We wish you and yours a wonderful holiday, with good health and happiness in 2023. World peace and brotherhood would be nice too!
Happy Holidays 2022
In spite of indications to the contrary, I am still actively involved in family history and DNA research. I'm just not focused on blogging right now. Hoping you will still contact us if you are related or if you find any of the information in this blog or on the other pages of this website to be of interest. We'd love to hear from you!
We wish you and yours a wonderful holiday, with good health and happiness in 2023. World peace and brotherhood would be nice too!
Terry’s older sister Jill would have turned 80 today, and we are remembering her with love. Jill sadly passed away on 19 April 2021 after an extended illness. Her outgoing and welcoming nature, plus her abundant talents and accomplishments as an artist, enhanced many lives. She is sorely missed.
Jill’s husband and their 2 children wrote a lovely and fitting obituary, which is shared below. It was also published on the funeral home website, where a video and slideshow can also still be viewed. As her death and funeral occurred during the Covid lockdown, only 10 could attend the funeral in person, but many others attended via Zoom. The sheer quantity of condolences on the following link speaks to large number of long time friends and family that Jill nurtured.
Obituary for Jillian “Jill” Diane Slagboom (nee Boorman)
HENSON LINE 3GGPs
32 - William H "Billy" HENSON
1803 Wilkes NC - 1887 Washington AR
33 - Lavina OSBURN
1805 Knox KY - 1895 Washington AR
34 - Reuben FRALEY
1783 Russell VA - >1870
35 - Mary Polly FLANNERY (FLANARY)
1792 VA - <1840
36 - William ORRICK
1783 NC - c1859 Pike AR
37 - Celia Ola STRICKLAND
1787 NC - 1862 Pike AR
38 - Benjamin DYER
1798 Wilkes NC - 1835 Crawford AR
39 - Martha Patsy POGUE
1806 NC - 1882 Crawford AR
HUNT LINE 3GGPs
40 - John Thomas? HUNT
1798 NC - 1884 Crittenden KY
41 - Elizabeth ALLEN
1795 VA - 1865 Lawrence MO
42 - Joseph POLAND
1817 TN - 1879 Caroll AR
43 - America CALENDER
? ? - 1855 KY
44 - William CROW
c1790 VA or OH - 1853 Warren IL
45 - Catherine SNOOK
1791 USA - 1889 Knox IL
46 - ? PATTERSON <unknown>
? NC - ? ?
47 - Margaret ? <unknown>
1788 SC - ? ?
ANDREW LINE 3GGPs
48 - William ANDREW
c1782 Cornwall/Devon England - 1833 Cornwall
49 - Honour GRIGG
1784 Cornwall - 1861 Cornwall
50 - William HOPGOOD
<unknown, probably bef 1800 Cornwall>
51 - <unknown>
52 - Thomas Compton COMPTON
c1789 Hampshire England - 1850 PEI Canada
53 - Hannah JEFFERY
1790 IofW England - 1871 PEI Canada
54 - James COATES
1790 Suffolk England - 1862 Suffolk England
55 - Sarah ROBINSON
1795 Suffolk England - 1862 Essex England
RICHARDSON LINE 3GGPs
56 - Henry Proctor RICHARDSON
c1789 Sussex England - 1850 Sussex England
57 - Ann PACKHAM
1799 Kent England - 1838 Sussex England
58 - James HARRIS
1799 Gloucester England - 1877 Gloucester
59 - Lucy RANDALL
1797 Oxfordshire England - 1875 Gloucester
60 - William Spencer COMPTON
c1799 ? - 1847 PEI Canada
61 - Harriet Clarissa HASZARD
1798 PEI Canada - 1841 PEI Canada
62 - Thomas Compton COMPTON <same as 52>
63 - Hannah JEFFERY <same as 53>
As you can see, my father's ancestors lived in the USA and moved often, following the frontier where records weren't always kept. My mother's ancestors came from south England and PEI Canada - a small island where I have multiple connections to the COMPTON family. I have a brick wall in my maternal HOPGOOD line and in my paternal PATTERSON line. And there is some uncertainty in some of the other lines as well. More research is always needed!
I have already written stories about some of these ancestors (only 4 so far in this generation), and I have included links above where appropriate. It seems I also have lots more stories still to write!
The next generation back contains 64 direct ancestors (4GGPs). Oh no, that IS intimidating! I have many more gaps in that generation.
All of the burials I will be listing here are for members of a single BOORMAN family, most of whom are shown in this family group portrait taken in Victoria in 1942:
Harry Eustace BOORMAN (1881-1951)
Terry’s grandfather Harry Eustace BOORMAN served in WWI as a recruiter in Vancouver BC, where he was commanding officer of the 68th Battery Canadian Field Artillery (see my last blog posting). But Harry started life in Battersea, Surrey, England, born on 16 Jun 1881, the youngest of seven children of William Scoons BOORMAN and Frances Jane “Fanny” ROBSON. Harry was still a teenager in the mid 1890s when most of this family emigrated to Victoria on the Pacific west coast of Canada.
The first record of Harry in Canada is the 1897 Victoria City directory when he was working as a clerk for C D Mason and living with his parents at 129 Michigan Street in the James Bay area. Later that same year, his sister Henrietta BOORMAN married their cousin Jim ROBSON, and Harry attended the wedding. By 1900 Harry was a clerk with the Board of Trade, no doubt gaining valuable business and financial experience there. By 1902, Harry was also gaining military experience as part of the 5th BC Regiment militia where he rose through the ranks for about six years. By the time his father died in 1909, Harry had already moved to Vancouver to further his carrier, but still acted as the informant on his father’s death registration.
Back in Vancouver, their second son Ken was born in 1913, and their third son Jack in 1914. It looks like Harry went into partnership with a James J Hunter, forming the brokerage firm of Hunter and Boorman operating at #308 - 470 Granville. And at some point he also joined the 72nd Seaforth Highlanders militia unit. He was a busy guy! And then the Great War started and, as previously discussed, Harry served well on the home front until January 1919. Their daughter Sheila was born in 1917, and Audrey in 1920, both in Vancouver. By 1921 the family had moved to Victoria, closer to his Boorman relatives. Harry got a job as manager with the BC Bond Corporation.
Then came the market crash of 1929. Harry didn't fair well. He was sued by some of his clients and ended up serving time in jail, which had a lasting affect on him. Yet he seems to have rallied as in 1933 he started up his own family business, acting as manager of Boorman Investment Co. Ltd. which over the years grew to offer investments, insurance, mortgages, real estate sales, and leasing and property management services. These companies were in family hands for three generations, and have only recently been sold.
In his later years, Harry suffered from angina, and in 1938 he had some kind of coronary event (I can't read the doctor's handwriting!). He retired in 1948 and his three sons continued to run the business. On 21 Apr 1951 at the age of 69, Harry died of congestive heart failure.
Terry’s grandmother was buried as D. Louise BOORMAN beside her husband Harry. I have written before about her and her extended Irish Canadian family in JOHNSTON - What house is this anyway? and in JOHNSTON, James Irvine - Luck of the Irish
After her husband died in 1951, Daisy Louise lived with her daughter Sheila and Tom SMITH and family. Terry remembers his parents and his aunts and uncles taking turns having his grandmother over for Sunday dinners. She died ten years after Harry on 6 May 1961 at the age of 73 due to cancer.
Valerie Cornelia (KENNEDY-SMITH) STOCKS (1917-1982)
The next grave beside Daisy Louise was their middle son Kenneth L BOORMAN and his widow Valerie C STOCKS. Sadly, Ken was the first of the five siblings to pass away from a heart attack on 28 May 1959 at the young age of 46, two years before his mother. His teenage son and daughter were tragically left without a father.
Ken worked in the family business as a salesman of stocks and bonds and manager for Boorman Investments. And like his older brother Bill, Ken attended the Royal Canadian Naval College HMCS Royal Roads in 1941. He served in the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve during WWII as a Lieutenant (RCNVR). He was originally attached to the Esquimalt (Victoria) Division, then later to the Vancouver, Toronto and Ottawa Divisions. A more complete list of Ken's wartime postings can be found on the Unit Histories website.
On 29 Nov 1941, Ken married Valerie Cornelia Kennedy-Smith in Victoria where they lived and raised their two children until his early death in 1959. Valerie was the daughter of George and Gladys Eleanor (Fullick) Kennedy-Smith. She remarried in October 1961 to Peter STOCKS, and passed away on 24 Apr 1982 in Victoria BC at age 65.
Terry’s father Bill BOORMAN is also buried in the lower section of the Garden of Remembrance not too far from his parents. Bill died much too young and before I had even met Terry. I have written before about Bill’s houses and career in real estate, as well as his service as a Canadian naval officer in World War II. His military service has since been summarized on the Unit Histories website as well.
Bill's health was never the same after the war and about 1958 at the age of 47 he suffered the first of three heart attacks. Eight years later he died instantly from his third attack, just over a month after his only daughter was married, and while at home on a Sunday on his way to answer the phone. He was only 55, and never lived to meet his four grandchildren. Heart trouble certainly runs in the family. Bill’s cremains are buried in Block F, Plot 124 in the Garden of Remembrance, right beside a path in the lower section of the Chapel Garden.
(On a side note, one of my own maternal relatives is buried quite close to Bill, as mentioned in a previous blog posting about Arther Austin CRESWELL.)
John Stuart "Jack" BOORMAN (1914-1998) and
Mary Johnson Montgomery (ALEXANDER) BOORMAN (1917-1999)
Jack BOORMAN, the youngest son, and his wife Mary ALEXANDER are buried in a newer section of the Royal Oak Burial Park, closer to the back in section U near the Mausoleum.
Jack was born 30 Nov 1914 in Vancouver. He served in the army in WWII, and on 14 Mar 1942 he married Mary at St Andrews Presbyterian in Victoria. They had two sons and one daughter. Jack worked in real estate for the family business, and was interested in his family history. He died on 30 Jan 1998 in Victoria at the age of 83. Both their sons also worked at Boorman Investments.
Mary was born 26 Mar 1917 in Victoria, as was her twin sister Marshie ALEXANDER, both the children of Archibald ALEXANDER and Margaret Thompson McGREGOR. She graduated from the Royal Jubilee School of Nursing in 1939 as an RN. Mary developed Alzheimers and died on 20 Nov 1999 at the age of 82.
Audrey Evelyn BOORMAN (1920-1977) and Donald Victor KING (1919-1978)
Audrey and her husband Don KING both died from heart problems while still in their 50s, after two of their three daughters had married. They are buried side by side in the "Grove of Remembrance" section, Block C, Plots 393 and 394 of the Royal Oak Burial Park. I have only recently learned of their burial locations, so we recently made a special trip to the cemetery to visit their graves.
Audrey BOORMAN was born 12 Dec 1920 and was still an infant when the family left Vancouver. She grew up in Victoria, and by 1945 she was renting at her parents' home at 865 Newport and working as a clerk at Canadian Bank of Commerce. She was soon to be married.
Don KING was born in in Lanigan, Saskatchewan. He served in WWII before marrying Audrey, and worked in the family shoe store on lower Yates Street in Victoria, started by his father A V King. Audrey worked at the store as well.
The only members of this particular BOORMAN family NOT buried in the Royal Oak Burial Park are Sheila Frances BOORMAN (1917-2002) and her husband Thomas Alfred SMITH (1915-1994). Instead, they are buried up-island in Parksville BC. Also, Bill's wife and Terry's mother Lillian Joyce (THOMAS) BOORMAN SCHOENECKER is buried in Ross Bay Cemetery here in Victoria.
Updated: 1 May 2018 - another photo added at the bottom.
So this photo was more likely taken in 1916, the year Harry enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF). Or perhaps in 1917, which could more easily have been read as 1911 during indexing. The location of “Little Mountain” is now in the middle of Queen Elizabeth Park near Cambie at 33rd in Vancouver. Perhaps they used this area for their training? And the magnificent horse that Harry is mounted on was named ‘Credential’, a very fitting reference to Harry’s civilian occupation of Financial Agent.
A news article posted in the Vancouver Daily World on 25 Mar 1916, page 23, gives more details about Harry’s appointment to the 68th Battery:
VANCOUVER OFFICER TO COMMAND BATTALION
Captain. H. E. Boorman, It is Announced Will Head 68th Unit.
What will be known as the 68th Battery of Artillery has been authorized as the contribution of Vancouver district to the brigade which will be raised in the west under Col. A. T. Ogilvie, formerly officer commanding Military District No. 11. Capt. H. E. Boorman (local major), it is understood, will be placed in command of the battery, the organization of which will be proceeded with immediately.
Captain Boorman, Colonel Ogilvie and other military officers were in conference this morning at military headquarters. There are some 150 men now in training at artillery barracks. This detachment, it was intended, should form the third overseas draft, but it may now be diverted to form the nucleus for the new battery.
Training will be conducted under nearly active service conditions as is possible.
Other officers of the 68th brigade will be drawn from the officers of the Vancouver Volunteer Reserve. Mr. A. H. Stewart, formerly of the London Scottish and the Hongkong Rifles, will probably be second in command, while Mr. J. M. Stewart will also be transferred to the battery.
Provisional Lieutenants Macdonald, Borland, Wilde and Cooke will be taken on the strength of the new unit also.
The 68th battery, it was announced, will have permanent headquarters in Vancouver, and overseas drafts will be supplied through it.
From the LAC “Guide to Sources Relating to Units of the Canadian Expeditionary Force - Artillery” (on page 111):
68th Battery, Canadian Field Artillery
Organized in March 1916 as a draft-giving depot battery under the command of Captain H. Boorman. Known as Boorman’s Artillery. Authorization published in General Order 69 of 15 July 1916. Mobilized at Vancouver. Recruited in British Columbia. Absorbed by No.11 Artillery Depot in October 1918. Disbanded by General Order 191 of 1 November 1920.
Appointment of officers RG 24, vol.1372, file HQ 593-6-1-ART
Inspection reports, clothing and equipment RG 24, vol.1683
The City of Vancouver Archives has portraits of a number of these uniformed draft groups, sometimes including officers. Harry probably delegated the honour of posing with these recruits to some of his officers. But I think I've found Harry in a 1917 group portrait of the 68th unit, complete with dog mascot. It looks like Harry, wearing a very serious expression, sitting front row centre:
These photos represent a part of Harry's life that we knew very little about, and we still hope to learn even more. In 1916 when he enlisted, Harry would have been age 35, already married with three children, and a fourth before war's end. Referred to as Captain H.E. Boorman on his last CEF pay certificate, Harry was demobilized on 31 Jan 1919, when he returned to civilian life and his residence at 1678 Davie Street in Vancouver.
There were to be more storms ahead in Harry's life, but he weathered these war years, respected and in a position of authority in service to his country.
Added 1 May 2018:
Another impressive photo has now been uncovered, thanks to Leon Jensen, webmaster of the Vancouver Gunners website (including the 15th Field Artillery Regiment, RCA among other organizations). He found this large group photo (see below) of the 68th Battery CFA in the collection of 15th Field Artillery Reg't Museum & Archives (accession #985.115.01). And this time the photographer, Stuart Thomson, has penned in Capt. Boorman's name! It is dated 22 May 1918, in the final year of the Great War.
Harry is quite recognizable in this photo, and apparently more relaxed and comfortable in his position as Commanding Officer of this large WWI Battery. As we have not yet found a single formal military studio portrait of Harry, I have cropped him out of this group photo for his personal file, and to complement this large photo, displayed here with permission from the 15th Field RCA Museum and Archives.
An overview of Terry's paternal BOORMAN line can be found on our Boorman page.
It’s now time to share more details about William's land and his grandson Edward BOORMAN.
About 1837 when England instigated their civil registration programs for births, marriages and deaths, they also initiated a very comprehensive tithe survey of land ownership, occupancy and usage throughout Britain that lasted until the early 1850s. According to online dictionaries, “tithe” means “one tenth of annual produce or earnings, formerly taken as a tax for the support of the church and clergy”. Further clarification is provide by a guide on this Tithe Survey, published by the National Archives, which says in part: -
“By the early 19th century tithe payment in kind seemed a very out-of-date practice, while payment of tithes per se became unpopular, against a background of industrialisation, religious dissent and agricultural depression. The 1836 Tithe Commutation Act required tithes in kind to be converted to more convenient monetary payments called tithe rentcharge. The Tithe Survey was established to find out which areas were subject to tithes, who owned them, how much was payable and to whom.”
- Plot 1032 a “cottage and garden” and cultivated as a “meadow”
- Plot 395 was an orchard
- Plot 396 a wheeler’s shop, shed and yard
- Plot 398 was a house and garden
- Plot 399 a house
- Plot 400 was a garden and sheds.
Lot 397 (on the corner of High Street and Chapel Lane) is not included in Edward’s list because it was the property of the Independent Chapel (also known as The Lower Grove or The Presbyterian Meetinghouse; non-conformist) that had been leased to this church in 1766 by Edward BOORMAN’s grandfather William. According to the Tithe index, Plot 397 was owned in by a large group of men in 1838:
Landowner John Osborne Junior & Samuel Harman & Samuel Buss & Robert Barling & Richard Booy & William Foster & George Mullinger & Thomas Harnden & Isaac Watson & Joseph Brown & George Archer Junior & Richard Holmes Junior
Occupier Robert Orpin
Original Date 11th August 1838
Reference IR 29/17/343
Tithe Apportionments, 1836-1929 [database online]. TheGenealogist.co.uk 2018
Original data: "IR29 Tithe Commission and successors: Tithe Apportionments" The National Archives
I am uncertain about how to accurately read the numerical columns in these registers, partly because of the excessive use of “ditto” marks, even at the top of pages.
- “Quantities in Statute Measure” [A. R. P. columns: 1 acre = 4 roods, 1 rood = 40 square perches (also called rods or poles), and 1 perch = 16½ feet]]
- “Amount of Rent-Charge apportioned upon the several Lands, and Payable to the Rector” [£ s d columns = English pound, shilling, pence]
If my understanding of this process is correct, payment of these tithes to the Rector would have been the responsibility of the land owner rather than the occupier, but would have likely been passed on to the occupier as part of their rent.
Although not all parishes were included in this survey (excluded if tithes weren’t applicable in that area), these extensive tithe records are a valuable resource for many parts of England in this time period. I’m glad that Staplehurst in Kent was among those parishes surveyed, and that these entries provide insight into the extent of Edward's leased properties and status.
Edward married twice, first to Sarah HUCKSTED in 1808 in Maidstone Kent, and secondly to Harriet TOWN in 1845, 11 years after Sarah’s death. Edward and Sarah had at least seven known children between 1809 and 1823, only one of them a girl. Edward died in Staplehurst on 14 Jun 1858 at the age of 71, and was also buried there. Although listed on his parents’ gravestone, it is not clear if he was buried with them.
They say taxes are inevitable, so I wonder what other types of taxes Edward had to pay during his life? I wouldn't be surprised if the money he inherited from his father and mother's estate was taxable.
England Tithe Survey Research Guide (National Archives) - http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/help-with-your-research/research-guides/tithes/
National Archives Catalogue - Staplehurst Tithe Map -
The Genealogist Tithe Records - https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/tithe
England Tithe Records (National Institute) -
The Tithe Surveys of the Mid.Nineteenth Century By H. C. PRINCE -
Alice was the third of their seven children, and grew up in the London districts of Fulham and Battersea near Wandsworth, just across the Thames. Her father supported the family as a grocer, and then as a coal merchant clerk. By 1891 at the age of 21, Alice was already employed as a board school teacher. Like her older sister Lillie (Frances Eliza), she never married. Perhaps because of that, we have been able to find out some interesting details about her life.
On 27 May 1897, Alice attended the wedding of her older sister Henrietta BOORMAN to their maternal cousin Jim ROBSON. I have previously written about this Victoria wedding and the large group photo showing many family members, most still unidentified. Many many years after this event, a grandchild wrote a caption on the back of the photo. It says, in part “Granny's Maid of Honour -- directly behind her and her two Brides-Maids.” Unfortunately no names for them are known with certainty. But we know from the marriage registration document that the witnesses were Walter Wm BOORMAN and Alice A BOORMAN, both of Victoria. They were both siblings of the bride and cousins of the groom, and likely the names of the Best Man and the Maid of Honour. But Alice could have been any of the three woman attendants standing behind the bride in this cropped version of the photo.
Alice's youngest sister Kate is still quite a mystery; according to the 1901 census Kate was living in Victoria with her brother William and his young family. Kate’s birthdate is incorrectly recorded, but she is listed as William's sister. It also says that both William and Kate immigrated in 1889. But Kate (born Oct 1877) would have been only eleven or twelve at that time, and it seems unlikely that her parents (who didn't emigrate until about 1894) would have entrusted her care in a new country to their son who was barely 18 in 1889. Regardless, it seems probable that Kate was already in Canada in 1897 and attended her sister’s wedding as a bridesmaid, age 19.
Alice was said to be age 30 in 1901, living with her parents (a little vanity is allowed as she would have been almost 32). Their street address is not provided in the census, but directories list the males at least at 129 Michigan in the James Bay area.
In 1907, Alice would have been greatly sadden by the lost of her oldest brother Walter William BOORMAN due to typhoid. She was listed as “Miss Boorman of Victoria” in Walter’s obituary. Only three sisters were mentioned, so what happened to the fourth?
Then in 1909 her father died of cancer: another painful loss for Alice and the family.
“It is more than nine years since Dr. Robertson, now of Macdonald College, visited Victoria, and in an enthusiastic address convinced his audience of the benefits that would follow a thorough training of the hand and eye. As a result of his visit the Board of School Trustees accepted the offer of Sir William Macdonald to establish a manual training centre as an experiment - the school board only giving it a home. The annex to the Central School was taken for the purpose.” …
“… Needlework was taught by some of the women teachers to their girls when the boys went to manual training, and a short course in plain sewing was given in the three classes in the intermediate grade of the Girls School. This did not meet the needs at all, and through the efforts and influence of Mrs. Jenkins, Miss Boorman was appointed to teach all the girls in the common schools the art of plain needlework. This work has been hitherto done with very little assistance from the regular teachers, and but few can form any idea of the arduous labor required of the teacher who takes full control during five days in the week of more than a thousand girls ranging from the tiny tot, who does not know the finger upon which the thimble should be place, to the girl in the senior class, who can cut, fit and finish a garment.”
Alice was publicly rewarded for her work with a pay increase that same year …
1909 British Colonist April 16 1909 page 02 Normal School for City of Victoria - Teacher’s Salaries
….That Miss Boorman’s salary be increased by $30 per annum.
Other work-related clippings:
1909 British Colonist July 02 1909 page 2 CAN NOW SEW Diplomas awarded to the girls…
Miss Boorman is the special teacher in sewing…
1909 British Colonist Sept. 02 1909 page 03 SOCIAL AND PERSONAL
Miss Boorman of 1328 Alfred Street will resume her sewing classes on Saturday next.
It also seems that Alice managed to find time for her own personal needlework projects as well, and on at least two occasions, entered her own handiwork in the exhibition:
1907 British Colonist September 29 1907 page 30 Prizes awarded at Fall Fair - Fancy Work
Most Handsome toilet set – Alice A. Boorman, Victoria.
1909 British Colonist September 18 1909 “Victoria’s Show” page 2
2nd prize for children’s pinafores in the ladies sewing category Miss A. Boorman
Another time she might have helped out at the fair?
1908 British Colonist September 23 1908 page 014 THE EXHIBITION IS UNDER WAY (cont. from page two) ….supervision of Miss Boorman the teacher of various grades.
I was heartened to find this news clipping, which shines some light on Alice’s civic and political views:
1907 British Colonist December 22 1907 page 15 COURT OF REVISION IS NOT ADVERTISED
The name of Alice Boorman is included in the list of the names of women who voted against removing the names of women from the voters lists.
The following notice may just be announcing a summer holiday? Or was this break health related?
1910 British Colonist June 02 1910 page 05 SOCIAL AND PERSONAL
Miss Boorman will not receive this Friday, nor until the first Friday in September.
We have found a marvellous article on the history of this house, published in the Winter 2007 edition of the local community periodical "Fernwood News". Not only does it list Alice Amelia BOORMAN as the original owner of 1324 Balmoral Street (previously 1324 Fisgard) since 1910, but it also provides some of her genealogical information as well. Details of subsequent owners are also covered. The house was designated a heritage building in 2007. The authors also mention nearby houses belonging to her relatives. Here is a partial clipping with transcription (click on the following images to enlarge):
1324 Balmoral (Previously 1324 Fisguard)
Designer/builder: David Herbert Bale
The original owner, Alice Amelia Boorman (c.1871-1918), lived here from 1910 with her widowed mother, Frances Jane (Robson) (1844-1924), until Alice's sudden death after an operation to repair a ruptured ulcer. Alice was a needlework specialist, teaching the subject at local schools. Frances came to Canada with her family and husband William Scoones Boorman (c.1843-1909) from London, England, in 1894. The family lived on Michigan Street in James Bay for nearly ten years. William was a clerk at the Driard Hotel for several years before his death. He had two houses built near this house in 1905, also designed by David Herbert Bale, 1328 and 1340 Balmoral (originally Alfred, then Fisguard), and a family tennis court between the two, where 1334 Balmoral now stands. Son Albert Sidney Boorman (1876-1947), a cabinetmaker with J. A. Sayward and then a box factory foreman with Canadian Puget Sound Lumber Co., lived at 1328 with his wife Frances “Fanny” (Oliver) (c.1888-?), whom he married in 1910. Alice lived at 1328 until 1324 was built; after Alice's death, Albert and Fanny lived in 1324 until the early 1920s. Another son, Walter William (1871-1907), a bookkeeper with B. Williams & Co. (528 St. Charles, Rockland), lived at 1340 with his wife Marian Emelda “Mamie” (Guthro) (c.1876-?), until his death from typhoid fever. ...
Credits: Fernwood News, Winter 2007, page 3
The Fernwood News would like to thank Jennifer Barr and the Victoria Heritage Foundation for their assistance. Victoria's Heritage Neighbourhoods, Volume One (Fernwood and Victoria West) is published by the Victoria Heritage Foundation, 2004. Copies of this volume and Volume Two (James Bay) are available at local bookstores.
Alice was one of the BOORMAN family members buried in the historic Ross Bay Cemetery, fairly close to home.
The JOHNSTON / KERFOOT family, 1911
On steps: Daisy Louise (nee JOHNSTON) BOORMAN and her brother Russell Kerfoot JOHNSTON.
On veranda: Deborah S (nee KERFOOT) JOHNSTON holding baby William I BOORMAN (1st grandchild),
her mother Eliza Jane (nee NEELAND) KERFOOT, Della E JOHNSTON, Irene JOHNSTON (later DELISLE).
Both these photos are very important family keepsakes as they include four generations of Bill BOORMAN's female JOHNSTON, KERFOOT and NEELAND ancestors. Bill’s father Harry Eustace BOORMAN isn’t even included!
We had always assumed that these photos were taken to commemorate Bill’s baptism. The family is obviously gathered together in formal dress, and it was an important enough occasion to warrant having formal portraits taken (presumably by a professional photographer). However, Bill’s colourful baptism certificate says that he wasn’t baptized until 22 Aug 2013 at 1419 Harwood Street in Vancouver by his Uncle Samuel Fletcher KERFOOT, a Methodist Episcopal minister then living in North Dakota. Bill was then two and a half years old. So I think this 1911 photo is simply in honour of Bill’s birth as the first grandchild on this JOHNSTON side of the family.
I'm sure this is just wishful thinking, but could the street numbers on this street have been revised around that time period, and the actual number on the house not yet been updated? I so want this to be Deborah’s house in the photo!
If not, then which street and which city are we truly looking at? And whose house was it?
In my research collaboration back in 2016 with Randi, a Johnston second cousin, we wondered if they might have used a neighbour’s porch, perhaps because it was larger or better suited for the photo. So we searched city directories, census and old maps trying to see if such an address existed. On modern maps, their house and its neighbours no longer exist, replaced with a utilitarian 1950-ish apartment or condo building now called Sunrise Court. In fact, there are no single family dwellings left in this area - how sad. Harwood parallels Beach Ave and is two blocks off Sunset Beach Park. Prime real estate! House number 1419 on Harwood is between the Broughton and Nicola cross streets, and if there had been a house numbered 1409, it would have been replaced by the apartment building on the corner at 1315 Broughton Street.
With a bit of digging, I have found two different Vancouver City maps online from this period. The first is the 1911 map by the White Print Company which shows surveyed lots and blocks and street names, with civic block numbers in red, but no individual civic addresses. So while it's a good overview map of Vancouver, it's not much help with our quest. Then just today I found the online collection of Goad’s Fire Insurance Interactive Section Maps from 1912 which includes the civic address, lot dimensions and the outline of buildings on the lots. As shown on the following map, I found 1419 Harwood in District Lot 185, on a 66 ft by 131 ft lot backing onto a 33 ft lane. The large square wooden house in Block 51, Lot 19 was situated closer to the front and right boundaries of the lot, and a small square garage or shed was right off the back lane on the right side boundary (yellow references a wooden structure). If the outline of the house is correct, it didn't have a veranda that jutted out into the yard, which the one in the photo may have had. It would be nice to see an old photo of the full front of the house to be sure.
One of the problems I'm still having is that I can’t find this family in the 1911 census. Was there a section missing from the census pages, or was it badly transcribed, or had she moved out of province? In the 1910 Henderson City directory, Deborah (widow of James) was living at 1419 Harwood, but in 1911 she is not listed at all in the directory Looking for that address, her home was then occupied by a Francis J Gillespie (I don't know who he was). But the following year in 1912, Deborah is back at that address (also in 1913 and 1914 at least).
Did she rent out her house and go on an extended holiday to California to help her daughter through Bill’s birth? But if this was the case, I've been unable to find any record of her relatively brief stay there. The US census in 1910 was too early to record them. Of course I may be way off the mark with this theory.
There was no house number 1409 listed on Harwood in the directories or on the above map, so we need to keep looking elsewhere for the house in the photo. It may belong to another relative or even a family friend. I have found some of the other members of this Johnston family at different residences in Vancouver in 1911, but none at an address containing the number 1409. Baby Bill BOORMAN and his parents were living as 1209 Jervis in a big apartment block (another number only 1 digit out!) Could the whole JOHNSTON family been visiting their BOORMAN in-laws in Victoria where baby Bill's paternal grandparents and other relatives lived? Or what about the KERFOOT relatives in Vancouver? We've searched both without success. A California address would be a long shot, only if all Vancouver Johnston relatives also traveled there to visit the new baby (and be included in the photo) before everyone returned to Canada in time for the 1911 census.
So the identify of the house in the photo remains a mystery, and the search continues.
Johnston and Dever lines
Kerfoot, Neeland and Smith lines
From these sources we learned that Ernest was born 8 Mar 1828 in Lot 17, Prince County, Prince Edward Island, Canada, the son of William Spencer COMPTON and Harriet Clara HAZARD. He was baptized in the local Anglican Church in Richmond on 13 Apr 1828. As extracted from the above book:
He moved to Melbourne, Victoria, Australia and embarked in business.
About 1872 he settled in Auckland, New Zealand, where he erected the substantial buildings in which he carried on business until his death.
He was managing director of the Auckland Tug Company, and was for several years a member of the Harbor Board, and Chairman in 1881 and 1882.
He died leaving a widow, 2 sons and a daughter.
From his obituary (in part, below), published 24 Jun 1890 in the New Zealand Herald, we now know more about Ernest’s life and timeline:
“ Death of Mr. F.E. Compton …
Mr Compton was well known in the city, particularly in shipping circles, and bore the reputation of being a shrewd business man and of strict integrity. He was born in Prince Edward Island in 1828, and migrating from his birthplace at manhood, sojourned for some time in San Francisco. After a somewhat long stay there, he came down to Victoria and embarked in business as a drysalting merchant in Melbourne, meeting with considerable success. Eighteen years ago he decided to come to New Zealand, and took up his quarters in Auckland, carrying on his provision business in Lower Queen street. When the Harbour Board reclamations were finished, Mr Compton leased a section and, in conjunction with Mr John Batger, erected the substantial premises where he carried on business till his death. About four years ago he disposed of his provision business to Mr R S Reynolds, and devoted his energies to the furtherance of the interest of the Auckland Tug Company. This concern, whose inauguration was due to his energy, was conducted by him as managing director with spirit and success up to the present time. Mr Compton took great interest in all local maritime concerns, and was for several years a member of the Harbour Board, and in 1881 and 1882 presided over its affairs as chairman, during which time he proved himself to be one of the most energetic and persistent advocates for the construction of the Calliope Dock. He leaves a widow, two sons and a daughter to mourn his decease. His eldest son, who has reached maturity, is in business in San Francisco, but Mrs Compton and the younger children reside in Auckland. His funeral is arranged to leave the Waverly Hotel tomorrow (Wednesday) afternoon at three o’clock for the Symonds street Cemetery.”
Another version of his obit offers a few additional facts in these extracts:
In his early life Mr Compton was at sea on Nova Scotian vessels for some time, and there gained that practical maritime experience which proved so useful to him in after life.
Mr Compton leaves a widow, two sons, and a daughter. About a year ago, his second son died. His eldest son is now in business in San Francisco.
Ernest Frederick’s death at the age of 62 was caused by a sudden heart attack during dinner. The misfortune here was that he died too young. And although he had a known heart condition, he seemed to be on the mend at the time of his collapse. But as it turns out, there was a lot of family-related tragedy in his life that wasn’t mentioned in his obituary.
We don’t yet know exactly when Ernest emigrated to San Francisco USA and then to Australia. By 1863 he was in Australia, still single and listed as departing Melbourne Australia for Sydney Australia. Sometime in 1864 he married Emma Louisa ABBOTT (although one index I found lists her first name as Donna). They were married in Tumut, New South Wales. Ernest would have been age 36.
From Australia and New Zealand birth and death indexes, the following sad story emerges:
- 1866 - Their first son Ernest Spencer COMPTON was born in 1866 in Balmain Dist and died that same year in the Albury Dist of New South Wales, Australia.
- 1867 - Their second son William Spencer COMPTON was born in 1867 in Albury Dist NSW, and survived his father. He was the “oldest son” listed in his father’s obituary, then living in San Francisco. He may also have been the one who worked aboard ship as a cook, travelling regularly between San Francisco and the southern colonies.
- 1869 - Their third son George Frederick COMPTON was born in 1869. He died 7 months later in 1870.
- 1871 - Their fourth son Thomas COMPTON was born in 1871. According to his death notice in the Auckland Starr, published 13 March 1889, he died of typhoid at the age of 19 (probably 18). This was the year before his father’s death.
- 1872 - Their fifth child and first daughter was Emma Louisa, born 1872 and died age 10 months (although the index says 10 years).
- 1874? - I haven’t yet proven that they had another daughter, also named Emma Louisa, reportedly born 1874 and died 10 months later (no supporting index entries).
- 1876 - Their next child born in 1876 was Ernest Frederick Jr. who we think outlived his father.
- 1878 - Daughter Maud (middle name Slevna, Plevna, or Plona?) was born in 1878. She was only 12 when her father died.
- 1879 - Their youngest child was Elizabeth Florence, born 1879 and died the same year when only 4 months old.
This family's onslaught of grief certainly makes me count my own blessings. Is it any wonder that his widow Emma took her 2 underaged children back to Australia soon after Ernest died to try and put the past behind them?
The search for more connections and stories about Ernest and Emma and their descendants continue, in collaboration with Australian researchers.
Book, “The Hazard Family of Rhode Island, 1635-1894”, Caroline Elizabeth Robinson, 1896 for the author - https://archive.org/details/hazardfamilyofrh00byurobi
NSW Australia BMD Index (historic) - http://www.bdm.nsw.gov.au/Pages/family-history/family-history.aspx
New Zealand BMD Index - www.bdmhistoricalrecords.dia.govt.nz
New Zealand Infant Mortality Rates - https://teara.govt.nz/en/interactive/30308/new-zealand-infant-mortality-rate-1862-2015
Regional Infant Mortality Trends in New Zealand, 1873-1940 (including comparisons to Australia) - https://www.nzae.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Sadetskaya.pdf
Terry and Claudia Boorman have been interested in their family history since the 1980s. They live in Victoria BC Canada.
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