Janet Gillies was born circa 1816 to Donald Gillies and Margaret (Peggy) Gillies (her maiden name) who were living in Stoule, not far from Earnisaig, in the 1841 and 1851 census. However, Janet's brother John was born in 1833 in Earnisaig, the same location mentioned on Janet's marriage record to Archibald McKinnon in 1848 at Bracara. Among the witnesses at Janet and Archibald's marriage were Janet and John Gillies of Ardnamurach.
After they settled in Lancaster Twp, Glengarry County, Ontario in 1853, Janet and Archibald lived mainly at Lot 27, Concession 5, Lancaster according to baptismal records at St Raphael's Church. The Gillies name became MacGillis in Ontario. Janet Gillies MacGillis died April 16 1863 and her headstone is in St Raphael's Cemetery.