23 September 2014

Seeking GORDONs

It's worth a try. Conventional genealogical wisdom (or plain general family wisdom?) says women are usually the "keepers" of family tradition, stories, souvenirs, photographs, heirlooms, and whatnot. Convention has proven true in many instances of my own families.

I've posted several times about my missing John Fraser the blacksmith; my lack of cousins has been a yawning black hole. The blacksmith had just four children. Aside from my direct ancestor, probably only one other has descendants who could hold potential keys. Maybe among them is the keeper of my missing stories.

The younger sister of my great-grandmother Catherine, Elizabeth (Eliza) Fraser married Alexander Gordon in Renfrew, Ontario on 30 October 1860.[1] Alexander was a lumber merchant in Pakenham Township, Lanark County, where the family lived in the 1861 and 1871 censuses. By 1881 they had moved slightly north to the town of Pembroke in Renfrew County and there they spent the rest of their days. Eliza died in 1891[2] but Alexander outlived her by many years. Both are buried in Calvin United Church and First Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Pembroke.[3]

From Pembroke Observer 1 November 1916:

Gleaned from Alexander's obituary, the cemetery stones, census returns, and some superficial marriage searches, their children were:

i. ISABELLA M. GORDON born ca.1862, married at Pembroke 22 September 1886 Robert Booth, lumber merchant of Ottawa.[4]
ii. ANNIE FRASER GORDON born 1863, “at home” in 1916, died in 1933.
iii. ELIZABETH GORDON born ca.1864, “at home” in 1916.
iv. GEORGE GORDON born ca.1865 was a Canadian Senator from 1912 to 1942.[5] He married Alice Emma Parry in Dunnville, Ontario on 30 August 1894.[6] His North Bay home is heritage-designated; after being sold in 1985, his grandson Gordon Taylor donated many artifacts to the North Bay Museum.  
v. ROBERT W. GORDON born 19 April 1868, died 30 September 1911, buried in Pembroke;[7] married Jane R. Sparling 19 June 1895 in Pembroke.[8]
vi. ALEXANDER GORDON born May 1870 (1871 census).
vii. PETER GORDON born ca.1873; John Peter Gordon, civil engineer of Le Pas, married Mary Agnes Barr at Pembroke on 12 November 1913.[9]
viii. JAMES GORDON born ca.1875, perhaps the “ J.B.” of Toronto, overseas in 1916.
ix. KATE LILLIAN GORDON born ca.1879, married Douglas W. Gray, a physician in Kingston, on 20 April 1905.[10]

Now, wouldn't you think there would be a family historian among that crew?

If you recognize any of these families please run, don't walk, to your nearest computer and email me, brendadougallmerriman at gmail.com.

[1] “Ontario, Canada Marriages, 1801-1928,” database, Ancestry.ca (www.ancestry.ca : accessed 17 September 2011), Gordon-Fraser marriage (1860); citing Archives of Ontario microfilm MS 248 reel 14.
[2] “Ontario, Canada Deaths 1869-1938,” digital image, Ancestry.ca (www.ancestry.ca : accessed 17 September 2011), Elizabeth Gordon, no. 014427 (1891); Archives of Ontario, MS 935.
[3] Canadian Gravemarker Gallery, digital image (www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cangmg/ : accessed 30 September 2011), Eastern Ontario, Renfrew County, Pembroke and Satellite Communities, Calvin United Church and First Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Alexander Gordon family gravestones.
[4] “Ontario, Canada, Marriages, 1801-1928,” digital image, Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : accessed 21 August 2014), Booth-Gordon, no. 010363 (1886); citing AO, MS 932.
[5] “Historical Buildings,” North Bay (http://www.cityofnorthbay.ca/living/history/buildings : accessed 21 August 2014).
[6] “Ontario, Canada, Marriages, 1801-1928,” digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 22 August 2014), Gordon-Parry, no. 001697 (1894); citing AO, MS 932.
[7] Canadian Gravemarker Gallery, digital image (www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cangmg/ : accessed 30 September 2011), Eastern Ontario, Renfrew County, Pembroke and Satellite Communities, Calvin United Church and First Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Robert W. Gordon gravestone.
[8] “Ontario, Canada, Marriages, 1801-1928,” digital image, Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : accessed 22 September 2014), Gordon-Sparling, no. 010817 (1895); citing AO, MS 932.
[9] “Ontario, Canada, Marriages, 1801-1928,” digital image, Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : accessed 21 August 2014), Gordon-Barr, no. 013289 (1913); citing AO, MS 932.
[10] “Ontario, Canada, Marriages, 1801-1928,” digital image, Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : accessed 21 August 2014), Gray-Gordon, no. n/a (1905); citing AO, MS 932. The registrations at this time stretched across two pages; the second page of the folio was not filmed.

© 2014 Brenda Dougall Merriman

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