It doesn’t reveal all ancestors, but it does provide a frame of reference for the anecdotes accompanying the photographs.
Sorry it’s so small, but the family is so large, it wouldn’t fit on the screen otherwise. A magnifying glass helps.
See the Dann/Martin ancestral list for clarification.
My roots lie mainly in England and the Ukraine.
Dates indicate how far back each family branch has been traced so far.
This is where our life together officially began. We didn’t create the families that came before us and contributed to who we are, but we have a responsibility to our children and theirs and theirs, etc., to share what we know. To this end, I shall post photos and anecdotes about various people from both our pasts. The page will grow, so please visit again.
August 15th, 1970
Though the tree does not show all Rob’s ancestors, it provides a reference for the anecdotes accompanying the photographs.
Sorry it’s so small, but the family is so large, it wouldn’t fit on the screen otherwise. A magnifying glass helps.
See the Butcher/Hood ancestral list for clarification.
Rob’s ancestors all hail from the British Isles, primarily Scotland and England.
Dates indicate how far back family branches have been traced so far.
Bill —on the left—was orphaned at age 11 and sent to Dr. Bernardo’s Home in London. The following year he was sent to Canada as a Home Child. In the 1930s, Bill worked as a chef at Childs Restaurant in Winnipeg, having taken up cooking during his stint in the army in WWI. Family stories indicate he was fired from Childs around 1939 for stealing a pound of butter. He and his wife, Annie, separated shortly afterwards. It was not an amicable split. Though he never remarried, Bill eventually found another partner. He died in St. Hubert, Quebec at age 64.
He was my maternal grandfather.
In 1832, there was a cholera epidemic in Scotland, killing thousands, including Dr. William Hood and his wife, Jean Graham. Their 5 children survived, but now were orphaned and shortly thereafter were sent to Ontario, Canada to be raised by William’s sister, Mary and her husband, William Jack. Hannah was one of those children. She liked her new family so much that she married her cousin, William Jack Jr. They had 9 children together. At some point they moved to Manitoba, where they lived the rest of their lives.
She was Rob’s 3rd great aunt on his mother’s side.
Doug was the youngest child of William James Hood and Margaret Ethel Jane Thompson. He was born the year before his mother was admitted to the Weyburn Mental Hospital, where she remained until her death in 1953. Doug’s sister, Alice said that Doug came down with pneumonia after a particularly cold and blustery sleigh ride home one evening, and it got the better of him. Doug was only 16 when he died. His grave is in Lang Cemetery, Lang, Saskatchewan, where he lived his whole life.
He was Rob’s mother’s brother.
Clara with her daughters, Ethel, Hilda, Dora, and Clara junior (the young girl), who is a child by her mother’s second husband, Henry Nunn. The other daughters are from Clara's first marriage to George Solly Lines. Missing is Elsie Mary Lines, who had probably already immigrated to Canada, meaning this photo must have been shot sometime after 1910. Considering Clara Nunn was born in 1901, that would fit. The photographer’s mark in the bottom right corner indicates the photo was taken in Ipswich.
Clara Burton was my paternal great grandmother.
In the early days of their marriage, Bill and Annie were happy. But it didn’t last. By the time they split in 1939, their relationship had turned ugly. My mom (Nickela Martin) said her mother was extremely bitter, destroying or trashing anything and everything that was Bill’s.
That included a photo of his mother, who died when he was 11. Consequently, there is now no way of knowing what Alice Maria Hopkins looked like.
A genealogist’s nightmare.
This photo was taken in England when my mother’s brother, Billy, was posted there during WWII. The other fellow in the photo is Thomas Chambers, son of Alice Maria Hopkins and Thomas Chambers Sr., her partner after she split with Philip Martin (1870 - 1949). Long story short, Thomas Chambers was Billy’s uncle.
Billy sent the photo to his mother in Winnipeg. What I found amusing about that is that he jotted a note to her on the back and signed off — Love, Billy Martin. Perhaps he thought she might not recognize him.
My dad building the family home at 4599 Blenkinsop Road in Victoria, BC. It’s probably 1957. My mother always hated this house. In 1956, she was a happy wife and mother, living in her brand new dream home at 49 Parkville Drive in Winnipeg. Dad worked for the CNR railroad in the dining car. One day while on a run to the West Coast, he called Mom from Vancouver, saying they were moving to Victoria. Sell the house and get on a plane. Mom was stunned. She followed his instructions, but she never got over it.
BTW: That’s me in the foreground.
Though Henry and Jane were both born in Ireland, they didn’t meet up until their families immigrated to Canada. They married in 1832 in Ontario and had 10 children over the next 26 years. The youngest was Charlotte Maud Hamill (1858 - 1942), Rob’s great-great grandmother on his mother’s side.
This photo was probably taken in Nanaimo, BC in late 1936 or early 1937. Charles and Bessie are Donna’s paternal grandparents. Alice is her mother.
Charles and Bessie met and married in St. Thomas, Ontario, but gradually moved west through Manitoba, Minnesota, and Saskatchewan as they grew their family. In 1930 or shortly thereafter, they moved for the last time to Nanaimo.
BTW: Donna and Rob are siblings.
John Smith Wilson (1842 - 1909) and Elizabeth Ann Laing (1840 - 1900) were long-time respected residents of St. Thomas, Ontario. They had 3 children, but they all died very young. They adopted Bessie (Rob’s maternal grandmother) as a child, sometime before 1881. She is the only one of the family not included on the headstone. She is buried in Nanaimo, where she died in 1952.
The stone was erected at the time of Elizabeth's death, and according to the cemetery manager, the Wilson’s other children are not actually buried here either.
Anna, Annie, Amy … Franko, Martin, Wasio … she seemed to have so many names, but I knew her as Nanny. She was my maternal grandmother. This photo was probably taken by one of those street photographers, who plied the city streets for business in the 40s, 50s, and 60s. I’m guessing this is Portage Avenue in Winnipeg, circa 1950. And Nanny is wearing her trusty babushka (head scarf). Back in the day, women could hide a bad hair day with a scarf and no one thought anything of it. Judging from the bag in her hand, I’d say she’d just been shopping at Eaton’s.
The youngest child of Dr. William Hood and Jean Graham, Betsy was just a baby when her parents perished in the Scottish cholera epidemic of 1832. Shipped off to Canada with her siblings, she was raised by Mary Hood (her father’s sister) and Mary’s husband, William Jack. Like her sister, Hannah Graham Hood and her brother, Joseph Gemmell Hood, Betsy married one of her cousins, Thomas Jack (1822 - 1905). They had 9 children.
Betsy is Rob’s 3rd great aunt on his maternal side, and she bears an uncanny resemblance to Rob’s mother, Alice in her later years.
This photo was probably taken at their home in Winnipeg. It looks like spring, so it’s probably just before Frank’s 1st birthday. Elsie Mary was a tiny woman, as were her two daughters. They topped out at 4’ 10” if they were lucky. Frank didn’t end up being a big man either — a slight 5’ 10” maybe. But he was a whopping 10 pounds at birth!
My grandmother, my dad, and my aunt.
My guess would be a family outing at Winnipeg Beach. Nickela looks about five, so Annie and Bill would still be married. Perhaps Bill is the one taking the picture.
My mom, her mom, and her brothers.
Francis Hayes was a photographer, as was his wife, Frances Howlett. It can be assumed that Frances shot this photo in their studio at 35 Broad Street in Reading, England, which was also where they lived. George looks to be about 3 or 4 here (he’s still dressed like a girl), so the photo was likely snapped in the very early 1860s.
My grandfather and great-grandfather on my dad’s side.
The story goes that Butch appeared out of nowhere one day around 1943, and he became instantly devoted to Frank (my dad). Frank’s mother ran a boarding house, so there were always people coming and going, but Butch fit right in, even when Frank did his stint in the navy and when his bride, Nickela moved in. But the day Nickela came home from the hospital with a new baby, Butch disappeared and was never seen again.
This photo of Rob’s parents and sister was probably taken around 1942, long before Rob was born. Ernie and Alice married in Hudson Bay Junction, Saskatchewan in 1932 and moved to Vancouver Island shortly thereafter.
Alice explained that she and Ernie had been dating a brother and sister in Hudson Bay, but when that family moved away, taking their love interests with it, Alice and Ernie began dating each other.
Charles and Emily both lived their early lives in the Isle of Wight but were married in London in 1864. Their first 3 children were born there. Then in 1870 they immigrated to Canada, settling first in the Waterloo area, then Oxford, and finally in St. Thomas, Ontario, where Charles worked as a house painter.
Charles is one of my current brick walls. Though I know his father was also Charles, I can’t pinpoint the exact family. I have a few theories, but they are yet to be verified.
Rob’s paternal great-grandparents.
Joseph was one of the 5 Hood children sent to Canada to be raised by their aunt after their parents died in a cholera epidemic in Scotland in 1832. Joseph married his cousin, Isabella Jack in 1843, and together they had 9 children. Isabella died in 1862, and in 1864 Joseph married Maryann Black, with whom he had 4 more children.
Rob’s two-times great grandfather.
Will was born in Simcoe County, Ontario, but moved west to Saskatchewan with his brother, Joe, around the turn of the century. They had neighbouring farms. Will married Margaret Ethel Jane Thompson in 1906. Over the following 15 years they had 7 children together, though after Ethel’s admittance to Weyburn Mental Hospital in 1922, Will was left to raise them on his own. Around 1950, he moved to Victoria, BC and lived with his daughter, Alice, and her family. Ethel died in Weyburn in 1953. Will passed away the following year. They are buried together in Lang Cemetery, Saskatchewan.
My paternal great grandparents, Frances Hayes Dann (1818 - 1901) and Frances Howlett (1818 - 1906) were both photographers. They set up shop in 1856. The business seems to have been successful, for when Frances retired in 1901, it was taken over by her granddaughter and her granddaughter’s husband, under the name Dann-Lewis Photography. The business was eventually passed down to their son, Walter Lewis, who ran it until after WWII. An extensive collection of the business’s photos and plates can be found at the University of Reading. Click here for more on F.H. Dann & Co.
My father’s sister, Mary, was listed as a spinster on the 1949 Voters’ list. Her first son was born in 1951, so she and Bert must have married around 1950. After serving in the army during WWII, Bert went to work for the CNR Railroad. He was tall and Mary was short, a fact that prompted her to tell me once, “Sex could be lonely.” She was an amazing seamstress and is reported to have concocted many of the wild and wonderful costumes worn by guests at the many parties at her mother’s boardinghouse. She was also the family historian, and dying just shy of her 100th birthday, she had a bounty of stories.
My grandmother, Elsie was widowed in 1943, and voter registration lists indicate she and Jim Noon were married by 1945. A policeman in Scotland, Jim worked as a watchman for the Wheat Board in Winnipeg. Since Elsie ran a boarding house at 558 Carlaw Avenue, it is likely he was a boarder. They ran the boarding house until at least 1952. By 1954, they were caretakers of the Montrose Apartments on Toronto Street, until Jim died in 1958.
Jim was the only grandfather I ever knew. Such a nice man, and he always had humbugs.
Elsie was hired as a nurse/companion for George's first wife, Annie Rebecca, when the family immigrated to Canada. It was agreed that when Annie either recovered or died, George would pay Elsie's fare back to England. However, when Annie died in 1915, George didn't have the money, and since he deemed it improper for he and Elsie to be living together, he decided they should marry, which they did. Though George was 30 years Elsie's senior, they still had four children together. The last one, Frank, was born when George was 70.
My grandparents on my father’s side.
My grandfather was 70 years old when my father was born. He was devout and stubborn. My father was stubborn. From what I gather, they were rather like oil and water, which is exactly the same relationship my father had with my brother. The thing my father and his father had in common was logic and a sense of fairness. So when my father, at about aged 13, declared he was not going to attend Salvation Army church any longer, his father didn’t argue. He merely insisted Frank attend some church. I understand Dad chose United Church, but after his father died, he gave up religion altogether.
Ethel was the first wife of Donald Leicester Wellington Hood (Rob’s uncle on his mother’s side). She hanged herself. Rob’s mother, who had lived with the family for a couple of years, said Ethel’s children were the ones who found her. Though she died in Hudson Bay Junction, Saskatchewan, Ethel was buried in Oxbow, where she'd been born.
Don, a successful entrepreneur and budding politician went on to remarry and have two more children. He was killed in a plane crash while campaigning for leadership of the Saskatchewan Liberal party in 1954.
In the early days of the 18th century, there was a mighty wave of emigration from Scotland to Canada. One group taking advantage of offers of cheap land was the Lanark Society Settlers, led by James Hood, brother of Dr. William Hood, from whom Rob is descended.
William, son of James Hood, was one of the settlers arriving from Greenock, Scotland aboard the "Prompt" in 1820. William became the school teacher for the community known as Hood Corners.
Click the Lanark Society Settlers for more info.
Among the Lanark Society Settlers who emigrated from Scotland to Ontario in 1820, William Jack and his wife, Mary Hood, are best remembered for taking in Mary’s 5 orphaned nieces and nephews following the cholera epidemic of 1832.
The first land they were given in Ontario was mostly rock, so William and Mary, as well as many of the other settlers moved on to Innisfil and started again. Those determined pioneers are buried in the Sixth Line Cemetery, dedicated especially to them for settling the area in 1832.
Entries are made by Rob’s mother, Alice, and her father, William James Hood. Interestingly enough, his birthdate is recorded as September 17th, 1879. On his headstone, the family has also recorded his birthdate as 1879, but the date on his birth record (which is written in impeccable script by the officiate) clearly states his date of birth as September 12th, 1878. Both day and year are different. The wonderful thing about the family Bible is that a multitude of newspaper clippings and family documents are stored inside. The one time I’m glad my mother-in-law was a ‘saver’.
I’m guessing I’m about two here, and as I understand it, I could have given workshops in terrible twos behaviour. Apparently I had cannibalistic leanings. I didn’t actually eat anyone, but I did a lot of biting. (I’m over it now.) I was 3 when my brother was born, and because of the ‘biting’, my mother was terrified to bring home the new baby, lest I relieve him of a finger or two. But I must have understood I was meant to protect him, because after he arrived, I never bit again.
This photo was taken at 578 Hetherington Avenue in Winnipeg.
The second of 7 children, George Solly Lines was a resident of Ipswich, England most of his short life. He married in 1884 and earned his living as a butcher. He and wife, Clara Burton had 5 children and likely would have had more if George hadn’t perished during a typhoid epidemic.
He was my great grandfather on my father’s side.
The twins were inseparable, and according to my mother, often carried on silent conversations. They were excellent golfers—Tom especially, so it was fitting that he should die on the golf course. His daughter said bogeying the 13th hole is what killed him. Both twins married—Tommy twice. Even so, at the end, he was a bachelor. In his early 30s, he moved to California; naturally John followed shortly thereafter. Tom was an accountant; John a salesman. They were brothers, but more importantly, they were best friends, so it’s no surprise Tom’s daughter and John’s son also are.
My mother’s mother and two of her sisters, sometime during the 1920s, probably in Winnipeg. The Franko family emigrated from the Ukraine in 1900, but all the sisters were born in Sundown, Manitoba. There was a fourth sister, Helen, but she was quite a bit younger. Anna named my mother Rose Marie after her sisters, but Mom always went by Nickela. She had thought her name was Jean Rose Marie Nickela her whole life. She didn’t find out the truth until she applied for her old age pension. So I’m named Nickela after her, except Nickela was never her name.
Marriage certificate for Rob’s maternal grandparents. When I discovered this in the Hood family Bible, I was gobsmacked. It is such a beautiful document. And big! It’s about 15” X 12”. Why don’t they make marriage certificates like this nowadays? Unfortunately, it is in several pieces, having succumbed to many foldings and unfoldings. For the time being, I have placed it inside a protective plastic sleeve, but at some point I may try to have it restored.
Date: Sept. 21, 1904
Place: Yellow Grass, Sk.
Sister to Dr. William Hood, who perished in the Scottish cholera epidemic of 1832, and wife of William Jack, weaver. Mary was part of the Lanark Settlers Society that sailed to Canada aboard the Prompt in 1820. In addition to making a new life in a new, untamed country, Mary took in her brother’s 5 orphaned children and raised them as her own.
She is Rob’s 3rd great grandmother.
She is pictured here with her youngest child, John Edward. Born in Scotland, she immigrated to Canada between 1856 and 1862 and married James Edward Hood in Collingwood, On. in 1876. Together they had 4 children, the second of whom was Rob’s grandfather William James Hood. Margaret died accidentally. Entertaining company in her home one evening, she took a lamp and went upstairs for her glasses. As she returned, she tripped and fell down the stairs. She was unconscious for almost 6 days before passing away. The newspaper said it was a miracle she didn’t burn down the house.
Joe, John, their brother, Bill and sister, Margaret were all born in Simcoe County, Ontario. John and Margaret remained there all their lives, while Bill and Joe moved west — first to Saskatchewan and then to BC. Bill died in Sidney, BC, but is buried in Lang, Saskatchewan with his wife, Ethel. Though Joe died in Chilliwack, he and his wife are interred with John and his wife back in Simcoe County.
Rob tells a story of how Uncle Joe encouraged him to fish in a local creek with nothing but a feather for bait.
I snapped this photo in May of 2016. The home has been modernized, but according to the owner, it hasn’t changed too much from how it was when Charles Henry Butcher, his wife, Emily Holland, and their 5 children moved here in 1878. Charles died in 1908, but Emily stayed on until 1912, at which time she moved to Gravenhurst to live with one of her daughters.
The Butchers were well-known and well-respected. In fact, the former mayor was a pall-bearer at Emily’s funeral.
Emily and Charles were Rob’s paternal great grandparents.
She was young and impetuous. He was a bush pilot in Northern Manitoba. Their marriage was short, but not without meaning. They had a son together in 1946. Elsie (Elsa) married again and had three more children. Accomplished and intelligent, Elsa was also a lot of fun and creative to the bone. Like her sister and mother, she was short, but that didn’t stop her from being feisty.
Elsa was my father’s sister.
Steve was so smart, it was scary. He was also a master cabinetmaker. He designed gorgeous chests (involving parabolas, whatever those are — I listened to him talk but didn’t really understand). And he created jigs so the chests could be recreated. He could be very funny, and like my father, he had an ear for dialects, and he never told a story without assuming the various voices. One of his big loves was music, whether he was listening, smashing on drums, or picking at a guitar. But he was also a troubled soul, and eventually he couldn’t stand it any longer.
I shall always miss him.
This is my mother on her wedding day. The wedding was planned within a week, while my dad was on leave from the navy. My mother was 16; my father 19. Mom wore a borrowed dress and, though appearance was always very important to her, she wore no makeup. She always said she was born without makeup, she would marry without makeup, and she would die without makeup. And so she did.
The Navy recruiting officer said it was impossible that my dad had no middle name. Dad explained that his father wanted him to be Henry, but his mother was against it, so he ended up simply Frank. He appears as Frank Canadian Dann on his enlistment papers. Years later, as a joke, Mom gave him a dressing gown with the monogram FCD. Before he died, he decided he really did want a middle name and decided on Hayes, after his grandfather, but he died before he could legally adopt the name. Knowing this story, my daughter named her 4th child -- and only daughter, Elle Hayes, in his honour.
My paternal great-grandfather. At one point in my family search, he was my brick wall. I knew he’d had two children with my great grandmother, Alice Maria, and that he’d gone off to the Boer War, but then I lost him. Fortunately the Quest team at my genealogy club found him—the family he’d been born into, as well as the one he created upon returning from the war. He married Janet Church and had 7 children with her. He didn’t come back to Alice Maria. I don’t know why, but he didn’t. But as a result of making another family, I now have contact with cousins in England and Australia.
This was taken when George was married to Annie Rebecca. Elsie Mary, his second wife and Annie Rebecca's nurse/companion at this time is standing beside George. In the foreground is Irene (Reenie), George and Annie Rebecca's adopted daughter. The child beside Annie Rebecca is unknown.
Thanks to Warren Jansen for doing such a wonderful job of restoring the photograph.
George Solly Lines (my paternal great-grandfather) died young. At 36, he was a victim of a typhoid epidemic. His only son, George William Lines died shortly after him at only 8 years old. George Solly shares a grave with his brother, who also died before his time. After George Solly’s death, his wife, Clara remarried and had another child. Family rumour has it that her second husband was abusive and generally not a nice person. At any rate, when Clara died, her body was interred with George Solly and his brother.
I have no idea where young George William was buried.
Charles & Emily were married in Poplar, London in 1864. I seldom send for documents, but I needed this one to help me locate Charles’ family. I discovered Charles’ father—also Charles—was alive at the time of the marriage. I also learned that Emily’s father, an engine fitter had died. I knew Emily’s family had suddenly moved from a comfortable life to one that was less so, and this explained why. One of the witnesses was James Butcher, who I suspect was Charles’ twin brother, but I have yet to prove it.
Rob’s dad, Ernest Wilson Butcher (1909 - 1966) is sitting on the ground, second from the right. Rob’s Uncle Harry Walsh, (Ernie’s sister Alice’s husband) is the fellow in the fedora, standing on the far right. I never met Ernie, but I understand he was a big baseball fan. He was one of the people who built Layritz Park, where Rob played his Little League ball. Rob says his dad got so heated up at a game one time, that the umpire ejected him from the ball park.