Margaret Jane Kinsey: Dressmaker

Margaret Jane Kinsey was born on 26 April 1866 at Penygelli Farm which lies on the outskirts of Newtown, Wales.
In the spring of 1867, a very young Margaret along with the remaining members of the Kinsey clan followed their father by taking the SS Nestorian to Quebec City.

Life in Canada, was a constant challenge for the Kinsey family and all the family members were helping out and that included the daughters.

It has been said that a young woman in Canada at the turn of the century has the choice of three careers: get married, become a teacher or become a dressmaker.

Margaret followed in her mother's footsteps and became a dressmaker.

It is interesting to see that in the business directories for Bruce County that were recently posted online at, that the only mention of a member of the Kinsey family in Walkerton is not Stephen Wilson Kinsey or his eldest son Stephen Vaughan Kinsey but Margaret.

In both the 1886-7 and 1889 editions of the business directory only Margaret is mentioned. Her name appears "Miss M. V. Kinsey: dressmaker" in both editions but I would suggest that this is a typo as a "J" can be easily be confused with a "V".

By the time of the 1891 census, Margaret has already married a young bookkeeper, Edgar Slann and is now living in Petrolia, Ontario. However, she is still is working as a dressmaker.

Then in the early 1900s, the Slann family moves to Detroit, Michigan and Margaret is listed on the census as a "housewife".

The Slann family continued to live out there lives in the Detroit area and it is surmised that Margaret died there sometime around 1930.


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