Elizabeth Bowles: Home Child

Found in the household of Richard Tovey and his wife Catherine Gorman1 in the 1891 census of Bathurst township (Lanark South, Ontario):

Elizabeth Boles, female, age 9, dom [domestic], born England, father born England, mother born England, religion RC [Roman Catholic]

 

Richard Tovey household, 1891 Census of Canada, Ontario, Lanark South, Bathurst, family no. 10, p. 2, lines 21-25, and p. 3, lines 1-2.

Richard Tovey household, 1891 Census of Canada, Ontario, Lanark South, Bathurst, family no. 10, p. 2, lines 21-25, and p. 3, lines 1-2.

This 9-year old girl is very likely the Elizabeth Bowles, listed as age 7 in 1889, who travelled under the auspices of the Catholic Children Protective Society, arriving at Quebec (from Liverpool) on 10 June 1889, with “Kingston via GTR [Grand Trunk Railway]” the final destination for a party of 62 children under the charge of Mrs. Lacy.

Also in the household of Richard Tovey in 1891 (in addition to his wife Catherine and 5-year old son Thomas, that is) are his widowed mother-in-law Mary Gorman, his brother John Tovey, and another domestic servant by the name of Katie Martin (age 15, born Ireland, both parents born Ireland). Was Katie Martin also a Home Child?

In the 1901 census, Elizabeth Bowles (here listed as Elisa Bowls) can still be found in the household of Richard Tovey and Catherine Gorman. Here her birth year is given as 1881, with no month and date provided:

Richard Tovey household, 1901 Census of Canada, Ontario, Lanark South/Sud, Bathurst, family no. 141, p. 16, lines 39-43.

Richard Tovey household, 1901 Census of Canada, Ontario, Lanark South/Sud, Bathurst, family no. 141, p. 16, lines 39-43.

Notice the ditto marks all the way down for Country or place of birth Ont. [Ontario] and Racial or Tribal Origin Irish: clearly inaccurate for Elizabeth Bowles, who was born in England, and whose origin was more likely English than Irish.2 Some census enumerators were scrupulous about recording details about different birthplaces, ethnic origins, religious affiliations, and so on, within the same household; others made liberal use of the ditto marks at the expense of accuracy.

By 1911, Elizabeth Bowles is no longer found with the family of Richard Tovey and Catherine Gorman.

  1. Catherine Gorman was Richard Tovey’s second wife. His first wife, who died in 1883 at the age of 37, was a Frances Ann McCann (daughter of Laurence McCann and Ann O’Reilly), who appears to be connected to my McGlade-Dunne ancestors, though I have yet to figure out the connection.
  2. But while Bowles is an English surname, her mother could have been Irish, of course. As noted in previous Home Child entries, some of the British Home Children were Irish in origin: either born in Ireland, or, more commonly, born in England to Irish-emigrant parents.

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