Abbey Stripes

Abbey Stripes

Abbey Stripes British Made Darts used by my Grandfather Walter (Eddie) Edmund Apps

Abbey Stripes British Made Darts
William Wright MP

William Wright MP

This is my husband’s 2x Great Grandfather. His name is William Wright. He was born on October 29, 1853 in Egremont, Ontario (in Grey County). His parents were David Wright and Susannah Foster. From what I can see his mom was only 17 years old when she had him, his father 22. It seems to me like he was the eldest of 12 children!!?!!

One thing that was really interesting for us to note is that his father is listed as Irish. This was news to us at the time we discovered William Wright, because we had no idea the Wright family came from Ireland! If we were needing another reason to drink green beer and celebrate St.Patty’s Day…we had just found it. Yes!!

William Wright, MP

He made his living carriage making and general blacksmithing for many years. He then ran a grocery business on the northeast corner of Main and West Streets in Huntsville, Ontario.

1895 Huntsville Forester Newspaper Clipping

He and his wife, Mary Elizabeth Quirt lived their in their home on Lorne Street. We had a chance to visit Huntsville a couple of years ago, so of course we went to see the house…which has a lovely plaque with his name displayed.

Heritage Huntsville

William Wright, I’ve learned was a Member of Parliament from the Muskoka region who was elected into office in 1904, he won re-election in 1908 & 1911. According to his profile on the Parliament of Canada website, he served for 4,792 days (13 years, 1 month, 14 days). He also has a Wikipedia page click here to see it.

Another clipping from the Huntsville Forester Newspaper

William and Mary had four children. David Arthur Wright born 1879 (my husband’s Great-Grandfather), Edith May Wright born 1887, Mary Elizabeth Wright born 1892 and Sara Eveline Zada Wright born 1896.

William Wright passed away January 4th 1926 and is buried with his beloved wife in Huntsville, Ontario at the Locks Cemetery.

Your AncestryDNA results are in !!!!

Your AncestryDNA results are in !!!!

A while back I sent in my DNA to be tested through Ancestry. Below are my Ethnicity Estimate results.

My DNA Results

I was a little disappointed that there really wasn’t anything surprising to me, as I know that my Dad’s family is all from Great Britain. I don’t know what I was hoping for… a little more variety perhaps? Some big family secret?

I mentioned before that my Mom was adopted at birth, so of course the people that I called my Grandparents are nowhere to be found in my DNA results. Duh. What I do have is a large amount of matches for the Smith and Taylor families – who were her birth father and mother’s surnames. I’ve never met anyone of them yet, although I hope to one day! The next time I find myself in Michigan I will be sure to say hello. If nothing else, it confirmed for me that the names we came to know as my Mom’s birth parents were absolutely correct.

I have to admit that I was hoping for more matches on my Dad’s side of the family as Apps was my surname at birth and I feel more of a connection to this side of the family. Does that make sense?

So, to aid in my search for more Apps’, a few weeks ago I asked my Dad to spit into a tube for me and I sent in his DNA sample to Ancestry. Well, just in time for Father’s Day yesterday, I received an email that the results are in!! Take a look below…

My Dad’s DNA Results

It seems his results are not too much different than mine. England, Wales & Northwestern Europe – I’m at 89%, my Dad is at 82%. Norway – I’m at 9% and my Dad is at 4%. Ireland and Scotland – I’m at 2% and my Dad is at 12%. He also seems to have 2% from Sweden.

What interests me more and what I will be looking into over the next little while are the actual DNA matches. I’m hoping to contact some of them and see how we are related. Looks like there are 237 matches that are 4th cousins or closer, which means that I have quite a bit of work ahead of me …

Also, as a sidebar…with the two of us having 3,443 centimorgans of shared DNA – there is no question that my Dad is indeed my Dad… 🙂

Happy Father’s Day !!

James Rodger

James Rodger

This is a blog post that I have been working on for quite some time now. I was struggling to post it because I want to have it all right, somehow I feel responsible to make sure that the information I put out there is correct and complete. However, something I’ve re-learned in the past week helped me get over that hang up. I will never have all the answers, but sharing what I do know may help somebody else learn. I recently received a message on Ancestry from a cousin of my husbands who is excited to learn more about the Ramsay and Rodger side of her family. She is just beginning on her journey to trace her family history. I also want to learn more, everything that I can and fill in all the blanks, so hopefully sharing this will help us both! Please enjoy my (not yet complete) post about a very special man.

Below is a photo of my husband’s maternal great grandfather, James Rodger.

James Rodger 1884-1944

Those eyes of his are so familiar to me, my husband and his mom have the same big brown eyes.

He was born in Crail, Fife, Scotland on August 9, 1884.

Then in the 1919 Scotland Electoral Registers (below) we see he and his wife Robina living on 3 South Street, Leven, Fife.
His occupation is listed as soldier.

At this point they already had 4 children as follows:
William Fletcher Rodger born 1909,
Jemima Rodger born 1911,
Robert Ramsay Rodger (my husband’s grandfather) born 1912 and
James Ramsay Rodger born 1918.

So, my next question was how did James and his family end up in Canada?

This is what I was curious about. So, I did a bit of research and discovered that in the interwar years, the Overseas Settlement Committee provided assistance to ‘suitable people,’ many of whom were Scots, who wanted to settle in one of Britain’s dominions. There was promise of plenty of land, jobs and opportunities in Canada. Recruiters were sent with attractive posters and pamphlets to entice emigrants with free passage.

On the below “Declaration of Passenger to Canada” we can see that the ship name is the S.S. Metagama.

The date of sailing was July 1st, 1921. James’ age is listed as 36. His intended occupation is a farm labourer and his intention is to settle in Canada. His passage was paid by “Overseas Settlement.”

This is a scan of the actual postcard that James sent back to his wife, Robina in Scotland.
The inscription on the back of the postcard is so sweet.
July 1921 Arrived all safe at Liverpool as you will see – making ready – it is about 1/2 past ___ Yours faithfully. J.R.”

I know that the following year, his wife Robina and their children also came to Canada to join him. Then in 1923 the youngest child was born, Charles Rodger.

I wish I knew more about his life here in Canada. Someday I hope to learn more. What I do know is that the decision he made to come here affected many generation of Rodgers, Ramsays and Wrights and I, for one am grateful for his bravery! For me, telling his story and passing it onto future generations keeps his memory alive.

There was so much information on this “Certificate of Registration of Death” that was new to me. I was unsure of James Rodger’s parents names, as there are a few on Ancestry. But here they are listed as William Rodger and Annie Wallace. This was a new last name for me to trace! So exciting! I also learned that his occupation was listed as a janitor for Hydro Electric. Sadly, James was only 59 years old when he passed away from Coronary Thrombosis.

He was buried at Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Toronto, Ontario. I have a request in with Find A Grave for a photo. ***Update – thanks to my brother-in-law who went to Mount Pleasant this morning, cleaned up the marker stone and sent out a picture for me. Family is the best.***

Gone is the face we loved so dear,

silent is the voice we loved to hear;

Too far away for sight or speech,

But not too far for thought to reach.

Sweet to remember him who once was here,

And who, though absent is just as dear.

Lovingly remembered by his Wife and Family.

Family History Society

Family History Society

Recently I was contacted by another Ancestry member who came across one of my family trees online. It turns out we have the same maiden name, “Apps” but we aren’t, according to Ancestry, a DNA match. We also happen to live in the same city, so we met up for a coffee at Starbucks. We talked for hours about our family histories, hoping to find some common ancestors or familiar name. So far we haven’t had any luck in that. We do however, have many other things in common besides our shared maiden name.

Her “Apps” ancestors come from Kent, England – so do mine!

She lived for some time in Richmond, BC – which is where I grew up.

She had family that lived and worked in Vernon on the L&A Farm – my Dad used to live on L&A Road in Vernon.

She has a daughter named Carrie – my name is Carrie.


Plus, we both are very interested in Family History and have been working on our trees for YEARS. We decided that although we can’t seem to find a connection on our ancestral trees (yet), we decided that we are cousins nonetheless.

She invited me to the family history centre in Kamloops, which is run by the local LDS Church. I had never been there and didn’t really know what to expect, but the volunteers there are so helpful AND they are excited to help! If you tell them what you are hoping to find, they are willing to assist. They have computers and microfiche available to use. There are countless programs available to use (e.g. Family Search, Ancestry) and it’s FREE!

My new cousin also asked if I would be interested in coming to the next monthly Family History Meeting. Truthfully, I was always curious about the meetings so I thought this was a great opportunity to check it out, with a friend and as a guest. I found that I thoroughly enjoyed the first meeting. That night there was a guest speaker who was talking about his search for his birth mother. It hit home for me since that is how I originally became so interested in genealogy – helping my Mom look for her birth mother. I decided to join as well. It’s nice to spend time with people who enjoy what you enjoy and are interested in what you are interested in. I know if I have any questions there would undoubtedly be someone there who could help me figure it out or at least tell me where to start looking.

I highly recommend joining your local history society for so many reasons.

It’s very inexpensive.

They serve refreshments including homemade cookies!

They are fantastic story tellers.

There are newsletters available to read and/or borrow from all over.

It’s good to step out of your comfort zone and try something new.

You never know who you will meet there, maybe a new cousin like I did!

Florence Lilian Carré

Florence Lilian Carré

My paternal Great Grandmother, Florence Lilian Carré was born in January 1878 in Brighton, Sussex. I’ve always known her as Granny Newitt.

Here is a sketch that was done in 1878 of “Lily” as an infant. It was drawn by Dorothy Tennant, who is my 1st cousin 4x removed (so 4 generations back). She was also known as “Lady Stanley” as she was married to the famous explorer Henry Morton Stanley in Westminster Abbey, but that’s another story for another day. Anyhow, I’m not sure who in the family has the original sketch, as the print that I have is only a copy.

Granny Newitt was the eldest of nine children born to Arthur Augustus Carré and Florence Heath. According to the census records I have seen the Carré family sure did move around quite a bit, from Brighton, Sussex to the Isle of Wight to Weymouth, Dorset to Kent. Her father A.A. Carré was a teacher and a clergyman, so I assume that’s the explanation for the new postings in new cities.

Granny Newitt lived a very long life and in doing so endured her share of loss. Beginning at 10 years old, when in 1888 she lost a brother in infancy, and then in 1902 she yet lost another brother, Arthur Collings Carré, he was only 22 years old (I wish that I knew more about what happened to young Arthur). I’ve added him onto my names to research.

At the turn of the century she was attending college, training to be a teacher. While in Helensburgh, Scotland she met and married John Richard Hill Newitt. Together they had 3 daughters, the middle child being my Grandmother, Margaret. The Newitt family lived for years in Scotland, including in Shandon where they opened a school for boys. Read more about that on my previous post, “The Abandoned Mansion” .

Unfortunately for Granny Newitt the bad news kept coming in. Three more of her brothers were killed during the Great War – Maurice in 1915, Edward in 1916 and Gilbert in 1917. For those keeping track, that would be 5 of her brothers that she had lost at this point. Read more about “The Carré Brothers” in my previous post.

Happy in Life. Happy in Death. Eternally Happy.

In 1921 her father passed away. I can only imagine that the heartache and loss got to be too much for him.

It’s no surprise to me that on August 26th, 1939 with the threat of another war looming on the horizon, my Great-Grandparents embarked at the port of Liverpool and set sail aboard the Cunard White Star ship “Antonia” for Montreal, Canada. They had not even completed their voyage to Montreal when Germany invaded Poland and the war broke out on September 1st, 1939. Talk about timing.

Here’s an interesting side note. Great-Granny Newitt’s belongings were all aboard the SS Athenia which left Liverpool for Montreal on September 2nd, 1939. From what I could see, she carried 1,103 passengers. The very next day, 200 km off the coast of Ireland she was torpedoed by a German U-30 Submarine and sunk.

I am so grateful that it was only her belongings on board the SS Athenia, as over 90 people lost their lives that day.

Her husband passed away just 5 years later in 1944. She outlived everyone, her parents, brothers and her sisters. Hopefully life for her in Canada was more peaceful. She settled in Oliver, British Columbia with one of her daughters and is buried there at the Oliver Cemetery.

I’m embarrassed to admit this, but as a child I remember being a little bit scared of Great Granny Newitt. I was only 3 years old when she turned 100, and in my defence, 100 can look very old. Again, I feel bad for saying this but she always reminded me of Elvira Gulch aka the “Wicked Witch of the West in the Wizard of Oz”.

I wish that I wasn’t so frightened of her age. I wish that I had the chance to get to know her, to have a cup of tea and talk to her. Had I taken the time to get to know her, I would have surely found her to be an amazing and inspirational women with a sweet smile, a twinkle in her eye and a knack for playing the piano. She was a resilient, well educated brilliant lady who raised three brave and talented daughters.

Florence Lilian Carré Newitt 1967

What I’ve discovered is that perhaps by writing this and in tracing my family tree I am getting to know her better now. Taking the time to remember and learn about her life and journey. I remember that we used to say “Granny Newitt and I knew it too.” She surely had an amazing story to tell.

I mentioned Granny Newitt lived a very long life, she passed away in 1980 at 102 years old!

Carré Brothers

Carré Brothers

My Great Great Grandparents, Arthur Augustus Carré and Florence (nee Heath) had nine children in total, among them were 6 sons and 3 daughters. Two of their sons had died before the war even began. Tragically, three more of their boys were killed during what would be one of the deadliest conflicts in history, the First World War.

Maurice Tennant Carré (1885-1915)

Maurice Tennant Carré was born on the 3rd of August 1885 in Ryde on the Isle of Wight. In 1914 he joined the 1st Battalion, 1st Brigade of the Australian Infantry.

Enlisted in the Australian Military Forces in the 1st Battalion, 1st Brigade on 8th October 1914

I’m curious how it was that he came to be in Australia in the first place. It’s also interesting to note that on the enlistment papers he lists his profession as a motor mechanic.

He was killed in action in during the Gallipoli Campaign in Turkey on September 2, 1915. He was 30 years old.

Private Maurice Tennant Carré now rests at the Shrapnel Valley Cemetery in Gallipoli.

Gilbert Trenchard Carré (1891-1917)

Gilbert Trenchard Carré was born in Dorset, England on December 12th, 1891. He also had a twin brother named Meyrick Heath Carré. They were the seventh & eighth of nine children in the Carré family.

Captain Gilbert Trenchard Carré

In his early twenties he enlisted as a rifleman in 1914. He became a Captain with the 6th Battalion of the Royal West Kent Regiment, later the 9th Battalion. He was killed in action by a German sniper at Lateau Wood on the first day of the Battle of Cambrai in France on November 20th, 1917. He was 25 years old.

Lieutenant Gilbert Trenchard Carré is buried at Fifteen Ravine British Cemetery in Villers-Plouich, France

Gilbert’s twin brother Meyrick Heath Carré also served in the Royal West Kent Regiment and was lucky to have lived to be 82 years old. He was the only son of the Carré family to have survived past the Great War.

Edward Mervyn Carré (1894-1916)

Edward Mervyn Carré was born in Dorset, England on February 5th, 1894. He was the youngest of nine children. He became a Lieutenant in the 8th battalion Lincolnshire Regiment and pilot in the 15th Squadron Royal Flying Corps.

He was killed in action at the young age of 22 in Hébuterne, Pas-de-Calais, France on October 16th, 1916. He was gunned down by the German Ace Oswald Boelcke, who as fate would have it died in a crash landing after a mid-air collision only 12 days later.

German Ace Oswald Boelcke
Lieutenant Edward Mervyn Carré at the Hebuterne Cemetery, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France
Memorial in Lychett Matravers with the Carré Brothers listed