Saturday, 7 April 2018

Note from J.W.B. - Are We Heirs to an Estate??

Isn't this a find!  When her children were going through Randy's late Aunt Mary Milliken's genealogy papers and mementos from her trip to England, this note was one thing they passed on to me.  A genealogist's dream!  Mary's mother was Elsie Norah Bushby Boulton (pictured to the left about 1900) and the J.W.B. initials at the bottom are Elsie's father, James William Bushby
With Google and the internet, I can sit at home and find out things that would have taken Mary miles and volumes to learn.  I vaguely remember some of the lessons in High School when reading Chaucer and Shakespeare about some of the Scottish and English battles but had to read this note several times to make sense of it.
Cousin Faye has a typed copy of the same message.

James Cunnigham, the 14th Earl of Glencairn can certainly be found easily and this picture is from Wikipedia although it says he died in 1791, not 96. He seems to be most remembered for his friendship with the poet Robbie Burns .  He was succeeded by his brother John, the 15th Earl who did die in 1796 and is buried in Edinburgh.  He and his wife had no children so the online source says the title went dormant. Lady Harriet Don is mentioned  as being Lady Henrietta Cunningham (born 23 Sept 1752; died 12 Mar 1801), married in 1778 to Sir Alexander Don of Newton Don.  
Lady Harriet's portrait from about 1800 was found online here .  She had 2 daughters who were drowned young and a son, Alexander (1780-1826) who had no children of his own but did have a step son William (1825-1865)who went on to be an actor.
In my Ancestry research, James Bushby's paternal great grandmothers don't seem to match this lady but I've only traced his maternal side to his mother Eleanor Moore (1819-1903). 

The link to this clipping from the Ottawa Journal in 1968 includes some Bushby family names but a different title - Lord of the Manor of Wormley, Hertfordshire.  
Sorry cousins - the fortune seems to be a Google dead end. But I'll keep looking... 

Lenna Boulton King (1889 - 1951)

The middle child of 12 born to Thomas and Margaret in 1889 was Lenna Margaret Boulton.  She grew up on the farm and  married Henry "Elton" King in Lyn, Ontario on February 22, 1911 with her sister Mary and her future husband George Herbison as witnesses. She was 21 years old and he was 22. Elton's sister Ethel Jane "Jennie" had married Lenna's brother Abraham earlier that month on February 8 in Brockville as told about in their blog entry here.  

Lenna and Elton were farmers near Yonge Mill, Ontario.  They didn't have children of their own but a son was born in 1931 to the Westcombe family and was adopted by Elton and Lenna.  It became official on March 21, 1938 at Brockville and they changed his name to Donald Elton King.  The photo above is cousins Audrey Morris (daughter of Edith) and Donald at the King home in about 1940.  Looks like garden produce they've been harvesting - corn at their feet and paint pails of tomatoes or potatoes and a pumpkin!

Lenna and Elton are pictured above with their nephew, Edith's son Ray Morris.  They also had Ray living with them for a time when his parents Edith and Moulton were working out east. The two scans of a panoramic photo of the  Number 17 Platoon in June of 1945 indicates Ray was second from the right on the first row.  He gave this picture to his Aunt Lenna signed "Raymie". His daughter tells me the official name on his birth certificate was actually John Raymie Morris.  At some point he started using John Raymond on documents like his driver's license but was always known as Ray or Raymie.   

Lenna died in 1951 and Elton in 1966.  They are buried outside of Lyn, Ontario in a beautiful cemetery that I was able to visit in 2015. Some of the oldest grave markers have been mounted on the stone walls surrounding the grounds which have been in use since 1784. A peaceful resting place after lives well lived.

Friday, 30 March 2018

Vi's Story Continued in Pictures

 The generosity of Aunt Violet's daughter with pictures for yesterday's blog post continues with a sequel today! The first one features a stylish Vi in 1938 and I wonder if it was her last picture at the farm before heading into the big city of Winnipeg. The virginia creeper vine on the front of the Boulton house is just as vigorous today but the gingerbread trim on the verandah is showing its age!  

Cousins Ida Bigney and Vi Boulton look so much like sisters, they could have passed for twins!  I wonder if they ever tried to...

Ida and her husband Max White are pictured at the God's Lake Mine where he started off as canteen manager and his musical talents were well used for entertainment.  Max and Ida were married in December of 1939 and the picture on the right is Max, Ida, Vi and Eddy White, I assume on their wedding day. 

The next two pictures are of Vi and her cousin Mona Bushby on the left and with her sister Edna Boulton on the right.  Both pictures were taken around 1939.

Joe Sowtis on the left with his brother-in-laws Frank and Eddy Boulton
Below is Joe Sowtis in his Navy uniform in 1943 and Vi with Sharon at their home in Brandon. 

Some pictures also arrived that I've added to previous blog posts featuring Dorothy and Ewart Pickett and Gertrude Bushby MacIntyre.   There is also one of Elsie that I'm saving for a future blog post about the royal ties of the Bushby family. That will keep you coming back for more!!

Thursday, 29 March 2018

Violet's God's Lake Adventure

Today's blog post tells the story of Randy's Aunt Vi Sowtis and her summer adventure over 77 years ago.  The story was inspired by a letter home to her parents and the generosity of her daughter to share it and many special photos with me and my blog readers. Thank you.

Violet Lillian Boulton was born almost exactly 100 years ago on  April 1,1918.  To her mother Elsie and father Thomas, Vi's birth would have marked a happy occasion after the death of baby Emily Patience 3 months earlier and with ongoing news of WWI. She grew up on the farm south of Reston and attended Kinloss School and then higher grades in Reston.  Vi is remembered by one niece for her fashion sense.  When she was very young, she put coal in her shoes so she would have high heels. That would have been a long mile to school in those shoes!
 In the late 30's Vi moved to Winnipeg with her sisters Edna and Annie and cousin Ida where she took a job as a domestic in the home of Archbishop Samuel Matheson  at 91 Kingsway Avenue. Writing on the photo below from the Boulton album of her in her uniform helped fill in that detail. Edna's daughter remembers her mother talking about the girls meeting downtown on their half day off each week to catch up and perhaps shop and have lunch out. 


The second picture of Vi on the rocks was labelled " At God's Lake" and it was taken the same time as her with the float plane at the top of this post. These bushplanes were known as "flying boxcars" and I can only imagine her first trip that summer in the single engine plane! 
Her cousin Ida and her husband Max White lived and worked there and she apparently joined them for a summer of work and fun. A little research helped me find out that God's Lake in 1941 was the site of a gold mine and supported a community of 400 people. Today it is home to Elk Island Fishing Lodge and a First Nations Reserve nearby.  A wonderful newsy letter home from "Villy" in the summer of 1941 reads as follows: 
Just got home & have read your always looked for & welcome letter.  I missed hearing from you on Tuesday.  This is another cold, windy, rainy day.  Apparently this is the kind of weather they have up here in August.  It seemed such a short summer.  However - we’ll probably get a lot of nice days yet - I hope.  You certainly have done a lot of preserving and pickling.  Mrs. Baker & I have made a great many jars of jams & jellies & also some pickles.  We’ve had a lot of fun picking the berries. We put on the awfullest looking old slacks & sweaters etc & maybe we don’t look like a couple of tramps when we go berry picking.Ida & I are sitting here crunching candies.  If there’s anything in that line around we just can’t seem to leave them alone until they’re finished - we call it our energy food.I was glad to hear the crop is turning out so good.  Threshing is early this year isn’t it?  The girls must be a big help too.  They must take after their sister Vi for riding horseback.
I had a letter from Edna.  She is working for two weeks and then has found a place to board while she is going to school.  I hope she & Annie are getting along fine.Gee little Faye must be cute, Aunt Susie.  Ida, Max & I thought what you told us about her taking a bite out of the tomato and putting the eggs on the table awfully cute.  We sure miss wee Dinty here so much.  He was getting to be such a nice dog & learning so many tricks.Well I can’t seem to think of much more to write now so will stop until this evening & maybe the plane will get in & I’ll be able to answer any letters I get so until then Bye.Hello once more.  It is now 9:30 & I have just finished the front of a ladies sleeveless sweater (R. Cross knitting) so here goes for a few more lines.  Ida is busy making her white skirt over into a jumper & Max is sound asleep.The plane came in but the mail wasn’t given out so I don’t know whether we got any mail or not. Last night was our knitting group meeting.  Bev Chute has it this week.  We do have a lot of fun at them & do a lot of R. Cross knitting as well.  I had it the week before and next week Mrs. Whitiker is taking it.I haven’t been playing tennis for quite a while. It won’t be long now until the badminton season starts.
You did not say how you like the pictures I sent or if you sent them on.  I hope you got them ok.  Did you see in the paper where Thelma Barber was married to a MacLelland man.  He also was a teacher in Birtle.
I was reading a list of young Manitobans who received their wings & saw Jack Forman’s name among them.  Where is Cliff Pierce now?  Did he not join the airforce?Well I guess this is all the news I can think of for this week so I’ll close now with my best love to all.

On Valentine's Day of 1942, Violet married Joseph Sowtis, an officer in the Navy during WII.  They lived in Victoria where their daughter took her first steps.  After the war, they moved back to Brandon where they raised a daughter and a son.  
Joe worked in the Post Office in Brandon for 38 years.  Vi and Joe moved back to Victoria in their retirement years.  

Joe passed away in 2006 and his sweetheart followed him almost exactly three years later on November 22, 2009.  
Additions and corrections to Vi's story are most welcome at
The story continues here...