Author Topic: 'Lost' grandfather in Montreal  (Read 15133 times)

Offline snikwahrm

  • RootsChat Extra
  • **
  • Posts: 36
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
'Lost' grandfather in Montreal
« on: Saturday 05 March 11 23:16 GMT (UK) »
My grandfather, Henry Octavius Atkinson, born Harrogate, Yorkshire England, sailed to New York from Liverpool 11 June 1914; he married my grandmother in Sherbrooke, Ontario on 10 December 1917 & a daughter was born in Montreal in 1918.  My grandmother, born in Kent, England, returned there with her child, shortly before the birth of my mother in 1919.  Henry was an engineer & was said to be building a bridge in Montreal when the couple met, which bore a plaque recording his name.  He worked for his family firm in Harrogate, which made metal structures & it is believed that he was engaged on their behalf in Canada.  When he died in 1943, as he had no next of kin in Montreal, a court hearing was held to settle his affairs & my grandmother in England was sent a copy of the hearing.

I have documentation of all the above, but would love to learn where he was & what he was doing for the 24 years between 1919 & 1943.  Can anyone give me any pointers, how to do this please?

Any help would be so appreciated

Margaret 

Offline RunKitty

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 3,388
  • Stay safe everyone...
    • View Profile
Re: 'Lost' grandfather in Montreal
« Reply #1 on: Sunday 06 March 11 00:00 GMT (UK) »
Hi,

Here is some information about bridges in Montreal.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_bridges_to_the_Island_of_Montreal
Maybe you can see which one he worked on.

You can check the Lovell's directories too
http://bibnum2.bnquebec.ca/bna/lovell/index.html
Click on Serie Principale, then it is in English.

RK :)

Offline snikwahrm

  • RootsChat Extra
  • **
  • Posts: 36
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: 'Lost' grandfather in Montreal
« Reply #2 on: Sunday 06 March 11 01:08 GMT (UK) »
Many thanks for those links - a quick look revealed a bridge built 1919 & the name of the company which built it.  That company was also in the Lovells directory.  It is the type of bridge the family firm built, so perhaps that was the one & maybe he was working for that firm! 

The only thing which bothers me is that it was a good way from Montreal itself, I think &  from Sherbrooke.  They met when were both staying in the same hotel (I know not where in Quebec) & married in the Irish church at Sherbrooke.  Neither had Irish connections.  Do you think they married there because it was the nearest church to Montreal, where English was spoken?

Some time ago, I did contact the office in Montreal which deals with the records of defunct companies.  There was a company set up in Canada by my grandfather's firm, called Atkinson building company & I had hoped to learn if he was involved in it, as you can with the London based Companies House.  However although I explained the reason for my interest, they seemed to believe I was interested in any remaining assets of the firm & referred me to some kind of federal finance office.  Perhaps it was the language barrier.

Any ideas how to pursue the bridge 1919 for information about a plaque bearing his name?


Offline jmcgill

  • RootsChat Extra
  • **
  • Posts: 24
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: 'Lost' grandfather in Montreal
« Reply #3 on: Sunday 06 March 11 02:12 GMT (UK) »
On the “Your Folks” genealogy web site I found a marriage listed between Henry Atkinson and Rose Eleanor Florence Allen on December 12, 1917 in Saint Peter’s Anglican Church in Sherbrooke, Quebec.

Can you give the name of the Bridge in question?

Offline snikwahrm

  • RootsChat Extra
  • **
  • Posts: 36
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: 'Lost' grandfather in Montreal
« Reply #4 on: Sunday 06 March 11 12:52 GMT (UK) »
Thank you for your interest - yes that is my grandparents' marriage.  I found an original image on Ancestry but it simply said The Church of Ireland, Sherbrooke & it looks like 10 December to me. I can add St Peter's Anglican Church to my notes, thank you.  Does anyone know if it is still in Sherbrooke?

The info about the bridge in Montreal, with the plaque came via my aunt from her mother, but all that was said was it bore his name.  All that is known about her time away from England is that she was in Pennsylvania, New York & Montreal.  She only spoke about inconsequential aspects of her time there, not being a person to look back.  She was there with her parents as her father was working there on behalf of the British government.

If only I could identify that bridge, I might learn more about the 'missing' years of the life of Henry Octavius Atkinson from Harrogate, Yorkshire, England.

Offline jmcgill

  • RootsChat Extra
  • **
  • Posts: 24
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: 'Lost' grandfather in Montreal
« Reply #5 on: Sunday 06 March 11 14:39 GMT (UK) »
St. Peter’s Church is still standing In Sherbrooke.

http://quebec.anglican.org/Front%20page/Parishes%20congregations/St%20Francis%20Deanery/Sherbrooke.htm


I went on the Library and Archives Canada web site and checked the 1911 census. I found an Allen family living in Sherbrooke Quebec in the West Ward, listed on lines 43 to 46 on the following pdf.

http://data2.collectionscanada.gc.ca/1911/pdf/e002087984.pdf

I would think that the bridges he was working on at the time they met (before Dec. 1917) would be in the Sherbrooke area of Quebec’s Eastern Townships.


Offline snikwahrm

  • RootsChat Extra
  • **
  • Posts: 36
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: 'Lost' grandfather in Montreal
« Reply #6 on: Sunday 06 March 11 16:47 GMT (UK) »
Thank you so much for the website link for the church - I had searched in vain, finding only reference to the St Peter's Church hall.  It's good now to have a picture of the church, thanks to your input.

Sadly I do not think this Allen family is connected to mine.  My maternal great grandfather was with the Royal Navy (I have obtained his service records) until shortly before travelling from Liverpool to New York in January 1915, with others working for Woolwich Arsenal, (then Kent, now South London) occupation shown as Examiner; their passages were paid by the British government.  His destination was Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.   His wife & my grandmother, his daughter followed in June 1915.  Great grandfather & his wife returned to England in December 1918, so I assume his work was complete.  Does anyone know if there was an army or armaments base, during WW1 in Sherbrooke, to explain his presence there?

I have been unable to find Henry Octavius Atkinson in census in Sherbrooke or Montreal.  Is there any other way to establish his presence there between 1919 & 1943?  The court hearing was in Montreal when he died, so I assume that is where he remained in the intervening years.

Offline cosmac

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 3,373
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: 'Lost' grandfather in Montreal
« Reply #7 on: Sunday 06 March 11 17:05 GMT (UK) »
Canada's latest census release was the 1911.

Debbie

Offline snikwahrm

  • RootsChat Extra
  • **
  • Posts: 36
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: 'Lost' grandfather in Montreal
« Reply #8 on: Sunday 06 March 11 17:09 GMT (UK) »
Ah, Debbie, much as I suspected.  But is it possible to trace people otherwise? e.g. in England, we complete an annual voting register, so 'poll' lists are available.