Emigrants to Canada

If your family’s story is not here and you think it should be, or if you want to correct or add to what is here, please contact me lobban (at) one-name.org.

John 1834 and Isabella Castles. Date/location unknown. Photo courtesy of Chris A. Lobban. Click to enlarge images.

John Lobban (1834–1929)  was born into a Catholic family (his parents were married at Preshome Catholic Church, Preshome, Banffshire) and baptised in St. Gregory’s RC Chapel, Preshome, yet all the Canadian records indicate that the family was Presbyterian.  He married Isabella (Belle) Castles (or Cassells) in 1854. It appears that the Castles were Presbyterian and John went along with his wife’s religion. In April 1871 they set sail for Canada aboard the Ottawa,* with seven children aged from 3 mo. to 16 yrs (they eventually had 11).  He had been a farm laborer (and sometime confectioner’s porter) in Scotland and became a farmer in Keppel, Bruce Co., Ontario. He died in Wiarton, Bruce Co. (Tree and Rothiemay Area Lobbans).
[*Another couple of Lobbans on this ship were Alex (b. abt 1844) & Margaret (b. abt 1845); yet to discover who they were.]  
–John’s son George John Lobban (age 10 when the family emigrated) married Jemima Ward in Keppel in 1886, and they had their first children there. They had seven girls and five boys. The family moved to Gore Bay, Manitoulin Co., Ontario about 1893, and to Gordon Twp., Alberta by 1908.  Two sons, Edward and John, were killed in WW1George died in Cranbrook, British Columbia, 1942, at the home of his son James.

Edward and John Lobban with parents Jemima and George, 1916. Photo courtesy of “2010smiths” via Ancestry.com tree.

–John’s son Frank (Francis Robert) Lobban (1864–1925)  witnessed the marriage of his brother George on 3rd Aug 1876 at Guelph, Wellington to Jemima Ward, the sister of Frank’s eventual marriage partner in 1895 (in Winnipeg), Caroline Ward, who was also a witness at her sister’s marriage. They had three boys: Grenville Russell,  Lionel, and Clarence who died in 1911 aged 15. Frank’s occupation was “Building Mover.” After their marriage in Winnipeg, the family lived in several places in Manitoba before moving to Vancouver sometime between 1906 and 1921. Frank and Caroline died in Vancouver.
–John’s son William Lobban (1866–1938), m. Lavinia Hyatt,  spent his life as a farmer in Ontario and died in Walkerton, Bruce County.


William Lobban (1855–1936) was born in Ordiquhill, Banffshire and emigrated to the Lansdowne/Neepawa area west of Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1880 as a farmer. There, in 1883, he married Emma Oakes (born 1861 in Hindley, Wigan, Lancs., England). They had three sons, then Emma died in 1895, shortly after giving birth to the third,  Frederick. Left with a newborn baby and a farm to run, William sought domestic help. By the 1901 Census there was a live-in domestic servant, Maria Amanda Diehl, born in Ontario, 1855, whom William married on Christmas Day 1901. Their oldest son, James Alexander Lobban was killed in WW1 in 1916. William and Maria moved to 1390 12th Ave., Burnaby, British Columbia before the 1921 Census; although his occupation was still given as farmer, it may be that he had retired (he was 66 then). By 1921 both surviving sons had married and were still farming in Manitoba. William and Maria both died in Burnaby, New Westminster, British Columbia, in 1936 and 1937, respectively. Frederick lived to over 100. Incidentally, William’s sister Helen married Emma Oakes’ brother Thomas, a coal miner in Hindley, Wigan. (tree; and see family).

Willam Lobban with his three sons and 2nd wife. The lady to far right is most likely Maria Diehl; the woman in the middle has been identified as a cousin of Emma Oakes. The photo was likely taken around 1906. Photo posted to Ancestry.com by Erven MacKintosh.

William’s half-brother, John Russell Lobban (1875–1957) also emigrated to Canada, to Hamilton, Ontario, in 1908. He came from Glasgow, where he lived as a young man, and was (or had been) married  (1903) to Helen Moore, and went to Portage La Prairie, Manitoba to help build the Canadian Pacific Railway. He lived for a while with William and his family on their farm (1911 Census). We don’t know what happened to Helen, but in 1919 he married Ruby Violet May Smith in Hamilton, Ontario. We do not have any record of children from either marriage, He died in Hamilton in 1957.  (tree)


Five sons of William Lobban and Bathia Garden emigrated to Canada, but one soon returned to Scotland. John Lobban (1858– ), who had had an illegitimate child with his domestic servant Elizabeth Legg in 1878, emigrated in 1882 where he married Aeneas McCauley Johnstone in Toronto in 1894; she had emigrated in 1881. Charles Lobban (b. 1865, The Bauds, Seafield [Rathven], Banffshire) emigrated in 1889 and was witness at his brother William’s marriage in Toronto, Ontario on 19 Oct 1891;  he himself married there in 1893. He was subsequently recorded by censuses in Winnipeg, Manitoba (1901),  Assiniboia, Saskatchewan (1911) and back in Winnipeg (1921), where he died in 1937. Brother William Lobban (1862–1936)  moved back to Scotland after their first son was born, i.e., between 1893 and 1895 and were recorded in Aberdeen at the 1901 census, where he remained until his death. James Lobban  (1855–1930) and his wife Margaret Smith also emigrated to Ontario, possibly together with his brothers. Alexander Lobban (1864–1891) worked as a wagon driver in Ontario and died at Humber Bay, Toronto from concussion of the spine & lungs, presumably from an accident. (Tree)  It is possible that his nephew ‘Alick’ (Alexander Lobban 1886–1917), son of brother John & Ann Mavor Patterson (Hopeman), joined him in Canada, he also died in Toronto, in the great influenza epidemic.  (Tree and Rothiemay Area Lobbans)


John Lobban (1854–1936), son of James Lobban and Jane Sim,  a Catholic family in Cairnie, Aberdeenshire, emigrated to Canada in 1882, and in 1891 married Mary Ann Brown in Westminster,  Ontario, where the family has lived ever since.  At the 1911 and 1921 Censuses John was listed as Farmer.  John’s  first cousin George Innes Lobban (1868– ), b. Burnside, Botriphnie, married Jane Cumming in Rothes in 1896, and emigrated with four children on the ship Pretoria on 1 June 1907. (On the same ship was unrelated William Lobban, b. 1890 in Archiestown, Knockando; see paragraph below.) Bert Lobban says that George and family spent a year in Montreal and then went to Brandon, Ontario, where he was a Farm Manager (recorded there in 1911). Later, he  bought his own farm at Culdross, Manitoba (recorded in the 1916 Manitoba Census). In the 1921 Canada Census, George and Jane were living in Gray Municipality, Manitoba, with son George and daughter Lillian.  (Tree)


William Lobban (1890– ), 3107539 Pte 116th Reserve Btn Canadians, born Archieston, Knockando on 16 May 1890. Joined in Canada during March 1918 & served in France. He was the son of John & Ann Lobban, Hopeman,  occupation was Fisherman. His brother James Lobban (1888–1953), 408570, Sgt Machine Gun Corps,  joined in Canada during February 1915 and served in France, occupation Tailor. It is not clear when James went to Canada, but possibly with his brother William. James married Mary Hay in Edinburgh in  December 1917 and moved back to Hopeman  after the war. We have not found any information on William  after the war, and it is possible that he, too returned to Scotland.   (Service details from Morayshire Roll of Honor.)  (Tree)


James Lobban (1886–1957) was born illegitimately to Jane Forbes in Deskford, Aberdeenshire. Subsequently a court determined that the father was  John Lobban (1856–1940) of Deskford and the boy’s surname was changed. At the 1891 Census he was living with his maternal grandparents. A Passenger List dated August 1913 for the ship Scandinavian recorded James aged 27 as a ‘Returning Canadian’ with wife Mary Helen Munro Lobban (Watt), which implies he must have emigrated previously to Canada. He had just married her that January in Aberdeen. They had one boy, Alexander (b. 1913 in Kingsway, Vancouver) and two girls; the last girl died in infancy.  In the 1921 Census James was listed as Truck Driver but his death record describes him as employed as a florist (retired) . Both died in Vancouver, BC, James in 1957, Mary in 1963.  There are two Lobban’s Flower Shops in Vancouver today, perhaps run by one of James/Alexander’s descendants? One is on Kingsway, the other on Arbutus in Kitsilano.
After his adventure with Jane Forbes, John Lobban married Helen Newlands and they had four boys (including twins in 1895 who died within a month), and two girls. One of the boys, John Lobban (1893–1976) — James’ half-brother — emigrated to Brantford, Ontario in 1927 with his wife Jessie Rumbles and 4 daughters; they had one son, John, born in Brantford.  (tree)


John Lobban (1882–1945), wife Mary Cheyne Elder, was a blacksmith in Vancouver, son of John Lobban and Margaret Dickson of Alford. Both immigrated in 1909, as shown in 1921 Census, though she may have arrived in 1911; they were married in 1911. They had two daughters and a son John James (Jock), who became a Superintendent on the British Columbia Railway (d. 1996). John and Mary died in Burnaby, BC; John was buried in the Masonic Cemetery there. His brother Gordon Lobban (1878– ) emigrated to New Zealand, his brother Robert died in WW1.  (tree).


James Lobban (1883–1967) and his brother George Lobban (1889-1966) emigrated to Canada in 1910. A Ships Passenger List for the Hesperian leaving Glasgow on the 1 April 1910, included two Lobbans, George & James traveling together bound for Boston; both were unmarried and both were headed to Canada. Their younger Brother Robert emigrated to Canada two years later but joined the army and was killed in WW1. George settled in Alberta and remained a bachelor, while James moved to Saskatchewan, where he married Lillian Duncan; their son George Henry Lobban (1922–1944) was killed in WW2. A record of James’ time in the Canadian Forces in WW1 reveals that he enlisted on 11 Jan 1916. He was a ‘driver’ in the Canadian Army Service Corps in the 2nd Division. He was sent to England for further training prior to going to France, where his health required that he was returned to hospital at Shorncliffe, Epsom, suffering with serious stomach pains & vomiting, leading to his Army Medical Discharge in Canada on 22 April 1919 with a kidney Infection. He died in 1967 and was buried in Regina, Sask.

Drumderfit Logans in Canada

Several Logans in the Highland Loban/Logans tribe emigrated to Canada, of whom perhaps the most notable was Robert Logan (1778–1866), who joined the Red River Settlement in the Territory of the Hudson’s Bay Company, was one of the pioneers of what became Winnipeg, Manitoba. He was a quadroon, the “natural” son of  Robert Logan (~1748–1826),  and Anne Stitcher, a “free mulatto,” born in  St. Thomas in the East, Jamaica, where his father was overseer of a sugar plantation. In 1801 Robert joined the North West Company in Canada, and while in their service in Sault Ste. Marie was caught up in the War of 1812-1814, when the Americans destroyed the fort there. He subsequently joined the Hudson’s Bay Company, retiring in 1819 and joining Lord Selkirk’s Red River Settlement (Assiniboia). In 1821, he married Mary, a member of the Saulteaux tribe, but he had evidently been with her since before 1809, when their first child was born. He prospered and became a wealthy merchant. By 1839 Robert, widowed, remarried, to widow Sarah Ingham. Their firstborn son inherited the substantial estate when Robert died in 1866, and served three times (in the 1880s) as mayor of what had become Winnipeg.   “If Robert Logan had done nothing more than plant trees, thus anticipating Arbor Day plantings and the work of the Parks Board, he would have deserved recognition. In its early days, Winnipeg with its wide dusty streets and houses set on the bald prairie did not please the eyes of Easterners.” [Source]  More information on our Drumderfit Loban/Logans page.



Miramichi Lobbans and Lobans

There were two pioneers in Chatham, New Brunswick, but both are of uncertain ancestry,*  inasmuch as no UK records of either have been found and we therefore do not know their connection to the rest of the Scottish Lobbans.

* Update, Aug 2019: The new map of family distribution and the newly discovered haplogroup of NE Scotland Lobbans (FT75068) in the Moray parishes strongly suggest that Thomas Loban was part of this branch, since he was born in Dundurcas (later divided between Rothes and Boharm). We are re-examining old records and the family tree to see if we can narrow down the point of connection.

1. Thomas Loban (1757–1817),  was one of the earliest settlers in Chatham, soon after the Province was established. The “Micheau Survey” in 1785 noted that he owned Lot 71 on the north side of the Miramichi River. In 1798 he acquired Lot 37 on the south side of the river (a lawsuit in 1915 gives details about this land and the use of its frontage for booming). It is on record that he was born in Dundurcas, Moray, but no record of his birth can be found in the OPR.  He arrived in Canada in the 82nd (Duke of Hamilton) Regiment and was discharged in Halifax as a 25-year-old Corporal.  He married Jane Brown, who according to the 1851 Census arrived in Canada in 1794. Evidently Thomas had an earlier wife, who would have been the mother of his first two children, including William (1794– ). Thomas and Jane had three sons, Alexander,  John, and another William (1812).
[These notes are partly based on the research by Debbie Stack (“mispeck”) and Linda Lausch.]

Unfortunately for genealogists, some of Thomas’ descendants adopted the spelling Lobban, while others retained Loban. For instance, while Robert Loban (1810– ?), m. Catherine Taylor, used the spelling Loban on his marriage record and on the 1851 and 1861 Censuses, his son Robert Lobban (1840-1923) used Lobban on his marriage record (1867) and on the 1871 Census, when he was married and head of household. All of Robert’s children also used Lobban. Yet Robert (1840)’s brother Alexander Loban (1839–1921) retained the old spelling, so that in 1921 we find Alexander’s son Robert Loban (1882– ?)  with wife Frissa (born in NB of Irish descent and Catholic, so Robert now listed as Catholic, even though his family was Presbyterian) living in Carleton, Kent County, NB.  Two b’s or not two b’s, that is the question!

William Loban descendants, Miramichi. (Daughters of Robert-1810 omitted.)

And if that isn’t confusing enough, Joseph Lobban (1875–1916) was written in the 1911 Census as Logan!  Joseph married Julia Kane in Boston before a J.P. because she was Catholic and he was Presbyterian, they had to run away to get married. He was a blacksmith. He died in a munitions factory explosion during WW1. After he died, Julia and the family moved to Peterborough, Ontario, where their name is correctly spelled in the 1921 Census.

Portion of page of 1911 Canada Census, showing the Joseph Lobban m. Julia Kane family name written as Logan.


2. Edward Lobban (1804–1871). 1861 Census seems to say that he was born about 1804 in Kent, England, but we have not found him in UK records. The 1911 Canada Census recorded the ethnicity of his great grandson Chandler as Scottish. Also noted as Presbyterians in 1861, 1871 Censuses.  So my guess is he was Scottish but happened to be born in Kent (if the interpretation of the Census is even correct).   First documented event was marriage in Chatham Parish to Elizabeth Bryant in 1835, although 1851 Census seems to say he arrived in 1823. They had three sons, William, Edward, and John. Descendants in 1921 were his grandsons Earl (James Earl Wright) Lobban (1874–1953) with wife and eight children, and Nelson (Edward Nelson) Lobban (1865–1937) with wife and three children.



I dedicate this page to my parents, James Lobban (1920–1990) and Olwyn Ursula Roberts (1920–2009), who emigrated to Dartmouth (Halifax), Nova Scotia in 1965.



Marjory Harper, ‘Crossing borders:  Scottish emigration to Canada.’ History in Focus, 2006.


Page by Christopher S Lobban, based on information in Syd Lobban’s trees. Posted 27 Jan. 2019, updated 17July 2021.