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Memorable Manitobans: Farquhar McRae (1840-1913)

Cleric, educator.

Born at Kintail, Scotland on 1 August 1940, son of John McRae and Catherine McKenzie, he was a student under Rev. Robertson Smith and graduated from Aberdeen University with MA and PhD degrees. He immigrated to East Williams [later North Middlesex], Ontario in 1875 and during his seven year residency there received his ordination (1878) from the Presbyterian Church. On 2 March 1882, he married Margaret Catherine “Maggie” Fraser (1859-1938) at East Williams and had five children: Farquhar McRae (1885-?), Madeline “Maggie” McRae (1887-1887), James Duncan McRae (1889-1978), John Melville McRae (1892-1903), and Gillivray Stewart McRae (1900-?).

They moved to Manitoba in 1882 where he was a rural school teacher and preacher, including simultaneous duties in some communities. He was the Minister of Presbyterian Church congregations at Longburn, Oakland, Austin, MacGregor, Hampton Presbyterian Church at Beaver (two terms; first ?-?, second ?-c1895), Katrime (formerly Wellington), Morden (c1892), and last to Burnside Prebyterian Church (1895-1910). He was elected as Moderator of the Synod of Manitoba (1906-1907), Synod of Manitoba and the Northwest (c1911), and was the Clerk of Portage la Praririe Presbytery (1894-1913). During this span, his service in rural school classrooms included Long Creek School / Longburn School (c1882) and Beaver Creek School (1883), as well as Principal of Selkirk School (1890-1891) and Maple Leaf School (1891-1892). Despite full retirement to Portage la Prairie in 1910, he retained guest preaching duties at Ninette Presbyterian Church and Hilton. Additionally, he was Chaplain for the Portage la Prairie chapter of the St. Andrew’s Society.

He died at his Portage la Prairie residence on 5 May 1913 and was buried in the Burnside Cemetery. He and his wife were commemorated with the 13 August 1939 dedication of a stained glass window in the Burnside United Church.


1881 & 1891 Canada censes, Library and Archives Canada.

1901, 1906, & 1911 Canada censes, Automated Genealogy.

Birth, marriage, and death registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

Ontario marriage registrations, Ancestry.

“Death of Rev. Dr. Farquhar M'Rae,” Manitoba Free Press, 6 May 1913, page 13.

“Sincere tribute to late Rev. Dr. M’Rae,” Manitoba Free Press, 7 May 1913, page 5.

“Well-known Presbyterian clergrman [sic] dead,” MacGregor Herald, 8 May 1913, page 4.

“Dr. M'Rae's funeral,” Manitoba Free Press, 9 May 1913, page 14.

“The eye witness,” Birtle Eye-Witness, 13 May 1913, page 9.

Portage la Prairie estate file #2203, Farquhar McRae, Archives of Manitoba.

“Window to honor memory of Pastor and his wife,” Winnipeg Tribune, 12 August 1939, page 22.

Burnside Cemetery burial transcriptions, FindAGrave.

This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 19 November 2018

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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