Family History Mystery

My great grandmother, Annie Dolly (Dorothy) Frampton was born February 14, 1884 at 4 Poole Rd. in the Subdistrict of South Hackney in the County of Middlesex England.

 A certified copy of her Entry of Birth obtained in June 25, 1963 lists her father as Francis Frampton whose occupation was listed as Commercial Traveler.

 Her mother was listed as Edith Frampton formerly Davies. Annie’s birth was registered on April 18, 1884.

 A google search shows Annie Frampton born 1884.  A search under her father’s name of Francis only reveals the birth of perhaps one Francis born 1842.  I don’t know if this could be him as he would have been 42 yrs when she was born.

 The search for her mother shows one name of Edith Davies born 1847. It could be her as she would have been 37 yrs.

 It is unknown what happened to Annie or her family but four short years later there is a certified document from Dr. Barnado’s Homes: National Incorporated Association, obtained Dec. 14, 1944 stating that Annie Dolly Frampton came from England to Canada under the auspices of THE ANNIE MACPHERSON HOME, Stratford Ontario (which had amalgamated with the Dr. Barnardo Homes) July 1888.

 How was she orphaned?  What happened to you Annie?

In my research I came across excerpts from a book written by Kenneth Bagnell on the orphans who came to Canada and how badly they were treated. My heart breaks as I think of what it was like not only for four-year-old Annie but all the thousands of orphans who were imported for cheap labor.

Over eighty thousand children were sent over through different agencies.  Their intentions were good thinking to send the children to better lives.  Many years later the program was stopped when facts of abuse and slavery were revealed.

 Annie MacPherson’s part in the Bagnell’s story says the children were aged nine to eighteen but of course this cannot be accurate since my great grandmother was just four years old.

 Somehow she came to live with the White family as a maid where she married the only son.

 I have a very aged parchment certifying Robert White was born in the Parish of Glasgow Scotland.  The parchment is his military discharge paper.  He enlisted in the Horse Guards on April 17, 1858 at the age of 26.  He was honorably discharged March 30, 1859 after paying twenty pounds and had been in service for three hundred and forty-seven days.  I have no information how he came to settle in Ontario.  Yet.  He had one son, James Henry White.

 I have the original marriage certificate of James Henry White and Annie Dorothy Frampton dated December 20, 1899 in Stratford Ontario.  My future great grandmother was fifteen years old.

My great uncle Jack used to tell a story his father told him how after the wedding James’ mother told Annie to get out of the nice wedding clothes and get back to work. James reportedly said that his wife was no one’s maid and he promptly packed her up and headed of to a life together.

 My most immediate thought right now is: and we think we have it tough?

 “The little immigrants: the orphans who came to Canada – By Kenneth Bagnell”

 To be continued.

10 thoughts on “Family History Mystery”

  1. Hi Chris. How interesting that your Annie’s birth was registered in South Hackney, Middx. Many of my relates came from there. My young sister has traced our family on my father’s side back to the mid 1700s and is stuck on my mother’s side. She lives in London so can get easy access to the records.
    I knew that some children had been sent to the colonies – Canada Australia and NZ but didn’t know how many. I have a book called No Time To Say Goodbye that documents the life of children who were evacuated during the Second World War and it reads rather like what you are describing.

    1. I got stuck in my father’s ancestors at about 1749 also. My uncle did a good job getting information from London also. Thank goodness such good records were kept. I remember reading about the children evacuated and know the families thought it was best but there is such a tragedy to it all. I wonder what we as parents would do in the same situation?

  2. I love family history. I can get so submersed in the mental living of what they went through. Poor Little Annie! I want to know more. I’m going to check out the link you put in about the orphans.

  3. So many stories get lost. I am trying now and again to piece together my family history. Both sides of the family seemed to have come to the US in the late 1600’s. One side–my mothers as a fairly solid path back to William Penn’s founding of Pennsylvania. A bit is even known about some of the women. My father’s family has also been traced to the 1600’s, first story was that the first Gordy was a ship wrecked sailer, but now it seems he might have been an orphan taken in by the ship wrecked sailor or the whole ship wreck story is false. .

    Much less is known about my husband’s family. The first Levine escaped from the Tsar’s army and we have just read a book about how rich families sold poor Jewish boys to the Tsar and their lives were horrendous according to a book we read. Constant pressure, even torture to convert, many did but many could only recall their parent’s final words “Keep your faith.” Don’t know any stories about his mother’s side.

    It takes so much time to do the research. The Mormons have a great interest in this. Have you looked into how they might help you?

    We humans are a sorry lot and yet a glorious lot. Thank you for your story.

    1. It’s so interesting Katherine that you mentioned the Mormons. Many years ago it was my uncle who traced back the history and he did get information from them which was very helpful. As a result he was able to get certified documents of Annie’s birth from England. We did not hold out much hope but orphanages had an amazing amount of information for many of the children.

  4. I was very fortunate to have received the information I have from an aunt who died. The War Brides history is also so interesting. My Mom was a war bride and a few years ago I did some research after she died for a story. I could not believe what some of them, many of them went through! You are a most intriguing person!!

  5. This is fascinating, Chris. You are fortunate to find so much information!

    I agree – those terrible hardships put an ache in the heart. On the prairies, I used to hear old-timers talk about how war brides (esp. WWI) came to the prairies, used to bake shops, green grocers, and the odd “mod con” back home in Britain. They’d be plopped in some shack in the middle of nowhere with almost nothing to live on. Some of those poor women lost their sanity and never did regain it. The abuse of children on farms was also experienced by kids in the family. I cheered when I read how your great grandfather took matters into hand, grabbed his bride and left! Many did not stand up to the dictates of desperate parents and misery was perpetuated. I’ve read many heartbreaking accounts throughout Canadiana literature!

    Thanks for an interesting read!

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