Jane Hart, Centenarian (Longevity)

18 January 2018, Chriss Coleman

This week’s prompt for 52 Ancestors in 52 weeks is Longevity. Whilst we have several long-lived people in our lines, the person who immediately popped into my head was my great-great-grandmother, Jane Hart.

Jane Hart
Cameo of Jane Hart from a cabinet card, ca. 1900.1

Jane Hart is probably the longest-lived person in our tree, living to a grand age of 101 years old. She was born on the 16th of May 18612 in Ipswich, Suffolk, England, the fourth daughter of George Hart who farmed at Bourne Hall in Wherstead for many years.3

On the 22nd of October 1885, she married Frederick George Cox, at Turret Green Chapel in Ipswich.4 Together, they had four sons – Frederick George Leonard, Wilfred Arthur, Clarence Alfred, and Reginald Archibald Cox.5 However, after only nine short years of marriage, at age 34, Jane was left a widow with four young boys to raise.6

As a young woman, Jane Hart had been considered quite delicate and suffered a good deal of ill health,7 yet this delicate girl managed her own house, raised her four boys as a single mother, and live to be a centenarian.

Jane Hart, with sons Clare and Rex
Jane Hart with her two youngest sons, Clarence and Reginald, shortly before her husband’s death.8

Her 100th birthday celebration was held at Mary’s Hospital, in Tattingstone, Suffolk, where Jane had been living for the last 18 months since she broke her leg. She received many letters, telegrams and flowers for her centenary celebration, including a traditional congratulations telegram from the Queen, and visits from two of her three surviving children, the third of whom was living overseas.9

Jane passed away at St Mary’s the following year on the 2nd of October 1962, at 101 years of age.10

Jane Hart is my great-great-grandmother. Our ancestral line:

  • 5. Jane Hart (1861-1962)
  • 4. Clarence Alfred Cox (1892-1981)
  • 3. Edna Joan Cox (1919-2016)
  • 2. My mother (living)
  • 1. Me (living)

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks is a blogging prompt started by Amy Johnson Crow. My stories will include both sides of our family, including collateral lines.


  1. Jane (Hart) Cox and children photograph, ca. 1900, photographer H. Walters, Ipswich; digital image 1 September 2014, privately held by Chriss Coleman [address for private use], York, Ontario, Canada; original privately held by Mrs P. Fort, [address for private use], South Stormont, Ontario, Canada, 2014. Photograph on self-framed photographic card. Inscribed on reverse “Mother, Len, Rex, Clare” 

  2. Mrs. Jane Cox 100th birthday celebration, 17 May 1961, East Anglian Daily Times, in Cox Family Archive box; digital copy created by Chriss Coleman, York, Canada, 17 Sep 2014; original privately held by Mrs P. Fort, South Stormont, Ontario, Canada. 

  3. Article “Marriages”, The Ipswich Journal, Ipswich, Suffolk, England, 7 November 1885, p5. [online image, TheBritishNewspaperArchives.co.uk, accessed 11 Jul 2014] 

  4. Article “Marriages”, The Ipswich Journal, 7 November 1885, p5. 

  5. “1901 England Census”, database and digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 14 Feb 2014), entry for household of Jane Cox, Ipswich, Suffolk; citing class RG 13, piece 1775, folio 19, page 29, Ipswich registration district, Ipswich sub-district, ED 16, household 184. 

  6. “Deaths”, obituary for Frederick George Cox, The Ipswich Journal, Ipswich, Suffolk, England, 30 Mar1895, page 8., column 2; digital image, British Newspaper Archive (http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk : accessed 12 Jul 2014), Historical Newspaper Collection. 

  7. Mrs. Jane Cox 100th birthday celebration, 17 May 1961, East Anglian Daily Times. 

  8. Jane (Hart) Cox and children photograph, ca. 1894, photographer G. Anthony Beales, Ipswich; digital image 1 September 2014, privately held by Chriss Coleman York, Ontario, Canada; original privately held by Mrs. P Fort, South Stormont, Ontario, Canada, 2014. Cabinet card. Inscribed on front “Clare, Rex, Mother” 

  9. Mrs. Jane Cox 100th birthday celebration, 17 May 1961, East Anglian Daily Times. 

  10. “England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966”, index and digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 28 Jul 2015), for Jane Cox, 14 Nov 1962, Ipswich; citing Principle Probate Registry, London, “Calendar of the Grants of Probate and Letters of Administration made in the Probate Registries of the High Court of Justice in England”. 

John Mantle and the Stewponey Hotel (Favourite Photo)

13 January 2018, Chriss Coleman

This week’s prompt for 52 Ancestors in 52 weeks is Favourite Photo. I thought long and hard about which was a favourite. In the end, the image I chose wasn’t even a photo, but rather a postcard.

I had been doing research about John Mantle, a Maltster, and came across his burial record naming him “of the Stewponey Inn”1 in Staffordshire. I tried searching for this place and a wealth of information flooded to the surface, mainly in old newspapers. There were many family announcements that included the wonderful words “John Mantle of the Stewponey Inn” or some similar derivative. Some of these announcements lead me to new relations I had not yet discovered, and they also showed that he ran the Hotel from at least 18482 to his death in 1857.3

Stewponey and Foley Arms Hotel
Postcard of the Stewponey and Foley Arms Hotel, ca. 1900s.4

The location of the Inn was very well situated near the junction of two canals along which coal was shipped, travelling either to Birmingham or Wolverhampton, and the hotel was a frequent gathering place for public meetings. Sabine-Gould also wrote a story that was set in this inn, Bladys of Stewponey, published in 1897. It later became a silent movie in 1919. The movie, unfortunately, uses a different inn as its visual setting.5

In researching a bit further, I came across an eBay listing for a postcard which quickly became a treasured part of my genealogy collection. It wasn’t period to when my ancestor would have run the hotel as the postcard dated from the early 1900s,6 but it was likely as close as I was going to get. The Stewponey and Foley Arms Hotel was demolished and rebuilt in 1936,7 then torn down again in 2004.8 A block of flats now sits on the site where the Stewponey Inn once stood.9

John Mantle is my 4th great-grandfather. Our ancestral line:

  • 7. John Mantle (abt 1789-1857)
  • 6. Joshua Parkes Mantle (1818-1899)
  • 5. Harry Evan Mantle (1859-1910)
  • 4. Eliza Mantle (1901-1998)
  • 3. Elizabeth Adelaide Skelcher (1924-1990)
  • 2. My father (living)
  • 1. Me (living)

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks is a blogging prompt started by Amy Johnson Crow. My stories will include both sides of our family, including collateral lines.


  1. “Shropshire Burials 1813-1868”, digital image and index, Find My Past, (www.findmypast.co.uk : accessed 9 Nov 2014); entry for John Mantle, 4 Feb 1857, register1232, Claverley, Shropshire, England; citing Shropshire Archives, “Shropshire Burials”, ref P68/A/4/1. 

  2. “Stourbridge, Prestwood October Meeting”, Worcestershire Chronicle, 11 Oct 1848, page 5, column 2; digital image, Find My Past (www.findmypast.co.uk : accessed 8 Nov 2014). 

  3. “Shropshire Burials 1813-1868”, entry for John Mantle, 4 Feb 1857. 

  4. Stewponey & Foley Arms Hotel postcard, ca 1905-1910; Digital copy created 14 Feb 2015, by Chriss Coleman, York, Ontario, Canada; original is a 3.5 by 5.5” unused postcard, entitled “, Stewponey, Near Kinver”, labelled E.S. London, No 853 on the reverse side privately held by Chriss Coleman, 2018. 

  5. Chris Upton, “Landmark inn was the inspiration for writer’s dark tale”, Birmingham Post, 17 May 2013, online archives (http://www.birminghampost.co.uk/lifestyle/landmark-inn-inspiration-writers-dark-3906322 : accessed 12 Jan 2018), citing online text. 

  6. “View of the Stewponey and Foley Arms”, Staffordshire Past Track, (https://www.search.staffspasttrack.org.uk/details.aspx?ResourceID=13807&ExhibitionID=13791&PageIndex=3&SearchType=2&ThemeID=286 : accessed 12 Jan 2018). 

  7. “Stewponey and Foley Arms, Kinver”, Staffordshire Past Track, (https://www.search.staffspasttrack.org.uk/details.aspx?ResourceID=13807&ExhibitionID=13807&PageIndex=3&SearchType=2&ThemeID=286 : accessed 12 Jan 2018). 

  8. “View of the Stewponey and Foley Arms”, Staffordshire Past Track, (https://www.search.staffspasttrack.org.uk/details.aspx?ResourceID=13807&ExhibitionID=14112&PageIndex=3&SearchType=2&ThemeID=286 : accessed 12 Jan 2018). 

  9. Chris Upton, “Landmark inn was the inspiration for writer’s dark tale”, Birmingham Post 

Start — Visting Simon Walsh

5 January 2018, Chriss Coleman

Well, everyone needs to start somewhere, or in some cases, start again. I gave up my Ancestry subscription shortly after moving to Canada due to lack of time. Since then, I really haven’t dedicated a lot of time to genealogy. I’d visit a library here and there, order some microfilms, take some gravestone photos, but without an easy way to navigate records online, I wasn’t filling out my tree. When I ended my subscription, I had hoped that I would start dealing with the vast amount of scans and photos I had accumulated, but without being able to cross check records, it became a bit tedious. And it certainly made it difficult to keep my blog running.

I really enjoyed doing the 52 ancestors challenge, so I had a look and noticed that Amy Johnson Crow was running it again this year, so I signed up. This week’s theme is ‘Start’. My goal isn’t to do highly in-depth posts like I have in the past, but just to get a little something out there every week if I can. Why? Well, let me introduce you to Simon Walsh.

Simon Walsh was born in Ireland sometime around 1785,12 and he’s the oldest known ancestor on my husband’s Walsh line. I have absolutely no primary documentation on this man. Most of the documents that have him named are in relation to his off-spring. Unfortunately, the marriage records do not go back far enough, nor do the immigration records. He appears on one census, on his children’s records, in a couple of family wills, and on his gravestone. Even the church burial records have a gap of several years that coincide with his death.

I knew that his gravestone existed because some kind soul from the Niagara division of the OGS had taken a photo, transcribed it, and posted it in 2011. Whilst I was in the vicinity this past summer, I took the opportunity to visit several of the cemeteries in Niagara-on-the-Lake. One of the stones that I found was Simon Walsh’s, and I was rather sad when I saw it. In the 6 years since the photo was posted online, nature had taken over, and the stone is now mostly unreadable. In a few more years it might not even be visible. This is what it looks like as of 23 August 20173 (with the online transcription).

St Mark's Anglican Church, NOTL
Sacred to the memory of SIMON WALSH Who departed this life Sept. 11, 1853 AE 68 yrs. Requiscat in pace. Am.2

So, as much as we see new records popping up on-line constantly, it is good to remember that as time goes on, some records fade out of existence.

Simon Walsh is my husband’s 4th great-grandfather. Our ancestral line:

  • 7. Simon Walsh (abt. 1785-1853)
  • 6. James Walsh (1829-1895)
  • 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. My stories will include both sides of our family, including collateral lines.


  1. “1851 Census of Canada”, database and digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 11 Jun 2014), entry for household of Simon Welsh, Niagara, Lincoln; roll C-1736, Ontario, district 22-Lincoln, sub-district 210-Niagara, page 111, lines 2 to 5. 

  2. “Canadian Headstones”, indexed database, Canadian Headstones (http://www.canadianheadstones.com/view?id=144126 : accesed 5 Jan 2018), memorial page for Simon Walsh ( -1853), created by Niagara OGS, citing St Vincent de Paul RC Cemetery, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Lincoln, Ontario, Canada. 

  3. St Vincent de Paul Roman Catholic Cemetery, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Simon Walsh marker, 43°15'14" N 79°4'3" W; personally read by Chriss Coleman, 23 Aug 2017. 

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.