Fonds MS-168 - Thomson, McRae Family fonds

The Temple of Fame George Thomson George Thomson - Fire Chief Thomson's Drug Store Thomson's Drug Store - Interior Cinderella Thomson's Drug Store Fire Funeral Of Dr. Wilbert McIntyre Letter Carriers of Strathcona Post Office, Alberta Presented to Mr. & Mrs. George Thomson on the occasion of their 50th Anniversary
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Title proper

Thomson, McRae Family fonds

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  • Textual record
  • Graphic material - photograph

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on contents of fonds.

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Dates of creation area


  • 1899 - 1913, 1944, [ca. 1970] (Creation)
    McRae Family

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Physical description

1 cm of textual records. - 10 photographs

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Name of creator

(1837 - 1969)

Biographical history

McRae, Alexander 1863-1863
McRae, Anne 1864-1956
McRae, Annie 1875-1958
McRae, Catherine Mary 1869-1969
McRae, Flora Ann McDonnell 1840-1925
McRae, Jeanette McRae 1867-1954
McRae, John Joseph 1837-1893
McRae, Mary Anne 1872-1958

John Joseph McRae was born 17 Mar 1835 to Anne MacDonald and John McRae in Glengarry, Ontario. He married Flora Anne MacDonnell in 1862 in Ontario and they had 16 children between 1864 and 1892 – Alexander, Anne, Jeanette, Catherine Mary, Mary Anne, Annie, Harriet Jane, Bella, Hannah Teresa, John Joseph, Flora, Angus Farquhar, Mary, Duncan, Jessie, and an unnamed infant. The last four children all died in infancy.

John McRae was a railroad conductor. When John became ill with tuberculosis in 1892, doctors advised him to move west for the fresh air. The family came west on the first train to travel the CPR line from Calgary to Edmonton. They eventually settled in Rabbit Hill near Edmonton. John died the following year but his wife and many of his children remained in the Edmonton area.

John Joseph McRae died 3 Oct 1893 in Edmonton.
Flora Anne McDonnell McRae died 17 Feb 1925 in Edmonton.

In 1968, Klondike Days honoured this pioneering family by having a family reunion with over 100 descendants attending from various locales, including Calgary, Peace River, Ottawa, Montreal, Halifax, Boston, Montana, California, Kenya, and the Canary Islands.

Name of creator

(1865 - 2009)

Biographical history

Thomson, Anne McRae 1875-1958
Thomson, Donald Walter 1906-2001
Thomson, Elizabeth Shirley 1921-2008
Thomson, George 1865-1946
Thomson, George Wilbur (Wilbert) 1909-1968
Thomson, Hannah Loretta (Reta) 1896-1960
Thomson, John Harold 1898-1964
Thomson, Norma Lillian 1911-2009
Thomson, Osler McRae (Pat) 1913-1945

George Thomson was born in 1865 to Elizabeth McLean and John F. Thomson in Leitchfield township, Pontiac county, Quebec. He graduated from the College of Pharmacy at Toronto in 1887. Following graduation he moved west, initially intending to settle in Seattle. However he stayed there only a few months, the headed north to Calgary. He came to Edmonton from Calgary by stage coach in the spring of 1888. He was the first qualified druggist in Edmonton and set up shop, initially on the north side of the river.

About five years later he moved to the south side and opened Thomson's Drug Store, which was the first drug store in Strathcona. At the time the population of Strathcona was about 500.

Anne McRae was born in 1875 to Flora McDonell and John J. McRae in St. Raphael’s, Ontario. She moved to Edmonton with her parents and siblings in 1892. Anne McRae married George Thomson 18 Jul 1894 In Edmonton. Anne and George had seven children between 1896 and 1921 – Hannah Loretta (Reta), John Harold, Donald Walter, George Wilbert, Norma Lillian, Osler McRae (Pat), and Elizabeth Shirley.

George, Anne and their family lived above the drugstore on Whyte Avenue. Dr. Wilbert McIntyre, a highly respected doctor in Strathcona, had his office next door to George’s drugstore. The two men were sincere friends. At some point, likely around 1907, Thomson’s Drug Store was completely destroyed by a fire.

In 1907, George became Strathcona’s postmaster, a position he held until 1923. George was very active in the community, including serving as the chief of the Volunteer Fire Brigade.

Anne was also highly involved in the community, including as one of the founders of King Edward Community League, president of the Granite Women’s Curling Club, and a life member of the Eastern Star. Both Anne and George were members of the Northern Alberta Pioneers and Old Timers’ Association.

George Thomson died Dec 1946.
Annie McRae Thomson died 14 Jul 1958.

Custodial history

Norma L. Paradis is the daughter of Annie McCrae and George Thomson, and the granddaughter of Flora and John Joseph McCrae.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of records pertaining to the Thomson and McCrae families.

File 1
Certificate – Letter of Appointment to Postmastership, Mr. George Thomson, 27 September 1907, at Strathcona.

File 2
Manuscript – John Joseph and Flora Anne McRae, a family history that includes details on their first six children – Alexander, Anne, Jeanette, Catherine, Mary Anne, and Annie. Unknown author, [ca. 1970].

The photographs include George Thomson and his drugstore.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

This fonds was donated to the City of Edmonton Archives by Norma L. Paradis in 1971.


The material was arranged by the archivist by date.

Language of material

  • English

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Copyright may apply.

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No further accruals are expected.

General note

Accession number: A71-45

General note

Formerly known as John Joseph and Flora Anne McRae fonds.

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The manuscript may be incomplete.


The original manuscript is on thermal paper, and it is blurring and fading. The manuscript has been transcribed.

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