**Note this may only be of interest to family
This is the story of a young girl, born in Hackney England in 1884. Four years later in July 1888 she was an orphan situated at ‘The Annie MacPherson Home”, in Stratford, Ontario, Canada. She was sixty years old before she knew for sure when she arrived at the Home. She was seventy-nine before she knew the date of her birth, the names of her mother and father, and her address in Hackney. She had assigned herself a birthday just to have something to celebrate. Her eightieth birthday was the only accurate birthday date, and that party was mighty. She died a year later. But there was great joy in her life as the following photos will show.
This is a peek at a wee book I have put together as a gift to my godmother for her 90th birthday this month. The booklet is about her grandmother, my great-grandmother. I will post it just a few chapters at a time.
I must say it was a surprisingly huge task considering its size, but research took months and I certainly have enough information to write ten books. But for now that information has been filed. I have had a few books printed and will present Elaine’s to her at her party.
Chapter One Beginnings
This is the story of an incredible woman, without whose participation, none of us would exist today. She had a sad and hard beginning, one that might make us wonder how she could ever have had any degree of happiness.
But the good thing about life is that, regardless of hardship, pain, and loss, there is still joy to be had. Perhaps the loss makes the happiness sweeter.
Annie Dorothy Frampton had a beautiful, joyous smile. This will be evidenced in some photos you will see later. Her joy was her family.
The very thing she lived her early years without, became her greatest treasure, by her own making.
Chapter 2 Robert White 1832-1916
Before we tell Annie’s story we must start in Glasgow, Scotland in 1832, when Annie’s future father-in-law, Robert White was born. Little is known about his early years, though we know that on Saturday, the 17th day of April, 1858, in the town of Stratford England, 26 year old Robert enlisted in the 100 Regiment of Foot, Horse Guard. Less than a year later he mustered out of the Guard for a fee of twenty pounds at Shorncliffe England with a Good Conduct rating.
Robert White wearing his dress uniform
What happened to Robert between 1859 and 1871? By this time he had immigrated to Ontario, Canada, and a year later, at the age of 40, married 17 year old Leah Strickler in 1872.
Scots had been immigrating to Canada since the 17th century, and around the years that Robert White came to Ontario, 80,000 Scots entered Canada. From the time of his discharge from the Horse Guard, it was 21 years until the birth of his one and only child James.
Below is Robert’s death notice. At that time he lived in Paris and died on August 4th, 1916 at 11 pm in his 85th year. His funeral left the home of his son James White, West River St., Paris, Ontario, on Monday August 7th at 9:30 am for the GTR Depot following a service in the home of James. Interment was in the Mennonite Cemetery at Bright.
Chapter 3 The Stricklers of Preston, Ontario
Let’s for a moment jump back even further in time and place to York Pennsylvania, USA in the year 1822. Specifically November 22, 1822.
Part of the Pennsylvania Dutch immigration, Reuben arrived in Ontario where he met and married Leah Witmer, who was the first of three wives. Leah and Reuben had nine children, one of whom, named after her mother, would grow up to marry Robert White many years later. Women died, often in childbirth and men remarried to have someone care for their children.
Chapter 4 Robert and Leah
Leah and Robert married in 1872. She was 17 yrs. and he was 40 yrs. old. They had no living children until James Henry White was born in 1880.
In reviewing the Canadian Census Records of the time, it appears that the age difference did bother Robert.
In 1871, Robert properly listed himself as 39 yrs. old. This was a year before he married his very young bride.
In 1881, ten years later Robert is listed as Presbyterian, Leah as Mennonite, James, the baby, as 6 months old. Robert’s age is recorded as 44 years old – short by 5 years.
In 1891, Robert lists his age as 49 years. He was really 59 at the time. So our many times ‘great’ grandfather only aged 10 years over 20 years.
Interestingly, Annie Frampton, in the same census (1891) is listed under the family of J. Willows, a 34 yr. old farmer from England, who had a number of children listed. (Is it possible this family took her in from the orphanage?) She is stated as 7 yrs. old.
****Next post is the story of the young Annie and then Annie, her husband James, and their life and legacy