William Elliott MACARA (1859-1929)

William was born at London, Ontario on 16 February 1859. He was the son of John Macara (c1813-1882), barrister, and Catherine Hodge (c1824-1917).

On 17 November 1887, he married Mary Alicia Macdermott (1860-1946). They had no children.

William was educated in the schools of Goderich, and was called to the bar in Ontario in 1881. He came to Winnipeg and was called to the bar in Manitoba in 1882. He practiced law with Judges Miller and Cumberland under the firm name of Miller, Cumberland, and Macara.

Civil Servant, Lawyer

In 1886, he was appointed the Registrar-General of Manitoba. He put the Torrens Title System in effect, known as the Real Property Act, and this Manitoba law was later adopted by all the western provinces. In 1921, he was created a King’s Counsel.

He took an interest in all matters relating to the development of the Dominion and to Imperial affairs. He was a strong Imperialist and a fellow of the royal Colonial Institute, London, England. He was one of the original officers on the organization of the 90th Battalion Winnipeg Rifles.

In his younger years, he was active in sports, such as, lacrosse, shooting, sailing and golf. He was one of the first Winnipeg people to secure a summer place at Lake of the Woods and with other Winnipeg campers and Kenora residents started the annual regattas.

William was a member of the Manitoba Club, the St. Charles Country Club and, also, the Pine Ridge Golf Club. He was vice-chairman of the advisory board of the Winnipeg Foundation since it was incorporated in 1923. He felt the Foundation possessed the most outstanding means of administering bequests to charity and his intention was to contribute substantially to it which he did. After providing for certain legacies and giving his wife a life interest, the residue of his estate was given to the Foundation.

He died at his Winnipeg home, 28 Spence Street, on 15 May 1929 and was buried in the St. John’s Cathedral Cemetery.


  • Death Registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
  • Marriage and Death Registration, Ontario Vital Statistics, Ancestry.
  • “William E Macara is Called by Death”, Manitoba Free Press, Winnipeg, 16 May 1929, page 1 & 5.
  • “Funeral of WE Macara Will Take Place Today”, Manitoba Free Press, 17 May 1929, page 10.


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