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Agnes (Thomson) Muir (1837 - 1865)

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Agnes Muir formerly Thomson
Born in Scarborough Township, Upper Canadamap
Ancestors ancestors
Wife of — married [date unknown] [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died in Canada Westmap
Profile manager: Fred Nix private message [send private message]
Profile last modified | Created 7 Jun 2013
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Agnes was born in Scarborough Township, Upper Canada (now Toronto, Ontario) on September 25, 1837 and was baptised on October 30, 1837 in St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Bendal, Scarborough. She was the daughter of Agnes Paterson 1800-1875 and James Andrew Thomson 1802-1884. James Andrew, or “Springfield Jimmy,” was a descendent of the brother of the first European settler in Scarborough.

Agnes marries Alexander MUIR 1830-1906 probably in about 1858. Alexander was born on April 3, 1830 in Lesmahagow, Scotland (roughly 35 kilometres south of Glasgow on the modern M74 highway). His parents were John Muir 1802-1868 and Catherine (?Catharine) McDermid. The family came to Upper Canada in 1833. John and Catherine Muir are in the 1861 census in the Township of Scarborough and John is described as a “school teacher.”

Alexander graduated from Queen’s College in 1851 and then taught school in various places in and around Toronto. In the 1861 census, Agnes and Alexander are living in Scarborough with two children. After the death of Agnes in 1865 Alexaner marries Mary Alice Johnston in 1866. Alexander Muir is remembered for writing in 1867 the song “The Maple Leaf Forever” which for a time was an unofficial national anthem for Canadians from other than the province of Québec. There is one school of thought that says the “Maple Leaf Forever” was so pro-British that it ignored or alienated the French contribution to Canada whereas another school of thought suggests that the original lyrics actually included a reference -- the lily – to the French contribution.

Agnes died in March 1865 and is buried in the cemetery of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Bendale. Alexander died in 1906 and is buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Toronto.

Agnes and Alexander had the following three children (Alexander went on to have children with his second wife but they are not shown here):

John George Muir 1859-1939

James Joseph Muir 1860-?

Colonette [?Colinetta] Campbell Muir 1863-?


[1] 1968 Paterson family tree shows Agnes, her spouse, 3 children and descendents.

[2] Scarborough Birth Register (poor photocopy of transcript):Agnes born Sept 25 1837, baptised Oct 20 1837.

[3] St Andrew’s Baptism Register: John George was born 30 Jan 1859, baptized 1 May 1859; James Joseph was born on Feb 24 1860 and baptized in Feb 1861; Colonette [not sure of spelling] born 6 July 1863, baptized July 1864.

[4] 1861 census, Ontario, York, Scarborough, pg 73, lines 7-10; Alexander Muir (30), born Scotland, [cannot read occupation, it is clearly not “farmer” and may be anything from “Icailar” to “Jailar” – can’t read it]; Agnes, (36), born Upper Canada, ; John G. (3); James (1).

[5] 1861 census, Ontario, York, Scarborough Township, pg 49, lines, lines 21-22: John Muir (59), born Scotland, school teacher, “C of S [Church of Scotland]; Catharine (50), born Scotland. They live in a log house.

[6] J. Paul Green, “MUIR, ALEXANDER,” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 13, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003–, accessed November 11, 2013,. Other sources on Alexander Muir include WikiPedia and the Canadian Encyclopedia

[7] St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Bendale, cemetery, headstone: “Agnes THOMSON wife of Alex Muir died Mar. 1865 in her 28 yr. by her brothers to gether (sic)” [row 24.9] Alexander Muir’s father is also buried at Bendale but there could be some confusion in identifying him because the there are two “John Muir” headstones. One ls for a John Muir c1817-1899 who was a native of Lesmahagow, Scotland. Since Lesmahagow is where Alexander Muir was born, it might seem logical to conclude that this is his father. But it is not. The correct John Muir is this one: “To the memory of John Muir; a sincere Christian & estimable member of society, for 22 y’rs a teacher in this township and in his native land. Born in Crawfordjohn, Lanarkshire Scotland, July 5, 1802, died July 2, 1865 emigrated to Canada 1833 erected by a number of his grateful pupils in 1868, The trumpet shall sound and the dead shall be raised incorruptible.” [row 23.8] There is also a report that Alexander Muir’s mother is buried at Bendale but, to date, no gravestone confirming this has been found.

[8] Mount Pleasant cemetery, Toronto: “Alexander Muir 1830 – 1906 Author of Canada's national song “The Maple Leaf Forever" Erected by the Grand Orange Lodge of British America “


Thank you to Katharine E for creating WikiTree profile Thomson-2084 through the import of andrew thomson.ged on Jun 7, 2013. Click to the Changes page for the details of edits by Katharine and others.

The current biography (Nov 11, 2013) was prepared by Fred Paterson Nix

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DNA Connections
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Agnes by comparing test results with other carriers of her mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known mtDNA test-takers in her direct maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with Agnes:

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Rejected matches › Agnes (Rooth) Thomson (abt.1838-)

Agnes is 22 degrees from Virginia Fields, 21 degrees from William Mayo and 17 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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