A Son is born: George Alexander Barclay 1880!

It was a happy day in Pine River the 10th of January 1880 when George and Amarilla’s son George Alexander Barclay as born. 

On my second trip to Minnesota in July of 2001, I found the actual records of George Alexander’s birth that are mentioned in the “Logsleds…” book.  I did not find the actual quote from Rev. Benjamin Whipple that they feature in the book about the baptism of young George. I did find parish records recognizing the birth of the baby boy.   The collection of the Whipple papers at the Minnesota Historical Society is large and complicated and I have tried at least twice to figure it out. 

Source: “21, baptised George Alexander sone of  Geo A. & Amanda Barclay born 10 January 1880 Sponsors parents, Rev. I.A. Gilfillan at 1/2 ____ house.” (Very difficult to read) (Vol. 10 ,P1035, Box 43 Manuscripts, P.E. Church, Diocese of Minn. Vol 8-16 MHS). 

Source:  Whipple Register of Baptisms, Marriages and Deaths 1859-1895 1 Vol., #142.F.15.3B, Minnesota Historical Society.

Baptisms: August 21, 1880, Pine River, George Alexander Barclay, Parents:  George A. & Ammanda Barclay, Sponsors and witnesses:  Parents and Rev. I.A. Gilfillan.  (Register of Baptisms, Marriages – Whipple Records 142.F.15.3B 1859-1895 1 Vol. – MHS) 

On page 106 first column there is an interesting account of the baptism of baby George in the Logsleds to Snowmobiles book.  This account was taken from The Whipple papers at the Minnesota Historical Society.  

It reads:  “Time evening. Log hotel in the woods, kept by a frontier man and his wife. She is eight miles from the nearest white woman, and between her and Brainerd, 36 miles distant, are just two of her sex. They are happily and contented all alone in the woods with the little infant son God has given them. The Bishop assembles all hands in the dining room and proceeds to baptize the boy. “Name this child,” says the Bishop. “George Alexander,” says the sponsor, the name of the father. “Stop,” says the exulting frontiersman. “George Alexander Barclay,” giving his own name in full. He wished all present and absent to understand that the boy was a Barclay.”

Based on what I have determined, I think it was the Rev. Gilfillan who did the baptism and the journal is housed in the Whipple papers which is a collection of the Rev. Whipple’s. 

There seems to be a little confusion regarding the actions of the father.  The son was named “George Alexander” while the father was “George Angus.”  Did George Angus Barclay name is son after his brother Alexander?

Based on the information from the 1880 census we know that there weren’t that many people in Pine River in 1880 so George and Amarilla were probably far from religious gatherings so they either took this as an opportunity to have their child baptised.  The other possibility is that George was not Catholic.  We see that there are two instances in which George and Amarilla interact with the Episcopal faith, 1) their marriage, 2) the baptism of their child. 

Both Rev. Whipple and Gilfillan are very extraordinary men and no matter which of the two men it was that stopped at the Barclay Ranch is was a major event. 

For Rev. Whipple:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Benjamin_Whipple


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