having taken place in Edinburgh about 1830. (The IGI records indicate that not all of the info in their lists has been verified.) IGI lists indicate that the other children of Charles and Jane Moffat were born in Gordon, Lauder and Eccles in the county of Berwick, but it is possible that Jane Bowhill Moffat was in Edinburgh when Henry Purvis Moffat was born.

On one finds the marriage of Henry Moffat (no Purvis in his name) and Margaret Young taking place at Westruther, Berw. on 18 April (likely banns) and 25 April 1830. The IGI shows that Henry Purvis Moffat married Margaret Young about 1830 in Edinburgh. As the exact dates likely came from OPRs, the marriage most likely took place at Westruther.

They lived for a while in the Stockbridge District of Edinburgh. In the 1841 Census they were living at 24 and 26 Brunswick St. in Edinburgh. Henry was 35, a dairyman and “not born in this district”. Margaret was 30 and also “not born in this district”, so chances are that they moved to Edinburgh after their marriage, and that Henry found work as a stock feeder/dairyman. From the work of Sandra McGinn we know that Henry was listed as Cowfeeder No. 2A.

Henry Purvis Moffat and Margaret Young Moffat had eight children of whom the oldest was Charles 1831- 1909. This Charles was Sandra’s gt gt grandfather; dates are from Robin Moffat and Sandra McGinn respectively.

  1. Charles (1831-1906)(1909?) was a cabinet maker, farmer, politician; he married Christina Steele, an author who wrote “Waifs of Fair Edna”, on 30 July 1852, St. Cuthbert’s, Edinburgh. From Edinburgh, Charles and Christina Moffat went to New York, then back to Edinburgh, then to Quebec, then to Guelph, and finally to Durham, Ontario where they rented a house. Eventually they purchased a farm at Edgehill, Conc 2, Glenelg Twp, Grey County, Ontario. Edgehill is just outside Durham. This Charles is Sandra McGinn’s gt gt grandfather.
    The 1881 Canada Census shows the Charles Moffatt (census spelling) household thus:

    Charles, born <1832> in Scotland, age 49, farmer, married, Scottish origin,
    Presbyterian, census at Glenelg, Grey South. Enumerated in the household of Robert Ector, farmer.
    Also Christina, age 51, married, born in England, Scottish ethnicity.
    Robert, age 27 born USA, single
    John, age 26, born USA, married to Mary age 24, born in Ontario, Scottish ethnicity. Their son Charles was 2, born in Ontario.
    Henry, 14 son of Charles and Christina, born in Ontario.
    Anne, (sic), 10 daughter of Charles and Christina, born in Ontario.

    The next household is that of Thomas Moffatt (Sic), 24, born in Ontario.
    Probably the son of Charles and Christina who had a son Thomas. He had wife Sarah J. age, 27, Irish ethnicity, born in Ontario. Thomas and Sarah had a son Harold, age 1. Census taken at Glenelg, Grey South. It is my guess that this is the same Thomas who went west to hunt bull buffalos for taxidermy. One of these bulls was on display in the Union Station in Winnipeg. For many years he managed the docking/shipping yards in Owen Sound. After he retired, he went to Scotland. Upon his return, he had a house built in Durham two blocks from Sandra Moffat McGinn’s family. Thomas had a daughter Hattie who married into a Washburn family in/near Wainright, Alberta. Marlaine Elvidge is linked to this branch of Moffats.
    Charles and Christina’s daughter Anna married someone by the name of Jack McFadgen. They had no children.

    Charles and Christina’s son John Y. (Jack) married Mary McArthur. John and Mary were Sandra McGinn’s gt grandparents. They in turn had one son Charles Henry, farmer and cabinetmaker, who married twice, both wives dying very young and leaving him with two small daughters. After his wife Mary died, John and Charles Henry sold the farm, moved to Durham and built the house (1923) that Sandra lives in now.
    Charles Henry married a third time, this time to Ida Davis, and they had one son, Charles Davis Moffat, Sandra’s father who died in May 2003. Sandra bought her father’s house and is the fourth generation Moffat to live in it. Charles Davis Moffat was a master of fine carpentry/handyman/hobby farmer and was a reference for two books of local history in the Durham area. See details of Charles Davis Moffat’s life written by his daughter Sandra McGinn in e-mail message of 16 April 2004.
  2. Thomas 1833 (1847) traveling sewing machine salesman?, in US navy? IGI Ancestral File shows his birth “about 1840” and the IGI individual record shows “about 1841.” However, Robin Moffat found that Thomas’s age was given as 8 years old in the 1841 Census; Robin recorded 26 June 1833 as Thomas’s birth/bp date from OPR’s. Robin says Thomas was in the British Navy, and that he was captured while running a blockade during the American Civil War.
  3. Janet Nisbet (1834-) married Ebenezer Louden; shipping business in Dublin
  4. John Young 1838-1866 writer/editor “Good Words” magazine in Edinburgh; worked in London 1862 “until his death on 28 Mar 1866 in Islington, London”; buried in London in Abney Park Cemetery.
  5. George (1840-1885) was a cabinet maker (via Louisville, KY, then to Marshall, Texas. He emigrated to Canada when he was seventeen, and lived for two years with his brother Charles in Durham, Ontario before he went to the United States. The 1880 US Census lists Geo. Moffat, born in Scotland, age 39, furniture dealer, married, white, parents Scottish. Enumerated at Marshall, Harrison, Tex. His wife was Eliza, 35, born in Indiana, housekeeper, father Bavarian, mother born in Pennsylvania. Children Hugh 9, Scottie 7 and Elizebath (sic) 2, all born in Texas. Robin Moffat is a great grandson of George.
  6. Robert (1843 -?), publisher Waverly Press in Edinburgh, served in Union Army in US, settled in Mobile, Alabama. Last heard from in 1886 from New Orleans, LA.
  7. Henry Young (1844-1915) author of “From Ships’s Boy to Skipper”; went to sea at the age of twelve with a forged note from his mother; at sea with City Line for 38 years, commodore of P & O Steamline; married Jeanie S. Pettigrew on 24 Aug 1874.
  8. Jean Ann (Jeannie) 1852 (1854) married Thomas Aimers;shipping business in Dublin. From the birth records from St. Cuthbert’s Parish, Edinburgh, Robin Moffat found that Jean Ann Bourhill (sic) Moffat was born to Henry Moffat and Margaret Young on 13 June 1852.

Henry Purvis Moffat and his wife Margaret eventually went their separate ways. He came to Canada to live with his oldest son Charles for the rest of his life. Henry died in 1878 and was buried at Bethel near Edgehill, Ontario. His remains were later moved to Durham cemetery where he shares a tombstone with his son Charles and his wife Christina Steele Moffat, his grandson John Young Moffat and his wife Mary McArthur and his great grandson Charles Henry Moffat and his first wife Grace.

Margaret Young Moffat moved to Dublin, Ireland, where she was involved in the shipping business with her two daughters and their husbands. Margaret died in February 1886 and is buried in Dublin.


  • Sandra McGinn
  • Robin Moffat
  • Hazel Crammond
  • census records
  • IGI records
  • OPRs

17 Apr 2004 Marion Doidge

Linked toDocument titled “Henry Purvis Moffat and Margaret Young”; Thomas Aimers; Ida Davis; John W. Johnson; Mary McArthur; Jack McFadgen; Anna Moffat; Charles Moffat; Charles Moffat; Charles Davis Moffat; Charles Henry Moffat; Elizabeth Moffat; George Moffat; Harold Moffat; Henry Moffat; Henry Purvis Moffat; Henry Young Moffat; Hugh Moffat; Janet Nisbet Moffat; Jean Ann “Jeannie” Moffat; John Moffat; John Young Moffat; Robert Moffat; Robert Young Moffat; Scottie Moffat; Thomas Moffat; Thomas Moffat; Jeanie S Pettigrew; Margaret Young; Eliza Barbara Zinck; Sarah J [--?--]

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