Saturday, November 10, 2012

Sundays Obituary - Remembrance Day Canada *Updated Dec.12, 2016*


 Well it's that time of the year again, and time to honor those who are and who have fought for our countries freedom.  Canada isn't exactly thought of as one of those to be feared in this modern world. I mean we aren't as likely to show up on some others counties soil or water way trying to enforce our will on them. However Canadians have always held their own and then some in times of war. The American's learned early on that we were not going to simply roll over and become part of their nation. In the War of 1812 Brock, Tecumseh and many fine men helped lay a foundation for a nation. In WWI, Canadians troops were often called in to move on enemy positions that were proving difficult to take. Does any one remember Vimy Ridge?  In WWII Canadian troops fought alongside the Allies to secure Europe and the world from Hitler. Storming the beach at Juno more lives were lost then were able to push on. Today in Afghanistan troops seek to help that country reform and protect them from the Taliban forces.  The United Nations Peace Keeping Force has always had a strong Canadian representation among it's troops.
       If you have followed my blog over this first year, then you know of my great grandfather Dennie. He lied with his mothers approval to join the army in WWI. He luckily for us anyway didn't make it over to see battle. He joined, was trained and shipped over to Britain to finish training and the war ended. I believe all he ended up doing was helping with the clean up and organizing of equipment to ship back. Still he didn't know that he wouldn't make it to the front lines and at age 16 was on a boat headed to war.  If you haven't followed my blog, scan back through. I even have his war record posted. I ordered it from the Canadian Archives.  Also you may run across another story of my great grandfathers friend (who I called Uncle George), George Fraser. Who was an WWII army driver and drove the then Princess Elizabeth and her husband during their tour of Canada. He foiled an attempt to get at her while driving the highways of Ontario.  These are just two of the specific men in my family tree that I think about during this time of the year. However I never forget that there are and have been so many more. So say thanks to a vet this Remembrance Day and always "Remember When ....." others fought and even died for us, to continue to enjoy the freedoms we have.

    * I have updated all the previous records about this bit of family lore. Great Grandpa Dennie did join up at the proper age of 18. I have found and corrected the family genealogy and updated it with the correct lineage and facts. Updated Dec 12, 2016 by the blog author - John Goodwin.*

While doing some research this past week at the Windsor Library I came across this full page ad.  It was in the Saturday, November 11, 1944, Windsor Star, Section 3, page12.


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Those Places Thursday - 818 Bruce Ave., Windsor, Ont., Canada

      Well I've told you about the home on Highland that belonged to my father's mother. How we lived in an apartment above her and what that home meant to me. Well it was important as it was around a lot longer than the house that my grandparents owned on Bruce. That would be my mother's parents. However, the house on Bruce probably means more to me overall if you were to weigh time spent in it (daily life, events, and stories), to time available to us, to spend in it. In other words more quality than quantity.  When my parents were first married they lived with my mothers family until my father had a steady enough job and could afford to rent the place over his mothers home. They lived in the back bedroom, off the kitchen. When I was born I was put in a bassinet beside the bed. My father recently told me how he would come home from working afternoons at Chryslers, coming in at mid-night and finding my grandfather Lafleur (the one from Painters of Windsor previous blog) sitting up in the kitchen feeding me a night time bottle.  Later in life my grandmother lafleur took care of me in the mornings and sent me to kindergarten for the after noon at St. Alphonsus School (thanks to my mom and her cousin Linda for correcting me - I had Marlborough School - I went there grade 1-3). My Aunt Denise (my mothers youngest sister) is only about a year and a half older and her youngest brother Bernie was 4 years older. they walked me to school. My parents both worked  at this point to afford their own home. My grandmother also watched my cousin Sheri (a year younger). There were also my other uncles Mark and Wilfrid Jr. the oldest of the boys living at home then. All these kids and their friends in the neighbourhood made for a busy home. Then add in the oldest sister and her 5 kids and other relatives coming and going on the weekends and you might say the joint was hopping. There was cards and drinking, people talking, laughing and some yelling (mostly to be heard).  The house was a hive of activity. We had Christmas dinners here, birthdays, easter, and to many other events to list. My grandfather retired and they moved up north Sturgeon Falls in the Nipissing area where they were from.
     First thing below is a section of page 134 of the Windsor City Directory from 1967. Showing my grandparents listing and residence as 818 Bruce.  I still have the real estate listing from the time. It shows a picture of the home and gives the specifications. It appears second below. Also included in the pictures below are shots showing some of the interior of the home. So the second picture is a floor plan I drew up from memory with each of the pictures that follow shown on the floor plan. By "shown" I mean I attempted to show where the photographer would have been standing and what you are seeing of the house from that point of view.  Now the floor plan isn't exactly to scale but is just here to give that perspective. Speaking for myself as a family representative, I must say I always "Remember When..." fondly, when I think back on this home and everything that went on there.

Lafleur listing section from page 134 of the 1967 Windsor City Directory

Photo #1 - My mother (Noella Aldea Lafleur) in the kitchen  - Sept 26,1965
My Mother said " This picture of me was taken the day after your dad and I got married - the family was teasing your dad and I - and I was really blushing - to bad the picture was in black and white."
Photo #2 - Aunt Florence (my mother's sister) with her daughter Sheri  & I am standing with my back to them in the kitchen/dining room doorway  -  1972

Photo #3 - Uncle Bernie (right - my mother's brother) and a friend in dining room outside master bedroom - 1971

Photo #4 - Grandma Desneige (nee Ouellette) Lafleur in dining room outside master bedroom - Christmas 1965

Photo #5 - The Lafleurs - Christmas 1968
(Left to right - rear) Florence, Noella, Fernand, Desneige, Wilfrid Sr. holding Denise
(Left to right - front) Wilfrid Jr., Bernie, Mark

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Workday Wednesday - The Painters of Windsor, Ont., Canada - Part 2

    So to finish off the story of the Painters of Windsor; below i have my Grandfather Lafleur's metal union Social Insurance Card and the paper one you hold onto to order a new one if you lose your original.  Along with his Painters Union Card. I also put his Birth certificate up that I have put on before, to show the proper spelling of his name.   Now the Painters of Windsor also included my Grandfather Lafleur's brother Ferdinand Lafleur. The brothers worked together on the same crew and Uncle Ferdinand would be over all the time. We had a really close family on my mothers side back then.  Until my grandfather retired and they moved back up north to the Nipissing area; where they were originally from. Once they did, the brothers and sisters (my mother and her sib's) stopped getting together as much. Now we see each other a couple times a year at best. It is a sad state of affairs if you ask me. Most of my cousins and my brother are younger and don't really "Remember When....." and how will they if the previous generation isn't there to pass on their knowledge.

Grandpa Joseph Wilfrid Lafleur (left) and his brother Ferdinand Lafleur (right).

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Workday Wednesday - The Painters of Windsor, Ont., Canada - Part 1

    We all have those stories in our family that go something like "I can't believe the families knew each other before the kid's met and married"; or something similar to this.  Well one of those stories I told way back in my first blog on Nov. 12, 2011  - A New 40 yr old Cousin I've Known for 20 yrs .  In  this case a cousin who was adopted out and ended up being my  Today I want to talk about my grandfathers. My  dad's father was John Francis (Frank) Goodwin and he moved to Windsor around 1943-44 with his new wife and my father William F. was born July 7, 1945.  John went to work as a decorator/painter for National Painting and Decorating Co. Ltd. at 725 Wyandotte Street.   There he met Joseph Wilfrid Lafleur, another painter.  Wilfrid was the father of my mother Noella A., born on Dec. 26, 1947.


 John Francis Goodwin
aka - Frank

Joseph Wilfrid Lafleur
aka - Wilfrid 

      These are the men I was named after, John Francis Wilfrid Goodwin. I have a lot of information on my grandfather Lafleur, as my mother was the executor of her parents estate, and I am the family genealogist. So she passed down a lot of the documents for me to keep and use for the family record. I also practically grew up in my grand parents home. My parents worked and I stayed with my grand mother, not to mention we were over their house at least once a month with the rest of my mothers brothers & sisters and their families. So I knew my grandfather well. I remember him coming home for lunch when he was near enough to home to do so. Pulling up behind the house on  Bruce in the Company van, with ladders attached to the roof. He was the best.  Now my grandfather Goodwin, I never met. My grandmother unfortunately drove him off with all her wild living. My own father barely remembers him at all. I have only just broken past that brick wall to figure out who his family was. But I do have some information I was able to dig up. So for part one of this Workday Wednesday I will end with the excerpts from the Windsor Directories of the days. 

Taken from the 1953 Windsor City Directory, White Pages
pg-211;  Goodwin
My grandfather is going by Frank J. Goodwin here, Frank is the name he went by during this stage of his life.

Taken from the 1955 Windsor City Directory, White Pages
pg-291; Lafleur
They spelled my grandfathers name in the English form instead of the French (Wilfrid). My grandmother in the brackets is also in the English as Denise (her name in the French is Desneige). Then his occupation as a Painter at National Paint (all in the short form).


Friday, October 5, 2012

Treasure Chest Thursday - Ancestry Canada Voters List - The Good the Bad and the Ugly

   Well for the past few days I have started going through the Canada Voters List 1935-1980.  So far it is definitely a Treasure Chest of information.  I found my great uncle Fernand Lafleur in the Essex, Ontario list (numerous years) and with him his wife Theresa. The cool thing here is that her father lived with them. I knew her maiden name was Rocheleau but never had any information on her parents. However it was evident from the Voters list that Charles Rocheleau (retired) lived in the same household and so I have opened a small brick wall in my genealogy. The information in these Voters list helps fill out the lives of our ancestor's. Where they lived in the various years, occupation and who (of voting age) lived in the home.
    Now while it is a great new source of information I do have some criticism . The Transcription of the original records is rough. I really wonder if they were checked at all. For one thing they completely skip over people in the records, not to mention how badly they transfer some of the names from the records.  For instance the record featured here below...

Nipissing, Ontario Rural polling Division No. 87, Verner (Town)

   and this is what the transcribers have available to look up....

             Name                          Location         Occupation  Electoral    Year
1)    Stvphanv  Hrossvau              Nipissing, Ontario   Journalier          Nipissing    1958
2)   Aldan Hrowivau                     Nipissing, Ontario     Vultiv                  Nipissing    1958
3)   I Hrnswvau                                Nipissing, Ontario     Onat                       Nipissing    1958
            5) M Dmrovhes                                 Nipissing, Ontario    Mv                          Nipissing    1958
     7) Francois Journalier  Dettrovhes      Nipissing, Ontario  Vernvr                Nipissing   1958                         
     9) Mario Dalvourt                           Nipissing, Ontario  Rvlne Vvrner       Nipissing    1958
   10) Edouard  Dalcourt                        Nipissing, Ontario  Journalier,Vernvr  Nipissing   1958
   11) Claude Dalvourt                           Nipissing, Ontario  Vultivateur         Nipissing   1958
   12) Marguei  Unlvourt                        Nipissing, Ontario   He Vrrnvr          Nipissing   1958
   16) Journalier  Matirlsv                       Nipissing, Ontario  Vvrnvr              Nipissing   1958
   17) M Ivrvai                                      Nipissing, Ontario   Me                  Nipissing   1958
   18) Journalivr Harry                            Nipissing, Ontario  Vvrnvr              Nipissing  1958
   20) Eugene Lafleur                            Nipissing, Ontario  add                  Nipissing  1958
   21) Marie Louise Lafleur  (nee Trudel) Nipissing, Ontario   add                 Nipissing   1958
   22) Roland Lafleur                              Nipissing, Ontario  Cultlvateur        Nipissing   1958
   23) Beatrice Lafleur (nee Ouellette)     Nipissing, Ontario  Vernvr               Nipissing   1958          
   24) Edouard  Laurin                           Nipissing, Ontario  Vultlvatvur         Nipissing   1958
   27) Mme Georgette   Ivifortune             Nipissing, Ontario  -Field                Nipissing   1958          
   28) Ludgere Lafortune                         Nipissing, Ontario   Cultlvateur         Nipissing   1958
   29) Jean Maurlve Labelle                     Nipissing, Ontario   Fila Cultlvateur  Nipissing   1958     
   31) Oscar Ouvllvttv                             Nipissing, Ontario  Cultlvateur         Nipissing   1958
   32) Florence Ouvllvtto                         Nipissing, Ontario   Vvrner              Nipissing   1958
   33) Leo Kivard                                  Nipissing, Ontario   Journalivr, Vvrner Nipissing   1958
   34) Mmv Klcard                                Nipissing, Ontario   Ivrtrudv  Vcrner   Nipissing    1958
   35) Joseph Rlcard                               Nipissing, Ontario   Cultlvateur          Nipissing   1958
   36) Mme Delphlne  Rlcard                   Nipissing, Ontario   -Verner                Nipissing   1958
   37) Patrice Rlcar                               Nipissing,  Ontario   Flls De Cultlvateur Nipissing   1958
   38) Roger St Gvorges                         Nipissing, Ontario   Journalier             Nipissing   1958
   39) Edouard  Trvmhlay                      Nipissing, Ontario   Mlneur                 Nipissing   1958
   40) Mmc Eglantine-Verner Tremblay   Nipissing, Ontario    add                     Nipissing   1958
   42) Mme Phllomene  Laurin               Nipissing, Ontario   Veuve                 Nipissing   1958

          Now I Numbered them down the left side in order to help match them to their counterparts in the original scanned Voters List. First of all notice that the people numbered 4,6,8,13,14,15,19,25 & 26 are all missing in the transcription. That's nine of forty-two missing. Secondly look at the names even starting at persons 1-3. they are obviously all from the same family (the Brosseau) but the transcriber has their name starting with an 'H' and then each one is spelled differently. Then 4-7 is suppose to be the Desroches family. Only two of them made the cut and look at the spelling of the names not to mention that the Occupation of "Journalier" was included in the name (something you see happening again and again through the transcriptions. it doesn't end there look at number 40 and notice in the transcription that the Town of residence is listed in as part of the name; and again this happens over and over in the transcriptions. 
          I found this page looking for my Lafleur relatives. and numbers 20-23 are the ones I found. However I found them because I was scanning all the Lafleur files by doing a rough search for Lafleur and Ontario only. No first name, year or more specific area. I came across Roland (number 22) as I scanned the pages and when I clicked on it and examined the page saw his parents above and his wife below (you will notice that numbers 20, 21 & 23 are bolder print). These are bolder because they are the corrections I made. Now they show up here on the copy I made and show up on the transcription as a user added notation. however they do not correct the actual transcription and so if you did a search for these people specifically, you would not find this record (unless you looked for Roland and found them through him as I did). 
          Thirdly notice the occupation list. Again the Town name is found in the occupation list and or the occupation is spelled wrong or is any combination of these. the 'add' in the column means it was left blank and you can 'add' the information if you know it. 
            Looking again at the names (I am looking for family in this region of Ontario named Lafleur, Gervais, Ouellette and Trudel.  I noted when looking at this page of the Voters list that there was a Ouellette family on the page at numbers 31 & 32. However again looking at the transcription the name is wrong, and I doubt that the way it is spelled would even come up as a sound-ex variation of the name.  Luckily for me it isn't a family member as far as I know as of yet. There is also a Gervais family at numbers 14-17. They are relatives of mine.  Moise Gervais is the brother of my great grandmother Aldea Gervais.  He is present in the voter list with his wife Cecile (nee Pilon) and an as of yet unknown son Maurice with his wife Semone. Now notice once again the transcription, it is missing 3 of the 4 people shown on the original and the one that is listed is number 17 Semone Gervais using the prefix 'Mme' as her first name (so a capital 'M') then the last name as "Ivrvai" (DO YOU THINK THAT WILL SHOW UP IN A SEARCH?).  
          So yes I am happy that the Voters List is available, and for the information it provides. However the mistakes in transcription are terrible. (Note: there are pages in the original that are hard to read and I certainly understand transcription problems. Most of the pages I am pointing out though are as shown above; and seem completely legible. The only answer seems to be sloppy transcription work). I have done transcription work on line and I know there are some problems doing them sometimes. However if you are going to do it, then look it over and understand the information you are looking at and what is expected before starting. For example just looking at the information as it is laid out on the original above it should become clear to anyone that  Verner is a town, given wear it appears in the list and how often. So there is no reason for it to find it's way into the Person's Name column or into the Occupation column.  The French Prefix "Mme" (English equivalent would be "Mrs.") appears in front of numerous woman's name on the list. Again if you aren't sure what this means then do a "Google Search" or see if the site has an "Info. Tab" for each column with common things like this listed. Well enough ranting, I think you can see my points and even understand and feel them yourself. But let's end on the positive point that these records help us to round out our knowledge, give more meat to our genealogy record and just helps us to "Remember When..." a little easier. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Surname Saturday - Goodwin Brick Wall Comes Down

     Well my father sent me this picture a few months back. How it is that I didn't already have it? I don't know. We had gone through all the photo's years ago and I had made copies of everything. Or so I thought; it seems. Anyway this picture is of my Grandmother (Elva Irene Dennie) in the middle. I have written about her in previous blogs. In this photo she is pregnant with my dad's younger brother Vincent Ordel Goodwin. He was born Feb. of 1947 so this would be summer or early fall of 1946. With her on her right (left looking at the photo) is her younger brother and the God Father of Vincent; Ordel Dennie. On her left (right looking at the photo) is her husband John Francis Goodwin. Now my grandmother it turns out lived for herself and was out partying and hanging out with men (disappearing for months at a time). By the time she gave birth to her third child (my Aunt Orleen), John F. Goodwin had had enough. To this day we don't know for sure if he was Orleen's genetic father. Anyway since she wouldn't settle down and be a family member, John left. My grandmother put the kids in foster care and there they remained for years (until the government came out with Mother's Allowance), and then she got them back and tried settling down with Vic Boismier. Anyway my father and his sib's never new their natural father, John F Goodwin. The only info we have on him is found on the long form birth certificate of my father. We know from that, that he was born in Aurora, Illinois about 1908.  So this past month when Ancestry had free American Census viewing, I did a search. I have Ancestry for Canada but not the rest of the world yet. Low and behold I found him in the 1910 American Census in Cook County, Illinois with his Father John Goodwin, Mother Ella and new born brother Regis. I also sound him in the 1930 Census and his brother had moved out by then; and again in the 1940 census. In the 1940 Census his father is no longer there and he is head of household with his wife Madeline and mother. I see evidence of a death record for his father in 1937 but couldn't access it until I get the full Ancestry service.  His Father and mother are listed as being from New York previously. She born there to parents that came from Irish Gaelic background and he from Irish Gaelic background that moved to the USA. It gives us a picture showing where John was employed during those census' and his father as a Switchman for the railroads. This is the most we have known about him in all my years of asking family members. Now to get cracking through some more of this info. and see where it leads. Remembering When is easier when you have the facts and such.