1. Alexander (Alex) Scrimgeour of Sarnia, a regular correspondent, has sent an enthusiastic and appreciative account of his recent trip to Scotland and attendmlce at the 1996 gathering. His letter, too long to be reproduced here, expresses special appreciation to Betty Stevenson for arrangements, to Robert and Nettie Scrimgeour for help with transportation to the gathering ~om lodgings in Broughty F erry and to the Earl and Countess of Dundee for their generous hospi~ity and use of Birkhill.
  1. A comment ~om James (Jim) Scrimger of Kars, Ontario initiated a visit to the National Defence Medical Centre (still known to some as the Veteran's Hospital) where the No. 1 conference room has been officially designated as t'the Scrimger Room." A wall plaque, in both English and French, reads:

    Silver Jubilee 1986

    On the Occasion of the NDMC Silver Jubilee Y ear 1986

    this conference room has been dedicated to

    Captain Francis Alexander Caron* Scrimgeour V C., C.A.M.C

    while a framed wall citation presents details of his personal action at YPRES April 25th, 1915 for which he received the Victoria Cross. Photocopies of accounts from the Canadian Medical Journal and an obituary provided by a helpful librarian at the Canadian Medical Association have provided additional details to the information contained in the clan history The Scrimgeours (p. 121 and 124) written by the Munros. *[ed. note: Military sources seem to use this spelling with one "r" whereas in family sources and in the Munro book one finds the familiar "Carron"].

    According to recent newspaper accounts, the Victoria Cross, ranking above all other Commonwealth honors for courage, has been granted to only 1,346 servicemen, including 94 Canadians. Additionally, and more recently, James Scrimger advises that while aware of the "Scrimger Room", he has only just become aware of a biographical book Francis Scrimger: beyond the call of duty written by Suzanne Kingsmill, apparently as one in a series entitled, "Canadian Medical Lives." Space permitting, we will plan to include a fuller account on the above in a future issue. This may also include some information on Mt. Scrimger, located on the Alberta B.C. border in Western Canada.

    A letter from Jame's family, received in 1995, enclosed a newspaper clipping d&ted Feb. 17, 1899 for the obituary of the late Wm. Scrimgeour. This was James g.g.grandfather who had died in Lakefield, Ont. at the home of his son George. The letter explains that the finding of this information enabled James and his wife Jean Scrimger to commence on a trail of discovery for their family. A more recent letter now contains a family tree, showing in part, that John Scrimger (1812-1890), a brother to Wm. Scrimge(ou)r (1816-1899), was the father of Rev. John Scrimger (1849-1915) and the grandfather of Capt. F.A.C. Scrimger, V C.

    The trail of discovery reveals that the parents of John and Wm. had eight children in all, of which the first five were born in Scotland and the remaining three in N.Y , USA. These Scrimgers originally came to Johnston, NY in 1807 then to North Dumphries, Upper Canada in 1826, and later to Galt, Canada [ed note: Galt, now known as Cambridge, Ont., is about an hours drive west of Toronto on a four lane highway]. This would seem to make them one of the first, or possibly the first, "Scrimgeour" family in Canada. One learns a little more of this family from another reference, which, in explaining the origins of Scrimger Avenue and Dudhope Street in Galt attributes these names to the existence of their farm from the end of the 1820's. This was near the corner of what is now Dundas and East Main. One son, James Scrimger, at first kept the toll gate but later bought the farm. He died in 1895 at his residence near the Toll Gate and had been a resident for nearly 70 years.

    From the first letter "It is interesting to note that the spelling of the family name often changes. In the Perthshire records the name is "Scrymgour" (believed to probably have been a mispelling of Scrymgeour) and in subsequent records of New York and North Dumphries/Galt, Canada, the spelling remains fairly constant as "Scrimger". (James has all three spellings on various registration certificates, i.e.birth, baptismal, etc.)

    The obituary for Wm. Scrimgeour [dated 1899] notes that he was married in Michigan some sixty years ago. There were eight children - four boys and four girls. His wife was killed in a runaway accident thirteen years earlier on the streets of Port Hope, Ontario. Subsequently Wm. Scrimgeour came to Carleton Place about forty years ago and two years later to Almonte. [Carleton Place and Almonte are both located some 20 miles west of Ottawa]. As a contractor, over twenty years he built many of the buildings in Almonte, including St. John's church, Mr James Robertson's store, St. Paul's rectory, the Rosebank woollen mill and others.

    The history of the Township of North Dumphries shows a photograph of Mr.Archibald McPherson (from Breadalbane) and his bride, born Grace Scrimger. It notes that when he brought his bride with him from Caledonia to Dumfries, she rode behind him, with both on one horse. Married in 1825 at the age of sixteen, she died in 1898 in her 90'th year while her husband lived to be 93. As per the custom of the time, she always spoke of her husband as "Mr. McPherson" or "Father" and felt that her granddaughters were not showing proper respect when they used the first names of their husbands. She also "used to tell of how, in the early days, the wolves would howl and scratch at the door in the night; next morning their tracks in the snow would show they had circled the house again and again."

    From a book on the history of the First United Church, Galt, Canada one learns of another account of interest. It is best explained by quotation; "The rule that not even the paraphrases might be sung led to trouble for one family in 1856. The Scrimgers were attending meetings that had to do with the first beginnings of Central Presbyterian Church. To go to another denomination was bad, and to sing "uninspired compositions" was worse. Our session met and suspended them ---. At the next meeting, Mrs. Scrimger appeared to speak on behalf of herself and her married children. Debarred from the communion which she had attended for thirty years she recited one of the paraphrases she had been singing.

    I'm not ashamed to own my Lord,

    Or to defend His cause,

    Maintain the glory of His Cross,

    And honour all His laws.---

    From this, Mrs. Scrimger was successful in persuading the session to re-instate her membership in good standing!

  2. A most pleasant and interesting afternoon was spent early in 1996 at the home of Gordon Scrimgeour who had recently finished reading his copy of the 1995 Skirmisher. Originally from Prince Edward Island, Gordon has recently moved to Ontario from Montreal. He and Hannelore now live in a home on a wooded lot in a rural area near Spencerville, Ont. (which is near Brockville, and a little north of Lake Ontario). For Gordon the outbreak of war in 1939 interrupted a planned career as a school teacher. Unable to join the airforce because of his eyesight he joined the army. Here he continued to serve until 1951, rising to the rank of Captain. Following this he followed a long career with the Hughes-Owens Co., (a well known supplier of drafting equipment), rising to the level of comptroller and vice-president. Gordon has been a lover of dogs and horses since his boyhood days in P.E.I. He later became a noted collector of war medals, particularly for the air force, and travelled with his collection when it was being shown across Canada.
  1. Conversation naturally included accounts of how his family originally came to Canada. His g.grandfather, John Scrymgeour b. Perth emigrated to P.E.I. in 1843. He was followed by his wife, nee Mary Gow, and infant son who sailed to Canada from Glasgow on the "Abigail" in 1844. Gordon's grandfather, John Gow Scrimgeour (1843-1917), was a farmer, trader and shipbuilder as well as being active in political office and continued to reside on the family farm near Cardigan Bridge, P.E.I.. Gordon travels to this region regularly to visit with Winnifred Scrimgeour, his unmarried sister. We hope to have additional information on this interesting family in a future issue of the Skirmisher.
  1. Readers of the book on Scrimgeour history by the Munros may recall the story and drawing of the "Pirley Pig", kept by Sir James as constable of Dundee, and into which the fines of those not attending council meetings were to be deposited (pp. 55-57). Imagine, however, the surprise of finding a craft store in Peterborough, Ontario with replicas of the "Pirley Pig" in their local catalog! Clan members Mrs. Frances Benson of Peterborough and Mrs. Margaret Baker of Ottawa were therefore able to present their brother Jack Scrimgeour of Ottawa with one of the replicas on his most recent birthday. At the same time they were able to show the proprietors of the craft store the detailed drawing of the original as it appears in the clan book and tell them a little more of its history.
  1. A friend, in Ottawa, has mentioned visiting a pioneer house in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada where it is said to be known as the "Scrimgeour house" Subsequent enquiries seeking verification and further information, although including help from the heritage foundation in Edmonton, have proven unfruitful. Does anyone know of this house which may possibly have been the home of the earliest Scrimgeours in Western Canada? Otherwise the earliest residents in this region are understood to have been Harry Scrimgeour who came to Alberta in 1912 followed in 1919 by his brother Robert Scrimgeour, both originally of Dundee. After a brief sojourn in British Columbia, these two brothers became well known in Calgary, Alberta where they settled permanently.
  1. In 1995 Pat Scrimgeour of Ottawa completed the writing and publishing of her first book, "The Adventures of Chopin Lapin" which is the story of a musical rabbit living with a musical family It is written for children aged seven and under. She is also now teaching Scottish Country Dancing in the local RSCDS branch and wonders if there are Scrimgeours in other parts of the world similarly engaged. Meanwhile, her husband Jack Scrimgeour continues to produce a monthly update on advanced manufacturing technology, first started in 1979. A summary appears as a regularr column in a Canadian trade publication with distribution sufficient to reach virtually all Canadian manufacturing companies as well as being distributed electronically by the National Research Council to their technology advisors.
  1. Stories written by free lance writer Richard Scrimger are seen from time to time in publications such as the Globe and Mail, Canada's national newspaper. Richard is listed as a novelist living in Cobourg Ontario. One of his stories, for example, is a humorous description of the trials of a harried father attempting to shop in a large supermarket while at the same time taking care of several small children. Undoubtedly this is a situation to which many of the name can relate!
  • The name of Tom Scrimger (the son of James and Jean Scrimger of Kars, Ont.) is seen from time to time in national news. He has a senior responsibility concerning administration of the federal government loan program for assistance to students in universities and colleges.