Monday, 16 September 2013

Douglas Ivan Hepburn

Today, 16 September 2013, marks the 87th anniversary of the birth of Canadian strongman Doug Hepburn. Earlier in the month I threw out a challenge to establish his Scottish origins, and also those of US strongman Paul Anderson.
Spoiler Alert: This will document the case for Hepburn's Scottish ancestry.
A search on Google for Doug Hepburn finds a Wikipedia article giving his birth as 16 September 1926 in Vancouver. That's after the most recent available Canadian census and post-dates available BC birth records. Getting back to the period when the census and full civil registration records are available is often the tricky part.
Further Google searching finds a biography "Strongman: The Doug Hepburn Story" by Tom Thurston. While the book is listed on amazon.ca and amazon.com there is no look inside preview. However, amazon.co.uk does provide a preview. That's the bridge to historic documentation needed. According to that book, and in addition to confirming the birth, it gives his mother as Gladys Alberta Rundle born in Port Perry, Ontario, on 13 September, 1904; his father Ivan Clifford Hepburn born in Hope Bay, Ontario, on 20 April 1903.
There is an Ontario birth registration for Ivan Clifford Hepburn on 19 Jul 1897, son of Andrew Catto Hepburn and Ann E Landers. The birth date is different but given that his parents were divorced and he was raised with his mother's family perhaps that can be understood.
Ontario's marriage registration records show Andrew Hepburn's father to be Simpson Hepburn. That's consistent with the Strongman biography which mentions on page 22, not in the "look inside" preview, that Doug's great-grandfather Simpson Hepburn was renowned for his strength and was said to have knocked down an ox that turned on him with a single blow.
Googling Simpson Hepburn finds a website http://www.deeprootstalltrees.com/hepburn/d2.htm with
4. Simpson HEPBURN (Peter1) was born on September 19, 1830 in , , Aberdeenshire, Scotland,4 died on September 7, 1922 in Eastnor Twp, Bruce Co, Ontario, Canada4 aged 91, and was buried in 1922 in Colpoy's Bay, Bruce Co, Ontario, Canada.
Twelve children of Simpson are listed including Andrew Catto Hepburn.

There's additional evidence in the 1861 census with Simson Hepburn, age 30, born in Scotland, at Minto, Wellington, Canada West on a farm next to 61 year old and Scottish-born Peter Hepburn, and with a Catto family nearby.

A quick look at Scotlands People found no likely looking entry for Sim(p)son Hepburn. There are entries for the birth of a Peter Hepburn in Scotlands People, at Family Search and in the compiled genealogy above,

For the purposes of establishing a Scottish ancestry with reasonable confidence, but without confirming details, most would consider this adequate.

1 comment:

Brenda Hepburn said...

These are my relative Andrew brother James is my Great Grandfather is son Charles is Grandfather