Manitoba Historical Society
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Manitoba Photographers: John James Abbott (1840-1914)

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Work locations | Samples | Sources

Born at Kingston, Ontario on 4 July 1840, he worked there as a photographer from 1873 to 1878. On 29 October 1873, he married Mary Walton (1853-1897) and they subsequently had three children: Roy Walton Abbott (b 30 Sep 1878, Ontario), Maud Abbott (b 17 Jun 1882, Ontario), and Mildred Abbott (b 15 Jun 1884, Manitoba). Abbott worked at Ottawa from 1878 to 1882, when he moved with his family to Emerson, Manitoba, where his wife died in 1897. In 1902 he built a new photographic studio.

In July 1906 the family moved to southern Alberta, where he and his son worked as photographers at Medicine Hat, Taber, and Raymond. In 1909 they moved to Vancouver, British Columbia. It is unknown whether Abbott continued to work as a photographer after this time. He died at New Westminster on 2 August 1914. His son worked as a photographer at Vancouver, Powell River, and Westview. His daughter Maud married Reginald Lane and moved to Powell River where she took a large collection of photographs of the area, which have been preserved and made available online by the Powell River Museum.

Work locations




Kingston, Ontario


Ottawa, Ontario


Emerson, Manitoba


Southern Alberta


Vancouver, British Columbia


Emerson Steamboat

Abbott photographed the steamboat Assiniboine on the streets of Emerson during a catastrophic flood in 1897. For more information, see Steamboats to the Rescue, 1897.
Gordon Goldsborough, 2008-0007


Marriage registration, Ancestry.

1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

Birth and death registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

“Emerson,” Manitoba Free Press, 27 December 1902, page 18.

“Taber,” Lethbridge Daily Herald, 5 May 1908, page 2.

Death registration, British Columbia Vital Statistics.

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The Ontario Photographers List (1851-1900), Volume One by Glen C. Phillips, Global Heritage Press, Milton, Ontario, 2002.

The Western Canada Photographers List (1860-1925) by Glen C. Phillips, Global Heritage Press, Milton, Ontario, 2002.

Roy Walton Abbott, Camera Workers: The British Columbia, Alaska and Yukon Photographic Directory, 1858-1950 by David Mattison

We thank Teedie Kagume of the Powell River Museum for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 29 June 2015

Manitoba Photographers: 1858 to Present

A list of professional photographers who have worked in Manitoba, from 1858 to the present, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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Gordon Goldsborough & Manitoba Historical Society. All rights reserved.

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