Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: David Shirriff (1846-1931)

Pioneer, school official, municipal official.

Born at Huntingdon, Quebec on 12 June 1846, son of physician Francis Walker Shirriff and Anna Markland MacNider, brother of James Shirriff, he saw military service against the Fenian Raids in 1866 and 1870 while a member of the Victoria Rifles of Canada [known at the time as the Victoria Volunteer Rifles of Montreal]. He came to Winnipeg between 1880 and 1882 and homesteaded at NE & NW 12-2-28W in the Sourisford District. Around 1889, he came to Brandon via oxcart and there, on 15 January 1890, married Christina Sinclair (c1854-?). They subsequently had four children: George Sinclair Shirriff (1890-?), Alexander Fraser Shirriff (1892-1929), Francis McNider “Frank” Shirriff (1894-1917), and Anna Catherine Shirriff (1895-?, wife of William George Noden).

He worked as a bookkeeper (1891), was the local agent for the Cockshutt Plow Company, and served as a school trustee for the Brandon School District (Chairman, 1911), member of the Brandon Parks Board for many years (including 1924-1929), and an Elder of St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church. Around 1911, he joined the municipal clerical department and worked until a few weeks after his 80th birthday, retiring at the end of July 1926. Since 1893, he was affiliated with the Brandon Horticultural Society (Treasurer, ?-1926), and was a member of the Masons and IOOF (Brandon City Lodge No. 6).

He died at his Brandon residence, 1526 McTavish Avenue, on 1 September 1931 and was buried in the Brandon Cemetery.


Birth [George Sinclair Sherriff, Francis McIvor Shirriff, Anna Catherine Shirriff, Alexander Fraser Sherriff], marriage, and death registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

Western Land Grants, Library and Archives Canada.

1891 Canada census, Library and Archives Canada.

1901 & 1911 Canada censuses, Automated Genealogy.

“Married - Shirriff-Sinclair,” Brandon Sun, 6 February 1890, page 18.

“Technical schools,” Brandon Weekly Sun, 26 January 1911, page 10.

“Lieut. Frank Shirriff honorably mentioned in Haig’s Dispatches,” Brandon Daily Sun, 5 June 1917, page 1.

“A. F. Campbell and David Shirriff again named by City for Parks Board,” Brandon Daily Sun, 18 January 1924, page 5.

“David Shirriff retires,” Brandon Daily Sun, 19 July 1926, page 1.

“Around town [A pleasing event ...],” Brandon Daily Sun, 2 August 1926, page 5.

“Horticultural Society honors member prior to his departure from city,” Brandon Daily Sun, 24 September 1926, page 5.

“Parks Board to organize for coming season,” Brandon Daily Sun, 28 February 1927, page 1.

“David Shirriff,” Brandon Daily Sun, 18 June 1927, page 13.

Obituary, Brandon Daily Sun, 1 September 1931, page 10.

“David Shirriff,” Brandon Daily Sun, 2 September 1931, page 2.

Obituary, Brandon Daily Sun, 3 September 1931, page 5.

“Brandon City Lodge No. 6,” Brandon Daily Sun, 3 September 1931, page 8.

Obituary, Brandon Daily Sun, 5 September 1931, page 5.

Burial transcriptions, Brandon Cemetery.

This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 5 July 2021

Memorable Manitobans

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