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

John and Janet Bell

John and Janet moved to the Swan Valley in 1927 from Dunfries, Scotland. Along with them were six of the seven children. The eldest, Mia, married to Joe Edgar and remained in Scotland. They first resided in the Egilson district directly south east of the Egilson School site. Later, they moved to Avonlea. Finally they moved to Swan River, River Park Drive, where the children attended Duncun School. John, better known as “Jake”, was a talented carpenter. He also farmed and worked in bush camps and sawmills. He had served in the British army in World War One.

John and Janet had seven children; Mia, William (Bill), Edith, Agnes, Janet (Jenny), Tom, and Jack. The three boys served inthe army in World War Two, Agnes (Nancy) nursed in Scotland, Edie and Jenny married and remained in Canada. The rest of the family returned to Scotland, where they lived until 1946. During the war, Janet (Jenny) worked as a “gaffer”, supervising in an amunitions factory. In 1946, Jake and Janet returned to the valley. Jake passed away the following year. Janet lived until 1962.

Bill Bell married Yet Jacobs from Holland. They resided in Chilliwack, British Columbia. They had two sons, Garry and Moray. Tom married Nanci Cooper in Dumphries, Scotland and they lived in Summerland, British Columbia. They had one daughter, Linda. Jack married Alice Scrimgeour in Dumfries, also. They moved to Swan River and had two daughters, Lorna and Jacklynn.

Edith married Skuli Sigurdson. They lived on the north bank of the Swan River in the Harlington district. They had one daughter, Marine (Mrs. Earl McDonald) of Carmen, Manitoba.

Agnes (Nancy) nursed in Scotland and in various points in Canada. She married Herb Woolfit at Rose Valley, Saskatchewan. Jenny married Stan Paull and they resided in Swan River. They had one daughter, Nonie Struthers. Two of the daughters, Agnes and Jenny, live in Swan River, as well as two granddaughters, Nonie Struthers, and Lorna Bell.

Submitted by: Nonie Struthers


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.