Friday, May 20, 2016

Not a National of the German Reich

On Wednesday I was a bit excited to receive a nice thick package from the Royal BC Museum or British Columbia Archives.  It was the will and probate for Edward Forfar. From when I placed the order online to receiving it in the post, it took about 2 weeks - how good is that?

There was no less than 37 pages to sift through.  In an ideal world I would have been able to go the Museum myself and look at what was in the file and pick and choose what I wanted copied.  But the Museum is in Canada and I am in Australia.  I am very grateful to the Museum staff for their quick and speedy attention to my request.  

The third page of the package contained a really interesting phrase which I hadn't seen in any family history documents before.  The document was a sworn oath made by a solicitor basically saying that he was the solicitor for the executor of the estate and that he knew Edward Forfar.  The last part of his oath reads as follows:

"That I well knew the said Edward Forfar, Deceased, during his lifetime, he being the person in respect to whose estate application for probate is now being made, and he was not a National of the German Reich."
Edward Forfar (previously known as Ernest Albert Forfar) died on 22 January 1940 at Fort St James, BC as per this post.

There is a lot of me that thinks the phrase about the German Reich relates to what was going on at the time - namely World War 2.  During times of war, governments have been known to commandeer private enterprise for the manufacture of armaments et al, so I suppose it is feasible that they would also look for assets to support the war effort anywhere they could e.g. through the court system and people's personal assets.  This is purely supposition on my part and bears further investigation of course.

The other treat that turned up this week for me in the form of an inter-library loan was....

This is a joy to browse through.  It is larger format than usual (28cm x 22cm). It kind of reminds me of the size of a school textbook, if that makes sense.  It is clearly laid out in digestible chapters, of which there are 26.  Authors Sherry Irvine and Dave Obee are familiar names to me as they have both spoken in Australia and are highly regarded worldwide in the gene - community.  Sherry teaches through Pharos Teaching and Tutoring.  Dave runs CanGenealogy and came out to talk at the In Time and Place conference last year here in Brisbane.  
In the Introduction to the book, the authors recommend reading the first twelve chapters and then dipping into the other chapters according to which area your research is based.  Chapters 13 onwards relate to special groups, provinces or territories.  

I read the chapter on Probate and didn't find any mention of the German Reich phrase but what I did read supported my thesis that the particular era might affect regulations regarding probate.  On page 56, the authors recommended looking at an almanac or provincial year books through Library and Archives Canada or the Family History Library, if I wanted to know more.  

At the end of every chapter there is a list of websites and bibliography.  Yay!

I love getting books on inter-library loan because it helps me decide whether I want to buy them or not.  I think this one is definitely one to put in the shopping basket. I will have a look via booko where is the best place to buy it in terms of price etc.

A google search of the phrase "probate law in Canada during World War 2" produced this interesting blog post, among other results, adding grist to my theory - at least in Ontario - that governments were concerned about managing the flow of capital during times of war.

So, what else did I learn?  I learned that Edward made his will on 12 October 1921.  Remember that Edward married Mary Kinniburgh on 10 October 1921 in Winnipeg, so making a will after getting married is probably a fairly normal course of events. 

He appointed the Royal Trust Company of Edmonton, Alberta as the executor of his will. 

Edward's address at the time of writing the will was the Post Office Hudson's Hope. I confess I am a bit confused about whether the will was signed in Manitoba or Alberta.  I guess I'll have to search both provinces.  Of course a copy of the will was provided in the probate package.  It's not very long or fulsome.  Basically it says he bequeaths his estate to Mary Brown Forfar his wife.  

The estate in large part was Real Estate which I imagine was the hotel.  It is described as follows:

Lot A of Lot 1, Block 3, Subdivision of Lot 110 and 111, Range 5, Coast District, Map 1400 as shown outlined red on Reference Plan 1451, BC and buildings thereon 

It was valued at $5350.00. 

I can't be sure but I think this may be the hotel here.

I was able to find a plan of Lots 110 and 11 here.  So it was I imagine right on the shore of Stuart Lake.  I don't think the original hotel exists.  

Edward had some cash and a life insurance policy.  His funeral cost $50 and he owed some money to Prince George grocer Karl Anderson and Fort St James gasoline supplier, L.R. Dickesson.

If you have any comments or observations or leads for me to follow, I would be most grateful for your advice.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Sepia Saturday 330: 14 May 2016

Alan Burnett from Sepia Saturday says:

Our theme image this week shows a type-setter at work. It comes from the collection of the Netherlands National Archives and is part of their Flickr stream. Whatever type of old image you want to share for Sepia Saturday 330, just include it in a blog post, post your post on or around Saturday 14th May 2016 and then add a link to it on the list below.
Having nothing in my own collection to match the image prompt, I duly searched Picture Queensland. The image below was one of the results that emerged from the search term "type".

Illustrated page from The Queenslander annual, November 4, 1935, p. 37  - courtesy of the John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

This is a cropped image, I hasten to add....and here is the caption:

If you want to see the original image go here.

Being the family historian that I am, I of course want to know a bit more about Miss M. Morrow.  Grove Crescent Toowong is reasonably familiar to me.  Here it is on the map:

It is just around the corner from Kensington Terrace where St Ignatius is located - the church where Robert and I were married and Robert's sister Patricia too.  I used to work at the ABC in Sherwood Road Toowong.  The children went to Toowong Creche & Kindy in Sherwood Road.  I have ploughed up and down Miskin Street on many occasions in the car - possibly one of the most difficult hill starts in Brisbane at the junction of Miskin Street and Sherwood Road.  One also has to be careful not to exceed the speed limit in the dip of Miskin Street because it is a school zone being near the BBC playing fields.  But that is all by the by....back to Miss M Morrow.

So I started with Find My Past electoral rolls. I find her in the 1934 Commonwealth Electoral Roll listed as Mary Annie Caldwell Morrow. Occupation: h. duties.  Residence Menahouie (this is actually a transcription error as you will discover below) Grove Crescent, Toowong. Then I remember that you just get transcriptions on FMP and can't see the person in context i.e. if she was living with anyone I swap to Ancestry.

Because I have so many more christian names to search on I can be more confident of finding the right person.  I find the following on Ancestry:

Mary Annie Caldwell Morrow was born in 1872 to Thomas Morrow and Margaret Caldwell.  She was the second eldest of four children (to the best of my knowledge) as follows:

1869 William Alexander Morrow
1872 Mary Annie Caldwell Morrow
1874 Thomas Edgar Morrow
1879 Henry Cooke Morrow

A search on Trove finds the following:

Family Notices (1868, January 11). The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933), , p. 4. Retrieved May 15, 2016, from - courtesy of Trove National Library of Australia

Back to the electoral rolls...the earliest I can find featuring Mary Annie Caldwell Morrow is in 1903.  The family is living in Ruhamah, Eldernell Avenue, Hamilton. William is listed as a barrister (aged about 34), Thomas Edgar (about 29 years old), Thomas and Henry Cook (aged about 24) are listed as confectioners.  Mary and her mother Margaret have home duties as their occupation.  

In 1905 and 1908 Thomas Edgar and William Alexander are still living at home with their parents and sister but Henry has moved out.  In 1913, Thomas and Thomas Edgar have changed their occupations to manufacturer and William is now living with Bertha at Toorak Road Hamilton.  William is still a barrister. By 1919, William starts describing himself as a manufacturer and he and Bertha have moved back to Eldernell Avenue. By 1925 it is just Mary Ann Caldwell and her mother Margaret living in Eldernell Avenue.  In 1928 it is just Mary Annie Caldwell living in Ruhamah but the street has changed its name now to Killara Avenue.  So I'm not sure if the property straddled both streets or she moved streets and kept the same house name.

The 1936 Electoral Roll shows Mary Annie Caldwell Morrow at Grove Crescent. Several events probably prompted Miss Morrow to move.

Her mother's death in 1926. And maybe the family home was too big to maintain.  

DEATH OF MRS. THOMAS MORROW. (1926, November 1). The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933), , p. 19. Retrieved May 15, 2016, from - courtesy of Trove National Library of Australia
Presumably she moved to Toowong to be closer to her brothers Henry and Thomas. Henry lived at Graham Road Indooroopilly and Thomas lived at Grove Street Toowong.  Henry lived previously at Morrow Road Taringa (presumably named after the Morrows) according to this notice in the paper:

Advertising (1925, December 26). The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933), , p. 20. Retrieved May 15, 2016, from - courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

So who were the Morrows?  And what kind of confectionary did they manufacture?  Those who have been long term Queensland residents will be way ahead of me on this one.  I have only lived here since the early 80s but many will remember Morrows Biscuits before it became Arnotts in the 1960s.

Here is some of the artwork associated with Morrow confectionary:

Rankin & Morrow's Excelsior Confectionery label courtesy of John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

Look at this marvellous photo I also found on Picture Queensland.  I think this is Miss Morrow's father and her brother in the front row.

Page 26 of the Queenslander Pictorial, supplement to The Queenslander, 18 August, 1917.Caption: Interstate Conference of Manufacturing Confectioners, held in Brisbane recently. 
Front row: D. Webster (Q.), Hobbs (W.A.), Morrow (Q.), J. Henderson (N.S.W.), H.C. Morrow (Q., president), J. Featherstone (S.A.), F. Dutton (V.), J.N. Steadman (N.S.W.). 
Second row: G. Treagle (Q.), W. Ennever (N.S.W.), T. Poole (N.S.W.), F. Fowles (V.), M. Mendes (V.), G.W. Long (V.), A.E. Batiste (V.), F.J. Ransom (N.S.W.), A.T. Carrington (N.S.W.), S.C. Russell (V.). 
Third row: J.C. McQuode (V.), W.C.A. Luke (V.), J. Hargreaves (N.S.W.), A.W. Allen (V.), G. Black (V.), J.E. Plumridge (Q.), J. Spence (V.), W.A. Hogarth (N.S.W.). 
Back row: T.P. Chegwin (Q.), W. Davison (V.), J.R. Phillips (Q.), Jno P. Wilson (Q.), P.B. Hoadley (V.), M. Dines (Q.), G. Dunne (Q.), L. Gole (Q.), J. Ireland (N.S.W.), J.D. Webster (Q.). J. and J. Murray photo.

Here is a photo of the factory in 1925.  I did visit this factory many years later as a Producer's Assistant when I worked at the ABC - eating Iced Vo-Vos hot off the production line was a treat I shall always savour.

Aerial view of Petrie Terrace, Brisbane, ca. 1925 Morrows Biscuit Factory (later to become Arnott Morrows) on River Road (renamed Coronation Drive in 1937), Milton, appears in the foreground. courtesy of John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

When I searched Picture Queensland again for Morrow, I came up with this...

An article and photograph from The Steering Wheel on Menahonie, a private residence in Toowong owned by Miss M. A. C. Morrow and designed by architect Mr Eric P. Trewern. 1 April 1933 courtesy of John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland.

Brisbane Courier, 17 November 1932, p.8 - courtesy of Trove Natonal Library of  Australia

And this:

Telegraph, 14 July 1936, p.21 courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

Miss Morrow died in 1940.

Death of Miss Mary Morrow (1940, June 11). The Telegraph (Brisbane, Qld. : 1872 - 1947), p. 13 (CITY FINAL LAST MINUTE NEWS). Retrieved May 15, 2016, from - courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

She left a considerable legacy to her brothers and the Presbyterian Church.

PROBATE GRANTED (1941, July 31).Maryborough Chronicle, Wide Bay and Burnett Advertiser (Qld. : 1860 - 1947), , p. 4. Retrieved May 15, 2016, from - courtesy of Trove - National Library of Australia

Miss Morrow's Bequest to Presbyterians (1940, August 3). The Telegraph (Brisbane, Qld. : 1872 - 1947), p. 16 (CITY FINAL LAST MINUTE NEWS). Retrieved May 15, 2016, from - courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

Here is Menahonie today (well three years ago in 2013).  And look it is right out the back of St Ignatius Primary School.

Curiosity got the better of me yesterday and I couldn't resist going by and making sure it was still there.

It's difficult to do it justice in the available late afternoon light, but it is safe to say that Menahonie looks well loved and cared for.

Can anyone tell me what Menahonie means?  

For more "types" of contiributions to Sepia Saturday click here.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Merry Month of May Movie Meme

Lovely Genimate Pauleen Cass from Family History across the seas came up with this great meme. Wanna play along?  Here are the questions:

What’s the earliest movie you can remember?

My mother told me that the first movie I ever saw was A Hard Day's Night with the Beatles but the first I can remember is probably Fantasia.

Where did you go to the movies (place or type of venue)?

For the most part, when I remember movie going days I'm thinking of Canberra. There were a couple of places to go in the 70s - there was a pretty uninspiring cinema in the heart of town - the Civic - but it had all the big movies so I saw Chitty Chitty Bang Bang there and Sound of Music I think.  Our favourite cinema by far was the Center Cinema and I have blogged about it and other cinemas/drive-ins here.

Did you buy movie programs?

Um no?  Did they exist? Why was I not told? 

Did you take in food and drink (and what did you like)?

Yes.  I never tired of Fantales and reading all about the actors though usually the ones I was most interested in - Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford...were always at the bottom of the wrapper with their bio cut in half!

Movies of your teenage years?

The Way we Were....oh my God...I remember my mother asking my friend and I if there were any questionable scenes in it.  "Oh no!" we both fibbed.  Well there probably weren't really when I think about it.

Love Story

The Blob!

Do you remember how old you were when you went unsupervised?

I reckon I probably got to be about 12 when I was allowed to go to the movies with a friend alone.

Mischief you got up to in the movies?

Mischief? Moi?  I remember being very brave once and not standing for the National Anthem and I didn't die but that was only because my Mother wasn't around.

Did you watch movies at home?

Yes..yes...yes and yes.  We were a big movie family.  My mother thought she'd died and gone to heaven when I got a job at the Film School and even got to go on movie sets occasionally.  

What was your favourite movie to watch at home?

We never really had a favourite that we would watch over and over again from memory, although my mother did derive much comfort from Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movies.  Or something like the Elizabeth Taylor version of Jane Eyre or hearing the immortal opening lines of Rebecca.  

Although from time to time we would drag out The Importance of Being Ernest just to hear Lady Bracknell (Dame Edith Evans) intone "To lose one parent Mr Worthing may be regarded as a misfortune, to lose two looks like carelessness."

Do you prefer to watch movies at home or at the cinema?

I confess I now prefer to watch movies at the cinema.  The opportunity for interruption at home is too great ("Where are my socks?" etc). It has to be a good cinema though - Palace or Dendy - not one of those ghastly multiplexes.

Does your family have a special movie memory?

I don't know about the family having one...I do remember sitting in a cinema in London with my mother aged about 17 and crying watching The Getting of Wisdom or some other Australian film like it.  I'd seen it before but the sky seemed so big in the movie and the sky seemed so small in London and I was ready to go home.

Movies you fell in love to/with?

Oh well I guess it would have to be Woody Allen movies that Robbie and I fell in love with.  I was living in Glebe then and there was a fantastic cinema that would show all the arthouse movies there...the Valhalla ....we must have seen Manhattan, Annie Hall, Hannah and her the time.

Favourite romantic movie theme music:

My favourite music composers are Ennio Morricone and Hans Zimmer...I don't know about them being romantic....but yes, of course, the last scene of Cinema could I forget?

Favourite musical movie?

I'm not really into musicals but I have to say that Westside Story did it for me...

Which movies made you want to dance/sing?

For some inexplicable reason The Blues Brothers movie escaped me for many years...I only discovered it last year, can you many favourite scenes from that movie....

Do you watch re-runs or DVDs of old movies?

Not very often mostly because a lot of what I want to see I don't have on the right medium anymore - we had to run out and buy Zulu the other day just to remember what it was like.  It still stood up.

Do your children/family enjoy the same movies?

By and large yes....sometimes we get a shock when someone doesn't have the same sense of humour we do....we howled with laughter at some of the scenes in Burn after Reading but it's not for everyone....language warning....this movie made me realise that Brad Pitt is actually a comedian.

What’s your favourite movie genre now?

Hard to say....I love a good comedy but my sense of comedy is probably a bit off the wall...I like really dark movies too which is not everyone's cup of dark I mean, sad, not scary...I'm a wus when it comes to scary movies.

Did you read the book before or after the movie?

Both - I love seeing how a book is realised... and I love reading the book after the movie.

I loved reading Colm Toibin's Brooklyn and was quite pleased with the realisation on film

Which did you enjoy more, the book or the movie?

Some are dreadful...some are better than the's hard to say.

What’s the silliest movie you’ve seen (silly funny or silly annoying)?

Oh well Leonardo in The Beach is pretty hard to beat.  I love Leonardo but this was without a doubt his worst movie.

Pet hate in movies?

People not laughing at the funny bits because I have a very loud laugh.

A movie that captures family history for you?

What an interesting question.  Crikey. I don't know. Let me think on that for a bit. Ooh I've got you really must see this movie if you haven't and you are a family is right on the money and so good...Sarah Polley's Stories We Tell....

If you could only play 5 movies for the rest of your life, what would they be?

Oh see now that is so hard because there are so many good ones and probably many more to come and what do we want to capture?  Magnificent scenery? Magnificent performances? What it means to be human? Love? Man's inhumanity to man?  The beautiful creatures on this planet.  "Unfair!"  she cried - so here's my list...for the minute....


Whale Rider

Cinema Paradiso

To Kill a Mockingbird

Grand Budapest Hotel

Favourite movie stars (go ahead and list as many as you like):

Oh dear - way too many....

Helen Mirren - wasn't she fabulous in The Queen?

Meryl Streep - so many to choose - I loved The Iron Lady and The Prairie Home Companion.

Kate Winslet - Finding Neverland - try watching that without crying

Helena Bonham Carter - Sweeney Todd was fabulous!

Carey Mulligan - Never Let Me Go - I couldn't speak for half an hour after witnessing that movie and that is saying something.

Cate Blanchett - that voice! in the Lord of the Rings and Blue Jasmine was a stellar performance.

Emily Watson - Breaking the Waves - very heavy stuff - have someone good with you when you watch this film.

Jackie Weaver - Animal Kingdom

Geoffrery Rush - The King's Speech to name but one of his many magnificent performances

Ben Mendelsohn - Animal Kingdom

Anthony Hopkins - World's Fastest Indian

Kevin Spacey - well of course House of Cards but American Beauty was my favourite.

Christopher Walken - everything he's ever been in.

Tommy Lee Jones - I'm a bit late to the party with Mr Jones and have only just discovered him....No Country for Old Men was when I sat up and took notice.

Joaquin Phoenix - Walk the Line did it for me.

I'll shut up now.  Thanks Pauleen!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

A Wedding and a Will before breakfast

Wedding cake for June's wedding crafted by Kit McLoughlin (nee Forfar) - my maternal grandmother

A short post today.  I just had to crow about finding a marriage between Edward Forfar and Mary Kinniburgh this morning before breakfast.

As I sat down with my early morning cuppa, I was chuffed to find a reply to a query I made to the Prince George Genealogical Society in my Inbox.  An exchange of emails made me think a bit harder about where I should be looking for Eddie and Mary's marriage and I realised that I had confined my search to just one province - British Columbia.  So I started to head east...I looked in Alberta - no luck - I looked in Saskatchewan - no joy. Manitoba? Bingo!

Edward Forfar and Mary Kinniburgh married on 10 October 1921 in Winnipeg. The registration number is 1921-038153.  I searched here.  It will cost me about $30 to get a copy of the certificate which I think I will order just because I might get all sorts of interesting information including residence before marriage and parents' details.  Yay!

While I was on that exciting path...Ding! Inbox delivered another email....this time from the Royal BC Museum in response to my email about a Will/Probate for Edward Forfar.  No less than 37 pages had been located and would cost me $33.50. Was I interested? 

It may have been a Labor Day Public Holiday in Oz but those Canadians were slaving away - God bless 'em.  And I had five minutes to make a decision before heading off to the salt mine.

I rang and confirmed the purchase.  Hoorah!  More lubberly information on its way.

Thank you Robin from Prince George Genealogical Society and thank you Diane from Royal BC Museum. This is one happy family historian. 

Monday, May 2, 2016

Eddie/Ernest Forfar and Canadian Research

Walter William Forfar in wheelchair with grand-daughter Shirley Wingfield and Ray Jeffrey 

My great-grandfather Walter William Forfar, also known as Dick Forfar was one of three brothers.  This post is about his older brother Ernest Albert Forfar also known as Eddie Forfar.  

I would love to post a picture of Eddie Forfar here but I think I would be breaking all sorts of copyright laws.  Instead, can I please encourage you to click here and view the pastel portrait of Eddie by Kathleen Shackleton, sister of antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Schackleton.  Kathleen was commissioned by the Hudson Bay Company to produce portraits of "men and women of the North".

I want to discover more about Eddie but have never done research in Canada before so I thought I would share some thoughts about my journey and tips and tricks in case they help you too in your family history research.

What are my research questions?  What do I know already?

What I know

Ernest Albert Forfar was the eldest son of George Forfar and Emily Mercy (nee Hollingham).  George and Emily married in Trinity Church, Eastbourne, Sussex on 11 September 1872.  

To be honest with you I actually think they may have married twice.  When confirming my sources while entering data into my new family tree software program, Family Historian, I found a shaking leaf on my Ancestry tree.  It was a reference to another marriage for them a few days earlier in Leamington, Warwick on 8 September.  

So George and Emily married on Sunday 8 September in Leamington and then hot-footed it down to Brighton for another wedding ceremony on Wednesday.  I have the marriage certificate for Brighton. I suppose I should now order the one for Leamington...sigh.  I shall add it to my To Do List down the bottom of this post.Honestly...these Forfars cause me no end of trouble.  

Two years later, Ernest was born, according to the BDM index on Ancestry, in Leamington. George Jnr. was born in 1875 and then Walter William in 1878.  
George and Emily's marriage was not a happy one.  I have found proceedings for Liquidation for George Forfar of No. 20 Upper-parade Leamington in the country of Warwick, Grocer, Tea Dealer and Wine and Spirit Merchant in The London Gazette in 1875.  They divorced in 1885 when Ernest would have been 11 years old.  The last record I have of Ernest in England is the 1881 Census when they were living in Leamington when he was just 6.  The Forfars had a successful bakery in Hove for many years.  You can read a bit more about it on this blog here.

Emily, Ernest's mother, committed suicide (Sussex Eastbourne Gazette newspaper notice 20 September 1893) at the age of 40 on 14 September 1893. I have a copy of her will and she divided her estate equally between her three sons when they attained the age of 21.  Ernest would have had to wait until 1895 to obtain his inheritance.  Emily's gravestone can be found at Ocklynge Cemetery, Eastbourne.  

A cousin sent me the portrait of Eddie quite a few years ago now but I wasn't interested in following it up then.  For a start he was called Eddie, not Ernest so I was a bit confused as to how it could be a relation.

I dug around last week and found a death registration for an Ernest Albert Forfar in Canada.  There is the name (Ed) in brackets after Ernest Albert on the record. Emily's father and brother's names were Edward which is why I think Ernest changed his name to Ed.

The death registration is very detailed (hallelujah!) and shows that he was born 29 October 1874 at Leamington, England and that his father was George Forfar and his mother was Emily M Hollingham.  I think we have our man.

From the death registration I discovered that his wife was Mary Brown Forfar.

Eddie was buried at Fort St James BC 26 January 1940.  He was 66 years old when he died on 22 January 1940.  He was a Hotel Constructor (?) and Guide. He died of a gunshot wound in head.  Oh dear.  You can look at the death registration here and let me know what you think his occupation is - the writing is quite difficult to decipher.

The certificate also tells me that his nationality was Canadian.  It also tells me that he had been working in this occupation for 13 years.  It tells me that he had been in the province for 25 years but there is a question mark next to how long he had been in Canada.  There is no information about his religion.

Here's a photo of his grave at Fort St James Municipal Cemetery. My thanks to the Prince George Genealogical Society for indexing headstones in this area and to the relative in Canada who sent us this photo via my 2nd cousin Kath.

I did a bit more digging and found that Mary Brown Forfar married David Trefor Jones on 12 July 1940.  She was 39 years old, so quite a bit younger than Ernest Albert aka Ed Forfar.  I have not been able to find a record of Eddie Forfar and Mary Brown Forfar's marriage.  From this marriage certificate, however,  I know that Mary Brown Forfar was born in Glasgow, Scotland and her father was James Kinnisburgh (?) and her mother was Marion (?) Henry.  The certificate is here.  Tell me what you think the names are...once again, it's difficult to read the writing.  

If Ed had been in the province for 25 years, I am guessing that Ed and Mary married from about 1917 onwards, given her age.  

I dug a bit more and found a news article in the Prince George Citizen from 25 January 1940.  It said:

The late Ed Forfar was well known throughout the North American continent as a big game guide, and for the past fifteen years has conducted many prominent sportsmen from all parts of the world on hunting and fishing trips into the Omineca district.  In addition to his guide and game fishing interests he conducted the Fort St James hotel at the foot of Stuart Lake.
 Forfar came to the Fort St James district from the Peace River Block where he was one of the first settlers to pre-empt land on Halfway River.  He later joined the B.C. police force and was stationed at Hudson's Hope for several years.  He was transferred to Fort Fraser and acted as policeman and game warden there previous to embarking in the hotel and big game guide business at Fort St James in 1927. 
He is survived by his wife and one son living at Fort St James and one daughter attending school in Prince Rupert. 
Right !  Quite a bit of information there.  

I have found one emigration record of an Ernest Forfar from Liverpool to Halifax in Canada on The Parisian in 1894 but I don't know if it is my Ernest....that Ernest is listed as being a Mech. (mechanic?) I looked up the passenger list for the Parisian and found Ernest Forfar aged 19 and it looks as though he got off at Winnipeg.  Have a look here.

I dug a bit more and found some articles in the Edmonton Bulletin in 1900 that Ernest was in business with a Louis Martin Sage.  It seems they owned a quarry:

From The Edmonton Bulletin 9 March, 1900:

Sage and Forfar of Red Deer, drew our attention to the fact that the two cars of stone brought in last week for the Strathcona Brewery Co.'s new malt house were not from Calgary as reported, but were from the Red Deer quarries.  These quarries have only recently been opened up but already the stone has been proved equal if not superior to the Calgary product.

But by September the same year in the Supreme Court of the North West Territories Northern Alberta Judicial District, Ernest Albert Forfar, Plaintiff and Louis Martin Sage, Defendant are having a Sale by Receiver.  

The South Peace Historical Society Website advises me that Ed Forfar moved from his Halfway River Farm and moved to Hudson's Hope in 1917. And this.

More newspaper articles revealed the following:

The Edmonton Bulletin on 3 February 1923, page 12 describes local Constable Ed. Forfar as a taxidermist "his home has many splendid specimens."

On 10 August 1923 The Daily Colonist reported something to gladden a genealogist's heart:
Mr Edward Forfar, of Hudson's Hope, has been appointed district registrar of births, deaths and marriages at that place, succeeding Mr. J. Gregg, resigned.
The Cariboo Observer in 1934 has two articles about the fishing prowess of Ed Forfar's 17 year old daughter Jane or June Forfar:

The Cariboo Observer 23 June 1934

The Cariboo Observer, 15 September 1934
Turning to the Canadian census I find an Ernest Forfar in the 1901 census living in Alberta.  You can see it here.

I wasn't sure if this was our man or not until I read his birth date.  While he claims to be a couple of years older than he is at the time, he says his birthday is 29 October.  I think it's him.  He says that he emigrated to Canada in 1893 - interesting.  He would have been only 18 or 19 years old.  

In the 1906 Census (on the right hand page) there is an Edward Forfar, a hired man aged 33 living with Gabriel B Murphy and I think Thomas Eliza and Altha Lockier or Larkin.  This Edward seems to be about the right age - 33 - if born in 1874 but says he was born in Scotland...hmmm..

In the 1911 Census there is an Ernest Forfar who is aged 35 and says he was born in 1876.  There is an O for birth location - does O mean Overseas?  He is living in Marquette Manitoba.  He is a farmer.  He says he is of Scotch origin.  I am not sure that this is my Ernest/Ed Forfar.

I will have to wait until I get to the QFHS library to check Ancestry for the 1921 Census as I don't have a worldwide subscription.

Here's a map showing all the places mentioned so far...quite a distance huh?

Land Records

I found this on the Canadian Archives and Records site.  

I'm thinking he would have had something to do with the Forfar School here.
What I am trying to discover - Research Questions

When did Ernest emigrate to Canada? I'm thinking between 1895 and 1900.

What was his occupation? His parents were bakers/confectioners/grocers.  

What was his religion? Possibly Anglican or Presbyterian (given Scottish ancestry)

When did he marry?  1917 onwards...And did he marry more than once?

Who were his children? A son called ? and a daughter called Jane or June born circa 1917.

To Do List
Obtain 2nd marriage certificate for George and Emily 
Obtain Birth Certificate for Ernest Albert Forfar 6D 586
Look for inquest into Ernest Albert Forfar death 22nd January 1940
Look for naturalisation Ernest Albert Forfar - I'd appreciate some advice on how to browse efficiently through the thousands of records on Family Search!
Look for undertaker's records - D Jones Fort St James
Find marriage record for Ed Forfar and Mary Brown nee Kinnisburgh 
Order probate/will of estate of Ernest Albert Forfar from Archives 
Check 1921 census on Ancestry
Join a society - British Columbia Genealogical Society or Prince George Genealogical Society or both.

Canadian Genealogical Records Resource Kit
Family Search Wiki
Can Genealogy - Dave Obee's Directory of Genealogy sites in Canada
Cyndi's List 

Sorry to bore you with all these thoughts.  

Anyone out there done Canadian research and have some advice to offer?

Sunday, May 1, 2016

A-Z Naval Records Digest and Thankyous

James Vernon Cook - my 2nd great-grandfather

As promised, I thought I would present a digest or summary of all my Blogging from A-Z posts as a kind of cheat-sheet for anyone wanting some hints for researching ancestors with a naval background. As previously stated, this is from a very Anglo/Australian point of view, so apologies to researchers with heritage from other countries. Finally, this is not meant to be a definitive digest to all the resources available....just a digest of where my research took me and what I found.

As with any new topic of knowledge, you will encounter unfamiliar words or is just a sample of what you may encounter...

ADM - the acronym for Admiralty and the call sign as it were for The National Archives collection of records from Admiralty.

Fathom - equals 6 feet or 1.8 metres.

Flagship - a ship carrying an Admiral

HMS Pembroke - the Royal Naval Barracks at Chatham 

Jackspeak - a sailor's dictionary

Lean's Navy Lists - 1878 - 1916 - short biographies of Officers in the Royal Navy

Protected cruiser



Remittance Registers 

Wavy Navy - the Naval Reserve

X-Craft - miniature subs

Yardarm - the outer quarters of a yard, that part which lies outboard of the lifts, on eitehr side of the ship, i.e. the port and starboard yardarms.  They were the positions in a square-rigged ship where most of the flag signals were hoisted, and in the older days of sail, when the disciplinary code on board included punishments of death by hanging, were the traditional points from which men were hanged on board.(from The Oxford Dictionary of Ships and the Sea)

The web is a wonderful thing to be sure but books/libraries are really where it's at.  Here is a selection that should get you on the right path, answer queries you might have or build a picture for order of author's surname....

J.J. Colledge's Ships of the Royal Navy

Justin Corfield's The Australian Illustrated Encyclopaedia of the Boxer Uprising 1899-1901

Conrad Dixon's Ships of the Victorian Navy

Simon Fowler's Tracing your Naval Ancestors - a guide for Family Historians 

Angus Konstam's Yangtze River Gunboats 1900-1949 

Ian Nicholson's Log of Logs 

Bruno Pappalardo's Tracing Your Naval Ancestors

N.A.M. Rodger's Naval Records for Genealogists

Oxford Companion to Ships and the Sea

And don't forget leisure reading or reading fiction. Historic Naval Fiction will guide you. Joseph Conrad's Youth is a good read too.

Part of the fun of family history is exploring...that means getting off your bottom and getting out and about.  Is there a naval or maritime museum near you?  Go and check it out.  Perhaps it is time to book a flight and visit old Blighty.....

Admiralty Library National Maritime Museum

Australian National Maritime Museum

British Library 

Caird Library and Archive 

Haslar Heritage Group 

Kew or The National Archives

Keyham where Engineering Officers were trained.

London Metropolitan Archives

Malta Family History

The National Maritime Museum 

R.A.N. Heritage Centre

Royal Geographical Society

Royal Greenwich Hospital 

Royal Greenwich Hospital School  

Royal Naval Asylum 

Royal Naval College

Trinity House

Zeebrugge Churchyard and Cemetery

Dockyards (ones in bold are Royal Navy)
Cadiz (or Mediterranean)
Cork or Haulbowline
Jamaica or Kingston
Minorca (or Port Mahon)
Nelson's at Antigua
Penang (or Prince of Wales Island)
Plymouth or Devonport
York (or Lake Ontario)


Australian War Memorial

Bodleian Library

CLIP or the Crew List Index Project

Commonwealth War Graves Commission


50 researchers 

Genuki's Military Records page 

Gun Plot


Gilbert Provost's Register of Ships

Internet Archive

National Archives of Australia

National Library of Scotland

Navy Records Society

Paul Benyon's Late 18th, 19th and early 20th Century Naval and Naval Social History

Paul's Index of 19th Century Naval

Project Gutenberg

Rum Ration

San Francisco National Maritime National Historical park.


UK Mariners 


Vaughan Evans Library at the Australian National Maritime Museum


You Tube

TNA Guides

Royal Naval Dockyards

Royal Navy Ratings' Service Records 1853-1928

TNA Records

Hospital musters from 1740-1860 ADM 102 

Prize Money Lists ADM 238 

Ships Logs are located in ADM 53

Ships' musters can be found from 1667-1878 in ADM 36ADM 37ADM 38ADM 39 and ADM 41.

Yard Pay Books for dockyard workers can be found in ADM 42. They cover the years 1660-1857. 

Thank you/Shout Out!

Last but not least, a big shout out and thank you to everyone who commented on my blog.  I blog because I want to record my research but I also blog because I love interaction...people encouraging me or enlightening me ..or finding new cousins....thank you all for your support along the way.  Check out their blogs won't you...what an amazing bunch of people from all over the world. I call them my Mates given the nautical theme and my Strine (Australian) background. Mate meaning friend.

Old Bloggy Mates

Adventure before dementia - Diane B
Bob's Home for Writing - Bob Scotney
Family History Across the Seas - Pauleen Cass
Family History Fun - ScotSue
Finding Eliza - Kristin
Geniaus - Jill Ball 
GenieQ - Helen Connor
Jollett etc - Wendy
Library currants Carmel R Galvin
Strong Foundations - Sharon
That Moment in Time - Crissouli
Travel Genee - Fran Kitto
Twigs of Yore - Shelley Crawford

New Bloggy Mates

A Bit to read - I.L. Wolf
A Postcard A Day - Sheila
Ancestor Chasing - Kerryn Taylor
Confessions of a Part-time working Mum - J Lenni Dorner
Family Reunion Keepsake Book - Sue
History RoundAbout - Kathrynf
How to Tell A Great Story Aneeta Sundararaj
Kathleen Valentine's Blog - Kathleen Valentine
Life as a Potpourri - Sneha Sasi Kumar
Life Spoken Through Fingers -  Renee
Lori Henriksen - Lori
Molly's Canopy - Molly Charbonneau
My Genealogy Challenges - Dianne Nolin
Other Worlds -  Liz
P.S. Annie - Suzanne McClendon
Ragtag giggagon - Richard Gibney
The Squirrel Nutwork - Nutmeg
The Nimble Mime - Manisha Awasthi
The Old Shelter - Sarah Zama
Zulu Delta 45