Friday, November 12, 2010

Biography: Joanna (Chisholm) Fraser



Joanna was the daughter of Isabella Rhind (born Jan 19, 1822 in Strathglass, the daughter of Alexander Rhind and Janet Fraser) and John Chisholm (of Beauly) who were married on November 11, 1834 in Inverness. She had several maternal aunts and one uncle: Ann, Jannet, Catherine and James. Joanna was living on Park Lane Inverness at the time of her marriage to William Fraser. The ceremony was performed by Rev. John Thompson, Roman Catholic Clergyman, in Elgin. Witnesses to the marriage were Edward McGhie and Alexander Gibb.

Joanna followed William on the long treck to the distant Isle of Lewis where he worked for a year and where she gave birth to her little son James, who died after only 11 days.

The little family followed the scarce work back south to the Isle of Skye where William worked for three years saving up enough money to bring his family to Canada.

In 1873 the family moved to Glasgow from where they set sail for Canada on one of the new steam ships. The family settled in Toronto where William became a very successful builder.

Joanna died in Toronto on February 15, 1920, only a few months before her husband. The newspapers lamented the passing of this prominent Toronto family as true pioneers of the City.

Nothing is known of her father, John Chisholm, at the present time.