Friday, 4 July 2014

Elsie Norah Bushby Boulton (1884 - 1968)

Elsie Norah Bushby Boulton

What follows is my version of the biography of Randy's Paternal Grandmother.  I hope that those readers who knew her will fill in with any of the details or stories they remember about her in the Comments below. 
Elsie was born at Eastborne, Sussex, on the south coast of England on August 13, 1884.  She lived with her family in Milton where her father was a carpenter.  Two events that probably helped shape her future happened within two years.  Her two brothers Walter and Arthur along with Arthur's wife Lou and 2 small children made the journey across the Atlantic to Canada in 1906.  Then, Elsie's mother, Patience Emily died in 1908 at the age of 49.

The England 1911 census finds 58 year old James listed as a carpenter and undertaker, 26 year old Elsie as the housekeeper and 14 year old sister Gertrude as an apprentice dressmaker. They lived in a 4 room house with 2 bedrooms, a kitchen and a living room.

Elsie left Southampton on September 11, 1913 with her father James and sister Gertrude. They arrived at Port of Quebec aboard the ship S/S Ausonia on September 21, 1913. From there they made the long trip to Reston, Manitoba- likely by train, where her brother Arthur and his family lived.  Walter had married and left Canada for Westfield, New Jersey a few years before. 

 On May 4, 1914 she married Thomas Edwin Boulton at Reston, Manitoba.  Thomas was a prairie farmer and I can only imagine what a change this must have been for Elsie from her life in seaside England!

Edna Kathleen was their first child, born in 1915.  The twins pictured above, Annie Henrietta and Emily Patience came next.  Violet Lillian was born in 1918 and two years later, Randy's dad Edwin Thomas was born.  John Franklin (Uncle Frank) was next in 1925 and then Mary Lorraine in 1928 and Jean Mabel in 1930.  Thomas and Elsie also raised an adpoted daughter, Faye Darlene. 

This photo of Randy on his Grandma's knee was taken in late 1959.

On the back of the photo above indicates it was taken in 1963 of Elsie and her grandchildren.  It says she is holding Lorie and the back row is Linda, Rickey, Russell, Kenny, Wendy, Carole.  Second row - Ann, Randy, Lyle.  Third row - Bob and Glenn.

In the RM of Albert History book written in 1984, it says that Elsie would can several hundred quarts of fruit each year, mostly saskatoons and rhubarb but also wild strawberries, citron and raisins.  She baked bread three times a week, besides the many pies, cakes and biscuits she made.  Besides the large family, she was also charged with feeding the hired help, up to 12 extra people during harvest.  There was also butter to make, clothes to wash and iron and coal oil lamps to clean and fill.
Elsie and Thomas - August 1958

Elsie spent her later years with her daughter Edna and her family near Virden, MB.  She died in 1968 and is buried in Reston Cemetery.

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