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Posts Tagged ‘Ontario’

From left: Cecil, Jack, and Hugh (1905)

From left: Cecil, Jack, and Hugh (1905)

John Alfred Wilson was born March 25, 1905 in Pittsburg Township, Ontario in Frontenac County.  He was the fourth child and third son of John and Mary (Thompson) Wilson.  In 1911, Jack was aged 6 and living with his parents John (37) and Mary (38), his brothers Hugh (9), Cecil (8), Charles (4 – my grandpa), William (3), his sisters Marjorie (5), Theresa (1), and his grandmother Mary (Gibson) Wilson (74).  He is listed as Swedish because his grandfather, John Wilson, came to Canada from Sweden.

From left: Charles, Cecil, Marjorie, Theresa, Hugh, Jack (seated), and William (about 1915)

From left: Charles, Cecil, Marjorie, Theresa, Hugh, Jack (seated), and William (about 1915)

In 1921, Jack was 16 and living with his parents John (47) and Mary (49), his brothers Cecil (18), Charles (14), William (12), his sisters Marjorie (15), Theresa (11), and his grandmother Mary Wilson (84).

At age 24, in April 1929, Jack passed through Detroit on his way to Dearborn to join his brother Hugh who was living on Park Street.  In the 1930 census, Hugh was rooming on Park Street and was a salesman at a creamery.  My grandfather Charles had arrived in 1928 and in 1930 was living on Columbia Street in Dearborn and was a truck driver at a creamery.  Jack, in the 1930 census, was employed as a crane operator at a foundry.  He was living with Fred and Mary Curtis on W. Lafayette in Detroit.

On September 2, 1930, Jack married Bessie Winnifred Eastwood (her mother’s maiden name was Curtis).  In the 1940 census taken on April 11th, Jack and Winnie were living on Military Street in Detroit and he was a crane operator at a brass factory.  According to this census, Jack had completed 8th grade while Winnie had completed 2 years of high school.  In 1935, they had been living in the same place.

Jack and Winnie's Wedding, September 2, 1930

Jack and Winnie’s Wedding, September 2, 1930

On April 29, 1940, Jack’s mother died at the farm in Pittsburg Township. On May 16, 1940, Winnie gave birth to a son in Detroit.  The family moved back to Canada soon after to run the farm.  On September 23, 1945, they had a daughter.  According to William J. Patterson’s Lilacs and Limestone: An Illustrated History of Pittsburgh Township, 1787-1987, Jack won Farmer of the Year in 1963 from the Frontenac Soil and Crop Improvement Association.  Jack died June 11, 1987 and Winnie died in February 2001.

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photo

A special place to my family has always been my Great-Grandfather’s farm in Pittsburgh Township, Ontario.  I just found out from Wikipedia that Pittsburgh is a former township and became part of Kingston in 1998.  The farm was located on R.R. 2 near the Howe Island Ferry Road/Joyceville Road.  In the last few years, I’ve learned through Google Maps that the farmhouse, barn and outbuildings were torn down.

I did a post in 2008 about an architectural survey done about the farmhouse, formerly the Robert Way house.  Find that post here.

The Wilson family owned the farm since 1903.  The first two children, Annie Maude and Hugh, were born on Howe Island.  But the rest of the children were born on the farm, including my grandfather Charles in 1907.

After it ceased being a working farm in the 1960s, it was a place for family reunions, family vacations and a place to get away from it all.  It was located right on the St. Lawrence River.  The photo above is from the 1950s, I believe.

 

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sweden_tombstone

Headstone of John Alford Wilson in Glenwood Cemetery, Amherst Island

John A. Wilson, my great-great grandfather, was born 9 Apr 1833 in Sweden.  Family legend says he stowed away on a ship when he was 16 and was “adopted” by the captain who gave the boy his [the captain’s] name.  But we all have stowaway stories, right?

Anyway, by 1859 John lived on Amherst Island, Ontario and married Mary Ann Gibson and had a child name Rose.

In the 1871 Canadian Census, the Wilsons’ have several more children and John’s occupation is listed as mariner.  According to my great aunt, John was a “lake captain.” Furthermore, Captain Wilson loaded grain on Amherst Island.  In 1881, John is listed as a farmer and I have no further information at this time about this mariner in the family.

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Since we’re talking about Mary Thompson Wilson, here is her obituary from 1940.  It’s presumably from a Kingston (Ont.) newspaper, but I don’t know for sure.

Mary Wilson obit 1940

Daily Blogging Prompt: Sunday’s Obituary

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