Wednesday, 25 February 2015
If I could go back in time, one place I would go is Barriefield, near Kingston, Ontario in the year 1870.
My 2x great-grandparents John and Elizabeth Seale had 7 sons, 1 daughter...
and a mystery lodger.
I would ask John Seale how it came about that he came to Canada with his first wife Sarah, and when she died what became of his son Theophilus and daughter Eliza that were born in Ireland? I would also love to see some of his carpentry work, a passion that he handed down through the generations to my father and my daughter.
But the more burning question I have is.... Who is Hannah Meade?
Hannah first turns up living with my Seale family on the 1871 Canada census of Ontario. There is John and Elizabeth, their daughter Anne, 3 of their sons, Mary Hunter (sister of Elizabeth) and Meade, Hannah age 9 (so born about 1862).
According to the Seale's 1881 census Hannah is now 19 years old. No occupation.
In 1883 one of the Seale boys, William, married Louisa Alexander. The marriage record lists the witnesses as A.H Seale (his brother Alexander) and Hannah M. Seale... ?
According to the 1891 census she is now listed as Hannah Seale, daughter age 25 (29).
Then Hannah drops from the face of the earth. I found no marriage record, death record, or other censuses. From the previous censuses I learned that Hannah was born in Ontario (no birth record found), her father was English and her mother Irish. So I embark on a quest to find the answer.... who is Hannah Mead?
I decide the first step is to look at the 1861 Census to see if perhaps there was a Mead family in the area. There are some Mead families, one lives in Prescott, ON, over 100K away and others are more than 300K distant. But looking promising is one Mead family in the census living at Fort Frederick (& Hospital), just 2 miles down the road from the Seale property in Barriefield:
M. Mead b1818, wife Jane b1829, children Charles b1856, Eliza b1857, and Mary b1860.
So next, looking up these children I find Charles - he married in 1884 and died in 1887. They had a daughter Jennie born 1887, the year her father died. The marriage record states his father is Matthew Mead and his mother is Jane Macauley. This fits with the 1861 census I found.
I find no records for Eliza or Mary.
Turning to the parents I find a Matthew Mead on the 1871 area census, a widow boarding at the place of James Gough, tavern keeper. He is also on the 1881 census living with his son Charles, a seaman. No more records for Jane. So Jane died between 1862 and 1871.
With some googling around I found a transcription of an 1854 Toronto marriage record for Matthew Mead, Pvt of the Royal Canadian Rifle and Jane Macauley. I also found the Ontario Cemetery Finding Aid which lists a few Meads at Cataraqui in Kingston, including Matthew, Charles, Jane and Mary (wife of Rev Godfrey Shore)... aha!! Mary got married!
And Hannah Mead.
My next step is to contact the Cataraqui cemetery to see if they have dates of death. They are very helpful there, as are the people at most places I contact for information.
So I wait to hear from them.
Sure enough, my contact tells me that Jane Macauley Mead died in January 1865, when Hannah was just 2 or 3 years old. At that time the Seale children were 15 - 26 and Elizabeth would have been delighted to take in a baby girl, after raising 6 boys and only 1 girl who was now 24.
The cemetery admin is still looking for Hannah Mead.
So I am convinced that this is Hannah Mead's biological family. It is not a stretch that John Seale, a military man, would have known Matthew Mead and his family, and they probably attended the same church .
There is no Eliza Mead at the cemetery with the other Meads which leads me to believe she has married. It will be difficult (although my contact at the cemetery says not impossible!) to find her.
Mary Mead Shore and her husband lived on the same street as John Seale Jr for a time. Mary died in 1914, and her husband the good Reverend died in 1901. I have found no evidence of children and Mary never remarried.
I just got another email with a bonus from the wonderful administrator at the Cemetery - Hannah Mead is buried with her husband, George VanHorn and his family! (George's father Alex lived next door to and married Nancy McAdoo and Nancy's niece married into the Seale family).
Hannah and George were married in 1901, lived on George's family farm in Barriefield close to the Seale family, and had 4 children. But Hannah, like her mother, did not live to see her children marry or have her grandchildren, as she died young in 1907. She is surrounded by her family in death - her husband George, her stillborn baby girl and her son George Rodney.
I can now close the book on the mysterious Hannah Mead.
I hope Hannah has family that remembers her and passes on stories about her, so she is never lost or forgotten.
Monday, 23 February 2015
Fire can give us life or give us death. Some people are fascinated by fire. As a Girl Guide I made many fires in the woods with friends. Now I love fire as long as it is in a fireplace or fire pit.
The second was the 1972 tragic case of arson at the Blue Bird Café in Montreal, leaving 37 people dead. The younger sister of my friend was one of the victims, there with some friends to see another friend off on a trip.
The third fire that touched our lives, was that of the empty old hotel right across the street from my house. I lived in the house built c1815 by Col John Scriver, the son of an Empire Loyalist. John's son Julius had built his house across the street, and it later became the Frontier Inn. The Inn had been closed up for a long time, and the night it went up in flames the whole town came out to watch and mourn the loss of a beautiful historic building. All the volunteer fire department could do, good as they were, was to keep the fire from spreading to near by homes.
Fire fighting has come a long way since those days, and the men and women who become fire fighters are a special breed. Many small towns have volunteer fire departments, which is not to say they are untrained. Ours was one of the best in the country! Our village firemen came around and checked everyone's fireplace and chimney on request in the fall. I must say the Chief was quite impressed with our old Rumford fireplaces.
Was your ancestor one of these brave people that risked their lives for others?
I have gathered some links to fire departments and the men that served there. You can find more by searching using keywords "[city] fire department (+history)" and "firefighter roll of honour". Also do the search at HahtiTrust, they may have others and some photos may be clearer.
List of historic Disastrous Fires
Montreal's Blue Bird Café Fire 1972
Montreal's Blue Bird Café Victims
Fire fighters of Houston - 1838-1915
Reminiscences of the old fire laddies and volunteer fire departments of Brooklyn 1885
History of the Toronto Fire Department 1924
Our Firemen: faithful to duty, true to friendship NY 1891
Descriptive and illustrated price list of firemen uniforms - US 1893
The 30th anniversary and annual fire book of the veterans Fireman's Association of San Francisco, Inc - 1929
The Exempt firemen of San Francisco; their unique and gallant record 1900
1st to 21st Annual Report of the Commissioner of the Firemen's Relief Fund -MA 1911
Our Firemen: History of the New York fire departments, volunteer and paid; 1887
Our Firemen; the official history of the Brooklyn Fire Department 1892
Souvenir book of Indiana State Firemen's Association convention held at Fort Wayne 1920
Our Firemen: history of the Pittsburgh fire department, 1889
Our Firemen: a record of the faithful and heroic men who guard the property and lives of the city of Detroit - 1894
Souvenir program; Firemen's Relief Assoc - Manila, Jan 1909
History of the Calgary Fire Department 1910
Souvenir of the Vancouver Fire Department 1905
Souvenir of the Ottawa Fire Department 1905
Souvenir of the Saskatoon Fire Department 1905
History of the Fire and Police Departments of Paterson NJ 1893
South Australian CFS Fire Fighter Roll of Honour
South Australian MFS Fire Fighter Roll of Honour
Queensland Fire and Rescue Honour Roll
Toronto Fire Fighter Honour Roll
Victoria Australia CFA Honour Roll
Souvenir of the Silver Jubilee - Avenel Fire Company NJ 1913
Sunday, 22 February 2015
This week I came across many volumes of the Canadian Nurse magazine. I was researching my great grandfather's brother's family and saw one of his daughters was a nurse. I did some googling around and found her name in one of these issues under marriages.
Each Volume is a years worth of issues, and each issue has some birth, marriage and death announcements near the end. There are photos throughout the volumes, and some notices of who graduated and where nurses were sent to work. Some have lists of members of the Ontario Nurses Association as in Volume 1, page 70 (48) and lists of Graduates from the Training School for Nurses, as in Volume 1 and 2.
They contain articles about Nursing in other countries too, as in Volume 2 1906, news from the London War Office giving names of nurses receiving appointments. Check the back of the Volume for an Index, some have one, others don't. You can also go to the Full Text version and do a search using Ctrl+F.
It started as a quarterly journal for the nursing profession in Canada, written in Toronto and published in March 1905. The magazine was soon put out monthly and is still in publication. These past issues can also be found on the Canadian Nurse website under the Archives tab.
The Canadian Nurse, several Volumes
Canadian Nurses Association Memory Book - flash or pdf
Thursday, 19 February 2015
In honour of Chinese New Year, February 19, 2015, I have gathered some links to publications and websites that have to do with Chinese Immigration. If you have ancestors from China this may help get you started.
The surnames of the Chinese in America spelled according to the David Jones system of spelling Chinese names; with notes on various subjects of interest to the Chinese and those who do business with them – 1904
Sunday, 15 February 2015
I happened across this book, written by William Allan Pinkerton in 1907.
He gives an account of and provides photos of these robbers.
I then found a couple of other books on robbers.
Train Robberies, Train Robbers and Holdup Men
A brief historical account of the lives of six notorious street-robbers, executed at Kingston, UK 1726
An interesting account of the organization and mode of operations of the celebrated horde of robbers known as the Markham Gang - Toronto, Canada 1846
The Boston Brinks Robbery Jan 1950
Wednesday, 11 February 2015
A reader has asked me to let people know about their society's conference coming up in April of this year. If other genealogy societies are holding a conference and would like to get the word out, I will put a list somewhere on my blog.
This is the info for the Alberta Genealogical Society Conference to be held at:
Chateau Louis Conference Centre
11727 Kingsway NW
Edmonton, AB T5G 3A1
Monday, 9 February 2015
My husband has teachers in his ancestry, Angélique and Marguerite Nolin who started the first school in the Red River Settlement for native and metis girls.
My great grandfather's sister Jean had two daughters, Edith and Margaret Swanson, and in 1940 both were teachers at the Strathcona Academy at 520 (Côte) Ste Catherine Road in Outremont, Montreal. Today this building, built in 1898, is home to the Department of Geography of the University of Montreal.
When WWII started more teachers were needed and the traits they were looking for changed - now not only were they to teach, but to be a role model for latch-key kids, who had absentee fathers and mothers who worked all day. The salary for a teacher depended on whether it was a male or female, and if they held a degree or not. Some "most successful" teachers received bonuses.
average teacher salaries 1899 -1900
There are a few people of Quebec mentioned (in passing) as being schoolmasters in the judicial records at BANQ... go to the Pistard section and search "maître ecole". (You can open in Chrome or use a translator for English). These are court records.
Take a look through the publications "The Education Record for the Province of Quebec", some list teachers: Vol 16 has list of students that received diplomas (page 359), the 1916 volume has a list at the end of "Superior Schools" and their teachers, following appointments to school commissioner (page 323), teacher bonuses and prizes (check each district report), members of the Provincial Association of Teachers (page 34 - 68), plus good information throughout.
Also look to school yearbooks for names and photos of teachers. Following are other materials I have found that give lists of teachers.
Educational Record of the Province of Quebec 1916
Educational Record of the Province of Quebec Vol 16 - 1896
Names and addresses of school teachers of the county of Middlesex, Ont 1899
Westborough Teachers Association (Mass) seniority list 1982-1983 (tenure teachers only)
List of teachers in school districts nos 9 and 10, Sutton, Mass from 1790 to 1897
List of high school teachers, city and county superintendents of Missouri, 1914-1915
Superintendents, teachers and principal officers of Ackworth School, UK 1779 - 1894
Candidates eligible for appointments as teachers - Boston
A handbook showing the names, positions, residences and salaries of the officers, professors & teachers under the jurisdiction of the Board of Education, together with the location of the colleges and schools - New York 1876
Annual School Directory 1909-1910: public schools of Munroe County, NY
History of the "Old High School" on School Street, Springfield, Mass 1828 - 1840; with a personal history of the teachers
Allen County, Indiana school directory - c 1897-1920
The Teachers List - complete alphabetic directory - UK 1872
A Portrait of Retired Black Teachers; a legacy of Nova Scotia's Black History.
Schools and Teachers in the Province of Ontario
Schoolmasters of New France
Ontario Teachers: at Olive Tree Genealogy
Monday, 2 February 2015
Canada Civil List
My great grandfather's brother William, a clerk in Kingston Ontario, applied for and was appointed to the Department of Indian Affairs. William and his wife Louisa had 2 children, but sadly both died in infancy. I can imagine that Louisa wanted to move away from a place of heartache, so they contacted her brother Henry who was on the Privy Council, and he got William the government job. They moved to Ottawa and William started March 18, 1893 as a messenger at Indian Affairs making $300 a year, and worked his way up to a clerk making $450 a year. How did I get all this information? From the Civil Service List of Canada.
A Civil Servant is a "person who works in the public sector for a government department or agency." These include, but are not limited to, public printing and stationery, geological surveyors, prison guards, police, militia, customs officers, postal workers, railways and canals workers, etc....
Australia Civil List 1920
These lists are great, because information you find here will include name, salary, date of birth, and date of appointment. To make it a little easier for you, there is an index of names at the back.
Do you have an ancestor listed among these pages?
The Civil Service List of Canada
Return of the names and salaries, &c. of the civil service employees appointed and promoted during the year ended 31st December, 1883
The Massachusetts civil list for the colonial periods 1630-1774
The New York civil list 1889
Civil List of the Province of New-York 1693
Indian Civil Service List for 1880 - India
Quarterly Civil Service List for Punjab; corrected, 1898
Bombay Civil List - 1877
List of Permanent Officers of the Commonwealth Public Service Australia 1920 + 1922
Official Register of the United States - 1883
Official Register of the United States - all
Le Livre Rouge : or, a new and extraordinary Red-book, containing a list of the (Civil Service) pensions in England, Scotland and Ireland – 1810
Related Posts: Sessional Papers