Category Archives: Duncan Surname

Jesse Potter Duncan Boardman: Nurse

Jesse, the wife of Edmund James Boardman, the doctor, was a nurse.

Jesse is the one at the back of the portrait

Photo:  Jesse is probably the one standing in the very back indicate by the X.  The other nurses are unidentified.  I also do not know what nursing school they attended.

I am not familiar with the experiences of nurses in Canadian as I am with the U.S.  My mother Marjorie (Boardman) MacDonald and Aunt Eddie McDonald (dad’s sister) became nurses.  My mother she went to nursing school in Seattle at Virginia Mason, a hospital that still exists, and had to live in a dorm about 1937-1938.  That dorm was taken by the I-5 Freeway.  My Aunt Eddie had a similar experience around 1925 to 1928 in Spokane.  She attended Sacred Heart which also exists as a hospital. In those days to become a nurse you went to nursing school.  These nursing schools are gone now replaced by college and university programs. They have in some cases photographs like the one above and school documentation like attendance reports and grades. I contacted the Sacred Heart hospital and was able to see photographs and get the records of my Aunt Eddie.

I have not done any investigation into Jesse’s experience, but it would be very interesting.  Apparently there was a nursing school at St. Boniface Hospital opened by the nuns in 1897, maybe that is where she attended?

Apparently the Canadian Museum of Civilization and the Canadian War Museum has “The Canadian Nursing History Collection.”  Here is a link to a PDF about this collection:

Another PDF online listed other resources for researching the history of nursing in Canada.  Apparently there is the Manitoba Association for the History of Nursing.  This PDF was done in 2002 so things might have changed but it is a start.

Jesse appears in one article that I found in the Winnipeg Free Press for 11 February 1915.  “The nurses gave a reception to aid in the war effort and Mrs. E. J. Boardman served tea for the second hour.”  It references the Alumnae Association of the Winnipeg General Hospital.

When I saw the military uniform that James was wearing in the last post, I thought maybe he had also served in World War I.  I have searched the Library and Archives of Canada’s website regarding military service for him.  I did not find Edmund James, but I find his brother John!

I think it very interesting that Jesse is living with her parents in the 1916 Canadian Census and Edmund James is not with her.  This is a wonderful find regarding Jesse’s family the Duncans.

Line 14, 178, 179, Duncan, Jean, 48, 7, 3, Royal, Head, F, W, 69, Scotland, all Presby., 1871, Canadian, Scotch, yes, no, English, farmer. Line 15, 180, 180 Duncan Thomas, 48, 7, 3, Son, M. S, 35, Man, Canadian, Scotch, yes, no, English, Farmer. Line 16, 181, 181, Gray Georgina 48, 7, 3, Head, F, W, 33, Man. Line 17 Gray, Walter, Son, M, 3, 12, Eng. Line 18, 180, 180, Duncan, Harry, 48, 7, 3, all in Royal, Head, M, M, 33, Man, Farmer. Duncan, Haddie, wife, F, M, 23, Ont. Duncan, Elizabeth, Daughter, F, S, 4, Sask, Duncan, Thomas Hector, Son, M, S, 4/12 Sask. Duncan, Euphemia, Sister, F, S, 38, Man. Boardman, Jessie, Sister, F, M, 34, Man. Boardman, Jean, niec, F, S, 7, Man. Boardman, Edwin, Nephew, M, S, 5, Man.

Line 26, 181, 182, uncan, Duncan, Alexander, Head, M, M, 31, Man, Presby, Druggist. Line 27, 182, 182, Duncan, Gertrude, wife, F, M, 30, Man, Presby.

Source:  1916 Canadian Census, Family of Jean Duncan, North Battleford, Saskatchewan, pg. 15, S District #24, ED #17, 48-7-3, F.J. [Workboyo] enumerator,

Someday maybe I will get to Winnipeg and you can bet I will check out the alumnae offices of these hospitals which are usually a great place to find yearbooks and more.