James Thomas Forsyth and Ellen: Lightkeepers at Race Rocks 1919-1932

James Thomas Forsyth and Ellen:
Lightkeepers at Race Rocks

James Thomas Forsyth was the lightkeeper at Race Rocks from February 1, 1919 to December 10,1932 -. If anyone has any further information on Mr.Forsyth, we would be interested in adding it here.
James was born November 16, 1870 in Halifax,NS. and died December 10.1932 in Victoria. He was married to Ellen J. They had a daughter named Evelyn, who married Henry I. Mackenzie who filled in as temporary keeper for a year when James Forsyth died. James had three sisters, Kate(b.1873), and Annie and Jennie.

Kate married Henry Jennings who was in the military and fought in the Boer war.
They lived in various countries and had four sons. Cecil, (a reporter for a Vancouver newspaper), Reg, Jim and
Harry who was born in Jamaica.

Harry married Violet (Collet sp.?) and their only daughter was Kathlene ( still alive in Ontario in 2012, age 92)

Kathlene’s son David Hutton, now living in Aldergrove has helped to fill in this family history

On January 9, 2011: Research with the assistance of a genealogist, Sharen Haggarty, from Calgary showed several records in the Canadian Census records of 1891,1911 and 1916, so the following possibilities arise as we attempt to construct this family tree .Any help locating the Forsyth family for contact greatly appreciated.

Name year Location Age yr.Born loc..born religion employ
James Forsyth 1891 census Victoria 21 1870 unitarian waiter
James Forsyth 1932,Dec 10 died Victoria 62 1870


In January of 2011, I received an e-mail from Bob MacDonald , formerly a fisheries officer, of DFO, Victoria.

” I was a Fishery Officer, Victoria Office, 1986 to 2009. During that time, I came into possession of a bible that was given to a person “Evelyn” at Egg Island on Aug.12, 1910. I believe Forsyth, James Thomas, was the keeper at the time and later at Race Rocks? Evelyn may have been the wife or daughter or just a visitor to Egg Island. Rev. M. Gibson presented this bible to her. I have tried searching everything I can for information to return this bible to the family. Not even sure they want it, but I love history of all kinds, but in particular Canadian local stuff. The things we find in our travels, some, way off the beaten path turn up amazing stuff.
Bob MacDonald

We are not sure if any of the Evelyns lsited below are the right one. Any further information would be appreciated.


Evelyn 1911 census Moose Jaw 9 mo. 1910 daughter of Arthur Forsyth,. She could have been adopted later to James and Ellen??
Evelyn 1911 Nova Scotia
(Kings )
1 Sept
recorded here as the granddaughter of James and Malinda (German, 56yrs) Forsyth. This James was born in 1839 so was 71 in 1911. Her brother Edgar (29) and Corrie (26) are also recorded here. Scottish Baptist
Evelyn 1916 census Yorkton Sask. 6 1910 daughter of Arthur Forsyth (age 29) mother was Eva , two bros.Gordon and Harold English Presbyterian
Evelyn 1916 census Winnipeg Man. 7 daughter of James Forsyth., mother shown as Mabel with a brother George. Anglican
So far there is still a question in determining which was the Evelyn which lived at the lightstations and who married Henry MacKenzie who served as light keeper for a short time.


Name year Location Age yr.Born loc born rel employ
Henry MacKenzie Census 1916
Battle River Alberta 27 1884 Nova Scotia boarder
Henry Ives MacKenzie Death record July2, 1947 Victoria 63 1884