Amy Johnson Crow, on her blog No Story Too Small, has challenged her fellow bloggers to post 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. This is week nine.

My great-great grandmother Jane Summerville was born around 1851 in Sharon, Ontario. She was the fifth child born to Christopher Summerville and Elizabeth Humphries and the second Jane. Her older sister had been born about 6 years earlier in Co. Fermanagh, Ireland, but died soon after the voyage to Canada in 1846.

On the 1851 census, the family is shown as living in East Gwillimbury, Ontario. Christopher (32), Elizabeth (33), John (10) and Ann (8) were all born in Ireland. Hugh (3) and Jane (1) were born once the family had settled in Ontario. Christopher was a labourer.

The 1861 census shows Christopher (42), Elizabeth (43), living in a 2-storey frame house with Ann (17), Hugh (12), Jane (10), Elizabeth (6), Christopher (4) and Mary (3).

In 1871, the family was still in East Gwillimbury. Christopher (50) and Elizabeth (52) were at home with Jane (20), Christopher (14) and Mary (13). At the time, Jane was listed as a seamstress.

Jane Summerville Thomas a

On June 9, 1874, Jane married Harrison Thomas. On May 25, 1875, Gertrude Ethel Thomas, my great-grandmother, is born to Harrison and Jane. Three years later, on April 10, 1878 another daughter joins the family, Maud Evelyn.

Sadly, Harrison passed away from consumption on December 5, 1878. He was soon followed by Maud on March 30, 1879. Following Harrison’s death, Jane’s sister Mary came to stay with Jane and Gertrude. And when Jane’s sister-in-law Artimitia Summerville died in 1879, the two went to live Jane’s brother John and John’s son, Herbert.

In 1881, Jane (28) is found in her brother John’s (39) home with daughter Gertrude (7) and her nephew Herbert (13).

Jane passed away on June 9, 1884, leaving the nine-year old Gertrude an orphan.

Jane is buried with her husband Harrison in the Sharon Burying Ground.


Amy Johnson Crow, on her blog No Story Too Small, has challenged her fellow bloggers to post 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. This is week eight.

My great-great grandfather Harrison Thomas was the second son born to Reuben Thomas and Melissa Haight. Reuben was an immigrant from Cornwall, England, while Melissa had been born in Canada. Reuben and Melissa had 11 children – five boys and six girls – not all of whom lived into adulthood.

Harrison was born on December 30, 1846. On the 1851 census, the 5 year old Harrison is shown with Reuben (32), Melissa (31), Nicholas (7), Philander (4), Sophronia (2) and baby Silas (1). Not shown is Harrison’s older sister Agnes who passed away just a few months after he was born at three years of age. Also with the family is a servant, Catherine MacVale (20).

The 1861 census shows Reuben (43), Melissa (at a very young – and wrong – 29), Nicholas (16), Harrison (15), Philander (13), Sophronia (12), Silas (10), Idilia (5), Cynthia (2). In the gap between Silas and Idilia were William and Jane. William passed away at not quite a month old and Jane was not quite a year old when she died.

On December 14, 1870, Harrison married Elizabeth Heal, daughter of James and Helen Heal. The 1871 census shows Harrison and Elizabeth living in Whitby East, Ontario. But sometime before 1874, Elizabeth passed away. I have yet to discover a death record of any sort for Elizabeth but on June 9, 1874, Harrison remarries.

Harrison Thomas and Elizabeth HealHarrison Thomas and his first wife, Elizabeth Heal

On that day, Harrison married Jane Summerville, daughter of Christopher and Elizabeth Summerville. The marriage registration shows Harrison as a bachelor, despite his previous marriage.

Jane Summerville ThomasJane Summerville Thomas

On May 25, 1875, Gertrude Ethel Thomas is born to Harrison and Jane. Three years later, on April 10, 1878 another daughter joins the family, Maud Evelyn.

Sadly, Harrison passed away from consumption on December 5, 1878. He is soon followed by Maud on March 30, 1879.

Amy Johnson Crow, on her blog No Story Too Small, has challenged her fellow bloggers to post 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. This is week seven.

My great-great grandmother Mary Elizabeth Barker was born on August 26, 1847 in Pinedale, Brock Township, Ontario. Her parents were James Barker and Hannah Taylor and I believe they were originally from Yorkshire, England.

Mary was fourth of ten children born to James and Hannah. She was the second oldest daughter and had three sisters and six brothers.

I have yet to find the family on the 1851 census but the 1861 census shows the family living on their farm in Brock Township. James (45) and Hannah (39) are there with their children, Sarah (20), John (19), William (16), Samuel (14), Elizabeth (12), Aaron (11), Priscilla (9), Charles (7), Watson (5) and Hannah (2). Mary appears to go by Elizabeth at this point.

By the 1871 census, Mary had already left her parents’ home, having married James St. John on April 11, 1866. Mary and James are shown on the census with their children Alfred Wesley Jasper (4), Emma Henrietta Jane (2) and Arthur Newton (7 months).

The 1881 census shows the addition of Norman Franklin (6), Hannah Rachel Bertha (4) and James Morley Clawson (1) to the family. John Elston Roy shows up by the 1891 census, at 7 years old.

Sadly, Mary Elizabeth was not able to watch all her children grow up. She passed away from consumption on January 26, 1892 at only 44 years of age. While her eldest child was 24, her youngest was only 8. It is, therefore, likely not surprising that her widowed husband, James, remarried within three years of her death.

Amy Johnson Crow, on her blog No Story Too Small, has challenged her fellow bloggers to post 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. This is week six.

My great-great grandfather, James St. John, was born on August 22, 1839. He was the fourth of 12 children born to James St. John Sr and Jane Lloyd. The family lived in Brock Township, Ontario. James Sr. and Jane had been born in Ireland but, if you go back far enough, were actually Palatine German.

James shows up on the 1851 census as a 13 year old. His father, James Sr., was a farmer and the family appears to have been quite prosperous, living at that time in a 1 1/2 story stone house. Also at home in 1851 were brothers Philip (18), John (17), and William (1). Sisters Margaret Ann (15), Mariah (11), Eliza (9), Rebecca (7), Mary (5), and Catherine (3) were also present. Joseph Wesley was born in 1854 and another Rebecca was born in 1857, the year after the Rebecca on the census passed away. It is evident from the census that many other family members lived nearby. Jane’s brother, Glover Lloyd and his family were virtually next door. And there were many other St. Johns in the area.

The 1861 census shows James (listed as 21) still at home with his parents. Older brother John (26) is also at home, along with Mariah (19), Eliza (17), Mary (13), Catherine (11), William (9), Wesley (6) and Rebecca (4). The family continues to prosper and their stone house is now listed as 2 stories.

On April 11, 1866, the 26-year-old James married 18-year-old Mary Elizabeth Barker in Brock Township.

The 1871 census shows James (31) and Mary (23) living in Brock with their children, Alfred Wesley Jasper (4), Emma Henrietta Jane (2), and my great-grandfather Arthur Newton (7 months). Also living with the family is Amos St. Johnn (23), labourer (and likely a relation) and Mary Ann Cosgrove (21), servant.

By the 1881 census, the family has grown. In addition to Alfred (16), Emma (12), and Arthur (9), there are also Norman Franklin (6), Hannah Rachel Bertha (4), James Morley Clawson (1).

The rather difficult to read 1891 census, suggests James (51) and Mary (43) are home with A. Newton (20), Norman (17), Hannah (14), James Morley (11), and John Elston Roy (7).

The 1901 census shows 61-year-old James with 45-year-old Mary and their children, Norman (27), Morley (21) and John (17). Also living with the family is 18-year-old domestic Laura Barber. When I first found this census record, I couldn’t figure out how Mary could have aged only two years between censuses.

Some additional research led me to discover that Mary Elizabeth Barker St. John had died of consumption on January 26, 1892. On May 15, 1895, in Vallentyne, Ontario, James married Mary McCullough (born in January 1856). It is this Mary that is on the 1901 census. When Mary McCullough passed away on July 11, 1904, James married yet another Mary.

In this case it was Mary Doble Shier (born January 16, 1842). Mary was James’ cousin (her mother Mary Ann and James’ father James were siblings) and Mary had six children of her own from her first marriage to Julius Shier.

James would not have an opportunity to marry a fourth Mary, however, as he passed away on July 25, 1910 due to an ‘abscess of the shoulder’ . Mary Doble St. John outlived him by 16 years, passing away on September 12, 1926.

Uncles Glover and Wesley and James St. John 2nd

According to the caption with the photo, this is James St. John Jr. (right) and his brothers Glover and Ontario MPP Wesley.

My great-grandfather, Hugh Hunter was born on May 17, 1863, in Brampton, Ontario. He was the twelfth child of fourteen born to Robert Hunter and Hannah Dool, who had immigrated from Ireland some twenty years previously.

The 1871 census shows the family living in Chinguacousy Township, Peel County, Ontario. Hugh was 7 years old. Also in the family home at that time were brothers James (30), Thomas (28), Robert (26), William (24), John (22), Joseph (19), Alexander (17), Henry (16), and Jacob (5), along with sisters Mary (14), Jane (11) and Hannah (9). Of the fourteen children born to Robert and Hannah, only one (Issac, Jacob’s twin) died in early childhood.

By 1881, not all the children were still at home, but 17 year old Hugh was there along with William (31), Jane (22), Hannah (19) and Jacob (15).

The 1891 census indicates that Robert Hunter had passed away and just Hugh (26) and Jacob (24) were at home with their widowed mother.

On January 11, 1899, 34 year old Hugh married 18 year old Margaret Jane Davey in Chinguacousy.

The 1901 census shows the couple in Chinguacousy with their one-year-old daughter Mary. My grandmother was born in 1905 – the fourth of what would be nine children, three of whom died in infancy or young childhood.

The family was still farming in Chinguacousy in 1911, where the census shows Hugh and Margaret with four children. Between then and 1921 – it was probably around 1913 or 1914 – the family moved to the city. In 1921, the census shows Hugh and Margaret with their five children in Toronto.

Hugh passed away in Toronto on May 24, 1939. He and Margaret are buried, along with other family members, in the Brampton Cemetery.



Amy Johnson Crow, on her blog No Story Too Small, has challenged her fellow bloggers to post 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. This is week four.

Rebecca Alice Richardson, my great-grandmother, was born on January 9, 1883 to William John Richardson and Rebecca Lusty. The family lived in Lewisham, Kent, England and her baptismal record appears to indicate they lived at 21 Ardmere Road. She was baptised in June of 1883 at St. Mary‘s in Lewisham. Rebecca was the first-born in a family that eventually encompassed 10 children.

The family emigrated to Canada when Rebecca was still very young. On September 18, 1887, William and Rebecca, along with their children Rebecca (4), William (2) and Alfred (1), arrived in Quebec City, Quebec, on board the Polynesian. They had sailed from Liverpool – a voyage that took approximately a month in that era. Also on board was a George Richardson, likely William’s brother, and his family. William was listed as an agriculture labourer.

By 1891, the family was listed on the census in St. Paul’s Ward, York East in Ontario. Eight-year-old Rebecca was listed, along with her younger siblings William, Alfred, Rosey and John.

Rebecca married Edward Cornelius Coulman on October 17, 1900 in Toronto, Ontario. They were a young couple. While the marriage registration indicates that Rebecca was 18 and Edward was 21, simple math suggests they were both only 17.

In 1901, Rebecca and Edward, both 18 years old, are found on the census living with Rebecca’s aunt and uncle, Alfred and Martha Richardson, in Toronto, Ontario.

Their first child, my grandfather, was born in April the following year. Following him, were four younger brothers and two younger sisters. All but one lived to adulthood. In the 1911 census the family is shown living at 109 Jersey Avenue in Toronto, just down the street from Rebecca’s parents and siblings.

The 1921 census finds the family living at 416 Montrose Avenue in Toronto, Ontario.

Rebecca was widowed on March 29, 1949 and she passed away on May 4, 1952 at her daughter’s home in Toronto.

Amy Johnson Crow, on her blog No Story Too Small, has challenged her fellow bloggers to post 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. This is week three.

My great-grandmother Margaret (Johnson) Fee was born on September 2, 1883 in Montreal, Quebec to John and Alice Jane (Burton) Johnson. According to the information I have at this point, she was the youngest of four daughters, though only two appear to have survived to adulthood. In writing this post, however, it has become clear I have a lot more research to do on Margaret and her family, so my understanding of her will likely change over time.

The 1891 census finds her living with her family in Montreal, including sisters Emily, Alice and Anna. The 1901 and 1911 censuses also show her living with her parents and older sister Anna in Montreal.

In 1913, on June 7, Margaret married John Everett Fee. I have their original marriage contract in my possession, along with their marriage certificate and both their birth certificates.

BEFORE Mtre JOHN ALEXANDER CAMERON, the undersigned Notary Public for the Province of Quebec, practicing at the City of Montreal.

APPEARED JOHN EVERETT FEE, of the City of Montreal, Mechanical Engineer,                                                                                                                                   OF THE ONE PART

AND Miss MARGARET JOHNSON, of Athelstan, in the Township of Hinchinbrook, County of Huntingdon, in said Province, Spinster of full age of majority,


In July of 1915, my grandmother was born to Margaret and John.

The 1921 census shows the family of three now living in Montreal, where John was a machinist. Margaret and John remained in Montreal until John’s death in 1967. At that time, Margaret relocated to Toronto, Ontario, where their daughter and her family were living.

Margaret passed away in 1971 in Toronto and was buried with her parents in the Athelstan cemetery.

Amy Johnson Crow, on her blog No Story Too Small, has challenged her fellow bloggers to post 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. This is week two.

My great-grandmother, Gertrude Ethel Thomas was born on May 25, 1875 in East Gwillimbury, Ontario. She was the first child of Harrison Thomas and Jane Summerville. Her sister, Maud Evelyn, was born on April 10, 1878 but passed away when not quite a year old on March 30, 1879.

Gertrude knew a lot of loss in her early life. In addition to her sister, she had previously lost her father to consumption on December 5, 1878. Following her father’s death, her Aunt Mary came to stay with her and her mother. And, then, when her aunt Artimitia Summerville died in 1879, she and her mother went to live with Jane’s brother John and John’s son, Herbert.

Jane passed away on June 9, 1884, leaving the nine-year old Gertrude an orphan. Family legend has it that her Aunt Mary packed her clothes in the ‘little trunk that had come from County Fermanagh’ when the Summervilles emigrated from Ireland. The trunk had carried the clothing belonging to Jane’s older sister, and namesake, who died on the voyage over.

Gertrude went to live with Dr. and Mrs. Joseph Bascom who lived in Uxbridge, Ontario. Jane had previously formed a friendship with Mrs. Bascom, whose cousin Tom Workman of Ottawa had married a cousin of Harrison’s. Gertrude called them Auntie and Uncle and went with them when they moved to Toronto in 1892.

The 1901 census shows Joseph and Annie Bascom living in Toronto with their son Frank and Gertrude who was, by then, a teacher.

On June 22, 1905, Gertrude married Arthur Newton St. John. Newton was a Methodist minister and their growing family frequently moved around Ontario. A son was born in 1906, followed by daughters in 1909 and 1914.

Gertrude and her younger daughter took a trip to England in 1938, where they connected with Thomas relations in Cornwall. I was able to reconnect with some of those same relations over the recent Christmas holidays.

In 1945, Gertrude was widowed when Newton passed away on June 18. For much of the rest of her life, she lived with one or both of her unmarried daughters.

On January 2, 1971, at the age of 95, Gertrude passed away in Toronto, Ontario.

Gertrude St. JohnGertrude, in an undated photo. I never knew her, but this is how I picture her.


Amy Johnson Crow, on her blog No Story Too Small, has challenged her fellow bloggers to post 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. While I expect I’ll have trouble actually completing the challenge, I am too intrigued not to try!

The first ancestor I am going to profile is my great-grandfather, Arthur Newton St. John.

Newton was born on August 27, 1870 in Brock, Ontario. His parents were James and Mary Elizabeth (Barker) St. John. James was a farmer. Newton chose not to follow in his father’s footsteps, choosing instead to become a Methodist minister.

Torontonensis, a University of Toronto publication, profiled Newton in its 1900 edition at the time of his graduation from Victoria College.

Arthur Newton St. John

“A nation’s care is on my brow.”

IN the year 1890 A. N. St. John, a Sunderland boy, began his Collegiate career in Uxbridge. After obtaining his third class certificate he taught for three years, when he entered Victoria. He has been among the leaders of his class in Philosophy from Vic., and but for the fact that he has been spending three evenings a week teaching night school, there is no telling what he might have done. Some people think he is indifferent to the fair, but those who know him and have travelled with him know better. His greatest “failing” has been his faithfulness to the Literary Society, and that he has political blood in his veins, is shown by his success there. He has been treasurer, First-Vice and President. The itinerancy will claim him.”

On June 18, 1905, Newton married Gertrude Ethel Thomas. In September of the following year, my grandfather was born in Thessalon, ON.
Newton and Bascom - July 5, 1908Two daughters followed in 1909 and 1914, when Newton and Gertrude were living in Cookstown, ON, and Bolton, ON, respectively. By the 1921 census, they were living in York Township.

Newton died on June 18, 1945.

As 2014 kicks off, I realize I haven’t actually written a post in well over a year. So I figured it was time to attempt to get the blog up and functional again. What better way than to participate in Randy Seaver’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun as outlined on his Genea-Musings blog? Our mission is to :

1)  Determine how complete your genealogy research is.  For background, read Crista Cowan’s post Family History All Done? What’s Your Number? and Kris Stewart’s What Is Your Genealogy “Score?”  For comparison purposes, keep the list to 10 or 11 generations with you as the first person.

2)  Create a table similar to Crista’s second table, and fill it in however you can (you could create an Ahnentafel (Ancestor Name) list and count the number in each generation, or use some other method).  Tell us how you calculated the numbers.

3)  Show us your table, and calculate your “Ancestral Score” – what is your percentage of known names to possible names (1,023 for 10 generations).

4)  For extra credit (or more SNGF), do more generations and add them to your chart.

And my results:

1) I decided to keep my list to 10 generations as I knew going in that I was unlikely to have any names on my tree further back than that.

2 & 3) I generated an Ahnentafel list in Family Tree Maker and used it to count the numbers of ancestors I have located. I cross checked that information with my giant 9-generation paper chart. (I’m not always as consistent in updating it as I am the electronic information so it was a good opportunity to update things!)



Possible #

Identified #























2x   Great-Grandparents





3x   Great-Grandparents





4x   Great-Grandparents





5x   Great-Grandparents





6x   Great-Grandparents





7x   Great-Grandparents








I’ve got a fair bit of information back to my 3x Great-Grandparents but things start to get a bit shaky further back that that. Now I can see where some of the gaps I need to feel are located. I’d really like to find the four missing 3x great-grandparents, for one!

4) I’m not going for extra credit as I’m pretty sure there wouldn’t be any to be found!

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