Margaret Dand Thomson Bowes

Text by Gary Edwards

Margaret was born in Central Scotland in 1843 to William Robertson Dand and Marion Wright. The Dand-Wright family was a Scottish family of English background. The family was also very liberal and they believed that the education of women was just as important as the education of men. Thus, Margaret was very learned for her day.

In 1850, the Dands left Scotland. They arrived in Osprey, Ontario in 1855 and settled on the 13th Concession. The Dands struggled for prosperity in the rocky soil of Osprey. Through hardwork, intellegence, and a determination to succeed, the family achieved moderate wealth and a comfortable position in the township.

Margaret married William Thomson in 1862, he was the same age as her father. The Thomson family were the earliest settlers of Scarborough, York Co. and have been described as having the bluest blood in the area. William's father was a farmer and in his earliers years, a journalist. In 1876, Margaret found herself in a terrible position... William had died leaving her with six children to care for. She married Gambleman Bowes, a merchant in 1878. Two years laters he died of diptheria... Margaret was widowed again.

Mrs. Dand-Thomson-Bowes was a kind woman who became known in the area for her love of children. She began to adopt motherless children and children whose parents could not afford to keep them. She "gathered them as a hen gathereth her brood". She put over thirty such children on their feet in her lifetime. Margaret was also a local midwife.

In 1916, her brother William, was dying of diptheria. Upon hearing of his plight an elderly Margaret hitched up her horse and traveled the three miles to her brother's 300-acre home. William and his family were shy and over the years had isolated themselves from the rest of Osprey. In one of her last great acts of kindness, Margaret tried to save her dying brother. She was unsuccessful, he died. She too had caught the deathly affliction and followed him a few days later. Her eldest daughter Marion Edwards nee Thomson married Charles Edwards. They were my Gr-Gr-Grandparents.

If you wish to exchange family information,
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