Tag Archive for Cerutti

Who was John English?

And was he English, Irish, or French?1

Headstone for Ann McGlade (1863-1889), St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Cemetery, Perth, Lanark County, Ontario

Headstone for Ann McGlade (1863-1889), St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Cemetery, Perth, Lanark County, Ontario

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).

  1. Or perhaps of some other ethnic origin altogether? but for the moment, I’m thinking English, Irish, or French.
  2. 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.