Saturday, 22 April 2017

John "Scotty" Paul (1899-1988)

This blog is called 52 Ancestors because I started in January 2014 with the goal of writing about one ancestor each week for a year.  It has turned into so much more than I ever thought and have made wonderful contacts with people all over the world who have found my blog.  Today my subject is John Paul, not my ancestor but he is someone's who may stumble onto this post with his story someday.

John Paul was always known as Scotty and I remember being surprised when I found out he had two real names and neither was Scott!  He lived at least 50 years with Nellie, Jessie and Bill Sinclair at 16-14-22 W1- four miles north of Oak River.

John Paul was born on February 28, 1899 in Rathen, Aberdeenshire in Scotland.  I was able to find the record of his baptism in the Espisopal Church at Lonmay on June 25th of 1899.    The church was built in 1788 and is still in use today.   His parents were James and Maria Paul and they lived at Mosside of Rathen Cottages in the 1901 census.  James would have been a farm worker.

Baptismal records show he had an older brother James (1897) and at least six younger siblings:  Mary Bell (1901), Maria (1905), Alexander (1907), William (1910) and twins Forbes and George born in 1915.

Scotty's name can be found on the ship manifest of "The Melita" as a 22 year old who was heading to Winnipeg with intentions of being a farm laborer for his uncle.  He landed in St. John, New Brunswick on April 19, 1921 - 96 years ago this week!

The 1970 Blanshard history book tells that Scotty worked for his Uncles Forbes and William Ironsides south of  Sidney, MB in the community of Arizona. These two men were his mother's younger brothers and their family was found at Boat of Bridge, Boharm, Banffshire on the 1891 Scotland census where their father James Ironsides was a gardener and their mother's name was Jane.

The online history of the community of Arizona (Manitoba) says Forbes arrived in Canada in 1904 and his brother Billy a few years later.  Both worked for prominent farmer A.C. Sharpley before farming on their own until the early 30's.  Billy went on the run a garage in Sidney as well as the general store. He died in 1958 but I don't know the end of Forbes' story following being on the 1945 Voter's list as a bartender in Rivers.  They were Scotty's only family in Canada that I know of and they died without marrying or having children either.

Scotty found work at Kemnay and Rounthwaite and then came to work at the Sinclair farm in 1936, shortly after the deaths of James and Elizabeth.  I assume it was Aunt Nannie that wrote the in the Blanshard 1970 History book that when they rented the farm to nephews in 1968, they kept the herd of Hereford cattle and were fortunate in having the help of a good stockman in John Paul.

That same history book says he spent the winter of 1953 in Scotland with his family and that in 1967, his parents celebrated their 72nd wedding anniversary.  Yes, you read that right - 72 years of marriage and at least 8 children.  Scotty is pictured on the far right in the picture below of a wood sawing bee at the Sinclair farm in the early 70's.  The other men are Don Simms (my Dad), Stan Henry, Harry Clyne, and Gerry Sparling.

With the Sinclair ladies - Jessie (on the left) and Nellie


Saturday, 1 April 2017

Henry "Harry" Clyne (1901-1989)

In a recent blog posts about the Rae brothers from Scotland,it got me thinking about the bachelor immigrants who spent their working lives in Canada but their entire blood relations remained in "The Old County".
Henry "Harry" Clyne lived with my Sinclair Aunts Nellie and Jessie across the road from us as long as I can remember (the 1970's) and he was one of these men who died in Canada without family.  His possessions ended up with my dad as trustee of his estate and I have them now and although I've considered it, I could not bring myself to toss them out. Perhaps his family will see this blog post and his things can go home. At the least, his life story will be remembered (as best I can tell it) in this post.

The little purple notebook with the pencil is inscribed:
Presented to H. Clyne late Crook Bilbster on the occasion his leaving the country for Canada.  By his friends of Bilbster and Stirkoke  21/3/22
The photo beside it appears to be Harry's passport picture, taken just before the adventure began in March of 1922. Bilbster  is a rural area near Wick in the highlands of Northern Scotland and Crook is the name of a cottage there.  Not yet 21 years old, Harry set sail on the Tunisian for Canada to seek his fortune.  He had at least 2 sisters, Ina and Chrissie and two brothers, Adam and Alexander.  

There is a little book indicating Harry paid union dues while living in Paris, Ontario in 1924 and 1925 as a section-man for the CN railway.  As with many young men of the time, the west was a land of opportunity and Harry heard the call.

Harry had many many pictures of Clydesdale horses and his address on letter from the late 20's was 356 10th Street in Brandon where J. S. Taylor horse promoter did business according to the card above. I am guessing he worked for Taylor and kept a lifelong interest in livestock.  My cousin Lyn recalls that Harry used to work with the Clydesdales that belonged to Jack and Lizzie Morcom and that he trimmed the horses hooves, including hers.

In this era of instant communication, it is easy to forget that months would go by without hearing from family within the country let alone overseas.  I can't find a date on the telegram but the black border envelope and letters told Harry about the deaths of his father in 1927 and his sister Ina in 1928. The first letter from his sister Ina has the sentence, " Mother thanks you very kindly for the money received today".  The second from another sister Chrissie is below.  

 A sample of the many family and friend photos Harry kept.  The only one with a name is the wedding photo taken at a studio in Wick and addressed to Uncle Harry from Bunty and Arthur.

** Bunty has contacted me and tells me the man in the air force uniform at the bottom is her father - and Harry's brother - Alexander (Sanny).  There certainly is a family resemblance there!

Starting in 1957, Harry has certificates showing him to be certified as a steam engineer and the 1903 book Practical Treatise of the Steam Engine Indicator by N.E. Hawkins was among his possessions.   Evidence can be found of trips back to Scotland in 1931 and 1954, when I assume the picture below was taken.  He was Aunt Nannie's chauffeur, driving her anywhere she wanted to go, Lyn remembers. Harry was laid to rest in 1989 at the White Bank Lea Cemetery, a few miles from the Sinclair farm where he called home for many years.

The well worn clipping titled "In Praise of Caithness" was found in his wallet showing he never forget where he came from.  I can still smell his pipe tobacco and see his flat plaid cap as he sat in Aunt Nannie's porch when I was there for tea.

**Follow Up**  April 16, 2017
 I'm so glad to have heard from his niece Bunty Pottinger from Kirkwall, Orkney through a contact on the Caithness Family History Society on Facebook.   Harry's things are now on their way home across the pond, where they belong.