Monday, December 31, 2012

Notes of Thanks for 2012

Just wanted to wish everyone a Happy New Year who has been reading my blog, has visited it, or has contributed to it in any way. Thank you so much for your support. My Descent into Descent has been a great tool for focusing my understanding of my family history research, as well as to share the stories of my ancestors with others. I believe that the sharing part is so important. I have loved how writing this blog and doing my family history work in general has connected me with family and friends who are close, more distant, and previously unknown to me.

I have done the bulk of my family history work in the past year, as I only began it in August 2011. The highlights of the past year include connecting with cousins in England and Australia to work collaboratively on our Sanderson and Saunders lines. My relationships with my new-found cousins Shirley, Ann, Bert, and Julie have been bright spots of my year, as have my connections with those on my father’s lines in the United States and Canada, such as those with Sarah and Deb sorting out the Bosomworths and the Marlows. I am also thankful for all the materials, documents, and photos which have come my way. I have appreciated the support and contributions of all those who have connected with me over genealogy this year, including my mother, brother, sisters, uncles, and cousins. It has been a wonderful way to stay in touch with people over a topic of mutual interest. I have to add that I am also grateful to my colleagues at work, who are not related to me, for showing genuine interest in every exciting new discovery I am bursting to share. I wonder how they keep track of it all. I also would like to share my gratitude to my fellow members in the B.C. Genealogical Society, such as Diane Rogers, to the volunteers at the Bellingham Family History Center (thank you, Tamara and Peg), and to the local Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, including the very knowledgeable Lil.

I would also like to thank Lisa Louise Cooke for sharing my email about my blog on the premium version of her Genealogy Gems podcast, and for her excellent instructions on how to create a blog on her Family History Made Easy podcast. My thanks also go out to Thomas MacEntee for inspiring me with his  Geneabloggers podcast, and for featuring my blog on a recent  blogpost. This resulted in my blog coming to the attention of Elizabeth Lapointe, who mentioned it in her Genealogy Canada blog. Thank you, too, Elizabeth.

I would also like to thank my son for the inspiration of his own blog (not family history-related), and for encouraging me to write. In this vein, I would also like to thank the women of my writing group, The Champagne Club, Darlene, Sheryl, Anne, Michelle and Jill, for their support of my writing all these years. They are finally getting to see some of it.

Much of my work this year has focused on two of my great grandfathers, Herbert Charles Saunders and Melvin J. Hart. What I knew about Herbert led to so many unanswered questions, such as what were the circumstances of his being sent to Canada as a British Home Child, who were his family in England, what was his experience in the Royal North West Mounted Police, and what happened in World War One? All the records that came my way this year, as well as information from family sources, helped to answer these questions. I promised myself that when I had received all the documents about him that I would start my blog, which I did. Melvin and his lines fascinate me. This whole dimension of having deep American roots is enthralling, particularly as I have always been interested in American history and politics. I always knew that Melvin had fought in the Civil War, but I didn’t know very much else about him. I remember when I was a child my father bringing back Confederate bills from the farm in Alberta for us to play with. Little did I know that Melvin’s roots on both his lines went back to the earliest times of Colonial America, including, it appears, the Mayflower. In fact, the impetus for starting my family history research came from mentioning to my husband that I wondered if anyone in my family had fought in the Revolutionary War, and him offering to give me a subscription to Ancestry for my birthday. I now know of at least five direct ancestors who were Revolutionary War patriots. Thank you, my darling husband.

Nevertheless, writing this blog, particularly my series about those who came to Canada, has brought home to me how Canadian I really am. I was thinking that I was mainly British and American due to the depth of my roots in both lands, but when it really comes down to it, all of my great grandparents were either born in Canada (Susan Monk) or came to Canada. Four of my great great grandparents on both sides came to Canada (Jacob Monk, Jane Crawford, William Cook, and Emma Green), and at least three of my three times great grandparents also came here (Johannes Jacob Monk, John Crawford and Margaret Ann Diamond). All of this immigration to the Great White North started in about the 1830’s or 1840’s and ended in 1922. That is a long time ago in the history of a young country. Not only that, but there is family history to discover all across Canada, (except for the Maritimes), including Quebec, Ontario, all of the prairie provinces, and British Columbia. My Descent into Descent truly fits into the category of a Canadian family history blog.

Finally, I would like to thank my parents and my grandparents, some of them no longer with us, for sharing their knowledge of their family histories with me throughout my life and piquing my interest. I think I may now have captured most of the stories told to me by my grandparents, Alice Saunders and William Sanderson, which I did not want to be lost. I would also like to thank all my ancestors who are probably helping me behind the scenes in the world beyond. I, like virtually every other family historian, have had the sense that the departed are providing such assistance. I believe they may be behind those moments of “genealogical serendipity”. (You know who you are, Maud Marlow).

Tomorrow, I will be sharing some of my plans for this blog in the New Year. In the meantime, Happy New Year everyone!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

John Crawford and Margaret Ann Diamond

My three times great grandparents, John Crawford and Margaret Ann Diamond, grandparents of Susan Monk Hart, came to Canada from Ireland between 1845 and 1847 during the height of the potato famine. I know nothing of their parentage, which means they are both “brick walls” for me on my tree. I am given to understand, however, that due to a scarcity of records for Ireland, that one cannot expect to go further back than the early 1800’s in Irish research. We shall see. I’m not giving up yet. It appears that John was born in Ireland on October 8, 1803, but there are unsourced reports that he was born on Isle of Man. The “John Crauford” baptised in 1803 on the Isle of Man in, was baptised in April, so if the October birthdate is correct, then this cannot be our John. His wife, Margaret Ann Diamond, was born in 1803 or 1804, also in Ireland. There are unsourced reports on Ancestry that Margaret, and the children born in Ireland, were born in Belfast, Antrim. The one clue that seems to fit is that their daughter, Margaret Ann Crawford, appears to have baptised on the Isle of Man in the old “Kirk” in Braddan on January 8, 1837. She is named, “Margaret Ann Crawford Diamond”, and is the daughter of “John Crawford” and “Ann Diamond”. There seem to be a number of Crawfords on the Isle of Man at this time, but not many Diamonds. To complicate matters, some of their census records and those of their children indicate that they were born in “England” and “Scotland” as well as “Ireland”. Because the bulk of the evidence comes down on Ireland, I think we are safe for now to say that that is where they were born.

Margaret and John were married in 1824 in Ireland, and unsourced reports say that this was in Larne, Antrim. They had about nine or ten children, between 1822 and 1847, with the last child, Sarah, being the only one born in Canada. Their children were also Jane, possibly David, Susan, John, Elizabeth, Henry, Margaret Ann, Mary Ann, and Charlotte. Between 1845 and 1847, they came to Canada, and settled in Ontario. In 1851, they were living in Oxford County. The whole family is Methodist. Between 1852 and 1856, the family emigrated to Decorah, Winneshiek, Iowa. On June 3, 1856, John was granted homestead land in Madison, Winneshiek, where it appears that both John and Margaret lived for the rest of their days. It is beginning to look like I should be ordering some homestead records, not only for John Crawford, but also for Jacob Monk, Melvin Hart, and my homesteaders in Illinois. The U.S. records are said to contain much useful genealogical data. I will keep you posted, gentle reader.

John died on April 2, 1871 at the age of sixty-seven. In 1880, Margaret Ann is living with her son Henry and his family, and in 1885, she is living with her daughter Sarah. Margaret Ann died  on June 4, 1889 at the age of eighty-six. She is buried with her husband John in Phelps Cemetery in Decorah, Winneshiek, Iowa.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Jacob Monk and Jane Crawford

My great great grandparents, Jacob Monk and Jane Crawford, the parents of Susan Monk Hart, were among the earliest of my direct ancestors to arrive in Canada. That I don’t say that they were the earliest is because I’m not yet sure who was. Jacob’s father, Jacob Sr., also came to Canada, but I am not certain which of the two men came first, or whether they came together. I do know that Jacob Sr. stayed in Canada, but that Jacob and Jane did not. Although others have done quite a bit of work on the Monk family, I am still sorting it out for myself. It is a bit complicated. In fact, Susan Monk’s lines are among the most challenging ones on my tree for me, probably because they are the most exotic to me as they involve German and Irish genealogy, which as yet do not know as much about.

Jacob Monk was born in New York between 1806 and 1821, the son of Jacob Monk Sr. and likely Margaretha Gress, both of German descent. At present, Jacob’s grandfather appears to have been Johannes Carl Muenck, a Hessian soldier brought over by the British to fight on their behalf during the American Revolution, who changed sides and remained in America. It appears that the family surname was originally “Muenck” but the Hessian grandfather appears to have anglicised the name to “Monk”, possibly to avoid being identified as a German. By 1849, Jacob was living in Ontario, Canada, and marrying Jane Crawford. The first record we have of his father living in Ontario is in the 1861 Canada census. However, there is a gap in the records of which I am sure, so they may have come to Canada together or separately, Jacob at any time after his birth, and Jacob Sr. any time after 1830. I am guessing that they came together since many families, and this family in particular, tended to emigrate together and live close to each other. Interestingly, Jacob Sr.'s half-brother, Nicholas, is living in the same county, Oxford, in Ontario, in the 1851 Canada Census, and remains there until his death in 1862. Also of interest is that the Hessian grandfather’s brother, Henrich Wilhelm, appears also to have been a Hessian, but who remained loyal to the British cause, and lived in Canada from about 1811 to 1819. (I am grateful to C. K. Monk for his work on Henrich and other family members). I admit that my own work on the Monks is definitely still a work in progress.

Jane Crawford was born September 19, 1822 in Ireland, likely the north, to John Crawford and Margaret Ann Diamond, who were Methodists. She was sometimes described as “Scottish”, so it is possible that the family was what is referred to as “Scots Irish”, that is, Irish of Scottish descent.  Her parents were married in Larne, Antrim, Ireland, so this may be where her mother was from, and where the family was living when Jane was born. I have more research to do in this area. She appears to have been the eldest of a family of nine, the other children being Susan, John W., Elizabeth, Henry, Margaret Ann, Mary Ann, Charlotte and Sarah. Her family came to Canada between 1845 and 1847, and by 1851 were residing in Oxford County, Ontario, Canada. She married Jacob Monk in Brock, Ontario on April 16, 1849. Between 1852 and 1855, she and Jacob moved to Decorah, Winneshiek, Iowa, as had her parents and siblings. She and Jacob were to remain in Iowa until their deaths.

Jacob and Jane Monk had seven children, Henry, Susan, John, George, James E., Alexander Washington, and Daniel, the first three having been born in Canada, and the last four in Iowa. They first lived in Decorah and Madison in Winneshiek county in Iowa, and then by 1880 were living in Bridgewater, Clay, Iowa. He had been granted homestead lands in Clay county on September 25, 1878. Jacob died on October 9, 1883 at the age of seventy-eight. In 1900 Jane is living with her unmarried son, George, on his farm in Freeman, Clay Iowa. Nearby is  the farm of her son John. In 1910, she is living next door to her son James and his family in Ruthven, Clay, Iowa, and she died there at the age of ninety-three. Jacob and Jane are both buried in Dickens Cemetery in Dickens, Clay, Iowa.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Susan Monk: The First to be Born in Canada

My great grandmother, Susan (a.k.a. “Susanah”) Monk, was born on August 1, 1851 in Ingersoll, Ontario, Canada. This makes her the first of my direct ancestors to be born in Canada. She was the daughter of  Jacob Monk, an American of German descent, and Jane Crawford, who had come to Canada with her parents from the north of Ireland. She was the second eldest of a family of seven children, which also included Henry, John, George, James E., Alexander Washington, and Daniel. Between the ages of one and four, she moved to Decorah, Iowa from Ontario with her parents and brothers Henry and John. By 1860, they were living in Madison, Winneshiek, Iowa, where they were still living in 1870, when Susan was nineteen.

On February 24, 1872, she married farmer and Civil War veteran, Melvin J. Hart in Bridgewater, Clay, Iowa. It was the first marriage for both, and they were married by Rev. Lewis S. Ely. They had five children while living in Iowa: Alva M., Flora Jane, George Leslie, Dell M., and Charlotte, known as “Lottie”. The family lived and farmed in Freeman, Clay, Iowa until about 1898, when they moved to Rock Island, Texas. They were back living in Clay County Iowa by 1905, from where they all, except for Dell, emigrated to Lougheed, Alberta, Canada, Susan's native land.(Please see my blogposts on Melvin J. Hart for a more in depth discussion of their experience coming to Canada). They were among the first homesteaders in the area, and first built a log house, and then later a brick house, on their property.

There are two stories told about Susan Hart in two of the local history books about Lougheed, one in Verdant Valleys In and Around Lougheed, and the other in Cambridge School District Memories. In Verdant Valleys, (p. 293), Elsie Renshaw Cookson tells how she and her family used to pick “wild saskatoons, cranberries and raspberries” with their neighbours, Mrs. Hart and her daughter Lottie. She said that once they had done picking the berries, they had to “wash jars, make syrup, and process the berries in a wash boiler”. In Cambridge School District Memories, (p. 184), Bernice White Tillmar describes how they used to visit “Gramma Hart’s” old log house for “Sunday suppers”. She states that the house had a second floor with “real stairs”, and a “big supply of magazines and pictures”. She also reports that they would visit the house after school, and that Gramma Hart would have “such big, beautiful loaves of fresh bread” waiting for them, and that she had “a pretty little flower garden” by the house. She says that Susan had to carry her water from a well “away down the hill”.

Susan Hart passed away on December 28, 1932 at her home, after being ill for about a year, during which her daughter Flora Jane attended to her. According to her obituary, “she never complained”, and that she “kept a clear mind almost to the last”. She had been a “great worker all her life”, and left behind “a host of friends” to mourn her loss.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Alice May Saunders 1912 - 1997

Alice Sanderson, about 80

My maternal grandmother, Alice May Sanderson, nee Saunders, was always a big part of Christmas for me growing up and into my adult years, so I am paying tribute to her here. Here are just some broad strokes today about her life. She, like my grandfather, William Sanderson, was the source for many of the family stories I heard growing up. They both intrigued me with their accounts of life in bye gone years.  I always wanted to know more. Now I get to share a little something about her. She was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba on November 16, 1912, the second daughter of Herbert Charles Saunders and Faith Cook (see my blogposts on both of them). She spent her childhood, and most of the rest of her life after World War One, in Vancouver, British Columbia. She was bright and precocious. She told the story of how she went repeatedly to the principal of the elementary school when she was five, and pleaded to be allowed to start school. She said, “I taught my sister Clara her ABC’s, and she’s going to school. Why can’t I?” She eventually wore him down, and was allowed into Grade One.

She married my grandfather on February 23, 1928, at the age of fifteen. He was twenty-five. They had six children, two girls and four boys. She never got over the loss of her eldest daughter, Velma, to blood poisoning from stepping on a rusty nail, who was nearly three when she died. Alice also lost a son prematurely, Kenneth “Kenny”, who was hit by a car at the age of twenty-one. After the loss of Velma in a hospital, she had most of her other children at home. My grandmother was known in the family for her psychic abilities, and as you have already read, she had a first cousin who achieved recognition as a psychic. She told the story of what happened subsequent to the complicated birth of her second eldest son. She apparently died in the hospital, and my great grandmother was informed that they had lost her. My grandmother’s experience was that she felt the bed lifting up, and she found herself in a beautiful garden where she felt such peace and happiness. She remembered then having the thought, “What about my children? Who will take care of them?” She then felt the bed drifting down, and she came back to life. She always said that she lost her fear of death from then on.

She raised her family during the years of the depression and World War Two, and became adept at “making do” with very little. She did things like buying sweaters at rummage sales and undoing the wool, and knitting items for her family. She would also buy men’s suits and other adult clothes and make clothing for the children out of them. She, like her mother and grandmother, was a seamstress. She always managed to put on the best Christmases she could for her children, and one Christmas, she managed to find skis for my uncles, and also for a friend of theirs. She also helped make our Christmases merry and bright. She and my grandfather helped my mother tremendously when we were growing up. I still miss her, especially at this time of year.

My mother remembers how Alice would often “go above and beyond” for her as a mother. My mother had to attend a formal function as a young adult, and needed a ball gown. My grandmother used her ingenuity, and went to the costume department of “Theatre Under the Stars”, and managed to borrow a beautiful and appropriate gown for her. When Mom got engaged, one of my grandparents quipped, “I guess you’ll have to be in the society pages”. My mother, who was, and she will admit this, a bit of a “princess” at the time, did not think they were joking and expected that this would happen. The story goes that Gramma went down to the Vancouver Sun and convinced them to put my mother’s picture in the “society pages” announcing her engagement. (I will have to find the article someday). I guess Alice was part mother and part “fairy godmother”. She was an amazing woman, and a wonderful grandmother. Merry Christmas, Gramma.

Christmas with me all my grandparents:
Lena Sarah Weyman, William and
Alice Sanderson, and Tom Weyman

Monday, December 24, 2012

William Sanderson--The Early Years

Alice Saunders, William and Bert Sanderson
about 1926 in Vancouver

Since it is Christmas Eve, I am profiling someone who is part of my own Christmas memories, my maternal grandfather, William Sanderson. Today, I am just going to talk mostly about his early life in England, before he came to Canada with his whole family in 1922. Although I know more now about his life during this time, there are still some mysteries which I hope to solve. William, known as “Bill”, was born on January 16, 1903 in the town of March in Cambridgeshire, the son of Herbert Sanderson and Phoebe Green. He was the eldest of five children, the others being Tom, Bert, Olive and Leonard.

He used to say that his family was fairly poor growing up, despite his father having worked for the railroad. He shared that he and his siblings got oranges for Christmas which were kind of dried up. I also seem to recall him saying that the family typically ate goose and Christmas pudding at Christmas. The family pet was a springer spaniel. By the time William was eight in 1911, the family had moved to the coastal town of South Lynn, Kings Lynn, Norfolk. Their address was “7 Victoria Street”. (Interestingly, Captain George Vancouver was from King’s Lynn, and William and his family were to settle in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1926). The South Lynn Railway Station was located here, where William’s father, Herbert, likely worked. By his own report, William was a good student, but left school around the age of fourteen to go to work. He said that boys of that age would go from “short pants” to “long pants”, marking the shift from childhood to the working world and more adult expectations of them. He said that his first job was working in a “munitions factory”, as this would have been in 1917 during World War One. I have yet to identify which munitions factory this was. (If you, gentle reader, could help me out with this, I would be most grateful).

Before the family left for Canada in 1922, they were all living together at “2 Station Cottages, Broxbourne, Hertfordshire”. William’s father Herbert likely worked at the Broxbourne Railway Station nearby at the time. The nineteen-year-old William was working as a “chauffeur”. My best candidate so far for the estate where he worked is the Old Manor House at Wormley, Broxbourne, also known as the “Manor Farm”, which would not have been a long distance from the Broxbourne Railway Station. My grandfather told me that he worked in different capacities on the estate, which included working with the dogs and the gardens. I remember him as having a knack for dogs and gardening his whole life. I would like to isolate the estate where he worked and possibly see it someday.

William, his parents, siblings, and cousin George, came to Canada in 1922. George`s destination was farming in Saskatchewan, which is where the rest of the Sandersons may have also gone at first. All I know is that they worked their way across Canada, spending some time in the interior of British Columbia, before moving to Vancouver permanently. (George returned to England early on).

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Walt Marlow and the World Hockey Association

I could not leave this current series on the Marlow family without talking about Walter Marlow, grandson of Joseph and Annabelle Marlow. Although it has only been about five years since he passed away, I decided to include him due to his accomplishments. I am only drawing upon information freely available on the internet and in books, and therefore I am not disclosing any personal data which is not already “out there”. I myself only found out about him through my research, and had never heard him discussed growing up, despite his having been my father’s first cousin.

Walter W. Marlow was the son and only child of William “Bill” Marlow and Olga Timmerick, and was born in 1926 in Alberta, Canada. (See Verdant Valleys In and Around Lougheed, As a young man, he left Alberta, and married his wife Blanche, with whom he had three children. Starting at the age of sixteen, he worked as a journalist in Canada and in Michigan before he and his family eventually moved to California in 1958 to escape “the bitter winters”. There, he first worked for the Orange County Evening News, and then for the Los Angeles Herald Examiner as a sports writer for many years. He also worked in the field of public relations.

In 1971 he directed the men who were forming the fledgling World Hockey Association to contacts within Canadian Junior hockey, such as “Wild Bill” Hunter, and therefore helped the League to move into Canada. He then became the League’s publicist. (My source for this is The Complete Historical and Statistical Reference to the World Hockey Association 1972-1979, by Scott Surgent, page 3, available through Google Books).

In an article written in about 2003, Walter stated that he had “brought in four Canadian teams” to the W.H.A. “which ultimately merged with the N.H.L.”. ( These teams included the Edmonton Oilers. For an account of how the Oilers were brought in, I strongly suggest you read the article about “Wild Bill” Hunter written by Murray Greig of the Edmonton Sun, October 12, 2012, WHA Oilers Were Wild Bill Hunter’s baby ( In the article, Wild Bill is quoted as having agreed to meet with the two American founders of the W.H.A. and Walt Marlow on the strength of Walt’s recommendation. The writer states that “it took a couple of Albertans to transform the WHA into reality”.

Walter later came to the media’s attention in the 2000’s for being the first person in California and the third in North America to undergo a new procedure for addressing macular degeneration, a disease of the eye (see link above). He had a miniaturized telescopic lens implanted, which unfortunately did not appear to have had the hoped for results.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Marlow Centennial—100 Years in Canada

Maud, Lena, Winnifred, Dollie and Joseph "Tom" Marlow
about 1910
Courtesy of Deb and Larry S.

It just occurred to me that it was one hundred years in October that my great grandfather, Joseph Marlow, and his son Joseph, always called “Tom”, arrived in Alberta, Canada, and one hundred years in November that Joseph’s wife Anna Belle and the other children followed them. (You will recall that their daughter Lena Sarah Smith stayed behind in Illinois with her husband George Arthur Smith initially). As it happens, Joseph’s daughter, Maud Elizabeth, aged nineteen at the time, wrote an article soon after her arrival for the local newspaper back home in Carlinville, Illinois, a letter to the editor describing the family’s adventures coming “north”. This has come into my possession this month from my cousins Deb and Larry S. in a very timely, and almost spooky way. Thank you, Deb and Larry. So exactly one hundred years later, I am presenting my great aunt Maud and her family’s story. I believe this is an example of "genealogical serendipity".

As I did not give the details earlier of the Marlow family’s arrival in Canada, as I referred the reader to the book available on line, Verdant Valleys In and Around Lougheed, I am taking the opportunity to do it here. I am combining the narrative in Verdant Valleys, written by my great uncle George’s wife, Sadie Gordon, with the one written by Sadie and my great aunt Zella Marlow Craig in Cambridge School District Memories.

Joseph and his son, Tom, aged eighteen, left Carlinville, Illinois in October 1912 by freight car, which they had loaded with “six horses, fifty chickens, machinery and furniture”. As only one person was allowed to ride in a freight car, Tom stowed away by hiding in the corn, which they brought to feed the horses, every time the train stopped. They safely crossed the border at Portal, North Dakota into North Portal, Saskatchewan, and arrived in Cluny, Alberta, near Calgary. They could have purchased a C.P.R. farm here, but did not find it satisfactory. Joseph then left Tom to look after their possessions while he went on to Lougheed, Alberta. While in Cluny, Tom paid his expenses, such as meals and the livery barn for the horses, by selling popping corn grown back home in Illinois. When Joseph had found a suitable place for them in Lougheed, he sent for Tom to join him in Wetaskiwin, where they ate a “delicious steak dinner” for twenty five cents, which turned out to be horse meat.

The ready-made farm that Joseph purchased from the C.P.R. was located eleven miles south of the village of Lougheed on the north shore of Goose Lake. (Among their closest neighbours were my great grandfather, Melvin J. Hart, and my grandfather, George Hart, and their family, who had homesteaded in the area in 1905). The quarter section farm had a house, a barn, and a good soft water well, as well as fifty pre-planted acres of wheat, oats and barley. Anna Belle, my great grandmother, and the children, Winnifred, Maud, William, Dolly,George, Fred, and Zella, left Carlinville on November 5, 1912 and arrived a few days later. (Oddly, Winnifred is not listed among them in the November 7th  border crossing record). By December 1st, Joseph and the boys had threshed 1500 bushels of grain. The price of wheat at the time was about fifty cents a bushel, and after Joseph had made his payment for the land, they only had $250.00 dollars left to get them through the winter. An early frost ruined the potato crop planted by the C.P.R., so they had to make due with one bag provided by a neighbour. Through the winter the Marlow family diet consisted of rabbit, beans, homemade bread and hot biscuits. The Marlow boys started out by shooting the rabbits with a .22 shell shotgun, with a “one shell one rabbit” policy, but sometimes missed, and started snaring them with snare wire. When Joseph found out about this, no more shells were used.

On December 1, 1912, the following is published in the Carlinville, Illinois Democrat:

Miss Maud Marlow Describes Incidents of Journey from Plainview to Lougheed, Canada


Editor, DEMOCRAT: This is in compliance with my promise to you as well as to my many friends in Carlinville and vicinity to write about our journey to the north. Our family left our home near Plainview on Tuesday, November 5th, and started on our long trip. We travelled over the C. and A. to Chicago, thence to St. Paul, and from there to North Portal. At the latter place, we changed to mountain time, which is one hour later. The greater part of our journey was in the night, so in that way we missed seeing much of the country through which we travelled.

At North Portal we boarded a Canadian Pacific train for Calgary and travelled through Southern Saskatchewan and we noticed nearly all of the farmers were threshing wheat. On our trip from North Portal we passed through the cities of Moose Jaw and Medicine Hat, the latter being in the gas belt. We arrived in Calgary at about 6:15 in the morning. It is a one large city on the Bow River. Leaving Calgary at  8 o’clock we went by train to our destination and reached there some hours later. On this last run of our trip we were in sight of the Rocky Mountains for about one hundred miles. My father met us at our destination and started in vehicles for our home. A light snow was falling when we left but it had stopped after we had gone a few miles. Our new home is ten miles from town and it seemed a long distance before we finally arrived at our destination. We have had nice weather up till this time and it has been as cold as ten below zero. There is no snow, however. Father has just finished threshing and he has 1,500 bushels of grain, wheat, oats and barley, all off of 50 acres. There is still much threshing to be done in this vicinity.

Cornering on my father’s farm is a good sized body of water called Goose Lake. When we first came here there was quite a good deal of duck shooting. Now people come from miles around to skate, and it surely makes a fine place for the sport for the lake is one mile across and six miles long. We have a school house just one mile and a half from our home. My father bought what is called a ready made farm which he purchased from the C. P. railroad. It is in the Sedgwick colony, and has a new house and a barn and good well. The water is as soft as rainwater, yet it does not taste like cistern water. We are well pleased with the country up here.

Yours very truly,
Maud E. Marlow

(The “C. and A.” she describes is the Chicago and Alton Railroad). Maud was to marry Joseph Henry Galloway only two months later on February 10, 1913, with whom she had ten children.  It seems she must have met him in Alberta since he does not appear to have been from Illinois. It is possible that an incentive for leaving home was the small size of the C.P.R. ready-made farmhouses, as the standard house had only a kitchen, a living room, and two bedrooms. Maud Galloway, born February 16, 1893 in Scott, Illinois, died on March 22, 1977 in White Rock, British Columbia. Her husband, born the same year on December 17th in Sherman, Ferry, Washington (now a ghost town), had predeceased her on July 5, 1970.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Joseph and Anna Belle Marlow Revisited

Joseph H. Marlow
Courtesy of Deb and Larry S.

Anna Belle Bosomworth
Courtesy of Deb and Larry S.

I have just come into some more material about my great grandparents, Joseph H. Marlow and Anna Belle Bosomworth, courtesy of Deb and Larry S., my cousins. This is the kind of data that you hope to find, but never dream that you will. Thank you so much, Deb and Larry! According to a narrative, written by one of Joseph and Anna Belle’s granddaughters, Joseph joined the Royal Navy at the age of twelve. After a number of years of naval service in Britain, he came to America and then joined the U.S. Navy. He apparently then homesteaded in Nebraska. (I have not yet been able to verify any of this independently, but will keep you updated).

According to the story, Joseph “had no intention of being bitten” by one of the many venomous snakes which abounded on his property, so he “befriended” a bull snake for his protection, and kept it in the attic of his “little house on the prairie”. He was able to “entice” Anna Belle to dinner at his homestead. (It is not clear what she was doing in Nebraska, particularly as it is two states away from Illinois, where she was brought up). The bull snake made an appearance during dinner, and Anna Belle, “a city-bred gal of the 80’s”, “flounced out of the place and headed straight back to Illinois to the security and safety of the Bosomworth household, safe in the arms of Mamma”. (I suppose the writer might have been referring to Jacksonville, Illinois, near which Anna Belle was born, which is the county seat, but more of a town than a “city”).

Anna Belle Bosomworth as a child
(author's collection)

He eventually persuaded her to come back, but she won out, since they were married in Illinois, all of their children, pictured below, were born there.

The Marlow Children (courtesy of Deb & Larry S.)
Maud, Fred, Winnifred, William, Lena, Joseph (Tom), Dollie & George

I don't know the dog's name.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

William Marlow 1830 to 1895

William Marlow
Courtesy of Deb and Larry S.

William Marlow, my great great grandfather, was born about 1830 in Eskdaleside, North Yorkshire, England. He was baptised there on March 6, 1830. His parents were George Marlow, who was an agricultural labourer, and Jane Fewster. He appears to have been the eldest of a family of seven children, the others being Mary Ann, George, Thomas, Rachel, Rebecca, and Margret. He married Elizabeth Johnson, daughter of Joseph Long Johnson and Elizabeth Watson, in the third quarter of 1853 in the district of Whitby, Yorkshire. Elizabeth was born in 1831 in Whitby, and baptised there on October 30, 1831. Elizabeth was apparently the fourth child in a family of six, including Sarah, Mary Ann, Joseph, Benjamin, and Thomas Henry. Elizabeth’s mother, of whom she was the namesake, died when Elizabeth was twelve. In the 1861 U.K. Census, her widowed father, age sixty-nine, is living with her and her husband William in Hawsker and Stainsacre, Yorkshire. He does not appear in the 1871 Census, so it is assumed that he died in the decade after the 1861 Census.

William and Elizabeth apparently had five children, the eldest of which was my great grandfather, Joseph H. Marlow. (If anyone knows what the “H” stands for, please enlighten me). The others were Mary Jane, Elizabeth, Benjamin and Maria. Joseph emigrated to America, but it does not appear that any of the others did. There is, however, a family story which tells of a man named “Haviland Marlow” from Ontario coming to Alberta, and bearing a more than striking resemblance to the Marlow family, to the point of being mistaken for one of them. Joseph’s only brother that we know of, Benjamin, lived and died in England. William Marlow may have had two brothers, George and Thomas, of whom we know very little. It is possible that they or their descendants came to North America, too. So far, I haven’t been able to find much, but we will see.

William’s occupation was mainly that of an agricultural labourer, but in the 1881 he is a “cartman (railway contractor)” and living in Newholme Cum Dunsley, Yorkshire. Elizabeth died in Whitby in 1893 at the age of sixty-two, and William passed away, also in the district of Whitby, at the age of sixty-five. They had been living in Lythe, Yorkshire in 1891.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

John Clare's Christmas and the Sandersons

The Mistletoe Bough
by Francis Wheatley

Today, with the holidays upon us, I decided to do a blogpost with a Christmas theme. (I will return to my father’s maternal lines soon—the Marlows and the Bosomworths, etc. My thanks go out to my cousins on these lines for their encouragement and support).

You will recall that one of my maternal great grandmothers, Phoebe Sanderson (nee Johnson), was the proprietor of the Royal Oak Inn in Helpston, England from about 1914 to 1929. My two English cousins on the Sanderson line, Shirley and Ann, have done quite of bit of work on what life might have like there, and on unearthing images both internal and external from its history. It is located at 18 Woodgate, a short distance down the street from 12 Woodgate, the “John Clare Cottage”, where the poet John Clare lived in the early 1800’s. It has a similar look to the Royal Oak Cottage, and perhaps a similar history.

John Clare Cottage

Although John Clare, a minor Romantic poet, who met Coleridge and shared a publisher with Keats, is no relation to me, he did write a poem which describes what Christmas may have been like for my Sanderson ancestors in the fenlands of England. It is full of visual details from village life, and evokes an nineteenth century child’s vision of Christmas.


                by John Clare

Christmas is come and every hearth
Makes room to give him welcome now
E'en want will dry its tears in mirth
And crown him wi' a holly bough
Tho tramping 'neath a winters sky
O'er snow track paths and rhymey stiles
The huswife sets her spining bye
And bids him welcome wi' her smiles
Each house is swept the day before
And windows stuck wi' evergreens
The snow is beesom'd from the door
And comfort crowns the cottage scenes
Gilt holly wi' its thorny pricks
And yew and box wi' berrys small
These deck the unus'd candlesticks
And pictures hanging by the wall

Neighbours resume their anual cheer
Wishing wi smiles and spirits high
Clad christmass and a happy year
To every morning passer bye
Milk maids their christmass journeys go
Accompanyd wi favourd swain
And childern pace the crumping snow
To taste their grannys cake again

Hung wi the ivys veining bough
The ash trees round the cottage farm
Are often stript of branches now
The cotters christmass hearth to warm
He swings and twists his hazel band
And lops them off wi sharpend hook
And oft brings ivy in his hand
To decorate the chimney nook

Old winter whipes his ides bye
And warms his fingers till he smiles
Where cottage hearths are blazing high
And labour resteth from his toils
Wi merry mirth beguiling care
Old customs keeping wi the day
Friends meet their christmass cheer to share
And pass it in a harmless way

Old customs O I love the sound
However simple they may be
What ere wi time has sanction found
Is welcome and is dear to me
Pride grows above simplicity
And spurns it from her haughty mind
And soon the poets song will be
The only refuge they can find

The shepherd now no more afraid
Since custom doth the chance bestow
Starts up to kiss the giggling maid
Beneath the branch of mizzletoe
That neath each cottage beam is seen
Wi pearl-like-berrys shining gay
The shadow still of what hath been
Which fashion yearly fades away

And singers too a merry throng
At early morn wi simple skill
Yet imitate the angels song
And chant their christmass ditty still
And mid the storm that dies and swells
By fits-in humings softly steals
The music of the village bells
Ringing round their merry peals

And when its past a merry crew
Bedeckt in masks and ribbons gay
The 'Morrice danse' their sports renew
And act their winter evening play
The clown-turnd-kings for penny praise
Storm wi the actors strut and swell
And harlequin a laugh to raise
Wears his hump back and tinkling bell

And oft for pence and spicy ale
Wi winter nosgays pind before
The wassail singer tells her tale
And drawls her christmass carrols oer
The prentice boy wi ruddy face
And ryhme bepowderd dancing locks
From door to door wi happy pace
Runs round to claim his 'christmass box'

The block behind the fire is put
To sanction customs old desires
And many a faggots bands are cut
For the old farmers christmass fires
Where loud tongd gladness joins the throng
And winter meets the warmth of may
Feeling by times the heat too strong
And rubs his shins and draws away

While snows the window panes bedim
The fire curls up a sunny charm
Where creaming oer the pitchers rim
The flowering ale is set to warm
Mirth full of joy as summer bees
Sits there its pleasures to impart
While childern tween their parents knees
Sing scraps of carrols oer by heart

And some to view the winter weathers
Climb up the window seat wi glee
Likening the snow to falling feathers
In fancys infant extacy
Laughing wi superstitious love
Oer visions wild that youth supplyes
Of people pulling geese above
And keeping christmass in the skyes

As tho the homstead trees were drest
In lieu of snow wi dancing leaves
As. tho the sundryd martins nest
Instead of ides hung the eaves
The childern hail the happy day
As if the snow was april grass
And pleasd as neath the warmth of may
Sport oer the water froze to glass

Thou day of happy sound and mirth
That long wi childish memory stays
How blest around the cottage hearth
I met thee in my boyish days
Harping wi raptures dreaming joys
On presents that thy coming found
The welcome sight of little toys
The christmass gifts of comers round

'The wooden horse wi arching head
Drawn upon wheels around the room
The gilded coach of ginger bread
And many colord sugar plumb
Gilt coverd books for pictures sought
Or storys childhood loves to tell
Wi many a urgent promise bought
To get tomorrows lesson well

And many a thing a minutes sport
Left broken on the sanded floor
When we woud leave our play and court
Our parents promises for more
Tho manhood bids such raptures dye
And throws such toys away as vain
Yet memory loves to turn her eye
And talk such pleasures oer again

Around the glowing hearth at night
The harmless laugh and winter tale
Goes round-while parting friends delight

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Robert T. Bosomworth and Hannah Porter

Robert and Hannah Bosomworth
courtesy of Sarah Schorfheide Erwin

The above photo of Robert and Hannah Bosomworth, my three times great grandparents, is the “oldest” photo on my tree. That is, I have no other photos from any other of my three times great grandparents, and nothing beyond. Again, my thanks go out to Sarah Schorfheide Erwin for her contribution of this photo.

Robert T. Bosomworth, was born November 8, 1808 in Thirkleby, Yorkshire, England, and was baptised on the November 15, 1808 in the Ebenezer Independent Church in Sutton by Thirsk, which was Primitive Methodist. His parents were George Bosomworth and Alice Wright, and was the second eldest of a family of about eleven children, including Mary, Ann, Elizabeth, Hannah, George, Esther, Jane, John, Harriet, and another Elizabeth, born two days after the death of the first one. He married Hannah (also known as Anna) Porter on May 10, 1829 in Thormandy, Yorkshire. She was born on June 30, 1805 in Carlton, Yorkshire, and baptised on July 6, 1805 in Sand Hutton Near Thirsk, Yorkshire. She was the eldest child of Robert Porter and Mary Skipsey, the others being Robert, Ann, William, John and Mary.

Robert and Hannah appear to have had eight children, George, John, Robert, Charles (my great great grandfather), Mary B., Alice B., William P., and James. Robert senior worked in England as an “agricultural labourer” and then as a “coal merchant”. On December 19, 1853, they arrived in New York, on the ship George Washington out of Liverpool, with all of their children, except for John, who had died in 1845. With them, was Robert’s brother, John, and John’s wife Harriett and children. Also on board is Robert and John’s fourteen-year-old niece, Amelia Bosomworth, who is the daughter of their sister, Hannah, apparently born a year before Hannah’s marriage to George Fothergill in 1840. I don’t believe as others do that the George Bosomworth on board with them, listed as being “55”, was Robert and John’s father, George, who would have been about 76 at the time. It is much more likely to have been Robert’s son George, whose wife Hannah and children are on board. However, this George would have been about twenty-three. There is evidence of George the younger having been in America, but none that I have seen that the elder George was ever there. However, this fifty-five-year-old George Bosomworth could have been someone else, but I have yet to find another candidate. (Please let me know if your records show something different). There also seems to be some confusion among researchers about the identity of the Harriett Bosomworth, age twenty-four, on the passenger list, i.e. some people think she is John and Robert’s sister, Harriett. The Harriet on the passenger list is John’s wife, Harriet Oastler, who later married James Puckett after John’s death in 1864. The Puckett children on the 1870 U.S. census all have the first names and ages of the John and Harriett Bosomworth children.

The 1855 Illinois State Census shows Robert and his family living in Morgan County, and by the 1860 U.S. Census, they are living in Edwardsville, Madison County, where Robert is a farmer. He appears to have lived here for the rest of his life. Hannah died on July 6, 1888 in Edwardsville, and Robert died six years later on January 3, 1894. They are buried in Oak Lawn Cemetery, Glen Carbon, Madison, Illinois.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Faith Saunders' Pumpkin Pie Recipe

I’m happy to report that I found my only other family heirloom recipe, which is my great grandmother Faith Cook Saunders’ recipe for pumpkin pie. (She and my grandmother Lena Sarah Weyman happen to have been born one year apart). This is the recipe my mother always used when making pumpkin pie, and she used the pie crust recipe for all her other pies. Mom was a good pie maker, and I remember she always made three of any kind of pie at a time. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever tasted a better pie crust than hers. Her pies didn’t last. As you will recall, Faith was referred to as “Ma” in her later years.

Ma’s Custard Pumpkin Pie

One tin pumpkin 28 ounce
One teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon each: cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves
Four eggs, well-beaten
One cup white sugar
One cup yellow sugar
Four cups milk
Butter about the size of a walnut
Combine first three ingredients. Add eggs well-beaten with all of the sugar. Slowly add milk and then butter. Mix well and put in uncooked pie shells. Hot oven to start and cook until brown on top and set.
This makes three or four small pies.

Ma’s Pie Crust Pasty

1 ½ cups pastry flour
½ cup of shortening
¾ teaspoon salt
¼ cup ice water
Makes enough for two crusts, or one pie, top and bottom.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Lena Sarah Weyman's Pineapple Delight

I decided that when I wrote about my grandmother, Lena Sarah Marlow Smith Hart Weyman, that I would also post the only recipe I have of hers which has come down in the family to me, “Pineapple Delight”. This was a family favourite growing up. I will probably be posting more recipes from other family members as time goes on, including Faith Saunders’ pumpkin pie recipe, which will be my next blog. Recipes are another way of connecting with the past, particularly the women, as they have tended to have had less written about them over the centuries. If you, gentle reader, are in possession of such recipes, and would like to share them with me, and possibly this blog’s audience, I would be grateful if you passed them along.

Lena Sarah Weyman’s Pineapple Delight

½ Package of Dad’s coconut cookies crumbled in the bottom of a well-buttered dish.
Then put over this a mixture of:
¼ pound of butter
1 ½ cups icing sugar
A bit of vanilla
Two eggs, well-beaten
Over this, put:
½ pint of whipping cream, whipped with
A dab icing sugar and vanilla
Mixed with:
One tin of crushed pineapple, well-drained
Sprinkle remainder of half the package of crumbled Dad’s cookies over the top.
Make this the day before and keep in the fridge. Keeps well if hidden.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Lena Sarah Marlow Smith Hart Weyman, Part Two

As you will recall, my widowed grandmother, Lena Sarah Smith, (nee Marlow), had purchased her father’s farm in Lougheed in about 1929. As it happens, her father’s farm was next to the farm of my grandfather, George Leslie Hart, one of the most prosperous and well-respected farmers in the area. George and Lena were married in 1930 when Lena was forty, and George was fifty-three. On July 7, 1930 a terrible hailstorm struck the community, destroying everything in a strip ninety miles long and twenty-eight miles wide. This included everyone’s crops, and much property. Three days later, my grandfather was found dead in the hayloft of his barn from a gunshot wound to the abdomen. According to his obituary, the wound was self-inflicted. His son, my father, Harold Leslie Hart, was born later that year.

Of note, something positive involving the Marlow family did come out of the devastating hailstorm. Lena’s brother, and my great uncle, Joseph Robert Marlow, known as “Tom”, on realizing that the families of the area were now going to have a difficult time paying the doctor, came up with the idea of a health care plan. He had read about one being considered in a community in the U.S., and shared this with the local physician. It was thought to be a good solution, and on July 8, 1931 the Flagstaff Municipal Health Plan came into effect. It is my understanding that this was the very first public health care system in North America.

Lena, too, distinguished herself. She was elected to the school board in 1937, and was elected School Board Chairman in 1939, the first and only woman to hold this position on that particular board. My mother has told me that her mother-in-law was a very intelligent and “down to earth” woman, who was loving and not judgmental. I am also told that she and her children were all known for their senses of humour. This is certainly true of my father, (and my mother’s family, for that matter).

Lena Hart became Mrs. Thomas (“Tom”) Weyman on November 15, 1937, when she was forty-eight years old, and he was fifty-five. Tom was born in Whitehaven, Cumberland, England in 1882--an Englishman like her father. His wife, Catherine, had died in 1933, and they had had seven children: Donald, Doris, Mabel, Percy Douglas, John “Jack” Haig, Margaret, and Thomas Jr. Lena and Tom moved to Calgary in 1940, where Tom worked at the “Ogden Shops”, a huge rail yard that built and repaired locomotives and train cars. They lived there until at least 1950, when Tom retired. (Of note, Tom’s daughter Mabel married Lena’s nephew and adopted brother, Arnold, in 1943). I remember “Gramma Weyman” and “Grampa Weyman”. Here is a photo of me and my grampa:

Grampa Weyman and Yours Truly

Tom died in 1960, and Lena died on February 23, 1968, both in Alberta, and both at the age of seventy-eight. I am hoping that family members will read this blog, and contact me with more details of the lives of Lena and her family. Any help or feedback would be much appreciated.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Lena Sarah Marlow 1889 to 1968 Part One

Lena Sarah Marlow about 1910
Courtesy of Deb Ewanchuk

My paternal grandmother, Lena Sarah Marlow, was born on October 9, 1889 in Lynnville, Morgan, Illinois. She was the eldest daughter of Joseph H. Marlow and Anna Belle Bosomworth. (Her siblings are described in my posting on Joseph and Anna Belle). She married George Arthur Smith, likely in Illinois, between 1910 and 1912.

George Arthur Smith, born April 18, 1892 in Medora, Illinois, was the son of Martha Loretta Smith, (Smith was her maiden name). He possibly had a twin sister, Heneritta, (not "Henrietta" it seems), who died in 1899. Besides Heneritta, he had six other siblings, Della, Harris Russell, James Leslie, Estella, Joseph Milford, and Harry Andrew. These were all the children of his mother and her husband, William Asbury Cox, whom she married in about 1898.The first record I have of George Arthur is in the 1900 U.S. census, where he is living with his mother and stepfather, and his last name is Cox. He is the only child living with them at this point, as all of his younger siblings are born later. (There may have been a daughter born to the Coxes in 1899 who died the same year). His mother had married Wallace W. Gafney on March 1, 1893, and he is therefore a much more likely candidate to be George Arthur's biological father than William Cox. That George Arthur did not take the name Gafney seems to indicate that Wallace may not have been his father, or that he did not care for him, as Wallace and his mother did not remain married, as the the records show that he married another woman in 1903. His mother Loretta's family seem to have been among the first settlers in Macoupin County, Illinois, and prior to that to have come from North Carolina. So far, in a very preliminary way, as I have just started to look more closely at this line today, the Smith family seems to go back in America to the mid 1700's, and some lines to the mid 1600's. Other lines lead to Virginia and Kentucky, with some ancestors having fought in the American Revolution. I expecting to find that George Arthur's ancestors go back to the earliest days of America on his mother's side. I will add updates as I keep investigating the Smiths, mainly for the sake of my Smith cousins. (Based on this brief look at the data, it is starting to appear that it if George's descendants are interested in exploring his paternity, that they might find it helpful to do a family history oriented DNA test, utilizing the Y chromosome, on one of the male Smiths to see what surnames pop up). Although Lena's own family was newly American from England, the two men she married and had children with, George Arthur Smith and George Hart, both seem to have had deep roots in Colonial America.

Before Lena and her new husband starting having children, they followed her parents to Lougheed, Alberta in 1913, with the apparent intention of living there and taking up farming, but returned to Illinois. This may have been partly because his mother's husband may have abandoned the family to live with his mother around this time. (This is speculation based on the data and on a report from another Ancestry member). It appears that Lena and Arthur (as he was called) returned to living in Medora, Illinois, where they had their first four children Glenn Marlow, Joseph Vernon, Wilbur, and Roberta. Arthur worked on H.C. Warner's farm near Medora, and later worked for the railroad. They returned to Lougheed to stay in September 1919, where they had four more children, Dorothy, Byron William, Elwood, and Ralph. There is a good account of the Smith family story in Verdant Valleys In and Around Lougheed, written by my Aunt Roberta, at the following link: There is also an early picture of the family there. Unfortunately, Arthur drowned in Phouts Lake while fishing on May 14, 1928. That fall, the family's house burned down. Lena then bought her father's farm (he had passed away), and the older boys did the farming, but they were "dried out" in 1929.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Charles Bosomworth and Ann Dickenson

Charles Bosomworth and Ann Dickenson
courtesy of Sarah Schorfheide Erwin

The parents of my great grandmother, Anna Belle Bosomworth--Charles Bosomworth and Ann Dickenson, were both born in Thorton Dale, North Yorkshire, England. They both came with their parents to the same county in Illinois within four years of each other. Charles was born October 23, 1834 in Pickering, Thornton Dale to Robert T. Bosomworth and Hannah (a.k.a. Anna) Porter. He was baptised on November 23, 1834 in Thornton Dale. He was the fourth child in a family of eight, which also included George, John, Robert, Mary B., Alice B., William P. and James. Charles arrived in New York on December 19, 1853, on the ship, the "George Washington", with his parents, his siblings, and his uncle, John Bosomworth, and John's family. The Robert Bosomworth family first settled in Morgan county, Illinois, where Charles married Ann Dickenson on May 24. 1856. Ann was also born in Thornton Dale, Yorkshire, but on May 5, 1837, and was baptised there on May 7, 1937. Both Charles and Ann are living in Pickering in the 1841 census. Their families are therefore likely to have known each other in England. Her parents were Thomas Dickenson and Mary Piercy. She was the sixth of ten children, including John, George, Joseph, Thomas, Francis, Hartas, Samuel, Piercy and Hannah.

Ann arrived in New York on June 7, 1849, with her parents and siblings on the ship, Tyringham, having left England on May 3, 1849. They travelled via the Erie Canal, the lakes, and the Illinois River, to Naples, Illinois. From there the family settled in Lynnwood, Morgan, Illinois, where Ann married Charles in 1856. Her father bought a farm there, and her older brothers bought land adjoining, for a total of three hundred acres. Some of her brothers fought in the Civil War, including Hartas and Piercy, Piercy having fought at Vicksburg.

Ann had been something of a "brick wall" on my family tree for quite a while. The Bosomworths were all "low hanging fruit", particularly as several other researchers had already found out a great deal about them. The Dickenson family remained a great mystery until I started searching all permutations of the name "Dickinson" and "Dickenson" and even "Dickins", particularly on I had had her as "Dickinson", but started having more success with "Dickenson". I was able then to find more records, including the whole family's passenger records. I even found a biography of her brother, Piercy, in a local history, Historical encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Morgan County, in which the family's journey from England was described, and his mother's maiden name was given, "Piercy".

Charles, known as "Charl" (pronounced "Sharl"), and Ann continued to live in Illinois until after the birth of their first child, Albertus Hartas, likely named after Ann's brother. They had a total of seven children, the others being Alice, Mary J., Irene B., Joana, Anna Belle, and Jessie. They moved to Springfield, Clark, Ohio by 1858, where Charles worked as a blacksmith, which was his lifelong occupation. They moved back to Illinois by 1867. In 1870s, they are living in Jacksonville, Morgan, Illinois, in 1880 they are living in Chesterfield, Macoupin, Illinois, and just before Charles's death, on July 17, 1905, he is living in Modesto, Macoupin. They apparently had lived there for several years, and Charles had acquired the village blacksmith shop. He was sandy-haired and known for his quick temper. He was said to be a good workman, and "would put shoes on the meanest horses in the county". Ann died on February 24, 1904 near Rohrer, Macoupin, at the home of her daughter, Mary J. Bosomworth Shepherdson, of the effects of a paralytic stroke incurred the summer before. They are buried together in the Blue Grass Cemetery In Modesto. (You can view the headstone at:

Many thanks to Sarah Schorfheide Erwin for providing the above photo, and for the delightful details about Charl from the text from her wonderful scrapbook.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Joseph Marlow and Anna Belle Bosomworth, Part One

Having written about all of my other great grandparents, I decided to write about Joseph and Anna Belle, not because I know a great deal about them, but because I don't. I have done quite a bit of research on them, and have broken down some "brick walls" on their lines, but I never knew anything about them until I read about them in the Lougheed, Alberta local histories, Verdant Valleys In and Around Lougheed, and Cambridge School District Memories. I hope to get to know them better over time. You can read the section about them from Verdant Valleys on line at the following link: There are biographies of other Marlows in the same book, but no photos of Joseph and Anna Belle. There are photos of both in Cambridge School District Memories, which is not yet on line, but I cannot reproduce them here due to copyright restrictions. It is notable in that both Joseph and Annabelle are descended entirely from Yorkshire families—Joseph having been born there himself, and both of Anna Belle's parents. In fact, they are all from the same general vicinity in North Yorkshire, which makes me wonder if there was some connection between them in the home country. This recent English, and more specifically, North Yorkshire, connection was surprising to me, as I always thought of my paternal grandmother's parents as Americans with longer roots in the U.S. It is also interesting to note that Joseph seems to have come to North America by himself, whereas Anna Belle's parents immigrated with a large extended family. All of them came to Illinois in the nineteenth century.

Joseph H. Marlow was born in Hawsker Cum Stainsacre, near Whitby, Yorkshire on August 16, 1853, (or 1854), the son of William Marlow, an agricultural labourer, and Elizabeth Johnson Marlow. He appears to have been the eldest of five children, the others being Mary Jane, Elizabeth, Benjamin, and Maria. It appears that all of his immediate family stayed in England. He arrived in the United States in 1875 or 1885, more likely the latter, and married Anna Belle Bosomworth in Modesto, Macoupin, Illinois on November 30, 1887. Anna Belle was born on May 5, 1867 in Woodson, Illinois, and was the daughter of Charles Bosomworth, who was a blacksmith, and Ann Dickenson, both born in North Yorkshire. Her parents had come to America with their own parents. She was the second youngest of a family of seven children, the others being Albertus Hartas, Alice, Mary J., Irene B., Joana, and Jessie E. (female). Joseph and Anna Belle were living in Polk, Macoupin, Illinois in 1900 and 1910 with their nine children, Lena Sarah, (who was my grandmother), Winnifred Anne, Maud Elizabeth, Joseph Robert, Dolly Belle, William Benjamin, George Johnson, Charles Frederick, and Zella Melba. (They later adopted their grandchildren, Arnold and Ruby, who were the children of their daughter Dolly, after her death giving birth to Arnold). Joseph was a "farmer" and Anna Belle was a "laundress" in 1910, with their two eldest daughters working outside the home as "housekeepers". Polk is in the same county as Carlinville, Illinois, where some of the children were born.

In 1912, Joseph and Anna Belle moved to Lougheed, Alberta, Canada, with all of their children, except for the eldest, Lena Sarah, who had married George Arthur Smith since 1910. (The Smiths came in 1913, and went back to Illinois, only to settle permanently in Lougheed in 1919). The Marlows purchased one of the ready-made farms from the Canadian Pacific Railroad, which came with a house, a barn, and planted fields. I strongly recommend that you click on the link above for the Joseph H. Marlow Story told in Verdant Valleys In and Around Lougheed by Sadie Gordon Marlow, his daughter-in-law and one of the teachers in the area, for a full account of how the Marlows came to the Lougheed area, and for an account of the lives of his children. It is brief, but full of details, and definitely worth reading. What I will add, and it is of note, is that the Marlow farm, located at Township 42, Range 11, Meridian 4, was right next to George and Melvin Hart's. I could not find the Marlow family on the 1916 Census of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. I happened to be looking at the original census data for my grandfather, George Hart, and lo and behold there were the names of the Marlow family listed above. I did some searching, and I discovered that Ancestry had mistranscribed their last name as "Cardow", which I drew to Ancestry's attention. It is significant to our family history that the two families were next door to each other, as they would have known each other from 1912 onward as neighbours. It is also significant that after the death of Joseph, the death of her husband George Arthur Smith, and the burning down of her own home, my grandmother, Lena Sarah Marlow Smith, purchased her father's farm. She was thus in proximity to my future grandfather, George Hart, whom she married in 1930.

Joseph died on June 7, 1927 in Lougheed at the age of seventy-three, and Anna Belle twenty-six years later at the age of eight-six on September 4, 1953. It is likely that they are buried in the Lougheed Cemetery. (I would appreciate it if anyone reading this could verify this for me). Joseph and Anna Belle's story is still a work in progress for me, as are the stories of all my ancestors, and I hope to add updates as I go along.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Phoebe Sanderson of the Royal Oak Inn

Phoebe Sanderson 1941
(photo courtesy of Shirley M. of the  U..K.)

When I first started my family history work last year, and I was researching my maternal grandfather's line, I came across his and his family's Canada Ocean Arrivals forms on Ancestry. All of them, except for the mother, listed "Phoebe Sanderson" as their "Nearest relative in country from which you came". Her address was listed as "Royal Oak Inn" in "Helpston near Peterborough". I realized that Phoebe was my great grandfather Herbert Sanderson's mother, and naturally assumed that she was renting rooms at the inn. One day much later, I was randomly Googling names from my family lines, and entered something like "Mark and Phoebe Sanderson", Mark being her husband, and my great great grandfather. A website popped up with a story about them, describing them as the proprietors of the Royal Oak Inn: I was amazed at my good luck. On the heels of this discovery came an article from the Village Tribune website, called Where have all Helpston's pubs gone? by Tony Henthorn, with more information about my great great grandparents: Both sites gave Shirley, my distant, and yet unknown to me, cousin, as a source. I was eventually able to contact her, and then through her, another cousin, Ann. It even turned out that one of my great uncles who had come to Canada with my grandfather actually had visited Shirley's family during World War II, and the end of the seventies; and Ann's father had accompanied my grandfather's family to Canada! I am grateful to Shirley and Ann for the wealth of information they have provided me about the Sanderson and Johnson families. My email relationship with them has been one of the joys of my family history journey to date. I had always felt some sadness about the loss of connection with our English families, and it was wonderful to be reconnected.

I was amazed to receive the above photo of Phoebe from Shirley. I had never expected ever to see a picture of her. I was even more amazed to see her hands--they were identical to the hands of  her grandson, my grandfather, William Sanderson, in the last years of his life. They both must have had the same form of arthritis, and perhaps susceptibility to it runs in the family.

Phoebe Johnson was born on November 26, 1846 in Guyhirn, Wisbech St. Mary, Cambridgeshire, England. She was baptised on January 3, 1847 in Wisbech St. Mary. Her parents were John Johnson, who was a blacksmith, and Jane Leverington. She was the youngest of a family of eight children, the others being Sarah Anne, Harriet, Mary Jane, Eliza, Alice, John Leverington, and William. She was married to Mark Sanderson on October 22, 1867 at the Wisbech St. Mary parish church. Mark was born on February 28, 1839 in Sutton St. Edmund, Lincolnshire, and was baptised in the Sutton St. Edmund parish church on April 7, 1839. His surname at birth was "Sanders", and his baptismal record gives it as "Saunders". His father was Thomas Sanders and his mother was Catharine Plowright. The family started using "Sanderson" as the surname later, sometime between 1841 and 1851. The Sanders and the Plowright families had originally come from Gretton, Northamptonshire before Thomas and Catharine relocated to Lincolnshire and then to Cambridgeshire. Mark was the eighth of nine children, the others being John, George, Ann Plowright, Elizabeth, William, Baines, Catherine, and James. Phoebe and Mark had eight children themselves: William James, Benjamin, Herbert John, Mark, Charles Walter, Abraham, Alice Maud, and George Henry.

Mark and Phoebe are said to have kept a smallholding (a holding of agricultural land smaller than a small farm) in Guyhirn, before renting another on the Norwood Side in the town of March, Cambridgeshire, in 1893. This one was in a very run down state, according to their son Abraham, and it took them about five years to get it up and running and to "get on their feet", which they were apparently able to do because of an inheritance of Phoebe's, possibly from her mother, Jane Johnson. The house was put up for sale in 1898, but by then Mark and Phoebe had no money left to buy it. They continued to farm in the area until at least 1901. By 1904, Mark was a beer retailer at the Chestnut Horse Inn, Church Street, Deeping St. James, in Lincolnshire. It was an established inn, dating back to the middle of the nineteenth century.

The Railway Hotel
(photo courtesy of Shirley M. of the U.K.)

In 1908, Mark became the proprietor of the Railway Hotel, in Helpston near Peterborough. While living there, they kept a white horse for ploughing the land and for pulling their truck. They also had a dog, Vic, who was a whippet. Later, after the family moved to the Royal Oak, their son George took him back to Peterborough with him, but Vic found his way back home the next day. The story is that Mark was "strict" in how he ran the inn, and would not serve patrons whom he thought had had too much to drink. A later resident reported that the Railway Hotel had no electricity or gas, and that it was lighted with oil and paraffin lamps and candles. He described it was a "lovely big house with lots of rooms". He also reported that railway and mill workers lived there. Mark Sanderson died at the age of seventy-five of liver cancer on December 7, 1914 in Helpston , and was buried in the Helpston Cemetery.

The Royal Oak Inn with Alice Maud Martin and Phoebe Sanderson
(photo courtesy of Shirley M. of the U.K.)

Phoebe Sanderson took over the license of the Royal Oak Inn, which likely dates from the mid 1600's, in Helpston after Mark's death. (The date "1654" or "1659" was found inscribed in the adjoining cottage).  There was no bar in the inn, and the family utilized the living room for this purpose while they lived in the kitchen. They would bring the beer up from the cellar. On special occasions, or when ladies were present, they used the front room for patrons. The pub was often crowded on Helpston feast days. Phoebe operated it until 1929, when the inn was closed as a pub, as the clientele had dropped off considerably. With the financial help of her son, William, who was retiring, she then purchased the Royal Oak from the brewery for  £150. Her daughter, Alice Maud  Martin, continued to live there with her whole family. She had lived at the Railway Hotel with her husband Charles Martin, whom she had married in 1912, and then at the Royal Oak Inn. Their first two children were born at the former, and the last three had been born at the latter.

Phoebe died at the Royal Oak Cottage (no longer referred to as an "inn" now that it was no longer a public house) on March 1, 1946, at the age of ninety-nine years, of old age, and was buried at the Helpston Cemetery. She had been bedridden due to ill health for about a year, and was cared for by her daughter Alice Maud. Alice's husband Charles died in 1948, and Alice and her daughter Violet continued to live at the Royal Oak until Violet's death in 1967, when Alice sold the cottage.