Sunday, January 19, 2014

Abstinence Tour of Robert Marshall (1819-1891) – Journal Entry of 19th October 1839

The day was spent in discussing abstinence with several individuals, and in making up Bills for my lecture at night - I had a conversation with Fraser the Publican and with the Parish Teacher, who with a frankness I have seldom met with again granted me the hall to lecture in.  In the evening I went to see the Bridge - the northern part of it had been taken away by a flood and had been repaired with wood in a very substantial manner - The children here all call out when they see me "tee-total" tee-total!"  They little know how I love that name - and what I am ready to undergo for that cause.  I forwarded Bills to Elgin and Forres.  In the evening I lectured to a very crowded and attentive audience for 2 hours, I got a very severe cold on coming out of the Hall, into the open air, the night being frosty - so much so, that when I reached my lodgings, I was unable to speak audibly - I slept this night in a Mrs. Greggors - she was kind to me and did everything in her power to make me happy and I was happy here, more so indeed that I had ever formerly been.

Typed by Betty Kay 11th May 1996, from Dan Marshall’s notes of the original journal.  Permission to reprint granted by Morris Kay, 25, June, 2012.

©2014, copyright Alana Farrell

52 Ancestors: #3 - Eliza Hamilton Burnett (1897-1943)

My maternal grandmother was Eliza Hamilton Burnett.  Unfortunately, I don’t know a lot about my grandmother as she died when my mom was only 10 years old.

Eliza was born July 16, 1897 in Dundee, Scotland.  She was the youngest of six children of John and Helen Leighton (Marshall) Burnett.  At the time of her birth, the family was living at 36 Carmichael Street in the Hilltown area of Dundee.  Her father, John Burnett, was a police constable for the Dundee police force.  At the time of the 1901 census, Eliza was 3 years old and the family had moved to 37 Stirling Street. 

Hilltown leads up a steep hill from the city centre. It is an older mixed tenement and industrial part of the City which had many jute mills, which was the main industry of Dundee in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.   It is a true inner city location and is one of the oldest parts of the city.  Until it was sold to Dundee in 1697, Hilltown was outside the burgh of Dundee’s boundary and had itself been created a burgh of barony in 1643.

When Eliza was 17 years old she had “taken up” with her much older (26 yrs.) first cousin Robert Burn Marshall, who at that time was still married to his first wife, Margaret (Weir) Marshall.  Robert, at that time, was living at 65 Main Street, Hilltown, Dundee.  When Eliza was just 18 years old, she gave birth to my Aunt Helene (Nell), in December 1915.  Margaret passed away on April 30, 1917 and on July 23, 1917 Robert and Eliza finally married, which was a good thing as she was pregnant again with my Uncle Dave, who was born that October.  Robert was working as a ticket writer and Eliza was a housekeeper.  They were married at
Clepington Church, which was just across the street from where Robert lived at 65 Main Street.  This was the same church where Eliza’s parents were married.

Robert and Eliza had eight children together:  Helen Burnett (1915-2007), David Hume (1917-1978), Robert (1919-1989), Rachel (1922-2009), Albert Ferrier (1925-1927), Norman Wilson (1929-1987?), Ludivina Mary (1931) and my mother Rhona MacDonald (1933-2003).  The family continued to live at 65 Main Street until Robert’s death on September 12, 1935.

After Robert’s death, Eliza and the children moved to a bigger house at 50 Glenconner Drive, Linlathen, on the edge of the city.

When Eliza became ill, her son in law, William (Harry) Crossman made a death bed promise to look after her 3 youngest children, Norman, Vina and Rhona, promising to take them to Canada with him and Nell after the war ended.  Only Vina and Rhona ended up going (along with Harry and Nell) as Norman was to turn 18 and had to remain in Scotland to serve 2 years mandatory military service.

Eliza passed away on March 29, 1943 at the Maryfield Hospital in Dundee from carcinoma of the breast and acute gastritis.

©2014, copyright Alana Farrell

Monday, January 13, 2014

52 Ancestors: #2 - Robert Allan Farrell (1927-1962)

My father, Robert Allan Farrell, was born on April 26, 1927 in Abernethy, Saskatchewan, Canada to Robert and Helen “Nellie” (Devlin) Farrell.  He was the second oldest boy of their six children, two of which died in infancy.  Unfortunately, I don’t know a lot about my father as he died when I was only 9 months old.

When Allan (as he was known) was 12 years old, he developed juvenile diabetes.  Like most children in the area, he attended the one room Tipperary school where he completed his Grade XI.  Unlike his two brothers, Forbes and John (Jack), Allan did not go into farming but became a mechanic, working for Greenfield Motors.

On January 8, 1951, Allan was initiated into Nanatah Masonic Lodge #53 in Balcarres, Saskatchewan and was raised a Master Mason on August 13, 1951.

On August 15, 1953 Allan married Rhona MacDonald Marshall from a neighbouring farm.  In December of that same year Allan and Rhona welcomed their first child, a daughter named Judy.  The following year, in 1954, the little family moved to Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, where they welcomed two more daughters, Heather in 1956 and myself (Alana) in 1961.  While living in Moose Jaw, Allan worked as a mechanic at Maccam Motors.

Shortly after my birth, my father's diabetes took a turn for the worse and he was hospitalized.  It was at that time that I decided to learn to walk, taking my first steps on his hospital bed.

Allan passed away on August 12, 1962 and was buried on his 10th wedding anniversary – August 15, 1962.  He is buried in Rosedale Cemetery in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada.

©2014, copyright Alana Farrell

Sunday, January 12, 2014

52 Ancestors: #1 - Rhona MacDonald Marshall (1933-2003)

Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small has issued the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge.  The premise:  write once a week about a specific ancestor.  I have been planning to write profiles on my ancestors for awhile and this us definitely the push I needed.  The problem - who to start with first.  After much thought I decided to begin with the person I know best - my mother.

Rhona MacDonald Marshall was born on February 21, 1933 at the Maternity Hospital in Dundee, Scotland – the 8th child of Robert Burn and Eliza Hamilton (Burnett) Marshall.  She was baptized in St. Mary Magdalene’s Church in Dundee on March 24, 1933.  At the time of her birth, the family was living at 65 Main Street, Dundee.  When Rhona was just two years old, her father, Robert, died of Chronic Rheumatism of the heart.  After Robert’s death, the family was to move to 50 Glenconnor Drive.

Rhona’s two oldest brothers, David and Robert and an older sister, Rachel were in the forces during the Second World War.  Her oldest sister, Helen (Nell), was working to help support the family.  During this time, a couple of Canadian cousins stationed in England came to visit the family in Scotland, bringing a Canadian soldier friend with them – William Henry (Harry) Crossman.  Harry (as he was known) and Rhona’s sister Nell were to marry in 1942.  When Rhona’s mother Eliza became ill, Harry made a death bed promise to look after the three youngest children, Norman (who was 14), Vina (who was 12) and Rhona (who was 10).  Eliza passed away on March 29, 1943 in Dundee from Carcinoma of the breast and acute gastritis.

On May 27, 1945, Rhona was Confirmed in St. Ninian’s Mission, in the Diocese of Brechen, Dundee.

When the war ended, Harry returned to Canada to prepare for the arrival of Nell, Norman, Vina and Rhona.  Unfortunately, before all the paperwork for immigration was complete, Norman turned 18 and was required to do a mandatory two year military service, forcing him to remain in Scotland.

On April 5, 1946 Rhona (then 13), Vina (then 15) and Nell (who was 30 yrs. old and a War Bride) left Southhampton, England on the Aquitania landing at Pier 1 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada on April 10, 1946.  They then boarded a train for farm life in the small town of Balcarres, Saskatchewan, Canada.

From the time she arrived in Canada until she turned 16 yrs. old, Rhona attended the one room Tipperary Schoolhouse in Abenethy, Saskatchewan.  In her words, “the teacher was not much older than about 19 – we had some fun as well as lots of hard work to do.”  She left school at 16 to work (I believe at the Balcarres Hospital). 

About a year before Rhona passed away, she wrote a short bio on herself and described her life on the farm:

“I leaned to plow the fields, drive the tractor, ride horses.  I was not allowed to drive the combine as I was told it was too big for a 14 year old to ride.  I had other chores to do as bring in the eggs, feed the animals – never learned to milk the cows as every time I did they would kick the pail over when half full and spill it so I gave up.  I loved the farm.  I brought in the wood for the fire, ice and snow in the winter.  We had fun as well as work, we had hay rides and sleigh rides, church suppers, barn dances, country fairs.”

Rhona began dating a young man from a neighbouring farm, John (Jack) Farrell.  That relationship didn’t last as Jack started seeing someone else while working in Toronto.  Rhona then began to be courted by Jack’s older brother Robert (Allan) Farrell. 

Rhona and Allan (as he was known) were married on August 15, 1953 at St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Balcarres.  Allan was working as a mechanic while Rhona stayed home to look after their first child – a daughter, Judy, who was born in December of 1953.  In 1954, Allan, Rhona and Judy moved to Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, where they welcomed the birth of two more girls, Heather (born in 1956) and Alana (born in 1961).  Life was not easy for Rhona and Allan as Allan suffered from Juvenile Diabetes.  In August 1962, Allan was admitted to the hospital where he passed away on August 12th.  He was buried on their 10th wedding anniversary – August 15, 1962.

On December 21, 1963, Rhona married for the second time to a family friend, Douglas Sinclair Kay (Doug was the brother of Rhona’s sister in law, Helen).  They were married at St. George’s Anglican Church in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.  A couple of days after the wedding, Doug, Rhona and the three little girls (Judy – 10, Heather – 8 and Alana – 2) boarded a train to Montreal, Quebec, Canada, where Doug resided.  They were to reside at 631 Mercille Ave., in St. Lambert, Quebec – downstairs from Doug’s parents, later moving to their first house at 325 Oak Ave.

Rhona and Doug (and family) were active members of St. Barnabas Anglican Church in St. Lambert, where Rhona was a member of the Ladies Evening Guild.  She was also very active in the Church’s Annual Rummage Sale where she “manned” the same station for nearly 40 years.  For a time, when the children were in school, she would look after the children of friends.  In later years, she became involved with the Girl Guides, eventually becoming a Sparks leader.  She did volunteer work as a school monitor at St. Lambert Elementary School in St. Lambert.  She was also an avid crocheter and reader.  Doug’s parents, Adam and Clarice Kay, were members of the Order of the Eastern Star and Rhona was very active in helping out at the social events beside her mother in law. 

Rhona and Doug finally got to have a honeymoon when Doug took Rhona home to Scotland in October 1970 – the first time being home since immigrating in 1946.

Rhona became a widow once again when Doug passed away on April 7, 1989 from complications from Parkinson’s Decease.

Doug’s sister, Helen was, at this time, also a member of the Order of the Eastern Star and encouraged Rhona to once again help out with their social events and anything else a non-member was allowed to participate in.  On September 26, 1991, Rhona finally became a member of the Order herself, joining St. Lambert Chapter #15 in St. Lambert, Quebec, later joining Friendship Chapter in Chambly, Quebec.  She was a very active member in the Order right up until her death.  She was very involved in, and was in charge of, one of the Chapter’s charities, the Cancer Gift Cupboard collecting and making items for the local
hospital that the Chapter supported, The Brome-Missisquoi Perkins Hospital in Brome, Quebec.  When she passed away, a memorial contribution was made from the hospital’s organizer and Rhona’s name was entered in the hospital’s Remembrance Book.  Rhona loved the Eastern Star and said: “when I miss a meeting for some reason, I feel as though I have missed something special.”

In 1998, Rhona was diagnosed with Ovarian cancer.  After a complete hysterectomy and a round of radiation, she went into remission.  She never let this “blip” stop her and when well enough, continued with her activities with the church and the Eastern Star. 

In her little bio she wrote “I will be 70 years old and feeling fine.  Sometimes I feel that I have not done much then I think well, I have my health and get around – sometimes with a cane.  But other than a stiff leg and the odd backache, I guess I’m not too bad off.”

Rhona was eventually forced to slow down when, in April of 2003, she suffered two strokes.  After surgery to remove a blockage and a month’s stay in a rehabilitation centre, she went to live with her daughter, Heather.  In late August of 2003, however, her cancer returned and she was admitted to the hospital on Labour Day weekend. 

Rhona passed away on September 8, 2003 and is buried at the Jardins Urgel Bourgis Cemetery in St. Hubert, Quebec.

She is greatly missed.

©2014, copyright Alana Farrell

Abstinence Tour of Robert Marshall (1819-1891) – Journal Entry of 18th October 1839

I left Huntly with the defiance for Keith - which I reached - this was also an exceeding pleasant ride, but it like some of the others already spoken of, was a silent one - not so the one yesterday.  I got a splendid tee-
total meeting on the coach, and an attentive audience.  They were most kind to me at Keith, but they couldn't get up a meeting for me - I did not insist as I was anxious to proceed.  I accordingly took the mail to Fochabers, where was most kindly treated by a Mr. Gordon, a Taylor.  The Country is still more beautiful here - nothing that I have seen comes nearly up to it - the Duke of Richmonds seat sets off the entrance to Fochabers, in a truly grand stile.  The village is lovely beyond anything I have as yet witnessed, it is a square with an excellent church and steeple in the midst - the roads that lead out of the village by the north are if possible the most enchanting than those in the south - here stands the Bridge of Spey, but as yet I have not examined that superstructure, and consequently can say nothing particular about it.  The Parish Minister, and Schoolmaster here are both favourable to the cause but as yet are not members - I lectured nearly 3 hours in the evening to between three and four hundred of an audience in the Society hall which was kindly granted me by the schoolmaster, who is teaching in it at present, his own school undergoing some repair.  The audience was attentive in general - however I was disturbed much by a publican of the name of Fraser, and a few of the Duke of Gordon's servants who I understand had got some drink with them - At the end only one man, he was deaf and dumb - signed the Pledge.  I had a conversation with this young man before the meeting - He was born he informs me at a place called Auld-earn - is a shoemaker to trade and has been only a few weeks here.   Mr. Gordon and his wife are Roman Catholics, but I never met in with kinder folks in all my life.

Typed by Betty Kay 11th May 1996, from Dan Marshall`s notes of the original journal.  Permission to reprint granted by Morris Kay, 25 June, 2012.

©2014, copyright Alana Farrell