McQuarrie family welcomes 2022 New Year’s Baby home

HAPPY NEW YEAR’S BABY! The McQuarrie family of Little Current welcomes home Donald Michael McQuarrie, Manitoulin’s first baby of 2022. Father Ronald McQuarrie and mother Mickey McQuarrie and big sister Nora sport broad smiles as they settle in on the couch for a family photo. photo by Robin Anderson

LITTLE CURRENT – Family traditions are an important part of a young child’s life and this year’s New Year’s baby is starting out life with a proud Island heritage. Donald Michael McQuarrie came into this world on January 3 at the accommodating time of 4:12 pm, the son of proud parents Ronald and Mickey (Michael) McQuarrie of Little Current.

Weighing in at seven pounds and 10 ounces, young Donald is joining big sister Nora as the latest addition to the storied McQuarrie family. 

Tracing his ancestry back to Ulva, Scotland, baby Donald’s naming follows a tradition that traces back seven generations to the first McQuarrie to settle on Manitoulin’s shores. Each successive firstborn male in the McQuarrie line has been named, alternately, either Ronald or Donald. Since young Donald’s father was named Ronald, it fell to him to bear the name Donald.

His surname McQuarrie, according to the Dictionary of American Family Names, is the “anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Guaire, a patronymic from a Gaelic personal name meaning ‘proud’ or ‘noble.’”

“The tradition started with Ron’s great, great, great grandfather, who was born in 1830,” said mom Mickey. Ms. McQuarrie noted that it was that McQuarrie’s father who first immigrated to Canada from Scotland.

Diligence and hard work are among the family traditions that have been handed down to this latest generation of McQuarries. 

Ronald Hector McQuarrie was born in 1865 to Daniel McQuarrie and Margaret H. Thorburn and married Agnes Allen in July of 1901 in Gordon Township on Manitoulin. Together the couple had seven children, the oldest of whom was a boy in 1902 named Donald Allen McQuarrie. It was that son who, at 25, opened a garage business that would later expand to become the familiar Island business McQuarrie Motors and expand far beyond Manitoulin’s shores—propelled by its own tradition of customer service.

Throughout the years, each successive generation has taken on and proudly borne, alternatively, the names Ronald or Donald.

The baby’s middle name, Michael, is in honour of Ms. McQuarrie’s father, Michael (Mike) Thompson of Manitowaning. Her own name, as it happens, is also officially Michael, named for her father, and shortened to Mickey.