Category Archives: Edmund James Boardman

Great Grandfather Edmund Boardman and more news accounts of his death!

Edmund Boardman with one of the children

Edmund Boardman with one of the children

Newspaper research is time-consuming but can be very rewarding.  Just recently I found these articles in the Winnipeg Tribune.  This one is dated 29 October, 1908 on page 12.

Edmund Boardman, one of Winnipeg’s most respected citizens and an old-timer, passed away at his residence, 583 Logan avenue, yesterday morning.  His genial disposition and kindly actions will be remembered for a long while, not only at St. George’s church, where he was a life-long worker, but in the C.P.R. shops, where he spent 26 years as a coppersmith.  The late Mr. Boardman was born in Rochester, Eng., 59 years ago, and lived for a while in London, Ont. Afterward he resided in Shediac, N.B., then he settled in Winnipeg.  He leaves a wife and four sons, Dr. E. J., Robert and John of Winnipeg, and William of Vancouver.  The funeral will take place tomorrow from the above address, where a private service will be held at 2 p.m., after which a service will be held in St. George’s church at 2.30, to St. John’s cemetery. Rev. J.J. Roy will officiate. 

This article was in the Winnipeg Tribune 31 October, 1908 is a funeral notice on page 12.

The funeral of the late Edmund Boardman took place at 2.30 yesterday afternoon from his late residence, 582 Logan avenue to St. John’s cemetery.  Rev. J.J. Roy officiated at the service, which was held in St. George’s church.  The pall bearers were as follows:  T. Boyd, J. Dunn, W. Powles, S. Pentland, B. Hutchinson and W. Lockhart.  

There is new information in the above obituary notice.  I knew that great-grandfather Edmund Boardman was born in the Rochester area of Lancashire in fact he was born in Oldham.  I did not know he was in London, Ontario before going to Shediac, New Brunswick.


A Day at the Capilano Suspension Bridge, B.C.

Among the photographs I have of the Boardman family, there is a set of pictures showing the family enjoying a day at the Capilano Suspension Bridge in British Columbia:  This bridge is north of the city of Vancouver.

In this picture we have my great-grandmother, Charlotte McMurray Boardman standing with her son, my grandfather, Robert behind two girls.  The little girl on the left is Jean, the one in the hat.  It is probably Edmund James’ daughter Betty Jean born 1909.  He is the older son of Charlotte and brother to Robert. I know that the girl with the bow is my Aunt Aileen, Robert’s oldest daughter.

So this means that maybe Edmund James and his wife Jesse were visiting? Were they the ones taking the photographs?  I wonder if there are more?

Charlotte Boardman, Robert Boardman, Jean and Aileen

In this next photograph we have my grandmother Ethel.  Next to her is her daughter Aileen.  Great grandmother Charlotte is to the right with Jean is standing in the back.

If you look closely there is another child in the foreground.  All you see is a head but no face.  Could this be Edmund James Jr. born in February of 1911.

Ethel, Aileen and Charlotte Boardman, Jean is in the back

Great grandmother Charlotte is wearing black.  Is she still in mourning for her husband Edmund, my great-grandfather?  He died in 1908.  In placing the date of these photographs I would say they were taken in about 1911?  Great grandmother looks amazing in her dress.

According to the following article, the length of mourning was about 2 years.

Aileen, Charlotte and Jean

Here they are actually standing on the bridge.

Ethel, Charlotte, Aileen and Jean

In previous photographs I have displayed on this blog, my grandmother Ethel looks very healthy.  In these photographs she is very thin.  From this point on she looks very different in her photographs.  I am pondering that maybe she had physical problems?

Someday I would like to go to the Capilano Suspension Bridge and see if I cannot determine where the above photographs were taken.

Vancouver B.C. – The Road Leads West!

Sometime around 1908-1909 maybe 1910,  my grandfather Robert decided to head west to Vancouver, British Columbia.  I am not sure he did it in a straight line.  I will let you consider the following?

A curious thing happened when I found that my grandmother Ethel had crossed the border at Pembina, North Dakota in 1909 according to the NARA Bordering Crossings online at  Why she would do that I do not know?

Source:  Border Crossings  1895 to 1956, Ethel Boardman, 1909, Port of Pembina, North Dakota, List or Manifest of Alien Passengers Applying for admission, NARA, Sht. #3.

Boardman, Ethel, age 27, Boardman (daug) Aileen, age 1 – Winnipeg, Manitoba – Father Richard Brown, grandfather, Destination Pembina, Nebraska.

However there is this group photograph of the McKeen Car Company among the photos I inherited.  McKeen was located in Omaha, Nebraska.  Did grandmother take my Aunt Aileen, who was just a baby at the time, born in Winnipeg 23 May 1907 with her to visit my grandfather Robert in 1909.  Was he working there?  Pembina is directly south of Winnipeg and then straight south to Omaha?  It is 572 miles and 8 hours 55 minutes from Pembina (in our time) and in 1907 would that have been too far to go just for a visit?

McKeen Car Company

I share this photograph because it is wonderful.  Unfortunately there is nothing written on the backside.

UPDATE December 12, 1212:  The owner of The McKeen Motor Car Company website contacted me and asked if I would share the photo above.  I said yes.   He has provided a link to it on his website:  I have added a link to the home page of his on the right of this blog under General Links under The McKeen Motor Car Company.   If you recognize anyone in this photograph please let either of us know.  Enjoy!   In 2014, I gladly handed over the original photo above to Mr. Kirkman who would preserve and care for it.  Of course, I made copies.

UPDATE: October 12, 2014 The McKeen Motor Car Company website and host are raising funds to rebuilt one of the cars.  I gave a little money to the cause maybe you would be interested too:

Here are some links about McKeen.  I am not an authority on this company so you will need to dig further.  Don'[t forget Google Images.

In any event, my grandfather moved west to Vancouver, British Columbia by 1910.  The listings are as follows for the Vancouver City Directories:

1911 – Boardman, Robt coppersmith h 626 Victoria Drive.

  • 1913 – Boardman, Robt mgr Grandview Mfg. Co., 612 Victoria Drive.
  • 1914 – Boardman, Robt of Grandview Iron Works h 613 Victoria Dr (No Ethel or Charlotte listed).
  • 1915 – Boardman, Robert of Grandview Iron Wks. hs 918 Salsbury Dr. (No Ethel mentioned)
  • Robert’s mother Charlotte is listed living at 626 Victoria Dr. as the widow of Edmund. (page 502).
  • 1917 – Boardman, Robt mgr Grandview Iron Wks, Ltd. h 1749

The Vancouver Public Library has a great collection of these city directories and the Seattle Public Library has them on microfilm.  I consulted both.

In 1915 the Robert Boardman family are living at 918 Salsburg Drive in Vancouver, British Columbia.   The house they lived in is still standing.  I visited the area in 2003 and actually met the current owners who had restored it to it’s original glory.

918 Salsburg Drive about 1916

According to the handwriting on the back of the photograph of the house above the people who are gathered on the porch are Ethel, Charlotte Ann McMurray, Aileen and Marge.  The photo reads 1915.

Here is a photograph of my grandfather Robert about 1917 in front of the Vancouver Wire Works.  He is the one in the middle.  The other two men are Bill and Jack Leslie.  I really love the way he is posing.

Grandfather in from of the Vancouver Iron Works

I am wondering if this is the inside of the Vancouver Wire Works??  I am using the picture below as the header of this blog at the moment.

Could this be the inside of the Vancouver Wire Works?

Charlotte, the mother of Robert, joined them about 1915.  Why great-grandmother Charlotte left Winnipeg after 33 years is a mystery.  She left behind her first-born son Edmund James and his family.  She left her buried husband Edmund there at St. John’s Cemetery.  What compelled her to go west?

Grandfather Robert Boardman learns his trade in Winnipeg!

My grandfather Robert Boardman was born in Shediac, Westmorland, New Brunswick, according to his death certificate and other sources.  I have not been able to find a birth record.  The  New Brunswick Provincial Archives were very kind but they could not find any record and I was told it would be difficult.  I have tried seaching some of  the Family History Library records but so far no luck.

Robert Boardman

Photo:  This is a cropped photo of another larger photo taken around 1915.  I do not have any earlier photos of my grandfather Robert Boardman.  Gazing upon his face I see someone very close to me who is still living.  The resemblance is amazing even the scowl!  He looks very dapper in this photo.

As I have written before, the Boardman family came to Winnipeg after 1881 and by 1883.  Robert was born 8 September 1881 so he was a baby when they made this move and his memories were probably of Winnipeg only.  His older brother Edmund James was 5 years old and he might have had memories of the trip although it is a very young age.

I return to the Winnipeg city directories and in 1897 Robert is listed as an apprentice but it does not give the business name.

Several years later, we  find him working as a clerk for the W. L. MacKenzie & Co. manufacture agents from 1902 to 1903.  The Manitoba Historical Society series of  “Historic sites of Winnipeg” shows the former building where this business was conducted.

He was a steam fitter for the Canadian Pacific Railroad in Winnipeg living at 573 Logan Avenue in 1904-1905.

Robert and Ethel had married in St. Paul, Minnesota on 28 August 1905.  I featured this marriage in the post dated April 5, 2010 “Two Families Merge – A Marriage.”  Why they went to St. Paul to get married I do not know.  There are alot of Boardman’s living in that city.  I ponder that there was a really good story that will never be told.

Ethel and Robert were living with her father Richard Brown in 1906 according to the Canadian census.  See the posted dated: August 5, 2011 “Richard Brown After Emma.”

From 1907 to 1908 Robert is Manager of the NW Brass and Copper Works in Winnipeg.  He would be about 26 years old.   Several events took place about this time:  a child was born in May of 1908 and his father Edmund passed away a year later in October of 1908.

I cannot find anything online for this NW Brass company.  Businesses are usually very hard to research.  Sometimes their papers are left with the nearby college or university, historical society or local library.  City Directories might have their advertisements.

By the year 1909, the city directories have Robert back working with the Canadian Pacific Railroad as a coppersmith.   This was his father Edmund’s profession.

Unfortunately, the CPR does not allow access to employee records per their website.  I actually called them several years ago and was told to call back.  Maybe it is time to try again?

We see from the city directories that grandfather Robert Boardman was on the path of a tradesman like his father Edmund Boardman.  This path would take him to Vancouver, British Columbia and eventually to the U.S. permanently.