The little Calhoun family gets bigger…

As you read yesterday, Robert and Eliza Calhoun seemed to be making a successful new life for themselves as they settled in to late 19th century Ontario (Canada West, at the time).  They now had 2 boys, Charley and Alexander William, and 2 girls, Grace and Bertha.  I just want to note that Robert had a brother named Alexander,  a sister named Bertha, and an uncle named William…just saying….

Robert had gone from being a “Bookkeeper” at the birth of Charley and Grace to a “Bookkeeper and Clerk” at the birth of Alexander William.  On 17 Nov 1879 another son, named ALEXANDER CALHOUN, was born.  This has been a tough puzzle to put together.  Did they lose Alexander William, then have a son named William?

In the 1881 census the family consisted of Robert C.  (Bookkeeper, age 33), Elizabeth A. (age 26), Charles (age 8), Grace (age 6), Bertha (age 4), William (age 2), and Alexander (age 1).  Shouldn’t Alexander William, born in 1877, have been age 3 or 4 in that census?

Alexander (who would become my husband’s grandfather) referred to an older brother named Willie.  But when Willie died, he was age 6, in 1883.  That means that Alexander William was Willie.  How odd that they named their next son Alexander!

I wrote about the next child, MYRA ISABELLA CALHOUN, in a post on 26 Jan 2016.  Myra was born 27 Feb 1882 and died of Consumption (Tuberculosis) at 8 months, 10 days old on 6 Nov 1882.  I believe Myra Isabella was named after Eliza’s two sisters, Maria and Isabella.

I don’t know if it was this last loss or if things were just not moving the way Robert wanted them to, but the Calhouns moved West to Gananoque, 165 miles away, early the next year.  Robert became a Wharfinger (the manager of a wharf, managing the ingoing and outgoing ships, etc.) there.  The lumber company that ran the wharf was the Rathbun Company.

Unfortunately, tragedy followed…in the drowning death of Willie.

newspaper drowning report
Gananoque Reporter, 1 Sep 1883 Drowning death of Willie Calhoun

Willie died on 28 Aug 1883.  He would have been 6 years old only 10 days later.  What a sad and tragic time for Eliza and Robert.  My heart breaks that they lost their daughter, Myra, the year before and now Willie.  And Eliza might even have known she was pregnant with their next child.  How sad and frightening.

On 9 Apr 1884, another daughter was born, MARION CALHOUN.  Marion was another form of Maria (her sister) and Myra (her last daughter).  On her birth record, it states that she was born in Gananoque.  Her father was a clerk in the lumber/coal business.  Robert was 37 and Eliza was just 30.  Was Robert a clerk or still a wharfinger?  Was a wharfinger a clerk?

On 20 Nov 1886, the family welcomed another daughter, KATHERINE CALHOUN.  Later in life, she was known as Kathleen.  She was probably named after Robert’s now long-dead mother, Catherine McCullough.  She was born in Gananoque.

In the next few years, the family moved East again, about 70 miles away to Belleville.  On 17 Jan 1890, DOUGLAS HANLEY CALHOUN was born.  Robert was listed as working as an Agent, Rathbun Co., here.

The family was now complete.  As the story goes on, you will see that there is still tragedy (and triumph) to come for them.

To be continued…

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s