Thursday, 17 September 2020

Reston Cemetery Stories

My summer 2020 project was to photograph and record the gravestones at Reston Cemetery on the Find a Grave website.  I was amazed to find over 1400 names remembered in stone there and no doubt many more are buried without a stone as well.  Some engraving is almost illegible with time but luckily the right light and the list in the Sequel to Trails along the Pipestone helped complete the task. Historical birth, marriage and death records in Manitoba can be found on this website and were helpful to fill in relationships and unreadable names and dates too. Find a Grave uses the GPS technology in the photo to help locate the plot in the cemetery. With a free membership, anyone can add photos of the people to their memorial.  

A lease was drawn on the NE 16-7-27 on September 14, 1897 and the title of the cemetery was formally registered in 1901.  Apparently, early records were destroyed in a fire on the east side of main street in 1916.   Some of the earliest stones are from 1894 and the first Boulton connection to this cemetery is mentioned in a previous post here.  Anne Mossop, Jane McAulay and the Blackmore babies were among the first burials. The many infant graves remind us about the high infant mortality before the luxury of vaccinations and health care that we enjoy now.   

Kinsley BairdClayburn Dickie and twins Martha Delia & Albert Edward Pickard  along with so many more children’s names will live on in their stone markers. The delicate white stone used seems to have suffered the most weathering.   

Mrs. A. Milliken

The story of Mrs. A. Milliken came together with the help of one of her kin,  Marilee.  It struck my 2020 self to be so wrong to be remembered on a stone by your husband's name.  We found her identity to be Jean Isabella (nee Douglas) but I have come to realize she was likely very proud to be known as the widow of Alex Milliken.  After the early death of her husband, she and her son William came from Scotland to Canada in 1904 to make a home with their Milliken relatives. James and Peter Milliken and their wives were early pioneers of the district and were responsible for the name Reston being given to our community after their home in ScotlandFind a Grave makes it able to reunite the family on her memorial page even though her husband was buried in England and her only son in BC. 

Veterans Graves 
Several white rectangular military stones mark the resting places of war veterans buried although many more are buried with regular stones.  Reston Cemetery is counted among the Canadian War Grave Commission sites as one active serviceman at his death is buried here.  Thomas Wilson Guthrie died in October of 1918 on his way to fight overseas.  He met his fate at age 26 in Quebec of influenza, a victim of the Spanish Flu. 
Reston boys buried overseas were able to be  linked to their family in Reston Cemetery as is the case with Melvyn Brandon, E. E. Smith, Eric Holton and Rayment Pigg. I will continue to work on this part of the project as I am sure there are many more. 

Arthur Owen Davies

Gravestones usually supply the birth and death dates with a dash between them.  It is the dash that is left out of the story but this stone intrigued me to find out more.  Arthur Owen Davis was born December 29, 1867 at Wigan, Lancashire in England. He is buried in Reston Cemetery after his death on March 15, 1902 at Antler, Assiniboia in the Territories. (This was three years before Saskatchewan was created as a province.)  The amazing thing about this stone is that it tells his manner of death. Arthur was unfortunate enough to die a snow storm near Antler. I can only guess that he was highly thought of to have this memorial erected to him. Inscriptions are common on the older stones and this one includes "Thy Will Be Done". 

Ellen Guthrie Bulloch wrote The Pioneers of the Pipestone that you can access online here in 1929 and sold copies as a fundraiser for the cemetery. Complaints of the disgraceful state of the grounds had been heard in the early 20’s.  The cause was taken up by local service groups and the situation improved. Spruce trees from Riding Mountain were planted in 1932-33. Today the grounds at Reston Cemetery are under the care of a board and meticulously kept by Ken Moore.  This care conveys the respect due the pioneers and those gone before who made our corner of Manitoba the wonderful place it is. 

Further information and corrections are always welcome to

Monday, 6 July 2020

A Trip to the New World in 1870

J. W. Bushby 1852- 1931
In the same little journal as this blog post originated, I've found and transcribed another few pages which detail Randy's great grandfather James William Bushby's trip from London to New York and back exactly 150 years ago.  He is a beautiful cursive writer and the ink is as black as the day it was written.  The words were hard to make out in places, likely because I am not familiar with a sailor's vocabulary so I've made a few guesses!  Although he was a carpenter, I am thinking he may have been part of the crew of this ship. He mentions painting and varnishing the bulwarks during the voyage but he pays $28 passage for the trip back.

Wednesday 6 April 1870
Left the London Docks at 4 o’clock in the ship Liverpool bound for New York. Second mate had a fight with one of the seamen. Anchored off Graves End for the night.
Thursday 7th
Heaved anchor in the morning at 3 in the morning and then dropped anchor off Sheerness about 9 am. Weighed about 3 o’clock. Very calm for the Channel Pilot.
Very calm - could make no headway.
Sighted Dungeness Lighthouse and Dover Castle. Almost run aground when the pilot was at breakfast. Good wind.
Sunday 10th
Most people sick myself and Bob not included
Monday 11th
Tuesday 12th                  very calm
Wednesday 13th 
Thursday 14th
Wind more favourable. Bill Portland. Didn’t bout ship but twice passed.
Friday (Good) 
Didn’t have any hot cross buns. Passed the Marie & Joseph about 6 pm evening. No bout shipping.
Saturday 16 April
Wind fair going three knots. Made a devil of a row about 10 pm - crowing bellowing.
Fair wind going five knots an hour. Pat the Irishman very bad. Going 7 knots in the evening.
Eastern wind still fair. Walker & Hearn had a fight and also the cook and the Spurgeon.
Tuesday 19
Dead calm in the morning with the heavy swell wind rose about 11 o’clock. Heavy seas. Carpenter caught a swallow rung under reefed topsails about 10 at night.
Wednesday 20th
Wind fresh. Good sea. Most passengers sick. Pig killed by one of the passengers. Spoke a vessel homeward bound.
Thursday 21st
Caught in a squall early in the morning. Tore the gib to bits. Main topsail heave seas running headwind. Stayed up all night. Very nigh running under close reefed topsails and gib.
Wind aft in the morning. Calm in the evening with a heavy rolling sea. Pat Sullivan taking very bad in the evening. His nose bled. Turned in and slept round.
Saturday 23
No wind dead calm with the swell on sighted a ship in the morning and kept sight of her all day from 6 in the evening.
Sunday the 24th
Sam Cooke had a clean shave. Bought some dripping. Going very slowly
Very calm. EB’s birthday
Tuesday 26th
Better wind - favorable
Wednesday 27
Wind aft. Sighted a ship
Passed between 40 and 50 vessels. Spoke to five or six of them. Off Western Isles. Wind on her quarter.
Friday 29
Wind favourable. Shipping good many seas. Saluted an American ship which had lost her top gallant foremast in Latitude 32’ 36. Main sail split.
Saturday 30th
Caught in a squall early in the morning. Heavy rain. Shipped a good deal of sea. Raining hard all day.
May 1, 1870 Sunday
Wind almost dead ahead. Making very little headway. Very fine day.
Monday 2nd
Bought a knife off Chipps for 2/-. Nice wind but got around to the head about 10 o’clock in the night.
Tuesday 3rd
Foul wind. Bob bought a knife off Chipps for 4/- Ship rolled heavily. Sent five or six under the bulwarks - myself one.
Wednesday 4th
Wind about the same. Ship rolling heavily. Sighted a ship about 1/2 past 6 in the evening.
Thursday 5th
Wind about WSW. Skin & Grief had his neck lanced. Saw a steamer ahead up to 12 pm. Singing and larking.
Friday 6th
Headwind - making very little headway.
Saturday 7th
Fair Wind
Sunday 8th
Very rough in the morning. The roughest day we had up to present time. Almost calm in the evening. Ship in sight. Porpoises playing around her head. Also saw a whale spouting in the evening
Monday 9th
Almost dead calm. Foggy a deal of rain.
Tuesday 10th
Wind aft but very little. Saw two whale came close along side about midday. Had a nice breeze in the evening right aft
Wednesday 11th
Dead calm all day. Saw three blackfish whale.
Thursday 12th
Nice wind going seven knots 10 in the evening.
Friday 13th
Dead calm all day. Ship hove to nice wind spray up in the evening till about five k/hr in night.
Saturday 14th
Had a calm in morning till about 10 am. Freshening towards evening. 2 pts off our course about 800 miles from New York. Bought a plug of tobacco for 1/3 off Jack Welsh.
Sunday 15th
Made very good headway. Shipped a good many seas. Fine day.
Monday 16
Calm in morning. Wind aft about 10 am making good headway. Sighted a barque in the morning on weather bow
Tuesday 17
Barque in sight all day. Wind fair good breeze.
Wednesday 18
Barque still in the aft but gaining on us
Thursday 19
Balm in morning breeze sprang up gradually. Barque in our wake. Spoke a steamer about 11 am. Finished painting and varnishing bulwarks. 391 miles at 12 o’clock from New York.
Friday 20th
Had wind about ship at 3 am. Saw a Steamer and Schooner in the morning. 290 miles from Sandy Hook at 12 o’clock. 275 miles from Sandy Hook at 3 pm.
Saturday 21st
Dead calm 250 miles at 12 o’clock. Very foggy all day.
Sunday 22nd
Fine breeze up to about 12 o’clock when it died into a calm. Saw a steamer in the afternoon.
Monday 23rd
Pilot came on board about two in the morning. Several schooner and fishing boats around us. Sighted land 35 minutes past 5 in the evening. Had a fair wind and was carried up to Staten Island where we anchored.
Doctors inspecting who came on board about 9 o’clock morning. Tug boat came alongside and took all passengers to Castle Gardens. Took lodgings at 25 1/2 Washington Street. 1 dollar bed + three meals a day. Morgan’s people slept in second room. 
Wednesday 25th
Went to Eli Benedict at 41 Pier North River N.Y. where we changed our coin. Got our tickets for Buffalo. Started at 6 pm for Albany.
Thursday 26th
Arrived in Albany at 5 am started for Buffalo at 9 am.

** There is a gap in the entries here.  Many pages are written in pencil and have become illegible over the years.  Some pages  pages are numbered so I'll continue on page 24 after leaving off at 16.**

November 28, 1871
And thense to Mr. B.'s.  Had quite a little party in the evening.
November 29th
Bade farewell to Mrs. Bullock. Johnie drove us to Lakeview Depot where we proceeded on to Buffalo and took tickets for New York Harteda 4:20 PM.  After a delay of two hours delayed again at Rockville for an hour.
November 30
Got into New York soon after 9 am. Book passage by SS Spain for Liverpool for $28. Took lodgings in Washington Street and walked around the city for the rest of the day.
December 1
Went to Central Park in the forenoon and in the evening went to Bowery Theatre.  
Saturday 2nd
Got on the ship. Gangway drawn up soon after. Steamed up and started on our voyage. Fair wind in the afternoon but got ahead towards evening. Stopped about 9 pm for machinery inspection.
Sunday 3rd
Hot rolls for breakfast and coffee. Wind still ahead. Steamer ahead and one aft of us. Plum duff for dinner and salt junk.
Monday 4th
Fine day in the evening it began to blow as a matter of course. The passengers begin for spew. Got into a birth and slept.
Tuesday 5th
Pretty rough all day - very few passengers to the mess table. Rained nearly all day.
Wednesday 6th
Fine morning rained some frequently. Passed a steamer New York bound in the evening.
Dirty in the morning. Heavy swell - fair wind.
Friday 8th
Fine morning - wind ahead. Salt fish for dinner.
Saturday 9th
Fine day making good headway. Cleaned some cans for the Steward for a couple of coins.
Sunday the 10th 
Fine morning. Plum duff for dinner - making good headway 
Monday the 11th 
Sighted huge pile of rock along headland. Kept out of land the rest of the day.  Steamer came off about 5 pm and took all passengers for Queensland.

View of mountains on the Coast of Ireland on a Voyage from N. York to Queenstown & L'Pool seen on morning of 11th of December 1871 making the 9th day out. 

Tuesday the 12th 
Arrived at Liverpool about 11 am. Landed about 12. Passed the customs - walked around town some and then took lodgings. Went by Alexandra Theatre in the evening saw The Windmill and Notre Dame acted - very good. Had a glass of hot Brandy and water. The first I had in 20 months.Went home and to bed.
Wednesday 13 
Took the cars for London at 7:20 am. Arrived in London about 2:30 and took a cab from Easton.  Left Bob at his house and onto 88 Hill St. where my journey ended for a spell.

Thursday, 14 May 2020

Thomas and Alice Baldwin's Story

Recently I was contacted by an ancestor of Thomas Baldwin who had come across his name in a blog post from 2016, thanks to a Google search. Some people refer to Family History blogs as "cousin bait" and the more I researched the Baldwins, I found we indeed are cousins!

It was in 1852 that Thomas Higginson Baldwin was born in South Mountain, Ontario to John Baldwin and Henrietta Higginson.  According to online documents, in 1883 Thomas first occupied his homestead at 10-7-27 W1 in Pipestone RM, just southeast of Reston and was still there in 1891.  Certainly he was one of the very first hardy settlers in this area of the country.  The townsite of Reston was originally a few miles north and when the railway came through, his homestead was eyed for the new town to be built.  The town would be named Baldwinville, he was promised.  It seems Thomas was not worried about notoriety and declined the offer since he felt it would break up his farm too much.  The siding was build a mile east and given the name "Reston" as the settlement north had been called at his request.

In March of 1892 his cousin Ann Boulton & her family from Ontario stayed with Thomas from March until that summer when their home was built. Ann’s mother and Thomas’ mother were sisters - daughters of Anthony and Abigail Higginson who had immigrated from Ballinderry, County Antrim, Ireland. They grew up not far from each other in the Brockville area of Ontario. 

Thomas returned to Ontario in 1894 and married Alice Maud Munro, daughter of Martin and Eliza in Inkerman, Ontario.  Five children were born to the couple:

  • 1894 – John Wellington - farmed on his father's 2nd homestead across from Kinloss School.  Served in a Cyclist Battalion in  WW1 and later very involved in farmer's cooperative movement. Didn't marry - died in 1952. 
    Brandon Sun 1962
  • 1897 – Albert Victor “Bert”, went overseas in WW1 – link to his service file here. He married Dorothy Alice Carey in Brandon November 25, 1926 and farmed on the homestead with his father. Bert and Dorothy had family of 5: Keith, Melvin (Peter), Enid Hall, Doreen Sharratt, Mary Gray, Fay, and Lynda Baily. 

  •  1899 – Alice Eveline, marries Richard Simonsen in Pipestone RM June 22, 1917
  • 1900 – Thomas Whitney - died in flu epidemic in 1919 
  • 1903 – Lillian Mabel - marries Fraser Mitchell in Brandon October 23, 1926 

The clipping above from the Winnipeg Free Press in February of 1919 tells the tragic story of the death of Thomas's wife Alice and their teenage son Whitney.  Lillian recalls waking up from a life saving surgery in their home to discover her mother and favourite brother had died. What an unimaginable event. 
Thomas continued on as a widower for 30 years before his death at 97 years old.  Interesting to see that Randy's dad Edwin was one of his pallbearers. 

Winnipeg Free Press 1949
Thanks so much to Ashlea for getting in touch.  Nice to meet you, cousin!
As always, I'm glad to hear from you with correcting and additional information.

Thursday, 6 February 2020

J.W. Bushby's Journal - Ni Edoc

Cousin Sharon was kind enough to lend me a box of papers that her Mom Jean had saved that belonged to her mother Elsie Busby Boulton.  Among them was a amazing journal that once belonged to Elsie’s father James William Bushby that is over 150 years old! It contains proof of his multiple journeys across the Atlantic Ocean and the American flag on the front cover leads me to believe it was purchased there.  I am working on a transcription of one particular voyage in 1870.  Keep watching the blog!

We knew he was very artistic as written about here. This journal contains more of his sketches. 
text says - View of Mountains on the coast of Ireland on a Voyage from N. York to Queenstown & L'pool seen on morning of 11th o December 1871 making the 9th (?) day out. 

I am guessing the picture of J.W. Bushby below was taken around the same time as this journal, before he married and had his family.  The beautiful handwriting was so clear and easily read so many years later.  


Continuing to page through the book, I encountered sentences that I thought may have been in another language...

Ot llet Dlog tup a pord fo cirtin dica (auqa sitrof) no ti fi ti si ton Dlog ti lliw nrut neerg.  

After studying it for a bit, especially the two letter words, it began to make sense.  J. W. was writing it in code, backwards!

To tell gold put a drop of nitric acid (aqua fortis) on it if it is not gold it will turn green. 

What fun!  He doesn't explain why he needed to remember this but Nitric Acid is also known as aqua fortis. The corrosive and toxic chemical was indeed used to dissolve metals including silver - almost any metal except gold. 

 Yes Elsie, and thank you to the keepers!  The papers about Grandad Bushby have certainly come in useful on a cold afternoon.