When I first decided to post a blog about my grandfather back in November, that's all it was meant to be, but it has taken on a life of its own. I've now bored you four times, and this is the fifth (and final as far as I can tell). This exercise has caused me to get quite busy: clarifying facts, digitizing old photos, and locating and digitizing some old documents such a Certificate of Birth and a Marriage License. I plan to print it all into one booklet of record for the family. I imagine that I'll go on from there to do the same for the other grandparents, so I have created a job for myself — as if I needed another one. But there's no hurry.
While I will refrain from posting much of the material (amen said the choir), I will post a few more items and tidbits below.
Grampa was born on April 11, 1878 in Waterbeach, England; married to Ellenor Phillis Croft (those are the recorded spellings) on May 26, 1909 in Chambly, Quebec; and died in Montreal on June 21, 1958 at 80 years of age.
His whole family came from Cambridgeshire or nearby Norfolk (see map above). His mother was born and buried in Waterbeach but seemed to live in Strethem for a while as Grampa's three older siblings were born there, but he and the other six were born in Waterbeach. (Note: some of this information was obtained from the 1881 census from which a friend once found a few tidbits, such as her husband's, my great grandfather's name being James.) I have a single photo (below) of his mother, my great grandmother, Elizabeth. It was taken in 1923 when she was 75 years old.
As I mentioned, Grampa had nine siblings: four sisters, two older and two younger, and four brothers, one older and three younger. There are some notes in the photo album about marriages and children, and I calculate that these ten children only had about fourteen children of their own, one of whom died a few days after birth. That's quite a change in fertility in one generation. It appears that three of the children never married, one being his older brother, Henry, who was born crippled. An album note mentions that the villagers raised money to buy Henry a wheelchair.
The second oldest sister, Alice, immigrated to Montreal after Grampa, and it appears that they remained quite close until she died months before I was born in 1947 when she would have been 77 years old, I believe. Alice was a cook who at some point in time worked in Vienna, Austria. She married a Montrealer, and it seems that they either owned or rented a summer place in Maine for several summer as there are a number of album pictures over several years of my Dad visiting her in Maine, including this one.
I guess that's about all that I have to say about Grampa unless some fragment of memory surfaces at some future point.