Search billions of records on

Kittson, William
B: 1795, possibly in Montreal, Que., Canada
D: 25 Dec 1841, Fort Vancouver, Washington
M: (1) Marie Walla Walla
M: (2) Helene McDonald

FN: Unknown Kittson
MN: Unknown

William Kittson served in the War of 1812 as a 2nd lieutenant in the Canadian Voltiguers. He entered the Northwest Company as an apprentice clerk in 1817. He was sent to the Columbia Region of the Pacific Slope in 1818. William was first at Ft. Walla Walla and then Spokane House. It was customary for the men not only of the company, but the other pioneers to take indian wives. Some of the traders at Fort George who became sons-in-law of Chinook Chief Comcomly were Duncan McDougall (related on the Albert and Mae McBean Brouillard side of the family), Thomas McKay who is brother Mary Wadin McKay Sinclair (mother-in-law to Jemima Kittson Sinclair), and Archibald McDonald (Uncle to Helene McDonald-William Kittson's second wife).

William Kittson first had a country marriage with an Indian woman known only as "Marie Walla Walla". The little known of Marie is through the sad story in Francis Ermatinger's letters. The Umatilla Indian Reservation is not able to find her history, nor has the Hudson Bay Company. The kind of person William was is known from his journals with the HBC and it is seen he was a good man of his day, and Marie was a good woman, unlike the picture that Ermatinger presents of her. Trade Goods presents some of the Ermatinger family history. William and Marie had two sons who were born at Fort NezPerce (Old Fort Walla Walla).

1. Jules Kittson
B: Abt 1829, lived his early childhood years along with his brother at the old Fort Walla Walla. When they were older they went to St. Joseph's College in St. Paul, Oregon around the time of the death of their father. Later they went to the gold fields of California. When they returned, it was understood that Jules worked above the falls on the river. It is not sure if it was the Columbia or the Willamette. We are fairly sure he did both. No death or marriage records can be found so it is feared his fate may have been in the river.

2. Pierre Charles Kittson
B: 12 ? Feb 1830
M: Angelique Dupre. The majority of his descendants live in Washington, Oregon, and California. He and his wife Angelique Dupre are burried in St. Paul, Oregon. Angelique was the daughter of Nazaire Dupre and Catherine Lafantasie. Catherine married David Mongrain after Nazaire's death and one of their children was Clarise Mongrain who married Calixte Lebeau for whom Lebeau Rd. is named for in Sherwood, Oregon. Nazaire Kittson was their first cousin and lived next door with their large family. There is a Lebeau-Hankle descendants family history on Calixte and Clarise's daughter, Mary Lebeau Hankle.

It is said that William Kittson spent some time in a seminary when very young. It was reported there is a letter from Father Blanchet that mentions this. He was in the battle of 1812 and afterwards was with the Northwest Company which later merged with the Hudson Bay Company and was sent out west.

"Adventures on the Columbia River" by Ross Cox as well as many other on line books similar to Canada's Canadiana link. He was at Fort Colvile for a time and crossed paths with John Work. The two journals of John Work that tie in with Kittson closest are the ones for December 15th, 1825-June 12th, 1826 and for July 5-September 15th, 1826. Also around this time William Kittson was assigned as clerk to go with Peter Skene Ogden on his Snake Expedition. This sight also shows you the map made by Kittson on this journey.

William Kittson was a wittness to John Day's will. The first to be made here. While William was at Ft. Nisqually he was aquainted with Lieutenant Charles Wilkes of the American Exploring Expedition, who was charting the Puget Sound. Wilkes named one of the islands in the Sound, Kittson Island, but unfortunately when the information for making the maps got to Europe it was in error spelled, Ketron Island. If you note Works Journals, he also mispronounced it in similar manner so Ketron it remains. There is one ferry that goes out there for the inhabitants only and it is said that there are only about six families living there.

A schedule is given by the Pierce County Public Works and Utilities for the ferry which runs out to Ketron Island. You are not allowed on the island without permission.

William Kittson was married to Helene McDonald (Daughter of Finan McDonald whose family genealogy can be found in the book "Glenco and the Indians" by Mainstream Publishing written in 1996). After being discouraged to remain with his first wife, Marie Walla Walla, William Kittson went on to marry Helene. A new contact, Author, Pat McDonald, has a website on David Thompson whom Finan was with in some of his travels. He also has a book called "Where The River Brought Them".

Dr. John McLoughlin performed the marriage between William & Helene, which was later blessed by Fr. Demers who was one of the first priests to come out to the Oregon Territory.

Children of William Kittson and Helene McDonald (that are known):

1. Eloise Jemima Kittson
B: 1836
Bapt: By Mr. Herbert Beaver, Methodist Minister
D: 1927, age 91
M: William Sinclair III, at the Cowlitz Farm by Dr. John McLoughlin, b. 1836. A Pow Wow is held at the Toledo High School near there. She had 11 children who traveled back and forth across Canada during William Sinclair's restless years. He was a third generation Hudson Bay Company man. His mother was Mary Wadin McKay Sinclair (the daughter of Marguerite Wadin McKay McLoughlin and Angus McKay). William & Jemima's descendants are scattered throughout British Columbia, California, and even Australia.

2. Jessie Kittson, died of small pox at Ft. Nisqually, Washington at about 5 years of age. He was buried in the "Old Cemetery". They will not move their bodies and this land may be lost to developers

3. Caroline Kittson, died before Jessie and is also in the "Old Cemetery" of the 1833 Ft. Nisqually sight. A battle is presently going on to preserve these burial sites as well as all the historic sites on this land owned by Weyerhaeuser. There are three sights to this Fort. The Original 1833 sight where William worked is in Dupont at Exit I-119 off of the I-5. He had built the Chief Factor's House there known to the Indians as the Tyee house. The cellar of it may still be there. The second sight of the fort is the 1843 sight which is about 2 miles South of the first sight and it is preserved. The third sight of the Fort is up at the Point Defiance Park This location is much farther North of the Original sights where the copy of the Journals of the Fort was obtained which contain William Kittson's journals of the 1833 Fort.

4. Edwin Kittson
B: 1840,

Helene (McDonald Kittson) later married Richard Grant who was the commandant at Ft. Hall. They had three daughters:

1. Helene Wilhelmina Grant who died young and is buried at Walla Walla with her father, Richard

2. Julia Priscilla Grant who married Christopher P. Higgins

3. Adeline Grant who married


Richard Grant had sons from his first marriage to Marie Anne De Breland (Breland). The connected site on Richard's history was done by his descendent from his eldest son

Stanislaus Grant

Johnny Grant

One of Marie & Richard's sons whom is better known, was Johnny Grant. A recent book was written on his memoirs by Lyndel Meikle, which gives some insight as to his feelings towards his father's new family. Johnny Grant started what became the Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site which is still in operation today as one of the longest running ranches of Montana. The Richard & Helene McDonald Kittson Grant's son-in-law & daughter, Christopher & Julia Grant Higgins were also known to have started Missoula, Montana and Johnny for starting Grantsville (Grantsburg) near Hell's Gate (Missula, Montana). Grantown was started by Cuthbert Grant. Cuthbert's relation to the Grant family is not known to me now, but he may have been an uncle.

There are a couple more very interesting things for those interested in either the Kittson's or the fur trade. One is a digital collection of Hudson Bay Company artifacts as well as a multitude of other Canadian connections through this one link on Canadian history and it leads to a tour to Jemima Kittson Sinclair's neighbors the Helmcken's. This also leads to one of Jemima & William Sinclair's Great-grandsons. He is with the Old Cemeteries Society that can be found though the tombstone connection. Another sight is the "Pig's Eye's Note Pad" which is filled with an historical encyclopedia of St. Paul, Mn. (1830-1850). This is an area where Norman Kittson was in business with the Fur Trade.

William Kittson was buried at Fort Vancouver, WA. There had been a marker placed in honor of William Kittson, John McLoughlin, Jr., and Pierre Pambrun The marker was placed there by the group representing the War of 1812 in which William had been active. When the I-5 Freeway went through the Fort had the bodies moved. It has not been clear as to where. They may be either at St. James Cemetery or the Military one next to it.

After William's death on December 25th, 1841, his sons by Marie Walla Walla were sent to the St. Joseph's college in St. Paul, Oregon. His son, Jules Kittson, may have died in either the Columbia or Willamette River where he worked on board one of the ships.

William's other son, Peter (Pierre Charles Kittson) married Angelique Dupre. They had twelve children, but only two lived to have families. The others all died as children of small pox and are burried in the old St. Paul Cemetery in St. Paul, OR. marked only by a single large cross. Peter and Angelique are both burried in St. Paul, OR. in the newer cemetery.

Children of Peter Kittson and Angelique Dupre:

1. Nazaire (Ned) Kittson
B: 25 Aug 1858
D: 17 May 1945

2. Pete Kittson
B: 21 Jul 1860

3. Euphronie (Marie) Kittson
B: 05 Jan 1862

4. Adeline Kittson
B: 14 May 1864

5. Annie Kittson
B: 21 Jun 1866

6. Archange Kittson
B: 20 Jun 1867

7. Charles William Kittson
B: 27 Jul 1869

8. Catherine Kittson
B: 27 Jul 1869

9. Rosie Kittson
B: 02 Sep 1873

10. Agness Kittson
B: 20 Aug 1875
D: 1951, buried in California along with her second husband, Charles Payne at Holy Cross Cemetary near Los Angeles, California.
M: (1) John Taitinger (1860 - 1898)
M: (2) Charles Payne

Children of John Taitinger and Agness Kittson:

John P. Taitinger
B: 1893
D: 1898, Died at sea with father when he was taking them to France to see relatives aboard the La Bourgogne.

Edward A. Taitinger
B: 1895
D: 1898, Died at sea with father when he was taking them to France to see relatives aboard the La Bourgogne.

Mary Taitiner
B: 1897
D: 196 - -
M: Arthur Payne, the nephew of Mother's 2nd husband.

Mary, was born with one arm, yet her gift was writing. She married the nephew of her mother's second husband. She wrote one of the earliest silent films, but noone seems to have the name. She may have used an assumed name, but that too is not known or if it is for certain. Agness had other boys by her second marriage

11. Edward Kittson
B: 04 Nov 1877

12. Frank Kittson
B: 09 Dec 1878

Sources: for family genealogies

Kittson County Historical Society, Lake Bronson, MN, Cindy Adams

Roxanne Woodruff, Portland, OR