Dr. William Robert Montgomery Pentland was born on the 17th of October, 1842, in Oshawa, Ontario. He was the 9th of 12 children born to Rev. John Pentland and his wife the former Frances Jane Montgomery. His father was an Anglican Minister who was born in Ireland and his mother was born in Jamaica. His siblings were; Maria Frances Montgomery Pentland (who died at the age of 2 months), Mary Montgomery Pentland (who died at the age of 2 years and 4 months), George Rutherford Montgomery Pentland, John Montgomery Pentland, Augusta “Victoria” Montgomery Pentland, Janenette Montgomery Pentland, Georgina Emily Montgomery Pentland, Adelaide Montgomery Pentland (who died in France at the age of 4 months), Alfred Montgomery Pentland, Frances “Fanny” Lily Pentland and Charles O’Hara Pentland (who died at the age of 17).
Dr. Pentland’s siblings, Maria, Mary, George, John and Victoria were born in Ireland. His sister Janenette was born in Wales and his sister’s Georgina and Adelaide were born in France. His parents and siblings arrived in New York City on the 5th of November, 1841 aboard the Tuskina which had sailed from LeHavre, France. Dr. Pentland was the first child who was born in Canada.
Dr. Pentland graduated M.B. from The University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine in 1865. According to the 1882 Ontario Medical Register, Dr. Pentland joined the College of Physicians and Surgeons on the 6th of June, 1866. When he was 27 years old, he was a practicing physician in Elora, Ontario.
Dr. Pentland married Helen Cairncross on the 15th of July, 1870 in Perth County. Mrs. Pentland was born on the 1st of June, 1835 in the Orkney Islands, (located off the northern coast of Scotland). She was the 5th of 6 children born to James Cairncross and the former Hannah Hedley Mackay. Her siblings were; Barbara Campbell Cairncross, John Cairncross, Robert Cairncross, James Cairncross and Edmund Alpheny Cairncross. According to the 1861 census, Mrs. Pentland was living with her parents in Oxford County, Ontario and her parents were farmers.
Dr. and Mrs. Pentland had 2 children. Their son John Pentland was born on the 5th of October, 1871 and their daughter Hedley Mackay Pentland was born on the 6th of February, 1874. Both children were born in Elora.
By 1876, Dr. and Mrs. Pentland were living in Chatham. In the 1876-77 the Chatham City Directory, Dr. Pentland’s office was located at 84 King St. West and his home was located on King Street near Second Street. It also records that Dr. Pentland was the Secretary of the Chatham Bible Society and the President of the Young Mens Christian Association (Y.M.C.A.) which had been organized in 1875.
In the 1881 Oxford County Business Directory Dr. Pentland’s name is listed under the Drumbo subtitle. In 1881, the population of Drumbo was 750 people and Dr. Pentland was the only physician listed in the business directory.
The Pentland family moved to Burford Twp, Ontario prior to 1896.
Mrs. Pentland died on the 22nd of September, 1907. According to the 1922 Ontario Medical Register, Dr. Pentland resided in Flatts, Bermuda. Dr. Pentland died on the 26th of January, 1926. Dr. and Mrs. Pentland were buried at Mount View Cemetery, 80 Blenheim Road, in Cambridge, (formerly known as Galt) Ontario.
*Dr. Pentland’s son, John Pentland served during World War I. After his discharge he became a druggist. John died on the 1st of June, 1936 and he was also buried at Mount View Cemetery.