#43 Automobiles

For transportation week, I’m posting some pictures of ancestors and their automobiles.

leonard_mayme
My husband’s paternal great-grandparents Leonard and Mayme (Kivi) Eklund on their wedding day in June 1931
charliecar
My grandfather Charles T. Wilson, 1930s?
belknap_wells_family
Belknap/Wells Family, c1945

Week 43 (Oct. 21-27): Transportation

#42 Charles T. Wilson

This week’s theme is adventure, so I thought I’d discuss my grandfather leaving Ontario and coming to Michigan in 1928. Charles Thompson Wilson arrived in Detroit, Michigan on April 11, 1928. On the border crossing document, the name of the ship is “C.N. 115” which stands for Canadian National #115. So instead of arriving on a ship, he arrived on a train from Windsor, Ontario through a railway tunnel under the Detroit River. The Michigan Central Railway Tunnel was completed in 1910. Before that rail cars were transported across the river by ferry. The Ambassador Bridge for car traffic was completed in 1929.

ctwilson_4-11-28
http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=detroitpl&h=667777&ti=0&indiv=try&gss=pt

Just one week later, on April 18, 1928, he swore his declaration of intention to become a U.S. citizen. He was living in Grosse Pointe at 152 Kerby. I’m not sure who he was living with; he had put John Purdy at 333 Mona Ave. in Detroit as his contact on his border passage document.

ctwilson_4-18-28

Week 42 (Oct. 14-20): Adventure

#40 Farmers in my Tree

For Week 40 of #52Ancestors, the theme is “Harvest.” I decided to look and see how many of my great-great grandfathers (you have 8) were listed in the 1880 U.S. Federal Census/1881 Canadian Census with an occupation of “Farmer.”  Here we go:

  1. James Wells – Farmer, aged 40, Horsepasture District, Henry Co., Virginia
  2. Willis Clark – Dead
  3. Arthur Belknap – aged 11 – his dad was a laborer in Dover, Fulton Co., Ohio
  4. William Bost – Farm Laborer, aged 20, Marion Twp., Henry Co., Ohio
  5. John Wilson – Farmer, aged 48, Howe Island, Frontenac, Ontario, Canada
  6. Archibald Thompson – Sailor, aged 43, Amherst Island, Lennox & Addington, Ontario, Canada
  7. Henry Ochs – Farmer, aged 34, Taylor, Wayne Co., Michigan
  8. Fred Moore – Farm Laborer, aged 17, living with his grandmother in Stafford, Genesee Co., New York

So 1 of my g-g grandfathers was dead by 1880, 1 was only 11, 1 was a sailor, and the rest were farmers or farm laborers. Interesting stuff!

athompson
Archie Thompson, year unknown

#39 Amherst Island, 1878

amherst_island_1878_map
Map of Amherst Island, Ontario, Canada, from “Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Counties.” Illustrated historical atlas of the counties of Frontenac, Lennox and Addington, Ontario. Toronto : J.H. Meacham & Co., 1878.
(http://digital.library.mcgill.ca/countyatlas/Images/Maps/TownshipMaps/fro-m-amherst-island.jpg)
jno_Wilson
John Wilson, First Concession, Lot 34

This map of Amherst Island, Ontario is from 1878 and shows my great-great grandfather’s land that he owned just to the west of Stella, the island’s biggest town. In the larger map at the top, it would be just below and to the left of the “Q” in Bay of Quinte. John Wilson (former Johan Rustad from Sweden) arrived on the island in 1857.

#25 Earliest Photos

I saw this idea from Amy’s review of Week 25: “Debi shared the earliest photos of various ancestors. (I like how she broke them down by maternal and paternal sides).” So I’m going to give it a try!

Maternal

wdbolt
My 3rd Great-Grandfather, William Dillon Bolt (1835-1901)
mjeveritt
My 3rd Great-Grandmother, Mary J. (Everitt) Bolt (1837-1918)

 

mabolt
My 2nd Great-Grandmother, Mina Adell (Bolt) Moore Thompson, (1866-1942)
athompson
My 2nd Great-Grandfather, Archibald Thompson (1838-1931)
jawilson
My great-grandfather, John A. Wilson (1874-1930)
mathompson
My great-grandmother, Mary (Thompson) Wilson (1872-1940)
mdmoore
My great-grandmother, Mae Dillon (Moore) Oakes Smiechowski Johnson (1892-1971)
ctwilson
My grandfather, Charles Wilson (1907-1989)
babyhelen
My grandmother, Helen Oakes (1912-1988) on her mother Mae’s lap
mawilson
My mother

Paternal

margaret_gisel
My 3rd Great-Grandmother, Margaret (Rhost) Gisel (1848-1939)
abelknap
My 2nd Great-Grandfather, Arthur Belknap (1869-1955)
mgiselbelknap
My 2nd Great-Grandmother, Martha (Gisel) Belknap (1869-1925)
wsbost
My 2nd Great-Grandfather, William S. Bost (1859-1932)
njclark
My Great-Grandmother, Nannie Jane (Clark) Wells (1880-1969)
eebelknap.jpg
My Great-Grandfather, Earl E. Belknap (1895-1960)
febost.jpg
My Great-Grandmother, Florence E. Bost (1896-1961)
elwells
My grandfather, Edward L. Wells (1905-1955)
vibelknap
My grandmother, Velma Belknap (1913-1999)
rewells
My father

Week 25 (June 17-23): Earliest

#24 Rural Diary Archive

I stumbled upon this website, Rural Diary Archive, because I was researching my Wilson/Thompson/Gibson line on Amherst Island, Ontario. The founder of the project, Dr. Catharine Anne Wilson (maybe a relative, maybe not!), wrote a book called A New Lease on Life: Landlords, Tenants and Immigrants in Ireland and Canada, which explores landlord-tenant relationships on Amherst Island especially tenant families that migrated from the Ards Peninsula in County Down to Amherst Island between 1820 and 1860.

rural.jpg
https://ruraldiaries.lib.uoguelph.ca/

Anyway, the Rural Diary Archive “showcases over 150 Ontario diarists from 1800 to 1960.” The diaries come from museums and archives across Ontario. You can search transcribed diaries, as well as browse by county, occupation, ethnicity/nationality, and religion. I did find one diary from Amherst Island, written in 1872-1879 by George Wright. That is part of the time period the Wilson’s and Thompson’s lived on the island, but I haven’t a chance to read it yet. Hopefully, it will give me some insight on daily life.

The Archive also has a Twitter account (@RuralDiaries) that tweets diary entries in an “On this Day” format.

Week 24 (June 10-16): Dear Diary

#23 Middle Names

I love learning family members’ middle names. Sometimes they are unusual or passed down in the family. But sometimes they are the mother’s or grandmother’s maiden names. So if a relative has a middle name that sounds an awful lot like a surname, you may have hit on a female relative’s maiden name.

My grandfather and two of his siblings have the maiden names of their mother and both grandmothers as middle names:

  • Charles Thompson Wilson, born May 1907 – Thompson was his mother Mary’s maiden name
  • William Gibson Wilson, born September 1908 – Gibson was his paternal grandmother Mary Ann’s maiden name
  • Theresa Dunning Wilson, born December 1909 – Dunning was her maternal grandmother Elizabeth’s maiden name
cropped-wilson_kids1.jpg
Charles (far left), William (far right), and Theresa (little girl in middle)

Week 23 (June 3-9): Namesake

#20 Farmers

For this prompt, I though I would include some pictures of a couple of farmers from both sides of my family, caught in the act of farming.

John Andrew Wilson
My mother’s first cousin, John Wilson, in the mid-1940s
winniemilk
John’s mother, Winnie, doing something with milk at the family farm in Pittsburg Township, Ontario in the late 1960s
earl_1928
Earl Belknap, my great-grandfather, about 1928

Week 20 (May 13-19): Nature

#15 Rustad Family

The family of my great-great grandfather who came to Canada from Sweden has always been a mystery. He came from Sweden in the 1850s and met and and married an Irish girl. His name, as far as we knew, was John Alford Wilson. However, the family story was he came from Sweden as a stowaway and was given the ship captain’s last name. So I thought that was the end of that. I was unfamiliar with Swedish genealogy and I didn’t even have a name to go by. Some family members mentioned the name Rhustadt or Rustad. His tombstone said he was born on April 9, 1833 in Stockholm.

Fast forward a few years, after I had my mother take an Ancestry DNA test, I was contacted by a distant cousin who was also a few times great-granddaughter of John. She shared with me some fantastic documents she had found for a Johan Axel Rustad, born April 9, 1833 in Stockholm, Sweden.

jarustad_birth
Johan Axel was illegitimate and surrendered at birth. Mom was 27, her name not listed.

He was baptized on April 11, 1833 in Adolf Fredriks Församling, Stockholm, Sweden. Församling means parish or congregation, so I assume that is the church where he was baptized.

Adolf_Fredriks_kyrka_2011
Church of Adolf Fredrik, Stockholm, Sweden (Image author: I99pema. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Adolf_Fredriks_kyrka_2011.JPG)

Johan Axel’s parents married on September 22, 1833 in Adolf Fredriks Församling. Their names were Berger Halvorsen Rustad and Helena Andersdotter. Berger was born on August 9, 1806 in Elverum, Norway (this explains why Mom has 21% Norwegian DNA and no Swedish!) and came to Adolf Fredrik on Sept. 2, 1833 from Solna (near Stockholm). Helena was born on June 11, 1802 in Räm’s parish, Värmland. She came to Adolf Fredrik on Nov. 4, 1831 from Klara (in Stockholm). They had 2 children born during their betrothal: 1) Bernhard, b. June 29, 1828; and 2) Johan Axel, b. April 9, 1833.

rustad_andersdotter_marriage
Banns and marriage record of “the house servant Berger Halvorsen Rustad and the maid Helena Andersdotter.”

Berger Halvorsen Rustad died on March 4, 1837 in Katarina Parish, Stockholm of typhoid fever. It must have been sometime after this that the family was split up. I’m not sure if Helena died around this time as well. Johan was sent to a foster family in Othem parish, Gotland, Sweden (an island in the Baltic) in 1842 and is last listed there on 9 Apr 1852.

Othem

1850-1851seamanregistration
Johan registered as a seaman at the Visby, Gotland Sjömanshus (Seamen’s Office) on April 24, 1850 and the last notice is in 1851.

Johan’s older brother Bernhard emigrated to the United States in 1854. They also had two younger brothers, Gustav Arvid Rustad (April 10, 1835 – April 27, 1835) and Oscar Arvid Rustad (March 11, 1836 – September 13, 1876). Oscar married Hilda Falk in 1859 and had at least one son who died in 1872.

gotland_map
Othem, Gotland is labeled with the red marker. Johan Axel was born in Stockholm, while his father Berger Halvorsen was born in Elverum, Norway (in the upper left corner of the map).

Johan emigrated to Amherst Island, Ontario, Canada sometime before 1859, when he and his wife, Mary Ann Gibson, had a daughter Rose Mary on May 13, 1859. He was a farmer and a mariner according to the 1871 and 1881 censuses. He died on Howe Island, Ontario on January 6, 1889 as the age of 55.

jawilsonrhustat

Citations:

  • Birth registration for Johan Axel – Adolf Fredrik CIb:3 (1827-1857) Image 1040 / page 133 (AID: v81707.b1040.s133, NAD: SE/SSA/0001)
  • Baptism Record for Johan Axel – Sweden, Select Baptisms, 1611-1920 from Ancestry.com
  • Records for Johan Axel on Gotland – Othem AI:4 (1842-1853) Image 2090 / page 193 (AID: v61925.b2090.s193, NAD: SE/ViLA/23066)
  • Marriage record for Berger Halvorsen Rustad – Adolf Fredrik EI:2 (1813-1841) Image 343 / page 673 (AID: v81715.b343.s673, NAD: SE/SSA/0001)
  • Death record for Berger Halvorsen Rustad – Katarina FI:9 (1835-1844) Image 63 / page 117 (AID: v87044.b63.s117, NAD: SE/SSA/0009)
  • Seaman registration – Visby sjömanshus DIc:4 (1844-1852) Image 2260 / page 389 (AID: v384423.b2260.s389, NAD: SE/ViLA/20246)

Week 15 (April 8-14): DNA

#12 John Andrew Wilson (1874-1930)

John Andrew Wilson is #12 on my ahnentafel table (a numbered ancestor chart). He is my mother’s paternal grandfather.

JohnAWilson_marythompson
Mary Agnes Thompson & John Andrew Wilson, c1898

John was born February 26, 1874 on Amherst Island, Lennox & Addington, Ontario, Canada to John A. Wilson, a mariner from Sweden, and Mary Ann Gibson from Ireland.

JohnAWilson_birth
John Andrew Wilson’s Birth Registration

In the 1881 Canadian census the Wilson family was living on Howe Island in Frontenac, Ontario. At the time, John was 7 years old, living with his parents, his sisters Annie (17), Eliza (15), and brother Hugh (9). A married sister, Rose Mary Beaubien, was living on Amherst Island with her husband and baby. By 1891, all the sisters were married and their father had died in 1889. Hugh was now a farmer and the head of household at aged 20. His mother, brother John (17), and a servant John Breene (21) were also living there.

On November 1, 1898, John married Mary Agnes Thompson (1872-1940) in Deseronto, Hastings, Ontario. At the time, John was living on Howe Island and was a farmer, while Mary lived in Deseronto.

In the 1901 census, John, Mary, and their 1-year-old daughter Annie Maud were living with John’s mother on Howe Island. There was also a farm laborer named Matthew Farrell living with them. On March 9, 1902, John and Mary’s son Hugh was born on Howe Island. In 1902/1903, John bought a farm property on Highway 2 in Pittsburg Township, east of Kingston and across the river from Howe Island. There, son Cecil was born on March 19, 1903. Over the next five years, five more children were born including John (1905), Marjorie (1906), Charles (1907), William (1908), and Theresa (1909). In the 1911 census, the family was still farming in Pittsburg Township and John’s mother was living with them. However, their daughter Annie Maud had died in 1904.

cropped-wilson_kids1.jpg
From left: Charles, Cecil, Marjorie, Theresa, Hugh, Jack, and Bill (c1913)

John and Mary had two more sons: Clarence Stuart (1914) and Earle Sanford (1916). In the 1921 census, John’s mother was still living with the family in Pittsburg Twp. and the Hugh had moved out work across the river in Syracuse, New York. Throughout the 1920s, many of the Wilson sons would go to either New York or Detroit, Michigan for work. John’s mother Mary Ann died in September 1923 after a broken hip and pneumonia.

wilson_porch
Back row from left: John Wilson, unknown, Mary Wilson. Front row from left: Charles, Stu, Theresa, Margie, San (c1924)

John died of carcinoma of the stomach on November 25, 1930 at home. He had had cancer for 7 months and on May 13, 1930 he had an operation to prevent a stomach obstruction. He was buried November 27th in Willowbank Cemetery in Gananoque. His wife Mary died April 29, 1940. Their son John was living in Detroit with his pregnant wife at the time. His son, also named John, was born in Detroit on May 16, 1940. After this they returned to Pittsburg Township to run the farm.

johnandmarytomb

Week 12 (March 18-24): 12