Alexander Allan Duffes-The Early Years

John Duffes, eldest child, Alexander Allen Duffes, was born in Utica, N.Y. in 1837. They traveled to Canada and stayed with Elizabeth’s brother and sister in Hamilton, Ontario.

After a Cholera epidemic in Hamilton, they moved to Kilbride Cholora Epidemic, Hamilton, Ontario, Canadawhere John Duffes built a home in 1847. They also lived in Strabane.


Of Alexander’s 8 siblings, 2 were born in Hamilton, 3 in Kilbride and 3 in Strabane, Ontario. (3 boys and 6 girls). Early schooling took place in 1-room log cabin structures.

His father learned the trade of plastering and was also an excellent carpenter. He became a contractor and builder by trade and his sons Alexander and James, followed suit.

Strabane (Currently the United Presbyterian Church), Ontario, Canada.
Strabane (Currently the United Presbyterian Church), Ontario, Canada.

The boys were helping their dad plaster the Strabane Presbyterian Church when he collapsed of a stroke. Three or four days later, John Duffes Sr., died and is buried in the cemetery adjacent to the church.


Cholera .jpg, Wikipedia, Public Domain Image
Strabane Presbyterian Church ( Now Strabane United Church) Copyright 2017 by Freelton and Strabane United Churches. Used with permission of Rev. Bill Wheeler