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.)


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, 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.

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!

Wednesday Women’s Work – The Square Deal Shop, Whitby, Ontario

Mary Helen Steffler was about 18 when she took her first job, shop clerk at The Square Deal Shop in Whitby, Ontario. The Square Deal was also run by a woman – Mrs. Campo.

I had no idea Canada Dry was such an old brand.

(Mary Helen was my second cousin, three times removed. We both share Thomas Moran and Mary Meagher as ancestors. The photo is from the image archives at the Whitby Public Library.)