Tuesday, 17 April 2018

A - Z Challenge 2018 - O

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.


Canada's first capital was established in 1841 at Kingston, where my Seale ancestors lived. Before Confederation Canada was only Ontario- Upper or East Canada, and Quebec- Lower or West Canada. The capital moved to Montreal, Toronto and Quebec City at various times, and in 1857 with a few cities vying to be the capital, it was left to Queen Victoria to decide where it would be.  The Queen chose Ottawa, Ontario, a small logging town approximately half way between Toronto and Montreal, and along the Ottawa River which is a section of the Ontario-Quebec border. 

The first stage of construction was complete just in time to hold the last session of parliament before Confederation. 

My great grandfather's brother, William Seale, was married to Louise Alexander in Kingston and they had two children. Their son was born November 1884 and died September 1886, just one month before their daughter was born in October 1886, and she died in February 1887. Louisa and William were heart-broken! Louisa had a brother, Henry Alexander who was on the Privy Council in Ottawa, and he suggested that William could easily pass the exams and get a job there with the government.  A change was just what Louisa and William needed. 

William passed the preliminary exams in November 1891, and after he passed the qualifying exams, by orders in council his application was accepted on 3 December 1892The couple moved to Ottawa and William was appointed as a messenger with the Department of Indian Affairs on 18 March 1893 making $300 per year. In 1901 William was making $450 a year. In 1919 his salary was $1000 a year plus a $250 war bonus. William retired from the government in 1920. 

William died 7 March 1921 at the age of 74, and by his obituary we see he was a well loved citizen of Ottawa and member of the Horticultural Society. 

Williams nephew, Henry Edgar Seale (Harry) lived in Ottawa, worked at the Postoffice Instpector's Office, belonged to the Horticultural Society and was famous for his prize winning gladioli. He won many prizes and also judged at some exhibitions.

Speaking of flowers, Ottawa is famous for the Canadian Tulip Festival.  The roots of the festival go back to the Second World War...

"Following the Nazi Invasion of the Netherlands, Princess Juliana of the Netherlands took refuge, along with her two young daughters, Princess Beatrix and Princess Irene. While in exile in Canada, Princess Juliana gave birth to her third daughter, Princess Margriet. At the time of the baby’s birth, part of the Ottawa Civic Hospital was declared Dutch soil, to allow the new princess to hold Dutch nationality exclusively. Ottawa also helped to celebrate the princess’ birth by flying the Dutch flag at the top of the iconic Peace Tower and playing Dutch music on the tower’s carillon. Ottawa was home to these Dutch royal family members [for three years] until they could finally return to a liberated Netherlands in 1945."
Also, the Canadian troops were instrumental in liberating the Netherlands from the Nazis. To thank Canada the Dutch Royal family sent gifts including 100,000 tulip bulbs to Ottawa, and has sent us tulips every years since.  Last year Canada was celebrating it's 150th year of Confederation and Holland developed a special tulip that resembles the Canadian Flag, the red maple leaf in the middle of two white bands.

The bulbs were available for purchase all across Canada at Home Hardware Stores. I don't take after other members of my family... my gardens are all weeds, but in honor of the occasion, and that my father was involved in the liberation of the Netherlands, I tried my hand at growing the Canada 150 tulips.  The squirrels didn't get my bulbs and these few flowers did grow.


  1. Well done growing those tulips - aren't the stripes the best?! I really enjoyed this post with so many uplifting stories. Ottawa worked out well for your family.

  2. A very moving story. I wonder what Louisa did to compensate for the loss of her children? Maybe she was into gardening too. I love the story of the tulips.

  3. Your tulips are doing fine. It is sad that they lost both their very young children and never had any more. I wonder what Louisa did too.

  4. Oops - I guess I should have mentioned - Louisa was also an avid gardener and in 1910 she came first in the B Class of the Lady Grey Gardening Competition... sponsored by lady Grey, wife of the Governor General of Canada 1904-1911

  5. I like the tulips. Very cheerful

    Fellow A to Zer

    1. Thanks Anne. They are coming up again now, so hopefully I'll get flowers again!


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