Hester is born in on August 13, 1866, almost certainly in McGillivray Township, Middlesex County, Canada West (north and west of London). She has older siblings who were born in Scarborough Township (now a part of Toronto, Ontario) and there are baptism records for them in St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, Bendale, Scarborough. The fact that there is no baptism record for her or her older brother, James, at St. Andrews suggests the family had moved to McGillivray prior to 1865. The land making up McGillivray had been conveyed to the British Crown in 1825. The Canada Company was formed in London, England in 1824 with the purpose of purchasing crown land in Upper Canada and then selling it to settlers. (Upper Canada becomes Canada West in 1841 which, in turn, becomes Ontario in 1867.) One of the directors was Simon McGillivary, and this is where the township derived its name.
Hester is the son of Robert William Thomson (1835-1877) and Helen Jane (or Jane Helen) Tindill (1840-1919). Her father was born in Scarborough, descended from the brother of the first settler in the township. Both of her paternal grandparents were among the earliest Scotish settlers in Scarborough. Her mother was born in England and had come to Canada West with her family in 1850.
Hester is in the 1871 census records, as a four year old, living with her family in McGillivray Township. Her father dies in 1877 and her mother leaves the farm to move into the village of Parkhill (West Williams Township, about on the border with McGillivray). Hester is in Parkhill with her mother and five siblings in the 1881 census. She is now 14-years old.
Sometime after 1881 her mother and some of her brothers and sisters move to Winnipeg, Manitoba. Hester is 24-years old living with her mother and two of her siblings in Winnipeg in the 1891 census. She is a dry-goods clerk. Not much is known about her life after this. For some reason she decides to move back to Ontario for a time and she can be found there, in Parkhill, in the 1901 census living with her sister who is now Mrs. Meggs.
In the 1906 census, Hester is now married and living back in Winnipeg. Her husband is Thomas GREGG (1867-1924) who was born in Ireland and had come to Canada in 1886, following the footsteps of an older brother and sister. He can be found in the 1901 census, living in Winnipeg with his older siblings. His brother, George, is a merchant and Thomas is shown in the census record as a clerk which may mean he was working for his brother. Somehow Thomas and Hester met and decided to marry sometime between the years 1901 and 1906.
Hester and Thomas have not been found in the 1911 census records, although it is fairly certain that they stayed in Winnipeg. They are there in the 1916 census and their street address is 616 Furby. This is less than a kilometre west of the city centre, just north of Sargent. Thomas works as a shipper in a warehouse. It is also known that sometime during this period Hester and Thomas are involved with the Gregg Gospel Mission on Alverstone Street. This is intriguing but no other information has been found on this mission (what denomination, what its role was, what Thomas and Hester did, etc).
Thomas dies in 1924. Hester dies in December 1942 at her residence at 616 Furby St and is buried in St. John’s cemetery. At the time of her death, her neice, Ella Sinclair is living with her (and appears to inherit the house).
Hester and Thomas had no children.
 1968 Paterson family tree shows Hester as the 4th child of Robert Thomson & Helen Tindall [Tindill]; it shows her spouse as Thomas Gregg; no children are shown.
 1871 census, Ontario, Middlesex North, 8, McGillivray, e, pg 16, household 58. Robert Thompson (sic) (36) farmer; Ellen (30) born in England; Elizabeth (10); Agnes (8); James (6); Esther (4). The family is “Scotch” and “Presbyterian.”
 1881 census, Ontario, North Middlesex, Parkhill village, pg 37-38, household 174: Mrs Ellen Thompson (sic)( 40), born England, widow; Elizabeth M. (20), [occupation appears to be “servant”]; Agnes P. (18); James A. (16), blacksmith; George H (12), in school; Esther A. (14), in school; David C. (7), in school; Thomas Hamilton (22), painter, Ch of Eng, Irish All the children were born in Ontario and they are all labelled “Scotch.” The Thompson [Thomson] family’s religion is C. Presb [Canadian Presbyterian].
 1891 census, Manitoba, Winnipeg, 10, Ward 4, household 377. Helen Thompson (sic) (50), widow, born in England; Hister [Hester] (24), dry goods clerk; George (22); grocers clerk; David (17), printer; Elizabeth (?) Swalar (30), widow; Ella Swalar (7). All children born in Ontario. Helen’s parents were born in England; the children’s mother was born in England, their father, in Ontario. [“Swalar” is most likely a mis-spelling of “Sinclair.”]
 1901 census, Ontario, 88, Middlesex north, Parkhill, pg 8, household 84, automatedgenealogy.com transcriber Ernst Jensen, Proof reader Cheryl Martyn: G.C. Meggs (41) born Mar 4, 1860; Angness (38), born Aug 9, 1862; Wilton [should be Milton] (13) born Nov 21 1887; Helen (11), born May 18, 1889; Hester (9), born Aug 9, 1891; George (7), born Apr 9, 1893; Haasher [Hester] Thompson (sic) (34) born Aug 13, 1866, sister-in-law. From the actual census page, George is a machinist and the family’s religion is Baptist.
 1901 census, Manitoba, 12 Winnipeg, ward no 6, pg 9, household 89: George P Gregg (37), born 25 June 1863, merchant making $1800/yr; Thomas Gregg (33), brother, born 13 July 1867, clerk, making $450/yr; Elizabeth Gregg (48), sister, born 28 Aug 1852. George & Elizabeth came to Canada in 1883; Thomas came in 1886. They were all born in Ireland. Their religion appears to be “Eng Church’ [Anglican]
 1906 census, Manitoba, North Winnipeg, pg 10, household 76: Thomas Gregg (38); Hester (39); Elizabeth (53), sister. Thomas and his sister were born in Ireland; Hester was born in Ontario. The address looks like 275 Selkirk.
 1916 census, Manitoba, 13 Winnipeg, City of Winnipeg, pg 32, household (?) 256: Thomas Grigg (sic) (50, born Ireland, shipper in a warehouse; Hester (49), born Ontario. The address is 616 Furby. Their religion is Methodist. Thomas immigrated to Canada in 1886.
 Winnipeg Tribune, Oct 31, 1936, pg 15 – Hester Edna Meggs marries Bernard Joseph Reilly on Oct 28 at the home of Hester’s aunt, Mis Hester Gregg. Hester Edna is the daughter of the later Mr & Mrs Geo C. Meggs. Bernard is the son of the late Mr & Mrs Michael Reilly of Drogheda, Ireland. The uncle of Hester Edna, Mr George H Thomson, gave the bride away. A cousin of the bride, Miss Lillian Thornton, sang. The couple left for Vancouver & California, where they will spend the winter, returning to live in Winnipeg.
 Winnipeg Tribune, Dec 9, 1942, pg 13 (paraphrase) “Mrs Hester Gregg of 616 Furby St died in her residence. Her husband, Thomas Gregg, died in 1924. They ran the Gregg Gospel Mission on Alverstone St. She is survived by 3 neices: Ella Sinclair who lived with her; Mrs B Reilly of Winnipeg & Mrs W. Benner of Piedmont California. And a nephew, George F. Meggs of Rochester, NY. She is buried in St. John’s cemetery.”
Thank you to Katharine E for creating WikiTree profile Thomson-2131 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 was prepared by Fred Paterson Nix on Nov 12, 2014.
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