The Milne/Smeed Connection

Family Stories Past and Present


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It’s Christmas Party Time!

A bit of nostalgia from the 1951 Hydro Children’s Party to start the season. Pictured here are sisters-in-law, Bet and Annie Milne. Bet is holding baby Elizabeth. Annie is holding Ron. Young Betty is behind her Aunt Bet, Jane is in the bottom left corner while Joan is in front and between her Aunt Bet and her Mum. Murray was standing further away from the group and the Dads, Charlie and Ross, were hiding at the back of the photo with the rest of the men.

Hydro Christmas Party 1951

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Ida Muriel Milne Cross

Ida Muriel Milne was born on 26 July 1922 in Elma Township, Perth County. She was the daughter of Robert Milne and Jane Crowe Milne.

On 28 February 1946, Ida married Alastair Cross at Christ Church, Anglican in Listowel. Ontario. Al and Ida had two children, Noreen and Douglas.

Ida died on 19 November 2000 in St. Thomas, Ontario.

Ida Milne Cross


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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 Trip Down Memory Lane

This week Elizabeth and I had a wonderful time on a nostalgic road trip to Southwestern Ontario.

In Listowel we visited with cousins, Wanda and Roy Bridge, Velma Hamilton, and Barb Smith who was accompanied by her lovely granddaughter, Joy. We also saw Sandie and George Arlein. Sandie was Elizabeth’s grade five teacher and George worked with Dad at Ontario Hydro.

While in Listowel we also did the rounds of our old haunts and some cemeteries as well.  On to Goderich to see the sun set into Lake Huron which we remember from camp and cottage days.  Of course we checked out the camp where the Listowel Recreation hosted Camp Aquatalah for many years. Some things seemed the same; some things were much changed. We were last there in 1965!

Last stop was Stratford where we made a brief stop at the Perth County Museum where a long standing mystery was solved. (More on that in another post.)  Before heading home we had lunch and a brief but enjoyable visit with cousins, Joan Rolph and Marg Illman.

The bell and cornerstone from the old school

The bell and cornerstone from the old school