Series MS-2685 - Papers relating to Oliver, Gillespie and Graeme families

Letter to Erroll Gillespie Letter to Erroll Gillespie Letter to Erroll Gillespie Letter to Erroll Gillespie Letter to Erroll Gillespie Letter to Erroll Gillespie Letter to Erroll Gillespie Letter to Erroll Gillespie Letter to Erroll Gillespie Letter to Erroll Gillespie Letter to Erroll Gillespie

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Papers relating to Oliver, Gillespie and Graeme families

General material designation

  • textual record

Parallel title

Other title information

Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

Level of description


Reference code


Edition area

Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

Class of material specific details area

Statement of scale (cartographic)

Statement of projection (cartographic)

Statement of coordinates (cartographic)

Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1851-1979 (Creation)
    Oliver, William Edgar

Physical description area

Physical description

Originals, 2.3 m, microfilm (neg.), 1909-1922, 35 mm [A01655]

Publisher's series area

Title proper of publisher's series

Parallel titles of publisher's series

Other title information of publisher's series

Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series

Numbering within publisher's series

Note on publisher's series

Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

William Edgar was a lawyer and lived in Victoria, B.C.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Records include material pertaining to three prominent Victoria families: the W.E. Olivers, the W.C. Wards, and the E.P. Gillespies The bulk of the textual records were produced by W.E. Oliver and are related to his career at the University of Edinburgh and his real estate investments on Vancouver Island, including the Cowichan Lake Hotel. W.E. Oliver's papers contain material regarding his friend Warburton Pike, author and adventurer. Oliver handled Pike's estate when he died. Also included is the correspondence of Oliver's future son-in-law, Erroll P. Gillespie, a soldier serving in World War I. His letters provide a good picture of a Canadian soldier's life in training camp and on active service in Europe. There are also letters from his brothers, Sholto and Ronald, from the trenches, hospitals and prisoner of war camps of World War I. The collection also includes Nina Woolliams' research notes on the Douglas Lake Ranch, which was owned by W.E. Oliver's father-in-law, W.C. Ward.

William Edgar Oliver immigrated to Canada from Scotland in 1895. He had been at Edinburgh University, 1883-1890, and studied for the Scottish bar. His university papers provide information about his education and numerous extracurricular activities. He wrote stories and articles on politics for a local newspaper while he was in university and was active in many societies. When he arrived in Victoria in 1895 he entered into a law partnership with Gordon Hunter and Lyman Poore Duff. In 1896 he married Mary Eleanor Ward, daughter of the manager of the Bank of British Columbia, William C. Ward. They had one daughter, Beatrice Lydia Catharine Oliver (known as Catherine). She handled Oliver's business affairs after his death. Catherine married Erroll Pilkington Gillespie in 1921.

W.E. Oliver was active in local government. He was the first Reeve of the Municipality of Oak Bay for the years 1906-1908 and made an unsuccessful bid to be mayor of Victoria in 1911. He continued to serve in municipal affairs as Reeve in 1912, 1914 and 1915. Oliver had a wide range of investments, including real estate in the city of Victoria and surrounding municipalities and shares in a variety of companies. He also owned land in the Lake Cowichan area. He was part of the syndicate that developed Golf Links Park subdivision on Newport Avenue in Oak Bay and was involved in developing other subdivisions as well. His real estate and other investments are well documented through indentures, conveyances, financing, mortgages, balance sheets, share certificates, and other relevant papers.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Presented by Mrs. John Graeme, 1989.


Language of material

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Associated materials

Related materials


General note

Accession number(s): 89-021; 198906-008

General note

72 cm of family photographs and photo albums were transferred to Visual Records accession 198906-08. Maps and plans were transferred to Map accession, M89-032.

Alternative identifier(s)

Standard number area

Standard number

Access points

Genre access points

Control area

Description record identifier

Accession area