On November 25, 1858, the following appeared in the Victoria Gazette:

--"New Fort Langley, 20th November 1858.  Editors Gazette: Yesterday, the birthday of British Columbia, was ushered in by a steady rain which continued perseveringly throughout the whole day, and in a great measure marred the solemnity of the proclamation of the Colony."

picture courtesy of BC Archives.  Image call number A-04313

FORT LANGLEY is a thrice-built Hudson's Bay Company fur trade fort located in the Columbia District on Fraser's River.  Between 1827 and 1895, roughly 108 men lived and worked at the three fort sites, in what is now the township of Fort Langley, British Columbia, Canada.

The Children of Fort Langley are the descendants of these men and their wives, and we would like to dedicate this web site to our ancestors.

Come join us on Facebook.


Names are presented as they were recorded, and, as that's the way they did things then, surnames of many of the Native wives reflect the name of the band or tribe from which they came.  Though you, as a descendant of some of these folks, may spell your name differently than shown herein, the different spelling are included to aid in genealogy research.  One example is HBC employee Narcisse Fallardeau; there are over a dozen different spelling of his surname.  Another example is the many varied ways of spelling First Nations band names.  Yet another is just about any of the Hawaiian men; popular ways of spelling Hawaii way back when  was Owyhee, Wahi, Ouahi, and Sandwich Islands. 

If you have just begun to research your family history, learn to think outside the box; be open to alternate spellings (ask our Webmistress about how much time she could have saved herself had she been open to alternate surname spellings sooner).  Many people in the 1800s could not read or write so their names got spelled as the person writing them down heard them.  The spelling of surnames did not become standardised until around 1900.

Links on this and the following pages are, by default, a separate colour from the rest of the text AND underlined.  We mention this for the benefit of those who have turned off such things in your browser.  If you see phrases such as "drop our webmistress a line", those phrases are email links, just as the one in this sentence is.
This website is a work in progress.  If you see something that just doesn't look right, or if you have family information you would like to share or add to an exiting employee page --or both-- drop our webmistress a line.
A Comprehensive Site Directory is located further down this page.


As is the nature of these things, every so often a visitor to the Fort Langley National Historic Site of Canada will ask a staff member, "Do you have any information on my ancestor?" -- or -- "Is there an association or group related to the descendants of the men of Fort Langley?"

On March 22, 2002, the answer to these questions became:


Bearing in mind that. . .


when the second fort burned to the ground April 11, 1840 many records were lost
  many of our ancestors were illiterate and therefore there weren't too many journals and diaries left behind, nor letters home.
  we are, in general, limited to public records.  Some of us are lucky in that family stories got passed down.  Some of us weren't and are now, even as I type, reassembling our lost family history.

All in all, we're not doing too bad in our group mission to assemble and share what we know about our  ancestors, the Hudson's Bay Company employees of Fort Langley.

Much of this information is courtesy of the Hudson's Bay Company Archives and is presented here with their kind permission (we absolutely could not have done what we have done without you guys.  Much thanks!).

Copies of your ancestor's employment record --and any other information they may have-- can be ordered from the HBCA, through their web site or via email at Provide as much info as you can --such as the time period you think he worked somewhere and where that somewhere was will go along way towards expediting things-- and please bear in mind that any vital information on your ancestor's employee record is only as accurate as your ancestor gave it when he signed on. 

Information that isn't held by the Hudson's Bay Company Archives, or other credited sources, comes from the descendants of the employees.  Family history without documentation is mythology; we make every effort to quote our sources, so if --Heaven Forbid-- there is a need to re-create the research or clarify conflicting facts, we can go straight to the source.

If you have information we don't, please think about sharing and helping this resource grow.  You won't be asked for a membership fee and please don't charge anyone else for any information you find here.  That's not what we do here.*  

(*If you wanted to make a donation, we won't turn it down.  Donated fund are applied to the yearly domain name fee.  Click here to donate via Paypal.  Note: is our Webmistress' email address, as she's financially responsible for this web site.  But do let us make it perfectly clear: A donation is NOT mandatory, it's just if you feel like doing so.)

As our research progresses, we are finding that those who weren't already related to each other before they came west, became related through the marriage of their Fort Langley-born children.  If you are a descendent and we haven't heard from you yet, we'd like to hear your story.  It might lead to finding that crucial missing piece to your genealogy puzzle and new cousins.

The Children of Fort Langley exists to honour the past by sharing genealogical information in hopes of adding flesh and blood to the bones and ligaments of the journals and documents left behind by the prominent men of Fort Langley.  Help us honour this past.


From a description written by Archibald McDonald, we know what the fort itself looked like in 1828.  We have a little info on the expeditions that led to the founding of Fort Langley.  And we know that Fort Langley was the birth place of British Columbia, but where are the descendants of those history makers?  We, as the descendants of those men and their women, are a living part of that history.


Between 1827 and 1895 approximately 108 men worked at Fort Langley.  Though it doesn't say on the list of the original twenty-five men, many of these men did the heavy grunt work necessary for creating a place to live and work in the wilderness.


The area around Fort Langley --from the local point of view-- was not "wilderness".

For some, it was their summer home, for others it was their winter home, for yet others it was rich hunting and fishing territory, used as such for many many generations.

The Fort Langley Journal lists the different Nations, some of whom were friends, some of whom were trading allies, and others who didn't much like each other.  It was from among the friends and trading allies that the men of Fort Langley found their wives, particularly the Kwantlen First Nation.

According to the available information, no wives accompanied the first twenty-five men.  In the first couple years the men fraternized with the local women in a nonchalant --and noncommittal-- fashion.  However, when Archibald MacDonald arrived to take charge in October of 1828, he changed this.  He insisting that the men make some sort of commitment to the women they associated with and sent a report back to HBC headquarters in London detailing the changes he made, including a list of the current employees and their families.

However, after the fashion of the era, the record keepers were more concerned with keeping track of the men.  The names of their wives were not as diligently recorded.  Some names were recorded in parish records, some were not.  Some were passed down in family stories, often as only a single name, while the identities of just as many more of these women were lost to Time.  However, without the women, there would be no descendants.


Because the women were an integral part of of creating descendants, we are striving to identify all of the wives beyond that most common and cryptic notation "A Native Woman".  It isn't easy.  

During the 1800s and into well into the 1900s, a social stigma was attached to anyone with Native ancestry.  A prime example of the sentiment of the time is contained in a letter found at the BC Archives (MS 0182 - Yale or Reel # A01658).  It's referenced as 'no 11,' a letter to James Murray Yale from a friend, Mary Julia Mechtler.  On page 2, she writes:

"Continue to keep your good resolutions of not taking an Indian wife, on account of yourself as well as of the dreadful fate that generally awaits the Bois Brule offspring of such a connection.  Reflect what every man owes himself.  What apology can a white man make to his children for mixing and polluting his pure blood with that of a savage.  How dare such a person pretend to principle and feeling!  Fie upon him for a selfish monster!  I hope, my dear James, you will never have such a reproach to make to your conscience."

We know that Yale did not heed her advice, though he was a troubled man.  Perhaps it was letters like this that troubled him.  Little did Mary Julia Mechtler know that her heavily written and passionate words would help us understand why some of our parents' and grandparents' generations tried so hard to keep their native heritage a secret.

So, what do you do if you find that one --or more-- of your ancestors was a woman from one of the many First Nations bands in the Fort Langley area?


The Sto:lo Nation Family Tree contains well over 31,000 names and is continually growing.  If you want a family tree you might not have to start from scratch.  It's possible, and even probable, that members of your family are all ready entered into the Sto:lo Nation Family Tree.  This tree has been documented from family knowledge collected over many years, from church records, census records, band lists, obituaries, published sources, etc.

Contact Alice.  There is no charge to consult her at Sto:lo Nation.  For private research, she charges $25.00 per hour.

Many of the Fort Langley descendents are included in Sto:lo Nation Family Tree database, so the missing piece of your family puzzle could be waiting for you to come find it.

Most family searches take less than two hours.

  Alice Marwood,  Genealogist              
  Sto:lo Research & Resource Management Centre        
  #1 - 7201 Vedder Road                  
  Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada            
  V2R 4G5                          




-:Something to be aware of:-

Not all of the women were from the Fort Langley area.  Some came up from Fort Vancouver and/or Columbia River Basin in what is now southern Washington state and northern Oregon.  Some came from other forts scattered throughout the vast fur trade network of the Hudson's Bay Company.

That said, we feel enough were from the Fort Langley/Fraser River area that Alice's services might be of value to some of us.

(Thank you, Alice.)


That and the fur trappers would never have made it through their first winter without their women.  These women were either First Nations or Native American; the difference in nomenclature depends upon which side of the Canadian/US border their ancestral lands now fall.  Most if not all of their descendants are of mixed-blood, a few of us were raised knowing this, a few of us were raised knowing some of this,  and some of us were raised knowing none of this.

Regardless of how much or how little we knew when we started, when we suspected enough to start asking questions, we were told by our elders that there were things there that we didn't want to know, in a completely understandable effort to spare us the horrors of what they and/or their parents suffered at residential schools and/or at the hands of the ignorant of the communities in which they lived.  It is, however, Time to Heal; deep wounds left untended for too long fester.  The full breadth and depth of the hurt must be known, and we want to know the whole truth, regardless.

If you have information that we don't, please consider sharing your information.  Because official records from this time period are so thin, we rely on descendants to help make this site grow and make these pages as accurate as is possible.

If you choose to share your family's story here, you could be helping a lost family member find his or her way Home.  We will not sell your work, or make you pay a fee to place it here.  However, do be aware that though the way in which you present your research is yours and yours alone, but the information itself is not and cannot be copyrighted and you will be given credit for your research. 


Fort Langley Brigade is held every year over the BC Day long weekend in the first weekend of August.  To see how the first descendants' reunion in 2001 went, please see the Comprehensive Site Directory, below.

Historically, Brigade was when the fur trappers came down from their trap lines to the fort, to trade, some took their annual baths and looked for a new spouse, and in general caught up wit friends they hadn't seen since the year before.

Fort Langley's Brigade is an echo of those historical brigades.  Though we trade nothing more than stories and gossip --bathe more than once a year-- Fort Langley's Brigade Days are a good time to come to the fort and meet each other.  Barring natural disasters and über-efficient border guards, our founder and webmistress is a regular attendee of Brigade Days and can be found amongst the canvas tents, dressed as a Métisse who goes by the name of "Mary Huston".

To find out how to get to Fort Langley, please see the Comprehensive Site Directory, below.

The Langley Centennial Museum website is an Online Treasure Waiting to be Explored

The Langley Centennial Museum has many wonderful databases online.  Visit their website at  There are two, in particular, that will be of interest to genealogists.  All databases are fully searchable.

The first is the Cemetery database, listed under Heritage, at  It includes Murrayville, Langley Lawn and Fort Langley cemeteries. You can search by name or by year, but not by full date (eg. 03/11/1965).  The results include the following headings: Name, Sex, Date of birth, Birth place, Date of Death, Date of Burial or Date Cremated, Location Cemetery, Plot, and Grave.

However, not all results include information in all categories.  Funding for this resource was provided by the British Columbia Digital Collections program, supported by the British Columbia Arts Council and British Columbia Museums Association.

The second is the Historical Photographs database, listed under Collections, at  It can be searched by topic, from Aerial Views to World War, by date or by key word.

The museum also has a research facility onsite.  However, you must phone ahead to book a time in order for staff to assist you.  Curator Paul Thistle can be reached by phone at 604-888-3922, or by e-mail at  They have the following historic and local newspapers on microfilm: British Columbian, 1860 – 1869, The Columbian, 1899 – 1914, The Langley Advance, 1931 – 1979.  There are also vertical files available on a number of topics, and the Museum has a reference library of local history publications.

The Children of Fort Langley
proudly present
for your researching pleasure:

The Langley Story Illustrated
by Donald E. Waite

PLEASE NOTE: Though out-of-print, The Langley Story Illustrated is a copyrighted work and is presented here by special permission from the author in the hopes of correcting inaccuracies present in the 1977 edition.  Contact info for Mr. Waite can be found on the front page of this html version of The Langley Story Illustrated.

Though genealogy information cannot be copyrighted,
the way in which it is presented is.
Information presented on any of these pages
is the property of the person who submitted it unless otherwise specified.
Any instance of copyright infringement is unintentional.
In the case of copyright infringement, please notify the webmistress.
Thank You


If you do not see underlined text in the below directory, simply click on the first word in each paragraph to go to the described page.

Contact Information:  If we have information on any of the Hudson's Bay Company men and/or their wives, there will be a link on his name.  Just click on his name and you will be taken to his individual page.  This is where we have the contact information; if there is no contact person, we probably don't have one --yet-- but you never know.  Don't be afraid to ask questions

If you descend from any of the people on this web site and have information about them, please consider sharing and/or being a contact person.

Don't let these men and women be forgotten!

The Ancestors are from whom the Children of Fort Langley descend, Native and non-Native.
Archibald McDonald's Report 25 February 1830 is  an excerpt from Archibald McDonald's 1830 Report To The Governor and Council, with the names and marital status of each man who was employed at Fort Langley as of 25 February 1830.
Brigade Days 2008 is about the celebration of the fur trade days that's held every year at the Fort Langley National Historic Site.  This year the Children of Fort Langley have been invited to hold their third reunion during Brigade Days, on Sunday Aug 3.
Children of Fort Langley Sesquicentennial Reunion  We did it 2001, we did it 2002.  Let's do it in 2008!  It's been 150 years since British Columbia officially became British Columbia.  Aug 2-4 2008 is the annual Brigade Days celebration at Fort Langley and Fort Langley has invited us to have a reunion on Sunday, Aug 3rd 2008.
A Cyber-tour of the Fort Langley National Historic Site of Canada  In June of 2000, our webmistress and her brother went to Fort Langley and through their pictures, we present this pictorial tour of the Fort.  Soon to be updated to show the new Events Building, where the C of FL held their 2001 reunion.
The Employees is the list of employees who worked at Fort Langley between 1827 and 1895, as compiled by BC historian Bruce Watson.  When known, information includes place of origin, position, and years of employment.  Surnames are presented as they came from the Hudson's Bay Company archives.
The First Twenty-five is a list of the twenty-five man founding party, as it appears in Morag MacLachlan's Fort Langley: 1827-30
 The Fort talks about the 42 men who set out from Fort Vancouver in November of 1824 to explore Puget's Sound and Fraser's River, an expedition led to the founding of Fort Langley, some of whom joined the Founding Party 3 years later.
Fur Trade Fort Links Fort Vancouver was the first, followed by Fort Langley, and many other fur trade forts along the Pacific Slope.  This contains links to the other fur forts in what was once called The Columbia District, Oregon Territory, and/or Washington Territory.  Some of these forts have their own brigade days celebrations, the details of which can be found on their web sites.  Come learn about the pre-history of the Pacific Slope; learn about the history ignored by many Washington state schools.†  If you know of a fur trade fort web site that isn't on this page, drop us a line and let us know.
The Local Folks is another excerpt from McDonald's 1830 Report To The Governor and Council, in which Archibald describes the First Nations peoples who interacted with Fort Langley by the names that were used then.  

We one day hope to present the point of view of the First Nations peoples and how they feel about the whole thing.  Though the arrival of HBC and all that followed was a wonderful thing for those who came to British Columbia, it was the end of reality as the First Nations people had know it for thousands of years.   If you can tell any of these stories, please drop us a line and let your voice be heard.

HomeComing 2001  The first reunion of The Children of Fort Langley, held on the 4, 5 and 6 of August 2001, was --according to those who attended-- a whole lot of fun.  For those of you on dial-up internet connections, this is a graphics heavy page and will take a bit of time to load.
Norman Morison passenger lists  These two passenger lists --1849-50 and 1852-53-- come from the appendix of Notes on the "Norman Morison" by A.N. Mouat of Victoria, B.C., from a copy courtesy of the Hudson's Bay Company Archives.  Gavin Hamilton was on the 1852-53 voyage.  Other Fort Langley/early BC names also appear on these two lists.
Period Clothing 101  Ever wonder how those re-enactors and historically dressed interpretive guides at the historic sites know how to dress?  Interested in getting into historic reenactment?  Want to put together a period correct wardrobe?  Are you an educator looking for ways to put a little zing into your history class?  Period Clothing 101 gets you pointed in the right direction.  Links to resource sites.
Queries  If you have a fur trade and/or Pacific Slope question, drop us a line and tell us about it, even if it doesn't have anything to do with anyone at Fort Langley, and we'll put it here where someone else might see it and answer it.  Or you can sign our Journal.  Or you can do both.
Recommended Reading, References, and Links is book titles and reference material that many of us have used in our genealogical research, along with links to some other forts in Canada and the US.  Additions to this list are heartily welcome and encouraged.

St. George's Anglican Church and the Old Pioneer Cemetery  Bob and Sheila Puls are writing a book which commemorates the first 100 years St. George's Anglican Church in Fort Langley, British Columbia, Canada, built in 1900-1.  One chapter of this book is devoted to the Fort Langley folks who are buried in the old Pioneer Cemetery on the grounds of St. George's.  Though the cemetery records and fort journals from the pertinent time period have gone missing, Bob and Sheila are seeking help determining who is really there.  If you can help, let us know.  Publication date of their book will also be announced here.



In the Shoreline School District in King County, Washington state, USA, from 1963 through 1980,  Pacific Northwest history started with "the first men to see the Pacific Ocean were Lewis and Clark".  Rumor suggests this was and may still be true of many Puget Sound Basin schools.  Should any reading this wish to discuss it, please direct your comments to our web mistress, Lisa Peppan (Shoreline High School, Class of 1976)

If you have information on any of these men and/or their wives and/or families, please at least think about sharing.

There exists great potential here. 

Through our combined efforts we can paint the Fort Langley Family Tree with the bright bold colours in which it was lived.  We can show a balanced history, show the differences in opinions and realities of the incoming Europeans vs. those of the First Nations -- and trust us on this, there were definite differences of opinion.

Regretfully, we haven't enough information about our female ancestors to give them the recognition they deserve, on their own individual pages, but hope we will one day.  Please, do not let these men and women be forgotten!

If you have any suggestions, drop us some email or sign our journal (below) -- or do both.

If you see anything that disagrees with information you have, tell us about it.

If you've you've told about info that disagrees with your info AND it still looks like nobody's noticed, e-mail our web mistress again.  (Webmistress Note: I'm really not ignoring you.  Honestly.)

If you are interested in the Kwantlen First Nations, their website is

If you are interested in the Katize First Nation, their website is

If you are interested in the Musqueam First Nations, , their website is
If you are interested in the Sto:lo Nation, their website is

If you are interested in the Vancouver Métis Association, check out their website

Thanks for stopping by
New Information will be posted as it comes in.

If you have sent New Information and do not see it here --even after refreshing or reloading-- "Do not hesitate to email me a gentle nudge," says our webmistress.

Our most grateful thanks to the men and women of historic Fort Langley who were our ancestors.
A dank aych
Ah gilakas'la
Chn lm-s-cút
Dew re-dallo dheugh-why
Diolch yn fawr iawn
Doh je
Go raibh maith agaibh
Go raibh mile maith agaibh
Gunalchéesh hó hó
Atlein gunalchéesh
Há'neng cen
Hay sxw q'a
Hay sxw q'e
Hy'shqe siam
Hyas Mahsie
Kw'as hoy
Lim limt
Mahalo nui loa
Mauruuru roa
Merci beaucoup
Muchas gracias
Oliwni ni
Wliwni ni
Tapadh leibh
Thank you
Toda raba
Trugarez dit
Vielen Dank
Way dankoo
Xie xie
Toa chie
If by any chance we have misused any words/phrases, please let us know.
This list was compiled from information found at

Our web mistress (who occasionally suffers from delusions of grandeur) has searched her copy of the Tanguay --a genealogy dictionary in 7 volumes compiled by Father Cyprien Tanguay in the early 1800s-- for families that could be the forbearers of some of our ancestors. 

The Tanguay* or shows births, marriages and deaths of Québec families from the early 1600s through the late 1700s/early 1800s--   She found many of our ancestors' surnames.  She's even linked them to a couple of the men who worked at Fort Langley.  Now begins the long and tedious process of putting all the family lines online.  Once they are, we will be asking your help to connect the HBC employees with the First Family of Québec ancestors.

*The Tanguay's full title, et al, is DICTIONNAIRE GÉNÉALOGIQUE des FAMILLES CANADIENNES depuis la fondation de la colonie jusqu'a nos jours par L'Abbé Cyprien Tanguay. Depuis 1608 jusqu'à 1700. Province de Quebec, Eusèbe Senécal, imprimeur - ëditeur -- MDCCCLXXI  Those who have worked with it know that L'Abbé Cyprien Tanguay made a few errors, but it is a place to start.

The Children of Fort Langley site was nominated for the 2000 British Columbia History Web Site Prize, sponsored by the British Columbia History Internet/Web Site and the British Columbia Historical Federation.  The British Columbia History Internet/Web site --found at has many wonderful recourses for those interested in BC history.  Check'em out.

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