The Milne/Smeed Connection

Family Stories Past and Present

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Christmastime 1946

The following is an excerpt from a memoir that my Mum, Doris Elizabeth Smeed Milne, a war bride wrote about our experiences during our first year in Canada. Mum was in her mid-eighties when she wrote these stories down for us.

Christmastime 1946

We were invited to the children’s Christmas concert at Trowbridge school. After the concert a lunch of sandwiches and cookies was served then Santa Claus came and distributed gifts from the Christmas tree. Jane received a pretty coloured rubber ball. It was a present from her cousins, Betty and Joan.

We were invited to Ellie and Frank’s for Christmas Day. There were eighteen of us there. Frank and Ellie and their five children (Velma, the youngest was seven months old); Bob, Kath (also a war bride) and Ann Milne; Grandma Milne and George; Ellie’s brothers Charlie and Roy Thedorf  and Roy’s war bride, Sheila; Charlie, Jane and me.

What a banquet! We had not seen so much since before the war. After dinner the younger children had their afternoon naps. The men sat smoking their cigarettes and reminiscing while the women all worked at clearing the tables and washing the stacks of dishes. When the work was done we all sat down and relaxed for a while.

After the children arose from their naps Santa Claus arrived to give presents out from under the big Christmas tree. Jane received a doll from Charlie and me. She promptly undressed it and walked around carrying it by one foot. That poor doll was always in a state of undress no matter how many times I put its clothes back on.

Jane and Doll Snow

                                                         Jane and her Christmas doll 


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A Marriage at Black’s Tavern

William Milne and Catherine Johnson were married on October 3, 1871.

According to the marriage registration, Billy and Catherine were married at Black’s Tavern, Flamborough West Township, Wentworth County. The tavern was owned by Joseph Black, the father-in-law of Billy’s brother, Charles.

William was the son of Charles Milne and Elspet Ross. Catherine was the daughter of William Johnson and Rebecca Cromer.

More detail about the lives of Billy and Catherine can be found on the Milne page of this website.

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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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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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Robert Milne and Ida Hewitt

Robert James Milne (1872 – 1939) and Ida Hewitt (1877 – 1917) were married at Brussels, Huron County, Ontario on March 8, 1899.

Robert was the son of William Milne and Catherine Johnson. Ida was the daughter of John Hewitt and Elizabeth Collins.

The couple resided in Grey Township, Huron County and then Elma Township, Perth County. They had four sons and two daughters before Ida died at the early age of forty.

Rob & Ida - Wedding Day

Rob & Ida – Wedding Day