Monday, January 27, 2014

52 Ancestors - Johnston Cumberland Paterson

Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small issued the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge. This is a great way to get back into blogging. Each week focus on one ancestor and write something about him or her.  I may be a little late in getting started, but better late than never.

Johnston Cumberland Paterson was my paternal grandfather. Johnston was born July 11th in 1889 at 8:30 in the morning at 18 Commonside Street in Airdrie, Scotland. His parents were Francis Paterson and Elizabeth Danskine. His first name, Johnston was a recycled name, his grandfather being Johnston and an uncle Johnston. His middle name of Cumberland probably has some meaning as it was my father's middle name, as well.  Not sure of the significance.

Johnston was born surrounded by females.  He had one older stepsister,  three older sisters and when he was born his widow grandmother, Agnes Findlay Danskine was living with them.  Later, four more girls would follow, one dying at age 2. By the time Johnston was 8, all of his grandparents and his stepsister would have past away.

In the 1891 census Johnston and his family are living at Southfield house in Airdrie which is listed has having 5 rooms with one or more windows.  By the 1901 census, the family has moved to the much larger Monkland House which has 21 rooms with one or more windows. Somewhere between 1905 and 1907 the family losses all the money and make the decision to start anew in Canada.

On March 2nd, 1907 the family leaves Scotland headed for Canada aboard the S.S. Mongolian. Their destination was Edmonton, Alberta. Not long after their arrival in Edmonton, his oldest sister, Agnes dies of typhoid fever.

Johnston was  mechanically inclined and a "Jack of all Trades".  His occupation listed on the passenger list of the Mongolian is  engineer and in the Henderson's Edmonton directory of 1908 he is listed as a machinist. These jobs would be useful when he took up homesteading in 1909.   

At the age of 19, Johnston moves to his new homestead the SE1/4 of section 5, township 51, range 22 of the 4th meridian. Life on a new homestead would have been quite different from the large home they had in Scotland. There were shelters to build, crops to plant, and day to day living. Perseverance would pay off and in 1912, Johnston meets the Western Land Grant requirements. During 1912 Johnston would lose another sister, Janet to appendicitis. 

In 1919 Johnston loses his mother to the Spanish Flu and marries Vera Ellen Marsh Seaman. On November 3rd, 1920 Vera gives birth to a little girl. Tragically Vera dies shortly after and Johnston makes the hard decision to  give up his little girl to be adopted by Vera's brother, Kenneth.

On January 24, 1922, Johnston marries my grandmother, Dorothy Eleanor May Warry. Together they have four boys and a baby girl (who died shortly after being born). It would have been a change for Johnston to have all boys around after growing up in a very female environment. 

My grandmother, Dorothy, dies in January 1956 at the age of 57. Johnston spends the rest of his life on the homestead, passing away at the age of 79 in 1969. His grandson is still on the farm.

In 2010, the province of Alberta presents a plaque to the Paterson family commemorating the farm's 100th year milestone. 
Johnston with his sisters Lizzie & Edith and their children

Paterson Threshing Crew

Posts with more of the Paterson family

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sunday's Obituary - Henry Fiddler

Henry Fiddler was my 3rd great grandfather on my mother's side.  

Henry Fiddler                                                    
  The Death of Henry Fiddler at                           
Williams, Tuesday morning December
1, which was mentioned in these col-
umns last week, marks the passing
away of one of the  the very earliest
pioneers of Hardin county, if not the
earliest, who had survived up to the
  Mr. Fiddler was born in Pennsyl-
vania in 1823, married Miss Francis 
George in 1846 and came to Iowa in 
1833 bringing with him his wifes
mother, brothers and sisters, Mr.
George having preceeded them a
short time to look up a location in 
the then far west.
  In 1856 Mr. Fiddler was elected 
Sheriff of Hardin county, a position
which he filled with credit for four
years, being obliged to make several
trips to Des Moines and Ft. Madison
for the incarceration of prisoners as
tere were not nearer jails at that 
time. As late as 1865 there was a
tall tree on the homestead southeast
of Iowa Falls in the topmost branch
of which a pair of bald eagles were
safely nestled and which Mr. Fiddler
did not allow to be distrubed. They
have doubtless long since taken their
last flight and now their old-timer 
protector, has passed away but the stur
dy Americanism of the man, typefied
by the incident has been safely en-
trusted to the keeping of the four 
sons and for daughters who survive

The Alden Times
Alden, Iowa
11 December 1896 - Page 4 

  Henry Fiddler died Tuesday morn-             
ing of paralysis being third stroke
during the last year. He was 73
years and 8 days old and leaves an 
aged widow 72 years and four sons 
four daughter. Two sons live
here. Mr. Fiddler moved here the
latter part of August. From Iowa
Falls Rev. Davitt preached the fun-
eral Wednesday at the M. E. church
and the remains were laid away in
the Williams cemetery. Wm Fiddler
and family, E. K. Hoag, J. A. George
all of Iowa Falls came here Wednes-
day to attend the funeral of H. 

The Alden Times
Alden, Iowa
4 December 1896 - Page 4 

Find A Grave Memorial# 92723344