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!

I actually managed to find some time to participate in this week’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun, courtesy of Randy at Genea-Musings. This week’s challenge is the following:

1) Who is your MRUA – your Most Recent Unknown Ancestor? This is the person with the lowest number in your Pedigree Chart or Ahnentafel List that you have not identified a last name for, or a first name if you know a surname but not a first name.

2) Have you looked at your research files for this unknown person recently? Why don’t you scan it again just to see if there’s something you have missed?

3) What online or offline resources might you search that might help identify your MRUA?

4) Tell us about him or her, and your answers to 2) and 3) above, in a blog post, in a comment to this post, or in a comment on Facebook or Google Plus.

I took a look at my Ahnentafel chart and found number 53, Charlotte, my great-great-great grandmother. She married John Richardson sometime around 1860. They lived in Lewisham, England.

My records indicate that she was John’s second wife and she shows up on the 1861 census along with John, his daughter Ann from his previous marriage and their one-year-old son George. Their son, my great-great grandfather William John Richardson, was born in 1866 and emigrated to Canada in 1887. The 1881 census shows Charlotte had been widowed and was living with a number of her children.

For all the information I had on her, for some reason  I had never tracked down her last name. Until tonight.

A quick search on Findmypast turned up a marriage index for a John Richardson marrying a Charlotte Jackman in Lewisham in 1860. My great-great-great grandmother is likely, therefore, Charlotte Jackman.

The census data had suggested that she was born around 1838 in Woking, Surrey. A quick look at Family Search turned up a baptism record for a Charlotte Jackman, born in October 16, 1837, daughter of Thomas and Susannah Jackman at Saint Peter, Woking, Surrey. As Charlotte’s eldest daughter was named Susannah and one of her sons was Thomas, it seems probable this is the correct Charlotte. Which also means I may have just found my great-great-great-great grandparents!

I did find the family in the census for 1841 and 1851. There is doubtless additional information out there that I will go looking for another day.

All in all – not bad for a couple hours work!

It’s Saturday night and for the first time in months, I actually have time to play along with Randy Seaver’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun over at Genea-Musings.

Tonight’s mission is:

1) What year was your paternal grandfather born?  Divide this number by 100 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.”
4) Write about it in a blog post on your own blog, in a Facebook status or a Google Stream post, or as a comment on this blog post.
5) If you do not have a person’s name for your “roulette number” then spin the wheel again – pick a grandmother, or yourself, a parent, a favorite aunt or cousin, or even your children!

1) My paternal grandfather was born in 1906. Dividing by 100 gives us 19.06, rounded to 19.

2) The person with that number on my ancestral name list is my great-great grandmother Jane Summerville (1851-1884).

3) Three facts about Jane:

  • She was the daughter of Christopher Summerville and Elizabeth Humphreys. She was actually the second of their daughters to be named Jane. Her elder sister died on board the ship that brought the family to Canada in 1846.
  • Jane married Harrison Thomas (1846-1878) in Sharon, Ontario, on June 9, 1874. They had two daughters – Gertrude Ethel (1875-1971) and Maude Evelyn (ca. 1878- ca. 1879). Harrison died on December 5, 1878, leaving Jane a widow.
  • Jane moved to Uxbridge, Ontario in 1879 with Gertrude to keep house for her brother John who had been widowed earlier in the year. Her younger daughter, Maude, had died in March. His son Herb was twelve and Gertrude was devoted to him her entire life. While in Uxbridge, Jane developed a close friendship with Dr. Joseph Bascom and his wife, Anna Workman. Anna’s cousin Tom Workman had married a cousin of Harrison Thomas’. When Jane died in 1884, the Bascoms adopted eight-year-old Gertrude.


While searching through census records on the Ansteds, I noted that both Thomas Ansted (my great-great-great-great-great grandfather) and John Ansted (my great-great-great-great grandfather) were listed as brokers. In one census, John was listed as a fruit broker. Once I had that detail, I decided to search Google for <Ansted and fruit broker> and, lo and behold, up popped Clark & Ansted, fruit brokers. So, I kept digging and this is what I have come up with on the company to date.

The first mention I have found of the company was a notice of auction published in the Times of London on Friday, February 22, 1793. At that time the company was operating as Fielder, Clark and Ansted:


At Garraway’s Coffee-house, ‘Change-alley, Cornhill, THIS DAY,
the 22d Instant, at Twelve o’Clock,
A PARCEL of the most superior new FRUIT
just landed from MALAGA, consisting of
738 Boxes Bloom }
200 Muscatel } Raisins
Now to be viewed at the place of landing, Ralph’s Quay, and
until the time of Sale, where Catalogues may be had, at the Place
of Sale, and of   FIELDER, CLARK and ANSTED, Brokers,
No. 2, Idol-lane, Tower-street.

The company appears to have dealt exclusively in dried fruit such as raisins and currants. Most of the auctions I found records for involved shipments from Malaga in Spain.

The company is listed in the 1794 Kent’s Directory as Fielder, Clark & Ansted, Fruit brokers, 2, Idol la. Tower str.

The data for that directory must have been collected the year prior or early in 1794 because by April 1794 the company is named Clark and Ansted.

From the Times of London, April 12, 1794:

At Garraway’s, on Tuesday, the 15th Instant, at 5 o’Clock, for Benefit of Salvage,
the Cargo of the Emanuel Picolo, Capt. Ragusin, Strand-
ed off New Haven, viz.
95 Butts Currants       |  8 Small Casks ditto
33 Hogsheads ditto   |  32 Carrotee’s ditto
19 Pipes ditto               |    Part damaged
To be viewed on Monday and Tuesday, till the time of Sale,
at Smart’s Quay, near Billingsgate, where Catalogues may be
had, at the Place of Sale and of
CLARK and ANSTED, Brokers
No. 40 Philpot-lane, Fenchurch-Street

The company has also moved and is now located in Philpot-lane. The company remains in that location until approximately 1811.

Many of the early auctions were held at Garraway’s Coffee House. Coffee houses were centres for business through much of the 18th and 19th centuries. Garraway’s was opened in 1669 by Thomas Garraway, the first person to import tea into England. It was a four-storey brick building with mahogany boxes and seats on the main floor. Businessmen would go there, and to other coffee houses, to eat, drink and transact business. The building was ultimately torn down in 1873. Clark and Ansted also transacted business at Hambro’ Coffee House, as evidenced by ads in the Times in 1800.  (For a more indepth look into coffee houses this article is worth a read.)

In 1811, the London Commerical Sale Rooms were built in  Mincing-Lane to provide offices and a market place. The Sale Rooms eventually became the London Commodity Exchange in 1954. Clark and Ansted appear to have moved into offices in that building by 1820, the year Thomas’ eldest son John was married. His marriage announcement gave Mincing Lane as his business address. After Thomas’ death in 1846, the following advertisement appeared in the Times of London on November 23:

Notice is hereby given, that a SPECIAL GENERAL MEETING of Proprietors will be held a the Institution, in Mincing-lane, on Monday, the 30th day of November inst., for the purpose of electing two Trustees of the said Institution, in the place of Robert Humphrey Marten and Thomas Ansted, Esquires, deceased. The chair will be taken and business commence at 12 o`clock at noon precisely.
By order of the Directors,
GEORGE MARTEN, Chief Clerk and Solicitor.
Chief Clerk`s Office, Mincing-lane, Nov 23, 1846.

It appears that Thomas was a Trustee of the commercial sale rooms.

It is evident from Thomas’ will that following Thomas’ death his son John took over the Ansted half of the company. In an issue of the London Gazette in 1853, an announcement was posted to note the dissolution of the partnership between Clark and the Ansteds:

39, Mincing-lane, London, September 12, 1853.
Notice is hereby given, that the Partnership hitherto existing between John Nassau Clark, John Ansted and John Ansted, junr., under the firm of Clark, Ansted, and Co., has this day been dissolved by mutual consent; and that the business will in future be carried out by John Ansted and John Ansted, junr., under the firm of Clark, Ansted, and Co.
John Nassau Clark.
John Ansted.
John Ansted, junr.

Beyond this notice, I have yet to find much evidence of the company’s doings from 1846 until the late 1850s. In this post, I outline the company’s business in Australia. Since the company had expanded its business overseas, I am assuming that it was doing quite well.

In 1876 both John Sr. and John Jr. are on a List of Brokers in the Times of London (published January 14, 1876):


The company appears to have moved back into premises in Philpot-lane some time between 1846 and 1877. It appears John Sr. and John Jr. were working together up until John Jr. passed away in 1876. John Sr. died the following year and it looks like Clark and Anstead was taken over by John Jr.’s two sons. The January 13, 1883 list of Brokers in the Times of London, shows that control of the company has passed to Alfred and Edward Ansted:

The company has also moved again – this time to 40 St. Mary-at-hill.

The next reference I have found for the company is from 1914. The Whitakers Red Book, 1914, includes a listing for Clark, Ansted and Co. under Fruit (Dried and Preserved).

That is the last reference I have found for the company. It is no longer in existence today. I suspect it may have closed its doors some time between Edward Ansted’s death in 1917 and Alfred’s in 1936.

While 1793 is the first documented evidence I have of the company’s existence, I have recently uncovered an interesting clipping that suggests they had been in business considerably longer than that. In the August 9, 1878 Times of London, the company responded to a previous story with a letter to the editor. The original story, published in the Times on August 8, 1878, read:

THE DISRAELI FAMILY AND THE CITY – Lord Beaconsfield’s grandfather was connected with, if not a parter in, the house now Messers. Clark, Ansted & Co., fruit brokers, Mincing-lane. The name of Disraeli may still be seen on the books of the firm. The father of Earl Beaconsfield bought a life annuityof the Corporation, which he received until his death. The balance due to his estate was paid to the present Lord Beaconsfield, whose signature, together with that of his father, can still be seen on the books of the Chamberlain’s office, Guildhall. — City Press.

The letter to the editor stated:

Sir, –It is true that we have the name of Benjamin D’Israeli on our books as far back as 1763, but the con-nexion with that gentleman was merely that of principal and brokers. We are, respectfully, yours,
London, Aug. 8    CLARK, ANSTED AND CO.

The company, in some form, was apparently in existence from at least the early 1760s. And the fact it was connected, in any fashion, with a name like Disraeli* is quite impressive to me.

I will leave Clark, Ansted and Co. here for now, though I have not given up hope of discovering yet more information on the company or the family.

*Benjamin D’Israeli was born in Cento, Italy in 1730. He came to England in 1748 and settled there as a merchant. He died in 1816. His son, Issac (1766-1848), was a writer and scholar. Issac’s son Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield, (1804-1881) was Prime Minister of England from 1871 and 1877. (Disraeli information from Wikipedia.)

Happy Anniversary to me!

It’s hard to believe a year has already passed since I started this blog. I have not published nearly as often as I had hoped to – “real life” tends to get in the way of research at times. But, despite the intermittent publishing schedule, this blog has brought me into contact with a handful of “new” cousins and allowed me to reconnect with some “old” ones. My hope is to post more consistently in the blog’s second year. We’ll see how well that works!
Some of the reason for the recent quiet was a family trip to England. There was not really any time for actual research while we were there, but I was able to briefly prowl around Fulham Cemetery in London where my great-great-great grandfather James Coulman is buried. The cemetery sustained some damage during the Second World War and there is no longer a tombstone for him, or his wife and daughter who are also buried there. It is still a beautiful site – even on a grey day.

And there is a memorial near the section where James is buried for those who fought and died in the war.

We also took time to visit my husband’s grandparents’ gravesites – it’s never too young to get the children interested in genealogy!

Thanks for reading!

It’s Saturday night and it’s time for some of Genea-musings’ Saturday Night Genealogy Fun. Tonight’s challenge is to:

1) If you have your family tree research in a Genealogy Management Program(GMP), whether a computer software program or an online family tree, figure out how to find how many persons, places, sources, etc. are in your database (hint: the Help button is your friend!).
2) Tell us which GMP you use, and how many persons, places, sources, etc. are in your database(s) today in a blog post of your own, in a comment to this blog post, or in a Facebook status or Google+ stream comment.

This is where I demonstrate in black and white how little time I really have to devote to genealogy. Reading through the comments on Genea-Musings from those who have many thousands of people in their databases, tends to make my number appear very small indeed. (In my defense, that is at least in part due to the fact when I upgraded software a few years ago, I decided to essentially start from scratch and only add people I was “sure” about. I didn’t really count on never having time to research when I made that decision.) Anyway, enough with the disclaimers – here are the numbers:

I use Family Tree Maker 2011.

I have 1,308 people in my database.

There are 399 marriages and 10 generations.

There are 318 surnames.

There are 231 places.

I have 89 sources and 132 pieces of media. (These numbers are lower partly due to that lack of time I mentioned previously, I have many, many items that need to be entered into the database.)

The average lifespan is 60.

The earliest birth date is John Oakely in 1750.

The most recent birth date is from 2010. (This is one of the main causes of my lack of time!)

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