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Dates of existence
The records in the Davis, Hodgson and Coulter fonds were found together in the mid 1960s, in an abandoned log house which had once belonged to Robert and Ruby Coulter.
Research revealed that the documents and photographs were from the descendants of three English men who had arrived in what was then Rupert’s land to work for the Hudson’s Bay Company around the turn of the nineteenth century. In the next two generations, the three families became strongly inter-related.
John Hodgson, son of Ephraim Hodgson from London, England, entered service with the Hudson’s Bay Company at the age of 12 in 1774. He was sent to Rupert’s Land (later Canada) because he had a good education in mathematics, and would be useful for “taking the Distance of Places and making Plans” (citation). The common practice in the fur trade at the time was for the Hudson’s Bay men to take native wives. This gave the trader negotiating power and protection as well as a partner who was skilled in surviving the wilds of Canada. It was either he or his son James who later married Caroline Goodwin, daughter of Robert Goodwin and Moostigoosh, daughter of Puckethwanish, a Cree Headman. John Hodgson, a grandson of the original, married Catherine Davis. Their son Albert was 28 years old when the Riel Rebellion and may have been involved in the rebellion. The census records are not reliable for First Nations and Metis, and they cannot be found in the 1891 Census, but in 1901 Albert and his family are living in Duck Lake, Saskatchewan, where the first battle of the Riel Rebellion was fought in 1885. Albert’s three sons, William, Arthur, and Llewellyn enlisted in the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Forces in World War I. William died overseas.
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South Peace Regional Archives