Meeting the Greats…

Genealogy intrigues me.

One definition I have found:

“Genealogy – Where you confuse the dead and irritate the living.” – Unknown

I guess that explains some of the looks I get when discussing my project. Yup, definitely annoyance.

You see the little bits I started with grew, and pretty soon I was feeling mighty special, having uncovered facts that no one else knew. Oh how wonderful to regale family and friends with results of my search and suddenly I found out I knew a lot. I could tell you see by the glaze that covered their eyes by the third generation hijinks. Such excitement, such a thrill! The dearest people caught my eye standing nose to nose until I ceased talking and said, “I don’t care.” Said with love but the message was received none the less.

I think searching the past is exciting, but I have discovered that my accomplishments really are for my own entertainment. However, when you write it down and people can absorb it at their own pace it is more palatable. So now I am writing it down, trying to get it in reasonable book form, which can be a little overwhelming.

Think about it. You start with your Mom and Dad. Now you look at the parents of both parents, and no you can’t do it all at the same time, which is really really frustrating.

If you have trouble making decisions it is almost impossible to attempt anything related to the old family tree. But being a big girl you decide to follow your father’s mother’s family. You know, Grandma.

But wait! Grandma also had two parents. Oh dear, which one to follow? In my case the decision was easy. You see we had our very own Orphan Annie and she is the one who had the most documentation to follow. It turns out when you are born in eighteen eighty-four in Hackney, an area of London, and then are documented as an orphan living in Stratford, Ontario, Canada at the age of FOUR years old, and you spend your life not knowing where you were born, or when, or who you parents are, you and your family spend decades searching. In Annie Frampton’s case, the search was productive.

At the age of thirty she acquired a notarized document stating the name and address of the orphanage she grew up in. This was an Annie MacPherson Home.

But this is not actually about Annie. It is about her mother and father, and her future father in law.

You see I figure if I get this down in print today I will be able to refrain from discussion at our annual brother and sister Christmas Dinner tomorrow.

It wasn’t until nineteen sixty-three, when Annie was seventy-nine years old that she was able to receive a notarized copy of her birth certificate from Somerset House in London. England did a good job of keeping documents of their people, even those that became orphaned. ** It is important the note that of the hundred thousand orphans sent to Canada, and many other parts of the Empire many children were not true orphans. The children may have had one parent who could not support them and so they were taken to work houses to be trained in domestics and farm work depending on your sex.

Annie was born on February fourteenth in eighteen eighty-four. Her father registered her birth four days later on April eighteenth. I have her mother’s maiden and married names and her father’s and their address at the time of Annie’s birth. But I am not sure how I find out about them. Where to look?

Her mother was Edith Frampton, formerly Davies. Her father was Francis Frampton and they lived at

4 Poole Rd. South Hackney. That’s it. That’s all I know about them.

Meanwhile, in Glasgow, in eighteen fifty-eight a young man Robert White went to Stratford England and signed up for the 100 Regiment Horse Guards. I have his official discharge parchment dated March 30, 1859 when he paid twenty pounds to be released from service. He was twenty-six and given honourable discharge. This man was the future father in law of Annie.


I don’t know where to find more info on Robert, however I was able to find him in Bright Ontario Canada some years later. He had met and married Leah Strickler whose family had a farm in Preston Ontario.. Unusual at the time, Leah and Robert only had one child. Were there others who did not survive? Unknown at this point. What is known that Robert was about fifty when his son James Henry White was born. And it was James who married Annie Frampton on December 20, 1899.

They married at the MacPherson House in Stratford, where Annie had arrived in 1888 with one hundred other children. Reverend J. MacKay was the Baptist pastor who married them and the two witnesses were Priscilla pointer and Lottie Butcher. (Yes I have the original marriage certificate.)

It was not until she was about to turn eighty years old that Annie Frampton White discovered her actual birthday and the names of her parents. Amazing huh?

9 thoughts on “”

  1. Really interesting stuff Chris, and the more you dig deeper, the more you want to know…. and it gets very addictive!
    I am into genealogy too but have come to a full stop as my mother was adopted as a baby and although I have her mother’s name and place of birth (Aberdeen, Scotland), I have no details of her father whatsoever. I am stumped. If I ever come into money, I would pay to delve deeper as I’d love to know who my biological grandfather was.

  2. Well put together, interesting on your genealogy search. I can see how you would get caught up in getting to know the history, especially family. I’m glad Annie found some information about herself.
    I too, would like to do the DNA test. Just curious. Looking forward to the next instalment!

  3. We found my father’s birth certificate of 93 years ago. His last name was D’Agustino not D’Agostino as he used all his life . One of these days I will due one of those DNA ancestry checks. I know I am Roman, Sicilian and Spaniard but perhaps other too.

    1. My grandfather’s last name was Gingrich. His first paycheck from an employer during the depression had an extra e in it ..Gingerich. just glad to have a job he did not correct them and henceforth that spelling became the new truth.

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