Waterloo Region Generations
A record of the people of Waterloo Region, Ontario.

Robert Turnbull[1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]

Male 1827 - 1879  (52 years)


Personal Information    |    Notes    |    Sources    |    Event Map    |    All    |    PDF

  • Name Robert Turnbull 
    Born 11 Jan 1827  Hawick, , Roxburgh, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location  [3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10
    Gender Male 
    Interesting life story, 
    Occupation 1861  Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [9
    Manufacturer 
    Residence 1861  Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [9
    United Presbyterian Church 
    Occupation 1871  Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [8
    Hosier 
    Residence 1871  Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [8
    C. Presbyterian 
    Occupation 1872  Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [11
    manufacturer 
    Eby ID Number Waterloo-67966 
    Died 11 Dec 1879  Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [7, 12
    Cause: Phthisis (2 years) 
    Buried Mount View Cemetery, Cambridge, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [7, 10
    Person ID I67966  Generations
    Last Modified 19 May 2022 

    Family Elizabeth Graham,   b. 1827, Hawick, , Roxburgh, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 9 Feb 1881, Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 54 years) 
    Children 
     1. Isabella Turnbull,   b. 1851, , Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 12 Jul 1860, , Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 9 years)
     2. Elisabeth Moffat Turnbull,   b. 1866, Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     3. Margaret Turnbull,   b. 1851, , Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     4. Robert Ker Turnbull,   b. 19 Jun 1854, Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 19 Mar 1884, Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 29 years)
     5. Charles Turnbull,   b. 19 Dec 1858, Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     6. Margaret Georgina Turnbull,   b. 18 Nov 1860, Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 19 Aug 1881, Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 20 years)
     7. John Graham Turnbull,   b. 9 Nov 1862, Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 6 Sep 1921, Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 58 years)
     8. John Turnbull,   b. 1863, , Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     9. George Turnbull,   b. 21 Sep 1864, Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     10. Elizabeth Moffat "Lizzie" Turnbull,   b. 22 Oct 1866, Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 16 Jan 1955  (Age 88 years)
     11. Jessie Reid Turnbull,   b. 1 Nov 1868, Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1954  (Age 85 years)
     12. Samuel Johnston Turnbull,   b. 22 Oct 1871, Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 18 May 1887, Guelph City, Wellington Co., Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 15 years)
    Last Modified 20 May 2022 
    Family ID F17760  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • ROBERT TURNBULL

      1826-1879 Married: Elizabeth Graham

      Robert Turnbull was born in Hawick, Scotland and came to Galt in 1852 at the age of 26 with his uncle Adam Ker. Mr. Turnbull had served an apprenticeship in Scotland in the textile trade with Messers. William Watson and Sons as a cloth finisher. Sometime after his arrival in Galt he learned the art of woollen manufacturing while in the employ of Robinson & Howell Co. in the Galt Woollen Mill building on Water Street South. In 1859 he started a business knitting woollen underwear. In the days before central heating, long woollen underwear was greatly appreciated and Mr. Turnbull found a ready market for his product. The business operated from the rear of the Turnbull home, a big rambling rough cast house located on West Main St., later Grand Ave., near the corner of St. Andrews St. Little is known about the very first years of the business and there is some confusion in the historical record. Some of it suggests that John Deans was Mr. Turnbull's partner from the start of the business in 1859. Other sources suggest that in the early years Mr. Turnbull was associated with Adam Oliver at least until 1861. It is also suggested that shortly thereafter Mr. Oliver sold his interest in the company to Mr. Turnbull and then John Deans became a partner in the business. In any case, the business operated as Turnbull and Deans until 1870 when Mr. Deans retired and sold his interest to Mr. Turnbull. In the early years all the garments were knitted on hand knitting frames and were hand finished by neighbourhood women in their homes. In 1861 Mr. Turnbull to send to Hawick for a type of knitting machine new to North America. With these machines, Turnbull and Deans became the first and only manufacturer of full-fashioned underwear on the continent. It was this product that made the name famous throughout the province and then throughout Canada. Until the business was sold to the Stauffer-Dobbie interests in 1946, Turnbull's was the only company in North America to have full-fashioned underwear knitting machines. What made this underwear special was it's comfortable fit, its durability and its softness. Other types of underwear on the market at the time were of the "knit and cut" variety. The underwear was first knit in long tubes and as the tubing came from the knitting machines it was cut into body lengths. To these were added sleeves, legs and whatever else was necessary to make the finished product. This method produced an acceptable but somewhat ill-fitting garment. Full-fashioned underwear was shaped on the machine to fit the human body. It was narrowed at the waist and made wider to accommodate the chest. This was a much slower method of production and as a consequence this type of underwear was more expensive than the "knit and cut" variety but it fit and wore better and proved popular throughout the country. It was marketed under the brand name "CEETEE". Mr. Turnbull died on December 11, 1879 at the age of fifty-two. He is buried in Mount View Cemetery.

      Sources:
      1. Obituary Dumfries Reformer Wednesday December 17, 1879.
      2. Jim Quantrell, "Turnbull Knitting" A Part of Our Past, Essays on Cambridge's History City of Cambridge Archives, Cambridge Ontario 1992.
      3. John P. Shewchuk "The Development of the Textile Trade at Galt, Preston and Hespeler 1832 - 1914", Unpublished manuscript, City of Cambridge Archives MG1 Vol. 35, A988.155.01



      Cambridge Mosaic, Jim Quantrell, 1998, City of Cambridge [used with kind permission of Jim Quantrell]

  • Sources 
    1. [S4] Vit - ON - Marriage Registration.
      John Graham Turnball Born: Galt Age: 31 Est. Birth: abt 1863 Father: Robert Turnball Mother: Elizabeth Graham married Maggie Ellen Hogg Age:: 27 Est. Birth: abt 1867 Born: North Dumfries Father: George Hogg Mother: Isabella Scott married 5 Sep 1894 Marriage Place: Waterloo, North Dumfries

    2. [S4] Vit - ON - Marriage Registration.
      Wm Barraclough (Hotel keeper of Galt) Born: Canada Age: 32 Est. Birth: abt 1844 Father: William Barraclough Mother: Phoebe Barraclough married Maggie Turnball Age:: 20 Est. Birth: abt 1856 Born: Canada Father: Robert Turnball Mother: Elizabeth Turnball married 7 Jan 1876 Marriage Place: Waterloo, Galt

    3. [S1338] News - ON, Waterloo, Cambridge - Galt Reporter (1846-1973), Obituary of Elizabeth Graham - Turnbull - Feb 11 1881 pg 8.

    4. [S1338] News - ON, Waterloo, Cambridge - Galt Reporter (1846-1973), Obituary of Margaret Georgina Turnbull - 26 Aug 1881, pg 8.

    5. [S3002] Vit - ON - Marriage Registration, 12007-91.
      Charles Turnbull, 32, occ. Manufacturer, b. Galt, res. same, s/o Robert & Elizabeth, married Margaret McWraith?, 27, b. Galt, res. same, d/o Andrew & Mary, witn: Albert Ha--k? & Florence Nichol, both of Galt, 19 Feb 1891 at Galt

    6. [S3002] Vit - ON - Marriage Registration, 016214-00.
      Dr. Hugh Grant Roberts, 46, occ. Physician, b. Elora, res. New Germany, Widower, son of Hugh Roberts and Mary Grant Married Elisabeth Moffat Turnbull, 30, b. Galt, res. Guelph, daughter of Robert Turnbull and Elisabeth Graham, Witnessed by: John G. and Maggie Turnbull Both of Galt, 20 June 1900 in Galt.

    7. [S122] Cemetery - ON, Waterloo, Cambridge - Mount View CC#4495 Internet Link .
      Robert Turnbull/ died 11th Dec. 1879/ aged 52 years 11 mo's./ also his wife/ Elizabeth Graham/ died 9th Feb. 1881/ natives of/ Hawick, Roxburghshire/ Scotland

    8. [S570] Census - ON, Waterloo, Galt - 1871, Div. 3, Pg. 16.

    9. [S1838] Census - ON, Waterloo, Galt - 1861, Galt 1861 Div. 3 Page 39.

    10. [S2697] Cemetery - ON, Waterloo, Cambridge, Mount View Cemetery Internet Link.
      [NW] Robert TURNBULL/ died 11th Dec. 1879/ aged 52 years 11 mo's./ also his wife/ Elizabeth GRAHAM/ died 9th Feb. 1881/ natives of/ Hawick, Roxburghshire/ Scotland

    11. [S573] Church Records - ON, Waterloo, Galt - Union Presbyterian Church.
      Samuel Johnston Turnbull Born 22 Oct 1871 Galt Parents Robt. Turnbull & Elizabeth Graham baptized 07 Jan 1872 Occupation: Manufacturer

    12. [S2491] aaa Vit - ON - Death Registration, death certificate 014837 (1879).
      Name:Robert Turnbull Gender:Male Age:52 Religion:Presbyterian Birth Date:abt 1827 Birth Place:Hawick Rox, Scotland Death Date:11 Dec 1879 Death Place:Waterloo, Ontario, Canada Cause of Death:Phthisis Pulmonalis

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 11 Jan 1827 - Hawick, , Roxburgh, Scotland Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Manufacturer - 1861 - Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - United Presbyterian Church - 1861 - Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Hosier - 1871 - Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - C. Presbyterian - 1871 - Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - manufacturer - 1872 - Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - Cause: Phthisis (2 years) - 11 Dec 1879 - Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Mount View Cemetery, Cambridge, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth