Saturday, 28 February 2015

George Cleveland Boulton (1887- 1977)

George Cleveland was born on May 23, 1887 at New Dublin, Ontario.  He is the son of William Benjamin "Ben" Boulton and Margaret "Maggie" Chapman.  Cleve, as he is known,  was at Brockville with his family in the 1891 census but by 1901, they were found in Manitoba.  Thirteen year old Cleve was enumerated with his parents 2 sisters and 2 brothers that year.    By the 1906 census, Cleve was living with his brother Nels and his wife Annie at 20-6-27.  They own 18 horses according to this document.

In 1907 a marriage is registered in Pipestone, MB between Cleve and Nellie Parker Archibald.  His brother Nels' wife's maiden name was Archibald and their sister Elizabeth married William Archibald later in life but I'm not sure if this was a coincidence or if any of the in-laws were related.  Nellie was born in 1879 in Nova Scotia.

The following clipping from the Manitoba Morning Free Press tells that Cleve suffered the greatest loss in the Reston area of 1300 acres of uninsured crop due to a vicious hailstorm the same year he was married.  Not a very rosy start to married life.

Found on
The 1911 census has Cleve his wife and daughter Helen May were living on 28-6-27 along with his younger brother Travers and two hired labourers. 

Very early in the war, on October 24, 1914, 28 year old George Cleveland signed Attestation papers in Regina for the First World War.  He is given registration number 73756 and declares he was a member of the 12th Manitoba Dragoons for one year previously.
His digital service file online at Library and Archives Canada tells he served with the 28th Northwest Battalion in France from September 17, 1915 to January 1, 1916.  He then moved to the Third Canadian Tunnelling Company from January until June of 1916.  He served at Ypres as well as other battlefields in France and Belguim.  Cleve was wounded  with a gun shot blast to his left chest wall on June 10, 1916.  He was in hospital about 2 weeks and was eventually discharged in March of 1918.  Cleve returned home on February 7, 1918 to a farm at Reston where his wife Nellie age 40 and his 9 year old daughter Helen May were waiting for him.  At times while he was overseas according to the file, she was living at Moose Jaw and Condie, SK. 

George and Nellie were recorded on the 1921 census living near Reston, MB on 21-6-27.  Family information says there was a second daughter named Margaret Evelyn as well.  I believe he continued to farm the east half of 21-6-27 until the mid thirties.  After this, I am not sure how his story continues.  Any further details would be welcome in the comments below or via email at

George Cleveland Boulton died in Vancouver on November 30,1977.  Nellie had predeceased him in 1965.  They are buried in the Hatzic Cemetery in the Fraser Valley region of B.C..

Thomas Nelson "Nels" Boulton (1880 - 1957)

Thomas Nelson was born on January 15, 1880 in  New Dublin, Ontario near Brockville.  He was the third child of William Benjamin "Ben" Boulton and Margaret Chapman.  The family lived and farmed the family lot near Lamb's Pond until about 1900, when they moved west following Ben's sister Ann and her husband Benjamin to the southwest Manitoba area.  Ben bought many acres of farmland and his sons would have been involved in that business as well but at some point headed farther west and went into the retail hardware business.

In the 1901 Manitoba census he was living with his parents and siblings and in 1906, he was enumerated as a 26 year old farmer with his 21 year old wife Annie at 20-6-27 with his brother Cleve.  

Thomas Nelson or "Nels" as he seems to be more commonly known, married Annie Archibald who was born in Saskatchewan 1885.  They went on to raise 4 children;  Gladys born in 1900, Gertrude in 1907, William Archibald in June 1908 in Tyvan and Bessie in 1910. Bessie was likely the daughter of his brother William Benjamin who died suddenly in 1916 and his young wife who died in 1909. Nels, Annie and these four children are recorded on the 1911 census in Tyvan.

An online book available at our, written in 1987 by Myles C. Kinney called As It Was in the Beginning, gives the community history of Tyvan, Saskatchewan.  The above picture shows Nels on the far right in 1912 as one of the curlers.

Photo postcards above of Tyvan are from the website prairie put online by Glen Lundeen.  

On page 204 of his book, Mr. Kinney says Nels was the third man in Tyvan to own an automobile, a 1911 Ford Model T.  Nels had purchased the Hardware Store in Tyvan in 1908.  He was a member of the Village Council in 1909, 1910 and 1912.  He sold the business in 1915.  The following tale is told on page 214 of the book:

In 1907, the T. Eaton Co. started their Western Canada mail order business in Winnipeg.  The variety of their stock, and generally lower priced items appealed to a great many.  No doubt business in small Centers was affected.Nels Boulton, Tyvan's hardware merchant at the time, displayed a canny way of illustrating the advantage of shopping locally.It appears that a certain farmer (who will remain nameless) asked Boulton the price of an axe handle, then complained about the price saying that he could get the handle for less money from Eatons.  Boulton obliged by agreeing to meet Eaton' price.  The customer waited some minutes then requested his axe handle.  Boulton asked, "When would you get it from Eaton's?"  The farmer had to admit it would take a week for mail order delivery.  "Well", replied Boulton, "Come in next week and your handle will be here."When next in town the farmer went in for his axe handle only to be informed (regretfully) by Boulton that the handle had been broken in shipment and had to be returned (as might have been the case had it been ordered from Eatons).  The next week the farmer called at the store again, and this time got his handle at Eaton's price.  It looked suspiciously like the handle he could have bought for a few cents more than the Eaton's price a few weeks earlier.  No doubt , Mr. --- got the message.  Boulton thought it was a huge joke.  The story made the rounds of the community.

The pictures above were sent by Keith Sly and were identified on the back of the originals as Boultons.  I believe the one on the right look like the curler above so guess that it is Nels and Annie.  The one on the left would be one of his brothers Travers or Cleve and his wife.  Any readers of this blog with any further information, please let me know.

On the 1916 census, the same family of six is living at 1205 5th Street in the city of Moose Jaw and Nels is listed as owning a hardware store.

A digital service file under regimental #55514 and can be found online at Library and Archives Canada and it contains over 80 documents pertaining to his military service.  On April 28, 1916 at age 36, Nels signed attestation papers to enlist in WW1 in Moose Jaw, SK.  He was described as 5 feet 8 inches tall with fresh complexion, brown eyes and grey hair. Nels would have bid goodbye to his wife and family of four young children ages 9 down to 5 and then arrived in England on April 22, 1917. Unfortunately, he was seriously injured in combat on September 29, 1918.  At Cambrai in France, he was hit with a shell in the left side of his chest.  It resulted in damage to his left arm causing impaired function of his left hand and arm.  As a result, he was discharged from service on December 11, 1919.  

In November 1923, a border crossing record was made of Nels passing through International Falls, Minnesota on his way to Morrisburg, New York to visit his brother in law William Bell.

The only other fact I know is that Nels died in Vancouver on April 27, 1957.  His injury in the war no doubt made earning a living much more difficult.  Any further information to tell Nels' story can be included in the comments below or email me at

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Thomas William Boulton (1882- 1952)

Thomas William Boulton was born in New Dublin, Ontario in 1882, second son of Thomas Boulton and Margaret Johnson. He can be found on the 1891 census living in Front of Younge as a ten year old with 6 siblings in Leeds South in Ontario.  This township is located along the St. Lawrence River in the Thousand Islands region.

Brothers Abe and Thomas Boulton are pictured above, likely taken in Manitoba in 1904.  Thanks to Don for sending it to me.

At some point Thomas decided to head west in search of open farmland and followed his father's sister Ann and her husband Benjamin who had settled near Reston, Manitoba in 1892.  In 1900, he homesteaded NW 36-5-28 near Reston and is on 35-5-28 in the 1906 census although he is a 24 year old labourer owning 5 horses.  

On December 12, 1906 a marriage is recorded between Thomas William Boulton and Mary Agnes Montgomery in Melita, MB.  A subscription website called was the source for the clipping below from the December 20, 1906 edition of the Manitoba Morning Free Press.

There is a Peter Montgomery listed as a landowner at nearby SE 24-5-28 near Broomhill and Kilkenny's Store.  According to the RM of Albert history book written in 1984, Peter and his wife Mary Montgomery came from Ireland to be cattle farmers in the area and have a large family.  It says that their daughter Mary married Tom Boulton and had 3 daughters and two sons.  The only one mentioned is Margaret Jane  who was born in July of 1911 and lived  at Vernon  in 1984.  It also mentions a Wilfred who lives in Edmonton.  Frank told me about their son Earl Edward who was born in 1909.  It seems the marriage between Tom and Mary didn't last however and Mary left the Reston area.  She may be the Mary Agnes (Montgomery) Nicol that it says died on March 28, 1945  but I'm not sure of this.

Using census records, I can find that in June of 1916, 34 year old and listed as "married", Thomas resided in 7-27 in RM of Pipestone with his seven year old son Earl.  He was enumerated as a farm worker and his sister Abbey and her husband Richard Johnson are employers on the line above so I presume he worked for them.  

The 1921 census finds Earl living in the second avenue home in Reston of William and Etta McDougall as a lodger and student but no Tom can be found.  As pictured below, Earl was a soldier in WW2, married and later died in Burnaby, BC in 1988. He is with his Aunts Mary Herbison and Lenna King in the top photo.

Corporal Earl Boulton

Uncle Frank recalled going to the Brandon Fair with Thomas William Boulton, who he called "Long Tom Boulton", and they stayed with his sister sometime in the thirties.  That sister would have likely been Abbey Johnson.  Frank told me that he had the nickname "Long Tom" to distinguish him from Frank's dad, Thomas.  Thomas certainly is a favourite name back in Boulton history and it continues today as the middle name of both my husband and our oldest son.

Thomas William Boulton died on July 8, 1952 at age 70 and is buried in Brandon Cemetery in section 31 plot B-44. The photo on the left is his son Earl at his grave and his brother Abe is on the right. 

The photo above is a copy from cousin Don.  I think the man at the back is this Tom.  The original picture had written "Mrs. Thos Boulton  November 27" on the bottom.  The right hand corner is stamped "Davidson Co. Melita, Man  Photographers".  Research on the  Manitoba Historical Society website says that photographers with the last name of Davidson are in Melita from 1889 right up to 1925.  Any information about who is in the photo or any further details about Tom would be welcome to my email at or reply in the comments below. 

Mary Boulton Herbison (1887-1989)

Mary was the second daughter born to Thomas and Margaret Boulton.  Her brothers Abe, Thomas, Stanley, Ernest and Lorne have been featured in this blog also.

Mary lived to be 102 and much of the information in this biography comes from a newspaper clipping sent from a relative in Ontario about her passing.

She was raised on Lake Street near Graham Lake.  This area along the St. Lawrence River was settled by many United Empire Loyalsits after the War of 1812, including Mary and my husband's common ancestor, Thomas Boulton (1774 - 1855).  As the fifth child of a family of 12 children, Mary would have known the value of hard work.

On February 26, 1913 she married George A. Herbison of Caintown, a nearby community on Front of Younge Township.   He was a well known builder and carpenter in the area and they lived there during their married life. George completed building their home and all the furniture with his own hands before they were wed. 

The couple did not have any children of their own but Mary was a midwife and stayed to help with the household after a baby's birth.  George died in 1939, leaving Mary as a widow for the next 50 years of her life.  
After his death, Mary moved to Kingston as a live in caretaker for an elderly woman.  Next she moved to Brockville to continue her caretaking role as a nanny and housekeeper.  Finally she was caretaker for a 100 year old man named Clifford Hall when she was 80 herself.

The photo above is of Mary in 1981 with her brother Abraham.  Her sister Edith Morris's grandaughters Cindy and Mary Rae have fond memories of her.  She went with them on a trip to Florida and remember that her first snowmobile ride was at the age of 80 years young!
1977 Newspaper clipping

In 1970, she moved into St. Lawrence Lodge where she was one of the first residents.  She kept busy there with bingo, knitting, euchre and dominoes.  She lived there for the next 19 years until she passed away at the age of 102 on March 31, 1989.

Abraham Boulton (1885 - 1981)

Abraham was a son of Thomas and Margaret Boulton, sibling to Ernest, Lorne, Stanley, Thomas and Mary along with 6 others.

He was born at Graham Lake, Ontario on June 8, 1885 as the fourth child. His given name was that of his grandfather Thomas' brother Abraham (1762-1859) who had married Mary Elliott (1771-1816) and lived in the Usborne Township of  Huron County in Ontario. Abe was in Manitoba at one time and his son said he would have like to have stayed but was needed back home to help his mother with the farm and the younger children after his father Thomas left for the west.  

Abraham married Ethel Jane King (1888- 1972) on February 8, 1911.  Thanks to their son Don for this picture of the couple that day.  On the 1921 Canadian Census, they have 3 young children along with her father George King in their farming household.  She is called Jennie in this document. 
 The couple are pictured with their nephew Earl Boulton from Manitoba.  He must have been training in the area as there are several pictures of him with his Ontario relatives. 
Abe and Ethel Jane celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 1961 and much of this biography was taken from a newspaper clipping from then sent by their family to my brother in law, Russell.  To quote the clipping:

The couple can well remember the snow and cold of their wedding day fifty years ago when the wedding was two hours late as the couple struggled for nine miles through the drifts with a horse and cutter at 30 below weather to reach Brockville.  However, they finally arrived and Rev. F. D. Woodcock performed the ceremony at Trinity Church.  The bridesmaid was Rose Cromwell and the bestman was George Herbison.
After returning from a honeymoon in Ottawa, they took up farming at Graham Lake, moving to Yonge Mills in 1920 and to Hallecks in 1925. Six years ago (1955) Mr. Boulton retired and built their present home on number 2 highway a mile west of Long Beach.  

Abraham is at the back in the middle of this picture with his son Albert on the left and Leslie on the right.  His mother Margaret is in front. 

They had a family of 4 boys and a girl and in 1961, had 16 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren. Irene and Albert are on the left below, Leslie in the middle, and Abe and Jennie on the right.  Their legacy has no doubt increased many times since that count.  Abraham passed away in 1981 and his wife in 1972.
As an interesting aside, "Googling"  the location of their wedding found some current results.   The Trinity Anglican Church made the news in June of 2014 and interior photos of it are included on this website for the condo developer who now owns the building and land.  It sounds like the days of this beautiful building are numbered.  That seems to be the same story with churches everywhere with congregations shrinking.  Finding new sources of funds and uses for the buildings is the only way they will survive for the next generations.