Tag Archives: Family

Symington and Family — Odds and Ends Lanark County

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Symington and Family — Odds and Ends Lanark County
Tom Edwards
December 28, 2017  · 



Looks like supper with Grandma Edwards. Mom, Dad, Ruth Craig, Eldon Craig, maybe Josie Symington at the end of the table, next one I don’t know, then Uncle Johnny and Essie Erskine.

Brenda Craig Shewchukfrom left, Ilene, John, Ruth, Eldon, Mr. Symington, (owned the house) Brian Fumerton, Uncle Johnny, Aunt Essie, Elsie, Ray,
SEE below– Women’s Institute
Name:Joseph Henry Symington
Gender:Male
Age:86
Birth Date:20 Mar 1853
Birth Place:Ontario
Death Date:22 Jan 1940
Death Place:Almonte, Lanark, Ontario, Canada
Father:Charles Symington
Mother:Ann Symington

Marg McNeely
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Hi Linda…..here is a pic of employees of the BNS in 1957 at Xmas party at the Lake Park Lodge.
Front row L-R…..Kathryn Downie, Noel Dagenais, Mrs. Cross, Mr. Cross (Bank Manager), Ray Eldridge, Phyllis Donnelly.
Back row L-R…..Irene Taylor, Marg (Tosh) McNeely, Wayne Symington, Ruby MacPherson, Doris Willows.
All were local people except for Noel and Ray

As a side line they installed, 486 lockers for storing perishable foods and this was a great success from the beginning. At the present time all these units are rented and it is proposed to create more of them. Mr. Milton Symington has been the manager of the plant during the years that have passed since its inception. He will be retained in that position and it is understood the new management proposes to adopt a more aggressive policy and to expand along various lines. Read–Cold Storage Plant in Almonte- Meat Locker Trivia

Well, as the standoff continued two young lads Alex Symington and Cecil McIntyre, decided they would do their good deed as it was also Boy Scout Week. They discussed a plan among themselves and then began to pelt the skunk with snowballs. The skunk still didn’t move from either defiance or stupidity. Minutes later with both sides trying to decide what to do, the skunk just decided to move and sit on the side of the road for a spell. I am pleased to also offer the news that Mel Royce finished clearing that road for everyone that lived on the 12th Line of Ramsay.–He Almost Became a Dead Skunk in the Middle of the 12th Line

Information about the Symington Farm came from:

About WI
Women’s Institute is a local, provincial, national and international organization that promotes women, families and communities. Our goal is to empower women to make a difference.

About FWIC

The idea to form a national group was first considered in 1912. In 1914, however, when the war began the idea was abandoned. At the war’s end, Miss Mary MacIsaac, Superintendent of Alberta Women’s Institute, revived the idea. She realized the importance of organizing the rural women of Canada so they might speak as one voice for needed reforms, and the value of co-ordinating provincial groups for a more consistent organization. In February 1919, representatives of the provinces met in Winnipeg, Manitoba, to form the Federated Women’s Institutes of Canada.

The identity of the Women’s Institute still lies profoundly in its beginnings. The story of how this historic organization came to be is one that resonates with women all over the world, and is engrained in the mission and vision Ontario WI Members still live by today. CLICK here–

Also read-

The Bryson Craig Farm in Appleton

Local News and Farming–More Letters from Appleton 1921-Amy and George Buchanan-Doug B. McCarten

Documenting The House on Highway 7

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Documenting The House on Highway 7
Clara Ashton

Clara AshtonAbandoned – Ottawa/Gatineau & The Valley

Yesterday at 9:55 AM  · Oh the nostalgia. I sometimes shed a tear driving by. My childhood home, now sitting empty and without a doubt falling apart on the inside.

It’s not technically “abandoned” I guess. Its vacant and I don’t think the inside has been maintained since 2013.

They cut the grass in the summer and if I’m not mistaken they use the barns for storage, but the home has not seen a family since June 2013 when we moved out. In the winter nobody plows the driveway, so it really looks lonely that 6 months of the year.

The farmhouse is located outside of Carleton Place, right before scotch corners road and tatlock road when you’re going westbound on highway 7.

Part of me wonders if they’re sitting on it to eventually sell to a developer, but that’s nothing more than speculation.

It’s been sad slowly watching things fall apart throughout the years. I wish they’d do something with it.

Clara AshtonTom Montreuil my mom and dad bought it in the late 90s. My mom ran her equine boarding and tack store out of it from 2001-2010ish

*I’m not recommending that anyone trespasses, it’s very much owned by someone*

Clara Ashton
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Amanda Grace Emon photo from 2011

Ahh reminiscing on old times!
Clara AshtonAmanda Grace Emon used to have a good photo of the kitchen… can’t seem to find it. This is my sister and I from one Halloween, you can see the mudroom and part of the kitchen…
So many memories in this house
Clara Ashton
From the Tales of Carleton Place

Victoria WilliamsonThe golf course owns it! I’m sure some day they will add more holes for the course maybe make it into a club house.

Troy StanzelThat was my grandfather’s farm Lindsey Thompson

Ashley MarieI used to shop here when Clara was little. Her mom is a wonderful lady. I miss riding here and spending my hard earned barn chore money 💜

Emma Drummond-LeclairAshley Marie right?! I remember when Clara was a little girl too! Running around the shop!

Dawna HurdisUsed to be a beautiful home when my Grandpa owned it. So much character on the inside! Saddens me as well each time I drive by and see it deteriorating. Lots of child hood memories on that property!

helma DowdallWhen I was a child this house belonged to a Mr. and Mrs Boland. They had no family. I always thought that they had the house built but I could be wrong.

Jessica RaceyI’ve always loved this home!! I can never understand why people just leave homes to slowly deteriorate. Why not rent it out, if it’s just sitting there and someone still owns it?

Dave HickThe attic is full of guano and the house has virtually no insulation knob and tube wiring an outdated oil furnace single pane windowsHowever it would be a great candidate for a complete overhaul

Tanis CordickDave Hick we were u set the assumption the owner of the golf course had bought it and was going to use the house as a clubhouse, I’m guessing that’s not the case 🤷‍♀️

Dave HickTanis Cordick i did an inspection on it before the golf course bought itBarn is in good shapeGood deal on the land because house needed lots of work

When the Skeletons Finally Come Out of the Closet “D-I-V-O-R-C-E”

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When the Skeletons Finally Come Out of the Closet “D-I-V-O-R-C-E”

My grandmother on the maternal side was Gladys Ethelyn Griffin Crittenden. She was born and grew up in Laconia, Belnap New Hampshire. She married my Grandfather George Crittenden in 1917 in Montreal and had my mother in 1929. She died at the age of 39 and no mention of her daughter was mentioned in her obit.

The Gazette
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
15 Apr 1935, Mon  •  Page 7

When I was a child I heard whispers that I am sure children were not supposed to hear. I knew my Grandfather had a few women that were not my Grandmothers, but one was not supposed to talk about things like that. For years I wondered why the name Cecile was said with a horrified face.

One day at a 10 am Church service I was sitting with my grandmother in our usual pew when someone with heavy perfume tapped my grandmother on the shoulder. My grandmother quickly looked at me in horror and her lips became pursed. The strange woman waved to me and my grandmother clutched my hand very quickly and told me not to speak to her.

Well, I thought, here we are in a place of God and my grandmother is not being too neighbourly. The church service ended and we left quickly. It did not stop the lady and she followed quickly behind us. In fact, she followed us all the way home, and into the verandah where she sat down on one of the chairs. My grandmother instructed me to go into the kitchen while she talked to this woman.

The woman quickly vanished after my grandmother spoke to her and I don’t think I ever saw her again. My grandfather had just passed away in Seattle and apparently it had something to do with that. My grandmother said she wanted money and expected to be in the will as she was “Cecile”. I never found out who “Cecile” really was until today. I just assumed that she was one of my grandfather’s former girlfriends.

My mother from the ages of 14-18 was in the Ste Agathe Sanitarium because she had tuberculosis and had one lung removed. I heard the stories many times about my Grandfather’s wife that had burned all my mother’s things and sold her piano because she had convinced my grandfather that my mother was coming back. But was that true? When my mother was released she never did go back to Park Extension in Montreal, and instead went to Cowansville, Quebec to work at Bruck Mills.

Apparently my mother not coming home and being an only child caused a rift between my grandfather and Cecile and the marriage went south. Really south.There was no uniform federal divorce law in Canada until 1968 and this was the very early 50s. Instead, there was a patch-work of divorce laws in the different provinces, depending on the laws in force in each province at the time it joined Confederation. In Quebec, the Civil Code of Lower Canada declared that “Marriage can only be dissolved by the natural death of one of the parties; while both live it is indissoluble”.

The English Matrimonial Causes Act 1857 provided that a husband could sue on grounds of adultery alone, but a wife would have to allege adultery together with other grounds.The only way for an individual to get divorced in the provinces where there was no divorce law—as well as in cases where the domicile of the parties was unclear—was to apply to the federal Parliament for a private bill of divorce. These bills were primarily handled by the Senate of Canada where a special committee would undertake an investigation of a request for a divorce. If the committee found that the request had merit, the marriage would be dissolved by an Act of Parliament.

So today, I found out that my Grandfather had to apply to Parliament for a divorce on the grounds of adultery.

Montreal, Quebec, Canada
30 Jun 1953, Tue  •  Page 24

Of George Arthur Crittenden, of Montreal, Quebec; praying for the passage of an Act to dissolve his marriage with Cecile David Crittenden. 1953 November

MONDAY, 7th December, 1953. The Standing Committee on Divorce beg leave to make their one hundred and twentieth Report, as follows:- 1. With respect to the petition of George Arthur Crittenden, of the city of Montreal, in the province of Quebec, clerk, for an Act to dissolve his marriage with Cecile David Crittenden, the Committee find that the requirements of the Rules of the Senate have been complied with in all material respects. 2. The Committee recommend the passage of an Act to dissolve the said marriage. All which is respectfully submitted. W. M. ASELTINE, Acting Chairman.

Crittenden. George Arthur Petition, 40; reported, 125; adopted, 136. Bill (N-4)-lst, 2nd and/3rd, 153-154. Passage by Corns., 245. Message, 246. R.A., 279. Ch. 161.

So I am assuming it was easier for a man to get a divorce from his wife in those days and since adultery was the only way to get a divorce– the woman had to suck it up.

So, maybe the story was all wrong from the beginning and I am starting to give Cecile the benefit of the doubt even though she was not kind to my mother. Maybe she did have an agreement with my grandfather that he said: ‘ If I get this divorce using you as the ‘ bad guy” I will leave you something in my will”.

Quebec has been slow on giving civil rights to married women: until 1954, a married woman was legally listed as “incapable of contracting”, together with minors, “interdicted persons”, “persons insane or suffering a temporary derangement of intellect … or who by reason of weakness of understanding are unable to give a valid consent”, and “persons who are affected by civil degradation”

The removal of the married woman from this list, however, did little to improve her legal situation, due to marriage laws which restricted her rights and gave the husband legal authority over her: legal incapacity was still the general rule until 1964. A woman did not have equal rights with her husband regarding children until 1977.

So why else would she have turned up after he had passed away 20 years later– had not something been promised to her for a facility in the divorce. After all- she was labelled the bad guy in family stories.

I guess we will never know now, but now I know the rest of the story.

Park Extension Montreal

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Did you know?

It has been argued that one of the explanations for the current high rates of cohabitation in Quebec is that the traditionally strong social control of the church and the Catholic doctrine over people’s private relations and sexual morality, resulting in conservative marriage legislation and resistance to legal change, has led the population to rebel against traditional and conservative social values and avoid marriage altogether. Since 1995, the majority of births in Quebec are outside of marriage; as of 2015, 63% of births were outside of marriage.

Related reading

Let’s All Go to The Drive-in!

Patriotic Stink Bugs Celebrating the 4th of July as an Ameri-Canadian Child

Is it all Relative? Linda Knight Seccaspina

I Am Who I am Because of You

My Name is Bernice — A Letter to a Daughter

The Old Church in Island Brook That Needs a Home

What Do You Do if You Just Can’t Walk Right In?

We Are Family

The Summer of 1964

Did They Try to Run the World?

Identifying a Family in a Box — The Hoelke Family

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Identifying a Family in a Box — The Hoelke Family

Okay, everyone knows I do not care to see family photos for sale no matter where they come from. I have 121 photos from the Hoelke family. ( Florida, UK and Canada) so next week I am going to start going through them.. Anyone that knows me knows I love putting things together and getting photos back to family. Thanks to Julie Charron for telling me about them and Sarah Cavanagh you dont have to worry about them anymore.. They are in good hands— read-Are These Memories Just for Ourselves? — The Family in a Box

First photo-what military WW1 uniform is this? So I asked Ray Paquette–

I have looked at the picture of the couple posted in “Tales of Carleton Place” and after investigating the uniform, all that I was able to determine was that it would appear to be a WW I,  Other Rank uniform. The difference between “Other” and “Officer” rank is the belt on the upper body. Other ranks wear the belt right to left while officers wear the belt left to right.

I did some further investigation to see if I could find a duplicate of the Cap badge which would have indicated his regiment and country, i.e., Canada, UK or perhaps another Commonwealth nation and was unsuccessful.

To recap then, the uniform is the British  Army Service Dress, “Kitchener Pattern” as exampled in the attached PDF file. With the plethora of unit or regiment cap badges and the lack of definition in the photo, it was difficult to ascertain the regiment

Regards,
Ray

The second photo from the Hoelke family is in front of a Grand Army of the Republic memorial rock. This gentleman (photo 1900 or earlier) was in the Union army. If any of my American friends have seen this rock let me know. Please note that the Grand Army of the Republic is from the Civil War not Star wars 🙂

I would say this is early 1900s

Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), patriotic organization of American Civil War veterans who served in the Union forces, one of its purposes being the “defense of the late soldiery of the United States, morally, socially, and politically.” Founded in Springfield, Ill., early in 1866, it reached its peak in membership 

The Grand Army of the Republic was founded in 1866 in Springfield, Illinois, and grew to include hundreds of “posts” (local community units) across the nation (predominantly in the North, but also a few in the South and West). It was dissolved in 1956 at the death of its last member, Albert Woolson (1850–1956) of Duluth, Minnesota.

3rd photo This was obviously in the UK sign says: E. R. Shea Coal and Coke Oil– any ideas?

Here was another clue.. I could read what I thought was Livery Company.. but thanks to all of you.. the right answer

Kevin PercyLooks like “The Pembroke Livery Company” to me.

Jeff BrennanI see Pembroke Lumber Company.

.Brian SarsfieldProbably the Pembroke Lumber Company, beside the Ottawa River . Make be take prior to the fire of June 1918.

It’s the Pembroke Lumber Company pre 1918.. and all the photos will go back to the family but this one will go to the Pembroke Historical Society

Sunday May 2 update– I think I found the family… and will continue a bit before I contact them hoping they want these photos back. https://mdbfuneralhome.com/tribute/details/6201/Earl-Hoelke/obituary.html

Related reading

Are These Memories Just for Ourselves? — The Family in a Box

Getting the Family Paintings Home– Dr. Harold Box

When the Past Comes A Haunting- Jessie Comrie

A Time of its Own– The Mystery Photo

The Peden Family- Genealogy– Peden Saunders Sadler

David Warren — Bates & Innes Accident — Warren Family

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David Warren — Bates & Innes Accident — Warren Family

Everyone needs to be documented.. everyone..

A sad accident occurred on Saturday afternoon when little David Warren, son of Mr. and William Warren, met death in the Mississippi river at the Bates & Innes bridge. The boy had secured permission to attend the Star theatre and was returning from there at about five o’clock, accompanied by a playmate Jackie Harper, when the fatal accident occurred. The boys when last seen before the accident were playing with a  kitten on the lawn before the Bates & Innis mill.

According to the story of Jackie Harper the boys, when passing over the bridge became interested in the water plunging over the stop-log at the edge of the bridge. Boy like, they scrambled into the railing and watched the water take the drop. Intensely interested David leaned over the edge of the railing just a little too far and losing his balance fell into the seething waters.

Jackie, alarmed at seeing his comrades’ predicament ran to Mr. Alexander McDiarmid’s for help which was immediately secured but not before the lad was drowned. The body was recovered in less than fifteen minutes.

David George was the second son of Mr. and Mrs. W. J. Warren. Mr. Warren, who is a traveller for the Mount Forest Carriage Co. was at the time of the accident at the firm’s headquarters in Mount  Forest. He received word of the death at 6.30 and by 6.45 was motoring to  Toronto where he took the train arriving here early Sunday morning.

Also read-Clippings of the Robertson Warren Family — Gail McDowell

The funeral was held on Monday afternoon from the home of the child’s parents to the 8th line cemetery, Ramsay. The services were conducted by Rov. Melvin Taylor, assisted by Rev. W. A. Dobson.

The pallbearers were playmates of the child: Jackie Harper, Clara Syme, Lester Kemp, Peter Donald, Lawrence Virtue and Harold Virtue, As the cortege passed the town hall school the pupils formed lines as a last tribute to their departed fellow pupil.

David, who was eight years and eight months old, was the second eldest of a family of five children, the remaining members of which are James, Jack. William and Isobel.

A large number of friends of both Mr. and Mrs. Warren from the surrounding district accompanied the body to the cemetery, and the flower expressions of sympathy were many.

 A large number of friends of both Mr and Mrs Warren from the surrounding district accompanied the body to the cemetery, and the floral expressions of sympathy were many. Wreaths were from Mr and Mrs Stanley McColloch, Tweed; B.Y. Williams and family, Jackie Harper, Mrs Harper and Mrs Jefferson. Sprays from the mother and father; Mr and Mrs W.H. Wood, Ottawa; Mr and Mrs Geo M. Warren; Mr and Mrs F.C. Donald, and Miss E. McLaren, from the little cousins Clara and Myrtle Syme and Helen Naismith, J.H. McFadden and family, Mr and Mrs J.R. Robertson and Miss Olive, and Kathleen Findlay, Cut flowers were received in profusion from Master Harold Lewis, Bert Kingston, Andrew and Russell Cochran, little Lulu and Iona Boale, Miss Edith Hughes, Mr and Mrs Greville Toshack, Mr and Mrs H.M. Snedden, Lena Saunders and little Jennie Saunders and other little school friends.

October 1923– Almonte Gazette

Also read-Clippings of the Robertson Warren Family — Gail McDowell

Picture of
dded by Gary J Byron

Name:David George Warren
Gender:M (Male)
Birth Date:1915
Birth Place:Carleton Place, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada
Death Date:29 Sep 1923
Death Place:Carleton Place, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada
Cemetery:Auld Kirk Cemetery
Burial or Cremation Place:Mississippi Mills, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada
Has Bio?:Y
Father:William James Warren
Mother:Isabella Cochran Warren

His father died 6 years later

1929, Friday January 11, The Almonte Gazette front page
Wm. J. Warren of Carleton Pl. Dead

Well known Sportsman Passes After Brief Illness of Pneumonia
William J. Warren died on Monday at his home in Carleton Place after being ill only a few days. He had been under the doctor’s care for some weeks but his case was not considered serious and a rapid recovery was looked forward to. However, a few days ago he caught a cold that is so prevalent and when he developed pneumonia his strength failed him and he gradually grew weaker until he passed away. He was the son of the late James and Mrs Warren and was born in Carleton Place in 1883. He was one of the best known sportsman in the Ottawa Valley and his keenest delight was in horse racing. During the Old Home Week in Carleton Place in 1924 he was placed in charge of horse racing and it was due to his untiring efforts and his keen wisdom and fairness that the event was such a huge success. He was a familiar figure in baseball and hockey and dearly loved both games. For any years he was a member of the executive of both these branches of sport and during all the years he was a member he never missed a meeting, unless unavoidably absent from town. For many years he was the representative for the Mount Forest Carriage Company and in the performance of his duties he travelled from coast to coast. Of a very jovial disposition he had a host of friends both at home and abroad and it has been said that he one of the best known and most popular travellers on the road. In politics he was an ardent supporter of the Liberal-Conservative party and he will be greatly missed the local councils. In religion he was a devout member of Memorial Park Church and was always active in church work. In the political sphere, in sports, in fraternal circles and in all things pertaining to the welfare of the town, his death had made a void that will be hard to fill. He leaves to mourn his widow, three sons and one daughter, a little boy was accidentally drowned in the Mississippi river a few years ago. Also surviving are on brother George M. of Carleton Place, one sister Mrs W.H. Woods of Ottawa. The funeral was held Wednesday afternoon. Rev J. Osrhout of Memorial Park Church conducted the funeral services at the home and the remains were placed in St. James’ Vault. Mrs Warren nee Isabel C. Snedden, is a daughter of Mrs D. E. Snedden, of Almonte.

His mother died 60 years later in 1983

Also read-Clippings of the Robertson Warren Family — Gail McDowell

983, Wednesday December 12, The Almonte Gazette page 6
Isobel Cochran Warren

One of Almonte’s oldest residents died recently at Fairview Manor at 100 years of age.
Isobel Cochran Warren (nee Snedden) was born on the eighth line of Ramsay township in 1883, and died Dec 12, 1983 after living all her life in this area. Mrs Warren was the daughter of David and Ellen Snedden, both of Ramsay township. She was educated at the Bennie’s Corners school and married William James Warren in 1911. The deceased was a member of the Zion Memorial United Church in Carleton Place. In the past, Mrs Warren represented the Canadian Legion ceremonies as a silver cross mother. A son and a daughter survive Mrs Warren. They are William H. Warren of Rexdale, Ontario and Isobel Robertson of Carleton Place. She is also survived by a sister, Mabel Syme of Almonte. Three children predeceased Mrs Warren, including a son, Sgt Observer James S. Warren who lost his life in the Second World War, and sons David George and John McCullouch. The long-time area resident was also predeceased by three sisters, Laura Snedden, Nell Naismith and Elizabeth Robertson, all of Almonte. She is survived by seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. The funeral service was held at the Allan R. Barker Funeral Home in Carleton Place on Dec 14 at 2 pm with Rev Wesley Mitchell officiating. Mrs Warren was buried in the Auld Kirk Cemetery near Almonte and pallbearers were D Kennedy, T. Barnett, D Robertson, G. Greer, K. Robertson and A. Marshall.

Genealogy Clippings Foy Almonte

Clippings of Earl Blakeley from Frank Blakeley

Clippings from Faye Campbell — Cathy Campbell 1978

Newspaper Clippings – Bittle McGlade Kane Stinson Kelley Family Genealogy — Nikki Bittle

Musings and Clippings About the McFadden’s

Ron W. Bates and J.A. Innes took over the woolen mill built by Archibald McArthur in 1871. Located on a man made island in the Mississippi River in Carleton Place, this 4 story stone mill had several owners before they purchased it in 1907. It was built of rubble wall construction – with exterior and interior walls of one foot thick limestone blocks with another foot of gravel between.  The turbine wheels are still visible today, mounted on free standing timbers outside the stone walls to prevent the end of the mill from being shaken and damaged. 

Our calendar features several well known Bates and Innes logos – they were famous for their “OV Brand”, (Ottawa Valley), “Pure Wool Underwear, Weight and Warmth for the Out-of-Doors Man”. 
It also advertises “Velvoknit – Distinguished for its Softness and Fineness”.

During World War One, the firm was busy meeting military needs for blankets, underwear, cloth and knitted puttees. They were the first mill in Canada to use flat-lock seams on heavy rib combinations.
During the Second World War, the mill ran night and day in all departments, providing military blankets, underwear, puttees and and a long run on a 40 ounce knitted duffle cloth, with water proofing treatment that was used in naval pea jackets. The wheeling yarn department turned out tens of thousands of pounds of yarn for the Canadian Red Cross to be hand knit by the women of Canada into warm socks, mitts and sweaters for the men overseas. 

Bates and Innes ceased operations in 1963, due, in part, to the introduction of synthetic fibres. The property is currently for sale and awaits a buyer with vision to restore and operate this historical building. 

Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

Is it all Relative? Linda Knight Seccaspina

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Is it all Relative? Linda Knight Seccaspina

Is it all Relative? Linda Knight Seccaspina

As they say, if you shake a family tree hard enough the nuts will begin to fall out. I spend a good part of my day writing history, and as of now I have about 5800 different stories on Lanark County in Ontario and the Eastern Townships. I never thought this would be what I would be doing in my later years, but after writing about what annoys me and celebrity gossip in for years I finally found my calling.

I don’t write text book history, I write about people that made our communities, the families. It wasn’t the politicians that helped our towns and cities grow, it’s the people that worked hard. As far as I am concerned everyone has a story and it’s all about chasing that information. But how far do you dig for these stories? What happens when you find the family stories that are like cornbread that isn’t done in the middle?

Last year each member of a local family all got Ancestry DNA kits for Christmas and their mother begged them to return them, assuring them that they were not accurate. Well, no one listened to her and most of them eventually found out that Dad wasn’t their real father. Apparently there had been a lot of unzipped genes in the family and family dinners were never the same after that.

What I have found odd with my own lot is that no one ever told me the stories about the good guys of the family. All I ever heard were stories of ancestors that never made it up to the standards of the Knight or Crittenden family. There was Cousin Odessa that was named after the Port of Odessa that was suddenly sent to Cowansville, Quebec from London. My grandparents soon found out that Odessa should have been named after Port Sherry instead of Odessa. As Alexander Fleming once said “If Penicillin can cure those that are ill, Sherry can bring the dead back to life!” I would like to believe Odessa is still out there somewhere like a good bottle of biologically aged sherry,

Last year I pieced my together my small family tree together while remembering the persistent repetitive stories of:

“She had to lock the door against the Fenians who were coming to her door- it was terrible!”

“He worked for Bell Telephone when he came from England in the early 1900s and froze to the poles in the dead of winter installing wires”

“She worked in the cafe in Devon where they sold the Devonshire Cream. Once she spilled soup on someone important and got fired”

“Every week your Grandfather gave her a 50 cent piece which she put in a small velvet bag that she wore around her neck. We never found it and wondered for years what she did with all the money.”

“He ran away to the USA without his family and if you look at this photo of his grave, that is why you should never leave your family- this is what happens– you die!!!”

Now this is only a tiny smattering of what I heard in my life, and every statement is true. I still have that postcard of my great grandfather’s grave and will probably pass the same message on to my sons.

I am wondering if I was told all these stories because there were far worse ones out there and they figured that would stop me from digging and finding something no family wanted to hear about. That however will never happen unless I win the lotto and then can afford another $25 dollars a month to join Ancestry in Europe.

As a writer I keep a buffer zone on family tragedy of 50 years, but I still have had some family tell me to take down a story that happened over 100 years ago. Personally I feel like Nancy Drew when I write as I feel like it’s solving a puzzle. But, when you find out a father’s name blank and crossed out on a delayed birth certificate be prepared for what you are going to discover. Ten to one some family is not going to want to hear that their great grandmother was caught with a man and morphine in a hotel room in Watertown N.Y in 1891 like I did this week.

So why do I write about past family stories? I am curious by nature, nosy, and I love the thrill of finding a story no one has heard about before. If I find a family mystery, I dig until I find the answer. I want people to know about the local individuals from the past whose lives helped make us what we are today. Our children and grandchildren need to hear about their ancestors- good and bad- it’s all history.

My youngest son’s favourite Tshirt reads:

“If you think I’m crazy you should meet the rest of my family!”

He’s right- crazy doesn’t run in our family– it gallops!

Conversations with Brian McArton– Henry Wilson of Carleton Place and the McArtons of Ramsay

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Conversations with Brian McArton– Henry Wilson of Carleton Place and the McArtons of Ramsay

 

Author’s Note-Had some great conversations with Brian McArton and thought I would add them here as there are things that need to be documented

Linda,

I think the last time you had done a piece about a stone house on High street, number 15. The article was about the house and its coffin door.  The Carleton Place House with the Coffin Door

We had a discussion about Henry Wilson building those houses.  Later I was able to get the abstract page from the Lanark Genealogy Group for the lot on High Street and one on William Street.  Henry Wilson owned both of those lots and very likely built those 2 houses.   He actually owned the whole block on William Street.  Part of it was sold for the rectory of St. James Church.  I am sure you know where it is.  The stone house Henry built is right at the south west corner of that block toward Bridge Street. – Brian McArton

The buildings on the north side of High Street were rented houses owned by John McEwen, William Neelin, William Moore and Henry Wilson; and the homes of Mrs. John Bell, Arthur Moore and James McDiarmid; together with Joseph Pittard’s wagon shop, and two doors west of it near the future Thomas Street corner, the new foundry enterprise of David Findlay.

Residents owning their homes on William Street included William Peden and Patrick Struthers, general merchants; Joseph Bond and Horatio Nelson Docherty, shoe makers; Richard Gilhuly, blacksmith; Walter Scott, tailor; Mrs. David Pattie and Henry Wilson.

There were about a dozen residences of stone construction within the central area of the Carleton Place of 1863.  They included the homes of Hugh Boulton, Jr. grist mill owner (later Horace Brown); Dr. William Hurd (formerly James  Rosamond’s and later William Muirhead’s), Napoleon Lavallee and Robert Metcalf, hotel keepers; Archibald McArthur, merchant; Allan McDonald, carding mill owner; Duncan McGregor, blacksmith; James Poole, publisher; John Sumner, merchant; Henry Wilson and Dr. William Wilson.

Howard Morton Brown

The McArton’s of Ramsay

This 2018 installment was of great interest to me on several fronts.  Some of the information (clippings) I did not have.  So thanks for sharing them.  I did note there are a few broken links on the page. The McArton’s of Ramsay Might I ask if you could reconnect them.  If it is not too much trouble about Janet McArton. 

I did not know about this drawing of the Almonte bridge.  I will look around in my files. I know I have a picture of her.  I have her date of birth.  Let me do a search.  I don’t think I have any “stories”.  I also note some errors in the “family” tree posted as part of the article; not sure who was the source. 

The McCarten’s came to Dalhousie Township in 1829 from Scotland.   They basically squatted on a lot of land and later had to beg “petition” for the parcel.  They had not followed protocol because the ship they came on set sail for Montreal from Quebec City in the middle of the night.  So they missed their appointment with a land agent. There was another John McArton born in 1854—he died of “bowl complaint” and then in 1856 my great grandfather was also named John.   The name McArton was changed over the years.  I have records that show one person born with the name McCarten, married with the name McCarton and died with the name McArton.  

Family History Notations

I did note that some of the McArton’s in the above piece are actually from the family of Henry McCarten/McArton who had a farm in Huntley Township.  McArton Road is named after this family.  Henry was a younger brother to John (1816-1899).   They all first lived in Dalhousie Township.  My great great grandfather John bought the Ramsay land in 1842 at some sort of “Sheriff Sale”.  They came to Dalhousie because my g-g-g-grandmother’s sister was near McDonald’s Corners.  John’s wife, Mary Ann Houston had come to Canada in 1821 as part of the Lanark Society Settlers.  Her mother was killed by a falling tree on the site of the Houston burying ground.  Thats how it got started there.  Brian McArton

Related Reading

The McArton’s of Ramsay

The Carleton Place House with the Coffin Door

Sent to Canada’s Shutter Island for the Death of Sarah McArton

Clarence Herbert Goth – Goth’s Life During 1928-1933

The Dodds of Almonte

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The Dodds of Almonte

Russell, Pearl, & Janice Dodds- David Tosh

Last week I found a clipping from a 1951 Almonte Gazette which I posted on Tales of Almonte on facebook. David Tosh added a photo and people put memories and that’s when you know everyone has a story to tell and it has to be documented. Thanks David Tosh, I appreciate it. Everyone needs to be remembered.

TV. SET PRESENTED TO RUSSELL S. DODDS

Christmas came twice this year for Russell Dodds in Almonte. The gift, which

according to Mr. Dodds, almost left him speechless was a 17-inch screen, Stewart-Warner Television set and it came on August 18.

Bob.Rivington, agent for Stewart Warner, arrived with the set on that day explaining that it was the gift of Gordon Hill, Geo. Gomme and Albert Gale, and that he would contribute the aerial and set it up.

Mr. Dodds is a triple amputee from World War II who came to live in Almonte at the close of the war with his wife, the former Pearl Bond. They have one daughter, Janice, who is six years old. Mr. Dodds’ home was at Tisdale, Sask., where his mother still lives.

His friends who derive considerable pleasure from viewing television, thought it would be a great pastime for him especially in winter.

Sept 1953 Almonte Gazette

David Tosh–Here’s a photo of Russell, Pearl, & Janice Dodds. Pearl’s maiden name would be Bond and she would be a sister to my grandmother, Mary Christina “Chrissie” (Bond) Tosh. Sadly, both Russell & Pearl died within weeks of each other in late 1960 when they were both in their early 50’s. Janice went to live with her aunt & uncle, Catherine “Kay” (Bond) & Harvey Goodfellow. Kay would be Pearl’s sister. David Tosh

Margaret McNeelyYes my Aunt Pearl and Uncle Russell were wonderful people. I spent a lot of time at their house and I use to babysit their daughter Janice

Myrtle I. McNeelyI knew this family who attended our church in Almonte. I was a friend of Janice.

Allan StanleyPearl Dodds was my great aunt and remember she would babysit me at their other house they lived in on Elgin street. My great uncle Russell her husband, had his bed on the main floor, as of course, stairs would be a problem as a result of his war injuries.

Almonte gazette

I found this in the November 17th, 1960 edition of the Almonte Gazette. Apparently, Russell & Pearl died within 6 days of each other. David Tosh

I Am Who I am Because of You

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I Am Who I am Because of You

Once the Duke had “his way” with some peasant girl, she was soon forgotten and my family continued to farm rocks— Steven Robert Morrison

I saw this quote from my friend Steven yesterday and I wondered why some of our ancestors were so naive and honestly, not thinking. But, I realized some of my moves through life have also been dumb as rocks, so, in all honesty, I guess some of us have not changed.

For the past 6 years I have spent hours a day recording local history and answering other people’s questions about their families, and I have never really looked at my own. Last night instead of wrapping Christmas presents I decided to start my family tree on my maternal side as I knew it was going to be the easiest.

Years ago Iveson Miller from Island Brook used to visit our home on Albert Street in Cowansville, Quebec and tell me family stories. Before my Mother died in 1963 he gave her this wonderful family tree book hand written in turquoise fountain pen ink. My mother stored it in the piano bench and ever so often I would take it out and read it. To this day I have never seen a more comprehensive book and was hoping one day it would be given to me. But that was not to be. When my mother died my father took all the family photographs and that precious family tree book and burned them in the burn barrel in the back yard. Today I understand that the years of pain he went through with my sick mother drove him to do that, but I often wonder if he regretted it. So last night I began Iveson Miller’s journey once again, knowing I would not get the detail he had once provided, but it would be something for my children and grandchildren to cherish. I thank Ruth Burns Morrow for compiling the “History of Island Brook” and for the people that saved it.

Bernice Ethelyn Crittenden in West Brome

My mother’s family were basically Irish to the core and came from England and Ireland and settled in the United States and Argenteuil County, Quebec and them moved on to Island Brook and Brome in the Eastern Townships. Island Brook was a fantasy place to me during my early childhood and I can still myself in one of the Miller’s small barns milking my first cow.

James Miller and his wife Mary Henderson were the grandparents of my grandmother Gladys E Griffin (on her maternal side Charlotte J. Miller) who died of the family disease at age 39. Gladys would have no idea that her only child, my mother, Bernice Ethelyn Crittenden, and her granddaughter, my sister Robin Anne Knight Nutbrown would die before the age of 40 from the same thing she had died of–cancer.

Gladys’s grandfather James Miller was actually a veteran of the Fenian Raid, belonging to No. 5 Company of the Argenteuil (Quebec) Rangers, for which services he received a Fenian Raid Medal. Decades after the Fenian Raids, in 1899, the federal government decided to award the “Canada General Service Medal” to all who volunteered during the Fenian invasions of 1866 and 1870. James serve at Cornwall & St. Johns at Niagara 1866 under Colonel Abbott Island Brook, Quebec for 3 months.

However, in order to actually receive the medal, the person had to still be alive in 1899 and had to apply for it. The Ontario Government offered a free grant of land to all the Fenian Raid Veterans. Mr. Miller was one of those who did not accept the offer, as he believed that what they offered was very poor land. Later it became the site of the fabulously rich gold fields in the Kirkland Lake area. Would this be considered a ‘dumb as rocks move?

Ontario Travel photo– Kirkland Lake area– Some of the folks that made it rich.

During his younger years, James Miller and his brothers travelled with the farmers, who were taking their produce to Port Royal (Montreal), as Security Guards against Indian attack.

Mary Henderson and daughter Ethelyn Miller


(courtesy of Vernalyn Morrow Hughes)-Mr. Miller was born at Gore, near Lakefield, Quebec on May 8th, 1844. He was married on April 6th, 1864 in Lakefield to Mary Henderson, who was born on December 22nd, 1844. She was the daughter of William Henderson and Jane Sutton, who came from Sligo, Ireland, and settled near Lakefield in 1824.

James Miller and his wife moved from Argenteuil County to Island Brook, Quebec in January 1868, accompanied by their son, Alexander, who was three years old. I wonder if James had accepted the offer to mine in the fabulously rich gold fields in the Kirkland Lake if life would have been different. There was no cars in those days and the trip to Island Brook was made by oxen. It was a great perilous distance of approximately two hundred miles and settlements were a rare site in those days and there were no settlements east of the Island Brook River.

So the description of life they had was no different than that of any other settler I have written about. Mary Miller worked with her husband on a daily basis clearing the land, and taking the children along with her. They burned the trees they cut down and often baked potatoes in the hot ashes from the fires which would be their noon meal. Later on in years their great granddaughter Linda would do the same thing with the Cowansville Girl Guides at the Brome Fair property not knowing that this was no lark to them as it was to her.

My great grandfather James Miller walked on trails through the woods to La Patrie (12 miles), or to Cookshire, a distance of 8 miles, to get groceries, and he carried them home on his back. I have written so much about other settler families and wondered if my only interesting heritage was Alexander Knight ( great grandfather on my paternal side). Alexander was a music writer, had a musician’s agency and ran music halls in London. Or how about Louisa Knight who scandalously rocked Queen Victoria’s court. I wanted some hard working settlers on my side and I was not to be disappointed.

Ruth Burns Morrow wrote that James also worked on the railway line when it was built through Cookshire. He designed houses and barns for friends and neighbours as the settlement grew and made scale-models beforehand and when the time came for a barn-raising.

photo Canada Rail

My great grandfather was also a rural mail driver for thirty-four years, under contract to the Dominion Government and his route covered twenty-two miles from Island Brook through Learned Plain to Cookshire. When the roads were blocked by snowstorms, he made the trip on foot, carrying mail on his back. In all those 34 years, only four trips were missed. During busy seasons on the farm, his daughter Ethelyn often carried the mail. When I saw the name Ethelyn I was taken back. I often wondered where my mother Bernice Ethelyn Crittenden Knight had gotten the name Ethelyn from– and there it was. Ethelyn was taken from James and Mary Miller’s daughter. My grandmother Gladys Ethelyn Griffin Crittenden had been named after her and then chose the same middle name for her daughter Bernice.

I knew being a pig headed woman I must have had strong women on both my sides, but it was with great pride when I read about my great grandmother Mary Miller. Mary was the local midwife in the early days of the Island Brook settlement and brought over a hundred babies into the world without losing a single mother or baby. If the home where the birth was to take place was nearby, Mrs. Miller would walk to it, otherwise the husband would come for her with whatever conveyance he had.

A story from “History of Island Brook” tells of a member of the Irish settlement, on the road to Ditton, came for Mary with a stone-drag (a flat platform made of heavy planks used for hauling away large stones when clearing a field). As there was nothing to hold onto, and the worried father-to-be kept whipping the horse to make it go faster, Mrs. Miller was in danger of falling off without the driver even noticing it, but she managed to hang on, and arrived safely, although badly shaken up.

Mary, like all of my family, seldom wanted any pay for her services, although people often gave her a pretty dish from their cupboard, or some meat. Mary was there when anyone needed help as a nurse and she also laid out the deceased after a death. One of her saddest experiences was laying out four young children of the family of John Patton, who died within a few days of each other. Because they died of such a contagious disease, black diphtheria, the bodies were taken directly from the home and buried at night.

Mr. and Mrs. Miller were active members of the Methodist Church and helped in building the Church”.

A pile of wood is on my bucket list if I ever win money- but it might be too late. Once a cornerstone of the tiny Eastern Township community, the old Methodist church was mostly unused since it stopped offering regular services in the 1980s. In 2014 the then United Church decided to try and sell the building. The asking price is a paltry $15,000, but so far, there have been no serious offers — probably because buying it means having to move the old church, which was built in 1870, to a new lot. If I ever win the lotto and the church is still around– look for it in my yard– as I think it would be grand to have in memory of my old Irish ancestors. As Andrew Lyon told me on Facebook in 2016:

“We attended a service in the cemetery two weeks ago and the church is down. Lumber is stacked and I believe the building could be re-assembled elsewhere”.The Old Church in Island Brook That Needs a Home

I think the key word now in conclusion is: every day your life is re-assembled, sometimes even elsewhere. Life is not a solo act–it’s a huge collaboration, and we all need to assemble around us the people who care about us and support us in times of strife living or dead. It’s our duty…. especially now.

I thank Ruth Burns Morrow for compiling the “History of Island Brook”. I hope one day to read it all and send regards to those still living in Island Brook.

My Name is Bernice — A Letter to a Daughter

The Old Church in Island Brook That Needs a Home

What Do You Do if You Just Can’t Walk Right In?

We Are Family

The Summer of 1964

Because You Loved Me…..

A Curio of Nostalgic Words

The Personal Ad of June 9th 1966

Did They Try to Run the World?

Memories of Mary Louise Deller Knight’s Wood Stove

The Story of Trenches –Fred Knight Legion Branch #99 Cowansville

Mary Louise Deller Knight — Evelyn Beban Lewis–The Townships Sun

On the Subject of Accidents and Underwear

The Conversationalist

The Other Seccaspina Christmas Story — Howdy Ho!

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The Other Seccaspina Christmas Story — Howdy Ho!

Sophia and I in jammies on chat talking Sunday once again about Mr. Hanky!

Every year I add another addition to our family’s Christmas light story. It’s a Hallmark moment for our family, but rest assured we have others. This story I am about to tell might not be for some– but I urge you to have a sense of humour, because we all need a giggle these days.

A long time ago when my eldest Schuyleur ( he prefers Skyler now) was going to Caldwell School he was into animation. He would sit for hours at his desk up on the second floor and draw. I was really amazed what he did and always thought he might join PIXAR in his later years, but following his late Father into business prevailed.

We were always fans of the animated show South Park. Maybe I was a bad Mother to allow them to watch South Park, but I have always encouraged humour in life and certainly not to take life so seriously. That first episode that Mr. Hankey appeared in he became a hit around our home. The episode was written and directed by the series’ co-creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone. The Mr. Hankey character was based on an idea from Trey Parker’s childhood. Heavily influenced by the Peanuts Christmas special A Charlie Brown Christmas from 1965, “Mr. Hankey, the Christmas Poo” was the first South Park Christmas Special episode.

Schuyleur at this point had graduated his artistic talents to FIMO, and he created many interesting things. I still have a tiny tea set he made me with the teapot having a cat head which I will give to his daughter. The height of his creations was something I had no idea he was making, but it still makes us all laugh today. Tucked away in the china cabinet, sitting in a pink depression glass cup, is Sky’s childhood rendition of Mr. Hankey. He is missing his Santa Hat, his tiny arms and white gloves, and I had to draw an eye on as the black Fimo piece had long dropped off. But, this piece of art will never miss the family history behind the creation.

So what was the story behind this rendition of Mr. Hankey? Sky had worked very hard on this piece and placed it in a box ready to take it to school for an art show to speak about in his french immersion class at Caldwell Elementary. He was so proud of what he had done and could not imagine what was going to transpire next. It appears upon returning home that he was not allowed to speak that afternoon about his creation as the teacher took one look at it and said:

” Pas de poo dans l’ecole Schuyleur!”

Which loosely translates into: “You had better get that thing out of Dodge boy!”

Schuyleur being a comedian like his Mother thought this was hilarious. I reminded him that humour was good but not to let loose with it in elementary school. He should probably save that for that creative 5 figure job if he was lucky to get one down the line. I never did hear from the teacher as that week one of my wacky fashions designs was on the cover of the Toronto fashion newspapers and she probably thought it would be like talking to a wall.

Last night I was babysitting Sophia and I encourage my grandkids to tell me stories and then she asked me for one. So Gammy told the story of Mr. Hankey and the Christmas Poo. She thought it was hilarious and asked me to tell it over and over. She could not believe that Uncle Schuyleur had created this funny little piece of Fimo. Today I told the story once again when she called me on Facebook– and I told her the family heirloom would never leave the china cabinet as it would always be part of our family history. Yes, that’s right family history– after all– some stories offer beautiful leaves, and some just offer trails of nuts. But remember, no matter what— it is the nuts that make the tree worth shaking.

Sometimes he’s nutty, sometimes he’s corny
He can be brown, or greenish-brown
But if you eat fibre on Christmas Eve
He might come to your town..
Mr. Hankey the Christmas Poo
He loves me, I love you

relatedreading

In Memory of The Man Who Loved Christmas

The Story Behind the Christmas Lights on Stonewood Drive

Remembering the Christmas Star

Memories of Christmas 2006

Linda and Christmas Cards– and the Lack off–This is Your Christmas Letter:) 2016

Linda and the Lack of a Christmas Card–This is Your Christmas Letter 2017

Linda and the Lack of a Christmas Card–This is Your Christmas Letter 2018

I Never Met a Fruitcake I Liked

Horses with No Names- The People’s Father Christmas

Just Another Day in Fawlty Towers — Part 2 — To Hell and Back