My great-grandmother Margaret (Johnson) Fee. This picture was likely taken somewhere around 1893.
Each week, Randy Seaver over at GeneaMusings posts Saturday Night Genealogy Fun. This week I decided to play along. The challenge is outlined below:
1) How old is one of your grandfathers now, or how old would he be if he had lived? Divide this number by 4 and round the number off to a whole number. This is your “roulette number.”
2) Use your pedigree charts or your family tree genealogy software program to find the person with that number in your ancestral name list (some people call it an “ahnentafel”). Who is that person?
3) Tell us three facts about that person in your ancestral name list with the “roulette number.”
And here are my results:
1) I have chosen my maternal grandfather who was born in 1902. Today he would be 108 as his birthday wasn’t until April. 108/4=27.
2) The person on my list with the ahnenfatel (1) number 27 is Rebecca Lusty, my great-great grandmother.
3) a. Rebecca Lusty was born in February 1866 in Croydon, Surrey, England. She was married on November 26, 1882 to William John Richardson in Bromley, Kent. She died in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on June 26, 1922.
b. By the 1881 census, her family had moved from Croyden and was living at 3 Maybank Cottages in Lewisham, Kent. Rebecca is listed as a domestic servant. (The Richardsons, incidentally, lived at 4 Maybank Cottages!) While the actual cottages no longer exist, when my husband and I were in England a few years ago we thought it would be interesting to find the general area. Unfortunately, the railway was undertaking some repairs that day and we couldn’t get close enough to investigate. Maybe next time!
c. In the mid-1880s, Rebecca and John moved from England and settled in Ontario. Of their ten children, three were born in England – Rebecca Alice (my great-grandmother), William and Alfred. The other seven – Rose, John, Albert, Martha, Charles, Edward and Ellen - were born in Ontario.
(1) From Ancestry.com: Ahnentafel is a German word that literally translates as “ancestor table”. It is a list of all known ancestors of an individual and includes the full name of each ancestor as well as dates and places of birth, marriage, and death whenever possible. It also has a strict numbering scheme. (for more info, click here)
In keeping with my goals for the year, I started working on my Anstead/Ansted line this month. I figured it wouldn’t do to fall off the pace in the first week of the year! I had intended to write the biographies for my ggg-grandmother and my gggg-grandfather, which were the only Ansteads I had any information on.
On Saturday morning, I knew that Dionysia Anstead had been born to John and Dionysia Anstead. I knew that she had married Thomas Burton. I had names of at least some of John and Dionysia’s children from the two censuses I had managed to track down and a couple of baptismal records. One of the censuses listed John as a ‘fruit broker’. I even had what I believed to be John’s baptismal record which gave me his father’s name – Thomas. And that is about all I knew.
Saturday evening I decided to see if I could find anything else. I tried www.Ancestry.com. I tried my brand new subscription to www.findyourpast.com (which I won in a Twitter contest from @familytreemaguk. Yay!) I tried www.FamilySearch.org. I didn’t really find anything new – or at least I didn’t find anything I recognized as new and applicable. Then I tossed <”John Ansted” fruit> into Google.
And everything changed.
Google Books found a record in The European magazine, and London Review, Volumes 77-78:
[11. Mr. John Ansted, of the firm of Clark and Ansted, Fruit Brokers, Mincing-lane, to Miss Dyonisia Northeast.]
In those three lines, a wall I hadn’t fully acknowledged fell down.
Suddenly, I had John and Dionysia’s marriage date (April 11, 1820). I had the name of John’s business and its location. And I had Dionysia’s maiden name.
On Sunday I started searching for verification of this new information. I now have census information for every census between 1841 and 1911. I have as many birth/baptism, marriage and death/burial registration/records as possible so far (nothing yet ordered but I’m making a list!) I have a pile of Times of London clippings, including auctions of fruit, birth/marriage/death notices and more. I have nuggets of information from a variety of books and other publications.
And I am still turning up new pieces of the puzzle. (As I was writing this post, I searched Google Books directly and turned up some new references.) It’s going to take me some time to put it all together, but I am going to enjoy the process. This is the first branch of my family that has ‘social standing’, which seems to mean they left more of a paper trail than the branches who were servants and farmers and labourers.
I’m working on sorting through all the records I have collected and hope to start writing biographies soon. Now, in additional to Dionysia (Ansted) Burton and John Ansted, I will have to add my ggg-uncle John Ansted (who also married a Burton) and, possibly, Thomas Ansted. I’m also eager to look into the history of fruit brokers and grocers in 18th and 19th century London.
Now, if only I could find a picture of John or Dionysia! Oh, and some time to research and write without neglecting the preschooler and the baby!
My great-grandfather John Everett Fee was born to John and Henrietta (Salter) Fee on March 1, 1878 and baptized in the Wesley Congregation Church in Montreal that October:
John Everett, son of John Fee of Montreal, machinist, and Henrietta Salter, his wife, born on the first day of March eighteen hundred and seventy eight, was baptized on the fourteenth day of October in the same year, in presence of the parents by me, James Roy, minister
Witnesses John Fee
By 1880, the family – John (34), Henrietta (33), Mildred (6) and John (2) – had moved south of the border and was living in Plattsburgh, Clinton County, New York. After years of wondering why I couldn’t find the family in the 1881 Canadian census it was a bit of a surprise to recently discover them in New York in 1880. I still don’t know why they headed south, or why they came back to Canada.
A search through Lovell’s Montreal city directories suggests that the family left for the States around 1878 and returned to Canada around 1885/86. By the 1891 census, the family - including Henrietta (42) and John (44) and their children Mildred (16), John (13), William (10) and Ruth (6) – were back in Montreal. William and Ruth are shown as being born in the United States.
I have not yet found the family in the 1901 census, nor have I found them in the 1900 US Census. Just recently I found a record for a J Fee as a lodger and student in St. Antoine Ward in Montreal. However the record is not only incomplete, it is actually crossed out. The ages of the other lodgers/students are comparable to what John’s would be, but that is obviously not conclusive. It is intriguing, however!
The 1911 census shows John (33) still living at home (377 Grosvenor, Montreal) with his parents John (66) and Henrietta (65) and his siblings William (30), Ruth (26) and Mildred Newmark (36). Also at home are Mildred’s children, Basil (16), Henry (14) and Grace (8).
John was an avid cyclist and participated in many centuries. These entailed 100 miles of bike riding in one session. Given the bicycle technology of the day, that would have been quite the achievement. He was also an amateur boxer and avid camper.
John, who was a machinist like his father, doesn’t show up in the city directories until 1915. My family has a medallion from that year inscribed to him from the Montreal Technical School. I found some information at the McCord Museum that states that the school opened in 1911. That suggests to me that John Everett may have been a graduate of one of the early classes.
He received a patent for a hydraulic motor on October 29, 1912. His workshop was at 107 rue de la Gauchetiere Ouest and then at 157 rue de la Gauchetiere Ouest. When I was in Montreal some years ago I discovered the site of the earlier workshop is now a large, rather uninspirational, government building. The buildings across the street are older and gave me a sense of what the area must have looked like when he worked there in the early to mid part of the century. I didn’t realize until a few days ago that he had later moved locations.
John married Margaret Johnson on June 7, 1913:
John Everett Fee, bachelor, of the city of Montreal, mechanical engineer, and Margaret Johnson, spinster, daughter of John Johnson of Athelstan Province of Quebec and Alice Jane Burton, his wife, both parties being of the age of majority and no impediments being here alleged, were married by authority of licence on the seventh day of June in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and thirteen, by me, Harlow Goddard, Rector of Huntington
This marriage was solemnized between us
In the presence of:
I have John and Margaret’s original marriage contract and marriage certificate in my possession. Along with those are copies of their birth certificates.
They had one daughter, born in 1915.
John died on May 8, 1967.
John Fee and Margaret Johnson, 1911
My great-grandfather John Everett Fee (age 9) and his younger brother, William Thomas (age 7), in 1887.
While I have long looked up individuals in city directories, I have usually just focused on one person in a very specific time period. I’m usually looking for verification of something I already ‘know’. This time I was trying to solve several mysteries related to the Fee branch of my family tree. So I spent several hours digging through Lovell‘s Montreal city directories.
First, I wondered if I could determine when exactly the Fees arrived in Montreal. I know Thomas Fee (ca1816-1897) arrived in Canada around 1837 and settled in St. Malachie, Quebec. He and his family appeared on the 1871 census in Montreal, but I wanted to see if I could figure out when between 1861 and 1871 they moved to Montreal.
Second, I knew Thomas’ son John and his family had headed south of the border for a period of time around 1880. I hoped to figure out a more exact time period for that event.
Finally, I wondered when John’s son John Everett started working as a machinist and whether he took over the same workshop his father had owned/rented, (assuming of course his father (also a machinist) had owned/rented a workshop).
So, I put aside finishing my biography of John Everett Fee and started digging through the Montreal city directories.
I found a Thomas Fee in the 1869-70 Lovell’s city directory. He is listed as a moulder living at 182 Seigneurs. In the next two directories he is a night watchman. I am not 100% positive this is *my* Thomas Fee but it appears probable as in the 1873-74 directory he apears as a clerk at 182 Seigneuers and John Fee, machinist, is down the street at 261 Seigneurs.
My first new discovery was in the 1874-75 directory where, in addition to John Fee, 34 St. Martin, there is an ad:
By 1876-77, Fee & Glennon is no more and Glennon is no longer in the Montreal city directory. Both Thomas and John Fee are missing from the 1877-78, 1878-79 and 1879-80 directories. Thomas reappears in the 1880-81 directory as a clerk at 430 Richmond, but after that is is gone permanently. If he is, in fact, the ‘right’ Thomas, he would be in his mid-60s and possibly no longer working.
John reappears in 1886-87 as a machinist at 107 1/2 Bleury. There are several address changes over the years and by 1899-90 his business is located at 623 Lagauchetiere. In 1906-07, John‘s shop is located at 107 Lagauchetiere W and his home is 377 Grosvenor in Westmount.
From 1906-07 until 1914-15, that information remains constant. In 1914-15, we finally find Fee JE, machinist, 202 Prudhomme av. John Everett moved to 216 av Girouard in 1916-17, and his occupation remained machinist until 1919-20 when he was listed as an elv eng (elevator engineer). By 1921-22, the listings read:
Fee JE of John & JE Fee 226 Av Girouard
“ John of John & JE Fee 377 Grosvenor av Westmount
“ John & JE , machinists, 107 Lagaughtiere W
The listing was exactly the same in 1922-23. John Sr. passed away in 1922 and in 1923-24 we find the listing for Fee JE, mach, 107 Lagauchetiere W h 226 Av Girouard. This stays the same until 1928-29 when the work address changes to 157 Lagauchetiere. By 1931-32, his home address is 4390 Wilson av and changes again in 1935-36 to apt 11, 1830 Lincoln av. That stays the same until the 1954 directory when he no longer has a business address listed. As he was in his mid-70s at that point, it is likely that he retired. He and his wife moved to apt 1 6254 Sher W in 1959 and he passed away in 1967.
So, did I find answers to any of my questions? It would appear that, providing that actually is the ‘right’ Thomas Fee, he and his family arrived in Montreal around 1868/69, in time to be listed in the 1869-70 directory.
I know that John Everett was born in Montreal in 1878. The fact his father isn’t listed in the 1877-78 directory suggests that, perhaps, John Sr. headed south before the rest of the family. It would appear that they were back in Montreal by 1885/86, in time for the 1886-87 directory. So, while not precise, it does narrow down the timeline somewhat.
Finally, it looks like John Everett enjoyed a rather prolonged youth – we know he was an amateur boxer, rode century bicycle races and was an avid outdoorsmen. He was married in 1913 and his first child was born in 1915, the same year he was listed in the directory as a machinist. What he was doing for employment prior to that is unclear, although he was listed as a machinist in the 1911 census. It is clear, however, that he took over his father’s business location after John, Sr., passed away. At least one mystery has been solved!
As a brand new geneablogger, I have never before participated in a Carnival of Genalogy. As there is a first time for everything, I thought I’d start with this one! The topic this time around is: My genealogy research/writing plan for 2011. I have never really planned my research in advance before. It’s usually been a pretty hit and miss approach based on when I had the time and the inclination to do some work. That’s part of the reason I started this blog – I thought it would compel me to actually keep doing research, no matter how slowly. I felt the blog would give me a general direction, hopefully laying out a research/writing plan will give me a more detailed roadmap.
In essence, my genealogy research/writing plan for 2011 is very simple. To do some – any – genealogy.
Some background: first and foremost, I am a mom to two small children – the preschooler and the baby. I spend most of my days chasing around after them and many of my evenings getting household chores done or sitting in a vegetative state on the sofa.
Second, I am a librarian. Due to the baby, I am currently on maternity leave, which here in Canada lasts for one year. It seems like a long time until you realize the baby is already almost a year old. Consequently, I’ll be going back to work quite soon. While my job involves a great deal of Internet searching and hours of research, pretty much none of it involves genealogy in any shape or form. And when it (rarely) touches on something approximating genealogy, it is certainly not my own!
For these two reasons, any genealogy I actually accomplish in 2011 will be a success story.
That said, I do have some goals for 2011. Whether or not I can realistically accomplish them will be better determined once I’m back at work.
First, I would like to finish going through all of the research I have already completed over the years and work on writing up my mini-biographies on each direct ancestor. While there are times I am positive my bios are of interest to no one but myself, they are helping me to see where exactly the gaps in my research are and are illuminating patterns and other interesting facts that I had previously overlooked. I have completed mini-biographies for my Salter, Davey, Coulman and Fee ancestors and I hope to start systematically moving through the other branches.
In the hopes of maintaining some semblance of order, I am assigning each month a set of ancestors. I will begin in January by working on my Anstead branch.
February – Burton
March – Hunter
April – Lusty
May – Haight
June – St. John
July – Thomas
August – Hindle
September – Oakley
October – Johnson
November – Summerville
December – Barker & Richardson
We’ll see how far I actually get!
Second, I hope to tackle one or two of the brick walls that are currently standing in my way. Thomas Fee, Reuben Thomas, Harrison Haight and Robert Hunter have confounded me for years. I have a fair amount of information on each of them but not enough to carry their lines further back or to be positive about some of the information I do have. I hope that in the course of writing my mini-bios I will either come across new information, or forgotten details, or facts that now makes sense that didn’t previously. And, if not, I hope that I have time to dig around for fresh information.
Third, I have names and at least partial dates for all of my great-great grandparents. My final goal for 2011 will be to try and fill in what holes I have in my information for my them and try to take all my branches back another generation for those great-great-great grandparents I don’t yet have details for. I expect that I will not fully achieve this goal due primarily to time limitations.
So, that is what I hope to accomplish in 2011. They are, on reflection, fairly lofty goals. Even if I only achieve a fraction of them, however, I will consider it time well spent.
Happy New Year! Best wishes to all for a happy and healthy 2011!
My great-grandfather John Everett Fee cycled centuries in the early part of the 1900s.
I can’t imagine cycling 100 miles in one day with today’s technology. This picture was taken in 1913.
I was recently honoured by not one but two Ancestor Approved awards. Both Linda from Documenting the Details and Joy from Tomorrow’s Memories were kind enough to acknowledge my blog. Recipients of this award (which originated at Ancestors Live Here) are to list ten things they have learned about any of their ancestors that have surprised, humbled or enlightened them. Award recipients are also to pass the award along to ten other bloggers who they feel are doing their ancestors proud.
I have finally completed my list, but it will take somewhat longer to come up with ten blogs, as many have already received this award. So, without further ado, I present my list:
1. I think one of the things that has surprised me the most is the fact I have had an easier time tracing many of the women in my tree rather than the men. When I started researching, I assumed it would be easier to track the men since they tend to lead more “public” lives. That has not held true in all cases.
2. I am humbled by those same women. Many of my ancestors had very large families of 10 or 12 children. I am struggling to manage with two and I am in awe of how they managed to not only birth that many children but, in some cases, move to a new country with them and raise them in ‘the bush’.
3. I have found it enlightening and somewhat surprising just how much travelling my ancestors did. I had a vision of a one-way trip to Canada, finding a home and then staying there. Many of my ancestors moved around a lot more than that, either within the province they emigrated to or across the border to the US and back.
4. I was surprised to discover that many of those in my father’s mother’s family were actually quite well-to-do. Most of the family I have uncovered in my other three branches were farmers or servants or workers of some sort. Through some of my grandmother’s papers and with some digging, I have discovered prosperous traders in London, wealthy farmers in Norfolk and even a story about an invitation to tea with Queen Victoria.
5. I was surprised to find that one of my great-great grandfathers was married three times. All of his wives were named Mary.
6. I am not exactly surprised, but definitely intrigued, that many of the stories that were passed down about my ancestors have turned out to have an element of truth to them.
7. I have found it enlightening to discover how similar we are to those who went before us. Often professions have travelled down family lines or you can see where someone’s mechanical prowess, for example, came from. It’s also interesting to see old pictures and note the similarities to those living today. (My younger child is the spitting image of my grandmother at the same age.)
8. I am humbled by the thought of how many ‘coincidences’ and twists of fate had to take place for ‘this person’ to meet ‘that person’ and marry and have children and eventually lead all the way to me. It’s really rather remarkable watching that dance through time and space.
9. As a relatively recent parent, I am humbled by how many of my ancestors lost children and yet carried on. Some of them lost several in a short time span and while mere dates and names can’t tell of the pain of the loss, I can only assume they possessed great strength in continuing on. The loss of a child was perhaps more common in those times, but I can’t imagine it was any less difficult.
10. I am surprised – though not very – at how much fun it is to go digging through history to see what I can turn up next!