Monday Memories: call for stories

Genealogy involves a lot of names, places, and dates. Data. What are often missing are the actual stories of the lives behind the data.

Every Monday, I want to feature a ‘memory’ from the family tree… short, informal, uncorroborated. Memories can be funny, sad, heart-warming, or just interesting. The subject of the story should be someone in the tree, but not still living (for privacy reasons).

woman on phoneFor example:
It was recently relayed to me that Maggie Park was notorious for eavesdropping on the party line that was shared by four farms in Hamiota, MB. The story goes that folks from the other three farms would routinely say “Goodbye Maggie!” as they ended their telephone conversations.

Discovery of the week: Padfields, Playfords, and Musgroves, oh my!

The runner-up for title of this post was “Holy Howick!” because that’s where these three families (and more) were all located at the turn of the 20th century.

It’s been a week of snowballing discoveries since I opened my Mom’s suitcase of photos, which had been sitting neglected in my closet for most of the last decade.

Musgrove family.
James A. Musgrove and Catherine (Kate) Padfield with their eldest son James Wilfred

The suitcase belonged to my grandmother, Sarah Ellen Playford, and most of the photos are of that family and the Padfields. I had looked through the photos many times — and had even sorted many of them into their various family groups.  For reason, though, this week the penny dropped… several pennies, actually! First it was, discovering a photo of Thomas F. Playford that had been misidentified on the back. Then I managed to identify a mystery “friend” of my grandmother’s as actually cousin named Muriel Musgrove… that led to the connection that Kate Musgrove was, in fact, Catherine Padfield. And that was just the first hour!

It would be too cumbersome to explain everything I have discovered in the last week or so, but suffice to say that several hours of research has resulted in dozens of new names and images added to the Carmichael Family Tree.

If ever you want to see “What’s New” in the family tree, there’s a page for that!

P.S. If anyone can explain the vest that James Musgrove is wearing in the photo above, I would really appreciate it. 

Photo Friday: Mary Padfield and her sisters

Mary Padfield and her sisters.
Mary Padfield (second from left) and her sisters.

I love this photograph of my great-grandmother Mary Padfield (2nd from left) and her sisters. The only other sister that can be confidently identified is Marguet, the youngest, in the centre. However, later photos of Catherine, the eldest sister, lead me to believe that she is second from the right. The photo is undated, but was likely taken around 1900 which would make Marguet 15 years old, Mary 27, and Catherine 28.

Of the five sisters, only two (on the far right) seem to be looking in the same direction. At a time when ‘candid’ photographs were rare, it strikes me as odd (and refreshing) that the sisters would intentionally be looking off in all directions.  You can almost detect personalities in their gazes. The sister on the far left (possibly Sarah) appears confident; not afraid to look directly at the camera. Mary has a certain intensity about her, but also a hint of a smirk. Marguet appears shy, looking downwards not wanting to draw attention to herself. Catherine, while bearing the confidence of the eldest, seems quiet and demure. The last sister (Jane?) is the least expressive.but has a certain studiousness about her, perhaps invoked by the glasses.

As an amateur photographer and amateur genealogist, this photo is just fascinating.


On this day: Edith Ann Smith born in 1889

Edith Ann Smith was born May 18, 1889 in England. She immigrated to Canada in ~1894 with her parents, George and Ann, and seven siblings: Ernest, Florence, Maud, George (Jr.), William, Harold, and Frederick.

Map of Montreal, 1907
Detail of Knox St in Montreal, 1907. [full map] (source)
At the time of the 1901 Census, Edith lived with her parents and siblings at 115 Knox Street in the St. Gabriel Ward of Montreal in what is now Point St. Charles. Sometime after 1911 the street was renumbered but this 1907 map of the area shows that the house was a duplex located at approximately 2491 Knox Street [Google Map].

At 21 years of age, Edith married William Ralph Carmichael on September 14th, 1910 at the Smith home on Knox St. William was the son of Henry Carmichael and Mary Brammer, recorded in the 1901 census as living in St. Anne Ward, at 295 Bourgoies Street, just a few blocks away. The record of the marriage has been preserved and I have transcribed it here (please advise of any transcription errors):

Record of Marriage for William Ralph Carmichael and Edith Ann Smith
Record of Marriage for William Ralph Carmichael and Edith Ann Smith

William Ralph Carmichael son of Henry Carmichael and Mary Brammer, his wife, and Edith Ann Smith, daughter of George Charles Smith and Ann Lamden(?) his wife were married by me on authority of licence on the fourteenth day of Sept. in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ten at the home of the bride’s mother MRs. Smith, 115 Knox St., Montreal, in the city of Montreal in province of Quebec in the presence of subscribing witnesses. Both of legal age + no opposition.

J.T. Marshall, Baptist minister

Less than a year later, at the time of the census in 1911, Edith and William were still living in the Smith home with most of the family: her mother and four siblings. George Smith had died sometime between 1901 and 1911. Edith’s son William Ralph would be born in December of that year and would be her only child.

At the time of the next census in 1921, Edith still lived in that home on Knox St. with her husband William, 9-year-old son William and her mother Ann, who was now 64.

Edith Ann Smith died on the 15th of June, 1957 and is buried at Mount Royal Cemetery in Montreal.

If anyone has a photo of Edith, please submit it here: Submit Photo

UPDATE: This post has been completely re-written as new information was discovered within hours of posting.

Footnote: Rev. J.T. Marshall moves to Chilliwack