Why Terry's tree? Both Terry and I were born in Victoria BC Canada and have lived all our married lives here, but none of my direct ancestors have lived in Victoria. On the other hand, Terry's family was sighted here as early as 1894, and they still have a strong presence here in Victoria several generations later. Considering these facts, I was surprised to realize that Terry is actually the first generation of his direct Boorman line to be born here. How could that be?
If events had progressed as expected, Terry's father Bill could also have been born in Victoria, or at the very least in Vancouver Canada. Terry's great-grandfather William Scoons BOORMAN came from Wandsworth London England and emigrated with some of his family to Victoria sometime between 1891 and 1894. His youngest son Harry Eustace (Terry's grandfather) also made the long journey from England (but perhaps in 1895?), and by 1900 he was living at the family home at 129 Michigan Street in the James Bay area of Victoria and working for the Board of Trade. But sometime before his father's death in 1909, Harry moved to the bigger city of Vancouver on the BC mainland. There he met and married Daisy Louise JOHNSTON (called Louise) on 30 May 1910.
We have 3 lovely pictures taken when Bill was a young baby in his baptismal gown, showing 4 generations of Louise's JOHNSTON family. I particularly love this photo of baby Bill in the arms of his maternal grandmother Deborah Sophronia (KERFOOT) JOHNSTON, with his mother Louise sitting close by and his great-grandmother Eliza Jane (NEELAND) KERFOOT sitting on the right holding a white-covered book titled "Evening Thoughts". It looks well thumbed!
The family certainly moved around a lot. By 1912 they were living at 1419 Harwood Street in Vancouver, and in 1914 they had moved to 1040 Denman. It was war time and in 1915 they were back on Harwood. According to his father Harry's WWI Officer Declaration Papers (dated 1916) they were then living at 6787 Davie Street in Vancouver. In the 1921 census, Bill's family was living in Victoria on Vancouver Island, renting a house at 1318 Beach Drive in Oak Bay. Harry was still working in finance and bonds.
In 1933 his father Harry founded and became president of their family business "Boorman Investment Company Ltd.". In 1934 their offices were located at 215-620 View Street in downtown Victoria. By 1936, both Bill (salesman) and his brother Jack (broker) were working for their father at 1124 Government Street; all lived at 430 St Patrick. The business had moved to 614 View Street by 1940. Bill's brother Ken also became involved in the family firm, and at some point all 3 brothers became partners. For the rest of his life Bill continued to work as salesman or realtor for Boorman Investments which had just moved to 1111 Government when he died.
During the war and beyond, Bill's growing family continued to live in Victoria. They continued to move fairly frequently within the greater Victoria area - this might have been a consequence of the war, if not an occupational hazard! Here is a list of many of their addresses:
- 1940: 2451 Bersford
- 1941: 2310 Lee Street
- 1945: 749 Island
- 1947: 2258 West Thompson, and then
- 1949: 907 Oliver
- 1952: 2135 Sandowne
- c1964: 3484 Cardiff Place
The focus of this story has been homes - where Bill lived and where he worked selling homes to others. Having only outlined other facets of Bill's life, I hope to expand on these in future stories. But what was Bill like? That surely can't wait until next time.
One of the first stories I heard about Bill was that he wasn't particularly fond of his middle name: Irvine. This family name most likely came from his mother's side: Daisy Louise's father was named James Irvine JOHNSTON (I don't yet know the originating source of Irvine, which was likely a maternal surname further back in their tree). His mother obviously thought the name was worth perpetuating. But Bill insisted on using just the initial "I", claiming it was his "private I". He obviously had a sense of humour about it, at least! And it was a measure of his personality that he could gain rapport with others by including them in the joke while retaining a tantalizing bit of mystery about himself.
And of course, Bill was a family man, often taking his extended family on Sunday drives around the southern Island; Metchosin seemed to be a favorite destination. Summer holidays often involved renting a rustic cabin at Deep Cove (near Sidney) or Saltair (near Chemainus). Swimming, water skiing, picnics on the beach and fishing were always enjoyed.
Bill was also dedicated to his work, and his hours were never restricted to 9 to 5 on weekdays. He was known to commute to town as needed during family holidays. On one particular Sunday morning in September 1966, as he was rushing to the phone to answer a real estate call, Bill collapsed on the kitchen floor with his third heart attack, dying suddenly at the age of 55.