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.

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