Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: John E. Birch (1840-?)

Born in Birmingham, England on 11 November 1840, the fifth of seven children born to George and Ellen Birch, the family emigrated to Canada in 1842 and settled at York [now Toronto]. He left home at the age of 17 then learned the tinsmith's trade then worked alternately in the US and Canada during the American Civil War. Afterwards, he formed a partnership with his brother at Stratford, Ontario which ended when John came to Winnipeg in 1881. He went into business as an entrepreneur, selling a gas burner of his own design. He then spent six years working as a tinsmith for the Canadian Pacific Railway, ran a business at Austin for a short time, then a hardware business at Plumas, and finally a hardware business at Roland.

In 1872 he married Georgeanna LaFleur of Quebec. They had seven children: Randolph, Herbert, Dudley, Bessie, Lilly, Rubie, and Topsy. He was a Mason (Shiloh Lodge No. 24 of Roland).


The Story of Manitoba by F. H. Schofield, Winnipeg: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1913.

1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 1 January 2009

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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