The GILLIS Pioneers of Lots 13 and 14, PEI

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Submitted & copyright 2001 - Deborah Gilbert -

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The GILLIS Pioneers of Lots 13 & 14, PEI

Donald, Roderick, and John Gillis, pioneer settlers of Lots 13 & 14, were originally from the Island of Barra, a small island located in the Outer Hebrides (Western Islands) of Scotland. In 1790, along with 28 other families, they left the Highlands and sailed on the 'Queen of Greenock' chartered for Louisburg, Cape Breton, but due to a violent storm were obliged to change course, and finally set anchor at Charlottetown on September 20, 1790. They first took up Royalty lands at Princetown, but in 1792 they removed to the Grand River area and settled in the surrounding townships.

No early church records from Barra have been located, and so it is not yet known whether Donald, Roderick and John Gillis were brothers, or perhaps cousins. There may have been another brother/cousin who settled on Lot 13 or 14, namely a William Gillis, but no record of descendants has been found. Very few official BMD records have been located for the early generations in PEI, and so most dates have been estimated, and accordingly, the birth order of children somewhat arbitrary.

1798 Heads of Household Census, St. John's Island (PEI)


1. "Mission of St. Patrick's, Grand River West, PEI", by Rev. Burke; ca. 1881
2. "Genealogy Notes from Lots 14 & 16", by Nelly Brown; ca. 1902 (transcribed by Dorothy Parish)
3. "Old North Esk Revised", by W. D. Hamilton (Micmac-Maliseet Institute, U of NB; 1988)
4. Various Church, census and family records

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