Tuesday, 19 June 2018

News from the McAllister Branch

Since beginning my genealogy journey, I had very little family information about my Dad’s paternal grandmother - Agnes McAllister Simms.  I knew she was born April 1859 in Ireland,married William Simms in March of 1880 in Antrim and left for Canada with him shortly after.  William and Agnes were farmers in South Mountain, Ontario just south of Ottawa.  Recently, to my delight, more details about Agnes' family has emerged.

First, I had a message from an Ancestry contact Jimsummers54 who was able to tell me the names of  her parents.  They were Alexander McAllister (1830-1901) and Mary Ann McIlwaine (1831 - 1908).  This couple were married at Inver, Antrim on January 19, 1853 and farmed at Duffs Hill northwest of  Carrickfergus.  His father’s name was Ephraim (1794-1860) as well.  Another generation back was also revealed from the same source, Arthur McAllister (1770-1846) and his wife Mary Templeton (1772-1841).

Then I had another message from a researcher who was looking for Agnes' brother Ephriam.  I had researched him before but she gave me the more specific locale of Penhold, AB and that Google search gave an amazing result  here!

 Ephraim (pictured left) married Mary Jane Niblock (below) and went on to have a family of nine. One son Arthur died in WW1 and is buried in Lapugnoy Military Cemetery in France.  His service file has been digitized and is online here.  Ephraim’s descendants continue to farm his original homestead, Antler Valley Farm.

I had been told that my grandfather Alexander Simms  made a trip to Alberta when he left home in Ontario about 1903.  Now I wonder if he was visiting his Uncle Ephraim and Aunt Mary at Penhold?  I do not yet have a picture of Agnes McAllister Simms but this latest success makes me keep searching.   Thanks to those fellow genealogists and my McAllister cousins for their help!

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