Sunday, November 3, 2013

I found them!

I finally tracked them down.
Been searching for my Cherryholme grandparents in the 1921 Census of Canada.  The indexed version of the Census recently became available at and I had thought it would be a piece of cake to locate them.
They were a  small family back in 1921, just Tom, his wife Marilda and their one-year old daughter Jeannette.  They should be the only Cherryholme(s) in the country at the time.  Shouldn't be too difficult to weed them out of the Ottawa records then.
You think?
Ha, guess again!
I've long since learned to search for many variations on the Cherryholme name when looking for that lot, including the name Holme(s). Up pops a Thomas C Holmes, right age, right occupation, born in England, immigrated to Canada in 1910 (my grandfather actually immigrated in 1912 but Census returns are notorious for being off on these details).  But this guy was single.  Could it really be my grandfather?  He should have been married to Marilda with a one year old daughter named Jeannette!  I put that record aside as a "possible" and kept on searching.
While I wasn't having any luck with Tom, I searched for Marilda with a daughter Jeannette.  No can do.  Nothing was surfacing.
Of course, when I'm searching any digitized records, I also pull the easy ones while I'm at it.  I had already located Marilda's parents' record, as well as her widowed grandmother's record.  I plan to look for her aunts and uncles as well at some other time.
Then I remembered that my Aunt Jeannette had told stories about her having lived with her grandparents as a young child.  So I went back to the record for Marilda's parents.
There was my great grandfather, John Raymond, living at 45 Pinhey Street in Ottawa with his wife Deliann (actually Delima) and their children:  Millia, 25; Eyvonne (Yvonne), 17; Victor, 15; Germaine, 12; and Gracia, 8.  And a lodger, Charion Genest, age 1.  (My great grandfather's actual name was Joseph Jean-Baptiste Labrosse dit Raymond, but he had Anglicized his first name and dropped the Labrosse in favour of Raymond some time around the turn of the century.  The family remained predominantly French.)
As I studied that record, I realized that something was just not right.
Their daughter, my grand aunt Emilia, had died in 1917.  But their daughter Marilda -- my grandmother -- would have been 25 in 1921.  Why was this daughter shown as single -- she should have been married, with a one year old daughter named Jeannette.
On studying the name of the "lodger" I realized what the record was actually telling me.  Reverse the order of the names, giving you Genest Charion, and you have Jeannette Cherryholme spelled in the oddest of ways.  Spelling obviously wasn't the enumerator's forte.
For some reason, "Genest" is not declared as John Raymond's granddaughter.  I know that my Aunt Jeannette grew up in her grandfather's home on Pinhey Street in Ottawa.  She loved regaling us with stories of her years there.
Once I recognized the significance of this find, I had to accept that the Thomas C Holmes record is in all likelihood my grandfather.

I can only surmise that both Marilda and Tom declared themselves to be single (although they actually married in 1919 in Ottawa) because they must have been separated at the time of the 1921 Census.  They obviously reconciled because they subsequently had four more children, my father being one of them.

All I can say is, it's a good thing I enjoy solving puzzles because this one was a doozy!

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