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Thursday, 17 July 2014

Week 29 - Ellen Tait Wilson

Ellen Tait Wilson (1838 - 1930)

Robert Saffley Wilson (1843- 1906) and Ellen Tait  were married in Dumfries, Scotland in 1865. Ellen, aka Helen, can be found on the 1841, 1851, and 1861, census of Scotland in Troqueer, Kirkkudbrightshire living with her parents William and Helen Mowbray Tait.  One of her sisters, Jamima was featured in Week 27 of this blog. Robert was born in Holywood, Dumfries and Galloway in Scotland to Robert and Henrietta Beck Wilson.  (August 2021 - Thanks to Find a Grave contributor LD for this information.)   
Robert and Ellen's eldest son Robert was born July 3, 1865 in Scotland (according to his death certificate), although some census records say he was born in Canada. The family immigrated to Perth County in Ontario Canada in about 1866, near Ellen’s sister Mary, who had married William Henry in 1856 and immigrated to Canada in about 1858. Mary was my great great grandmother.

Their next son, Thomas was born in 1869. He died in 1873 and is buried in Cromarty, Perth, Ontario.
A third son was also given the name Thomas and he was born in 1876 in Perth County. When he was 5, in 1881, the family moved to  Lyman County in South Dakota, USA. The 1885 Dakota Territory census shows a Robert Wilson, age 45, his wife Ella, 48 both born in Scotland. A 21 year old son, Robert born in Canada (an error?) and a 10 year old son Thomas also born in Canada are living in Steele County, which is located in the mid-eastern part of the present day state of North Dakota.

Sometime around 1894, Robert and Ellen and their sons moved to Blanshard Municipality in Manitoba near Ellen’s sister Mary Henry and her 11 children. In 1894, Robert Jr. married his first cousin, Mary Henry who was the youngest daughter of his mother’s sister, the Widow Mary Henry. Robert Jr. and Mary moved to Gilbert Plains, Manitoba to farm and raised a family of eight children. The 1906 census shows they had 5 horses, 9 milk cows, 16 cattle and 3 hogs on their modest farm. His death certificate from February 4, 1937 states he lived at S.E. 19-25-21 near Gilbert Plains and was a farmer and blacksmith until his death at age 71 of coronary thrombosis. He is buried in Eldon Cemetery, near his home.

In the 1901 census, Robert Sr. and Ellen, 60 and 63 years old respectively are found living with their son Thomas in Blanshard, Manitoba.  In 1903, Thomas married Elizabeth Hayes in Brandon, Manitoba. 
In the 1906 census, Ellen is widowed and is found living with Thomas and his wife Elizabeth along with their 2 young children, John Gordon and Hazel. In the 1916 census, she is called Helen and is 76 years old and is still living with Thomas and Elizabeth and now their 6 children.
Ellen’s obituary from the Oak River Post in 1930 follows. (It seems to have mixed up the dates of death for her son Thomas and her husband Robert.)
2/6/1930 MRS. ELLEN WILSON The funeral of the late Mrs. Ellen WILSON, who died at the home of her son, Robert, at Gilbert Plains, on Tuesday, January 28th, took place on Saturday to the White Bank Lea cemetery, following a service at the residence of her nephew, Edw. HENRY, at 2 p.m. Rev. Mr. WOTTON of Cardale officiated. The pall-bearers were: Messrs Edward, Charles, John, Thomas and William HENRY, and Reeve W. BRAND. A large number of people attended to pay their last respects, and there were many beautiful floral tokens. Mrs. WILSON was 91 years of age. She was born in Scotland, and had lived in Ontario and North Dakota, moving with her husband and family from the latter place to Gilbert Plains 35 years ago, and to Oak River a year later. Her husband died in 1920. Her family consisted of two sons, of whom one, Thomas, died in 1906 at Elphinstone, and the other, Robert, lives at Gilbert Plains, where Mrs. WILSON had made her home for the past seven years.

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