Tuesday, 12 July 2016

180 and 160 Years Ago Today

The Ancestry app on my phone came in very handy again when it told me that it was 180 years ago today - July 12, 1836 - that Mary Tait, my 2nd great grandmother was born in Scotland.


What I did not realize before was that her daughter, my great grandmother Elizabeth was born the same day, exactly 20 years later in 1856 in Troqueer, Scotland.  Mary and her husband William Henry left Scotland with baby Elizabeth for a new life in  Canada two years later. The photo below of William and Mary was taken in Perth County Ontario in the mid 1800's.


After the birth of 11 children and the death of her husband, Mary and her family left Ontario to homestead on the open land in Manitoba in 1881.  Elizabeth went on to marry local homesteader James Sinclair and have a large family of their own.  


July 12 - a date to remember in my family tree!

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Born 152 Years Ago Today

The Ancestry app on my phone tells me that my great grandmother, Margaret Carruthers Kinnaird, was born 152 years ago today on June 25, 1864.  She was the fourth of eight children born to farming parents Andrew William Carruthers and Jean Steven at Winchester, Ontario.  

George and Margaret Kinnaird 1888
On August 8, 1888 when she was 24 years old, she married William George Kinnaird at Russell, Ontario. I never have to look up the date for their marriage and wonder if 08/08/88 was chosen on purpose for good luck or if it was their wedding date by chance.  The picture above was recently discussed on this blog post.

She became mother to my maternal grandfather, William Francis Kinnaird and his older brother Stephen and the little family farmed near her parents in Finch Township near Winchester. George was also a carpenter so I imagine them having a nice little home and looking forward to many years ahead.  Tragically, Margaret died of tuberculosis on the 25th of May in 1894 just before reaching her 30th birthday, leaving her husband and two young sons.  She is buried with her parents at the Morewood Presbyterian Cemetery in Ontario.

Even though she has been gone for over 122 years, her legacy lives on.  My mother is named Margaret, presumably in her honour and I (the family history blogger) was born almost exactly 100 years after her to carry her story on.

Friday, 17 June 2016

History of the Dishes

Cleaning out cupboards at our cabin at Oak Lake Beach, I came across these dishes and knew they were handed down from family and was curious about their history.  Google can find (almost) anything! 

The set above was a wedding gift to my parents from Dad's Aunt Lizzie and Uncle Jack Morcom almost 56 years ago.  The pattern is called "Heritage" and they were made in England at the Myott factory.  Replacements is an online store that specializes in china, crystal and silverware and the pattern can be found here. A five piece setting can be purchased for about $45 and other pieces are available separately in limited supply. E Bay has other pieces for sale including a gravy boat and covered serving dish so it was an extensive pattern.

The set above belonged to my Grandma Kinnaird and was made in Canada by the Rideau Pottery company. Online information about this company is hard to come by so it must have operated for a very short time.  I haven't found any similar dishes online bu will continue to look.

We don't use these anymore but they are now packed away with other dishes from Randy's family that have a history and may be used again someday!  

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Picture of Great Aunt Eleda

When I wrote this blog post about my paternal grandfather's sister Eleda Simms in September of 2015, I lamented I didn't have a very good picture of her.  My cousin Marilee recently came to the rescue with a picture from her Mom's album.  The picture below that she knew was of Eleda would have been taken about 1958 and the back says "the family including myself".

Luckily, there was a another picture taken on the same day (below) with the names of the children on the back of it naming them as Bobbie and Sandra in the back and Janice and Jimmie in front.  The family tree from Aunt Dodie helped determine these were great grandchildren of Eleda's older sister Mary Bryan. Mary and Ezra Bryan's oldest daughter was Luella Agnes (1906-1996) who married a man named Benson George (1901-1983).  Their only daughter Shirley (1930-2010) married William Crummy(1928-2006) in 1947 and eventually had 5 children, the older four are pictured below. 

Eleda would have been about 63 years old in the picture and was likely living with the Crummy family and helping to take care of the house and the children at the time.  A caretaker her whole life, Eleda died in 1973 at the age of 78 in the Ottawa area.

Monday, 4 April 2016

Kinnaird Farm W1-11-27

This blog post will tell the story of the farm where my Kinnaird grandparents raised their family, midway between the Hargrave and Pacific districts west of Virden.  Ninety-one years later it remains a family farm with four generations of Kinnairds having called it "home".
Kinnaird Farm W1-11-27 in 1968

James and Elizabeth Lane arrived from St. Mary's Ontario and were granted the west half of 1-11-27 W1 on October 6,1899 through the C.P Railway grants as the certificate below from the Western Land Grants section of Library and Archives Canada shows. Being an odd numbered section, the land was purchasable from the railway and not to be homesteaded.  The local history book, "Binding Our Districts" from 1989 says the Lane family started by building a shanty and stable and breaking the prairie soil.  They built the two story house in 1908 and continued to farm until the family with 2 children Myrtle and Ewart, moved to Virden in 1920. 
George and Isabella McDonald and their children George, Ella and Sandy were the next residents of the west half of 1-11-27 and rented it from the Lanes until Grandpa Frank Kinnaird purchased it in 1925.

Keith Kinnaird painting the house - mid  1940's.  The house has been moved and renovated and current pictures of it are on this blog post.

Frank Kinnaird's horses pictured above - Nell, Mac, Tony, Jean and Laddie - would have seen daily work throughout the twenties, thirties and forties both winter and summer. Along with using them to farm, Frank graded the nearby roads with them as well.  Aunt Marge recalls the first tractor arrived in 1946 and it looks like a Fordson model D but it also may be an Allis Chalmers or a Massey Harrison- honestly they all look alike to me! **Update - Aunt Marjorie and her amazing memory come through again!  She recalls it was a John Deere AR and it came second hand from someone at St Claude, MB. **

              These two pictures above are identified as the O'Neil outfit  from the 1940's.  J.J. O'Neil's and his wife Tine were Frank's uncle and aunt and he lived with them when he moved from Ontario in 1906 as a young boy of 12. 

Lunch in the field above - from left Keith, Frank and Margaret Kinnaird and Mr. Hayward - mid 40's
Picture on the right - Kinnaird turkeys.  Kinnairds have raised a variety of livestock over the years including dairy and beef cattle, pigs, chickens and turkeys - along with dogs and cats!

Sawing wood - written on the photo are the names Ronie, Bob, Jim, Dave and Dad

Scenic pictures of the farm.  Is that snow on the stooks on the right?

 Threshing bills for 1944 and 1945 - 56 hours in 1944 and 39 hours in 1945.  Using the inflation calculator, this would convert to just over $3000 each year in 2016 money value.
Colourful share certificates and pocket ledgers with notes and lists along with the threshing bills remind of us the days when everything was written down with pen and paper.  

Above is the Kinnaird hen house after the Blizzard of 1947.  This 10-day storm closed some rural roads and railways in Saskatchewan until spring and affected communities from Winnipeg to Calgary. It began on January 30 and ranged across the prairies until February 8th.  The entire winter is one remembered across the west for extreme cold and heavy snow.

Now I memory I can recall from visiting at Grandma's!  The bale elevator created mountains of bales- with the help of some strong Kinnaird backs!