Friday, 31 October 2014

Week 44 - Charles Duguid Milne

Charles Duguid Milne (1913 - 1999)

Charles Duguid Milne and Amy Louise Dryden's wedding day in 1940
Charles Milne was born February 18, 1913 in Wallace Municipality in Manitoba.  He was the second youngest of 8 children of Alexander Milne and Jeannie Morrison Jamieson Milne and he was the younger brother of my Grandma Kinnaird, Frances.

Charles Duguid and Mamie Milne Duguid - 1920's

He was named for his father Alex's sister Mary Jane (Mamie)'s husband Charles Duguid.  This Charles had come from Banffshire Scotland in 1906 at the age of 21.  He became a Candian citizen and then returned to Scotland.  He and Mamie had married in Huntly, Aberdeenshire on February 17, 1911 and then immigrated and lived at 862 4th Street in Brandon with Mamie and Alex's father John Milne.  Charles Duguid and John were both employed as millers at Purity Flour Mill in Brandon and since Charles and Mamie did not have children of their own, were close to their nieces and nephews and in fact my mom recalls that he attended her wedding in 1960.  Mamie had passed away in 1955 and Charles Duguid followed her in 1963. 
As an infant, Charlie Milne travelled west with his family for a couple of years to ranch at Keremeos, British Columbia where his youngest sister Annie Mary (Nan) was born. The Christmas Card below would have been sent back to relatives and friends in Manitoba when they were living there.

Charlie attended Montgomery and Hargrave Schools after his family returned to the Wallace Municipality around 1917.  He married Louise Dryden on April 2, 1940.  They first lived south of Elkhorn where Charlie worked for a farmer but moved to the Hargrave district to the NE quarter of 10-11-27 later that first year of their marriage.
Charles and Louise had 5 children:  James Alexander, Kenneth Allen, John McGregor, Murray Ross and Wendy Louise.  Wendy and I recently became "friends" on Facebook and comparing the lives of ourselves and our families, we certainly can say it is a small world and our DNA leads us into similar fields and circumstances!  
A local history book called "Binding Our Districts" says Charlie played ball for the Hargrave baseball team and also enjoyed curling and skating.  He was a community volunteer with the Pool Elevator Board, the Hargrave Co-Op Store Board and the Hargrave Rink and Community Centre.  He was an active member of the Lebanon Masonic Lodge in Virden. My cousin Karen remembers that he could really dance well!
Louise was a curler and skater as well.  She enjoyed knitting and crocheting as well as yard and garden work.  She entered and won prizes at the Virden and Elkhorn fairs for her beautiful needlework.  Charlie and Louise spent many hours in Old Time Dancing and playing cards.
They retired from active farming in 1982.  Louise passed away on October 27, 1998 and Charlie the following year on August 4, 1999.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Week 43 - Thomas Henry

Thomas Henry (1870 - 1949)

Thomas was the brother of my great grandmother, Elizabeth Henry Sinclair and the son of the Widow Mary Henry.  This blog has also previously featured his sisters Ellen Turriff, Janet McKenzie and Joanna Braid.  At the age of 11, he came to the RM of Blanshard area with his mother and 10 siblings from Perth County, Ontario in 1881 after the death of his father three years earlier. 

Thomas lived the rest of his life farming this soil on the quarter known as "sixes".  He never married but lived with family, mainly his brother Jack.  Thomas was the engineer on the Henry brothers threshing gang.  They had bought one of the first portable steam threshing units around and for years they toured the district, threshing grain for neighbours who didn't own their own machines.  He also helped in the organization of the United Church in Oak River.

In the 1891 Canadian census, 20 year old Thomas lived with his 54 year old mother Mary, elder brother John (also known as Jack) age 23, and younger sisters Mary (17) and Joanna (15).  Brothers Edward (29), William (27) and Charles (25) are enumerated on the next farm.

The census of 1906, shows 36 year old Thomas and 37 year old Jack at 6-13-21 in a stone house with their mother Mary.  They indicate that their farm has 17 horses, 17 milk cows, 30 other cattle and 35 pigs.  Three unrelated people are also in the household, 2 hired men and a servant, Agnes Brown.   Purebred Aberdeen Angus cattle were raised at the Henry's and the 1959 Blanshard history book says they supplied breeding stock to many farmers during the early part of the century.  This same book says Thomas had a Model T in 1912.

The 1916 Canadian Census lists Thomas living with his brother Jack and wife Winnie with their sons Homer and Orville. Thomas and Jack are named as partners in the farm in this document.  A lodger in the home at the time was a 45 year old named Alex Galician.  I happened to notice farther up the same census page there was another man with the same name but 23 years old.  Their birthplace is listed as Galicia and scanning through the surrounding farms, there are several men of Galician birth noted.  Today, this Eastern European region is divided between the countries of Poland, Romania and Ukraine.  Widespread emigration from this area to Canada started in the 1880's due to poverty and it continued until war broke out in 1914.  I suppose that the English speaking census takers could not begin to write what the men's names were so they were all given the surname "Galacian".  How sad for their ancestors trying to track these mens' journeys without their real names on the census documents!

The photo above was taken of the surviving Henry siblings in 1948.  Back row left to right- John (Jack) who was 80, Thomas at 79, Edward (Ned) at 86, and Charles (Charlie) at 82.  Sisters in the front are Joanna Braid ( 72), Janet McKenzie (88) and Mary Wilson (74).  This may have been Jack's 80th birthday celebration since he is wearing a flower boutineer on his lapel.  (Jack lived another ten years, until age 90 in 1958.)

 Thomas died on September 14, 1949 with his sister Elizabeth Sinclair's family at Bankburn farm and is buried in Whitebank Lea Cemetery.  His obituary says he was well known for his generosity and kindness to those in trouble and need of help. 

Friday, 17 October 2014

Week 42 - Joanna Henry Braid

Joanna Henry Braid (1876 - 1970)

 Joanna was born January 21, 1876, the youngest of the family of William and Mary Henry.  Her father died in Perth, Ontario when she was just over 2 years old.   When Joanna was 5 years old the Henry family, Widow Mary and her 11 children,  left for the Manitoba where more land would be available for homesteading for her family.  My great grandmother Elizabeth was the eldest in this family.  They went to Brandon where the railway ended at that time and an ox cart would have been next, taking them to the home of her father's brother John and his wife Jennet who had "broken the trail" for them 3 years earlier, in the district northwest of Rivers, MB. The story goes that they lived together - 25 souls under one roof, until Mary and her family could construct their own shelter on nearby land claimed by them. The first house at SW 6-14-21 was built of logs brought from the Newdale-Sandy lake area- a distance of roughly 40 miles. A large stone house was built in 1888 which became a landmark and community meeting place for many years.  Stones from that house were later used in the building of a cairn to remember the Whitebank Lea School and Pioneers.

Joanna married William Braid on March 10, 1904.  It is said in the 1959 Blanshard history book that this event took place during one of the worst blizzards that was ever experienced in the area. 

Billy, as he was known, had arrived to Oak River from Scotland in 1891 at the age of 17.  He worked as a herd boy for the Miller and Short families.  In 1896, he took employment with Widow Mary Henry where he remained for the next 4 years.  In 1900, Billy had saved up enough money to buy his own farm, on SW 7-14-21 from the CPR.  Buying a farm was only part of what he needed as oxen and a plow were needed to break the soil to prepare for seeding a crop.  Four years later he was established enough to ask for the hand in marriage of his former employer Mary Henry's youngest daughter Joanna.

Billy was involved in his community with the Zion Church that was just east of his farm,Whitebank Lea school board, Oak River Agricultural Society and Brandon Summer Fair Board.   Aunt Dodie wrote beside his photo in one of her history books that he was one of her favorite uncles.

Billy served as Reeve of the RM of Blanshard from 1922 to 1931.  He succeeded his brother-in-law Ned Henry, Joanna's brother.  The Blanshard History books says that this period of time was when road and bridge building was at its peak in the municipality.  Poor economic conditions hit in 1930 but discussions were still held regarding supplying electricity to the villages of Oak River and Cardale.  

William Braid  passed away on February 27, 1937 at the age of 62.

The side of the gravestone for William and Joanna Braid is inscribed for an Ellen Spence.  On the 1916 and 1921 Manitoba Census, she can be found living with the Braid family and is noted as William's mother.  The census documents indicate that she arrived in Canada from Scotland in 1909.  The inscription on the stone says she was born May 12, 1850 and died October 29, 1926.  I have not found any further information about her or other Braid family.

Joanna and Billy had three children but only one daughter survived infant hood, Jessie Rowena, born May 18, 1911. Jessie attended Whitebank Lea School and although she had no siblings, no doubt she had plenty of playmates with so many Henry cousins living nearby and attending school with her. She married John Wesley "Wes"  Clubb of Lyleton, Manitoba in 1938 and the couple operated the Braid home farm together.  In 1914, William Braid had built a large dairy barn which stayed in continuous use until 1942 when it burned to the ground.  It was replaced with a more modern structure and the Clubbs moved from raising Ayrshire cattle to Herefords and then Charolais.  Joanna lived with her daughter and son in law on the home farm until she passed away in 1970 at the age of 94.

With the three pictures I have of Joanna each including a cat, I can be fairly confident that she had an affinity for cats!  I remember her daughter Jessie in the 1970's visiting at Aunt Dodie and Uncle Sam's . She and Wes were staying in the yard with their camper and had two or maybe three cats tethered to leashes nearby.  Jessie and Wes didn't have children but always had special pets.
The Clubbs had some hard years to get through with challenging weather, poor commodity prices and changing farm practices.  They retired from active farming in the early 70's and lived for some years at Vernon, BC.  Jessie and Wes died in 1991 and 2006 respectively and are buried at Whitebank Lea Cemetery.  Jessie wrote much of the material used in this post in a Blanshard History Book and she ended with this quote:
The is a brief outline of the thirty years Wes and I have lived on the farm and trust that in generations to come they will read about and remember "The Clubbs".  

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

October 15, 1960

Happy 54th Anniversary Mom and Dad!

At Hargrave United Church Hargrave Manitoba

First down the aisle - Judy Kinnaird ( now Seafoot)
Then - Marilee Milliken (Smeltz)
Then - Lyn Simms (Bell)
Matron of Honor - Marjorie Tapp
Best Man - Bob Simms
Usher - Jim Milliken
Usher - Keith Kinnaird

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Week 41 - William Duncan Milne

William Duncan Milne (1902 - 1960)

William Duncan Milne was born in Aberlour, Scotland on November 18 in 1902. This town is famous today for Walker's Shortbread and Aberlour Whisky! He was no doubt named after his mother's brother William Duncan Jamieson, who was featured in an earlier blog post. This William, called Bill, lived with his parents Alexander and Jeannie (Jane) near Keith in Banffshire until they decided to emigrate to Canada, his dad in 1904 and he with his brothers John and Alex and his mother in 1905. I can only imagine the courage that it took for young Jane Milne with all her most important possessions as well as three young boys ages 3, 5 and 7 to leave their home and family in Scotland to follow her husband to this new land of Canada. The Milnes lived in the Virden area, working for different farmers and this is where Bill's sister, my Grandmother Frances, was born in 1906. Bill would eventually have 7 siblings. In 1915 the Milnes sold out and went to Keremeos BC to pursue the life of ranching in the flats of the southern Okanagan Valley. Wikipedia says about the word "Keremeos":
The name originated from the Similkameen dialect of the Okanagan language word "Keremeyeus" meaning "creek which cuts its way through the flats" referring to Keremeos Creek which flows down from the Upper Benchlands to the Similkameen River that runs by the village. Local legend claims the name means "the meeting of the winds" and joke that the only time it's calm is when the wind blows equally from all four directions.
Milne Family in 1906 - Alex, Bill beside his dad, John, Jane holding Frances and Alex in front

Bill returned to Manitoba with his family and  began to work at the farm of Charles and Isabel Ivens in the Boss Hill area near Virden in the early 20's. Charles Ivens was from Berkshire, England and arrived in Virden in 1883 with a cousin with the same name.  This Charles was given the nickname "Colonel" and the other called "Infant" to keep them straight.  Binding Our Districts history books says Colonel Ivens became one of the most diversified and extensive farmers in the area with a large stone house, outbuildings and fruit trees and also maple and spruce. He was very involved in local politics and was Reeve from 1908 to 1940 with one year off when he went back to England.  He is credited with being the founder of Good Roads Manitoba.  Infant Ivens, his cousin, farmed for a while and later moved to Virden and later still to the West Coast.  He had a granddaughter who eventually became Mrs. Pierre Trudeau, Margaret!

In 1924, William Duncan Milne married the Colonel's daughter, Elizabeth "Mary". Both were 21 years old at that time.  They lived at NW 15-10-27 until 1946 when they moved to SW 16-10-27, the original homestead of C.E. Ivens. Bill and Mary moved to Virden in 1950.

Bill and. Mary had a daughter Jean Elizabeth and a son Charles Jeffrey.  They were a part of the Boss Hill community and their children went to the country school nearby.  Binding Our Districts history book says that "Boss Hill" was known as a landmark to the old-timers and was four and a half miles west of Virden.  In the early days it was the highest point of land in the area so it was given its name - Boss Hill.

My mom recalls Bill as her favorite uncle.  He was a farmer and a curler and Mary was a busy farm wife and community volunteer.

Bill died on August 4, 1960 and Mary on May 2, 1985 and they are buried in Rosewood Memorial Garden in Brandon, near my Grandma and Grandpa Kinnaird.

Friday, 3 October 2014

Week 40 - Frances Jeannie Milne Kinnaird

Frances Jeannie Milne Kinnaird (1906 - 1974)

My Grandma, Frances Jeannie was born to Alexander and Jeannie Milne on March 17, 1906 in the R.M. of Wallace in Manitoba.  She is the wee lass on her mum's knee in the photo above.  Alex and Jane were immigrants from the Banffshire area of Scotland.  Frances lived with her farming parents, 3 older brothers, 2 younger sisters and 2 younger brothers near Hargrave, Manitoba.  She lived her entire life there except for two years (1915 - 1917) with her family on a ranch at Keremeos, British Columbia.

Clipping of Frances and Frank's wedding 1927

When she was 21 years old, Frances married 33 year old farmer William Francis "Frank" Kinnaird on Thursday, March 31, 1927 at her parents' home with immediate relatives.  Attendants were her sister Margaret and Mr. Thomas A. Kerr.  The clipping says:
At five o'clock the bride entered the room on the arm of her father to the strains of  Lohengrin's Wedding March played by Mrs. Sparling.  The bride looked charming in a gown of soft white crepe and georgette with shoulder and girdle ornament of orange blossoms.  She carried pink and white flowers.  
Mr. and Mrs. Kinnaird left on the evening train for a short honeymoon in Brandon.  The bride travelled in a suit of navy blue gabardine trimmed with grey fur and a hat of navy taffeta with touches of red.  On their return, they will reside on the groom's farm near Hargrave.  

  I have never seen any photos from their wedding but can almost picture it from this vivid description!
Milne sisters - Nan, Margaret and Frances 1955
The Kinnairds had 3 children: Keith, Marjorie and my mom, Margaret. Keith farmed the home farm and Marjorie and my mom both became teachers. Frances was a member of the Hargrave United Church, United Church Women, Lady Foresters, Hargrave Ladies Curling Club and Virden Health Auxilliary. Her obituary says that her main interests were her family, her friends and her farm work.  Frances Kinnaird sang in the church choir and my mom recalls her playing "by ear" on the piano, often it was the church hymns that she would play. Other things she remembers and shared with me include that her favourite outings were for playing cards, usually euchre and going to dances at the local schools and even the "Orange Hall" in Virden.

Grandma and Grandpa dressed up for the wedding of eldest daughter Marjorie to Thomas Tapp, July 12, 1952.

Grandma and Grandpa in 1961 with their house in the background.  

Through the thirties, forties and onward, Grandma would have been a busy farmer's wife with a big garden and many daily chores. Keeping food on the table without the benefit of freezers and fridges the way we have today must have been a job in itself.  Beef rings were a necessity where a group of neighbours would take turns butchering an animal and sharing the meat among them so it could be eaten before it spoiled.  She was known for her butter making skills Mom recalls that her mom would enter hers in the competition at the Virden Fair.  How would they ever keep it from melting into a puddle on a hot summer fair day?  She supported her community in many ways like writing the Hargrave News column for the Virden Empire Advance newspaper for many years.  

My cousin Judy remembers helping Grama deliver cream and eggs and how Frances could lift the full cream cans into the trunk of the car by herself.  She also recalls that Grama washed all the dishes, by hand, without running water after the Hargrave fall supper at the church and that she was very involved in cooking turkeys and making soup and pies for the Hargrave curling bonspiels every year.

Grandma and I - Christmas 1965
I have a few memories of spending time at my Grandma's house.  When it was time to milk cows, morning and night, she would go outside and yell "COW-BOSS" and all the cows would lift their heads, form into a line and walk from the pasture to the barn and go right to their own stall.  The lead cow was always the same (Bessie?  Bossie?) and this fascinated me! How could cows ever be that smart?
I also remember the heavy red velvet curtains that were tied back on the way upstairs at her house and sleeping in the bed with her with a reading lamp on the headboard turned on so I wouldn't be scared.

Grandma's birthday in 1971 - Sharon, Karen, Donna and Janice
Grandma watched All Star Wrestling, played TV Bingo and listened to bagpipe music and the Irish Rovers on her record player.  We had colouring books with markers at her house and chicken canned in sealers in some kind of clear jelly was a special treat.  I would just eat the jelly!

Grandma got sick with colon cancer in the early 70's and died on July 13, 1974.  Her mother died of the same disease and I am so grateful that this hereditary form of cancer is now caught early with scopes and screenings.
The video below is from home movies that my mom took of Grandma and visiting at her house.  You have to watch carefully to find Grandma, she seemed to avoid the camera!  That's me that won't go anywhere near the chicken.  It's probably the same way I would react today if someone tried to get me to hold one!

I hope the readers of this blog who knew my Grandma will share some of their memories in the comments below or email them to me and I'll add them to the post.