Gerrand Family roundabout journey from Scotland to Virden

In 1870, Symington and David Gerrand left Kirkudbright, Scotland to come to Guelph, Ontario, accompanied by their parents David and Margaret Gerrand and two sisters Margaret and Janet.

In February 1882, Symington Gerrand and his brother David Gerrand left Guelph, Ontario and arrived in Brandon around the first of March. David met with J.S. Crawford and was advised to settle around the Birtle district. Once they arrived safely in Birtle, he took the advice of the Land Agent and went south to the Arrow-River district to look for a homestead.

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Symington and David Gerrand spilt the land by dividing the section north to south and put two tickets in a cap labeled East side and West side and drew a piece of paper from the cap. Symington got the east side while David got the west end. After deciding upon the land, Symington went back to Guelph to obtain stock and brought it back on a steam boat.

In 1894, Symington Gerrand and his wife decided to emigrate to Australia, where there were Gerrand relatives and in hope of achieving greater success in that country. It did not work out as planned so Symington and his wife moved back to Canada where they settled near Miniota.

They then moved to Virden buying the family farm and building a brick house in 1905. The house was built south of Virden, next to Highway 83 where it still is today. Symington and Catherine lived there until their deaths in 1921. They died six weeks apart. 

Symington and Catherine, had three children together: David, Norman, Grace, and John DeRoy. David Canada Gerrand was born April 21, 1894 and is the oldest son. His unusual middle name is because shortly after he was born, his parents decided to move to Australia and did not want to forget Canada so they named their son after the country.

David went to University in Winnipeg to become a teacher after he moved to Saskatchewan and taught at Wood Mountain. He decided teaching wasn’t for him after a year and went back to university to become a lawyer. David passed in 1983 at the age 89.

John DeRoy also know as Roy is the youngest born to Symington and Catherine. Roy was born in 1899. He married Minnie Clarke in 1926. They had three children together: Jack Clarke, David Garth and Jean Roberta.

During the oil boom, an oil well battery was developed on the farm in 1955. In 1971 the Roy Gerrand family purchased the well from Imperial Oil. The company was named Gerrand Enterprises Ltd. and the family still owns and operates the wells. 

Submitted by Madisen Naughton

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