Chapter 5 Annie Dorothy Frampton
By the time Robert and Leah were settled in Ontario, and their son James was four years old, across the cold Atlantic Ocean, in South Hackney, in the County of Middlesex, a wee baby girl was born on February 14, 1884 at home.
Hackney, was a very poor area of east London in those days. Her father, Francis Frampton, and his wife Edith Davies Frampton, lived at 4 Poole Rd. South Hackney.
Her father registered her birth two months later on April 18, 1884. So far it is unknown whether Annie had any siblings.
What is evident is that she had a mother and father in 1884, and somehow, a mere four years later was living in Stratford, Ontario, Canada, in an orphanage known as The Annie MacPherson Home.
It would be seven decades before she knew her birth date, her parents’ names, and where she lived.
On December 14, 1944, when Annie was 60 yrs. old, her family obtained certification that Annie arrived at the Stratford Home in July 1888, and was reported to be 4 yrs. old at the time. * Please note that when Annie MacPherson died her Homes and records became the possession of Dr. Barnardo’s Homes Company.
At the age of 60 Annie still had to wait 19 years to know who she was, and where she came from.
There was much speculation about who she was. As a four year old it was not possible to remember what short past she had.
One story was that she was found wandering the streets of London holding a Ladies white glove. Many years ago Annie related what she hoped was an accurate memory to one of her great-granddaughters: She said she thought she could remember her father’s body lying in the parlour. She thought she had brothers and that her mother Edith could keep the boys because they could work, but she could not look after a young girl.
*This may be pretty close to the truth. Many of the orphans at the time were given to orphanages because the remaining parent simply could not look after them. There were more than 100,000 orphans in London at that time.
Above is the Annie MacPherson Home at 51 Avon St. Stratford, Ontario, as it was when Annie arrived in 1888 and as it is today in 2016.
Other than the Census indication that Annie may have lived with a family named Willows, nothing is known of the 11 yr. period from the age of four to fifteen.
Life changed dramatically for the orphan and a boy who grew up without siblings on December 20, 1899, when the marriage took place between Annie Dorothy Frampton and James Henry White.
The service was conducted by Rev. J. McKay at the Annie MacPherson House, and was witnessed by Priscilla Pointer and Lottie Butcher. It is unknown if they were residents or employees of the Home.
Annie was 15 years old and James 19 years old. It was a Wednesday.
Annie had 14 births, 8 of whom lived to adulthood: William, Elsie, Eric, Gladys, S. Earl, John, Robert, Margaret.
I remember well the excitement of 1963 when Elsie White Gingerich, one of James’ and Annie’s daughters told me that finally they had been able to receive a notarized copy of Annie’s Birth Certificate. *as shown above
Annie was 79 yrs. old. Elsie went on and on about the marvel of spending your whole life not knowing the where, the who, the when of it all and then finally, finally, finding out.
On February 14, 1964 Annie Frampton White turned 80 years old. Over the years previously she had given herself a birthday of May 1883, and finally at the age of 80 years a proper family party was held, and the celebration was a mighty one.
In 1965 Annie died, 25 years after her husband, leaving a large and wide spread family.
When things get hard, and life is dark, and hope seems gone forever, I just have to think about Annie, who had less than nothing, and lived to laugh and love, and be loved. And therein lays the hope for us.
James and Annie sometime before his death in 1940
And with life there is also death.
and life goes on… a travel document for James to travel to the United States on business in 1918
Not an end, but a beginning