Podcast is here, and also below:
Google News Archive was first launched about four years ago (in 2010, I think?), only to disappear at some point in 2011. Much to the disappointment of those whose idea of a good time is to google their grandparents, and perform deep and detailed searches of online, digitized copies of old newspapers from the comfort of their own homes. Yes, I was quite disappointed, and I was not alone in my sense of loss and dismay. Not that all (or most, or any?) of the content of the archive had ever completely disappeared (I am not sure about this), but certainly the nifty and easy-to-use Google News Archive search interface was gone by August 2011.
In any case, Google News Archive is back, and I think the search interface is better than ever.
Google your grandparents! And your parents, and your great-grandparents too.
After moving from Perth to Ottawa when she was about 16 years old, my mother attended two Ottawa schools: 1). Notre Dame Convent School (south side of Gloucester Street,near Metcalfe), where she completed high school; and 2). The Ottawa Teacher’s College (northeast corner of Elgin and Lisgar Streets).
This is my mother’s class at The Ottawa Teacher’s College. I believe it was taken in 1960 or 1961. My mother (Catherine Frances McGlade, 1939-2012) is in the back row, first from the left.
Note the variations in skirt length in the above photo. This looks like the transition from the 1950s to the 1960s!
On the back of the photograph are some autographs of her fellow students:
Nowadays, you pretty much have to be famous (or perhaps infamous) to have a notice of your travel or holiday plans published in the newspaper.
Not so in 1913!
My great-grandparents Alexander Michael Moran and Anna (“Annie”) Maria Benton certainly had no claims to local, much less national, celebrity: they were neither famous nor infamous. But here is a notice of their trip to Swift Current, Saskatchewan, published in The Ottawa Journal on 9 August 1913. They presumably made this trip with their two sons Allan Jerome Moran (my grandfather) and Orville Alexander Moran. And they must have gone out west to visit my great-grandmother’s sister Margaret (“Maggie”) Anne Benton (my grandfather’s maternal aunt, who was also his godmother).
Maggie Benton had married the widowed Con Hazelton (originally of Eganville, Renfrew Co., whose first wife was a Mary McCourt) in Ottawa on 16 April 1912, and had then gone out to Swift Current, Saskatchewan with her husband, where, according to my father, Con Hazelton had a lumber store (this bit of oral history can be verified through written records, by the way).
I don’t know when exactly Margaret (Benton) Hazelton returned from Swift Current, Saskatchewan to Ottawa. On this point, her obituary/death notice (The Ottawa Journal, 9 July 1952) is not much help: apparently she had lived in Saskatchewan for “several years” before returning to Ottawa. Did she return to Ottawa with her husband Con Hazelton? or did she return to Ottawa as a widow? From her obituary, this is not made clear: we only learn that, as of July 1952, Constantine Hazelton had “died some time ago” (in Ottawa? in Swift Current? this information is not supplied). But note the genealogically useful information about Maggie (Benton) Hazelton’s stepdaughters (the children of Con Hazelton and his first wife Mary McCourt): as of July 1952, Cora (Elizabeth Cora Irene) Hazleton is now a Mrs. Cora Beauchamp of Vancouver, B.C., while Nellie (Ellen Mary) Hazelton is now a Mrs. Johnston of Cannuck, Saskatchewan. One individual’s newspaper obituary can supply so many hints and leads about siblings, children, stepchildren, and other extended family.
In any case, certainly Margaret (“Maggie”) Anne (Benton) Hazelton died in Ottawa (at an Ottawa nursing home) on 8 July 1952 at the age of 83, and is buried at Notre Dame Cemtery/Cimetière Notre Dame, Ottawa.
To return to the theme of travel:
My great-grandfather Alexander Michael Moran worked as a machinist for the GTR (Grand Trunk Railway). And according to my father, as an employee of the railway, my great-grandfather was entitled to free (or perhaps vastly discounted?) rail passes that would take he and his family to points all across Canada and the US. Of which perk he seldom took advantage; though apparently my grandfather, with his parents, did take a trip by rail to North Dakota to visit some Moran relations there. This would have been about 1910 to 1915, and perhaps this trip, too, was mentioned in the newspaper? I should try and look it up.
The Perth Courier (Canada’s second-oldest weekly newspaper) is great for notices of local travel. I’ve seen notices where So-and-So of Perth is visiting a sister in Almonte for a few days, or perhaps a cousin in Renfrew. And yes, this merits column space. Newsworthy.
You know you’re a census geek when you find yourself reading the “Nominal Return(s) of Deaths” from the Canadian census returns.
The “Nominal Return of the Deaths within the last twelve months” (1871 Census of Canada, Ontario, Carleton County, Township of March) for the Township of March records twenty deaths in the township for the period roughly covering April 1870 to April 1871 (census enumeration officially began on 2 April, 1871, and the schedule of deaths was to cover the past twelve months).
Of these twenty recorded deaths, I count three adults, and seventeen children.
I am counting James “Houricane” [= James Hourigan, son of Thomas Hourigan and Mary Moran] as an adult, though he was only eighteen years of age when he died, in October 1870, apparently of “Inflammation on the Lungs.” In oral family history, as recorded, for example, by Peter Alexander (“Alec”) Lunney (see “‘My Maternal Ancestors,’ by Alec Lunney”), James Hourigan’s death has been attributed to the Great Fire of 1870. While his death did not occur on the night (the night of August 17, 1870, that is) of the Great Fire, perhaps his “Inflammation on the Lungs” was a result of injuries sustained through exposure to the fire? Or did James Hourigan’s untimely death, coming so soon after the dramatic event of the Great Fire, get mixed in with accounts of the fire, so that it was (mistakenly or confusedly) handed down as a result of that fire, when it was the result of some other cause entirely?
Three of the deaths (one adult, with two of his children) were undoubtedly the tragic result of the Great Fire of 1870. John Hogan, aged 35, and his sons John (aged 9) and Richard (aged two months) were “Burnt to death on the night of the great fire of the 17 of August.” A ghastly incident. I’m sure I have come across an account of John Hogan’s desperate, and unsuccessful, attempt to save his two young sons — in a local history, perhaps? At the moment, I cannot remember where.
In addition to James Hourigan and John Hogan, the other adult death was that of Mary Williams, who died of “Dropsy” in June 1870, at the age of 33. 1
So: three adult deaths, at least one of them the result of Great Fire of 1870 (but possibly two, if James Hourigan’s “Inflammation on the Lungs” was fire-related), and two childhood deaths also the horrible outcome of that fire. The remaining fifteen deaths were those of children, several of them infants, and most of them very young.
A Michael (here given as “Michel”) Moran died of “infantile debility” at the age of one month (no connection to my Morans of Huntley Township that I know of, by the way).
At least eight of the children died of scarlet fever (or “Scarlet Feaver,” as written above). And some of the deaths are not attributed to any recorded cause: for “Disease, or other cause of Death,” there is just a blank, with no information supplied. But some of these blanks immediately follow upon ditto marks for the cause of “Scarlet Feaver” — perhaps more ditto marks were implied, so that even more of the deaths were the result of scarlet fever? In any case, of the fifteen childhood deaths that can presumably be attributed to childhood illness (and not to the dreadful calamity of the Great Fire), over half (at least eight) were reportedly the result of scarlet fever.
Scarlet fever (a highly contagious bacterial infection) was once a horrible scourge, but thankfully is no longer: “once a very serious childhood disease,” it is now “easily treatable” by antibiotics.
So many childhood illnesses that used to run rampant, unchallenged and unchecked, through villages and towns and communities, and carry off too many infants and children in their wake: now readily treated, or easily prevented through vaccination.
- On “dropsy” (= excess fluid buildup) as a “symptom rather than a cause of a disease,” see “Dropsy, and Researching Other Archaic Medical Terms” at Kim Smith’s Dead and Gone. ↩
And was he English, Irish, or French?1
When Annie McGlade died on 21 April 1889, at the age of 25, she was buried at St. John the Baptist RC Cemetery in Perth (Lanark Co., Ontario). Her headstone identifies her as “Annie McGlade Wife of John English.”
Annie McGlade was the fourth and youngest child of John McGlade and Bridget Dunn. She was born at Perth on 17 October 1863; and was baptized 7 November 1863 (St. John the Baptist RC Church), with Kenny Murphy and Frances Ann McCann serving as godparents.
But who was her husband John English?
I have not yet found a marriage record for this couple (which would give me the names of the parents of John English), which is a bit puzzling: no doubt I am not looking in the right place. Annie McGlade and John (or possibly Joseph?) English (but possibly Langlois or L’Anglais?) were probably married about 1886 or 1887. But there is no record of their marriage (or none that I have found) in the parish register for St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church in Perth. I’m assuming they must have been married elsewhere.
But the parish register for St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church in Perth does include a record of the baptism of their first and only known child, John Michael English, born 23 November 1888 and baptized 26 November 1888 (St. John the Baptist RC Church, Perth), with John McGlade and Mrs. Michael Hartney (Bridget McCann) serving as godparents. So this couple was obviously in the Perth area in 1888: it’s not as though they had emigrated to Minnesota or something. In the baptismal record for John Michael English, his mother is given as Annie McGlade, and his father as John B. L’Anglais.
To further complicate matters, when John Michael English married Ernestine Catherine Cerutti (St. Jacques le Majeur, Montreal, 17 February 1916), he was described as the son of age (fils majeur) of “Joseph English domicilié à Grouard (Athabaske) et de feu Annie McGlade” [Joseph English domiciled at Grouard (Athabaska) and of the deceased Annie McGlade]. So here is a reference to a Joseph, not a John, English living in northern Alberta, which is a long way from Lanark County, Ontario, to say the least.
In the 1916 census of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, there is a Joseph English found in Edmonton East (and Edmonton is about 90 miles/145 kilometres south of Athabaska, by the way, so this is not exactly a perfect match with the information given in the marriage record for John Michael English). This Joseph English lives alone, and is listed as Single, age 59, birthplace Ontario. His occupation is “Laborer,” and he apparently performs “Odd Jobs,” and he reportedly lives in a “Shack on Hillside” (no, I’m not making this up!). Most strikingly, his religion is listed as “None,” which is more than a little unusual for the time. A single man of a fairly advanced age (by the standards of the day, that is) who lives alone in a shack on a hillside, who performs odd jobs as an occupation, and who apparently reports his religious affiliation as “None”? This is a census listing for an eccentric (again, according to the norms and standards of his day). Could this be the father of John Michael English, and the widower of Annie McGlade?
John Michael English, son of John (or Joseph?) English and Annie McGlade, died in Montreal in October 1918, at 29 years of age. I do not know the cause of his death; I cannot help wondering if he was a victim of the 1918 influenza pandemic? His widow, Ernestine Catherine Cerutti English, went on to marry a Joseph Arthur Eugène Grenier, son of Arthur Grenier and Angelina Ménard — an interesting coincidence of names with respect to Ernestine Catherine Cerutti’s second mother-in-law, given that her first mother-in-law, Annie McGlade, was the stepdaughter of an Angelina (or Angélique) Ménard!2 (After the death of his first wife Bridget Dunn, John McGlade married an Angélique Ménard, widow of Felix Henrichon, who was sometimes known as Angelina McGlade).
- Or perhaps of some other ethnic origin altogether? but for the moment, I’m thinking English, Irish, or French. ↩
- Not that Ernestine Catherine Cerutti ever knew her first mother-in-law, of course: Annie McGlade English died in April 1889, just five months after the birth of her son John Michael English. ↩
Floor plans and photographs of mid-century modern houses in Ottawa.
I should have posted these photos on 26 December 2013: fifty years later.
My parents were married (at Our Lady of Fatima, Ottawa) on Boxing Day, 1963.
Well, I am biased, of course (I mean, obviously), but these photos, taken before I was born, seem to lend support to my recollections that my mother had a smile that could light up a room, and that my father was a bit of a handsome young rogue in his day.
If you’re on Facebook and you’re interested in Ottawa local history, you should definitely subscribe to “Lost Ottawa,” which bills itself as “a Facebook research community devoted to images of Ottawa and the Outouais up to the year 2000.”
I have to say that, much as I enjoy seeing “Lost Ottawa” images turn up in my Facebook feed, I sometimes find it rather depressing. In the 1960s and 1970s, Ottawa lost so many of its beautiful older (19th- to early 20th-century) buildings to “progress,” and “development,” and ugly, utilitarian, Stalinist-style architecture.
Okay, “Stalinist-style” is admittedly a tad hyperbolic, but still. It is sad to see what Ottawa has lost of its built environment, through lack of respect for/attention to the principles of sane and sound historic preservation. No, we cannot save every building, and some older buildings are probably not worth saving. But this does not mean that we should tear down any old building whatsoever, in order to make way for the construction of yet another condo complex. And yes, times change, and the original purposes of older buildings become obsolete. But from this concession to the imperatives of change, it absolutely does not follow that older buildings are, by definition, useless obstacles to the realization of contemporary needs and goals. Many older buildings can and should be refurbished to meet new purposes, instead of bulldozed into the ground to make way for soulless concrete blocks.
Anyone with a Facebook account can join “Lost Ottawa” by clicking “Like” on its front page.
Growing up in Ottawa, and with an Ottawa Valley Irish background, I used to say bucko all the time (for boy, my boy, boyo, guy, dumb**se), but with very little sense whatsoever that this was a corruption of the Irish búachaill. Well, now I’m cookin’ wit gas, because I’ve discovered an Ottawa Valley glossary.
(My paternal grandfather, who would not suffer fools gladly, used to say “amadán” in a certain tone, and this was the Irish for “fool”).
Safe home - What would you give to hear Mum say that once more?
O, what wouldn’t I give to hear my Mum say “safe home” once more?