Manitoba Historical Society
     Keeping history alive for over 142 years

Memorable Manitobans: John Davidson McNiven (1861-1938)

Tailor, civil servant.

Born at Bradford, Ontario on 10 February 1861, son of Donald and Elsa McNiven, he was educated at public schools of Harriston, Ontario until the age of 14 when he began to work as a tailor, moving to Manitoba in the late 1880s and operating a tailor shop at Virden until he retired from business in 1906. He also served as a customs officer there. On 16 July 1886, he married Elizabeth Montgomery (1866-1947) at Walkerton, Ontario. They had three children: Donald Alexander McNiven, Jessie Merle McNiven (1890-1975, wife of Lewis James Carter), and Bessie Jean McNiven (1900-?, wife of Walter Stewart Moore). He was a member of the Masons, IOOF, Canadian Order of Foresters, and Presbyterian Church. He served for several years on the Virden School Board. He died in 1938 and was buried in the Virden Cemetery.


Birth and marriage registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

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

“Mrs. J. D. McNiven,” Winnipeg Free Press, 23 August 1947, page 26.

“Deaths,” Winnipeg Free Press, 1 August 1961, page 12.

Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 14 January 2018

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. We acknowledge that the collection contains both reputable and disreputable people. All are worth remembering as a lesson to future generations.

Search the collection by word or phrase, name, place, occupation or other text:

Custom Search

Browse surnames beginning with:
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z

Send corrections and additions to the Memorable Manitobans Administrator at

Criteria for Memorable Manitobans | Suggest a Memorable Manitoban  | Firsts | Acknowledgements

Support the MHS

MHS YouTube Channel

Back to top of page

For queries on the above page, please contact the MHS Webmaster.

Home  |  Terms & Conditions  |  FAQ  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy  |  Donations

© 1998-2021 Manitoba Historical Society. All rights reserved.