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.


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.


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.


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.


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. 

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

A - Z Challenge 2018 - V

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.


Victoria is on the craggy southern tip of Vancouver Island, off the pacific coast of Canada. Starting as a Hudson's Bay Company post in 1843, the settlement was renamed Fort Victoria, after Queen Victoria. When news of the discovery of gold on the BC mainland reached San Francisco, Victoria became a supply base for miners heading to the Fraser Canyon. Later with the Klondike Gold rush many ships went back and forth from Victoria with supplies and miners. When BC joined the Canadian Confederation in 1871, Victoria became capital of British Columbia. 

My 2x great uncle James Mavor was born in 1874 in Waterville, Compton, Quebec. In 1901 at the age of 27 he is living in Montreal living with his brother Frank and working as a stenographer. I don't know what happened since then, but in 1913 James is in Victoria, living on Oxford Street and working for the government in the public lands department. James also joined the Canadian Militia list before the war, and is on the 1916 Militia List as a Lieutenant with the 50th Gordon Highlanders. When war broke out he was transferred to the 143rd BC Bantams.

James was wounded at Vimy Ridge and again at Passchendaele where he earned the Military Cross. (The newspaper clipping mistakenly said it was for the wound at Vimy Ridge, and his military records say his left forearm had to be amputated). 

With a badly smashed hand he was able to take command and lead his company forward to hold their position.

When James returned to Victoria he stayed at the Soldiers Settlement at the James Bay Inn. He was soon back to work for the BC government.  

On 2 March 1927 James married Kate Ethelyn Adair and James worked for the government until 1934. They had no children. When James retired he and Kate moved into a house in Saanich. James died in 1961 at the age of 87. 

Victoria was home to Canada's famous artist Emily Carr
During the Second World War the James Bay Inn was purchased by a religious order and operated as St. Mary's Priory.  Emily Carr was a patient at the Priory in her final illness and died there 2 march 1945. After the war it became an Inn again.

James Bay Inn

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

A - Z Challenge 2018 - U

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.


My 3x great grandparents William Porter and Margaret Manley were from Belfast.  They fell in love, but were forbidden to see each other.  Margaret was Catholic and from a wealthy family, William was Protestant and not-so-well-to-do. So they eloped and came to Canada about 1838-39. 

The first I find William and Margaret is on the 1852 Canada Census on their farm in Ulverton, South Durham, about 10k upriver from Richmond in Quebec. 

According to the Agricultural Schedule of the 1852 census, William had 50 acres of land of which 18 acres were cultivated, 15 acres for crops and 3 acres of pasture. He had 32 acres of trees. His crops included 2 acres of wheat producing 7 bushels; 6 acres of oats producing 100 bushels; 1 acre of potatoes producing 70 bushels; he produced 6 tons of hay.
He had 2 steers, 1 milk cow, 2 calves, 3 sheep and 2 pigs. From these he produced 23 lbs of wool, 40 yards of flannel cloth, 90 lbs of butter 1 ½ cwts (hundredweights) of pork.

William and Margaret had 10 children... 3 girls and 7 boys, the oldest being my 2x great grandfather John Porter. There wasn't always a church or a minister in Ulverton, and the children were babtized at neighbouring churches... Shipton, Kinsley, Durham by a minister from Melbourne, then finally Durham got it's own minister and 6 of the kids were baptized on the same day. 

John Porter married Susanna Johnston at the Holy Trinity Church in Kirkdale and he was granted land at Lot 9 Rang 6. John and Susanna had 11 children. John was a carpenter, wheelwright and coffin maker. There is an old Woolen Mill in Ulverton that was built by John Porter by a waterfall that powered the machinery. It is the only one in the area still standing and in use as an interpretive center. There is a covered bridge on Porter Road going across the St François River going to the Mill. John Porter was paid $5 for his design of the bridge.

Ulverton Woolen Mill

According to an article written by Jessie Fraser, and published in the Annals of Richmond County and Vicinity, Tales of Pioneers, Vol.1, "..the matter of the bridge to the Ulverton Woolen Mill was decided by the Ulverton Council on March 16, 1885.  At that time, the Council passed a motion that Mr. John Porter be asked to prepare a design for a covered wooden bridge for which he later received the sum of five dollars."

The bridge that is standing today is an exact repilca of John's original design. 

John and Susanna's oldest daughter, Mary Jane Porter was married at the South Durham church to Clement King (my great grandparents) and they made their home in Verdun, Montreal. 

Their daughter Salome married George Hepworth, whose brother Henry took over the Mill in 1896. George and Salome later moved to Red Deer, Alberta.

Aunt Salome wrote down her memories of her grandparents William and Margaret. 

She also wrote that when the men were away, the women were not allowed to go away from the house because of the wolves. I am lucky to have copies of 10 pages written by my 2x great Aunt Salome, detailing who was married to who and where they moved to, as none of them stayed in Ulverton. 

Monday, 23 April 2018

A - Z Challenge 2018 - T

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.


Totnes is an ancient borough and market town in the South Hams of Devon. In the Doomsday book Totnes consisted of 110 households. The population of Totnes in 1851 was 4419, declined to the 3000s for a few years then in 1901 was 4034.

High Street, Totnes

Henry Robert Crawford of Totnes was a painter, glazier and keeper of donkey chairs. He and his wife Sarah (Nichols) were always mentioned in the newspaper, but not for any grand deeds. It seems they spent a lot of time in trouble and in court. 

Besides two of their shenanigans I have already written about in my family blog, and with the Totnes Bribery Commission which I will write about at some future date, there were some mule problems.

Henry and Sarah were Donkey Chair Proprietors in Totnes. The fare for a donkey chair, according to the 1853 Hand-Book to South Devon, was about one shilling for the first hour, and sixpence per hour after. 

Totnes, Donkey Chair

In August 1854 Henry Crawford made a down payment on a donkey from a guy named Shea, who was leaving for Plymouth. When Crawford went to get the mule, it was sold to another man. Crawford took Shea to court and the judge found for the plaintiff, Crawford.

August 1855 Sarah and Henry Crawford are both accused of letting their mules go in the fields of James Shinner. Both were found guilty and fined £1 11s 3d each plus costs.

This time Henry Crawford is the plaintiff again, bringing action in May 1858 to recover £2 10s for damages done by the defendant to his donkey chair on Easter Sunday. The judge found for the plaintiff for the amount claimed and witness expenses.

Sarah Nichols Crawford is the sister of my 2x great grandmother Elizabeth Nichols, who married George King and immigrated to Canada.

Saturday, 21 April 2018

A - Z Challenge 2018 - S

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.


Stalmine, Poulton-le Fylde, Lancashire, England is home to my Singleton ancestors. 

James Singleton, my 3x great uncle, occupied Grange Farm in Stalmine.

Ploughing Matches were events sponsored by local Ploughing Associations and the entrants ploughed part of a field and points were awarded for straightness and neatness of rows. In 1871 the annual Stalmine Ploughing Association ploughing match was held on a field adjoining Grange Farm, occupied by James Singleton. 

This image from Australia is typical of a ploughing match in England.

James was mentioned as a breeder in the Shire Horse Stud Book of 1893, for a horse he bred in 1875.

The Great Depression of British Agriculture occurred about 1873 to 1896. It was caused by cheap grain prices following the American Homestead Act, which opened the prairies to cultivation, plus cheap transportation with the rise in steamships. James tried to hang on to his farm, but in the end he had to file for bankruptcy in 1880.

St James Church served both Stalmine and Preesall, where other of my Singletons lived, until Preesall got it's own church in 1899. The churchyard was consecrated in 1236 and although it is quite small, there is an estimated 3000 people were buried there between 1583 and 1724. 

Surprisingly, many more burials took place in the St James graveyard until 1899. The graveyard being full of "higgledy-piggledy" gravestones it wa haard to keep it tidy and in 1973 the decision was made to remove and clean the gravestones and mount them on the new south wall. 

Some of my Singletons were baptized, married and buried here. 


Copyright © Genealogy: Beyond the BMD
Division of Dianne at Home