Notes from Robert Douglas Moffat (Clan Moffat Society Member 1425)
Thomas Moffat was the only son of Rober Moffat and Christina Lang. Robert was from the parish of Hamilton (just north of Glasgow) and Christina was from the parish of Lesmahagow. Thomas had 6 sisters, two of whom were twins. Al of the children were born in Crossford, whic, I believe was a suburb of Lesmahagow, The church records do not record a middle name for Thomas, but he was always referred to as Thomas Lang.
As a young man, Thomas worked as a journeyman/founder in Glasgow, He married Elizabeth King, a dressmaker, in Hutchesontown, a suburb of Glasgow, in July of 1856. Elizabeth’s father was William King and her mother was Elizabeth Bryce, It’s interesting to note how often the surnames LANG, KING and BRYCE appear in the christian names of succeeding generations of Moffats.
Thomas and Elizabeth had eight children. Their firstborn, Robert, was born in September of 1857, but died three years later in August of 1860. John King was born in June of 1860, and Thomas Lang in November of 1862, both in Hutchesontown. In the early 1860s there was not sufficient work at the Bayfield Foundry in Glasgow to warrant Thomas’ continued employment; so, on Janyary 20, 1863 he was let go, after having spent 10 years in their employment. It must have been during the period of searching out a new job that Thomas moved to Edinburgh where Fredrick William was born, in 1865. Alfred Bryce was also born in Scotland, in 1868, but at this time it is unknown where. The following year, in 1869, Thomas immigrated to Canada with his young family.
Arriving in Canada, he seems to have moved around a good deal, spedning time in Dundas, Galt and Hamilton Ontario, George Richie was born in August of 1871, but died a month later. Elizabeth Bryce was born in August of 1872. It is not known at this time where George or Elizabeth were born. Charles Lang was born in Galt on November 8 1975.
In 1874 Thomas had an iron and brass castings company in partnership with a Mr McCallum in Dundas. For whatever reason, he appears to have left Dundas, probably for Galt where Charles was born (this is just supposition) and then finally he took his family to Owen Sound, Ontario, where he got a job as a moulder with the firm of William Kennedy and Sons, Several of Thomas’ sons also apprenticed with the Kennedys. (John King, Thomas Lang and Fredrick William for sure).
In 1882, Thomas Lang moved to Markdale, Ontario, and founded, with borrowed capital, a general engineering and machine shop company, “T. L. Moffat and Sons”, doing all kinds of work on plows and any kind of agricultural implements the small plant was equipped to do, and many things connected with machinery that it wasn’t.
T. L. MOFFAT & SONS
FOUNDRY AND MACHINE WORK
Manufacturers of mill machinery, steam engines, shafting
hanger, pulleys and land rollers, plows and plow points.
-New Family Mangle-
Mangle Linen, cotton and woolen goods
Ornamental cast cresting for buildings, verandahs etc.,
Ornamental cast iron charis, pall pillars, fencing
columns, iron beams, grating for cellar windows
Iron and brass castings of every description made to order
It soon became apparent that T L and his sons were gaining a lot of experience, but they weren’t making any money. R. P. “Bob” Butchart (of Butchart Gardens fame, and formerly of Owen Sound) told the Moffats that there was always a good market for any plant that could turn out a good stove. So the company branched out and began producing cast iron, wood and coal burning stoves, for the cooking of food and home heating. The first wood burning stove was called the “Ploughboy”, because it had a picture of a man at a plough stamped on the door. It was a good stove, and quite a few were sold around the neighbourhood (Bob Butchart bought the first) but Markdale wasn’t near a major market, and the company wasn’t exactly prospering.
Mr Moffat and his sons realised that the Moffat plant must be moved closer to the major markets, and they sought the help required to move to a more suitable location. One year, in the late 1880s, the Moffats were exhibiting their stoves at the Canadian National Exhibition, in the old Crystal Palace builing. One of the stoves sold at the C N E was to a Mrs Lyon of Weston. Shortly after she bought it she wrote a letter to Markdale complaining that her stove wouldn’t work, So, one of the Moffat sons, probably T L Junior went down to Weston to deal with the problem. There was nothing wrong with the stove, it just had not been isntalled properly, Mrs Lyons was much impressed with young T. L. and asked him to stay to dinner and subsequently introduced him and the family to several leading business men from the town of Weston, including G. S. Lindsay, a relative of Mackenzie King, Frank Fleming, son of Sir Sanford Fleming and Sanderson Pearcey. They, and other citizens of the town, subscribed a modest sum that financed the builing of the first Moffat factory in Weston. Stones were labouriously carted from the banks of the Humber River to erect a factory structure on Dennison Road and Jane Street, the power needed to run the new Weston factory was provided by a steam engine, Thus “Moffats Limited” settled in Weston and the wood burning “Ploughboys” were soon in production.
Merchandising in those early days was not accompanied wtih the convenience of today. To cover the Canadian market did not mean comfortable airplanes and automobiles, dependable freight service and telephones, but rather walks of 15-20 miles to local markets and staying overnight in the homes of local town folks. Longer journeys out of Ontario were by bicycle and might cover over 1000 miles. Eventually, the Moffat Stove was on sale in many markets of Canada, and even a few abroad; one wood burner was hauled 200 miles across the Sudan to fill and order, and another was shipped to the Fiji Islands. T. L. Moffat & Sons began to prosper, but on the 19th of February, 1907, Mr Thomas Lang Moffat Senior passed away. His eldest son, John King Moffat assumed the presidency for the next 23 years, His four borhters, Thomas L. Junior, Frederick W., Charles L., and Alfred B., each had authority and expertise in specific areas, On the retirement of J. K. Moffat in 1930, his brother, T. L. Moffat Junior, assumed the presidency and continued to run the company until he handed operations over to his sone Donald R. Moffat, D. R. Moffat continued as president untiol about 1953, when Lang, D. R.’s elder borther became president for a short term before the sale of the company to AVCO. After the sale of the company, D. R. was again appointed as president and continued as such until 1958. 
| ||1. Robert Moffat, b. 11 September 1857, Scotland , d. 20 August 1860, Irvine, Ayrshire, Scotland (Age 2 years)|
|+||2. John King Moffat, b. 5 June 1860, Hutchesontown, Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland , d. 8 September 1932, Weston, York Co., Ontario, Canada (Age 72 years)|
|+||3. Thomas Lang Moffat, b. 11 November 1862, Hutchesontown, Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland , d. Weston, York Co., Ontario, Canada |
|+||4. Frederick William Moffat, b. 22 September 1865, Loanhead, Lasswade, Edinburghshire, Scotland , d. 29 January 1949, Weston, York Co., Ontario, Canada (Age 83 years)|
|+||5. Alfred Bryce Moffat, b. 2 September 1868, Ladhope, Edinburgh, Edinburghshire, Scotland |
| ||6. George Richie Moffat, b. August 1871|
|+||7. Elizabeth Bryce Moffat, b. 16 August 1874, Hamilton, Wentworth Co., Ontario, Canada , d. January 1958, Vancouver, New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada (Age 83 years)|
|+||8. Charles Lang Moffat, b. 8 November 1875, Hamilton, Wentworth Co., Ontario, Canada , d. 3 April 1952, Weston, York Co., Ontario, Canada (Age 76 years)|
| ||9. Alfred King Moffat, b. Scotland |