Several years ago, my hubby and I traveled to Vancouver, B.C. He had a conference to attend and I tagged along. It was in a very fancy hotel with many floors in the downtown area of Vancouver, B.C. I used that time to do research on my Boardman family. I walked several blocks east to the Vancouver Public Library: http://www.vpl.ca/ They had city directories, newspapers and atlas’ for various Canadian counties.
Here is a little more on their genealogical collection: http://guides.vpl.ca/content.php?pid=285375&sid=2348507
As we ate our dinner on top of Grouse Mountain, I looked over Vancouver, B.C. and pondered what it was like for my mother leaving her home at the age of 7 years old to travel with her family to Seattle, Washington. The year was 1917. She never talked about it and I regret asking. In any event, they arrived by 1917 and settled in what was called West Seattle on Wright Street.
Then they disappeared. I learned why when I read a letter written by my mother, Marjorie. In this letter she explains that they went to Tacoma, Washington for two years and then came back to West Seattle and settled in permanently.
The photo above: Backrow: Ethel and Robert (grandparents), Hazel Aileen, Robert (Uncle Boardie). Front Row: Unknown lady, unknown children, my mother Marjorie with the big bow. (I suspect that the lady and the children might be Alice Boardman and her two sons Robert and William. Alice was the wife of William (Willie) Boardman, younger brother to my grandfather Robert. The age of the children is about right. They left Canada and migrated to California. The location and date of the photograph are unknown.
Source: 1920 U.S. Federal Census, Tacoma, Pierce Co., Washington SD#3, ED#346, Precinct 111, January 13-14, 1920, Image 589, T625-1937 Sheet 8A.
Boardman Household: Lines 8-13, House #3313, 169, 169. Boardman, Robert, Head, Renting, male, white, 36 years old, married, immigrated in 1917. Alien, able to read and write. Born in Canada, father born in England, mother born in Canada. Working as a riviter at the shipyard and has work. Ethel, wife, female, 36 years old, married, immigrated in 1917, alien, can read and write. Born in Canada, both parents born in Canada. No profession. Hazel A., daughter, female, white, 12 years old, single, 1917, alien, in school, born in Canada. Marjorie F., daughter, female, white, 8 years old, single, 1917, alien, in school, born in Canada. Robert B., son, male, white, 3 3/12 years old, single, 1917, alien. Charlotte A., mother, female, 62 years old, white, immigrated 1917, alien, can read and write. Born in Canada, father born in Scotland, mother born in England. No profession.
Take another look at the above census and you will find my great-grandmother Charlotte Boardman. She migrated with her son Robert and was living with the family in Tacoma, Washington.
The move was completed for the Robert and Ethel Boardman family. They were now residents of Seattle (see below city directory entries). They made the neighborhood known as West Seattle their home.
West Seattle is where Alki Beach is located and it credited with the birth of Seattle. It is southwest of the downtown area of Seattle and across the West Seattle Bridge on the south edge of Elliott Bay. It is where the Denny party first landed back in November of 1851. Later they would move across the bay and establish the city of Seattle.
Below are some Seattle and Tacoma City Directory entries that show the family. Remember that city directories are delayed by about a year before the listing appears.
Switching to the Seattle Polk City Directory I find the following:
1917 – No Robert Boardman – See the 1917 for Vancouver, BC.
1918 – Boardman, Robt (Ethel) Shipftr h 7205 Wright Ave.
1919 – No mention of Robert or Ethel Boardman??
Here is the move to Tacoma:
Tacoma Seattle Directory – Robt Shipftr r. 7205 S. Wright Ave.
1919 Tacoma Directory – Robt (Ethel) shipwkr h 3310 S. Madison, pg. 140
1920 Tacoma Directory – Robert (Ethel) Shipwkr h. 3310 S. Madison, Other Boardman’s listed but unknown to me.
1920 – No mention of Robert or Ethel Boardman in Seattle Directory.
Back to the Seattle Directory
1921 – Boardman, Robt (Ethel) ironwk h 7205 Wright
1922 – Boardman, Robt (Ethel) mechanic h 7205 Wright
1923 – Boardman, Robt (Ethel) West Metal Works h 7205 Wright Ave. In this 1923 City Directory there is an advertisement for the West Metal Works. Plumbing & Heating…Sheet Metal Work with the name R. Boardman, Mgr. listed. It was on page 221 of this directory.
1924 – Boardman, Robt (Ethel) mgr West Metal Works h 7205 Wright Ave.
So the move to the U.S.A. was not an easy one. They came to Seattle and then moved to Tacoma and then back all within an approximate 4 year period. My mother was moved from one elementary school to another and back. The end result was that Seattle was now the permanent home for the Robert Boardman family except for one member, Charlotte whose journey was not yet over.