Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Week 52 - William Francis "Frank" Kinnaird

William Francis Kinnaird (1893 -1967)

Frank Kinnaird - about 1910

My Grandpa, Frank Kinnaird, was born in Morewood, Ontario on October 17, 1893 to William George Kinnaird and Margaret Carruthers, pictured above. He had an older brother by 2 years, Stephen Alden.   Sadly, Frank was only seven months old when his mother died of tuberculosis.

He lived with nearby relatives and they had the picture above taken of him with his younger cousin Orne (also spelled Orrin) Carruthers who was the son of his Aunt Jane (Smirl) and Uncle Stuart Carruthers in 1895.

Frank (standing) and Stephen Kinnaird - around 1906
His father remarried Elizann Crump in 1896 and they had a family of 3 more boys and a girl by 1907. It seems like Frank did not fit into this family as he decided to head to Manitoba where some of the Carruthers clan had moved for open farmland and new opportunities.  He came to Hargrave as a young lad of 13 in 1906 to live with and work for his mother's sister Christina and her husband J.J. O'Neil.  He went to school in Hargrave for 3 years while also working on the O'Neil farm south of Hargrave.  

We can only try to imagine what this must have been like for Grandpa to come west to unknown land to live with family he could not have known that well at such a young age.  My Mom recalls him making several trips back to Ontario as she was growing up and the Chesterville newspaper came weekly with news of home. Among his treasured possessions were postcards that he received from his friends and cousins back in Ontario wondering how he was doing and telling the news of their lives.

In 1925, Frank purchased the west half of 1-11-27 and started farming on his own in 1926.

It is interesting to read his notes in these ledgers that have survived the years and see that his threshing bill for 1944 for 56 hours at $8.00 and hour and his hospital stay in 1924 for 17 days cost $149.75 including a $10 operating fee and he was charged $1.75 a day for the hospital room!

Frank Kinnaird and Frances Milne
He was farming and socializing in the same area that my Grandma, Frances Milne was living and the two were married on March 31, 1927. I have never seen a wedding photo of the two of them but the picture above would be from close to that time.  Aunt Marge remembers hearing the story of the heel on Grandma's shoe breaking as she was walking down the stairs to meet her bridegroom!

Frank joined the Canadian Order of Foresters in Hargrave in 1914 and he was a board member for the Hargrave Pool Elevator.  He attended Hargrave United Church and served as an elder and treasurer there for many years.

He graded nearby municipal roads with his team of 4 horses, Queen, June, Buster and Nell. My Mom, Margaret, is the wee girl on her Dad's knee driving the horses in this photo!

He enjoyed curling and in later years watching sports on TV.  The busy farm family milked cows, raised pigs, chickens and turkeys.  Frank looked forward to delivering butter, cream and eggs to customers as it gave him the chance to visit.  A card he received while in hospital from the Virden Creamery staff says they "miss his cheery hello" .  Mom remembers the pails and pails of berries they picked - saskatoon, wild strawberries and maybe even wild raspberries.

Grandma and Grandpa at my Mom and Dad's wedding October 15, 1960
Frank and Frances's son Keith (likely named for his cousin Keith Carruthers in Ontario or Keith, Scotland where Frances' family came from) began farming with them and his son Rea continues to farm the same land today.  Frank's two daughters, Marjorie and Margaret, went to Normal School and became teachers, married and had families. There were nine grandchildren and now 20 great grandchildren who are now beginning to have children of their own.  We are proud to carry his genes and just a bit of his looks and we hope some of the determination that made him a story I've been driven to tell since the start of this blog one year ago.

Frank with his grandchildren - Karen and Dolores, Judy, Barry, Rea and Lyle
Grandpa suffered a stroke in 1962 and lived out the next 5 years in a nursing home in Brandon. Karen remembers going to visit him and the first thing her Mom always did when they got there was to clean his glasses. She recalls that he had a room mate named Fred who loved to visit with the family too and before Grandpa took sick, he always carried coloured Chiclets in his pocket to share with his grandchildren.  She recalls being at a Christmas party there, the International Nursing Home. Grandpa passed  away on August 19, 1967 and is buried in Rosewood Memorial Gardens outside Brandon.

My grandpa never knew me so I remember being surprised when I turned 17 to receive money from his estate.  He wrote into his will that every grandchild would receive $100 from him when they turned 17.  Now I understand that he wanted his grandchildren to have a gift as the result of his hard work and that "Family" meant more to him than I would understand for many years. 

This year of blogging ends with a true understanding of the meaning of Family.  All of their many stories come together to make me the person I am and now my own story will continue with further generations.  Thank you to my faithful readers for your continued encouragement and support over the year.

Love, Sharon

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Week 51 - Alice Kinnaird Casselman

Alice Luella Kinnaird Casselman (1907 - 1988)

Milton and Alice Casselman

Alice Luella Kinnaird was born near Cannamore in Finch Township  in Stormont County in Ontario on January 13, 1907.  Her father was 46 years old and a farmer, William George Kinnaird.  Her mother, Elizann Crump, was his second wife.  Elizann is listed as being of Irish origin, born in Ontario and 36 years old in 1907.

Alice's father George
Alice was the little sister to five older brothers.  Stephen and my Grandfather, Frank were her stepbrothers and then Elizann and George had twin boys, Ellis and Tommy in 1897.   Brother Willis was born in 1899 and then 8 years later, Alice came along to complete the family.

At age 20, Alice married 24 year old Milton Casselman in the village of Chesterville on October 7 , 1927.  He is listed on the marriage certificate as a mechanic who was born in the township of Winchester and a Presbyterian.  She signed her name as " Alice Kinniard" on this document although the form was filled in by the registrar as "Alice Kinnard".

Alice and Milton had four children (above):
  • Eldred Otalene
  • Richard "Dick" Claire
  • Joan Elsbeth and June Elizabeth 
Family of Dick and Jose Casselman

Milton died on October 31, 1986 and Alice on May 27, 1988.  They are buried in Maple Ridge Cemetery in Chesterville, Ontario.  The above photo of their gravestone was found on Cornwall Roots website.  

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Week 50 - Herbert Lorne Carruthers

Herbert Lorne Carruthers (1883-1985) 

Herbert "Lorne" was born at Cannamore, Ontario on May 5, 1883 to Archibald Carruthers and Elizabeth (Lizzie) Gordon. He was the grandson of our shared ancestors, Andrew William Carruthers and Jean Steven. His mother died when he was 10 and his father remarried to Annie Gainer on January 1, 1895.

Archibald Carruthers and Annie Gainer - about 1900

George Andrew Carruthers - brother (1885-1977)

William Hector - brother of Lorne (1881-1972)

In the 1901 Canadian census, he is 17 years old and he can be found living with his father and stepmother near Finch in Southern Ontario.  Also in the household is his older brother Hector (19) and younger siblings George (15), Walter (13), twins John and Hattie (6), Maggie (3) and Annis (1). Another set of twins, Frank and Ida were born in December of 1901 to complete the family of eleven children. Lizzie and Archibald's  youngest son Howard had died in 1890 of consumption.  With so many children, it is not surprising that they quickly ran out of room and land at home in Ontario and began to look west.

Lorne Carruthers (top) and his Uncle William - about 1906

Archibald had a younger brother named William who had left for open land in the west in Manitoba around 1895.  (Another brother Andrew (Andy) had headed even farther west, to Alberta, at the same time.)   William married Bessie Wyatt in 1894 and they had 4 children. William's sister Christina followed him west as did this week's biography subject, his nephew Lorne .  A third brother, Steven, lived and farmed in the Grandview, MB area from 1895 on.  My connection, Archibald's sister Margaret died in 1894 of consumption.  She was my Grandpa Kinnaird's mother.  

Lorne came west on harvest excursions in 1903 and 1906 and worked for his Uncle William who lived one mile west of Hargrave. He also traveled to Moose Jaw and Swift Current, working wherever he could along the way.  He eventually made it to his Uncle Andy Carruther's farm at Camrose, Alberta where he did some draying with a team of horse, washed dishes and whatever else he could to earn a few dollars.

Lorne went home to Cannamore again but in the spring of 1907 he brought his horses from the east and a carload of equipment to farm the west quarter of 27-10-27, three and a half miles south of Hargrave. That summer he broke 90 acres, and was a harvest hand for other farmers that fall. He stayed with and worked for his aunt and uncle John and Christina O'Neil for 3 winters.   In the winter of 1909, he built a barn on his farm and the next year he dug a basement for his house.
Lorne Carruthers and Bessie Odell , 1910

He married Elizabeth "Bessie" Odell on December 28, 1910 on her parents' farm near Hargrave. That winter the couple honeymooned in Ontario. They went on to farm their homestead together for 30 years even after being hailed out two years in a row on the same date, July 17. Both Lorne and Bessie were musical, her the piano and organ and him violin and mouth organ. Lorne was a charter member of the Hargrave Court of the Canadian Order of Foresters that was formed in 1909.
Two children were born to them, Cecil (1916-1989) and Inez (1921-2012).
They were fortunate enough to celebrate their 50th, 60th and 65th anniversaries with family and friends. Bessie died in August of 1977 and Lorne lived to the age of 102 and passed away in 1985.
From what I have read about Bessie, she enjoyed recording the family history as much as I do. Lorne and I are first cousins twice removed according to my family tree software but I had some wonderful pictures and great stories in history books to tell their story.
I think that I see some family resemblances in the unidentified photos below.  Do you think they may be more of the large Carruthers family? 

Friday, 5 December 2014

Week 49 - Helen Milne Mearns Connon

Helen Milne Mearns Connon (1885-1965)

Helen Milne Mearns and James Dunbar Connon - Dec 27, 1912
Helen was born in Banffshire, Scotland on April 14, 1885 to John Milne and Ann Robertson.  She was the sixth of nine siblings, including my great grandfather, Alexander.  He was the first in the family to make the incredible decision to leave job as a carter in his Scottish homeland,  for Canada.
His brother John was next in 1906 and Helen followed in 1908, first to Oshawa, then Saskatoon and finally settling in Brandon, MB. Brother James came in 1910 and their father John and sisters Isabella, Louisa and arrived in 1911.  Mary Jane more commonly called Mamie, had arrived with her husband Charles Duguid from Scotland on the Ionian as well, arriving in March of 1911.Staying behind in Scotland were elder married sisters Ann Pirie and Margaret Chishom.

Helen's daughter-in-law has been able to tell me that before immigrating, Helen had moved to Huntley, Scotland to work as a tailor and live with her sister Margaret and help with her family.  It was there that she met and became betrothed to her first husband.  He left for Canada and she followed soon as well.
There is a marriage registered in the city of Oshawa, Ontario on October 14, 1908 between Helen Milne age 22 and a woodworker, James Mearns, also age 22.  He was born in Keith, Scotland.   They had a son in 1909 in Oshawa and another son born in 1910 after moving to Brandon,MB, who sadly only lived a month.  That was just the beginning of Helen's tragedy as her husband died in a work accident in February of 1911 while changing a pulley on a machine at McDiarmid and Son Sash and Door in Brandon.  What a sad time this must have been for Helen.

Her story does take an upturn however. On December 27, 1912, "Nellie" as she was affectionately known, married James Dunbar Connon who was born in Aberdeen, Scotland and moved to Canada in 1901.  They began dairy farming east of Brandon and raised a large family.  Cousin Wendy recalls happy memories of this farm - hay rides, baseball games, and lots of wonderful food!  

Nellie died in Brandon on June 17, 1965 and her husband James Connon two years later.  They are buried in Brandon, MB.  

Family of Helen and James Mearns:
James Morrison "Jimmie" (1909 -1996)
John Alexander (Oct 1910 - Nov 1910)

Family of Helen and James Connon:
Gladys Mary (1913-2006) - later Wilson
Norman Keith (1915 - 1986)
Margaret Dunbar (1917 - 2006) - later Nadler
Alice Helen (1919 - 2001) - later Brandon
Primose 1921 - 2003 - later Durnin
John Robertson (1923 - 1986)
Irene Stella (1924 - 2005) - later Quinn then Wilkie

Helen's granddaughter Gwen was kind enough to send me the wedding photo at the top of the blog and fill in a few details for me.  Below are a couple of the unidentified photos that were in my Grandma's trunk, Helen's niece.  Do you think either one or both might be her?