Category Archives: Minnesota

The Children of William Brown & Elsie: Henry Brown

Henry Brown was born on 5 November 1820 in County Longford, Ireland and he died on 18 September 1899 in Oil Springs, Lambton Co., Ontario.  He married Margaret Orr about 1840 in Hastings County, Ontario.  She was born about 1824 in Belfast, Ireland and died about 1900 in Oil Springs, Lambton Co., Ontario. Both are buried in the Oil Springs Cemetery.  Margaret is probably the daughter of Joseph Orr and Mary Carter.

Henry settled in Hastings County, Ontario and had land there.

Hastings and Prince Edward Counties (Ontario Map Ref #28 and #29) Illustrated historical atlas of the counties of Hastings and Prince Edward, Ont. Toronto : H. Belden & Co., 1878.

The Canadian Digital Atlas Project:

Henry’s story is best represented by the biography written about him in the Lambton County history book:

Source:  Commemorative Biographical Record of the County of Lambton, Ontario., Hill Binding Co., 1906, Compiler J.H. Beers & Co., Toronto.

Lambton County History book

Lambton County History book

pg. 128: Henry Brown father of Mrs. Yates, was born Nov. 5, 1820 in Ireland. He was of Holland descent, however, his ancestors having come over with King William through his parents, William and Alice (Tymond) Brown, were also born in Ireland, where she latter died. She was a granddaughter of John Tymond, the military engineer who built the Tymond iron bridge, in County Limerick, Ireland, which was name after him. After his wife’s death William Brown came to Canada with his family and settled in Hastings County, where his life closed. He was the father of a family of twelve children, all of whom have passed away. The father of Mrs. Yates was the youngest of this large family and he was afforded excellent educational advantages in Ireland. After coming to Canada he taught school for a short time, after which he engaged in farming. On Dec. 5, 1840, Henry Brown as married to Miss Margaret Orr, who was born in 1824, near the city of Belfast, daughter of Joseph and Mary (Carter) Orr, who were born and reared in Ireland, and died there. Henry Brown was a farmer in his younger days, and later on engaged in work as a clerk for the village of Sterling, Hastings County, and his penmanship may yet be seen in the old deeds and official papers of that time. During the Mackenzie rebellion he served as soldier for three years and was honorably discharged. In 1861 Mr. Brown removed to Lambton County and settled in Oil Springs, where he became interested in the handling of real estate and in the production of oil. In 1863 he was elected the first town clerk of Oil Springs, a position he held with the greatest efficiency for a number of years. He was foremost in all progressive movements here, was a charter member of the Masonic fraternity, and filled official positions in the lodge for a considerable period. During his whole life he was an upright, honorable, public spirited man solicitous for the welfare of the community. The death of this good citizen took place Sept. 18, 1899, and that of his widow, in the following year, the only survivor of their family being their daughter Mrs. Yates.

Henry and Margaret’s daughter Ann Jane Brown was born the 28 December, 1841 in Niagara, Ontario. She appears to be the only child of this couple. This implies that Henry was on the move while his brothers Thomas and Philip stayed in Hastings Co., Ontario.

Ann Jane Brown was married on 22 March 1871 to George Yates.  George was the son of Benjamin Yates and Phebe.  He was born about 1839 in Leeds Co., Ontario. Ann was born in Niagara to Henry and Margaret Brown.  George was a merchant. The marriage took place at the residence of the bride’s parents by Rev. G.A. Mitchell in Lambton County, Ontario.

Source:  Ontario, Canada Marriages, 1801-1928, Archives of Ontario, MS932, Reel 4.  These are at with originals.

A search of the 1851 and 1861 Canadian Census did not find Henry, Ann or Margaret Brown listed.  So we cannot follow his movements till he appears in 1871.

Henry and family appear in the 1871 Canadian Census for Oil Springs, Lambton Co., Ontario, Dist. 4 Lambton, SD, Oil Springs, pg. 1, Ontario.

Line 3, 3, 2, 2, Brown Henry, M, age 50, born Ireland, Episcopal, Irish, Town Clerk, M., Brown, Margaret, F, age 47, born Ireland, Episcopal, Irish, M, Yates, George, M, age 32, born Ontario, [I Meth E], German, Oil Dealer, M, March/ Yates, Ann Jane, F, age 29, born Ontario, Episcopal, Irish, M. 

Henry is residing in Oil Springs in the 1881 Canadian Census, Oil Springs, Lambton Co., Ontario, District 179, John Q. Branerd, pg. 9.

Line 20, 41, 41, Brown, Henry, M, age 61, born Ireland, C. of England, Ireland, C. of E., English, Village Clerk, M. Brown, Margret, F, age 58, born Ireland, Ch of England, Scotch, M. Line 22, 42, 42, Yates, George, M, age 43, born Ohio, Meth E, Irish, Store Keeper, M. Yates, Ann. James F age 40, born Ontario, Meth E., Irish, M. 

Yates, Edmund, M age 9, born Ontario, ME, Irish. Yates, Henrietta, F age 7, born Ontario, ME, Irish

pg. 10
Yates Charlotte, Fem age 5, born Ontario, M E., Irish. Yates, Harriet C, F, age 3, born Ontario, M E, Irish, Yates, Frederick C., Ma, 6/12 June, born Ontario, ME.. Irish. Lamott, George, M age 18 born Ontario, ME, Irish (faded writing)

Henry is still living in Oil Springs in the 1891 Canadian Census for Oil Springs, Lambton Co., Ontario, Dist. 81, East Lambton, 4 April 1891, pg. 10.

Line 1, W2/9, 44, Brown, Henry, M, age 70 M, born Ireland, parents Ireland, CE, Lan Agent. Brown, Margret, F, age 66, M, [ ] Ireland, parents born Ireland, CE, both can read and write.

Research from a cousin reads:

Anna Jane Brown married on 22 March 1871 to George C. Yates. He was born in Athens, Leeds Co., Ontario on 2 September, 1838 a son of Benjamin Yates 1812 to 1888 and Phoebe Cornell (1813-1888). Both were born in Canada and moved to near Sarnia and died there leaving George Cornell Yates and a sister Sarah. Sarah apparently later married William Yates.  In 1861 George C. Yates moved to Oil Springs and worked in Oil production and later as a merchant. He worked in the mercantile business until 1894, when he lost his business.  Yates was also the postmaster for twenty years at Oil Springs, as well as the tax collector and assessor.  In politics he was a staunch Reformer and he died on November 16, 1901 and was survived by his widow.  Anna Jane Yates then left Canada and moved to Connecticut, settling in Waterbury. Her home was on 360 Highland Ave. Anna Jane died on 9 November 1935 being ill for several years. She was 94 years old.  She was survived by her six children.  The body was taken back to Oil Springs for burial in the family plot. 

Ann and George Yates had the following children:

1. Edmund H. Yates born 31 December 1871 in Oil Springs, Lambton Co., Ontario, He married Susan Shepherd of Enniskillen and they had Eunice, Helen V. and Georgina E. Yates. He was educated in a business college in Chatham, Ontario. He moved to New Haven, Connecticut where he worked for the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railway. There is a birth record for Edmund Henry with the county.

2. Henrietta Yates was born 7 December 1873 Oil Springs, Lambton Co., Ontario.She moved to Connecticut where she worked as a nurse.  She did not marry.  She died on 5 June 1970 in Waterbury, Litchfield Co., Connecticut at age 96. . She is buried in the Oil Springs Cemetery.

From the Waterbury Republican, Saturday, June 6, 1970:

Miss Yates’ Rites to Be Private: Private funeral services for Miss Henrietta Yates, 360 Highland Ave., retired industrial nurse at Anaconda American-Brass, will be held Monday at the Alderson Funeral Home, 70 Central Ave., followed by cremation.  Burial will be in Oil Springs Cemetery in Canada at the convenience of the family.  She died Friday at Waterbury Extended Care Facility, Watertown, after a long illness.  Born in Oil Springs, Ontario, daughter of the late George Cornell and Ann Jane (Brown) Yates. She was a nurse at Anaconda for 25 years, retiring a number of years ago. She attended St. Barnabus Hospital School of nursing in Minneapolis, Minn. Surviving are a sister, Gertrude A. Yates and a brother, Clifford R. Yates both of this city. There are no calling hours. Friends are asked to omit flowers. 

3. Charlotte G. Yates was born about 1875 in Lambton Co., Ontario. She became a nurse in Sarnia and then moved to Minneapolis.

4. Harriett Caroline Yates was born about 1878 in Lambton Co.Ontario and died about May 1887 in Oil Springs.  She is buried in the Oil Springs Cemetery.

5. Frederick Charles Yates was born about June 1880 in Oil Springs, Lambton Co., Ontario. He died in 1957 in Oil Springs and is buried in the Oil Springs Cemetery. He married a Mary Wasel of Elizabethport, NJ.  He worked as a machinist in New York.

6.  Clifford Russell Yates was born 4 March 1883 in Oil Springs. He worked in the office of the Oil Springs Chronicle and learned the printing business. He later worked in the bookkeeping office of Coe Brass Works at Ansonia, Connecticut.  He died 13 March 1973 in Waterbury, Litchfield Co., Connecticut. He is buried in the Oil Springs Cemetery.

7. Gertrude Alma Yates was born 13 August, 1886  in Oil Springs. She was known as “Queenie or Queen.” According to family news she didn’t marry staying at home to care for her aging mother.  She was cremated 16 April 1976 in Corona, Riverside, California. Service were held at 3 pm at the First Congregational Church, Grimes Funeral Home. A letter from the newspaper indicates that she may have married but her married name is not clear.  She may have had Winifred (Allen) Arnold, Corona, California, Olleta (Clarence) Jones, Independence, MO., Peggy (Richard) Mulock, Palo Alto, Calif., Darlyn (Herb) Jahn, Banning Calif., and Helen (Bob) Atwood also of Banning, Calif.  Sons would be Alton, Oceanside, Kenneth, Culver City, Neville, Banning, CA and Larry, Rolla, Mo.  The information is from an obituary from the Corona-Noroc Independent which was not copied but abstracted.

Ann (Ada) Jane Brown Yates has several obituaries:

This appeared in the Waterbury Republican on Nov. 10, 1935:

Mrs. Ann Yates.  Mrs. Ann J. Yates, widow of George C. Yates, died at her home 360 Highland avenue, yesterday. She was born in Old Fort Niagara, Ontario, Canada, December 29, 1841, the only child of Henry and Margaret brown, formerly of Sterling, Ontario.  Mrs. Yates was a resident of Oil Springs, Ontario for 50 years and of Ansonia for five years. She came to Waterbury in 1917.  Mrs. Yates is survived by three sons, Edmund H. and Clifford R., both of this city and Frederick of Thomaston; three daughters, Gertrude and Henrietta of this city, and Charlotte of Minneapolis, Minn. Private funeral services will be held tomorrow. Burial will be in Canada.

Another obituary notice describes the same information as above but gives more detail about the funeral:

The funeral was held from Centenary United Church, Oil Springs on Wednesday afternoon at 2 o’clock. The service was conducted y the Rev. G. Oliver. Interment was at Oil Springs Cemetery. 

There is a short mention of the of Henry Brown in the local newspaper for September 20, 1899.  Died – Brown in Oil Springs on Monday Sept 18th, 1899, Henry brown, aged 78 years and 10 months.  His death is also recorded in the Schedule C of Deaths. page 479, Brown Henry Sept 15, 78 – 10 -13 age, born Ireland, _________disability, Ch. of England.

Henry's Death

Henry’s Death

Apparently Henry was a lieutenant out of Oil Springs.  He is on the roll call for 1837-1838 – Lambton County L’extracts, Canada’s Gallant Volunteers.

As usual there is more to be done in researching this family.


Grandmother Ethel Brown Boardman and the early 1900’s!

The early 1900’s were very eventful for my grandmother Ethel Adella Brown.  I last featured her and some photographs in the post dated April 1, 2011 “Ethel Adella Brown – Growing Up!”

My grandmother always dressed well.  In digging deep into my memories I realize that she never looked rumpled or untidy.  Here she is about the age of 20 which would place the time about 1902.  This is a reprint.  The original is missing?

Photo:  Rarely do I do a large photo.  This is amazing and I am proud of my Grandmother.  This photo was given to me by her oldest daughter Aileen sometime in the 1980’s before my Aunt’s death. So it is very precious to our family.   I wish I had seen it as a child.  As a child I would have been fascinated.  The questions I would have asked?  I think that my grandmother Ethel looks absolutely amazing. 

Photo:  This photo is of Ethel with a friend? There is no writing on the back. It probably dates about the same time as the one above. 

Photo:  Here is another picture of Ethel with a friend.  This time it has the name Della Gibner written on the back.  If you study the photo above and compare it to this photo, I think you will agree that it is the same lady.   That must have been a wonderful friendship!

Photos:  In this photo Ethel is having  fun.  She looks happy and like she is enjoying herself.  The hair is still in the elaborate style.  I do not have dates written on the back of any of these photos so I am guessing that it was around the late 1890’s and early 1900’s and close to the first photo I presented.  Here she seems younger.   The stamp reads:  W.C. Woods [59 E.] Main St., Winnipeg.  I had a hairpiece and it would take me a good 2 hours to put my hair up.  I have very thick hair.  Can you imagine the time these hairdos took?

Over the course of the early 1900’s my grandmother would experience sad and happy times. 

Unfortunately Ethel’s mother Emma Ward passes on the 20th of April 1905.  Ethel was about 23 at the time of this event. 

Several months later in August on the 28th of 1905 my grandmother Ethel Adella Brown married Robert Boardman in St. Paul.  She was now a married lady. 

Robert and Ethel are living with her father Richard Brown 1906 per the census.  Ethel was the only girl in the family so maybe she took on the duties of caring for her father, brother, and her husband.

Following in 1907 Ethel’s brother Charles lost his first wife Annie Stobbs on 4 October 1907.  She is buried in the St. John’s Cemetery in Winnipeg.

Edmund James Boardman, brother of her husband Robert, gets married to Jesse in August of 1908.  This is followed by the death of her father-in-law Edmund Boardman who passes October of 1908. 

The next year there is a wedding in October of 1909 with the marriage of brother Charles to Eva Nellie. 

Photographs below:  Ethel in a straw hat and without.  Straw hats were apparently worn in the summer time according to the Hat History website: 

The other change is the style of her hair.  It is now curly. 

Photo above:  Here she is looking a little wistful.  Again she is dressed beautifully.  

Photo:  Once again she is having fun in this photo.  That coat is something to see.  I wonder what it was made of?  The pose is very reminiscent of my Aunt Aileen. 

Things were going to change for Ethel about 1907.  She would become a mother and she would migrate with her husband Robert to Vancouver, British Columbia about 1910 and eventually to the U.S.

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.

The Browns: Richard and Emily’s Family

This photograph is one of may that I don’t know much about.  I do know that the young woman on the left is my grandmother Ethel Adella Brown Boardman.  She must be in her teens?  I do not know who the two other people are, the woman and the boy.  I do not have a lot of photos of the Brown side.  

Ethel on the Lawn


My grandmother Ethel’s parents were Richard Brown and Emily Ward.  

Richard and Emily had 4 children: 

1.  Charles Ward Brown was born 6 January 1875 in probably Michigan.  He died 21 July 1935 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.  He first married Annie Stobb on 10 July 1901.  She was born 15 December 1873 and died 4 October 1907 in Winnipeg.  He married a second time to Eva Nellie Haffman on 14 October 1909 in Winnipeg, Manitoba.  She was born about 1883 in Manitoba.  They had 3 children. 

2. Ethel Adella Brown was born 10 June 1881 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada and died 25 February 1965 in Seattle, King Co., Washington.  She married Robert Boardman on 28 August 1905 in St. Paul, Ramsey Co., Minnesota.  They had 3 children see the posted dated April 12, 2010. 

3.  Arthur Ward Brown was born 29 November, 1883 in Winnipeg, Manitoba and died 30 March 1968 in Winnipeg.  He married Teresa Ploeger on 10 June 1914 in Winnipeg and they had 3 children. 

4. Alvin Brown was born about 1895 and died 7 December 1895 in Winnipeg, Manitoba.   My grandmother was 10 years old at his death.  

What has been found on my Brown side has been through the help of a researcher at the Manitoba Genealogical Society who searched city directories, vital records indexes, newspapers and cemeteries.  He went out to the cemeteries and took photos for me.  I am very grateful for his help.  His name is Rick McLellan and he is still listed on the Manitoba Genealogical Society website under Research Services: