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Colnett, James (bap. 1753, d. 1806), naval officer and fur trader, was baptized on 18 October 1753 at Stoke Damerel parish church, Plymouth, the son of James and Sarah Colnett. He went to sea in June 1770 as an able seaman in the ...

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J. K. Laughton

revised by Barry M. Gough

Dixon, George (1748?–1795), naval officer and fur trader, was born in Kirkoswald, Cumberland; further details of his upbringing are unknown, though he did practise as a jeweller before going to sea. He served as a petty officer and armourer in the Discovery...

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Fraser, Simon (1776–1862), explorer and fur trader, was born on 20 May 1776 at Mapletown, Hoosic township, New York, the youngest of the ten children of Simon Fraser (1725?–1779?) of Culbokie and Guisachan (a cadet branch of the highland Frasers of Lovat), a farmer, and his wife, ...

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Hearne, Samuel (1745–1792), explorer and fur trader, was born 'close to London bridge' (Speck, Samuel Hearne), the only son of Samuel Hearne (1707/8–1748) and Diana Hearne, and younger brother to Sarah. His father was managing engineer of the London Bridge waterworks...

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Heritage, John (c. 1470–c. 1536), sheep farmer and dealer in wool, was known to his contemporaries as a woolman or woolmonger. He was born about 1470, probably at Burton Dassett in Warwickshire, the son of Roger Heritage (d. 1495), a farmer of some substance, and his wife, ...

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Jones, Owen [pseud. Owain Myfyr] (1741–1814), literary patron and furrier, was born on 3 September 1741 at Tyddyn Tudur, in the parish of Llanfihangel Glyn Myfyr, Denbighshire, the son of Hugh Jones (d. 1778), yeoman, and his wife, Catherine Humphreys (1700?–1795)...

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Lampson, Sir Curtis Miranda, first baronet (1806–1885), fur merchant and telegraph cable promoter, the fourth son of William Lampson of Newhaven, Vermont, USA, and his wife, Rachel, daughter of George Powell of Louisborough, Massachusetts, was born in Newhaven, Vermont, on 21 September 1806. He worked first as a clerk in a store in ...

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Lang, David Marshall (1924–1991), Georgian and Armenian scholar and translator, was born on 6 May 1924 at Golf View, Chislehurst, Kent, the only son of David Marshall Lang (1896–1978), medical practitioner, and his first wife, May Rena (Mazie), née Wilson (...

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Matonabbee (1736/7–1782/3), fur trader and explorer, was born near Churchill Fort, in what is now Churchill, Manitoba, the son of Chipewyan parents; his father was a hunter for the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC). His mother and father had met on the west coast of ...

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James McGill (1744–1813) by Louis Dulongpré, c. 1800–10 McCord Museum of Canadian History, Montreal

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McGill, James (1744–1813), fur trader and politician in Canada, was born on 6 October 1744 in Stockwell Street, Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland, the second child and eldest son of James McGill (bap. 1717, d. 1784) and his wife, Margaret Gibson. His father, grandfather, and great-grandfather ...

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Simon McTavish (1750–1804) by unknown artist, c. 1800 National Archives of Canada / C-000164

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McTavish, Simon (1750–1804), fur trader and merchant, was born in Stratherrick, the son of John McTavish (d. 1774) of Garthbeg, a lieutenant in the 78th foot, a Highland regiment. McTavish's rise from humble beginnings to control of a mercantile empire stretching from the ...

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Ogden, Peter Skene (1789/90–1854), fur trader and explorer in North America, was baptized on 12 February 1790 at the cathedral of the Holy Trinity, Quebec. He was the youngest of the six children of Judge Isaac Ogden (1740–1824) and his second wife, Sarah, ...

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Portlock, Nathaniel (b. in or before 1747, d. 1817), naval officer and fur trader, was probably born at or near Norfolk, Virginia, possibly the son of Charles Portlock (d. after 15 February 1750) and his wife, Lydia, née Ridley (d. after 1756)...

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Ross, Alexander (1783–1856), fur trader and author, was born in Nairnshire, Scotland, on 9 May 1783, son of Alexander Ross, farmer at Layhill Dyke. He emigrated in 1804, taught for one year in Lower Canada and then in Glengarry county, Upper Canada, and saved ...