Saturday, 22 February 2014

Week 8 - Andrew William Carruthers

Andrew William Carruthers (1815 - 1887)

Hoddom Castle in Scotland
Andrew William Carruthers was born October 16, 1815 in the former Hoddom Parish, Dumfriesshire, Scotland and baptised on December 3, 1815.  This area of Scotland has been home to many many generations of Carruthers and they even lived in the Hoddom Castle in the 16th century.  The infamous Lockerbie, Scotland is nearby and the castle and grounds are now a Caravan Park.  (Check out the "Chill Pods" - that's another place I'm staying when I visit Scotland!)
Andrew William's father was William Carruthers and his mother was Elizabeth Carlyle or perhaps Caslyle.  **( See comments below for differing information)**  His being quite a common name, I have not been able to pinpoint when he left Scotland for Canada although it would seem to be in the 1840's. Andrew William Carruthers married Jean (also known as Jane) Steven in Finch County, Ontario in 1857.  He was around 42 years old at the time of their marriage and she was 24.  They went on to have 8 children, 5 boys and 3 girls.

In 1871, he is listed on the Canadian census as William and his wife is Jane.  The couple and 6 children are living in Winchester township.  Their children range in age from 13 years down to 6 months old.  William is a farmer but I have also seen reference online to him being a teacher as well.  It must be in our genes somewhere!

Ten years later they have 6 children as well although 2 have been born since the last census and 2 have left.  William is 65 years old and Jane is 44.  His 17 year old daughter Margaret was my Grandpa Kinnaird's mother and the youngest in the family was 3 year old daughter Christina.  My mom was named after these two women.

William and Jane's children Archibald, Stuart and Martha stayed in Ontario and each raised large families there in Dundas County.  Sons William and Steven came to Manitoba to live in the Virden and Grandview areas respectively.  Daughter Christina came to Virden as well and son Andrew settled in Camrose, Alberta.  Margaret married my blog's Week 6 ancestor William George Kinnaird, had 2 sons, and died young from tuberculosis while still in Ontario.

William died in Dundas County of lung disease exactly one month after his 72nd birthday.  He was listed as a Presbyterian on his death certificate. The grave marker that is pictured above is in Morewood Presbyterian Cemetery in Ontario.

Glen Carruthers of Hamilton, Ontario has an online family tree that lists the over 900 descendants of Andrew and Jane Carruthers spread over a large area of North America. There is another site by Laurie Caron as well that shows our branch of Carruthers as well as many others. As they say - all because two people fell in love...

Friday, 14 February 2014

Week 7-Elizabeth Henry Sinclair

Elizabeth Henry Sinclair (1856 - 1935)

Elizabeth was born in Troqueer, Kirkcudbrightsire, Scotland, the eldest daughter of William Henry and Mary Tait.  She was likely named after her Grandma Henry, the former Elizabeth Ferguson (1799 - 1841).  At the age of  2, she and her parents left Scotland for Perth County, Ontario where her uncles John and Edward Henry had previously settled. Perth is one of the few counties in Southern Ontario that does not touch any of the Great Lakes and therefore one of the last to be settled.  The growing  William and Mary Henry family are on the 1861, 1871, and 1881 census living in Hibbert Township.  In 1861, they are living in a one story log house and William is described as a labourer.  By 1871, he is listed as a farmer so he would have acquired his own land by that time.  After the death of her father, Elizabeth and her 10 siblings and her mother moved west to Blanshard Municipality in Manitoba in 1882, following her Uncle John and his wife Jennet and their 11 children.  Elizabeth was 26 years old and this must have been a huge change for her.  Brandon was the end of the railway at that time and they then took ox carts the rest of the way west.
Elizabeth Sinclair on the veranda of her home with twin grandchildren Donald (my dad) and Dorothy on her knee in 1933. 
Family history says Elizabeth was an accomplished seamstress and that before she was married she sewed clothing for many people. Ready made garments were not widely available so being able to make them was an important skill for women.   She had a son out of wedlock that she kept with her at home, an unusual occurrence for the time. More often babies were adopted and raised by other married members of the family. Her sister Ellen is also said to have a child when then lived in Ontario and that child was raised by John and Jennet Henry.  When Elizabeth married my Blog Week 4 ancestor James Sinclair in 1890, her son James Henry was 7 years old and became part of the Sinclair family but retained the Henry surname. Aunt Dodie always said Jimmie was her favourite uncle and she thought it was so tragic when he died at the young age of 50.
Elizabeth went on to have 7 more children with James Sinclair including my Grandmother, Mary.  They lived a short distance from each other as Mary raised her own family so saw each other often. 
Aunt Dodie wrote the following about her Grandma in her memoirs:
My best times were spending weekends and holidays at the Sinclair home. Grandma would always go through our brown shopping bag (our suitcase) to see what needed to be mended. Maybe a button or two to be sewn on. Grandma always would be in her rocking chair always at the south end of the kitchen table. 
Fair day was about the only times that I ever saw Grandma out. They would put on her, a big old black hat, a blouse with a huge broach at the neck, and then put in her false teeth which made her look entirely horrible. She did not ever look like Grandma to us. Other times, she was herself if she ever came to see us in our home, which wasn’t too often. I just remember her being confined to a rocking chair, but she could walk to bedrooms and back. Another thing that I remember is that she always laid in bed with one or both legs out from under the covers. I want mine covered – even in the summer time.  
Elizabeth with her daughters Ellen (Nellie) and Lizzie on the veranda of their home.  I love the big geranium in the bucket beside her and the other potted plant as well.  They clearly planned the portrait and it would appear to be taken the same day as the photo at the top of this post. 
Her daughter Ellen wrote for Blanshard history book in1959 that Elizabeth valued the wild strawberries and gooseberries that grew in the bush on the banks of the Oak River. She tells the story in the White Bank Lea booklet that her mother often told about a neighbour who had come to get some sewing done when a severe thunder and lightning storm got up. The lady insisted that Mrs. Sinclair should hide her needle and thimble for they would attract the lightning!

Children of Elizabeth: (with clickable links to their blog posts)
James Henry (1883-1933)
Mary Tait later Simms (1891-1960)
Jane "Jeannie" Garrick later Fortune (1894-1978)
Ellen "Nellie" (1895-1988)
Wilhelmina Henry (June 28, 1896 -August 9, 1896)
Elizabeth "Lizzie" later Morcom (1898-1988)
Alexander (1899-1920)
William "Bill" (1900-1974)

Elizabeth died in January of 1935 at the age of 78 and her husband James died only a few months later.  She was truly a pioneer and I am proud to be one of her descendants.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Week 6 - William George Kinnaird

William George Kinnaird (1861 - 1926)

George was born on May 20, 1861 in Kitley Township, Leeds County, Ontario to parents George Chester Kinnaird and Mary Ann Nesbit.  I believe (from my online research) that his grandfather Francis immigrated to Canada from Ireland in the early 1800's and settled to farm in Leeds County.  His death certificate however says his father was William Kinnaird who was born in Scotland.  Perhaps this blog about George will help uncover which version is correct!
When Aunt Marjorie loaned me this photo of him to copy she lamented that there was not a nicer one of him.  He looks like a hard working man, just one of many in my family tree.  That makes me proud of where I come from, more so than if he were dressed in his best clothes and posing at a photographer!  I am so glad to have this photo!
His father died when he was very young and his mother was remarried to Thomas Cummings.  In 1871, George can be found living in Dundas County, Ontario with his mother and Thomas, a millwright, his older brother James and younger sister Elizabeth.  They all were listed with the surname Cummings.  George also had four step-siblings in nearby Leeds County as his father had been married previously to a woman named Ann Wallace. Ten years later the census lists the same Cummings family but now George is listed as a carpenter like his stepfather and he is 20 years old.
George married Margaret Carruthers in Russell, Ontario on the 8th of
 August in 1888.  Do you suppose they chose that date for the 08-08-88 numerology
Margaret and George has 2 sons William Francis (my grandfather) and Stephen Alden.  Sadly Margaret died of consumption, later kown as Tuberculosis, in 1894 at age 29.  George remarried to Elizann Crump in 1896 and went on to have twin boys (George Ellis and John Thomas) and another boy (Willis) and a girl (Alice Luella Casselman).  Interesting to note that on the Ontario birth records in Stormont for his twins in 1897,  one spelled the surname "Kinnaird" and the next right under it was "Kinniard".  Willis' record of birth gives his full name as Willis Lile "Kinnard".  Someone seems to be spelling challenged!
In the 1901, 1911 and 1921 censuses, George and Elizann and their children can be found in Cannamore in Finch Township and George is listed as a farmer.  This town is southeast of Ottawa and north of Chesterville, Ontario.  They lived right down the road from his first wife Margaret's brother Archibald Carruthers and his family.  Their blended family seems to be much less than a happy one however.  My grandfather Frank Kinnaird came west to Hargrave, Manitoba at the age of 13 and lived with his mother's sister Christina O'Neil and her husband John Joeseph while he went to school and started out farming on his own.  Francis (Frank) kept in touch with his hometown via the local paper and visits in later years but made his own life in Manitoba.
George died January 29, 1929 at in Osgoode Township at the age of 65.  His death is attributed to rheumatic carditis, a heart condition resulting from rheumatic fever. It is unknown where in Morewood where he is buried but his second wife and three of her children have a grave stone (misspelled by our standards however) at Morewood Presbyterian Cemetery in Ontario. 

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Week 5 - John Milne

John Milne (1854 - 1934)

John Milne was born on April 15, 1854 at Bogbain, Banffshire, Scotland.  He was one of 12 children of  Lewis Milne and  Annie Brown,.  The 1861 Scottish census shows John living with his parents and 5 siblings with his Grandfather William Milne in Bogbain.

He married Ann Robertson on the 16th of August in 1873 in Mortlach, now called Dufftown,  In the 1881 Scottish census, 26 year old John and his wife and 4 children can be found at Braemorriston living in the Gardener's Cottage where he is employed as a gardener.

In 1891, he is at Botriphnie, Banffshire, Scotland living at Moss of Newburgh with his occupation listed as crofter.  Wikipedia explains that a croft is a fenced area of land, usually small and arable,with a crofter's dwelling thereon. A crofter is one who has use of the land, typically as a tenant farmer.  He and Ann again have 4 children in the house, 3 of which had been born since the last census ten years earlier.
After having nine children, Ann Robertson Milne died in 1896 when the youngest was only 3 years old.  Thanks to Greg and Donna Marie for this photo of her grave maker at Botriphnie, Banffshire.  The inscription reads :
In loving memory of Ann Robertson, wife of John Milne,who died at Moss of Newburgh 20.11.1896 aged 43.
On the 1901 Census, John and his five children are at Rothiemay, Banffshire, Scotland living at Mayen Lodge where he is an  Estate Labourer.  This is the place his son Alexander and Jeannie Jamieson were married in 1897 and is pictured on her blog post in Week 3.

On March 27, 1911 at age 56, John arrived in Halifax, Canada aboard the Ionian with 3 of his daughters, Isabella (Tibby), Louisa (Louie) and Mary Jane (Mamie) and with the latter's new husband Charles Duguid.  An online ship's manifest says John's occupation in Scotland was a forester and that he intended to be a farmer in Canada. Eventually, 7 of his nine children came to settle in Canada.  All of those were around Brandon, MB with the exception of James Brown Milne who was known to be in Welland, Ontario in 1950. John travelled back to Scotland as least once, as a search found him on a ship's manifest in 1920. 

Most of my ancestors were farmers and did not live in cities so it was exciting to find John in the 1913 Henderson's Directory for Brandon. He was employed at Western Canada Flour Mills,  manufactures of Purity Flour and Rolled Oats at 413 Assiniboine Ave and lived at 146 5 th street.
Great Great Grandpa John worked in Purity Flour Mills in Brandon for 20 years and lived at 862 4th street with his daughter Mary Jane “Mamie” and her husband Charles Duguid. Charles worked at Purity as well. Being a flour miller must have been hard work and the fact that he kept working long after "retirement " age speaks to the fact that John was a hard worker and did not want to be a burden to his family but make his own way in Canada.

The above copy of his obituary, along with his son John and son-in-law Charles was shared by Sheldon and Judy.  It was a wealth of information to me and interesting to remember that women were often referred to without their first names.  On the obituary notice, it notes he is survived by his three sons, Alex, John, and James and his daughters were called Mrs. Chas Duguid, Mrs Jas Connon, Mrs. CF Hall, and Mrs D. Gunn.  Some searching has found that their first names were Mary Jane, Helen, Isabella, and Louisa.  They seemed to all go by nicknames though; Mamie, Nellie, Tibby, and Louie.  

Family of John Milne and Ann Robertson:
  • Ann (1874-1934)- remained overseas - married Arllie Pirie had 4 children
  • Alexander (1876-1950) - my great grandfather
  • Margaret Edward "Maggie" (1878-1918) married John Chisholm - died young in Scotland
  • Mary Jane "Mamie" (1880-1955) married Charles Duguid, a miller in Brandon, MB
  • John Robertson (1882 - 1946) married Elizabeth Robertson, farmed at Virden, MB, 4 sons
  • Helen "Nellie" (1885-1965) married James Mearns then James Connon, Brandon farmers- 9 children
  • Isabella "Tibbie and "Bella' (1888-1987) married CNR sectionman Fred Halls, had a girl and boy
  • James Brown (1891 - ?) married Lillian Robertson, moved to Welland Ontario, 2 boys 1 girl
  • Louisa "Louie" (1893 - 1980) married firefighter Donald Gunn, had 2 boys and 1 girl ,lived in Winnipeg

He died in 1934 at the age of 79.  John is buried in the Brandon Cemetery with his gravestone placed by his children memorialising their mother back in Scotland as well as their beloved father.