Born July 1806, John Duffes Sr., came from a family of Scottish Highlanders. Members of the Sutherland Clan, they were direct descendants of family Duffus. They gained wealth, through their involvement with the East India Trading Company.
At age 29, he married Elizabeth Ferrier. The couple sailed to America to honeymoon, and visit her relatives in Canada.
John completed some family business, then they returned to New York. Waiting for him was a letter and $700.00. He never said what was in the letter, but he understood, that he was never to return to Scotland.
The couple settled in Utica, New York. On March 1837, a son, Alexander Duffes was born. (Remember Alexander, as that is where our Pioneer family begins). They returned to Canada and stayed with her brother and sister.
John took up the plastering trade. In 1844 the family moved to Hamilton, Ontario, where his ornate cornice work, was in great demand. After a cholera outbreak in 1846 he moved his family to Kilbride. He purchased 5 acres of land and built a house.
In 1882, while constructing a Presbyterian Church in Strabane he had a stroke and died. That same church and a general store exist to this day.
A fiddle that he entertained with on his voyage to America is in family hands. He also played the bagpipes.
Atholl Highlanders By Arklestonpiping
Side Note: The featured image is the Jacobite Steam train on the way from Ft. William, traveling along the West Highland Line. Ft. William is where John Duffes Sr., said he was from.