Genealogy

The Family Jewels and Other Treasures

Jewelry

My favourite piece of heirloom jewelry belonged to my Aunt Mary (1920- )My Formidable Tante Marie. She wore the delicate turquoise and pearl necklace while posing for one of her promotional photos during her theatre days in Montreal in the late 1940’s. I wore the very same necklace for my wedding day some 50 years later. 

My great grandfather, Dr. J. P. Hanington (1846-1927)Pharmacist then Doctor, gave his bride-to-be, Gertrude Thorpe Davidson (1852-1950)The Matriarch (A Remarkable Memory), an exceptional gold locket when they married in 1874. The back of the locket, engraved with the words “Sapienter Si Sincere” meaning “Wisely if sincerely” is the Davidson Clan Motto. The two photos inside the locket are of Dr. Hanington and their first daughter, Mary Thorpe, who died of diptheria when she was five years old.

Another couple of heirloom pieces, a delicate cameo brooch and a spectacular 89 Seed Pearl Pendant, belonged to my great grandmother, Mary Heloise Bagg Lindsay (1854-1938)Great Granny Bagg (Kittens on the Wedding Dress). However, neither of the pieces were wedding-related to my knowledge.

Furniture

The Gill Cradle was first used by my 4x Great-Grandmother Phoebe Clark Gill (1777-1864). When only three weeks old, Phoebe was taken on horseback by her mother to a place of safety in Philadelphia away from the British in September 1777. The simple mahogany cradle stayed in the family for the next 230 years gently rocking several generations of babies. There are numerous photos taken of us in our christening dresses in that wonderful old cradle. The family donated it to the McCord Museum in 2005 so that it could be preserved for historical purposes and displayed with their collection.

The Gill Cradle - photo

The Carpet Chair was rescued from a fire in 1916 when Rose Cottage, the family home in Shediac, New Brunswick, burned down. It was the family home of my 2x Great-Grandfather Daniel Hanington (1804-1889)“Roaring Dan” and his wife Margaret Ann Peters (1811-1887). It is a useful “catch all” chair as it folds up nicely. I believe the carpet seat is the original one and, for that reason, it is not used as a chair.

Carpet chair - Hanington

The sewing tables of both my grandmothers fit nicely into different corners of the house. One belonged to my paternal grandmother, Josephine Sherron Anglin (1893-1964)Social Media – Then and Now, and it is a pedestal table. The two drawers are partitioned perfectly to hold sewing supplies and the top folds open to double in size. The other one belonged to my maternal grandmother, Millicent Hanington Lindsay (1895-1982)Granny-Lin, and can be found in The Book of Canadian Antiques1. According to the entry, the Anglo-Quebec style mahogany sewing table is from circa 1830. It has two flaps that open up to extend the work surface as well as a couple of drawers without partitions.

China and Silver

The silver tea set requires polishing several times a year. But once polished – oh my – what an impressive sight! My husband likes to put a tea towel over his arm and serve tea to my friends when we host tea parties. Proper tea parties have become popular again and several tearooms around the city have resurrected the tradition. The set belonged to my Great-Aunt who gave it to my Aunt Mary. When my aunt gave up her home she gave it to me. It must be almost 100 years old.

There are two china figurines that are very close to my heart. They belonged to my mother, Ann Lindsay Anglin (1926-1961)The Courtship of Ann and Tommy – Part 1, who died at the young age of 35. They remind me of her. One is a popular Royal Doulton lady figurine kept in the corner glass cabinet in the dining room with some other collectibles. The other figurine is a lovely lady in a spectacular blue gown seated on a loveseat with a blue matching bonnet beside her fanning herself. She is kept on my bedside table. 

China figurine

Kitchware

Another treasure is an old box from Henry Morgan & Co. Limited with “Tins for Wedding Cake” written on the cover in my grandmother’s familiar scrawl. Inside the cardboard box there is an old tin icing canister with five different tin piping tips and a folded tired stained printed paper with a recipe for “Wedding Cake – 3 layers”. My grandmother was a fabulous cook and must have baked this cake for her three wedded daughters. Priceless! 

Wedding Cake Recipe and Tins (2)

Photographs, Letters and Diaries

Photos, letters and diaries may have no particular monetary value but they are invaluable to us genealogists trying to glean whatever we can from the lives of our ancestors. My dusty old boxes Dusty Old Boxes of cherished paper memorabilia contain heaps of pure joy. A treasure indeed!

1The Book of Canadian Antiques, Donald Blake Webster, p. 62.

Genealogy, Quebec

A Montreal Stockbroker

Early in the 20th century, just before World War I, the city of Montreal was booming!

During this time the population of Montreal grew to half a million people. Immigration surged setting new records. Skilled workers from England found employment in the city’s factories. European immigrants, especially Jews fleeing persecution, made up the biggest group. Many others came escaping the economic misery back home. And people were also migrating from rural areas attracted by the city’s remarkable economic growth and the available opportunities.

Montreal offered all these people hope of a better life.

The Montreal Stock Exchange, founded in 1832, was Canada’s first exchange and grew to be its most prestigious during this time of great expansion. In 1910, the total number of trades was more than double that of The Toronto Stock Exchange. This growth led to the merger of several small companies creating several large corporations such as Dominion Textile and Montreal Light, Heat and Power which in turn traded their shares on the Exchange.

Montreal_Stock_Exchange_1903
The Montreal Stock Exchange – 1903

My great grandfather, Robert Lindsay (1855-1931), was a stockbroker during this exciting period of Montreal history and its prosperous growth. Robert was the son of the successful banker, Robert A. Lindsay (Bank of Montreal), as well as the nephew of the prominent politician, William Burns Lindsay. Wisely, he left banking and politics to his elders and forged his own career in finance.

Robert most likely worked in Old Montreal where many major financial institutions established their Canadian headquarters on and around Saint Jacques Street. The impressive old building on St. Francois-Xavier Street, just off Saint Jacques Street, which housed the Montreal Stock Exchange since 1903 became the home of the Centaur Theatre in 1964 when the Exchange moved to a skyscraper on Victoria Square.

1024px-Centaur_Theatre_in_Montreal
The Montreal Stock Exchange Building now The Centaur Theatre

Robert was born in Montreal in 1855, the oldest of four children, three boys plus a girl who died in infancy. His mother, Henrietta Dyde, passed away in 1864, ten weeks after her baby daughter died. Robert was only nine years old. His father remarried two years later and he and his new wife, Charlotte Anne Vennor, had six more children.

Robert married Mary Heloise Bagg Great Granny Bagg (Kittens on the Wedding Dress), one of the daughters of Stanley Clark Bagg and Catherine Mitcheson, in 1881 at the age of 26. The Baggs, a prominent Montreal family, never before had a stockbroker in the family.

Robert and Mary Heloise Wedding day
Robert and Mary Heloise on their wedding day – 1881

Robert and Mary Heloise named their first daughter “Ada” after his sister. Eventually, even though Mary Heloise was considered “frail”, they had a total of six children.

Their son Sydenham (my grandfather) and their youngest daughter Marguerite both followed their religious callings. Sydenham The Priest became an Anglican priest in Montreal. However, Marguerite died tragically at the age of 26, as a volunteer school teacher and missionary in Labrador.

Sydenham and Marguerite Lindsay
Sydenham and Marguerite Lindsay

Their eldest son Lionel became a well-loved Montreal family physician. Their daughter, Marjorie, was denied dangerous travel to England during the war to be with her one true love and remained a spinster, despite being a real beauty.

Stanley followed in his father’s footsteps and also became a stockbroker. He must have had a dreadful time during the Great Crash of 1929. Robert, although retired by then, probably followed his son’s career closely during that terrible period of panic and chaos.

For some unknown reason Stanley predicted the market’s collapse and withdrew the family money from the stock market prior to the Crash. Lucky him!

Genealogy

Great Danes and Convertibles

The only way that Caneel, Kay’s first Great Dane, could fit in her 1964 candy-red Mustang convertible was to sit facing forward in the middle of the back seat with her paws extending through the gap between the front bucket seats. This meant that she knocked the gear shift from Drive to Neutral from time to time.

Kay thought her first dog was a mixed breed called a “dirty dalmation”. Imagine her surprise when she realized that the dog was in fact a great dane and would grow to be the size of a small pony.

She was passionate about animals, but her first love was horses. As a girl, Kay owned her own: “Kitty,” whom she rescued from the proverbial glue factory. Ironically, “Kitty” was the name by which her mother called her. Kitty boarded in rural Dorval. Kay taught her to jump. She was particularly fond of jumping the grave markers in the cemetery where the Dorval airport now stands.

Kay and Kitty
Kay and her first horse Kitty (rescued horse)

My Aunt, Katharin (Kay) Gertrude Lindsay was born on June 14, 1930, in Montreal, the fourth and last child of my grandparents, Millicent Granny-Lin and Sydenham Lindsay The Priest. According to her eldest sister, Mary Kerr, their mother taught her to introduce herself as “one too many” when company visited.

Like her sisters, Mary My Formidable Tante Marie  and Ann The Courtship of Ann and Tommy – Part 1, she spent the summers as a young teen at Camp Ouareau in St-Donat. But unlike her sisters who were very good at drama and the arts, Kay was quite the tomboy. Perhaps this was where she first developed her love of horses. During her seven years at McGill studying first for her Arts Degree and then her Physical and Occupational Therapy Diploma, she was an active member in the Riding, Swimming and Volleyball Clubs. She graduated in 1954.

My favourite photo of her has her posing in her first convertible, a 1955 Ford Fairlane Sunliner. She was 25 years old. She drove my parents, Ann and Tom, to Provincetown, Massachusetts, for a holiday. Her McGill Yearbook quote was “Live! Above all things live! Don’t simply exist!” and so she did.

1955-07 Kay convertible Provincetown (3)
Kay in her first convertible, Provincetown – July 1955

Kay married a fellow McGill student, an American named Gene Armour Welch, on May 31, 1956, after he graduated in Medicine. To pay off his medical school bills, he volunteered for a “hardship post” as a captain in the US Airforce at a Strategic Air Command base in Turkey. Their first son was born there. Two years later, in August 1959, Kay and Gene and their young son settled in Ithaca, New York, where he worked as a Doctor. Two more sons followed in 1960 and 1963.

They separated sometime during the late 60’s. Gene was working at Cornell University Health Services when he died suddenly in December 1969.

Kay moved her three sons back to Canada in 1971. They settled in Ottawa—close to her family, but safely clear of the sovereigntist upheavals then afflicting Quebec. Two more Great Danes followed: Chico and Mandy. So did one more Mustang Convertible. And she took up horseback riding once again.

This story is dedicated to my Aunt Kay who passed away February 19, 2018.

Genealogy

The Courtship of Ann and Tommy – Part 3

Wedding bells at last! The long awaited marriage of Ann and Tom took place at The Church of the Advent, in Westmount. on May 31, 1947. They were married by Ann’s father, Canon Sydenham Lindsay, after a passionate four year courtship.

1947 May Wedding - Ann and her Tommy
1947 May Wedding – Ann and her Tommy

After their honeymoon in Bermuda, the newlyweds lived briefly with both sets of parents as there was a shortage of apartments at that time. Lucky for them, however, a friend had to vacate his place on Prince Albert Avenue (only blocks away from their families) and offered it to them. Finally, Ann and Tom had a place of their own, albeit quite small. Two years after they married my brother Bill was born and the apartment was suddenly very crowded.

Ann’s parents gave them a piece of land just up the hill from them on St. Sulpice Road in October 1951. Tom designed the house himself to fit the lot and to this day it remains an original and sophisticated design.

3170 St Sulpice - 2010
3170 St Sulpice (2010) – built by Ann and Tom in 1952

In order to proceed with building the house, Tom needed a loan, which was difficult to obtain at that time. Eventually, Standard Life approved the loan and the house was built for about $18,000. According to the financial records, the loan was paid off in five years.

The interior of the house was completed, with Ann’s help, only as needed and in between children.

Their first son Bill was not an easy child, according to my father, and my mother found herself consumed by his needs. No small wonder it took five years before they had my sister Margaret. After Margaret was born, they really had their hands full and before they knew it my brother John was on the way. My father said the doctors were concerned but Ann seemed to thrive on motherhood. And three years later, in 1957, I was born.

Somehow during this busy time Ann wrote a short story which described a night in their life with small children:

“…Another wail woke them up. Then another, then tears. John was crying, so was Margaret, yelling hard and Bill was coughing and in tears. They both moaned, hopped out of bed and started laughing. Pandemonium had broken loose! ‘There’s nothing like a good night’s sleep’ she mused. ‘The advantages of bachelorhood are extremely obvious at a time like this’ he chuckled and then each picked up an unhappy child.”  (Ann Lindsay Anglin – March 17, 1955)

1959 - The Anglin Children
1959 – The Anglin Children

As the family grew and thrived during the first twelve years of their marriage so did Tom’s engineering business. Sometimes Ann was able to join him on the odd business trip. It was during one of these trips in March 1960 that she felt ill.

The devastating diagnosis was cancer.

During the year and a half that followed, my father did his best to juggle children and career with taking care of his beloved Ann. He wrote long desperate prayers and took up yoga in an effort to cope. It must have been heart-wrenching for him to watch my mother endure the effects of experimental chemotherapy. Advertisements were submitted to the local newspapers in search of “a capable woman willing to do her best to look after a home and four children”. Both families scrambled to assist in any possible way.

In November 1961, my dear mother and Tommy’s Ann, passed away at the age of thirty-five.

Their love lives on in each and every one of their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

I feel very fortunate to have been part of their extraordinary love story.

The Priest

The Courtship of Ann and Tommy – Part 1

The Courtship of Ann and Tommy – Part 2

Genealogy

The Courtship of Ann and Tommy – Part 2

My father Tom was already a McGill Engineering graduate and employed in his field when he met my mother Ann, who had just begun her college studies. This meant he got to enjoy the McGill “scene” and social life for a second time around! He happily escorted Ann to all the school’s social functions. According to Dad, he was a really good dancer and they made a handsome pair dressed in their evening finery.

Ann’s 1946 diary describes these dances, parties and charity balls in detail with most entries closing with a rather ecstatic declaration of affection for her “Tommy”: What a man, what a love, what a darling! I love him so! What a passion I have for him! Tommy is more wonderful every day. The more I see you, the more I love you, Tommy. What a darling you are-Tommy-the loveliest things are part of you. The happiest days are always with Tommy.

Whew!

The diary entry for May 12, 1946, refers to “the best letter ever!” from her Tommy. They wrote each other almost daily during her summer breaks from college when her parents kept her “busy” and out-of-town visiting family and friends. What a thrill it was to find this very letter in my “dusty old boxes” of family memorabilia! And, yes, it is pretty special. It is a profound and lengthy letter analyzing love in different relationships such as a mother’s love, Christian love and love between a man and a woman. Tom wrote to Ann “…but all these things seemed outside forces and not within myself”. He continued to describe himself as “naturally a little cold emotionally and that his character and training encouraged reason.” The letter closes with “but since I’ve known you my darling, I’ve experienced love from my own heart responding to yours.” Good for you, Dad!

Clearly, their letter writing was not all romantic fluff!

At one time, they discussed buying a piece of property together – “Would you like a lake shore place rather than a place at the bay?” wrote Tom and included some rough number crunching for her opinion. Another lengthy letter summarized his fundamental thoughts on the universe: “…we can conceive of the universe finite in mass and energy yet with no boundaries and no centre.”

But what speaks volumes is that he consulted Ann in the planning stages of his own engineering company – the company name, his percent interest, his monthly salary and other essential decisions. Shortly before their wedding in May 1947, there was a letter to Ann written on the company letterhead – T. G. Anglin Engineering Company Limited.

I can only imagine Tom’s emotional state when he began dating Ann in the summer of 1943. In May of that year, his only brother went missing in action with his RCAF crew during WWII. I like to think his brother was watching over them and paving their way to a life together.

Ann always seemed so positive, happy and full of life. Her diary was filled with daily exclamations of Fun Galore! Swell! Wonderful! Simply Perfect! What a garden/view/weekend! It wasn’t long before my father, mesmerized by her optimism, gaily signed a letter with his initials made up of x’s and o’s.

It was not all that surprising to find Ann’s hand-scrawled note on a scrap of paper, hidden amongst their numerous letters and photos, promising not to have children for the first two years of marriage thus protecting their time alone after a passionate four-year courtship.

1946-04-08

Genealogy

The Courtship of Ann and Tommy – Part 1

Before my father, Tom Anglin (1919-1995) began his four-year courtship of my mother, Ann Lindsay (1926-1961), he went out with her older sister. It must have been awkward when he showed up on the Lindsay doorstep the first time asking for their younger daughter Ann instead of her sister Mary! Tom was 24 years old and Ann was only 17.

Who was this Ann Lindsay who would become Tom’s wife and my dear mother?

Her best childhood friend, Jean, wrote: “She had a beautiful inner soul that shone out through her eyes. A kind of pure innocence, a kind of angelic aura that surrounded her and there wasn’t a mean or selfish streak in her.”

Ann 1945
Ann Lindsay (1945) – 19 years old

Ann was affectionately described in the “Netherwood School for Girls” magazine in 1943:

Someone giggles ingratiatingly – it is Ann Lindsay … “Look at my hair!” she cries, and all behold her golden locks standling up  on end, a memorable sight! … What would we do without her? What would we do without the dependable giggler who sees that every joke gets a laugh? Whose sense of humour appears unexpectedly in the middle of the staidest lesson? …We may wonder how Ann will enjoy McGill, but we know McGill is going to enjoy her!

Her sister, Kay, wrote: “…your mom wrote the entrance scholarship exam to Dalhousie University (although already accepted to McGill) on a dare from her maritime roommates. She just did it for a lark never dreaming she would win!”

The Anglins and the Lindsays lived right across the street from each other which enabled their relationship to flourish. Her friend Jean recalled “… your mom was lucky to find your dad when she was so young … all I remember was how HOT this romance was and they both wore their hearts on their sleeves.”

Ann’s parents insisted that she finish her college degree before she married Tom. Consequently, Ann was kept “busy” and out-of-town during the summer breaks in her schooling.

Her friend Jean wrote: “One summer, Ann and I went to a camp for underprivileged children as volunteer counsellors. Your dad spent his weekends visiting your mom. The air fairly crackled with fireworks when those two got down to smooching.”

1945-07-01 (1)
Letter from Ann – July 1st, 1945

During these summers they wrote letters to each other almost daily. He always signed his letters lovingly with “Tom” and she invariably always addressed hers with “Dear Tommy” or “Darling Tommy”. In fact, all through her diaries she refers to him as “Tommy”. As far as I know, no one else ever called him anything but “Tom”.

After a bit of practice, my father got the hang romantic letter writing and on July 3, 1946, he wrote:

“You are lovely in every way – beautiful, charm, wit, kind, companionable are all yours plus many things too spiritual, for me anyway, to put into words. I love you with all my heart and mind and may we always be happy together throughout both calms and storms of life.”

Ann’s 1947 McGill Yearbook entry summed up her recent years nicely:

To laugh, to love, to live.”

Attended Trafalgar and Netherwood Schools- for girls only.

So went to McGill in 1943 to study the “Arts” of men. This proved to be successful!

Ann and her “Tommy” were married just weeks after her graduation keeping their promise to her parents.

Genealogy

Uncle Paul to All

The headline read: “Bachelor awaiting his 11th child”. The 1969 newspaper article covered my Uncle Paul’s month-long trip to Korea, Hong Kong and the Philippines to visit “all his children”[1]. He sponsored his first foster child in 1961 and, only eight years later, he had 11 foster children.

IMG_3028
1969 – Uncle Paul travels internationally to visit his foster children.

My uncle, Paul Lindsay (1923-1987), was my mother’s only brother. He was interested in how the money raised by the Foster Parents Plan[2] was spent helping children and their families in developing countries. So, in 1969, he booked the first of several trips at his own expense and visited all his foster children in person. He was greeted like a hero everywhere – sometimes with a banner across the main street reading “Welcome Uncle Paul”.

Foster Kids 1969
Uncle Paul with some of his foster children and their family.

He served for 20 years as a director of both the Canadian and international organizations of Foster Parents Plan. His ultimate dream was to have two children, a boy and a girl, in each of the areas served by the organization.

Uncle Paul was a stockbroker most of his working life with the Montreal brokerage firm MacDougall, MacDougall, MacTier.  Every weekday afternoon, he left work early and volunteered two hours of his time at The Montreal Children’s Hospital, playing with the kids in the orthopaedic ward. He was much appreciated and recognized as one of their principal volunteers during that time. Years later, I wrote and dedicated a children’s book to him called Bonnie – The Car with a Heart.[3] All proceeds from the sale of the book were donated to the Montreal Children’s Hospital in his memory. But not even “Bonnie” had a heart bigger than Uncle Paul!

After his retirement in 1983, he moved from Montreal to Amberwood, a small community just west of Ottawa. He settled quickly into his new neighbourhood and before long he became a well-known member of the community. One of his proudest moments was being approved as a block parent – Uncle Paul to all – with a sign to post in his window. Only four short years later, after his death, the local park he helped develop for the neighborhood children was named after him.

Paul Lindsay memorial
Paul Lindsay Park Dedication
IMG_0839
Uncle Paul’s Nieces, Nephews and Family – May 2018

Another of his passions in life was music, listening to a high-end audio system in his own home and singing as a member of the Montreal Elgar Choir for 30 Years[4]. When I was very little, he would cup my ear and say my pet name, “Little Lou”, in his deep baritone voice. The vibration tickled and made me shiver with delight.

Uncle Paul loved games! Perhaps it was the child in him. All kinds of games: golf, bowling, cards, Scrabble … and betting games at racetracks and casinos! He had a holiday apartment in the French Riviera (possibly purchased with his casino winnings?) When in town, the French children would gather at the local café waiting for “Oncle Paul,” eager for the promised coin or two. I stayed there one night in 1974 while backpacking around Europe with a high school friend. The next day, he bid us “au revoir” each with a bottle of French perfume.

My cousins and siblings all have fond memories of our Uncle Paul.  We never minded sharing him though; after all, he was Uncle Paul to all!

[1] The Province, Vancouver, BC – August 12, 1969

[2] https://wiki2.org/en/Plan_Canada – as referenced August 12, 2018

[3] Bonnie – The Car with a Heart, written and published by Lucy H. Anglin – September 2010

[4] https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/montreal-elgar-choirchorale-elgar-de-montreal-emc/ – as referenced August 12, 2018

Genealogy, Quebec

My Formidable Tante Marie

I trail closely behind my petite 97-year old aunt as she pushes her walker towards the residence dining room. Her recently repaired hip doesn’t appear to bother her as she purposefully maneuvers herself to the front of the line.

Ironically, she was born with a curvature to her spine and the doctors pronounced baby Mary “delicate” informing her parents that she would not have a long life.

“Ha!” she has been known to utter on many an occasion.

Another favourite saying has become “I shall never surrender!”[1] It is stated with such passionate theatrical flair leaving no doubt that she means what she says.

Her parents, Millicent and Sydenham Lindsay, provided their first born child with numerous quiet diversions such as books, art supplies and writing materials during her childhood. She was not to tax herself physically much to the dismay of her brother and two sisters. Consequently, her artistic talents and imagination flourished and by the time she completed high school, she was ready to perform!

Mary was a talented actress and enjoyed memberships in several different theatre groups in and around Montreal during the 40’s and 50’s. She also occasionally designed store windows in connection with the theatre that drew the attention of the local paper.

“A departmental store window display, depicting characters in a scene from Kings in Nomania has aroused considerable interest and admiration to the gratification of Mary Lindsay, talented young display artist who designed the window.”[2]

In 1950, Trinity Players and The Montreal Repertoire Theatre produced the play “Jupiter in Retreat” and 30-year old Mary won the best actress award for the Western Quebec Region in the Dominion Drama Festival for her leading role. The Herald raved about her:

“Mary Lindsay Kerr, actress playing a leading role, gave a performance of confidence, sincerity and absolute conviction. This artist didn’t put a foot wrong. She played right from the beginning with ease, and she had the power of making lines appear spontaneous.” [3]

The prize was a beautiful handcrafted painted wooden bowl that she later passed on to me. It currently hangs on my kitchen wall as a proud memento from my much-loved aunt.

Mary was blessed with a true soulmate when she married Robert Black-Byrne Kerr in 1946.  Not only did he continue to look after her but he shared her love of the theatre! They were known to host house parties with themes like “Ye Gods” where guests dressed in togas as Roman Gods and probably ate and drank excessively!

Lively games of charades were played at every family gathering. Halloween was a fabulous excuse for a little play-acting! Mary would dress up as a witch and stir a giant pot of steaming “witch’s brew” in the large front window while Bob handed out treats to anyone who dared to come close enough!

In the 50’s, they moved to Vancouver for Bob’s job and Mary was welcomed enthusiastically as “a prize winning actress” into the Vancouver Theatre Guild. She also developed a reputation for radio work (Trans-Canada Matinee on CBC) and several TV and screen appearances (she was the voice of Clarence the Caterpillar on the children’s “Peppermint Prince” program).

As they didn’t have children of their own, Mary and Bob took great pleasure in doting on their nieces and nephews. When they moved back to Montreal in the late 60’s, Mary taught me how to bake a “four egg sponge cake” folding in the stiffly beaten egg whites just so. Weekly tea parties featuring just the two of us were a real treat. Sometimes she would serve “backwards dinner” starting with dessert first!

Over the years, we were often treated to hand painted watercolour cards sent to us for every special occasion. Her joie de vivre was obvious throughout her notes by the abundant use of exclamation marks. They were always lovingly signed: “Big Hugs, Tante Marie!”

(Tante Marie is presently residing in Ottawa, Ontario, where she is now doted on by her nieces and nephews.)

[1] Based on Sir Winston Churchill’s famous WWII speech.

[2] Newspaper clipping, personal collection – “Novel Store Window illustrates C.A.T. Play (Canadian Art Theatre), December, 1944.

[3] The Herald, Montreal , Friday, March 10, 1950.

Genealogy, Newspapers, Ontario, United States

Social Media – Then and Now

My hitherto unknown relative pulled open an old book of Tennyson poems from the bookshelf and out fluttered a newspaper clipping that had been there almost 100 years.

The clipping was a photo of two small boys posed in their Sunday best from a Philadelphia newspaper published in 1921[1]. The names of my father, Thomas Anglin, and his brother Bill were printed at the bottom.

 

Jenn Garro, who found the clipping, Googled the names and my recent story about Uncle Bill Dear Uncle Bill on the Genealogy Ensemble website was the first hit. She located me on Facebook and sent me a message:

Was I the daughter or niece of one of these boys? My answer – Yes!

The boys’ mother, my grandmother, Josephine Eveline Sherron, married William Wendling Anglin The Stock Broker, of Kingston, Ontario in 1915 in Philadelphia.

Not only do I have a copy of this newspaper clipping, I also have the original photo. My grandmother relished the world of the newspaper social pages and this early photo of her boys was their introduction into that world.

Another photo, taken six years later, captured the boys lovingly looking over their mother’s shoulder while she read to them. It was first published in the Philadelphia Inquirer in December, 1927[2], and then again in the June 1930 issue of Mayfair Magazine.[3]

 

Josephine began modeling from an early age. She modeled hairdos, hats and fashions of the day, and the photos were widely distributed. One such photo, published in the December 11, 1915 issue of the Philadelphia Evening Ledger[4], featured her wearing a black lamb’s wool hat and muff with matching coat. The caption announced that her marriage had taken place that day.

 

Like many other people at that time, her mother and sister contributed regularly to the newspaper’s social pages, with announcements of teas, luncheons and bridge parties. Special events, such as the 1924 June Ball at the Royal Military College near Kingston, provided eager readers with short descriptions of the ball gowns that the “distinguished guests at the social event of the season” were wearing: “Mrs. Wendling Anglin, rose georgette beaded.”[5]

Most surprising, however, were detailed announcements of the comings and goings of the family.

“Mr. and Mrs. W.W. Anglin, Westmount, Montreal, Canada, will be the guests over this week-end of Mrs. Anglin’s mother, Mrs. William Thomson Sherron, in Germantown.  Mr. and Mrs. Anglin will leave by motor on Sunday for a several weeks’ trip to Florida.”[6]

Then, a short while later:

“Mrs. Sherron has as her guests over the week-end her son-in-law and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. W. W. Anglin, of Montreal, Canada, who arrived in this city Friday from Florida, after spending several weeks in the South.”

IMG_0006

One visit from her sister was followed so thoroughly that it was announced on four separate occasions!

To begin with, it was announced twice in her local Germantown paper:

” …will leave next Wednesday for a visit of several weeks with her brother-in-law and sister, Mr. and Mrs. W.W. Anglin, of Westmount, Montreal, Canada.”

And then,

“…has left for Montreal, Canada, where she will remain for several weeks as the guest of her sister…”[7]

Again, on the receiving end of the visit, in the Montreal Daily Star:

“Mr. and Mrs. W.W. Anglin have as their guest, Mrs. Anglin’s sister …of Philadelphia, Penn.”

And finally, home again:

“…who has been spending a month with her brother-in-law and sister, Mr. and Mrs. W.W. Anglin, in Montreal, Canada, taking part in the winter sports, recently returned to this city.”[8]

Any decent burglar could have seized these well publicized opportunities to plan the perfect theft!

These newspaper articles from 80 years ago are very similar to posts that enthusiastic friends might share on today’s social media networks. Nowadays, anyone can share family activities and photos with the whole world in a similar fashion. Nevertheless, I wonder whether any family photos will flutter into a distant relative’s inbox 100 years from now.

Meanwhile, my newly discovered relative Jenn lives in Bolivia, and we are keeping in touch by messaging on social media.

Note: 

On the inside cover of Tennyson’s Poems is written the name “Lizzie Gould”. Lizzie (Elizabeth) Gould was the sister of Harriet Gould (Josephine’s mother-in-law and my great grandmother, Mrs. W.G. Anglin Surgeon and Mentalist). Their brother Harry (Henry) Gould was the father of Pearl, who was Jenn Garro’s great-grandmother.  It appears Lizzie kept the clipping of her sister Harriet’s grandchildren in the book of poems. Jenn inherited the book and the clipping.

 

 

[1] Public Ledger – Philadelphia, Sunday Morning, July 3, 1921

[2] The Philadelphia Inquirer – December 19, 1927

[3] The Mayfair Magazine – June 1930

[4] Evening Ledger- Philadelphia, Saturday, December 11, 1915

5  The Kingston Standard – June 17, 1924 

[6] Local newspaper, January 28, 1938

[7] Germantown local newspaper, January 4, 1935

[8] Germantown local newspaper, about February 4, 1935

Genealogy

You can go back!

“It’s so much smaller than I remember!” was overheard again and again as we five sisters toured our childhood home.

The family matriarch awoke one morning weeks before our annual Christmas get together with a brilliant idea! She wanted to organize a family visit to our old home that my father had built 65 years ago. She helped raise his seven children in the 40 years that we lived in that house.

The new owners of the house cautiously agreed to the idea. Little did they know that there were 22 of us gathering at our mother’s Kensington apartment that day! Only twelve of us actually toured the family home.

The memories came flooding back the minute we stepped through the front door.  We were tripping all over ourselves reminiscing about this and that and all the good times. There were sad memories as well  which were acknowledged and gently released.

The most impressive feature of the house was the sunken living room with an entire wall of windows overlooking downtown Montreal. Opposite the windows was a spectacular floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace where many a family photo was taken over the years. The mantelpiece, however,was still annoyingly off centre! The walls echoed with years of children’s dress-up performances and lively after dinner family games of charades and fruit basket.

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The dining room was the scene of more than a hundred birthday parties over the years. We would march around the table singing and bearing gifts for the celebrant. There are tons of photos depicting this very special family tradition .

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Sunday nights we watched the Walt Disney movie on the 12″ black and white TV with supper.  Sometimes we would have lemon and sugar roll-up pancakes or for a very special treat Chalet BBQ chicken dinner was ordered in and devoured.

We all remember the delicious roasts (and legendary roast potatoes) for Sunday lunch after church. Somehow the table stretched to include old aunties and uncles or grandparents who would join us. “Dad would methodically carve the roast but we could not wait to eat. I doubt he ever actually enjoyed his dinner as we always clamoured for gravy bread (bread dipped in the meat juices) and seconds.”

The kitchen had been completely renovated (although our stove was still in use!) but it didn’t deter our memory of Dad sitting on his stool at the end of the counter with his water jug from Vermont, eating his healthy breakfasts. On the kitchen wall behind him was the family bulletin board dotted with scraps of important notices and a handmade birthday calendar.

We delighted in seeing the original wood floors and doors, the built-in cabinetry and the bannister (since reinforced). The glass door knobs on the doors throughout the house stood out although I never remember giving them a second thought growing up. The wood floor in the upstairs hall triggered giddy memories of running and sliding the entire length of the hall in stocking feet.

Thanking our hosts, with a promised donation to a homeless shelter, we strolled back to the Kensington apartment to join the others. “Upon entering the crowded  apartment, we were greeted with the delightful smell of roast lamb dinner and we knew we were home”.

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Photo:  3170 St. Sulpice Road, Montreal, Quebec – The house my father built  in 1952.