Monday, 31 December 2018

12 Days of Christmas Ancestors - Day 7




"The seventh day of Christmas my true love sent to me
seven swans a swimming..."




On the 24th of April, a beautiful spring day in Bath in 1901, Alice Vivian Tait and her brother Andrew Eli Tait went boating on the Avon River with six other friends, starting in the morning at Maynard’s Boating Station and going upriver past Bathampton and around to Warleigh. 

They spent the day there and headed back to the Boating Station around 6:40 in the evening. Alice Vivian was in a boat with Mr Roberts and Mr and Mrs Pope, who got off the boat at Bathampton and walked home. They waited for the other boat holding Mary Davidson and her sister Connie, Mr Percival Cottle and Andrew Eli Tait. They passed under the bridge and Andrew’s boat got too close to the weirs and tipped over, the misses Davidson screaming for help. 

Bathampton Weirs

Mr Robert jumped out of his boat to help the girls, and Alice Vivian also jumped out and ran for help, then returned and jumped back in the river to help her brother Andrew, who was having trouble against the unusually strong currents. Mary Jane Kerr Davidson, the fiancée of Andrew Eli Tait, drowned in the water. 






There was a coroner’s inquest the next day at which Alice Vivian had to testify. Andrew was seriously ill for a while but slowly recovered. The entire Coroner's Inquest as reported in the Bath Chronicle, Thursday May 2, 1901 can be accessed here

When you search "boating accident bathampton" at FMP or British newspapers, there seemed to be a death at the weirs every couple of years. 










Sunday, 30 December 2018

12 Days of Christmas Ancestors - Day 6





"The sixth day of Christmas my true love sent to me
six geese a laying..."


When my 2x great grandfather, Alexander Mavor, first came to Canada he was a farm servant on Ile aux Reaux, a small island in the St Lawrence River of Quebec. The island and farm were owned by Dr George Mellis Douglas, a doctor at neighbouring Grosse Isle. The island was a breeding ground for pheasant, ducks and geese. At Christmas a goose was a traditional dinner in Ellon, so I wonder if Alexander shot a goose for his family for the holidays?! 

After Dr Douglas died, Ile-aux-Reaux was sold at auction. It was purchased by Mr Arthur Michaud, a lawyer in Kamouraska for $3900. My 2x grandfather Alexander, after twenty plus years living on Ile aux Reaux, moved on to establish his own farm in Compton.






In the November 11, 1899 issue of Field and Stream there was an article written about the island by J. Bruce Payne, after he stopped there the previous October to do some hunting with a couple of friends. He mentions that the island is for sale (again) and can be bought for $5500. 






During the Queen's visit to Quebec in the fall of 1964, Prince Philip went goose hunting on Ile aux Reaux





I wonder what will now become of this island that my immigrant 2x great grandparents and their family called home for many years. 



Saturday, 29 December 2018

12 Days of Christmas Ancestors - Day 5




"The fifth day of Christmas my true love sent to me
five gold rings..."



I have written about my paternal 6th great grandfather James Tait who was a goldsmith in 1700s Edinburgh, and his son Adam Tait who made a ring with the likeness of Prince Charles engraved on it. 

Lately I discovered that there is also a jeweler on my maternal side. 

James Thompson Mavor, Jeweler, and George Leslie Mavor, watchmaker (brothers and my 2nd cousins 2x removed) formed Mavor Bros Ltd, Jewelers and Watchmakers in Fredricton, New Brunswick after their service in the First World War. 


In 1931 the Department of Lands and Mines, Game Warden Service, asked Mavor Bros to make badges for hunting, game, guides and fishing.




In 1932 the Department of Lands and Mines, Game Warden Service, asked Mavor Bros to make 34,450 hunting badges and 7000 game license badges, for a total of $2531.08






I couldn't find any for those years, but this is what the Warden badges looked like...


Their sister Olga Catherine Mavor married a watchmaker from Port Colborne, Niagara. 






Friday, 28 December 2018

12 Days of Christmas Ancestors - Day 4




"The fourth day of Christmas my true love sent to me
four colly birds..."



"Colly (or colley) is an Old English term for 'black,' from the word 'colliery,' meaning coal mine. 



None of my ancestors worked in a coal mine, but one was a miner in a gold field and another drove the train for a copper mine.

My 3rd great uncle Thomas King went from Devon to Australia to work as a miner.



Thomas King, a miner, was admitted to the hospital today, suffering from a fracture of the right leg, damaged arm, and a broken jaw, caused by a fall of earth in the Queen Constance PO, Mareeba, whilst timbering. The affair was apparently purely accidental, the manager, Mr Morgan, having a very narrow escape. The Company had only recently taken out an Employer's Liability Accident policy. 




My 2nd great aunt Sarah's husband, John McTeer, worked for the Queen Mine in Bisbee Arizona, as an engineer on the train carrying copper from Bisbee to Fairbanks. 



On my return from Bisbee I took a seat by John McTeer, the engine driver, that I might have a better view of what is to be seen along the Arizona & S.E. RR, owned and managed by the Copper Queen Con. M. Co., Ben Williams superintendent. The length of the track is 36 miles to Fairbanks, where it connects with the N.M & A., superintended by H.T. Richards of Benson. Six miles below Bisbee is Deer Point depot.





Thursday, 27 December 2018

12 Days of Christmas Ancestors - Day 3




"The third day of Christmas my true love sent to me
three French hens..."




On the 19th of February of 1854 my ancestor George King of Woodleigh, Devon had 2 eggs stolen.  He kept his hens in the cow barn of the Reverend Dawson. Having lost several eggs he decided to mark them and keep watch. He saw John Bond, an employee of the Reverend Dawson, steal his eggs and followed him, finding the marked eggs in his possession. 





"Some days subsequently the prosecutor offered to forego the prosecution if the prisoner would distribute five shillings worth of bread to the poor of the parish. He made that kind of proposition because the parson had caused a man to to a similar act for getting drunk; and the prosecutor thought there was more harm in stealing eggs on a Sunday evening than in getting drunk.  The prisoner was acquitted."






Wednesday, 26 December 2018

12 Days of Christmas Ancestors - Day 2




"The second day of Christmas my true love sent to me
two turtle doves..."


The turtle dove mates for life and is an emblem of the Roman diety Fides, the goddess of trust and good faith. The turtle dove has become the symbol of devoted love. 


While in Scotland looking for the marriage record of my 4x great grandparents John Mavor and Mary Sangster, I came across a marriage record that "could be" theirs, but probably not. Same place and time, but my John was later listed as a butcher on his sons' death certificates.





"1805, 20th Jan after sermon, sess[ion] met and being constituted appeared John Mavor mason in Balnakedle (Balnakettle in place name book) acknowledged to clandestine marriage with __ he was rebuked & fined 10/ for his penalty."  
The date is of the penalty record, not of the marriage which could have been any time before. Also name of the wife left blank, so I guess it was a big secret! Intriguing!


I have often told the story of my 3x great grandparents William Porter and Margaret Manley. He was Protestant and she was from a wealthy Catholic family, they eloped c1839 to be together and immigrated from Ireland to Canada. Margaret proudly told this story to her granddaughters many times as they sat at her feet in their cabin in Ulverton, Quebec. 
This is a fine example of giving up everything for true love. 






Tuesday, 25 December 2018

12 Days of Christmas Ancestors - Day 1




"The first day of Christmas my true love sent to me
A partridge in a pear tree."



Clement King, my 4x great-grandfather inherited the Loddiswell Mill in Devon from his father Thomas King.  Clement left it to his oldest son, Thomas when he died in 1822.


"I do give and devise unto my son Thomas King All that my Messuages and Tenements with the Appurtenances called Loddiswell Mills, Mill Hill by Slade, Tucking Mill Marshes and (?)  Laster (or Caster)  Field or Persons Plott Laying at or near Loddiswell Mill in the Parishes of Loddiswell and West Alvington aforesaid and all my Right Title and Interest therein To hold the same Tenements and premises with the appurtenances unto and to the only use and behoof of my said son Thomas King his Heirs and Assigns forever."

Part of the land belonging to Loddiswell Mill was orchard. 
Fruit trees were very common in old Devonshire, mostly apples for  making cider, but also pear and other fruits. 






When Thomas King died he left Loddiswell Mill to his only son John Clement King. On 19 October 1874 John advertised to let the mill, which included 19 acres of excellent orchard and pasture land. 



John died 12 days later at the age of 38 with no wife or children and his estate was left to his two unmarried sisters, and it was eventually sold out of the family after more than 200 years of the King family running it. 


#12DaysofAncestors

Monday, 7 May 2018

A - Z Challenge 2018 - Reflections



My Reflections on the The Blogging from A to Z Challenge






This is my second A to Z and 2018 was a real challenge for me as April is always a busy month, and this year I decided at the last minute to participate. So I picked a theme on the fly and had many late nights of writing.

Since  my theme was My Family Tree Places, doing this challenge made me realize how far and wide my roots grow.  During the challenge I decided to make a map of all the places I was writing about, and I think I may make another, continuing with all my ancestors. 

I thank all who visited my blog for their support and kind comments. I enjoyed following other genealogy bloggers and was glad to see the late comer persevere and catch up. Everyone did an awesome job! 

Will I participate again next year?  Maybe, we'll have to wait and see. 






Monday, 30 April 2018

A - Z Challenge 2018 - Z




The Blogging from A to Z Challenge is to post everyday (except Sunday) in the month of April 2016 starting with the letter A and going all the way to Z. The theme I chose is...
My Family Tree Places.






ZEBALLOS, BC


There are a few Z places on my family tree, but I don't know anything about them or the people that lived there. They are the ancestors of my Aunt, who was a war bride from the Netherlands. So I will stick to what I know, and at the same time give a nod to my husband who puts up with me always being at the computer, half listening to what he's saying because I'm in the middle of writing a post, and taking side trips to search through cemeteries with me. 

While I am an indoorsy person, my husband Gary has always been an outdoor adventurer. In his life, besides the usual activities like camping and cross country skiing, he has enjoyed adventurous activities like rock climbing, sailing, cave diving, and scuba diving (which he taught).  Living on the Island Gary decided he wanted to try ocean kayaking. One of his adventures was a 10 day kayak camping trip at Zeballos

Zeballos is a village on the rugged west coast of Vancouver Island, Bc, on the Zeballos River at the head of Zeballos Inlet, and the gateway to Nootka Sound. The population went from 0 to 1500 with the discovery of gold, fluctuated with employment going between mining and logging, and now only about 190 live there year round. 






Gary's group stayed the first night in the hotel in Zeballos, then the next morning met their guides at the docks in the village. Besides their own equipment, all the supplies were distributed among the kayaks.





All the meals were provided, a couple of which were cook-your-own.  One that he enjoyed was a breakfast of scramble-in-a-bag, for which you break a couple of eggs into a ziplock bag, add from a variety of diced items like mushrooms, peppers, ham, etc, zip it, shake it, smoosh it, and drop it the pot full of boiling water over the fire. 




It is rare that Gary takes photos, so we have no photos of his trip. The trip took him up inlets, around small islands, along deep fjords and seeing secluded coves and camping on a different island every night. This area is abundant in wildlife... including black bears, wolves, orcas and grey whales, sea lions, otters and eagles... all depending on what time of year you go. Though we have seen them all over the years, this trip he only saw sea lions and eagles.





Saturday, 28 April 2018

A - Z Challenge 2018 - Y




The Blogging from A to Z Challenge is to post everyday (except Sunday) in the month of April 2016 starting with the letter A and going all the way to Z. The theme I chose is...
My Family Tree Places.






YTHAN, UK to YPRES, BE


Both Y places came up in my ancestor places, and I thought I'd use them both as one is a beginning and one is an end.



Ythan River

The Ythan is a river in Scotland that flows through the towns of Fyvie, Methlick and Ellon then out to the North Sea. Alexander Mavor was born in Ellon worked for a time on a farm in Methlick. Margaret Bruce was born in Fyvie and worked as a servant to a family in Ellon. I can picture both of their families enjoying the sand dunes, beaches, estuary fishing and bird watching at the Ythan. 




Alexander and Margaret with their child left their home on the shores of the Ythan River sometime before 1859 and immigrated to Canada.  I told of their Canadian story for the letter "I", from Ellon to Île au Reaux to Compton Quebec. 



In Between

Their son Alexander Mavor II, my great grandfather, grew up on Île au Reaux and in Compton, later moving to the City of Montreal to get work with the Grand Trunk Railroad as a Brass Finisher. 






Alexander married Rebecca Campbell in Montreal on 26 June 1889 and the couple had six children. They were members of the Salvation Army in Montreal, Rebecca a major and Alexander played the cornet in the Citadel Band. Alexander George and my grandfather Herbert James were the 2nd and 3rd born. As teenagers they played the triangle, having no other gift for music. 


Herbert, Rebecca, Alexander Mavor


Both boys served in the First World War as did their Uncle James who was less than 20 years older than the boys. My great uncle Alexander George was also a brass finisher working 56 hours a week and making $365 a year. He enlisted at the Grenadier Guards Armory in Montreal on 31 Oct 1914 as a private and was placed with the 23rd Battalion. On 2 February 1915 Alex sailed to England on the Missanabie. On the 23 May 1915 Alex was transferred to the 4th Battalion.



Ypres, Belgium

On the 9th of April 1916 the 4th Battalion, including  Alexander George Mavor, relieved the 1st Battalion in the trenches at "The Bluff" at Ypres in Belgium. 






The Battalion experienced heavy artillery fire for the next three days, but on the first day, 10 April 1916, Alexander was wounded in the stomach with a bullet that glanced off a periscope. 





He was taken to Casualty Clearing Station 17 at Remy Siding, Poperingue, Ypres where he arrived at 3am 11 April and he died of his wounds that day. 


Entrance to Hospital and Cemetery, Remy Siding






Alexander George Mavor, age 24, was laid to rest in the Lijssenthoek Cemetery, Poperinge, Ypres Section VI  Row B  Grave 8A .






RIP Alexander George Mavor 1891-1916




Friday, 27 April 2018

A - Z Challenge 2018 - X




The Blogging from A to Z Challenge is to post everyday (except Sunday) in the month of April 2016 starting with the letter A and going all the way to Z. The theme I chose is...
My Family Tree Places.






ΧΡΙΣΤΌΣ


Time to get creative. 
Since I don't live in China which has the most place names that begin with the letter X, I wondered what I was going to come up with for the letter X. There are still some interesting stories to tell and I went over them to see what would work.  Then it came to me.

X has been the symbol for Christ for hundreds of years. X is the Greek letter chi, the first letter in Χριστός (Christόs) which means Christ. So my place for X is the House of Christ, specifically the Presbyterian Church of Ile Perrot and the Verdun United Church. Ok, maybe I'm stretching, but hey! I could have used X-cago, or X also marks the spot!!




When my Dad, Thomas (Bud) Seale, built our house on Ile Perrot he had no building experience.  He flew by the seat of his pants, doing a lot of reading and asking a lot of questions from professionals. When we moved to Ile Perrot there was no Protestant church on the Island.  We had to go across the bridge to Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue where there were Anglican services. So a group of people got together and decided to have a built the Presbyterian Church in Pincourt, on Ile Perrot. Since my Dad now had experience in building, he was put in charge of overseeing the project. 




There were many fund raisers to finance the building, and one was helicopter rides for $10 a person.  Dad bought tickets for my 2 brothers and I and he said that was the fastest disappearing $30 he ever spent! Then he realized he would see that $30 every time he sat in the church. 

Although Dad was the building committee chairman he didn't do any of the construction, he left that to the experts. But he could contribute in other ways. Dad's workshop was just off the living room and even with the heavy door closed I spent many evenings and weekends hearing the buzz of the electric saw. Having made a good portion of the furniture for our house, Dad was comfortable in his abilities to build the altar, lectern and baptismal font for the new church. They are still in use today, 60 years later!







The only person in our family to be baptized there was my sister, born in July 1961 and baptized on 27 May 1962. Our Mavor grandparents were her godparents.

The Presbyterian Church of Ile Perrot was inaugurated on 1 June 1958. The church served a wide-spread population, right to the Ontario border. My Mom would get us all dressed up and Dad would drive us to church every Sunday. The service always started off with the minister coming down the aisle to the choir and congregation singing "Holy, Holy, Holy", that was my favourite part.

Mom made sure she gave us each a dime for collection (our tithe) and I was always so delighted when the plate came my way and I took my dime out of my little purse and dropped it in with all the other coins, dollars and envelopes. 

For a few years my Mom was a Sunday School teacher, and when I got older I helped look after the babies and toddlers in the nursery. As young teens my brother and I belonged to the Youth Group at our church. 

Sometimes my Mavor grandparents were out from the city for the weekend and came to church with us.  I liked to sit by my Granny as she always had Butter Rum Lifesavers in her purse and would give me one. After church my Grampa would take us kids to the Miss Montreal restaurant in Dorval for his favourite lunch (so of course everyone else's) Chicken in a Basket.

Mom, Grampa (was being put to work), Granny, Dad and me


Granny and Grampa lived in Verdun, Montreal and their families always belonged to the Verdun United Church, formerly the Verdun Methodist. Granny's father, Clement King, was a carpenter and cabinetmaker in Verdun and he often gave his services to do repairs around their church.  In 1922 Clement was repairing the roof when he fell off and sustained injuries that led to his death. 



I don't know how it came about that they decided to add stained glass windows in the church but my King and my Mavor families both sponsored one. The one in the middle was from my great grandmother, Mary Jane Porter King in memory of her husband Clement who died in 1922 and his mother Elizabeth Nichols King, who died in 1925 and also lost her husband at a young age. 

In Loving Memory of Mrs E King and Son Clement by the Family

The one on the right was from my great grandmother Rebecca Campbell Mavor in memory of her husband Alexander who died in 1924 and her son Alexander George who died 1916 at Ypres.

In Loving Memory of Alexander and Alexander George his son, by the Family




The Verdun United Church congregation merged with that of Crawford Park a few years ago.  The Verdun United building was sold and the stained glass windows were removed and installed in the Crawford Park church, which has been renamed Southwest United. 



Thursday, 26 April 2018

A - Z Challenge 2018 - W




The Blogging from A to Z Challenge is to post everyday (except Sunday) in the month of April 2016 starting with the letter A and going all the way to Z. The theme I chose is...
My Family Tree Places.





WALCOT, UK



My 2x great grandfather, Andrew Smith Tait was born 1838 in Glasgow. At the age of 13 Andrew was a Tailor apprentice. Andrew was working as a tailor and living at 105 Stockwell Street in Glasgow when on Jun 10, 1859 he married Jessie Thomson. In 1861 Andrew was boarding with the family of Mr Baird, Draper, in Liverpool and working as a draper/clothier. He moved his family to Liverpool within the next year. 

On the 23rd of March in 1878, with a light breeze in the air and cloudy skies, Andrew left his shop at 31 Islington Street and headed to the Patent office to submit his idea to make men's trousers fit better, and to incorporate a secret pocket! He was granted provisional patent No 1168 for 6 months on the 5th April 1878.





By 1881 Andrew was a Master Tailor in Liverpool, employing 7 men and 1 woman, his daughter Elizabeth Reid. In 1883 he was having financial difficulties and decided to sell his shop and move.

Andrew moved his family in 1887, to 4 Belvedere, Lansdown Street, Walcot Parish, north of the city center of Bath and overlooking the Avon River.




 He set up his tailor shop on Green St and Broad, just down the hill in Bath. There he sold his patented pants.






On the 24th of April, a beautiful spring day in 1901 in Walcot, the two youngest Tait children, Alice Vivian, age 25, and her brother Andrew Eli, age 22, went boating on the Avon River with some friends, starting in the morning at Maynard’s Boating Station and going upriver past Bathampton to Warleigh. 


Boat trip along the Avon River, Bath


They spent the day there and headed back to the Boating Station around 6:40 in the evening. Alice Vivian was in a boat with Mr Roberts and Mr and Mrs Pope, who got off the boat at Bathampton and walked home. They waited for the other boat holding Mary Davidson and her sister, Mr Cottle and Andrew Eli Tait. They passed under the bridge and Andrew’s boat got too close to the weirs and tipped over, the misses Davidson screaming for help. Mr Robert jumped out of his boat to help the girls, and Alice Vivian also jumped out and ran for help, then returned and jumped back in the river to help her brother Andrew, who was having trouble against the unusually strong currents. Mary Jane Kerr Davidson, the fiancée of Andrew Eli Tait, drowned in the water. 




There was a coroner’s inquest the next day, April 26, at which Alice Vivian had to testify. Andrew Eli was seriously ill for a while but slowly recovered and was able to attend the funeral of his fiancee on April 30th.


The day after the funeral, their father, Andrew Tait suffered a stroke and died 1 May 1901 at the age of 63.  His wife Jessie died in 1911 at the age of 74. They are buried with other family members at the Lansdown Cemetery, Walcot, Bath.





Andrew Eli was a master tailor and took over his father's tailor shop on Green street. He did marry in 1907, and they had two children. 



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