The Milne/Smeed Connection

Family Stories Past and Present


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Happy Canada Day!

On the eve of the 150th anniversary of Confederation I have given some thought to my direct ancestors and their families who were present in Canada on 1 July 1867. They lived on farms or in small communities and I don’t know how or if they marked that historic day.

Those early settlers were:

William Collins (1799 – 1881) and Jean Anderson Collins (1798 – 1850) emigrated from Renfrewshire, Scotland ca 1826 and settled in Oxford County and then Waterloo County.

George Hewitt (1805 – 1893) and Mary Clements Hewitt (1807 – 1896) left Norfolk County, England in 1836 and settled in Oxford County the year before the Rebellions of 1837.

John Hewitt (1833 – 1911) left Norfolk with his parents in 1836 and married Elizabeth Collins (1835 – 1881) who was born in Waterloo County.

Charles Milne (1807 – 1856) and Elspet Ross Milne (1808 – 1897) arrived in Wentworth County from Aberdeenshire, Scotland in 1846.

Rebecca Cromer Johnson McArthur (1807 – 1902) was born in Kilkenny, Ireland, emigrated to New York City and came to Wentworth County as a widow ca 1850 with two young daughters.

William Milne (1850 – 1932) was born in Dundas, Ontario and married Catherine Johnson (1846 – 1911) who was born in New York City, NY and arrived in 1850 with her mother and sister.

 

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Frances Milne Petterson

Frances Elizabeth Milne was born on 27 May 1908 in Tenby Bay, St. Joseph’s Island, Ontario. She was the daughter of Robert Milne and Ida Hewitt Milne.

Frances married Gustaf Josef (Joe) Petterson on 5 July 1928 in Fort William, Ontario. Frances and Joe had three sons and three daughters. After living in northern Ontario for some years, the family moved to Oakville, Ontario.

Joe died in 1974 and some years later, Frances married Earl Atkinson who also predeceased her.

Frances died on 17 June 2003 at the age of ninety-five.


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Barbara Collins (1836 – 1921)

Barbara Collins was born on 15 February 1836 in Waterloo County, Ontario. She was the daughter of William Collins and Jean Anderson who had immigrated from Scotland some years before.

Barbara married James Riesberry in 1853 and the couple had four children. They moved from Ontario to Iowa but after James died in1898, Barbara moved to Manitoba to be near family.

Barbara died on 20 April 1921 in West St. Paul, Manitoba.

 


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Father and Son Birthdays

Robert James Milne was born on 8 December 1872 at Harper’s Corners, Flamborough Township, Wentworth County. On his twenty-seventh birthday, 8 December 1899, his first child, William John Milne, was born in Wallace Township, Perth County to Rob and his wife, Ida Hewitt Milne.

Robert James Milne

Robert James Milne

William John Milne

William John Milne


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Back to Western Ontario

Western Ontario 2016

This past week Elizabeth and I headed back to Western Ontario for some family visiting. Our journey started with a slower route to Stratford that took us through the tiny village of Washington where our great great-grandmother, Jean Anderson Collins, is buried and then through the village of Plattsville where our great great-grandparents, George Hewitt and Mary Clements Hewitt, are buried.

In Stratford we had a delightful time reminiscing with cousins Joan, Barb and our hosts Marg and Earl. As well, we had some time for some research at the Perth County Archives.  The following morning we met Joan again for some touring around Stratford which included dropping in to see Joan’s son, Jeff and his wife, Donna before we left town.

On to Atwood to visit cousin Kathy and her husband, Barry. Over coffee and homemade muffins Kathy showed us some interesting family memorabilia (stories and photos to follow in later posts). We also met their lovely grandchildren.

Next stop was Elma Centre Cemetery where a number of our Milne, Hewitt and Johnson ancestors are buried.

We spent Tuesday night in Listowel at the Hardwood Haven B&B, a lovely home we had always admired. Our driving and walking tours of Listowel took us to all corners of our childhood hometown. Most important was Fairview Cemetery to visit Mum and Dad.

Before leaving for home on Wednesday morning we met cousins Velma and Frances for coffee and more catching up and reminiscing.

On our drive back to Belleville  we stopped at Crown Cemetery in Puslinch where another great great-grandmother is buried. Last stop, Millgrove where more of our Milnes are buried, followed by a driveby of the location of the land owned by our great great-grandparents, Charles Milne and Elspet Ross.


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A Double Wedding

A double wedding took place on 5 July 1928 in Fort William, Ontario. Frances Elizabeth Milne, daughter of Robert James Milne and Ida Hewitt Milne married Gustav Josef Petterson, the son of Karl Frederick Petterson and Anna Charlotte Gustafson Petterson.

At the same ceremony, Joe’s brother, Thurston Petterson married Irene Collander. The witnesses were Jack Milne and Tauno Collander, the brothers of the brides.

A newspaper account at the time described a quiet but pretty wedding. The brides wore white satin with hose and shoes to match. They carried bouquets of sweetheart roses and lily of the valley. A wedding dinner was held at the Avenue Hotel in Fort William followed by dancing at the Palais.

Frances and Joe