The Boardman Family: Life after Edmund!

Edmund Boardman’s death changed everything for the Boardman family. 

Of the four children only Edmund James Boardman, the oldest, remained in Winnipeg.  The other three emigrated to the United States at various times.  Robert (my grandfather) was the first to make the move followed by William (Willie), and then John.  Charlotte Anne (McMurray) Boardman, their mother, followed her children leaving Winnipeg and heading to Vancouver, British Columbia. 

Edmund Boardman died on the 18th of October 1908 and is buried in the family plot in Elmwood Cemetery in Winnipeg. 

Overview of Elmwood Cemetery

His death record  reads as follows obtained from the Manitoba Vital Records office:

Edmund Boardman died Oct. 28, 1908. He lived at 583 Logan Ave. He was 59 years old at death. Occupation was Coppersmith, religion Church of England born at [Lochester/Gochester/Rochester]. Cause of death cerebral hemorrhage. Name of Informant was Black Bros & Hughes, of Winnipeg.  Source:  Vital Statistic Agency, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Reg. No. 1908-06-003669, #652, October 28, 1908.

Edmund’s great grand-daughter, Marjorie wrote in her notes that he was born in Lancashire, England.  The death record of Edmund is almost impossible to interpret:  Does it say Rochester, Gochester, Lochester??? 

Portion of Edmund’s death certificate

If you do a search on the city of Rochester in England you will end up in the county of Kent.  If you go to Lancashire county and search for a city you will find Rochdale but no Rochester at least in today’s time frame.  Yes, more digging is in order. 

Edmund was born 23 May 1848 and according to the 1901 census he immigrated about 1853.  This means he was only 5 years old when he came to Canada.  So trusting his knowledge of the year of immigration may mean that it is best to keep an open mind.  So the origins of Edmund Boardman are still a mystery.  So far the emphasis on research has been the United States and Canada.  My father’s side of the family is very dominating and tends to divert me.  Hopefully that will change in the coming years and my trip to Ontario in 2012 to visit the archives there might open a door.  We will see??

Meanwhile let us focus on the lives of the Boardman family after Edmund’s death.  What became of the Boardman children and Charlotte?
As I stated Edmund James Boardman remained in Winnipeg and lived out his life there. 
Robert, my grandfather, and Ethel, my grandmother, migrated first to Vancouver, British Columbia and then to Seattle, King County, Washington.    
William soon followed and headed for Pasadena, Los Angeles County, California. 
John Henry, the youngest brother, came first to California and then made his way up to West Seattle residing there for the remainder of his life.  
Charlotte, she moved west with Robert to Vancouver and made the move with them in about 1917 to Seattle.  About 1922 she migrated to Pasadena, California and lived the rest of her life with or near her son Willie and his family.  This is a great story. 
How do I know all this? Well it was not an easy challenge, I had very little information about my mother’s side of the family.  I used city directories for Vancouver, B.C., Pasadena, California and the census for both Canada and the U.S. and a series of very interesting family photographs that were among my mother and her sister’s possessions.   
First, let me share what I know about Edmund James Boardman or rather Dr. Edmund James Boardman.  When I visited my Aunt Aileen at her beautiful home overlooking Puget Sound in West Seattle back in 1987, she told me in a very proud voice that James was a famous surgeon in Winnipeg.  I was intrigued!

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