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Sad Irons

When I was growing up, we ironed everything, from kitchen towels to the big duvet covers. Maybe it is because of that, that to me ironing is one of those chores, that is close to the bottom of my “things I don’t like to do” list. 
Once, my husband and I went on a weekend trip to Halifax with our youngest 2 children. We stayed in a hotel downtown. As we had a walk about in the room, all of a sudden  our youngest son – maybe age 6 at the time –  came running, very excited, shouting:
“There is a surfboard in the closet!” We were surprised,
we were not in a beach hotel, nor anywhere close to a beach. So we followed him, and there behind the sliding closet doors was an ironing board. He probably never saw me using an ironing board before – so he assumed it was a surfboard.
Though, when I think about it, he had never seen me on a surfboard either.
So it I might seem odd, that I have developed an interest in the history of clothes irons, probably somewhat ignited by a recent purchase at an online auction.
Looking at the history,  a  conventional solid metal clothes iron of the 19th century weighed around 5 pounds (2.3 kg) to 10 pounds (4.5 kg) and had to be heated on a stove. It was so hot, that often a rag or thick cloth mitt was utilized to touch the metal handle to prevent burning the fingers. Once this all-metal iron cooled down, the ironing job at hand had to stop until it was reheated. 
Improvements were on the horizon.

Mrs. Pott's Sad Iron with Removable Handle - 1871

Mary Florence Potts sad iron with detachable wooden handles
Sad Iron, U. S. Patent 113,448, April 4, 1871, Mary Florence Potts, Ottumwa, Iowa. The invention is a detachable handle for pressing irons. This permits a person to heat a number of iron bodies on a stove, attach the handle to one and iron with it until it cools, then attaching it to another heated iron body.
This is an ad for the Mrs. Pott’s  Cold Handle Sad Iron. The  base of this iron  could be put on the wood burning stove to get hot while the wooden handle was removed by lifting the knob below the handle releasing it from the base. The advantage of Potts’s system was that there was always a waiting heated base ready to be switched out with the used cooled base, so the ironing could continue immediately.
The iron was more comfortable to use than the flat iron that had attached handles and made of steel causing the handle to become as hot as the base.   A set of nickel plated sad irons sold for sixty-four cents.  Extra handles could be had for eight cents each.

My Collection:

These images show a  smoothing iron (sad iron) handle and a bases. The handle itself has no marks, dates or other recognizable features, and it will fit on all the bases.
The first base was manufactured by the A. R. Woodyatt & Co. foundry in Guelph, Ontario Canada between 1899 and 1902.
Size 2 (6.2″ long, 3″ wide and 1.5″ high) and  weighs about 5 lbs.
The A. R. Woodyatt foundry was located in Guelph, Ontario
This company later merged with the Guelph Malleable company  into the Taylor-Forbes company at Guelph, which continued to make sad irons.
The following image shows
2 bases (bodies) from the The Ives & Allen foundry, also known as H. R. Ives & Co, Montreal.
These are the Mrs. Potts-style sad iron. They are double-pointed in shape and they requires the detachable handle. The top plate is cast with lettering:
H.R. IVES & CO. MONTREAL at the top
MRS POTTS IRON PATENT GROUND.
The top plate has two convex slotted screws affixing it to the body of the iron. It has a smooth sole. It is embossed near the latching area: N0. 55 SIZE 1 (3.7 lbs., 6″ long, 2.5″ wide, 1.5″ high), the other Size 3 (5 lbs., 6.5″ long, 3.5″ wide, 1.5″ high)

These types of irons were usually sold in sets and the three or four bases shared a single detachable handle. One would keep a couple iron bodies heating up on one’s stove, while a hot was being used. When it cooled, one would unlatch the handle and pick up a hotter iron by latching the handle to it.

Asbestos Sad Irons - 1906

In 1906,  there was a new invention in the iron department. The Asbestos Sad Iron design really did use asbestos.
It was under the handle, inside a “hood” or cover that fitted over a heated “core”. There was also a bit of air space between the iron and the cover to help keep it cool.
It “bottled up” the heat, said an ad, so it was all channeled through the hot solid steel surface that pressed the clothes smooth. No heat rose upward to bother the woman ironing.
Most often sold in sets of three there were other sets that came with various irons or bases.

My Collection:
Neither of the hoods has any identification marks as to where it was manufactured.
The 3 bases are all the same (5.8lbs., 6.5″ long, 3.25″ wide) and all the 72-B embossed on the top. There is more lettering, however, I am unable to decipher it.
I think it says Made (left) USA (right) – # 1 on both sides.

I will try to add to my collection, and update. As for now, I will continue to use my sad iron, a sad iron because it sits in a dark closet,  barely used, not living up to it’s full potential.

Washboard – The Economy

The Economy Washboard by The Canadian Woodware Co.

The Another Auction sale buy – the Economy washboard manufactured by the “The Canadian Woodware Co. in St. Thomas, Ontario – Canada.
This company has been making washboards since the company’s founding about 1916 in St Thomas.
It is made with a wooden frame and the brand name is written in large letters on the front and reads “Economy”. This washboard features a metal grate that is in very good condition. That metal grate means you can make music with it if that’s your thing. It measures 31cm x 60 cm x 4cm and construction is strong and sturdy with no excessive imperfections.
A washboard is a tool designed for hand washing clothing. Clothes are soaked in hot soapy water in a washtub or sink, then squeezed and rubbed against the ridged surface of the washboard to force the cleansing fluid through the cloth to carry away dirt. Washboards may also be used for washing in a river, with or without soap. Then the clothes are rinsed.
I am thankful for my washing machine, and the dryer.
My mother would tell stories of having to do the laundry by hand in the cold of winter. These were the days before washing machines, before indoor plumbing and running water. The clothes had to be taken to the wash house, clothes were rinsed in cold water, and during the winters my mother’s hands would be red, raw and swollen because of the icy temperatures.
I do not remember my mother ever using a washboard, but I do remember my mother’s first wringer washer and next to it a centrifuge, to get rid of as much water in the clothes.
Washing machines have improved since then and thanks to modern technology,  laundering clothes is much less of a chore. Thankfully laundry is done no longer on a specific day of the week, which was usually Mondays; it is no longer a chore that took a whole day; it is no longer dependant on the weather (even though clothes dried outside on the clothesline smell so nice and fresh); now we just throw a load of laundry in the washer, the dryer and hopefully the clothes make it out of the dryer on the same day. Oh, the luxury! Let’s not complain anymore about doing laundry!

“Plunge & Scrub” – a line from a favourite movie of mine, 
“Far and Away”, with Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman

Thimbles

I  enjoy auction sales, and in the past have come home with “treasures” and stuff. Once I went to an auction sale at a nursing home. The place was packed, and one could barely see the items that were up for bids. I was under the impression I was bidding on a box of board games, and I was the one to win that particular lot. I did not go home with a box of games, instead I went home with 2 boxes of catheters, because that is what I had been bidding on. I can laugh about it now.
I recently discovered the on-line auction, not ebay, but a local estate auction. Items listed are up for a week, with images and description and bidding is done from the comfort of my couch. The day after the auction is over, you just go and pick up the items you won.
I am now the proud owner of a new steam iron, even though ironing is at the top of the list of things I don’t like to do, after 37 years of marriage I needed a new iron, and I bought it at my first  online auction for $10.00. With this lot also came an old, pink sewing box with its contents, which consisted of a lot of buttons, needles, thread and among others 4 thimbles.
Even though I own a few thimbles, I have never used them, and really never had a close look at them.
I have now 8 thimbles and I was quickly able to separate them in 2 groups of 4.

The first set of 4 were easily distinguishable from the others. They were shiny and looked cheaply made.
The first one was made in Taiwan, the other 2 metal ones, which were different sizes, were made in Spain. The largest was a porcelain thimble, probably made for the souvenir market. A Christmas themed from Prince Edward Island, Canada, with the price sticker still attached on the inside. Bought at one time for $2.99. This thimble would have been too large and too heavy to be used.

A thimble is a small hard pitted cup worn for protection on the finger that pushes the needle in sewing. Usually, thimbles with a closed top are used by dressmakers but special thimbles with an opening at the end are used by tailors as this allows them to manipulate the cloth more easily.
A thimble is traditionally worn on the middle finger of your sewing hand.
The dimples and grooves on a thimble catch the needle eye and keep it from slipping. A thimble protects the finger from the eye end of the needle. Pushing a needle through thick layers of fabric is much easier with a thimble. Pulling a needle through fabric layers can be very tiring on your thumb and index finger.
Metal thimbles began to be made in standardized sizes around the middle of the nineteenth century Frequently the size is marked on the inside top of the thimble, what thimble collectors call the “apex.”  Ceramic thimbles are not sized.
Sizes differ in the US (size 6 small to size 12 large) and in Britain it is the opposite (size 12 is small and 3 is large).

The other 4 were heavier and worn.
So far for my research:

“Made in England”
Size 1
???????

“Size 9”
(because it is smaller than the previous one, it is measured on a different scale – so I would assume it is American)

“Size 11”
 it is bigger than the previous one, so must also be American)
??????????

This is an antique Goldsmith Stern & Co. Sterling silver thimble. The thimble has the Goldsmith Stern & Co. and Stern Bros. maker’s marks, and marked “STERLING” and “10” on upper band. Greek key design on lower band raised rim.

l will continue to research and trying to find out where these came from, and I will never look at the thimble the same way.

Field Finds – Clementson Brothers – Royal Patent Stoneware

We are avid watchers of the show “The Curse of Oak Island”, a reality show which documents the efforts to search for historical artifacts and treasure and find the speculated treasure or historical artifacts believed to be on Oak Island. Recent findings included a button, wood, a cross and some pottery, and everyone gets very excited over these finds.
As potato farmers, we find a lot of clues as to who lived here before us. Things appear when the land is worked up, potatoes are dug up, items founds when potatoes are graded. 
Today this piece of pottery or stoneware was found by my husband, while getting the fields ready for planting. It is about 5mm in thickness, quite heavy, and the maker’s mark is about the size of a quarter.
Nowadays, with the help of the internet, we have such an easy access to information and knowledge and it only took a few minutes to find out where this piece of pottery originated.

Clementson  Brothers Royal Patent Stoneware, Hanley

Hanley was the most populous town in North Staffordshire, England, and generally described as the capital of the Potteries.
According to the 1893 trade directory, the Clementson Brothers made white, granite and printed goods such as dinner, tea and toilet ware, as well as plain and printed semi-porcelain.
According to the North Staffordshire Pottery Marks  this mark (Circular band with Phoenix above) was used circa 1870 and later.
see also  Book of Pottery Marks : William Percival Jervis

Clementson Brothers Phoenix and Bell Works, Hanley - this newspaper advertisement is at www.thepotteries.org. It is from an ad in The Pottery Gazette, February 2, 1880. The trademark noted in the ad is the same one on the shard found in our potato field.

This shard of pottery tells us where and roughly when it was originally created.
However, it does not tell us what piece of pottery it was, whether a chamber pot, a platter, a pitcher, part of dinner set or another piece.  
It also does not tell us how it came to be in the potato field – how did it make its way to Prince Edward Island.
One can only imagine :).

I found this very interesting read from the
MacLeod County Museum, Minnesota

Clementson Bros. was a manufacturer of earthenwares at Phoenix and Bell Works, Shelton, Hanley, c.1865-1916. Joseph Clementson was born in 1794. In 1856 he bought the former Ridgway Bell Works in Hanley, Staffordshire, England and operated it in conjunction with his nearby Phoenix Works. He catered to the American markets and his answer to the Tea Leaf craze was his original “Coffeeberry” design – perhaps his tribute to those who preferred coffee as a beverage rather than the highly touted tea from China. The designs varied: some had as few as eleven little berries and very sharply serrated leaves while others had as many as eighteen hanging berries and rounded leaf edges. In 1867 he turned the business over to his four sons who carried on as Clementson Brothers from 1872 to 1916.

Nineteenth century pioneers favored heavy practical dishware that would stand long moves by river boats, heavy wagons or trains. Dishes had to withstand countless washings using homemade lye soap. Most American housewives followed fashions set by their English sisters – from pewter to yellowware, to cream colored Queensware, to multicolored Staffordshire, and finally plain white ironstone. Tea Leaf caught the ladies’ fancy because it was simple white, yet had elegant shapes, copper lustre added color, it was durable, and it was cheap. It is said Mary Todd Lincoln used Tea Leaf in the White House, but it was not the fancy china of lace-covered tables; instead it was used in the modest homes of farmers, miners, millers and country people across America. Undecorated white ironstone was first patented by Charles James Mason in England in 1813 and English potter Anthony Shaw created the original Tea Leaf motif in the 1850s. Due to its sturdiness and affordability Tea Leaf decorated ironstone was made into everything from tea cups to chamber pots.

From 1875 to 1900 Tea Leaf was the most popular pattern made. By 1900 at least 25 English potters had produced their own variations of Tea Leaf and perhaps 12 American contempories tried to get a share of the market. English Tea Leaf was sent to the U.S. by the shipload. It was packed in barrels and distributed throughout the country by the cheapest method possible. Tea Leaf was used as ballast in ships landing along the Atlantic Coast. After discharging the dishware they loaded with cotton, wood, tobacco. Thus the Tea Leaf ballast made the trip more profitable than using & dumping rocks as ballast. After 25-30 years Tea Leaf went out of style and was not shown in catalogs after 1910

For now we can say:
A piece of pottery ????
Found in a potato field ?????

in Rustico ?????

 

Family Charts

A pedigree chart only gives you limited information, dates and places of birth, marriage, death, etc.
To give more detail, and even images about a family, I like to fill in a family group chart for each family.
Looking at our pedigree chart we can create a family chart for person 1, 2 and 3, 4 and 5, 6 and 7, 8 and 9, and so on.
Family charts will give information on other children, their spouses, images, etc.
If father or mother had other spouses with children, you need to create another family chart for that family.

Chart #1
Family Group Chart 2
Family Chart 2 for #6 and #7 on chart #1
Oak Tree - 6"x 8"- Family Chart 3
Family Chart 3 of # 14 and # 15 on chart # 1

Before I fill in a family chart, I determine how many children there are in the family, if I have pictures and portraits of the family, etc..Then I find a suitable family chart.
There are many options:

Family Chart 1 - no images - 3 children, or 8 children with the double page layout.
Family Chart 2 - images for father, mother, children and their spouses, 3 children or 6 children with double page layout
Family Chart 3 - wedding picture of husband and wife, information for 3 children or 9 children with double page layout
Family Chart 4 - same as chart 3, but information for 4 children or 12 children with double page layout.
Family Chart 5 - picture or wedding photo of father and mother, room for 2 children or 7 children with room for photos.

Pedigree Charts

6 Generation - Numbered Pedigree Chart
6 Generation Pedigree Chart - 2 page layout - 6" x 8"

One of the basic tools to create a family tree is a pedigree chart. This chart begins with you and branches back in time, displaying the line of your direct ancestors and results in the presentation of family information in the form of an easily readable chart.

An ahnentafel (German for “ancestor table” is a genealogical numbering system for listing a person’s direct ancestors in a fixed sequence of ascent. The subject  of the ahnentafel is listed as No. 1, the subject’s father as No. 2 and the mother as No. 3, the paternal grandparents as No. 4 and No. 5 and the maternal grandparents as No. 6 and No. 7, and so on, back through the generations. Apart from No. 1, who can be male or female, all even-numbered persons are male, and all odd-numbered persons are female

Our Roots - 7 Generation Pedigree Chart
7 Generation Pedigree Chart - 4 page layout - 8.5 x 11

On a pedigree chart you start with yourself (or the person you are creating this chart for) as number one – whether you are male or female. After your name, all the male names will have even numbers and the female names will have odd numbers.

(The paternal side of the family is the father’s blood relatives. Father’s name is always first – therefore all even numbers thereafter are MALE)
(The maternal side of the family is the mother’s blood relatives. All odd numbers from 3 on are FEMALE.)
(To find the father of a person, double that person’s number.- To find the mother of a person, double that person’s number and add 1. The wife is always one number higher than her husband is.

NAMES
1. Capitalize the surnames; this makes them stand out.
2. For females, use the maiden names.
3. Add nicknames in quotation marks.
4. Use initials only when you don’t know the full name; leave room to add the full name when you have acquired it.
5. Include middle names whenever they are known. Occasionally someone will have as many as four or even five names; your earliest ancestors may have had only one name.
DATES
6. Record dates as in the military system. (Example: 16 October 2019.)
PLACES
7. Record the place names in this order separated by commas: city, county, state.

Pedigree Charts are available in the number of generations. From 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 up to 15 generation foldable charts. Each generation the number of ancestors doubles. Each person has their own number, that also makes it easy add and to file documents and photos associated with that person.

How many ancestors do you have?

Chart #1 is the first chart. If you continue with a branch of the tree, use an un-numbered chart, and give the first person the same number as he/she has on chart #1.

Images for my Genealogy Charts

I am a little OCD about adding photos to my pedigree and family group charts. I like them to be the same size, the same coloration, etc.
Many years ago, a found Photoscape, a free online program. Once downloaded it is easy to use, not very complicated and great for the purposes I need it for. You can resize photos to any size you want, add text and label your photos, crop photos, combine photos, and print photos to any size you desire.
Your first step, if you have not already done so, is to scan all your old family photos into your computer (most printers have to ability to scan, store them on a memory stick and transfer images onto your computer into a separate folder, so they will always be easy to find.
Always keep your original photos in a safe place, away from the sun.
Download Photoscape onto your computer. Once you open the program,, choose the “Edit” option. It will show the all the folders in your top left.
Choose the folder that contains your images. The content of the chosen folder will show at the bottom left. Click on desired image image, which will appear on your screen

Crop the area you want to use, click crop, and then “save as” with a new title for the new image. This will preserve the first image.

I then use the same wedding picture and go through the same process to crop out a picture of the bride.
I did this with all the images of my ancestors to create a collection of portraits which I can use on my genealogy charts.
Go to print, if you need images for your chart.
Set up printer with paper size.
Choose amount of columns and rows, as well as the size of the intervals.
Drag your images onto the screen, choose grayscale or sepia or leave original colors. Print. 

Download Photoscape

There may be better ways to do this, but this works for me 🙂

The Children of Frances & Jessie Munroe

Francis & Jessie Munroe

A small little church, seemingly under construction – but with that task abandoned, with empty paint cans, neglected ladders, and no signs of work being done. It is the United Church in Campbellton, Lot 4, Prince Co. PEI.
A little graveyard can be found on the right. Strolling between the stones, I was struck by the ages of those that had died and were buried here. So many children, that did not make it past the age of 10, teenagers and many adults passed away in the prime of their lives.
One stone in particular struck us.
It states:>Children of Francis & Jessie Munro

Elias. G
born Oct. 23, 1863
died May 5, 1881
Francis A.
born Aug. 6, 1867
died June 5, 1881
Mary E.
born July 2, 1873
died Aug. 27, 1877
Eva K___
born Aug. 15, 1876
died Nov. 26, 1876
Minnie E.
born Sept. 23, 1878
died June 25, 1881
They are gone, though not forgotten

As a mother of 7 children I can not even begin to imagine the loss of 5 children, or even to lose 3 children in the span of 6 weeks. The sadness, the heart break……..
There were no other stones that bore the Munroe name. Where was the rest of the family?
My goal was to create a complete list of the family of Frances and Jessie Monroe.
My first step was to find this family in the 1881 Canada Census:
I found Frances and Jessie living in Lot 4 in Campbellton, Lot 4, PEI,  with 7 children.
Francis Munroe    46  (Mechanic)
Jessie Munroe       44
Belle Munroe         23
John W. Munroe    22 (Block Maker)
George E Munroe   19 (Tin Smith)
Elias R Munroe      17
Jessie L. Munroe    16
Francis A Munroe  13
Minnie E Munroe    3
The date of the census is not mentioned – but it must have been taken before May 5, since 3 of their children die within 6 weeks, Elias at the age of 17, Francis at the age of 13, and Minnie at age 3.
It also mentioned that all of them, including the parents were born in Nova Scotia, except for Minnie, who was born on PEI. All belonged to the Church of England.

I combined  the information from the Illustrated Historical Atlas of the the Province of Prince Edward Island (by J. H. Meacham & Co. – 1880), the 1881 Canada Census and the grave stone, I have the following facts:
Frances and Jessie Munroe settled on PEI in the year 1870, they came from Nova Scotia. He owned and farmed 60 acres of land in Campbellton, PEI – on the Dock Road.
He was the proprietor of a fishing stage.
They had 9 known children, of whom 5 died on PEI, and were buried in the Campbellton, United Church Cemetery.
Francis Munroe        born 1835  NS  – Mechanic
Jessie Munroe           born 1837  NS
Belle Munroe             born 1858 NS
John W. Munroe        born 1859  NS
George E Munroe       born 1862  NS
Elias R Munroe         born Oct. 23, 1863  NS        –  May 5, 1881  PEI   (age 18)
Jessie L. Munroe        born 1865 NS –
Francis A Munroe      born Aug. 6, 1867   NS       –   Jun. 5, 1881  PEI  (age 14)
Mary E. Munroe         born July 2, 1873   PEI      –   Aug. 27, 1877 PEI   (age 4)
Eva K. Munroe           born  Aug. 15, 1876  PEI     –   Nov. 26, 1876 PEI  (age 3 months)
Minnie E Munroe       born Sept. 23, 1878   PEI         – Jun. 25,  1881  PEI  (age 3)

Next I searched the 1891 Canada Census for Frances and Jesse. I found them living in Hackett’s Bay, Halifax County, NS, where he is listed as a farmer.
Frank Munroe – 56
Jessie Munroe – 54
None of their children are listed here, but with them live:
Edward MacDougall, age 5
Isabelle Grono – age 74 – widowed
As I look at their neighbours, there are a few more Munroes living in the area, as well as more Gronos. Many of the residents making a living with fishing and farming.
I was unable to find them in the 1901 Canada Census.
I changed the search parameters to include the US.
I found Jesse Munro, age 64, widowed –  living in Bristol, Massachusetts.
An interesting fact here, it says the she was the mother of 10 children, of which 3 are living. (I only had 9 on my list, so I added a child)
She lives with her daughter Jesse L., who is married to Edward L’Aubin.

1900 United States Federal Census for Jessie L L'Aubin Massachusetts Bristol Taunton Ward 05 District 0228
Massachusetts, Marriage Records, 1840-1915 for Jessie L. Munroe
Massachusetts, Death Records, 1841-1915 1912 Taunton
I  found the marriage certificate of daughter Jessie L., who married Edward C L’Aubin Nov. 19, 1886 in Taunton, Mass., US, where they settled. They have 2 sons, Frank  – born 1 Oct 1891 in Norton Mass., and Arthur 13 Feb 1894 Frank dies on Sept. 27, 1892 at the age of 9. The death certificate states the cause of death as Exhaustion, for 2 days. Arthur died in 1915 at the age of 21. Jesse dies on April 22, 1912 of cerebro spinal sclerosis, and buried at theMayfloer Hill  Cemetery in Taunton, Bristol County, Massachusetts, along with her husband who passed away in 1920.

I also stumbled upon the a marriage certificate of George Munroe, a plumber, who marries Emma Willis on June 20, 1883 in Taunton, Mass., US. This document states states that George was born in Halifax, and the names of his parents are Frances and Jessie.

Massachusetts, Marriage Records, 1840-1915 for George Munroe

Further research revealed, that George and Emma had 2 sons (Arthur (1884) and Norman L (1902) , and 2 daughters, Artymecia (1888) and Jessie (1898), who died at the age of 3 of Diphtheria. George himself died Dec. 30, 1912 in Taunton at the age of 50 years of Cirrhosis of the Liver. (on the death certificate his mother’s maiden name is named as Jessie Grono)

Massachusetts, Death Records, 1841-1915 for George E Munro

Next I looked for daughter Belle. I found an Isabell Munro (Belle must have been short for Isabell. Also, in the 1891 Can. Census, Isobel Grono was living with them – this must have been Jessie’s mother)
On Nov. 6,  1883 Isabell marries John Edward McDougall in Norton, Mass. (he is a carpenter, the son of John and Grace MacDougall – born on PEI – age 23 – living in Minneapolis, Minn.)
On Sept. 4, 1884  a son, Edward James McDougall is born (baptized in 24 Sep 1884 in Minneapolis, Minnesota ,  St. Andrew Presbyterian Church – Baptisms, Births, Deaths)
This must be the same  Edward McDougall, that lives with Francis and Jesse in 1891, since his mother Belle, died Dec. 26, 1884, 3 months after the birth of her son of meningitis. Husband John remarries and dies Apr. 13, 1932 in South Dakota.
Son Edward dies 17 Sep 1929 in Britton, South Dakota at age 45.

Massachusetts, Marriage Records, 1840-1915 for Isabell R Munro 1883
Minnesota, County Deaths, 1850-2001 Hennepin Death register, 1870-1886, 1888-1889

Looking for son John W. Munroe was a bit more difficult and time consuming.
born Sept. 22, 1858 in Hacketts Cove, NS.
Immigrated from Summerside, PEI – Oct. 15, 1880
and arrived in Emerson, Minnesota Oct. 20, 1880 by CPR. He made his way to Seattle, Washington and on Aug. 20, 1890 he married Mathilda Louisa Nordstrom from Sweden .  They have 7 children: Arthur (1891); Allen (1892); Jessie (1895); Herbert (1898); John (1900); Paul (1904); Alice (1906)
(info from  US Naturalization Records for John William Monroe – 1920)
His profession: Ship’s Carpenter
He died March 24, 1927 – the last of the 10 siblings at the age of 69. He was interred at the Evergreen Washelli Memorial Park, Seattle.

U.S., Naturalization Records, 1840-1957 for John William Monroe Washington District Court Petition and record, 1920

Francis Munroe   born 1835  NS  – died between 1891-1900  Mechanic
Jessie Grono Bell  born May 30, 1839  NS  – Oct. 7, 1913 Taunton, Mass. ( 73)  – Paralysis & old age

Isabell Munroe                born 1858 NS                  – dies Dec. 26,  1884 (age 26) – Minneapolis, Minn. – Meningitis
John William Munroe      born Sept. 22, 1858  NS  – 24 Mar 1927, Seattle, Wash., US (age
George E Munroe             born Nov. 1862  NS          – Dec. 30, 1912 Taunton, Mass., US (age 50)  – Liver Cirrhrosis
Elias R Munroe                born Oct. 23, 1863  NS     –  May 5, 1881  PEI   (age 18)
Jessie L. Munroe              born Feb. 27, 1865 NS      –   April 22, 1912 Taunton, Mass. US (47) – cerebro spinal sclerosis
Francis Arthur Munroe   born Aug. 6, 1867   NS     –   Jun. 5, 1881  PEI  (age 14)
Mary Elizabeth Munroe   born July 2, 1873   PEI    –   Aug. 27, 1877 PEI   (age 4)
Eva K. Munroe                  born  Aug. 15, 1876  PEI    –   Nov. 26, 1876 PEI  (age 3 months)
Minnie E Munroe              born Sept. 23, 1878   PEI    –  Jun. 25,  1881  PEI  (age 3 )
N.N. Munro

This is the complete list of the children of Francis and Jessie Munroe. I am missing one child (because 1900 US Census states that Jessie was the mother of 10 children), which must have been born somewhere in between, it never showed up in a census.
By the time Jessie died, only one child was still living, which was so John in Seattle.
Jessie was not alone though, she remarried on June 16, 1902 to widower William Bell in Taunton Mass. (On the marriage certificate we find her parents names: William Greenough and Isobel Deaphney and Halifax is named for the town she was born in)
I find Jessie and William Bell again in the 1910 Census, but seems to be the last trace of them.
She dies in 1913 – at age 73 from Paralysis and old age. She is buried at Mayflower Hill Cemetery inTaunton, Bristol County,Massachusetts.

Massachusetts, Death Records, 1841-1915 - 1913 Taunton - page 585

These are the dates, the facts, the sources and just a little information for the lives and deaths of this family. So many unanswered questions.
Questions I was unable to find answers to:
What was the cause of death for the 5 children that died on PEI?
(the PEI genealogy group suggested:  “It was usually something communicable, like measles, diphtheria, or whooping cough when children in the same family died around the same time.” and:”In the late 1870’s and early 1880’s Tuberculosis (known then as consumption) was epidemic. Often many from the same family died.”
When and where did Francis Munro die?
I was unable to find his date of death. He must have died sometime between the 1891 Canada Census and the 1900 US Census.
When did they get married, and where did they live during the first years of their marriage?
I did find somewhere the date of marriage as  29 Dec. 1856 in St. Margaret’s Bay, NS – but it was not accompanied with a source of information, so not sure it it is correct.

If Houses could speak – MacWilliams

Recently, on one of our Sunday drives we spotted this abandoned property on the side of the road, a house, a well-built barn, a shed and a garage. It would not be fit to live in, but yet it is well preserved still standing straight (mostly) and tall.  Telling a story of people farming, making a living, living off the land.
It sparked my curiosity. Who built this once stately house? What is their story? Where did they come from, and where have they gone?
We were in Lot 8 – PEI – on route 14 – Hamilton Road close to the intersection with route 164 – Hebron Road.
Google Maps gave us these images:
With that information we consulted our old PEI Maps:
Atlas of Province of Prince Edward Island, Canada (published by the Cummins Map Co. – 1928)
Illustrated Historical Atlas of the the Province of Prince Edward Island (by J. H. Meacham & Co. – 1880)
In the 1880 Meacham Atlas we find this land belonging to William MacWilliams, a farmer, who is also listed as the owner of a saw & shingle mill. It also gives additional information: he was born on PEI, settled in 1825 (birth date??). We also find J. J. MacWilliams as a millwright and farmer who settled in 1858 (birth year??)
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The Story starts with David MacWilliams, born about 1761 in Caithness, Scotland, the son of David MacWilliams. It appears that he came here with his parents and sisters in 1772 with other Scottish settlers. For a while the MacWilliams family lived in Covehead  and settled on the Tryon Point Road on the Creek Farm. On Feb. 12, 1784 he married Theresa (Tracy) Mutard(Muttart) in Tryon Point, at that time known as Coffin’s village, by Rev. Desbrisay. She was born in March 1766 in Bellechasse, QC, the daughter of Balthazar Moutarde/Muttart and Marguerite Holleri.
Tracy was Roman Catholic, David was a Presbyterian, and before they were married, they had agreed that Tracy would take the girls and David would take the boys to their respective churches. Tracy was understandably annoyed when she bore 5 sons in succession (James, Joseph, David, George, John) Eventually a daughter, Margaret was born. It is then that Theresa left David  refusing to bear any more sons. She took their daughter, and moved to Big Clear with her sister Sophia McInnis, where she raised Margaret in the Catholic religion. There are no records of divorce.
She died abt. 1838 in Dunblane (at son James’ farm), Lot 8, Prince and is buried at the Immaculate Conception Church Cemetery in Brae.
David, a farmer by trade, moved from the Creek Farm to the Crossroads and took a section of land between Tryon and North Tryon in order to provide farms for his sons. It was here the sons lived until they moved to Western PEI.
David died abt. 22 Oct 1818 in Tryon (2 mi W of Crapaud), Lot 28, Prince Co., PEI, Canada (Tryon People’s Cemetery).
Son James MacWilliams who was born around 1785 in Tryon (2 mi W of Crapaud), Lot 28, and died 01 Dec 1864 in Millburn, Lot 9, Prince County and was buried at the West Cape Presbyterian Church Cemetery. James was a miller, he operated a saw and grist mill at Milburn, Lot 8, several miles inland at the Big Pierre Jacques River which runs in from Egmont Bay between Glenwood and Hebron. He married Margaret Leard bef. 1806 in Tryon, Lot 28, daughter of Samuel Leard and Margaret Rogers. She was born 1787 in Tryon and died there on 24 Aug 1842 and is buried at the Tryon People’s Cemetery. James and Margaret lived on the Crossroad and then moved to Millburn, Lot 8, where James built a mill.
They had 11 children Joseph MacWilliams (1806-1894), Margaret MacWilliams (1812-1885), James MacWilliams,
John MacWilliams (1819-1884), Samuel MacWilliams (1820-1911), Agnes MacWilliams (1822-1823), Ann MacWilliams (1823-1903), William Bramford MacWilliams (1824-1919), George Miller MacWilliams (1825-1905), Stephen MacWilliams (1831-1899), Elizabeth MacWilliams (1839-1920)
William Bramford MacWilliams was born 1824 in Tryon. The 1880 Atlas lists him on Hamilton Road, Lot 8, as an owner of Saw & Shingle Mill and farmer. On 27 Aug 1847 he married Mary Grace Boulter, daughter of Henry Oliver Boulter and Maria Gard. She was born 04 May 1829 in Bedeque, Lot 26 and died 27 Mar 1905. She is buried at the Millburn West United Church Cemetery
After the death of her father, Mary Grace received 200 acres of land in her father’s will.
Their children were Theodore MacWilliams, Adolphus MacWilliams, Lorena MacWilliams (1852), John James MacWilliams born 11 Feb. 1857,
Seymour A. MacWilliams b. 1859, William Allison MacWilliams b. 1868, Maria Jane (abt. 1865 – May 30 1919)
After the death of William’s daughter Maria Jane, the newspaper The Pioneer, June 7, 1919 described it the following:
Mrs. Alonzo Boulter (nee Maria MacWilliams)
“There passed away at her residence at Milburn on Friday, May 30th, Mrs. Maria Boulter, the widow of the late Alonzo Boulter, who passed away last year. And a year previous her daughter passed away. The deceased was the daughter of Mr. Wm. McWilliams Sr., who is 95 years of age and who attended the funeral service of his daughter. The old gentleman, feeling the parting very much, made a sad sight as he stood by the casket.
The deceased, aged 53 years and 10 months, leaves a son Levi and a daughter May to miss her tender care. In addition, the following brothers are left: John J., Seymour, Theodore, Adolphus and William A.; also one sister, Mrs. A. Betts of Glenwood.
Mrs. Boulter, who was a member of the Methodist Church, was a much respected lady, hence on Sunday morning a large number of people came from all around to attend the funeral service which was led by the Rev. R. Brodie. After a brief service in the home of the deceased the casket was taken to the Methodist Church at Milburn, which was overcrowded, where the following hymns were sung: “Asleep in Jesus,” “O God Our Help” and “Rock of Ages,” while Misses May and Hazel sweetly sang “Shall We Gather At The River”. After a most solemn service the remains were laid in the little cemetery adjoining the church. The pallbearers were Messrs. George Wedlock, G. Thomas, James Silliker, W. H. Boulter, Alvin Boulter and Wm. Dyment.”
William himself passed away 4 months later, on Sept. 5, 1919 in Milburn, Lot 9, Prince County and was buried at the Millburn West United Church Cemetery
  ~ Agriculturalist    20 Sept. 1919 ~ 
“The death occurred on Friday Sept. 5th, at his home at Milburn, of Wm. McWilliams, one of the most respected residents of the district. Deceased, who in recent years had been an intense sufferer, had reached the great age of 96, and in his passing the pioneers of this productive Island lose one of their staunchest comrades. Interment took place on Sunday. The funeral service held in Milburn Methodist Church was conducted by Rev. G. Ernest Whitham and the large gathering present was a fitting tribute to the high esteem in which the deceased was held. The remains were laid to rest in the family lot.”
“The death occurred at his home at Milburn of Mr. William McWilliams, one of the oldest and most respected residents of this county. Deceased, who during the latter months suffered intensely, passed away quietly on Friday, Sept. 5th. The funeral, which was one of the largest ever held in the district, took place on Sunday. The service, which was held in the Methodist Church, was conducted by the Rev. J. E. Whitham. Interment took place in the family plot.
Deceased leaves to mourn one sister, Mrs. N. Boulter, four sons, Seymour, William, Theodore and Adolphus, and one daughter, Mrs. Amasa Betts of Glenwood.”


( I do not know, why son John J. was not mentioned in the obituary. He is clearly listed in his sister’s death notice 4 month earlier. Maybe just an oversight)

John James (J.J.) MacWilliams was born on 11 Feb 1857 in Bedeque, Lot 26. He died on 3 Nov 1946 and was interred in the Millburn West United Church Cemetery
He married Minnie MacDonald on 11 Aug 1879 in Summerside, Lot 17, PEI. Minnie MacDonald was born in 1859. Died in 1882. Buried in Milburn West United Church Cemetery.
They had the following children:
William N “Bill” MacWilliams (b. 07 Sep 1879 – 1930)
Johnson MacWilliams (09 Dec 1882 – 1939)
Minnie died soon after the birth of Johnson, at the age of 23 – I assume in childbirth, or complication thereof.
John James remarried about 2 years later to Caroline Clements in 1884, daughter of Felicien Clements and Jane Currie.
She was born 25 Mar 1868 in Indian Point, (Hebron, Lot 9) and died 02 Oct 1939. She is also buried Millburn West United Church Cemetery.
Children of J.J. MacWilliams and Caroline Clements are:
Allison Milburn MacWilliams (25 May 1886, Millburn, Lot 9 –  14 Nov 1976) (Dunblane West Point Presbyterian Church Cemetery
John James MacWilliams (28 Sep 1887 – 1889,  Millburn West, Lot 9 )  (Millburn West United Church Cemetery)
Infant MacWilliams (05 Oct 1888, Millburn West, Lot 9)        (Millburn West United Church Cemetery)
Clarence Davis MacWilliams (01 Nov 1890, Millburn, Lot 9 – 19 Jun 1967) (Millburn West United Church Cemetery)
Sarah May (Sadie) MacWilliams (05 Oct 1894, Millburn, Lot 9 – aft. Oct 1994)
These are the facts, I know where they came from, but I do not know where they went.
I assume, that the house was built either by William Bramford MacWilliams, or by his son John James. His sons, Allison, John and Clarence seem to stay in the area, but unsure which one, if any, took over the family farm.
Who was the last family to reside in this home? Who owns it now?
What I am sure of,  that this place has served its purpose for many years – a home for those that were born in it, grew up in it, lived in it and even died in it. A farm that provided for the needs of many families, a farm that required many long days of hard labour.
It will further dilapidate, deteriorate, and fall into ruin until there will be nothing left.
But for now these temporary structures are a testament to the hard work, accomplishments and endeavors of the MacWilliams families and we know that they were there.
 
My great PEI resources:
Island Lives – Remember Yesterday – A history of North Tryon, PEI 1769-1992
Island Lives – A History of Tryon – Muttart Family
TWO LISTS OF INTENDING PASSENGERS TO THE NEW WORLD, 1770 AND 1771
PEIancestry.com
Island Register
The Descendants of David M’Williams and Theresa Muttart
The Descendants of Duncan McWilliams and Christian Downie
The Descendants of Henry Oliver Boulter and Maria Gard
PEI Archives – PARO
Family Search
Ancestry.ca
1881 Canada Census – Ancestry

The Sad Story a Stone Can Tell – Ella Nelson

As I was doing some research, I came upon this grave marker at the Riverside Cemetery, Wallace RiverCumberland CountyNova Scotia, Canada.
The story of Ella Morton Nelson(Purdy), read from a stone – a marker to remind us that there was life.
This stone, like all other stones in every cemetery, tells a story.
A baby, unnamed, was born and died in 1895.
Son Carlson G. dies in 1904, at the age of 11 – cause unknown.

Son Richard died on November 29, 1912 at the age of 27 from acute nephritis. He was sick for 10 weeks, developed an edema of the lungs and died.
Son Walter R. died February 29,1918 at the age of 17. It states that he was Highland Hospital in Amherst N.S and died there, from Paralysis.
Husband and father Arthur Nelson, a farmer, died November 14, 1918 in Hartford, Cumberland County, NS. He suffered from acute rheumatism with toxaemia, and after 6 days in the hospital he passed away at the age of 56.
Daughter Mona A. died November 12,1921 at the age of 34. She was single, lived at home and died of bowel obstruction.
Surviving son Noel B. continued to farm, staid unmarried and died at the age of 52, on March 16th, 1951, being struck down by Influenza A, after 3 days developed Broncho-Pneumonia and 2 days later passed away.
Wife and mother Ella Morton Nelson survived them all, living to a ripe old age of 96. She died January 6th,1956 from cerebral haemorrhage and arteriosclerosis.
These are just the facts I gathered. My mind can not even imagine the untold stories surrounding this family, the pain, the loss, ….
At the same time, this stone does not tell about the good times these men and women may have had.
There was a glimmer of hope, as I searched this family in the Canadian Census(1891,1901, 1911 and 1921),I realized there were 3 more children (Sadie-1890, Ernest-1896 and Eva, born in 1904).
I did find them, in close proximity in the same cemetery.It was good to know,that when Ella Nelson died at the age of 96, she was not alone – that she still was surrounded by some of her living children. A comforting thought.

All this information was found online, from the comfort of my couch. 🙂
Canadian Census  1891,1901, 1911 and 1921
Nova Scotia Historical Vital Statistics

Find A Grave

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