Author Topic: Martha Jane Sanderson Gill (British Home Child)  (Read 493 times)

Offline travisdoucette

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Martha Jane Sanderson Gill (British Home Child)
« on: Thursday 18 November 21 17:30 GMT (UK) »
Hello -

This is my first post on Roots Chat!  I am the great grandson of Martha Jane Sanderson Gill.  My great grandmother was a British Home Child sent to Canada as a Bernardo child at the turn of the century.  I have collected some information on her which I have pasted below.  I'd be grateful however for any help in filling in the missing pieces pertaining to:

- Who she lived with when she first arrived in Canada
- Anything pertaining to her British father, my GG grandfather, Alfred Gill
- Any other details about her early life in Canada (she came when she was 13!)

My 6th cousin, Kaz (Karen) is on this site searching for similar info.  Any help you can offer us is appreciated!

Here's the information I have been able to collect from my family.  Perhaps it will be helpful to other realitives!

Martha Jane Sanderson Gill was born to parents Alfred and Martha Gill (nee Holmes) in Kentish Town, a suburb of London England on October 16, 1887.  Brother, Alfred and sister, Elsie would be born by the time she was three years old.  She first married Arthur Bertrand with which she had six children and lived with him until his death.  She later married Charles "Charlie" Lee and had two more children.

Martha was a "Bernardo" child sent from Liverpool, England on the ship Parisian at age 13 to be a child laborer.  She was trained in Peterborough at the Hazel Brae Bernardo Home before being sent to work at a German Home.  Her youngest son, Ward Archer "Joe" Lee records that she first went to work for the Petty Family in the Wilson settlement and attended the Meyersburg church South of Campbellford, Ontario.  Sandra Grass, another descendent recalls hearing that she at one time worked at the "Puffball Inn" also located in Northumberland County at the time.

After receiving a telegram citing her son, John's death in Sicily during WWII, family members remember stories of her weeping loudly as she walked up her driveway, back to her home.  Generally an unpleasant person illustrated by stories of cruelty to her grandkids and even sadistic behavior, beating her children.  A number of stories have survived including beating her son Cyril with a curtain rod, violently disciplining grandson Larry after innocently correcting her as a child.

A very eccentric/peculiar/intense critically minded woman, she only ate specific foods and was very particular about eating them hot from the oven.  One of her youngest granddaughter's (Brenda Wilson) remembers her patting her chest as she would sip her tea early in the morning.

Her youngest song, Ward "Joe" Lee writes that her brother (Alfred) and Sister (Elsie) visited from England in 1921.  Elsie allegedly "played up" to Martha's husband Arthur before Martha drug the trunk she had travelled with from England out of the house and asked her to leave.  She apparently went to Saskatchewan and was never seen again.  Her brother Alfred returned to England and never reappeared.

She was fastidious about cleanliness and was often critical to others who did not hold her same standards.  In her later years she attended the Seventh Day Adventist Church, fundraising for their feed the poor program, "In Gathering" and famously known for looking down on those who did not hold her same religious convictions.

Towards the end of her life, she did not live consistently with second husband, Charlie Lee but travelled frequently, staying with her children four-five months at a time.

She died on January 30, 1972. She was a thin, homely looking woman in her final years.  Despite her well-known temper and abusive behavior, she was respected by her children as adults. Most of her children did not take on her unusual characteristics, but her grand-children and great-grandchildren have been known to carry some of the "Martha Syndrome" or "Martha-isms" in the family.

Offline Milliepede

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Re: Martha Jane Sanderson Gill (British Home Child)
« Reply #1 on: Thursday 18 November 21 22:27 GMT (UK) »
Her father's occupation on her baptism 12 Feb 1888 looks like shorthand writer.
Baptism of brother Alfred 4 Oct 1889 father's occupation shorthand clerk

Address on both baptisms 144 Malden Road

1891 census

Martha Gill head married 23 could be 28
Martha daughter 3
Alfred son 1
Charlotte Holmes lodger 23

What date was her passage to Canada?

Might this be her in 1901 still in England

John Anns 56
Emily Anns 54
Martha Gill 18 boarder born London
Ellen Moore 9 boarder
Hinchliffe - Huddersfield Wiltshire
Burroughs - Arlingham Glos
Pick - Frocester Glos

Offline Milliepede

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Re: Martha Jane Sanderson Gill (British Home Child)
« Reply #2 on: Thursday 18 November 21 22:36 GMT (UK) »
Marriage of Arthur Gill to Martha Sanderson Holmes 3 May 1885

He was 23 shorthand writer father's name Frederick John Gill clerk
Hinchliffe - Huddersfield Wiltshire
Burroughs - Arlingham Glos
Pick - Frocester Glos


Offline Milliepede

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Re: Martha Jane Sanderson Gill (British Home Child)
« Reply #3 on: Thursday 18 November 21 22:40 GMT (UK) »
1881 for Alfred

Frederick Gill 48 law clerk
Annie wife 42
Frances daughter 20
Alfred son 19 law clerk
Annie daughter 17
Marion daughter 15
Albert son 12
Flora daughter 4
Hinchliffe - Huddersfield Wiltshire
Burroughs - Arlingham Glos
Pick - Frocester Glos

Offline Milliepede

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Re: Martha Jane Sanderson Gill (British Home Child)
« Reply #4 on: Thursday 18 November 21 22:47 GMT (UK) »
Is this Elsie?

Elsie Dorothy Gill baptised 22 Feb 1893 born 8 July 1891

father Alfred a clerk mother Martha

abode workhouse
Hinchliffe - Huddersfield Wiltshire
Burroughs - Arlingham Glos
Pick - Frocester Glos

Offline Milliepede

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Re: Martha Jane Sanderson Gill (British Home Child)
« Reply #5 on: Thursday 18 November 21 22:52 GMT (UK) »
So mother Martha remarried in 1899 and has the 2 younger children with her in 1901 but haven't found a death for Alfred yet. 
Hinchliffe - Huddersfield Wiltshire
Burroughs - Arlingham Glos
Pick - Frocester Glos

Offline MonicaL

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Re: Martha Jane Sanderson Gill (British Home Child)
« Reply #6 on: Thursday 18 November 21 22:55 GMT (UK) »

Her youngest song, Ward "Joe" Lee writes that her brother (Alfred) and Sister (Elsie) visited from England in 1921.  Elsie allegedly "played up" to Martha's husband Arthur before Martha drug the trunk she had travelled with from England out of the house and asked her to leave.  She apparently went to Saskatchewan and was never seen again.  Her brother Alfred returned to England and never reappeared.



Welcome to RootsChat  :)

What a full and interesting description of Martha you have added here. So much detail which really makes for a colourful character!

Brother Alfred is showing as having died on 7 Mar 1929 in Burwood, New South Wales. A couple of marriages and children showing for him. Second marriage in 1916 in NSW. No indication he visited Canada in the period of the early 1920s.

I am wondering if 'brother' who visited could actually be Elsie's husband? She married Edward James Ullman on 20 Oct 1915 in Dundurn, Saskatchewan, Canada. There is a shipping manifest for her leaving England on 2 April 1912. She gave her mother's details as contact in England. Her mother looks to have remarried by the 1901 census, husband showing then as Thomas Oaks.

She died in 1994 www.findagrave.com/memorial/101155017/elsie-dorothy-ullman

Gosh, just noticed that she was aged 103 at death. There is an obit for her showing on newspapers.com which includes a photo for her (Star-Phoenix, 19 Oct 1994 ).

I found this on the obit www.newspapers.com/clip/55384441/obituary-for-elsie-dorothy-ullman-gill/


Monica


Census information Crown Copyright, www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline travisdoucette

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Re: Martha Jane Sanderson Gill (British Home Child)
« Reply #7 on: Thursday 18 November 21 23:04 GMT (UK) »
Thanks for all this info.  I have all of this.  To answer your question, my Great-grandmother, Martha Gill departed on the Parisian Ship, 25 July 1901.  My thought is that she lodged with another family before departing, perhaps because the rest of the family was in a workhouse?  Thoughts?


Her father's occupation on her baptism 12 Feb 1888 looks like shorthand writer.
Baptism of brother Alfred 4 Oct 1889 father's occupation shorthand clerk

Address on both baptisms 144 Malden Road

1891 census

Martha Gill head married 23 could be 28
Martha daughter 3
Alfred son 1
Charlotte Holmes lodger 23

What date was her passage to Canada?

Might this be her in 1901 still in England

John Anns 56
Emily Anns 54
Martha Gill 18 boarder born London
Ellen Moore 9 boarder

Offline travisdoucette

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Re: Martha Jane Sanderson Gill (British Home Child)
« Reply #8 on: Thursday 18 November 21 23:08 GMT (UK) »
Hi Monica -

Thanks for the reply.  I am aware of this information and believe it or not, Elsie's daughter is still living (nearly 100) and I have been able to speak with her on the phone!  What a treat!

I never thought that the "brother" who visited could have been James Ullman - that certainly would make a lot of sense.  My assumption is that Elsie was "placed" by Barnardo's out in Saskatchewan and came over to Ontario to visit sister, Martha.

Sad to think my Great Grandmother came over at 13 and likely never saw her mom and dad again.  I am aware of the second marriage to Thomas Oaks.  Why my GG grandfather Alfred Gill deserted the family and where he died is a great mystery to my family I am hoping to solve!

Thanks,

Travis


Her youngest song, Ward "Joe" Lee writes that her brother (Alfred) and Sister (Elsie) visited from England in 1921.  Elsie allegedly "played up" to Martha's husband Arthur before Martha drug the trunk she had travelled with from England out of the house and asked her to leave.  She apparently went to Saskatchewan and was never seen again.  Her brother Alfred returned to England and never reappeared.


Welcome to RootsChat  :)

What a full and interesting description of Martha you have added here. So much detail which really makes for a colourful character!

Brother Alfred is showing as having died on 7 Mar 1929 in Burwood, New South Wales. A couple of marriages and children showing for him. Second marriage in 1916 in NSW. No indication he visited Canada in the period of the early 1920s.

I am wondering if 'brother' who visited could actually be Elsie's husband? She married Edward James Ullman on 20 Oct 1915 in Dundurn, Saskatchewan, Canada. There is a shipping manifest for her leaving England on 2 April 1912. She gave her mother's details as contact in England. Her mother looks to have remarried by the 1901 census, husband showing then as Thomas Oaks.

She died in 1994 www.findagrave.com/memorial/101155017/elsie-dorothy-ullman

Monica