Matrilineal Monday – Mary Jane Hassan

Mary Jane Hassan was my third-great-grandmother, born around 1843 in Ontario to an Irish father and Canadian-born mother. She married Joseph Myers around 1861, and they had 10 children:

Mary Jane Myers (b. 1862 – d. ????)
Joseph F. Myers (b. 1865 – d. ????)
John Robert Myers (b. 1867 – d. 1905)
James Myers (b. 1869 – d. 1922)
George Ignatius Myers (b. 1871 – d. ????)
Charles Myers (b. 1873 – d. ????)
Wilhelmine/Wilhelmina Myers (b. 1879 – d. ????)
Ellen Elisabeth Barbara Myers (b. 1880 – d. ????)
Annie M. Myers (b. 1883 – d. ????)
Rosa C. Myers (b. 1889 – d. ????)

By 1901, Mary Jane was widowed, and lived in Toronto with three of her daughters. Wilhelmine worked as a dry goods clerk, and Ellen and Annie were dressmakers. Mary Jane died in Ottawa in 1911,

The Myerses are hard to trace, because they have relatively common first names and records variously list them as Meyers, Meyer, Mayer, Mayers, Myer, and Moyer. I admit to neglecting research on this line because of it. (I go with the Myers variation, because both my great-grandmother, and her father used that spelling.)

Matrilineal Monday – Mary Devlin

Mary Devlin is one of my third-great-grandmothers, and I don’t know very much about her yet. She was born in Ireland around 1830 and came to Canada sometime before 1840. She and her husband, William Lloyd lived in Mulmur, Ontario until the 1890′s, when they moved to Portage La Prairie, Manitoba. They had at least ten children (most of the birth years are approximations based on variances across censuses):

Mary Lloyd Ferguson Graham: b. 1855 – d. 1936
William Lloyd: b. 1858 – d. ????
Eliza Jane Lloyd: b. 1860 – d. ????
Margaret Lloyd Bannister: b. 1865 – d. 1931
Harriet B. Lloyd Leeper: b. 1866 – d. ????
John J. Lloyd: b. 1868 – d. ????
James H. Lloyd: b. 1869 – d. ????
Annie Sophia Lloyd: b. 1874 – d. 1892
Richard Victor Lloyd: b. 1876 – d. 1959
Martha Ellen Lloyd Solomon: b. 1877 – d. ????

As a bit of a wildcard, there are two more possible children I am trying to find more evidence for. The first is a daughter listed in the 1871 census. Her name was either Ama E. or Anna E., and she was born in July of 1870. I am fairly certain that this is not Annie Sophia, because every bit of documentation for her states a birth year of 1874. (I don’t have a birth record.)

The other is Emily S., who only appears in the 1881 census. Her birth year is given as 1872. She could be Anna E. or Ama E. maybe?

I’m still working on the Lloyds and Devlins, and hope to get them sorted a bit more in the coming months.

Slow Around These Parts

Lately, I have been dealing with the temporary closure of my neighbourhood library. A few weeks ago, a pipe burst and they were flooded. This has happened before, and it was months before they opened again so I am pessimistic about being able to use it again any time soon. I have been working with all of my family tree documents at home, but it sure would be nice to get to the library to find new documents that support the old ones or do research to flesh out history and geography. There are other libraries nearby, but none of them are as convenient as the flooded one. To get to the library downtown, I have to schedule it around my daughter’s naptime so she doesn’t get bored, and that hasn’t been easy to do.

I hope to be blogging regularly again soon!

Matrilineal Monday – Nancy Terry

Some time between 1878 and 1881, John Irving and his wife, Nancy Terry, left Nova Scotia and took up farming in Manitoba. They had three small children in tow, and Nancy would have eight more in the next sixteen years. Then when Nancy was fifty, she gave birth to their last child. Her name was Edith Gertrude, for the daughter who died in 1901 when she was fourteen.

In some ways, Nancy had it a bit easier than Agnes. She and John had a two storey house, with eight rooms. They lived closer to town. (The Dunns lived in Oakville, about 25 kilometers outside of Portage La Prairie. Kemnay, where the Irvings lived, is only ten kilometers west of Brandon.)

John died in 1909 in Victoria, BC and Nancy and the younger children returned to the Irving farm in Kemnay. (The farm was likely run by George after John left in 1908.)

Nancy’s children were:

George William – (b. 1874 – d. 1966)
Catherine (Cassie/Casey) Jane – (b. 1876 – d. 1962)
Jennie Ann – (b. 1878 – d. ????)
John Robert – (b. 1882 – d. 1962)
Martha Angelina – (b. 1885 – d. 1966)
Edith Gertrude – (b. 1886 – d. 1901)
Mary Agnes – (b. 1888 – d. ????)
Elizabeth Maude – (b. 1890 – d. ????)
Mabel May – (b. 1893 – d. 1984)
James Albert – (b. 1894 – d. 1955)
Frank Sterling – (b. 1897 – d. 1918)
Edith Gertrude – (b. 1904 – d. ????)
(In the 1911 census, there is a phantom son. He is indexed as Earnest on Automated Genealogy, and in the original the name is pretty much a scrawl with the dates too blotchy to read. He does not appear in any other census, or in the Manitoba Vital Statistics Index. Little Edith is not enumerated. There are other mistakes, so it seems likely that the enumerator hastily scribbled something down and later added “son” instead of “daughter.”)

Matrilineal Monday: Agnes Irving

In keeping with my Ten Things for the Tenth Month theme, every Monday in October I am going to feature a woman in my family tree who had ten or more babies. I have a lot of respect for these women, and the difficulties they must have had carrying and raising so many children.

My third-great grandmother, Agnes Irving married George Dunn in 1885, and bore eleven children in 14 years. In 1891 they were living in a three room wooden house with three children as well as George’s brother James and someone I am almost certain is Agnes’s uncle Adam. How cold it must have been in the winter, with the Arctic wind blowing down across the prairie and getting in through cracks they could never find.

Agnes’s children were:

John Henry (b. 1885 – d. 1885)
Elizabeth (Lizzie) (b. 1888 – d. ????)
Cassie – my great grandmother (b. 1889 – d. 1947)
William (b. 1890 – d. ????)
Frank (b. 1893 – d. ????)
Ross (b. 1897 – d. 1985)
Frederick (b. 1900 – d. ????)
Emmanuel (b. 1902 – d. 1988
Albert (b. 1904 – d. 1911)
Lawrence – (b. 1906 – d. 1990)
Wesley (b. 1909 – d. ????)

Surname Saturday: Considering The Devlins

At the moment, I have only one Devlin in my family tree; Mary was one of my third-great grandmothers. I admit to not having done much searching for her, because I’ve been focusing on my prairie families a generation or two later. Most of Mary’s children went to Manitoba in the 1890s, and after finding what I could on them, I backtracked to find out what happened to the daughters who stayed in Ontario. In this recent post about Mary’s daughter Annie Lloyd, I speculated that since Annie was listed in the 1891 census as the niece of Simon and Jane Young, Jane may be Mary’s sister.

Here is my thought process and analysis of supporting documents:

1. I originally started off wanting to trace William and Mary’s daughters. I used the 1881 census to get the most complete list of their children, and followed up with the 1891 census to see who was still living at home. Then I knew whose marriage or death certificates I should be looking for.

2. Annie Lloyd died in 1892 in Mulmur, but she wasn’t listed as living with any of the Lloyds. I searched the census for any teenaged Annies living in Ontario.

3. Annie Sophia Lloyd is listed as a tailoress living in Bentinck, Ontario. She is the niece of the head of the house, Simon Young. My thought was that if this is my Annie, Simon’s wife Jane’s maiden name would be Lloyd or Devlin. (Or not, because the census can be unreliable for accurate reporting on relations. Jane could be a cousin and called herself an aunt due to age difference or the enumerator made an assumption.)

4. Jane Young died in 1910 in Hanover, Ontario (about 25 kilometers from Bentinck). On the death registration, her parents are listed as Devlin and Brownlee.

5. Simon’s household in Hanover in the 1911 census consists of himself and a housekeeper, Mary Graham. This is William and Mary’s oldest daughter. She had been married to a man named Murdock Graham, and the birth month on the census matches the birth date on her death certificate, but off by one year.

6. In an index of Ontario Marriages 1800-1901 on familysearch.org, there is a marriage in 1866 in Bruce between a Simon Young and Jane Darlin (which I am betting is a mistranscription of Devlin). Jane’s parents are listed as Samuel and Margaret.

7. The only census which shows Jane living with Samuel and Margaret is 1851, and they are in Albion, Ontario. They are neighbours with a Brownlee family.(Samuel is a widower by 1861, and Jane is still at home.) There is no Mary living in Albion, but the woman I believe to be my Mary Devlin would have been living in York, as a servant for the Nunn family. One of the neighbouring farms had a family of Lloyds, headed by a William the right age to be my great-great-great grandfather. I know that Mary and William were married before 1855, so it would have made sense for them to be neighbours.

8. If Jane and Mary aren’t sisters, they are close enough in age to be close like sisters. There was a Devlin family in Albion in 1851 headed by a William, and Mary could be their daughter. There is also another Devlin family that Samuel’s daughter Ellen married into in 1867, and Mary could belong with them. All I can be sure of right now is that Mary has some connection to the Devlins who lived in Peel and Grey Counties.

October – Ten Things for the Tenth Month

I have always loved top ten lists. I can probably instantly spit off my own personal top tens for any topic you care to quiz me on. Then I started thinking about top tens and other tens in my family tree. There was total serendipity that the tenth month of the year was coming up, so why not use it as an exercise to see what people related to me but not necessarily each other may have in common?

Check back to see what Top Ten and Ten Things my ancestors bring!

Wednesday Women’s Work – Annie Sophia Lloyd, Tailoress

According to the 1891 Census, seventeen year old Annie Sophia Lloyd was living in Bentinck, Ontario with her aunt and uncle, Jane (Devlin) and Simon Young. Annie was around the age where if a girl was a spinster and there was someone else keeping house, she could take appropriate work until she married. Simon was listed as a tailor-cutter, and Annie as a tailoress. At around 50 years old, after working as a tailor for at least 20 years, Simon’s eyes were surely becoming weak from concentrating on tiny stitches day after day and he needed an extra pair of hands to help him with his business.

I wonder why and how Annie ended up living with the Youngs. I have a strong feeling that Jane was my third-great grandmother Mary Devlin Lloyd’s sister. Simon and Jane had only one child, their adopted daughter Margaret. Mary had at least eleven children and five or six of them would have been living at home in the late 1880s, so maybe Jane wrote to her to see if she could spare someone interested in learning a trade.

Annie would be home in Mulmur by 1892, and die of heart failure caused by rheumatism.

Coincidences – Looking for Lloyds in the Census

When I get a bit antsy to further my research without ordering and waiting for documents, I turn to the census. The census does a lot of things to help me stave off boredom, because I often catch something I didn’t see before. Things like, “Oh! That farm labourer has the wife’s maiden name! I didn’t have their marriage registration when I saw this the first time!”

Lately I have been poking around with my Lloyd line, in particular trying to tie up loose ends with some of my great-great grandfather Richard Victor Lloyd’s sisters, and to find out more about his parents, William Lloyd and Mary Devlin.

Before the Lloyd family moved to Manitoba, they lived in Mulmur, Ontario. In the 1871 census, there are two other adult male Lloyds living in that area, Benjamin and James.

Benjamin died in 1912 and his death registration lists his mother as Harriet Brunley. One of William and Mary’s daughters is Harriet B. Lloyd. This coincidence made me happy to follow this trail even if it doesn’t lead to William and Benjamin being brothers.

A look at the 1851 census makes me think they are related, though. In King Township (about 35 kilometers from Mulmur), there is a Loyd family with William as the head, Benjamin and James as labourers, (a sister?) Harriet who does the housekeeping, and a few other siblings. Neighbours include a Mary Devlin the right age to be my William Lloyd’s wife, who was a servant for the Nunn family; and Ann Maw, who would be the 1871 Mulmur Benjamin’s wife according to birth records that correspond with children in the census. I’ve got those files saved and waiting to be proved with William’s death certificate, which hopefully has his parents names on it.

Another good find was a Devlin connection, which I hope to have time to blog about tomorrow!

Thankful Thursday – Digitization and Our Roots

I had an ungrateful kind of day earlier this week, the sort of day where I’m too impatient and headachey to see the gems in the coal. The kid took a long nap and I should have been glad to have time to myself. I should have been glad that she would wake up happy and refreshed. Instead I had a little sulk, because I wanted to go out. It was in that unreasonable mood that I decided to use the time to do some reading on Our Roots, and try to dig up more on the Lloyds and Dunns from Pioneer Ways To Modern Days.

A browse through the School Districts chapter dropped this picture of children at the Moose Range school in 1917 in my lap:

Moose Range School 1917 - from Pioneer Ways To Modern Days page 185

I admit that my first feeling was disappointment. Oh, it’s just Ena and Bill Lloyd. Why isn’t Illa in the picture? How come I can never find anything out about Illa? I don’t even have a picture of her! Why isn’t anything about my direct ancestors digitized?

I took a break. After a bottle of Mexican Pepsi (do I ever love that stuff!) my headache was gone and I realized what a wretch I’d been. Sure, it would have been exciting to see a photo of Illa. But there were little clues I could tuck away for later. The Meachem kid? Yes! The Meachems were close to the Ralph family. Ena and Illa both married Ralphs, but I wasn’t sure if they both married into the same Ralph family. If the Lloyds knew Meachems, it seems more likely.

I am very grateful for every scrap regarding my family connections that is digitized. If there weren’t scanned certificates and transcribed indexes online, I probably never would have started seriously mapping my family. Nearly every hobby and interest I have has to fit into my sleepless lifestyle, where I feel restless late at night and need something to do. I love that I can just go online to make lists of the tiniest slivers of hints to track down microfiche to confirm things that haven’t yet seen the light of the Internet. I love that without a repository of unusual Canadian books readily available to me from nearly anywhere, I could have pulled my hair out trying to hunt anyone who knew anything about Moose Range, Saskatchewan.

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