Saturday, 12 April 2014

Week 15 - Jane Garrick Sinclair Fortune

 Jean Garrick Sinclair Fortune (1894 - 1978)


Jean, also called Jane and Jeannie, was born in 1894 at the Bankburn farm to James Sinclair and Elizabeth Henry. Jane Garrick was also her paternal grandmother's maiden name although it is spelled "Garrioch" in the Orkney Islands of Northern Scotland where she lived.  Jean went to school at Bankburn, near the family farm, along with her one year younger sister Ellen from Week 12.  Jean is standing beside Ellen (Nellie) in the studio photo above, I am guessing from the late teens or early twenties.  My paternal grandmother Mary was also a sister to Jeannie.

The letter below is a scan of one that Jean wrote to her sister Lizzie in 1910.  It shows the everyday life of the Sinclair family involving farm work, visiting, and homemaking. I hope you can click on it and enlarge it big enough to read. I'd be glad to send you a copy of it if not!

A wedding announcement for Jean to Stan Fortune is online at Roots-Web from the Oak River Post in 1920.  I am not sure if it was a reporter or a family member that wrote it but it has wonderful descriptions!  The photo below was taken at a studio in Edmonton so I presume it was their wedding portrait.


The spacious home of James SINCLAIR, in which the fire in the open hearth added a touch of warmth and brightness, was the scene of a happy event on Wednesday afternoon of last week when his second daughter Jean Garrick became the bride of George Stanley FORTUNE. At precisely four o'clock the bride looking charming in a becoming gown of white silk crepe-de-chene entered the drawing room on the arm of her father and took her place beside the groom. The beautiful marriage ceremony was read by Rev. Wm. FERGUSON and the vows were taken in the presence of their immediate relatives including uncles and aunts. After congratulations had been extended and the
register signed the company sat down to a sumptuous wedding dinner. After a few hours of social intercourse the young couple left amid a shoer of good wishes and confetti for Edmonton and other points via G.T.P. On their return from their honeymoon they will take up their abode on the farm owned by Mr. FORTUNE near Cardale. The Post joins with its readers in wishing them a long and happy life in their new relationship.

This photo is of Stan Fortune in the middle with Jean's two brothers, Bill on the left and Alexander on the right. Alex died in May of 1920 so the photo predates then. 

Above, Stan Fortune is standing beside Jean's half brother, James "Jimmie" Henry.  I am guessing it was taken in the late teens or the early 1920's, as Stan was born in 1890 and Jimmy was born in 1883.

Jean is at the left of this picture with the black tie, sitting on the steps of the Sinclair home.  Nellie, at the back is holding Irene and Ken and Arnold are in front.  On the right, Jean's sister Lizzie is behind her sister-in-law Jessie, wearing matching dresses.  This photo dates around 1926, by the ages of the Fortune children.

Stan and Jean had four children, Ken, Arnold, Irene and Joyce.  They also had eleven grandchildren.   Aunt Dodie remembered one incident with her Fortune cousins in her memoirs:
One time while we were visiting at the Sinclair farm, the three Fortunes – Ken, Arnold, and Joyce – were there staying. Somehow, they along with Gwennie locked me in the pump house. So I was ready for them. I had a dipper full of cold water waiting to throw in their faces when they would later come back and let me out. But the person who next opened the door was a handyman, John Butterworth, an Englishman who worked there for some years. When the cold water hit him in the face, I ran. All he remarked was “Owww – that was cowled”. The others looking out the loft window went into fits.

Dad remembers that his Uncle Stan was always busy trucking something for someone, pigs, cattle, grain and that he hauled lumber for the Simms barn from Riding Mountain Park area in one load in 1942.  He also recalls that Stan was an excellent mechanic and could fix anything, a skill that he passed on to his son, Ken.

This photo was likely taken in 1955 of Jean on the far left with her surviving siblings, Bill, Mary, Nellie and Lizze with Jack Morcom sitting at the right.  Morcoms are wearing corsages and it may have been their 25th wedding anniversary party at the Sinclair home. 

 I remember visiting at Aunt Jean and Uncle Stan's home beside Cardale Lake, maybe it was during their 50th anniversary celebration in 1970.  I remember passing by their house a few years later and was surprised to see it was a big slough, not the lake I thought it was!  The most amazing thing about their house to me was the intercom system between their home and Ken and Ethel's in the same yard.   Amazing technology for the 70's!
Jean died suddenly in 1978 and Stan in 1988 at the age of 98 years. He continued to be active farmer with his sons into his nineties and remarried at age 94.
I welcome your memories of Jean and Stan in the comments below.


  1. Hi Sharon! My name is Taylor Biccum. I’m so happy I came across your blog! This is my great grandma jean and I am the granddaughter of Joyce Fortune Biccum mentioned in the above article. I’ve read several of your blog entries and each one is so interesting. It’s so nice to know someone is writing all this down.

  2. Hi Taylor! So glad you found the blog. We should be so proud of our Sinclair roots. I cannot imagine doing what they did! I talked to your Grandma Joyce not too long before she passed away to share some pictures of her as a wee girl. She was so proud of you and your sister, we had quite a chat about you girls that day! Take care, Sharon