Farishes and Jollys

By Christopher Bretz


This is a work in progress

Jean Halliday was particularly close to her mother's Farish side of the family and so many stories have been passed down about who they were. Her grandfather Frank Farish brought his family to Canada in the early 20th century, but always remained in touch with their relatives and Scottish heritage.


Frank Farish the Blacksmith

The earlist we have reliably traced this family line to is Francis Farish, a blacksmith from Dumfriesshire. He is possibly the son of William Farish and Helen Birnie, but we need more confirmation to confirm this. Before 1800 there are also many Farishes found in the area of Annan, southeast of Dumfries.

Frank married Elizabeth Jane Johnstone about 1815-20 and had at least three children with her, all sons.

They lived at Kirkton, in Kirkmahoe parish north of Dumfries for the birth of their children.

Francis died sometime before 1851, when his wife is first found on the census as living with their son Samuel and his own daughter in Kirkton.


Thomas Farish and Elizabeth Thoreburn

Thomas Farish was born in Kirkmahoe parish around 1822, likely in the town of Kirkton where his brothers were born.

The parish of Kirkmahoe was described in A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, 1846 as follows:

KIRKMAHOE, a parish, in the county of Dumfries, 3½ miles (N.) from Dumfries; containing, with the villages of Dalswinton, Duncow, and Kirkton, 1568 inhabitants. The appellation of this parish is of doubtful origin; but it is supposed to have been derived from the position of its ancient church in a valley, or near the course of the river Nith.
The parish is seven and a half miles long, and its extreme breadth is five and a half miles. It contains about 11,840 Scotch acres, and is bounded on the north by Closeburn parish; on the north-east and east by Kirkmichael and by Tinwald; on the south and south-east by Dumfries; on the west by Holywood; and on the north-west by Dunscore. Though this is entirely an inland parish, the hills, especially the Watchman's hill, command a fine view of the sea; and in a clear day, the Solway Frith is seen in the distance. The river Nith runs along the western boundary of the parish, and intersects it at one corner. There are also several small streams or burns, which abound in trout, and are in many parts distinguished by romantic scenery: the Duncow burn forms three waterfalls, one of which, in rainy seasons, has a striking and imposing appearance.

Given his age, it was probably around 1843 when Thomas Farish would likely have become an apprentice Joiner. It is not know from who he learned his trade. His father-in-law was a blacksmith like his own father.

In 1846 Kirkton was reported to have 221 inhabitants.

On June 25th, 1846 Thomas married Elizabeth Thoreburn in Kirkmahoe parish. They would go on to have 5 children together, the first born in 1850, Jane Johnstone Farish.

The 1851 census still finds the family in Kirkton of Kirkmahoe parish.

1851 Census, Village of Kirkton
           Thomas Farish 35 - joiner
           Elizabeth Farish 29
           Jane Farish 7mo


Thomas and Elizabeth's first son was born in 1852, who they named Francis after his father. Tragically however the child died at just 3 yearss of age.

Thomas appears to have moved his family nearer Dumfries proper sometime between 1852-1855. They lived on St Michael Street and for many years his family is found there. Mary Farish was born in Dumfries in 1857 on St Michael Street.

His second son, who he also named Francis, was born in 1859. It is not known where exactly, but it could be assumed it was St Michael Street. Youngest child Thomas Farish was born in 1861, also on St Michael Street at Pringle's Close.

and followed his father's trade. He finished his apprenticeship in June 23 1883 and joined the union at age 24. Dumfries branch of the Amalgamated Society of Carpenters and Joiners.

By the 1870s Thomas' mother-in-law Jean Fanish was living with them in Dumfries in her last years. She was a widow of a blacksmith from the Kirkcudbrightshire region. The family are living on Lochmaben Road in eastern Dumfries.

1871 Census, Dumfries, Lochmaben Rd
           Thomas Farish 53 - joiner journeyman
           Elizabeth Farish 51
           Mary Farish 14
           Francis Farish 12
           Thomas Farish 10
           Jean Fanish 78 (mother-in-law)


The 1891 census showed the family living in Stoop in Dumfries.

1891 Census, Dumfries, Stoop
           Thomas Farish 74 - joiner
           Hannah (Elizabeth) Farish 70
           Thomas Farish 29 - mason


Elizabeth died about 1891.

Thomas died October 19th, 1897.


Francis Farish and Mary Jolly

1857 Mary Jolly born in Balmaghie at the Bridge of Dee
1859 Frank Farish is born in Dumfries

Lived at Dumfries in 1861
Lived at Lochmaben Rd, Dumfries in 1871

1883 Frank finishing apprenticing and joins the Joiners Union at age 24

On April 2nd, 1886 Frank married Mary Elizabeth Jolly. They move to a home in Maxwelltown only a few doors down from Mary's parents on Howgate Street. They go on to have 4 children togehter in Dumfries.

On the 1891 census Frank is still listed as a Journeyman Joiner, but becomes full Joiner a few years later.

1891 Census, Dumfries, 21 Howgate St
           Francis Farish 31 - journeyman joiner
           James A Farish 4
           Jane J Farish 2


On December 10th, 1896 daughter Jane Farish signed a Band of Hope Pledge with the Free Church of Scotland Temperance Society. She would have been 8 years old. The document (to the right) still exists and is under the care of descendant Gerald Halliday.

Frank's daughter Elisabeth met Andrew Halliday sometime in 1909-10. They meet at the White Sands, a cattle market in downtown Dumfries.

Daughter Jane died in 1910 at just 22 years of age. She is buried in the Farish/Jolly grave in Dumfries.

Although it is not precisely known why, the Farishes had decided to immigrate to Canada by early 1911. Employment was likely a large factor, as well as knowing that Canada had a large welcoming Scot population, but it was certainly a big decision to leave the family's roots. The Farishs had lived in Maxwelltown for decades and had many family ties to the Jollys and Dinwoodies there. As well, they were not a young family anymore. Frank and his wife were already in their fifties, while the children were all in their early twenties and starting out on their own lives. Daughter Jane Farish was the only one to remain behind while the rest journeyed to North America together. She was possibly married and had a family of her own at the time, although we have not confirmed this. Perhaps more surprising is that Andrew Halliday, who was not yet married to Elizabeth, also decided to immigrate. He left behind his many siblings and went alone to Canada with his young girlfriend's family.

Emigrated 1911 aboard the Victorian out of Liverpool
March 1911 Frank Farish(50) and his son James(24) emigrate to Canada. Departed Liverpool, arrived Halifax. They have $50.00 and $25.00 on their person respectively. They are destined for Winnipeg and list their occupations as Joiner and Baker. Frank's wife and daughter Mary will come over the following year. Andrew Halliday also came over within days of Frank and James aboard the Ionian.

Mary(53), Elizabeth(20) and Samuel(19) emigrate in Jun 1912 only a month after the Titanic disaster. She told stories of seeing bodies in the water on the journey. Departed Liverpool, arrived Halifax. Elizabeth and Samuel list their occupation as Factory Worker and Clerk respectively.
Lived at 514 Walker in Winnipeg from 1912-1930s

Frank belonged to the Amalgamated Society of Carpenters and Joiners, and likely got carpentry work after he arrived in town by way of the local chapter. Frank probebly learned his trade from his own father, Thomas, who was also a joiner. Frank joined the trade union June 23rd, 1883 at age 24. He had a large handmade wooden tool chest which would be eventually passed on to his grandson Frank, who also went into the trade. In later years Frank helped build and expand the Selkirk Mental Asylum and did work for the Manitoba government.

Daughter Elizabeth marries Andrew Halliday. They all live together in the Walker Ave house.

1917 Frank's son Samuel is drafted into WWI and is killed in France less than a year later in Aug 1918. Mary has a stroke that day she hears the news and is never quite the same afterward. Originally he had tried to enlist in 1915 but was turned away for flat feet. He is buried in Vis-En-Artois British Cemetery, France.

The families were proud of their Scotch heritage and belonged to the Dumfries and Galloway Association of Winnipeg. They spoke with thick Scottish accents and kept many of their euphemisms and sayings. Their granddaughter Jean would also always remember the Scotch dumplings her grandmother Mary would make.

Elizabeth was a very happy person who would sing old Scottish songs to herself. Even her neighbors would remark that when they were feeling low, all they had to do was open the windows and listen to Mrs. Halliday next door to brighten their spirits. Even her father Frank was known for his singing. He would lovingly tease and sing to his wife Mary all the time.

Mary Farish, passed away in May 29th, 1929 at age 71. She had never been the same since her son's death ten years earlier.

Lived at 495 Beresford 1932

In February 1932 Frank Farish was honoured by his union for 49 years of continuous membership. He and several others were each awarded an engraved bronze buffalo statuette.

Sadly Frank suffered from Alzhiemers in later life (back then they called it hardening of the arteries of the head). One Sunday night in the early 1930s he was to go over at his son's house for the weekly dinner. He was living with Andrew and Elizabeth at that time and had left their place as expected, but seemed rather late coming home later in the evening. When Elizabeth called her brother to find out if he had left yet, she found he hadn't arrived at all. The family became panicked and hit the streets to look for him, asking children and other neighbours to help. He was found shortly after downtown at the Hudson's Bay arcade, quietly standing while smoking his pipe, by a passing Winnipeg police inspector who knew him and though he was out of sorts. The inspector offered him a ride home much to the relief of his waiting family, but Frank had no idea what had really happened. After that the family was almost afraid to leave him alone.

Sometime later in 1933, Frank almost set fire to the house when he was lighting his pipe. After only leaving him alone for a few moments, his daughter Elizabeth saw the bay window curtains on fire when she returned home. She rushed in to find him standing in front of the flames quietly watching them. He was seemingly unaware of the danger, or that he had caused them.

Frank passed away on March 17th, 1935 at age 76. He was buried with his wife Mary at Elmwood cemetery.


Not a lot is known of the Farish cousins and their descendants. Some of them did move to Vancouver around 1960 where they stayed for many years. David Bretz recalled that when he was young, his family would have dinners with Jim and Alice Farish and their kids while both families lived there. He remembers that once, while he and his mother were shopping for Christmas oranges before a dinner, they found a bizarre insect crawling about the fruit, and made a note to take it to show Don Farish, who was interested in bugs. Don eventually would go on to become an accomplished etymologist and zoologist. Today he is President of Roger Williams University in Rhode Island.


Jolly and Dinwoodie Families

The Jolly family were largely cattle people from southwestern Galloway.

James Jolly was born about 1773 near Borgue. His parents are known to be James and Agnes Jolly, but not much more is known of them.

James married Wilhelmina Dalrymple about 1815. They livied in Borgue, Kircudbrightshire and had at least three sons and two daughters.

At various times James was a cattle dealer, farmer and later in life was an innkeeper with his wife (after ~1830).

James died in 1853. His sons Samuel and Alexander moved to Twynholm around 1840 to farm. Alexander accidentally drowned in 1855.

His wife Wilhelmina died in 1865 in Borgue, Kircudbrightshire.


Samuel Jolly was born about 1819 near Borgue, Kircudbrightshire to James Jolly and Wilhelmina Dalrymple. He was the oldest of five children. James was a cattle dealer in the region.

His future bride Elisabeth Dinwoodie was born July 22nd, 1817 at Tinwald, Dumfriesshire to Walter Dinwoodie and Elizabeth Walker. She was the oldest of five children.

Samuel moved from family home around 1840

He lived at Twynholm, Kircudbrightshire in 1841, where he was farming with his brother Alexander.

In his youth he was a cattle topsman, which in modern terms is the lead cowboy on a cattle drive. Later census also recorded him as a drover, a cattle driver.

On December 9th, 1845 Samuel married Elizabeth Dinwoodie at Twynholm, at Barwhinnock Church.

The family was recorded living at Tongland in 1849.

They moved to Balmaghie around 1850 to Risk Cottage.

Samuel's father died in 1853. At the time he was running a small inn near Borgue.

Samuel's family lived at the Bridge of Dee near Balmaghie in 1857-1861. They were recorded by the 1861 census there thusly:

1861 Census, Balmaghie, Bridge of Dee
           Samuel Jolly 40 - drover
           Elizabeth Jolly 40
           Jane Jolly 12
           John Jolly 8
           James Jolly 5
           Mary Jolly 3


The family next moved to Maxwelltown, next to Dumfries in the 1860s where they lived many years. During this time Samuel appears to have started working as a cattle and livestock dealer, rather than directly moving the animals about. He would have likely called the area at White Sands his place of business. As far back as the eighteenth century there had been a great horse sale in February each year at Candlemas Fair, attended by buyers drawn from a wide area. Maxwelltown was located conveniently just across the river.

The census showed that the family lived at Maxwelltown in 1871, at 13 Howgate Street.

1871 Census, Dumfries, 13 Howgate St
           Samuel Jolly 49 - cattle dealer
           Elizabeth Jolly 44
           John Jolly 18
           Mary Jolly 15


The census showed that the family still lived at Maxwelltown in 1881, at 13 Howgate Street.

1881 Census, Dumfries, 13 Howgate St
           Samuel Jolly 63 - cattle dealer
           Elizabeth Jolly 61
           Mary Elizth Jolly 22


Daughter Mary wed Frank Farish in 1886, a carpenter and joiner.

Samuel died in 1888 and Elisabeth died in 1896. They are both buried in the family grave.