Nina Alberta Bishop (52 Ancestors #12)

5 August 2015, Chriss Coleman

Born on 13 Jun 1874,1 Nina Alberta Bishop was part of a large business- and civic-minded family. Her father, John Bishop, was not only a business man but managed many civic duties for decades2 whilst his wife, Maria Davey, raised Nina and her eight siblings. The family was a member of St Mark’s Anglican Church, Niagara-on-the-Lake.

St Mark's Anglican Church, NOTL
St Mark’s Anglican church, photographed by William Quinn (c1833-1900), Niagara.3

Nina, like most Canadian children, was formally educated throughout her childhood. At the age of 19, she married Arthur Herbert Walsh,4 a young man from another Niagara business- family who lived just down the street.5 It was likely that the families knew each other well, and even did business with each other. In addition, Nina’s cousin Charlie Bishop played hockey with Herb’s brother Frank Walsh on the local Niagara team.6

Nina Alberta Bishop and Arthur Herbert Walsh
Nina Albert Bishop, age 16, and Arthur Herbert Walsh, age 22. This photo was taken 3 years before their marriage. 7

Nina and Herb had six children:

  • 1. Herbert Lawrence Walsh (18958-19699)
  • 2. John Francis “Jerry” Walsh (190010-196811)
  • 3. Mary Agnes Walsh (190312-198213)
  • 4. Ida Alberta Walsh (190714-197715)
  • 5. Catharine Bishop Walsh (191016-199817)
  • 6. Hugh James Walsh (191418-after 198219)

Nina and Herbert Walsh with their children Jerry and Herbert. Back of photo of Nina, Herb, and their two eldest children
Nina Alberta Bishop and Arthur Herbert Walsh with their children Jerry Francis Walsh (baby) and Herbert Laurence Walsh. According to the inscription on the reversse, it was taken August 1900 by Nina’s brother Peter Paynter Bishop.20

In June of 1931, Nina fell ill for several weeks. Her illness was not considered serious until things took a turn for the worse and she came down with pneumonia on July 19th. She was under medical supervision, but Nina succumbed to her illness, passing away on the 23rd July 1931 at the Niagara Cottage Hospital.21

Two death announcements appears in the local Niagara Evening Review paper, as well as two announcements in the Canadian Section of the Niagara Falls Gazette in nearby Niagara, New York.

Nina Alberta Bishop Walsh obituary
Nina Albert (Bishop) Walsh obituary, the first of two that appeared in the Niagara Falls Gazette. 22

Old Resident of Niagara Is Dead, Friends, Relatives Mourn Death of Mrs Nina Walsh – Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., July 24 – Deep regret is felt in Niagara in the pasing of Mrs Nina Alberta Walsh, wife of A.H. Walsh of Niagara-on-the-Lake, who died at the Niagara Cottage Hospital yesterday.

Mrs Walsh had been ill for the past five weeks but was not considered seriously ill until Sunday when serious complications developed, resulting in her death. She was in her 57th year and was the daughter of the late John Bishop and Maria Davey. She was born in Niagara-on-the-Lake, of which place she was a life long resident, where she was much respected and greatly beloved by all who knew her.

She is survived by her husband and three sons and three daughters, Herbert of Niagara Falls, Ont., John and James of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Mrs Russell Carr of Niagara Falls, Ont., Agnes and Katharine, at home. Three sisters and three brothers also survive: Mrs M.J. Green, Mrs R.J. Cupson, of Niagara-on-the-Lake; Mrs John Pickwell of Niagara Falls, Ont., James Bishop, Thomas Bishop and Peter Bishop, all of Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Funeral services will be held from the home in Regent street on Monday afternoon at 2:30 o’clock and from St Mark’s church at 3 o’clock. Interment will be in St. Mark’s cemetery.

Nina was buried in St Mark’s Anglican Cemetery – the same cemetery that her parents and siblings attended.

Nina Alberta Bishop Walsh gravestone
Nina Albert (Bishop) Walsh gravestone, St Mark’s Anglican Cemetery, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario.23

Nina Alberta Bishop is my husband’s 2nd great-grandmother. Our ancestral line:

  • 5. Nina Alberta Bishop (1874-1931)
  • 4. Herbert Lawrence Walsh (1895-1969)
  • 3. James Francis Walsh (1931-2001)
  • 2. My husband’s mother (living)
  • 1. My husband (living)

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks is a blogging prompt started by Amy Johnson Crow at No Story Too Small. My stories will include both sides of our family, including collateral lines.


  1. “Ontario, Canada, Deaths, 1869-1938”, index and digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 13 Mar 2014), Niagara, Lincoln, record of Nina Alberta Walsh, 23 Jul 1931, register 022315; citing Archives of Ontario, Toronto, “Ontario, Canada, Deaths, 1869-1938”, MS935, reel 420. 

  2. Joseph Edward Masters, “Niagara Reminiscences: A Personal Recollection of Niagara-on-the-Lake”, personal narrative, transcribed by Maggie Panrall, ARS Historica (http://web.archive.org/web/20130511002901/http://historyniagara.niagara.com/Marshall/MHTMLFolder/Famframe.htm : accessed 8 Mar 2014). 

  3. St Mark Anglican Church photograph, c1890s; digital image, Niagara-on-the-Lake Heritage Portal (http://vitacollections.ca/notlheritage/2514075/data : accessed 31 Jul 2015); citing Niagara-on-the-Lake Public Library, Niagara, Ontario, reference number SMC00007. Cardstock photograph, inscribed “St Mark’s Church, Niagara-on-the-Lake. Stamped: Wm Quinn, Photograph, Niagara, Ont.” 

  4. “Ontario, Roman Catholic Church Records, 1760-1923”, images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org: accessed 23 Apr 2014), Lincoln > Niagara > St Vincent de Paul > Marriages, 1858-1903, image 9; Catholic Church parishes, Ontario; marriage entry for Herbert Arthur Walsh and Nina Bishop, 13 Nov 1893. 

  5. “1901 Census of Canada”, database and digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 12 Mar 2014), entry for household of Arthur H Walsh, Niagara, Lincoln; citing RG31-C-1, Ontario, district 85-Lincoln, subdistrict H2-Niagara Town, page 3, dwelling 39, family 40. 

  6. Niagara Hockey Team photograph, “Hockey Team”, c1890s; Niagara Historical Society Museum, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada, reference 989.5.407.1. Photograph mounted on cardstock frame, with all individuals identified. 

  7. Nina Alberta Bishop and Arthur Herbert Walsh photograph, November 1890; digital image 9 Sep 2014, privately held by Chriss Coleman [address for private use], York, Ontario, Canada. Original photo is a tin-type photograph, photographer unknown. Original privately held by Joan, [address for private use], Simcoe county, Ontario, 2014. [The photo appears in a photo album designed for cabinet cards, on the sleeve of which is written “I’m his ’n she is mine. November 1890.” in pencil, in the handwriting of Mary Alice Walsh. The album belong to Herbert’s sister Mary Alice Walsh, and was passed on to her nephew Herbert Laurence Walsh, then inherited by his son James. Subjects are not identified in album, but rather were identified by Chriss Coleman based on other identified photos of the subjects.] 

  8. Canada, “Ontario, Canada, Births, 1869-1913”, digital image, Ancestry (), entry for Herbert Laurence Walsh, 28 Oct 1895, Lincoln, Niagara, registration 017981; citing Ontario Registrations of Births and Stillbirths - 1869-; microfilm MS929, reel 127, Archives of Ontario, Toronto. 

  9. “Arthur Herbert Walsh, Niagara-on-Lake, Dies”, obituary, The Niagara Falls [NY] Gazette, 10 Jan 1947, page 10, column 6; digital image, Fulton History (http://fultonhistory.com : accessed 28 Mar 2014), Newspaper Archives, 1795-2007. 

  10. Canada, “Ontario, Canada, Births, 1869-1913”, index and digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 12 Mar 2014), entry for John Francis Walsh, 15 Jun 1900, Lincoln, no registration number; citing Ontario Registrations of Births and Stillbirths, 1869-; microfilm MS929, reel 150, Archives of Ontario, Toronto. 

  11. “Canadian Headstones”, indexed database, Canadian Headstones (http://www.canadianheadstones.com/on/view.php?id=127152 : accessed 12 Mar 2014), John F Jerry Walsh (1900-1968) and Kittie A Walsh (1902-1997), created by Niagara OGS, citing St Vincent de Paul RC Cemetery, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Lincoln, Ontario, Canada. 

  12. Canada, “Ontario, Canada, Births, 1869-1913”, index and digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 13 Mar 2014), entry for Mary Agnes Walsh, 7 Feb 1903, Lincoln, line 2, no registration number; citing Ontario Registrations of Births and Stillbirths, 1869-; microfilm MS929, reel 164, Archives of Ontario, Toronto. 

  13. M. Agnes Walsh obituary, undated clipping from unidentified newspaper, in Walsh family bible, ca. 1953-1985; digital scan by Chriss Coleman, [address for private use] York, Ontario, Canada, 10 Sep 2014; original privately held by Joan [address for private use], Simcoe county, Ontario, Canada, 2014. 

  14. Canada, “Ontario, Canada, Births, 1869-1913”, index and digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 13 Mar 2014), entry for Ida Alberta Walsh, 1 Mar 1906, Niagara, Lincoln, registration 029370; citing Ontario Registrations of Births and Stillbirths, 1869-; microfilm MS929, reel 180, Archives of Ontario, Toronto. 

  15. “Canadian Headstones”, indexed database, Canadian Headstones (http://www.canadianheadstones.com/on/view.php?id=127255 : accesed 13 Mar 2014), Russell Carr (1905-1964) and Ida Walsh (1906-1977), created by Niagara OGS, citing St Paul RC Cemetery, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Lincoln, Ontario, Canada. 

  16. Canada, “Ontario, Canada, Births, 1869-1913”, index and digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 13 Mar 2014), entry for Catherine Bishop Walsh, 22 May 1910, Niagara Town, Lincoln, registration 028825; citing Ontario Registrations of Births and Stillbirths, 1869-; microfilm MS929, reel 210, Archives of Ontario, Toronto. 

  17. “Canadian Gravemarker Gallery”, photographic database, Canadian Gravemarker Gallery (http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cangmg/index.htm : accessed 24 Jul 2014), Catherine B Walsh Stuart (1910-1998), citing Barrie Union Cemetery, Block E, Barrie, Ontario, Simcoe, Canada. 

  18. Cath Coleman, Coleman Family File, GEDcom, c.1990s, Simcoe county, Ontario Canada, 2014. This GEDcom offers only a generic list names and dates, with no specific documentation for any piece of data. 

  19. M. Agnes Walsh obituary, Walsh family bible, ca. 1953-1985. 

  20. Arthur Herbert Walsh and family photograph, Aug 1900; digital image created 9 Sep 2015, Chriss Coleman, [address for private use], Århus, Denmark; original privately held by Joan [address for private use], Simcoe county, Ontario, Canada. [Original photo inlaid in card stock embossed frame. The reversed is inscribed “ This Photo was taken by Peter P. Bishop. Aug 1900. Mr & Mrs A.H.Walsh, Herbert L Walsh and John F. Walsh.” by unknown author. The photo was passed from Arthur Herbert Walsh to his son Herbert, and then to Herbert’s descendants.] 

  21. “Ontario, Canada, Deaths, 1869-1938”, record of Nina Alberta Walsh, 23 Jul 1931. 

  22. “Old Resident of Niagara is Dead, Friends, Relatives Mourn Death of Mrs Nina Walsh”, obituary, The Niagara Falls [NY] Gazette, 24 Jul 1931, page 14, column 7; digital image, FultonHistory (http://fultonhistory.com : accessed 24 Mar 2014), Newspaper Archives, 1795-2007. 

  23. Nina A Walsh gravestone photograph, unknown date, unknown photographer; digital image September 2014, privately held by Chriss Coleman [address for private use], York, Ontario, Canada. Original held by Joan [Surname withheld for privacy], [Address for private use], Simcoe county, Ontario. 

Arthur Herbert Walsh (52 Ancestors #11)

30 July 2015, Chriss Coleman

Arthur Herbert Walsh, commonly referred to as Herb, lived his entire life in the city of Niagara-on-the-Lake, just as his father before him. He was one of 10 children born to James Walsh and Catharine Toal1 (sometimes also spelled Tole, Toll, or Tool in various records). Unfortunately, no birth record exists for Herb as he just was born just at the beginning of civil registration. Also, no baptism record exists for him at the parish of St Vincent de Paul, where his parents were baptized, married, and had all their other children baptized in a timely manner. Nonetheless, he was born.2

Some caption text
Arthur Herbert Walsh, c. 1890s, a tin-type photograph from his sister Mary’s album.3

Herb spent the early part of his adult life occupied as a telegraph operator in Niagara, and was recorded as such on the 1891 Canadian census.4 At this time, he lived just a couple of doors down the street from his future wife, Nina Bishop.

Arthur Herbert Walsh and Nina Alberta Bishop were married on the 13th of November 18935 at St Vincent de Paul’s Roman Catholic Church in Niagara-on-the-Lake. The Rev. Harold noted in the margins of the parish records books that this was a mixed marriage, as the bride was Protestant.6

Herb and Nina had six children:

  • 1. Herbert Lawrence Walsh (18957-19698)
  • 2. John Francis “Jerry” Walsh (19009-196810)
  • 3. Mary Agnes Walsh (190311-198212)
  • 4. Ida Alberta Walsh (190713-197714)
  • 5. Catharine Bishop Walsh (191015-199816)
  • 6. Hugh James Walsh (191417-after 198218)

Herb switched professions and became an accountant shortly before the birth of his daughter Catharine in 191019, a career he continued for the rest of his working years in various capacities, including for Customs Service, as a Town Auditor for serveral years, and as cashier and bookkeeper for the McClelland Store.20

The entire family can be seen together on the 1921 Canadian census, living in their house on Regent St, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario.

Some caption text
Clipping 1921 Census of Canada, showing the family of Arthur Herbert Walsh.21

Arthur H Walsh, head, male, married, 51, born in Ontario, Bookkeeper.
Nina A Walsh, wife, female, married, 46, born in Ontario.
Herbert L Walsh, son, male, single, 25, born in Ontario, Electrician.
John F Walsh, son, male, single, 20, born in Ontario, Serviceman.
Mary A Walsh, daughter, female, single, 18, born in Ontario.
Ida A Walsh, daughter, female, single, 15, born in Ontario, Student.
Catharine B Walsh, daughter, female, single, 11, born in Ontario, Student.
Hugh James Walsh, son, male, single 7, born in Ontario.

Herb was a quiet, gentlemanly, well-demeanored man, and a respected member of the community.22 He was also a trusted member of the family. Several of his relations, including cousins, named Herbert as the executor of their estates.

Herb lost his wife in 1931, but continued living in Niagara-on-the-Lake. He passed away on the 9th January 1947, and an obituary appeared both in the local newspaper as well as the Canadian News section of the Niagara Falls Gazette out of Niagara Falls, New York.

Some caption text
Obituary of Arthur Herbert Walsh, as it appear in the Niagara Falls Gazette.23

Arthur Herbert Walsh, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Dies – Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., Jan 9 – Arthur Herbert Walsh, well known resident of this town, died yesterday at the Niagara Cottage hospital following an illness of ten days. Born here, Mr. Walsh was in his seventy-eighth year and for many years had been following the occupation of accountant. In religion Mr Walsh was a member of St Vincent de Paul’s Catholic church and the Holy Name society. He is survived by three sons, Herbert L., of Niagara Falls, Ont., John F. and H. James Walsh, both of this town; three daughters, Miss Agnes Walsh and Mrs Russell Carr, both at home, and Mrs William Stuart, of Barrie, Ont., one brother Charles Walsh, of Ilion, N.Y., and one sister, Miss Mary Walsh of this town. The funeral services will be held tomorrow morning from the family home in Regent street to St Vincent de Paul’s church where Requiem High Mass will be sung at 10 o’clock. Interment will be in the church cemetery.

Arthur Herbert Walsh is my husband’s 2nd great-grandfather. Our ancestral line:

  • 5. Arthur Herbert Walsh (1869-1947)
  • 4. Herbert Lawrence Walsh (1895-1969)
  • 3. James Francis Walsh (1931-2001)
  • 2. My husband’s mother (living)
  • 1. My husband (living)

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks is a blogging prompt started by Amy Johnson Crow at No Story Too Small. My stories will include both sides of our family, including collateral lines.


  1. “Ontario, Roman Catholic Church Records, 1760-1923”, images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org: accessed 23 Apr 2014), Lincoln > Niagara > St Vincent de Paul > Marriages, 1858-1903, image 9; Catholic Church parishes, Ontario; marriage entry for Herbert Arthur Walsh and Nina Bishop, 13 Nov 1893. 

  2. “1871 Census of Canada”, database and digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 26 Mar 2014), entry for household of James Walsh, Niagara, Lincoln county; citing RG31, roll C-9921, Ontario, district 20-Niagara, subdistrict C-Centre Ward, page 11 and 12, dwelling 36, family 36. 

  3. Arthur Herbert Walsh photograph, c. 1890; digital image 9 Sep 2014, privately held by Chriss Coleman [address for private use], York, Ontario, Canada. Original photo is a tin-type photograph, photographer unknown. Original privately held by Joan, [address for private use], Simcoe county, Ontario, 2014. [The photo appears in a photo album designed for cabinet cards, on the sleeve of which is written “Herb” in ball-point pen, in the handwriting of Rosemary Cecelia (Chappell) Walsh, his daughter-in-law. The album belong to Herbert’s sister Mary Walsh, and was passed on to her nephew Herbert Laurence Walsh, then inherited by his son James.] 

  4. “1891 Census of Canada”, database and digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 26 Mar 2014), entry for household of James Walsh, Niagara, Lincoln county; citing RG31-T-6351, Ontario, district 88, subdistrict 2-Niagara, page 3, family 14. 

  5. Canada, “Ontario, Canada, Marriages, 1801-1928”, index and digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 13 Mar 2014), entry for Herbert Walsh and Nina Bishop, 13 Nov 1893, Niagara, Lincoln county, registration 007211;  citing Ontario Registration of Marriage, 1869-; microfilm MS 932, reel 82, Archives of Ontario, Toronto. 

  6. “Ontario, Roman Catholic Church Records, 1760-1923” FamilySearch , marriage entry image, Herbert Arthur Walsh and Nina Bishop, 13 Nov 1893. 

  7. Canada, “Ontario, Canada, Births, 1869-1913”, digital image, Ancestry (), entry for Herbert Laurence Walsh, 28 Oct 1895, Lincoln, Niagara, registration 017981; citing Ontario Registrations of Births and Stillbirths - 1869-; microfilm MS929, reel 127, Archives of Ontario, Toronto. 

  8. “Arthur Herbert Walsh, Niagara-on-Lake, Dies”, obituary, The Niagara Falls [NY] Gazette, 10 Jan 1947, page 10, column 6; digital image, Fulton History (http://fultonhistory.com : accessed 28 Mar 2014), Newspaper Archives, 1795-2007. 

  9. Canada, “Ontario, Canada, Births, 1869-1913”, index and digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 12 Mar 2014), entry for John Francis Walsh, 15 Jun 1900, Lincoln, no registration number; citing Ontario Registrations of Births and Stillbirths, 1869-; microfilm MS929, reel 150, Archives of Ontario, Toronto. 

  10. “Canadian Headstones”, indexed database, Canadian Headstones (http://www.canadianheadstones.com/on/view.php?id=127152 : accessed 12 Mar 2014), John F Jerry Walsh (1900-1968) and Kittie A Walsh (1902-1997), created by Niagara OGS, citing St Vincent de Paul RC Cemetery, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Lincoln, Ontario, Canada. 

  11. Canada, “Ontario, Canada, Births, 1869-1913”, index and digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 13 Mar 2014), entry for Mary Agnes Walsh, 7 Feb 1903, Lincoln, line 2, no registration number; citing Ontario Registrations of Births and Stillbirths, 1869-; microfilm MS929, reel 164, Archives of Ontario, Toronto. 

  12. M. Agnes Walsh obituary, undated clipping from unidentified newspaper, in Walsh family bible, ca. 1953-1985; digital scan by Chriss Coleman, [address for private use] York, Ontario, Canada, 10 Sep 2014; original privately held by Joan [address for private use], Simcoe county, Ontario, Canada, 2014. 

  13. Canada, “Ontario, Canada, Births, 1869-1913”, index and digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 13 Mar 2014), entry for Ida Alberta Walsh, 1 Mar 1906, Niagara, Lincoln, registration 029370; citing Ontario Registrations of Births and Stillbirths, 1869-; microfilm MS929, reel 180, Archives of Ontario, Toronto. 

  14. “Canadian Headstones”, indexed database, Canadian Headstones (http://www.canadianheadstones.com/on/view.php?id=127255 : accesed 13 Mar 2014), Russell Carr (1905-1964) and Ida Walsh (1906-1977), created by Niagara OGS, citing St Paul RC Cemetery, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Lincoln, Ontario, Canada. 

  15. Canada, “Ontario, Canada, Births, 1869-1913”, index and digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 13 Mar 2014), entry for Catherine Bishop Walsh, 22 May 1910, Niagara Town, Lincoln, registration 028825; citing Ontario Registrations of Births and Stillbirths, 1869-; microfilm MS929, reel 210, Archives of Ontario, Toronto. 

  16. “Canadian Gravemarker Gallery”, photographic database, Canadian Gravemarker Gallery (http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cangmg/index.htm : accessed 24 Jul 2014), Catherine B Walsh Stuart (1910-1998), citing Barrie Union Cemetery, Block E, Barrie, Ontario, Simcoe, Canada. 

  17. Cath Coleman, Coleman Family File, GEDcom, c.1990s, Simcoe county, Ontario Canada, 2014. This GEDcom offers only a generic list names and dates, with no specific documentation for any piece of data. 

  18. M. Agnes Walsh obituary, Walsh family bible, ca. 1953-1985. 

  19. Canada, “Ontario, Canada, Births, 1869-1913”, Catherine Bishop Walsh, 22 May 1910. 

  20. Joseph Edward Masters, “Niagara Reminiscences: A Personal Recollection of Niagara-on-the-Lake”, personal narrative, transcribed by Maggie Panrall, ARS Historica (http://web.archive.org/web/20130511002901/http://historyniagara.niagara.com/Marshall/MHTMLFolder/Famframe.htm : accessed 8 Mar 2014). 

  21. “1921 Census of Canada”, database and digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 12 Mar 2014), entry for household of Arthur H Walsh, Niagara, Lincoln; citing RG31, folder 70, Ontario, district 100-Lincoln, subdistrict 57-Niagara page 12, dwelling 161, family 164. 

  22. Joseph Edward Masters, “Niagara Reminiscences: A Personal Recollection of Niagara-on-the-Lake”, personal narrative. 

  23. “Arthur Herbert Walsh, Niagara-on-Lake, Dies”, The Niagara Falls [NY] Gazette, 10 Jan 1947. 

William Chappell: Sewing In the Navy (52 Ancestors #10)

25 July 2015, Chriss Coleman

William Chappell spent more than 20 years of his life in the Navy, rising to the rank of Chief Petty Officer.1 Those years found him sailing all over the world — his four year voyage on the HMS Wild Swan alone netted him nearly 68,000 miles (or over 109,000km) under steam and/or sail. According to accounts written by his daughter about his naval career, he had many tasks for which he was responsible. These included teaching the cadets to swim, and teaching sails, rigging, and knots (in the early days of his career whilst they were still under sail power),2 among other duties

One of the things I found most fascinating is that during those years, one his tasks involved sewing. Whilst he was away at sea, he kept a sewing machine on board for sewing the sailing canvas and other items in need of fitting or repair. This machine recently came into our possession after a visit to my husband’s grandmother.

William Chappell's Singer sewing machine
William Chappell’s 1893 sewing machine from the Singer Manufacturing Company3

Based on the serial number, the machine was manufactured in 1893, whether William (or the Navy) bought it that year or later is unknown. From family stories, we do know that the machine travelled with William to South Africa during the Boer War.

William Chappell's Singer sewing machine
The front plate, providing access to the bobbin, is engraved with “Patented 1886”.

The machine is a hand-cranked machine, which would have been the only option other than hand sewing whilst out on the open sea — an option that probably save William many hours of work. Most of the gold decorative painting has been worn away over time — the original would have had a swirly frame of gold around the metal base, a decorative painted medalion in the centre under the arm, and similar gold filigree-styled touches on the majority of the machine.

William Chappell's Singer sewing machine William Chappell's Singer sewing machine
Detailed views of the Singer Sewing Machine.

Most of the finish would have long worn away in the 122 years since she was manufactured, and this is not surprising: this wasn’t a machine that sat in a parlour or sewed ladies' dresses occasionally. This was a machine that travelled the world and was exposed to the salty air of the open sea.

William Chappell's Singer sewing machine
1893 Singer sewing machine.

The machine still has its original wood case, and again, it is in about the condition you’d expect for a sewing machine that has travelled to most of the continents. In fact, given those circumstances, I think the machine is actually in amazing condition. Whilst it doesn’t hold much — if any — monetary value, it does have a story.

William’s sewing didn’t stop at repairing sails, however. Whilst on board the aforementioned HMS Wild Swan, he embroidered an apron and entered it into a bazaar that the sailors held whilst stationed at Esquimault, near Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. The apron was black satin with embroidered lilacs, and the embroidery was done so well you could not tell the wrong side from the public side of the work. The apron won William a prize in the bazaar.4

When I think of Navy men, I don’t think about them carrying sewing kits with them, let alone sewing machines. However, sewing kits take up very little room and could be an excellent distraction during their off-duty time during the many days (or months) off at sea. The sewing machine, on the other hand, likely made light work of some of the heavier sewing tasks that needed to be done aboard ship.

William Christopher Chappell is my husband’s 2nd great-grandfather. Our ancestral line:

  • 5. William Christopher Chappell (1869-1941)
  • 4. Rosemary Cecelia Chappell (1900-1985)
  • 3. James Francis Walsh (1931-2001)
  • 2. My husband’s mother (living)
  • 1. My husband (living)

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks is a blogging prompt started by Amy Johnson Crow at No Story Too Small. My stories will include both sides of our family, including collateral lines.


  1. William Chappell, Official Royal Navy service record, service number 137471, discharged 1909; National Archives, London, England, reference ADM/188/189, image reference 453; digital image, National Archives, (http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk : accessed 23 May 2014). 

  2. Rosemary (Chappell) Walsh, “William Christopher Chappell”, undated narrative; privately held by Cath [Surname withheld for privacy], [address for private use], Simcoe county, Ontario; digital image scanned and emailed to author, 2014. [Three page typewritten narrative with ships list, including stories about William’s naval career as told by his daughter Rosemary Cecelia (Chappell) Walsh, and given to Rosemary’s descendants.] 

  3. William Christopher Chappell Singer sewing machine, 1893; privately held by Chriss Coleman, [address for private use], York, Ontario, Canada, 2015. [The machine was inherited by William’s daughter Rosemary, his sole heir, and later to her son James Walsh. The machine was then given to the author by James' wife.] 

  4. Rosemary (Chappell) Walsh, “William Christopher Chappell”. 

Herbert Lawrence Walsh (52 Ancestors #9)

21 July 2015, Chriss Coleman

Herbert spent his childhood growing up in the town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada, however then it was known simply as Niagara town. He was the eldest son of Arthur Herbert Walsh and Nina Alberta Bishop, born on October 28th, 1895.1 Although his mother was Anglican,2 Herbert was raised in the Catholic faith. During his childhood he attended St Vincent de Paul Church3 – the same church his family attended since the church’s founding in 1826.

Herbert Walsh as a young child
Herbert Lawrence Walsh as a young child, sawing wood.4

Herbert studied to be an electrician5, and after returning from service in World War I he took advantage of a government vocational course to further his education in this pursuit.6

Herbert Lawrence Walsh
Herbert Walsh, a young adult.7

Soon after, Herbert began working at Ontario Hydro,8 and continued working for Hydro at Niagara for the remainder of his career. It was at Niagara Falls where he met Rosemary Cecelia Chappell, to whom he later married on September 21st, 1921.9

Herbert had many interests, and he enjoyed camping, boating, and fishing with his family. The family frequently took summer trips to northern Ontario, especially to Blind River where they held a cottage for many years.10 They also took frequent trips to Florida where they started to winter after Herbert’s retirement.11

Herbert Walsh on the Missisauga River
Herbert Lawrence Walsh holiding the prize catch after a fishing trip near Blind River, July 1940.12

Beyond the outdoors, Herbert dedicated time to other pursuits which included being a chairman for the Niagara Falls branch of the National Institute for the Blind, participating in the Canadian Boy Scouts, as well being an active member of his local church. After retirement, Herbert and his wife Rosemary settled in Orillia, Ontario, where he a member of the Royal Canadian Legion #34. Herbert passed away only 5 years into retirement.13

Herbert Lawrence Walsh is my husband’s great-grandfather. Our ancestral line:

  • 4. Herbert Lawrence Walsh (1895-1969)
  • 3. James Francis Walsh (1931-2001)
  • 2. My husband’s mother (living)
  • 1. My husband (living)

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks is a blogging prompt started by Amy Johnson Crow at No Story Too Small. My stories will include both sides of our family, including collateral lines.


  1. Canada, “Ontario, Canada, Births, 1869-1913”, digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 3 Mar 2014), entry for Herbert Lawrence Walsh, 28 Oct 1895, Lincoln, Niagara, registration 017981; citing Ontario Registrations of Births and Stillbirths - 1869-; microfilm MS929, reel 127, Archives of Ontario, Toronto. 

  2. “1911 Census of Canada”, index and digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 19 Oct 2014), entry for household of Arthur Herbert Walsh, Niagara, Lincoln; citing RG31-C-1, Ontario, district 93 Lincoln, subdistrict 49 Niagara, page 4, dwelling 36, family 36. 

  3. “Ontario, Roman Catholic Church Records, 1760-1923”, unindexed images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 2015), Lincoln > Niagara > St Vincent de Paul > Baptism 1858-1910, image 37, entry for Herbert Lawrence Walsh, 24 Nov 1895; Catholic Church parishes, Ontario. 

  4. Herbert Lawrence Walsh photograph, ca. early 1900s; digital image September 2014, privately held by Chriss Coleman [address for private use], York, Ontario. The original was held by Herbert Lawrence Walsh, and passed on to his son Jim Walsh. Original is currently held by Joan [Surname withheld for privacy], [Address for private use], Simcoe county, Ontario, and is inscribed with “Herbert Lawrence Walsh” 

  5. “Canada, Soldiers of the First World War, 1914-1918”, digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 12 Mar 2014), entry for Herbert Lawrence Walsh, number 341962; citing “Soldiers of the First World War (1914-1918)”, RG 150, Accession 1992-93/166, Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa. 

  6. Catherine Creed, “Whose Debtors We Are”, Niagara Historical Society 34, 1923; online archives, Niagara Historical Museum (http://www.niagarahistorical.museum/media/NHS34-WhoseDebtorsWeAre_000.pdf : accessed 11 Mar 2014). page 70. 

  7. Herbert Lawrence Walsh photograph, c. 1920, digital image 6 Sep 2014, privately held by Chriss Coleman [address for private use], York, Ontario, Canada. Original photo is a postcard photographed by Simons Photographic Co, Niagara Falls, NY, USA. The reverse is inscribed “Herbert L Walsh”. The writing is that of Rosemary Cecelia (Chappell) Walsh, his wife. Original privately held by Joan, [address for private use], Simcoe county, Ontario, 2014. 

  8. “1921 Census of Canada”, database and digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 12 Mar 2014), entry for household of Arthur H Walsh, Niagara, Lincoln; citing RG31, folder 70, Ontario, district 100-Lincoln, subdistrict 57-Niagara page 12, dwelling 161, family 164. 

  9. Canada, “Ontario, Canada, Marriages, 1801-1928”, index and digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 12 Mar 2014), entry for Herbert Lawrence Walsh and Rosemary Cecelia Chappell, 7 Sep 1921, Niagara Falls, Welland, registration 023606;  citing Ontario Registration of Marriage, 1869-; microfilm MS 932, reel 592, Archives of Ontario, Toronto. 

  10. Elizabeth Chappell and Rosemary Walsh, “Chappell and Walsh Family Log”, unpublished journal, 1923-1943 [vol.1]. Diary held by Deb [name withheld for privacy; address for private use], Muskoka, Ontario, digital copy transmitted to Chriss Coleman, 11 Mar 2014. 

  11. C. Coleman, Simcoe county, Ontario, Canada [E-Address for private use], to Chriss Coleman, email, 21 Feb 2014, “Quick Query (Rosemary Chappell Walsh)”; privately held by Coleman [(E-Address), & Address for private use], York, Ontario, Canada, 2015. 

  12. Herbert Lawrence Walsh photograph, 1940, in Rosemary (Chappell) Walsh Scrapbook, 1940-1946; digital image 9 Sep 2014, privately held by Chriss Coleman [address for private use], York, Ontario, Canada. Scrapbook privately held by Joan, [address for private use], Simcoe county, Ontario, 2014. 

  13. Herbert Lawrence Walsh obituary, undated clipping from unidentified newspaper; digital scan created and emailed to Chriss Coleman, 31 May 2014; original privately by Mary Lalonde, Cornwall, Ontario, Canada, 2014. 

How A Few Little Lines Can Change Everything

11 April 2015, Chriss Coleman

The writing about genealogy hasn’t made much headway, mostly due to busy days, many hours of painting and the sore muscles that come with it, not to mention the lack of a desk or even a comfy chair. However, the research has not stopped. Some days it is only a record here or there, sometimes I get a bit further. Whilst I’ve been dabbling a lot in my own family tree, my biggest breakthrough of late has happened up my husband’s line, namely his biological grandmother. Her family settled in a region near to where we’ve relocated and I thought it would be worth another look given our proximity to local records holdings, cemeteries, etc., that may have information about this family.

Brick Wall
Brick Wall – Image courtesy of GenealogyInTime Magazie, http://www.genealogyintime.com.

Due to privacy laws I was having a lot of issues finding the information I needed to take this tree further back. I knew his grandmother’s name was Lillian Cameron, and that she was born in the Barrie, Ontario area around 1916. Thanks to a rather vague letter from the Children’s Aid Society (CAS) I also knew that her mother died when she was a young child, but not much more. I also found a mis-indexed record for the 1921 Canadian Census that may possibly be our Lillian, but with a middle name we’d never heard before. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t enough to make me certain I was climbing the correct tree.

Since I wasn’t having much luck with official records, I turned to newspapers to help me bridge the gap between our family and the accessible records. Whilst I couldn’t find the marriage announcement I’d had hoped to find, I did find a single sentence that completely changed everything. The second paragraph of the Anten Mills social news gave me the lead I needed.

Lillian Cameron visits her sister
Clipping from the Northern Advance, local and social news section for Anten Mills, Simcoe, Ontario.1

Miss Lillian Cameron, who has been spending a few weeks with her sister, Mrs. C. Cole, has secured a position in Barrie.

This would like have been about a year before Lillian married her husband Vincent in Barrie. Whilst it didn’t confirm a family connection, or even that it was our Lillian Cameron, it was a lead. With this small nugget of information, I started researching the Mrs C. Cole mentioned in the clipping. I was able to easily flush out her family tree. By combining records I found on Ancestry, cemetery photos posted on the internet, and more newspaper articles, I was able to find obituaries for her parents and grandparents, including one for her mother Lucy Ann (Butler) Cameron, wife of Lachlan Cameron, who died in 1923. Lillian would have been about six at this time, which fit both with the information from the CAS letter, and also matched up with the 1921 Census record I found.

Some caption text
1921 Canada Census for Vespra, Simcoe county, Ontario, household of Lachlan Cameron2

Lachlan Cameron, Head, Male, Married, 48.
Lucy Ann Cameron, Wife, Female, Married, 38.
Margaret Ann Cameron, Daughter, Female, Single, 15.
Janet Mabel Cameron, Daughter, Female, Single, 13.
Alexander Cameron, Son, Male, Single, 12.
Angus Cameron, Son, Male, Single, 8.
Lucy Cameron, Daughter, Female, Single, 7.
David Cameron, Son, Male, Single, 5.
Lillie May Cameron, Daughter, Female, Single, 4.
Allan Lauder Cameron, Son, Male, Single, 2.

The Lucy Cameron that appears on this census would eventually marry and become the Mrs. C. Cole mention in the newspaper. The newspaper articles I had found matched the census records and other vital records on Ancestry. This was all the same family.

But was this our family?

I continued researching and could only find one other Lillian Cameron in Simcoe county and I was quickly able to rule her out using the Canadian Voter Registry and Phone Directories. To put it simply, the other Lillian was still single at a time when I knew that our Lillian was married.

More convinced than ever, I took a leap of faith and I messaged a fellow Ancestry user in hopes that they may have heard something – anything – about our line. More than anything I wanted some confirmation that this was the right family. They were quick to respond, we emailed back and forth, and we were able to confirm through their genealogy notes that their Lillian had married an O'Hara.

Not only had we found our family, we found new cousins who still live in the area. I greatly look forward to opening a dialog and sharing information with them. It is my hope, even with all the hard effort put forward by several people in this line of the family, I will have additional information that will help fill the tree out further for everyone.

But more than anything, I’m finally able to start filling in a very blank section of our family tree, all thanks to a few little lines in a newspaper and a kindred spirit.


  1. “Anten Mills”, visit of Lillian Cameron, Northern Advance, Barrie, Simcoe county, Ontario, Canada, 24 Jan 1939, page 10, column 5; digital image, Barrie Public Library Newspaper Index (http://news.ourontario.ca/Barrie/search : accessed 22 Dec 2014)/ 

  2. “1921 Census of Canada”, database and digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 21 Dec 2014), entry for household of Lachlan Cameron, Vespra, Simcoe North; citing RG31, folder 86, Ontario, district 127 Simcoe North, subdistrict 25 Vespra, page 4, dwelling 44, family 44. 

Blog update

26 March 2015, Chriss Coleman

I wanted to post a quick update as this blog has been silent far longer than I intended, mostly thanks to sleepless nights, slow internet, and no designated workspace.

Many things have happened in the last month, including a move across an ocean. We are currently trying to settle into an empty house whilst we wait for our container of our belongings to catch up with us, and we acquaint ourselves with our new surroundings.

It is my intention to catch up with my 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks posts as I have the time and headspace to do so. As with any large life change, this may take a little while.

I thank you for your patience.

• Tagged: Admin

Mabel Seaborne, Photographic Artist (52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #8)

28 February 2015, Chriss Coleman

One of the things I love the most about genealogy is seeing the link between families. The one that stood out to me the most was that between Mabel Seaborne and her uncle William Christopher Chappell

Mabel Seaborne
Mabel Seaborne, unknown photographer.1

Mabel was born December 31st, 1889, in Freemont, Sandusky, Ohio, the daughter of Martha Rosa Chappell and her husband William Seaborne.2 Like her father, she was an artist. Mabel worked in the photographic industry and her main medium was oil over photographic portraits — a bit of luxury in a world that had not yet been introduced to colour photographic prints. Whilst she mainly worked in the New York City area,3,4,5 the she and the photographer she worked for also took the photographs for the graduate s of West Point Military Academy.6

After William Chappell and his family moved to Canada, the Chappell and Seaborne families took advantage of their proximity to visit each other over the years.7 The first visit that we know of was a couple years after William’s arrival to Canada when Mabel visited him, along with his wife Elizabeth Emma (Farthing) and their daughter Rosemary Cecelia Chappell at Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, in 1913.

Mabel Seaborne in Niagara Falls with William Chappell and family
Left to right: Elizabeth Emma (Farthing) Chappell, William Christopher Chappell, Mabel Seaborne, and Rosemary Cecelia Chappell. Taken in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, dated 1913.8

It was most likely during this visit that Mabel painted the portraits of William Christopher Chappell and his wife Elizabeth Emma (Farthing) Chappell as Mabel married Alexander Burros on February 10th, 1914,9 and the portraits were signed with her maiden name.

William Chappell Elizabeth Emma Farthing
William Christopher Chappell10 (left) and his wife Elizabeth Emma Farthing11 (right), as painted by Mabel Seaborne, circa 1913. Images under copyright; permission to publish on this blog granted by heir of the estate.

The families continued to remain close, with Mabel being the maid of honour at her cousin Rosemary Cecelia Chappell’s marriage to Herbert Laurence Walsh in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, in September of 1921.12

In my search I found another two photographic portraits painted by Mabel Seaborne, though done much later in her career. The first was of Simon Walsh, Herbert Laurence Walsh’s uncle. It was likely painted in the 1930s.

Simon Walsh
Simon Walsh, circa 1930s, as painted by Mabel (Seaborne) Burroughs.13 Image under copyright; permission to publish on this blog granted by heir of the estate.

The final portrait in the family collection is that of Larry Slinn, grandson of Rosemary Chappell and Herbert Walsh. The portrait was painted around the time of Larry’s tragic death in a motor vehicle accident.

Larry Slinn, circa 1968
George Laurence Slinn, commonly known as Larry, as painted by Mabel (Seaborne) Burroughs, circa 1968.14 Image under copyright; permission to publish on this blog granted by heir of the estate.

The examples we hold within our family collection alone show the progression of Mabel’s work over the course of her artistic career and how her style continued to evolve. Mabel passed away in Greenwich, Connecticut, in 1976.15

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks is a blogging prompt started by Amy Johnson Crow at No Story Too Small. My stories will include both sides of our family, including collateral lines.


  1. Photo of Mabel Seaborne, photographer unknown, undated; original privately held by Joan [surname witheld for privacy], [address for private use], Simcoe county, Ontario, Canada; digital scan held by author, scanned Sep 2014. 

  2. “Ohio, Births and Christenings, 1821-1962”, index, FamilySearch (http://www.familysearch.org : accessed 19 May 2014), entry for Mabel Seaborne, 31 Dec 1889, Fremont, Sandusky county; citing FHL film 511731, reference p 18 rn 405. 

  3. 1920 United States Federal Census, Queens county, New York, population schedule, Queens Assembly District, Enumeration district (ED) 323, page 8a (penned), lines 37-40, household of Alexander Burros; digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 30 May 2014); citing NARA microfilm publication T625, roll 1234. 

  4. 1930 United States Federal Census, Queens county, New York, population schedule, Queens Assembly District, Enumeration district (ED) 659, page 8b (penned), dwelling 284, household of Alexander Burros; digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 26 Sep 2014); citing FHL microfilm 2341320; citing NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 1585. 

  5. 1940 United States Federal Census, Queens county, New York, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 41-614, sheet 7B (penned), dwelling 3341, family 50, lines 50 and 51, household of Mabel Burroughs; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 24 Oct 2014); citing NARA microfilm publication T627, roll 2732. 

  6. Beverly [grand-daughter of Rosa Chappell], [Email address for private use], to Chriss Coleman, email, 26 September 2014, “Chappell Family”, Chappell family file; privately held by Chriss Coleman, [Email and Address for private use], Århus Kommune, Østjylland, Denmark. 

  7. Photo albums of Rosemary (Chappell) Walsh, various dates; privately held by Joan [Surname withheld for privacy], [Address for private use], Simcoe county, Ontario, Canada, 2014. 

  8. Photo of Mabel Seaborne with William Christopher, Elizabeth Emma, and Rosemary Chappell, photographer unknown; original privately held by Joan [surname witheld for privacy], [address for private use], Simcoe county, Ontario, Canada; digital scan held by author, scanned Sep 2014. [Reverse of photograph identifies individuals, dated 1913.] 

  9. “New York, County Marriages, 1908-1935”, Alexander Burros and Mabel Seaborne, 10 Feb 1914; index and images, FamilySearch (http://familysearch.org : accessed 22 Oct 2014); citing Winchester, New York, United States; FHL microfilm 1031349, image 396 of 503. 

  10. William Christopher Chappell portrait, ca. 1913, photographer unknown, portrait artist Mabel Seaborne; originally held by Joan [Surname withheld for privacy], [Address for private use], Simcoe county, Ontario, Canada. [Portrait is oil paint, hand-painted over a photographic print, unsigned, held in the Walsh family photograph collection, scanned Sep 2014 by author.] 

  11. Elizabeth Emma (Farthing) Chappell portrait, ca. 1913, photographer unknown, portrait artist Mabel Seaborne; originally held by Joan [Surname withheld for privacy], [Address for private use], Simcoe county, Ontario, Canada. [Portrait is oil paint, hand-painted over a photographic print, signed Mabel Seaborne, held in the Walsh family photograph collection, scanned Sep 2014 by author.] 

  12. “Ontario, Canada, Marriages, 1801-1928”, digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 12 Mar 2014), Niagara Falls, Welland county, marriage of Herbert Laurence Walsh and Rosemary Cecelia Chappell, 7 Sep 1921, register 023606; citing Archives of Ontario, Toronto, “Registrations of Marriages, 1869-1928”, MS932, reel 592. 

  13. Simon Walsh portrait, ca. 1930s, photographer unknown, portrait artist Mabel (Seaborne) Burroughs; originally held by Joan [Surname withheld for privacy], [Address for private use], Simcoe, Ontario, Canada. [Portrait is oil paint, hand-painted over a photographic print, signed Mabel Burroughs, held in the Walsh family photograph collection, scanned Sep 2014 by author.] 

  14. Larry Slinn portrait, ca. 1968, photographer unknown, portrait artist Mabel (Seaborne) Burroughs; originally held by Joan [Surname withheld for privacy], [Address for private use], Simcoe, Ontario, Canada. [Portrait is oil paint, hand-painted over a photographic print, unsigned, held in the Walsh family photograph collection, scanned Sep 2014 by author.] 

  15. “Connecticut, Death Index, 1949-2001”, Mabel S Burroughs, 02 Feb 1976; index, FamilySearch (http://familysearch.org : accessed 22 Oct 2014); citing Ancesty.com, “Connecticut, Death Index, 1949-2001,” Greenwich, Connecticut, Department of Health, Hartford. 

Martha Rosa Chappell (52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #7)

19 February 2015, Chriss Coleman

Martha Rosa Chappell was an older sister of my husband’s 2nd great-grandfather, William Christopher Chappell, and I’ve found her story fascinating as she is never quite where one would expect her to be.

Martha Rosa Chappell Seaborne
Martha Rosa (Chappell) Seabourne, taken in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA.1

Martha was the fourth child of Edwin Chappell and Harriet Oaten,2 and was born in Bath, Somerset England on March 26th 1867.

Clipping of Martha Rosa Chappell's birth record from Chappell Family record
Martha Rosa Chappell’s birth record, as written in the Chappell Family record belonging to her brother William Christopher Chappell.3

And now the journey begins…

At the age of four she was enumerated at her uncle’s house at 13 Bear Yard in Westminster, London. Why was she living with her father’s brother? Was she merely visiting? Was she taking in the culture of London? Was she sent to London for a better education?

1871 England Census, St Clement Danes, London, family of John Chappell
1871 England Census clipping for the family of John Chappell, St Clement Danes, London.4

John Chappell, Head, Married, Male, 44, Shopman/Tripe Dresser, born Bath, Somerset.
Mary A Chappell, Wife, Married, Female, 44, born St Andrew Holborn.
John Chappell, Son, Unmarried, Male, 21, Butcher, born St Giles in Fields.
Mary Ann Chappell, Daughter, Unmarried, Female, 19, born [blank].
Harry Chappell, Son, Male, 15, born Chelsea.
Joseph Chappell, Son, Male, 12, born St Clement Danes.
Rosey Chappell, Niece, Female, 4, born Bath, Somerset.

By the 1881 census she’s moved back to Bath, this time living with her maternal grandparents, William Oaten and Harriet Bolt at their home at 4 Burlington Street in Walcot. At this point she was 14 years old and working as a servant, which was very common for girls of that age. As her grandparents were running a lodging house, she may even have been working for them.

1881 England Census, family of William Oaten, Walcot, Bath, Somerset
A clipping of the 1881 England Census for Walcot, family of William Oaten.5

William Oaten, Head, Married, 71, male, Lodgings housekeeper Waiter [Inn Serv written over], born Taunton, Somerset.
Harriet Oaten, Wife, Married, 68, born Sidmouth, Devon.
Adeliza Oaten, Granddaughter, 23, Unmarried, Neeedlewoman, born Bath, Somerset.
Rose Chappell, Granddaughter, 14, Domestic Servant General, born Bath, Somerset.

Martha Rosa married William Seaborne, the son of an Innkeeper, at St Werburgh church, in Bristol, Gloucestershire on November 4th 1886.6 William was a sculptor, and the couple immigrated to the United States shortly after their marriage. They lived first in Ohio, then moved to Michigan before the birth of their youngest child.7

William and Martha Rosa had three children:

  1. Minnie Seaborne (b. Oct 1887, Cleveland, Ohio, USA)8
  2. Mabel Seaborn (b. Dec 1889, Fremont, Ohio, USA)9
  3. Ada Seaborne (b. Aug 1893, Michigan, USA)10


Tragedy struck the family when Martha Rosa died of pneumonia on March 4th, 1897,11 only a few weeks shy of her 30th birthday, leaving her husband and three young daughters to mourn her loss.

Her husband William never remarried.12 He continued to raise his daughters on his own whilst working as an artist. The family later moved to Pennsylvania,13 New Jersey,14 then to New York15 as William Seaborne followed his artistic passions.

William Seaborne
Photograph of William Seaborne, undated.16

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks is a blogging prompt started by Amy Johnson Crow at No Story Too Small. My stories will include both sides of our family, including collateral lines.


  1. Martha Rosa Chappell photograph, photograph by Heath, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA, undated; original privately held by Joan [surname witheld for privacy], [address for private use], Simcoe county, Ontario, Canada; digital scan held by author, scanned Sep 2014. [The reverse of the photo is inscribed “Rose Chappell Seaborne”, writing is that of Rosemary Chappell, niece.] 

  2. BathBMD (http://www.bathbmd.org.uk : accessed 19 Jan 2015), birth entry for Martha Rosa Chappell; citing Register Offices, Bath, Somerset, 1867, reference LNS/20/228. 

  3. Births, Marriages, and Deaths, Chappell family record, undated; privately held by Joan [surname witheld for privacy], [address for private use], Simcoe county, Ontario. 2014. [From the style and format of the document, it appears to be a transcription of a family bible. Based on the handwriting and information, the transcription was likely written between 1897 and 1910.] 

  4. “1871 England Census”, Middlesex, Westminster, enumeration district (ED) 9, parish of St Clement Danes, page 24, family of John Chappell; index and digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 7 Jun 2014); citing The National Archives, London, “Census Returns of England and Wales, 1871”, class RG10, piece 366, folio 52, GSU 824612. 

  5. “1881 England Census”, Somerset, Bath, enumeration district 15, parish of Walcot, page 24, household 198, family of William Oaten; index and digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 11 Dec 2014); citing The National Archives, London, “Census Returns of England and Wales, 1881”, class RG11, piece 2442, folio 53, GSU roll 1341588. 

  6. “England, Select Bristol Parish Registers, 1538-1900”, index, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 26 Sep 2014), marriage record of William Seaborne and Martha Rosa Chappell, 4 Nov 1886, St Werburgh, Bristol, Gloucestershire; citing FHL film 4247280. 

  7. “Michigan, State Census, 1894”, Grand Rapids, Kent county, population schedule, page 221, family 421, household of Wm Seaborne; index, FamilySearch (http://www.familysearch.org : accessed 10 Feb 2015); citing State Archives, Lansing; FHL microfilm 984658. 

  8. “Ohio, Births and Christenings 1821-1962”, index, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 19 May 2014), entry for Minnie Seaborne, 28 Oct 1887, Cleveland, Cuyahoga county; citing FHL film 877904. 

  9. “Ohio, Births and Christenings, 1821-1962”, index, FamilySearch (http://www.familysearch.org : accessed 19 May 2014), entry for Mabel Seaborne, 31 Dec 1889, Fremont, Sandusky county; citing FHL film 511731, reference p 18 rn 405. 

  10. “1900 United States Federal Census”, Susquehanna county, PA, p30A, William Seaborne. 

  11. “Michigan, Deaths, 1867-1897”, index and digital image, FamilySearch (http://www.familysearch.org : accessed 26 Sep 2014), entry for Rosa Seaborn, 4 Mar 1897, Kent county, page 97, row number 7128, FHL film 2363836; citing Department of Vital Records, Lansing, Michigan. 

  12. Beverly [grand-daughter of Rosa Chappell], [Email address for private use], to Chriss Coleman, email, 29 August 2014, “Chappell Family”, Chappell family file; privately held by Chriss Coleman, [Email and Address for private use], Århus Kommune, Østjylland, Denmark. 

  13. “1900 United States Federal Census”, Susquehanna county, PA, p30A, William Seaborne. 

  14. “1910 United States Federal Census”, Hudson county, New Jersey, population schedule, Jersey City, ward 6, page 19B and 20A, enumeration district (ED) 134, dwelling 230, family 404, family of William Seabourne; digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed19 May 2014); citing NARA microfilm publication T624, roll 890. 

  15. “New York, State Census, 1915”, New York city, population schedule, assembly district 35, election district 4, page 35, family of William Seabourne; index and digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 19 Feb 2015); citing New York State Archives, Albany, New York. 

  16. Photo of William Seaborne, photographer unknown, photo in possession of Joan [surname witheld for privacy], [address for private use], Simcoe county, Ontario, Canada; digital scan held by author, scanned Sep 2014. [Photo identified on reverse as Uncle William Seabourne, New York. Handwriting is that of Rosemary Chappell.]