Tuesday, May 13, 2014

52 Ancestors - Edith Elinore Smith (Warry) - Unconventional Great Grandmother

Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small issued the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge.  Each week focus on one ancestor and post something about him or her.
Me - My Dad -Dorothy Eleanor May Warry - Edith Elinore Smith 

Everyone seems to have a Smith in their family, even if they didn't want one.  Mine is my Dad's grandmother, Edith Elinore Smith. I was quite apprehensive when I discovered her surname. I was a genealogy newbie at the time and wondered how I would ever find the right Smith from so many. But my grandmothers left me a few clues. Edith named one of her sons John William, which happen to be her father's name. But I didn't know it at the time. Her daughter, Dorothy, gave one of her sons the middle name of Wakeman. Which really help piece it together, as that is the maiden name of John William's wife, Sarah. Of course, after I figured it out the hard way, my aunt and uncle handed me her birth certificate. See my post with copy of her birth certificate.
Edith was the youngest the seven children of John William Smith and Sarah Everton Wakeman born August 4, 1876 at Constitution Hill, Kinson, Dorset, England.  Like all her siblings, her father, and her father's siblings she was baptized at St. Peter church in Parkstone, Dorest, England. (Can be seen on street view Google maps.)
St. Peter Church, courtesy of Sophie Smith
But unlike her family, Edith may have been a bit unconventional for her time. She married Alfred William Warry, a baptist,  on August 2, 1897 at the Baptist Chapel Buckland Road Branksome. (Can be seen on street view on Google Maps.) 

Baptist Chapel, courtesy of Sophie Smith
So the girl from the family that went to the church of England for generations married a baptist boy in a baptist church.   She even becomes a baptist stating in the Canadian census for 1911 and 1921 that her religion is baptist.
In the 1901 England census, Edith and Alfred are living at 110 High Street in Chiswick, Middlesex, England with their 2 year old daughter, Dorothy. This is the same address as the Public Benefit Boot Company Shop where Alfred is a manager. Edith was probably pregnant at the time of this census, as Sydney Alfred is born in December 1901. In July of 1904, they welcome another baby boy, John William (Jack). But things are changing as Alfred becomes bankrupt and heads to Canada in March of 1906.

Edith stays in England till December of 1907 when she and the children join Alfred in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I'm not sure where Edith and the children were staying for over a year and a half before they went to Canada. Maybe relatives took them in. The children mostly grow up in Toronto and are there when the first world war starts. Edith's oldest son, Sydney is anxious to join.  In May of 1919, after  previously being rejected for being under aged, Sydney, signs attestation papers for the first world war. Even then he made a little adjustment to his age by stating he was born a year earlier. After the war, Sydney stays in eastern Canada while the rest of the family moves to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. By the 1921 census, Edith and Alfred are in Edmonton, Alberta with two of their children, Dorothy and John.  

In Edmonton, Edith and Alfred open a picture framing, arts and crafts store at 10148 Whyte Avenue, Edmonton. They, also, operate the Acme Dog Kennel, where Edith gains recognition as a lady handler for dogs. 
From family stories and photos, I  learned that Edith is once again shown to be unconventional by taking in and raising a little girl of colour, Myrtle.  She had already raised her own three children and was a grandmother.  Although I don't know the whole story of my great grandmother, she  seemed to be a woman ahead of her time with her own mind. 
Edith with Myrtle, her four grandsons, and son (Jack).

See more about Edith's family:

Edith Elinore Smith entry, Register Book of Births, No. 7: Entry No. 226, Registrar for the District of Poole, County of Dorset, England.
Dorset History Centre, "Dorset, England, Births and Baptisms, 1813-1906," digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 13 May 2013), entry for Edith Elinor Smith; Reference: PE/PAR(SP): RE 1/1, 1/2; p. 182, no. 1,053.

Certified Copy of an Entry of Marriage, District of Poole, Application 135356/1.
1901 England Census, Middlesex, Chiswick, District 11, p. 8, no. 44, Alfred W Warry; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 13 May 2014); citing Class: RG13; Piece: 1199; Folio: 8; Page: 8.

1911 Canada census, Ontario, population schedule, district 128 West Toronto, subdistrict 1, division 67, p. 13, dwelling 132, family 144, Alfred Warry ; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 13 May 2014); citing Library and Archives Canada Series RG31-C-1. Statistics Canada Fonds. Microfilm reels T-20326 to T-20460.

1921 Census of Canada, Edmonton (City), Alberta, population schedule, Strathcona, enumeration district (ED) 42, p. 16, dwelling 157, family 158, Alfred Warry; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 12 May 2013); Library and Archives Canada. Sixth Census of Canada, 1921. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada: Library and Archives Canada, 2013. Series RG31. Statistics Canada Fonds.

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