Family Histories
of the Swan River Valley
Manitoba, Canada
Pioneer Centennial
History Book
100 Years in the
Swan River Valley
1898 - 1998

James and Euphemia Alford

James Downs Alford was born in Campbelltown, NB on December 31, 1854. He was employed by Canadian Pacific Railway when the tracks were constructed to the west, and came to Oak Lake, MB in 1876. He married Euphemia McCulloch on May 14, 1886 in the Presbyterian Church at Oak Lake, MB.
Ten children were born to this union in the Oak Lake- Griswold area. They grew up in the natural atmosphere of farm life- picking berries in season, chores, farm work, hunting, fishing, ball games and card parties.

John Robert Burrows was born in Oldbarns, NB on March 5, 1860 and came to Manitoba in 1887. He married Wilhelmina Irwin from East Zorra, Ontario on September 16, 1891 at Woodworth Municipality, MB. Margaret Ann Burrows came to the Swan River Valley with her parents, John Robert,Wilhelmina Burrows and her brother Craig in 1917.

James Downs and Euphemia Alford moved to the SwanRiver Valley in 1921 with their children - one of whom was William Henry.

William Henry Alford and Margaret Ann Burrows were married on November 3, 1925 in the United Church in Swan River, MB. They spent their life on the farm and raised eight children. One son, Harold William died as an infant, September 25- December 19, 1929.

William and Margaret were very proud of their 32 grandchildren (fourth generation Alford’s) 12 of whom remain in the Swan River Valley. Agriculture still plays a major role in their lives.

There are 52 fifth generation Alfords and 1 sixth generation Alford.

On August 7th and 8th, 1993, the family of William and Margaret gathered at Wellman Lake, MB to celebrate a reunion. The gathering comprised of 109 family members from across western Canada who were proud to come “home” to the beautiful Swan River Valley.
Submitted by: Marj Hart


Manitoba's Swan River Valley is an area rich in history. These family histories were a part of the 1998 Pioneer Centennial History Book project. If you would like the history of your area available online, have your historic group contact the Key Rock Group for information on electronic publication. We offer publication free of charge and also provide the option for making your history book available on CD.