Sad deaths of Two Young Ladies

while working on the McCargar Branch of my family line, I found the burial location of some distant relatives, a 2nd cousin 4 times removed that are buried in an old Cemetery in New York — Groton Rural Cemetery. I entered the memorials, on, for the father, mother and several possible children from the burial index listed for the cemetery. Luckily, the list proved the plot numbers which gives a better chance of getting the photo requests filled for the pictures. Now photo requests can take awhile but luckily, these only took a few days.

Now the surprise was that on the top of the 2 daughters, Hester A “Hettie” McCargar and Mary E McCargar was that they died on the same day and it said “Killed at Tariffville on Jan 15, 1878″.

Now, I have seen were family members have died on the same date or within a week or so, but never listed as killed on the same day. I knew the chances of finding out how they were killed was small, but I thought I would give it a try. I googled “Tariffville 1878″. There were several links to the story, and a sad story it is.

The Story

On January 15th, 1878, 2 sisters, Mary and Hettie McCargar attended a revival meeting in Hartford, Connecticut to hear the popular Protestant evangelist Dwight Moody and singer and organist David Sankey. It is said that people would travel miles to hear his sermons and listen to the music.

When the meeting was over, the sisters, along with many other faithful, boarded the train at the Union Station heading home to northwest Hartford County, upper Litchfield County and New York state. The train left the station around 9:20pm and it was just a short time later around 10:15pm as the train was crossing Howe truss bridge that carried the railroad across the Farmington River that the accident happened.

The bridge reached the middle span and suddenly the bridge collapsed, sending the first part of the train down twenty feet to the dark, icy river below. I cannot imagine the terror of the people as the train fell on that cold January evening. Even though help arrived within the hour, 13 people including the McCargar sisters, died and 70 people were injured.

There was an inquiry about the wreck with the bridge builder blaming the railroad and the railroad blaming the bridge maker. In the end, Four jurors believed that the bridge was safe and that a derailment caused the accident.

In the end, the Railway company paid the families of those that died between $300 -$600 per person.


For those that don’t know the McCargar family is part of the Beach Line. Many of the Beach Line married into the McCargar line. The Beach Family line then goes into the Dicks Line which marries into the Rutledge Line.

One of my Mystery Pictures . .

my Mom has many photos in her collections that come from Sweden, Finland as well as Canada, a lot of which do not have names or even an idea of which side of the family they come from. This is one of them.

Little Girl

She is such a cute little girl, I wish that I knew the name, the year or where she is from. She has almost a sad look on her face.

I have looked and tried to see some sort of family resemblance with other family. I think that with the blond hair she is from Sweden, as all the family from Finland had dark hair. The photo was in a set of photos my Mom had which is why I think she is either from Sweden or Finland not my English side. But then I could be wrong.

So I hope that this is a reminder that you should date and name photos, I know that I am trying with mine.

A Photo Story . . .

I am going to post a photo and with it, the history of the photo.

The first one will be from Sweden. And is called The Placing of Poles.

Placing Poles

My Mom had this picture and there was writing on the back of it but it had been glued in the photo album and alot was unreadable.. . With the help of my cousin, Christer & the museum in Åskilje, Västerbotten, Sweden, they were able to let me know the following:

The names from left to right:

Nils Johan Eriksson; Jan-Ersen; Halvar Byström; Johan-Olov Rusén; Karl Mattsson; Hjalmar Larsson; Artur Åström; Oskar Eriksson; Fredrik Fredriksson, Valdemar – Strömberg och Valdemar Jäger.

Valdemar Strömberg is work foreman

Christer even got the name of the horse, it´s “Mat-Jonk”. Mat means food so I guess he liked to eat. I´m not sure but I think Jonk is a nickname for some real name, but I don´t know which.

This was when they were placing Poles for electrical wires in 1923.

Johan-Olov Rusén is 2nd Great Uncle.

It is photos like this that make Family History come to life for me. I must have thousands of scanned photos.

Do you have an old family photo = English or Swedish or Finnish that you would like to share with me? I would love any I could get and stories behind them are even better.

It has been awhile but

being sick does that to you. You just let things go to the side, but I am finally feeling better and hope to get back to writing more as I have found more and more information about my family tree, especially the Beach side and several articles about my GG Grandfather, Walter Dicks.

My original post on Walter Dicks, is here – Sgt Walter Dicks

I haven’t gotten much more information on him, I did find a couple of articles that back up that he did work for the Ottawa Police Department and a little bit better photo of him close to the time he died.

Walter Dicks

Walter Dicks

And then there is an article Congratulating him on becoming a Sargeant – A Police Constable . .

I also found another article about his funeral and how he got Masonic Honours, flowers for the family, etc. It also talks about him being a police Sargeant – Late Walter Dicks

Now, you would think with all these articles, the picture of him in his uniform, etc that he would be the the Book called 100 Years of the Ottawa Police Department, right? Wrong!! The book is for sale on ebay and I asked the guy selling it if there was anything about him. He wrote back and said no, he was not listed in the index nor could he see his name in the section for that time frame. What a piss off!!!!

But at least I have the information and remember him as a wonderful man and what seems to be a great Police Officer as well.


My Dad . . .

short and to the point, I am a Daddy’s girl. I have never married because I think that I will never find a man like my Dad.

Now I have a photo of my Dad when he was about 5/6 months old on a bare skin rug but he would kill me if I posted it, so I won’t.

But this is my Dad as a little boy:

He was the 3rd child of Gordon Rutledge and Gladys Compton, born in Burnaby on a September evening, many years ago.

From stories he has told me, I have a feeling that my Dad was a little bit of a hellion when he was younger. He has told us many stories of his younger days but the one I love the most is the Rabbit Story.

When he was a young lad, he decided that he was going to raise and sell rabbits as there was a butcher down the street that would buy them from him. So, my Dad (who was a boxer) raised a bunch of rabbits and when it came time to sell them, he boxed them up and took them down to the butcher. He arrived and showed them to the butcher and the butcher agreed to buy them BUT not until my Dad had killed, skinned and cleaned them.

So, what did my brave Dad do?? He took them and let them all go in Central Park in Burnaby. To this day, when I see a rabbit there, I have to wonder if it is a descendant from my Dad’s rabbits.

Then as young men of that time do, my Dad meet a young lady named Nancie and he has told us the story of the geese that my Mom’s Dad was raising. I loved this story when I was younger because my Dad would tell it so well.

He would talk about showing up at my Mom’s family home in North Burnaby and that he would try to be very quiet so that the geese didn’t hear him. But they always did! He would be walking along and would suddenly hear this thumping coming at him — thump, thump, thump — and he would turn around and there would be this pack of geese running towards him making the noise that geese make. Enough to scare a guy away.

Luckily for me and my sister and brother, it didn’t and they became engaged.

So, at the young age of 21, my Dad began his life — as a husband, then father, grandfather and soon Great-Grandfather.

In between, there there have been many other things.

At one time, he and his older brother, Robert ran a Pie Shop that I believe was called Best Pies. They sold to grocery stores and others. It was located on what is now Edmonds and Canada Way in Burnaby. He had many different jobs including working at the Port of Vancouver in the Grain terminal, he was a truck driver for many, many years as well as a Bartender.

Growing up, he was the BBQ Master (except maybe doing a duck), the Stuffing maker for the turkey at Thanksgiving and Christmas, he could build just about anything and did, he was the man who yelled at the TV when he didn’t like the play on the Saturday night hockey game or the call at a boxing match. He was tough as nails on us kids when he had to be and caring and concerned when needed (like all the times my sister and I got car sick).

He taught us to laugh at things some might not — like when he “passed wind” and would blame the noise on the geese in the picture above the couch.

This is my favorite picture of him and I — I say that is why I am short with a little neck, he will say it is because he had to hold onto me somehow as I was always running away/around.

And despite his tough, Teamster exterior – he is a softy at heart. To this day, beside his bed is a picture of his Mom and a picture of my Mom.

I think that I have only seen my Dad cry 3 times in my life — the first was at his brothers’ funeral — that shocked even my daughter as she said she had never seen her Pa cry before and then the following year at his sister.

The last time was in 2009, when I was lying in a hospital bed, waiting to find out what was wrong with me. Nancie and I had been there for awhile and she had called them to tell where we were. I opened my eyes to see my Dad leaning over and kissing me on the forehead with tears in his eyes. And for the next 11 days, he came out to see me there and even now, lectures me when I don’t do what I should.

So, here is to my Dad — the only man who has been there through it all — skipping school, the rotten teen years, the loosing of my mind in my twenties, the baby at 30, then watching both my daughter and I grow up.

An new old Family Member – Rutledge

found. Although an old family member, it seems that he is not really been linked to the family before.

Grant Victor Gifford Rutledge, born on 28 Sep 1913, York County, Ontario, Canada. The son of Robert Rutledge and Jean Gifford.

Now, I have seen the name Grant talked about before. In a letter from Robert Rutledge to my Grandfather, his son, Gordon. The year is 1947 and he talks about Grant being an Office Clerk and that Mother was visiting from Lindsay, Ontario. I have been told that although they did not divorce, at least that is what is said, that Robert and his 2nd wife, Georgina (Jean) did not live together.

Several years ago, I found out about their daughter, Verna Eileen Hope Rutledge, who died at just over a year old but there has never been a mention of a son before this.

I have been looking at the 1921 Canadian Census in hoping of finding something linking my Grandparents together as I haven’t found their marriage date yet but I found this:

1921 Canada Census

the list shows them as Ruthledge but all the names match up, except the listing of a son, Grant, age 7:

Robert Ruthledge 46
Jean Ruthledge 31
Russel Ruthledge 19
Gordon Ruthledge 18
Grant Ruthledge 7

So, who was this Grant? I hope to find something about him, but as the Birth Records only go to 1913, would it be possible as they list him as 7, which mean he could have been born in 1914, depending on when the Census was taken. So I took a chance, typed in his name, year of birth as 1913 and place of birth Ontario.

Well, look what comes up:

Grant Victor Gifford Rutledge

A new Grand Uncle!!!

Then thinking more about why I had never heard the name before or anything else about him, I googled his name and came up with a Wedding Announcement for him. It is interesting as it mentions his Mom, Jean Rutledge but not his Dad, who was still alive in 1946 as I have a letter from him written in 1947 as well as I have a letter he wrote to me in 1958.

Wedding Announcement in the Ottawa Times.

After the letter, there is nothing I know about Grant, his wife or if he had any family. They did stay in Ontario as they are listed in the Canada Voters List until 1974, so he would have been 61 years old.

And his Mom, Georgina Gifford Rutledge – what happened to her? Where did she go? When did she pass??

So many unanswered questions.

As for the letters, I have them scanned as pdf files and they will not upload as they are too big, I will have to find another way to show them.

In the mean time, I will now have to search for Grant and family — hello, are you out there? Are you reading this and wondering who I am???

Verna Eileen Hope Rutledge . .

my Great Aunt.

I didn’t know that my Grandfather had a sister or a step mother until 2 separate things brought this information to light.

The first was a photo that I got from my Uncle Doug. It was of his father (Gordon Elliott) and his older brother (Walter Russell). They were both in Toronto Maple Leaf sweaters and on the back it said “A few months before they got a Step-Mother”

So the research started, and I found that on 29 Jun 1910 in Lanark County, Ontario Robert Rutledge, widower married Georgina Gifford, Spinster. Both are listed as Methodist.

I don’t know if it was a happy marriage but from what I found out later, it was probably in the beginning, but in the end, not so much.

It wasn’t til a few years later, when I was visiting my Auntie Verna (only sister of my Dad) that she told me that she was named after her father’s sister. I was confused because as far as I knew, Grandpa didn’t have a sister. But my Aunt was positive and she said that somewhere, she had the plaque from her coffin. She hoped to one day find it and give it to me as she said she knew that I would cherish it.

Auntie Verna told me that the daughter had died very young and that things in the marriage didn’t go well after that. At some point in time, Georgina left and lived somewhere else, but I don’t think they ever divorced. I have letters from my Great-Grandfather where he talks about Mother coming for a visit and this was in the mid 1940′s. I haven’t been able to find out when she died or where she is buried — this is on my bucket list.

But the child. My Great-Aunt Verna Eileen Hope Rutledge. After some searching, I found her death certificate. She was born on April 6th, 1911 less than a year after her parents marriage. She died of whooping cough on May 12, 1912 at the age of 1 year, 1 month and six days.

I wonder who she would have been like. Would she have married, had children, would her parents marriage have been better if she had lived. What effect did her death have on my Grandfather and his brother. To think that the lost not only their Mother but also a sister at such young ages.

I don’t know if she was remembered much before, but she will always be remembered by me, for after my Auntie Verna’s death, I received the coffin plaque of my Great Aunt. It has been framed and will always have a special place in my home where she will be remembered.

Coffin Plaque

May she always Rest in Peace

A Compton Family Story . . .

On Christmas Eve, Nancie and I went to see my parents, and somehow the conversation turned to my Family Tree — now this is something that doesn’t really happen all that much with them.

My Mom wanted to know when my G-Grandfather Charles Compton died as she was wondering how old he was when he painted some of the paintings she has of his. As we were looking at the paintings, she pointed out one that was done by his son, Percy Compton.

Percy was the only son to come home from WWI. While the rest of the family joined the service in Canada, Percy joined while still in England and served there. He did not arrive in Canada until 1919 after completing his service. At this point, he was already a father of 2, having married the first time at the age of 20.

Percy was one of the first family members that I thought I had discovered a long, hidden family secret. When I got his Death Registration, it said that he died in Oakalla Prison in Burnaby. I phone my Dad to gentle ask about his Uncle Percy. Well, it turned out that he was a Shoe Maker and he was hired to teach the inmates how to make shoes, nothing scary. He had originally been a Shoe Maker, working out of his home. His marriage record lists him as a Boot Maker.

But back to the story.

Dad was explaining about Percy being a Bag Pipe Player. Seems that the Comptons are quite musically, even this generation has a lot of Compton members in Bands.

So, apparently, Uncle Percy played the bag pipes in some sort of band and he liked to practise on the weekends. Now, according to my Dad, his Auntie Connie use to get a little upset when he would start practising in the house, so then Uncle Percy would take his pipes and go to the backyard, into the Raspberry Garden and walk among the rows practising his bagpipes.

Now, that would be something to see. I wonder what his neighbours thought of that. I hope it wasn’t too early in the morning.

These are the stories I like, hearing about the little things that people did. Hopefully, I can get more from my Dad or I can work on others giving me stories about family.

Stories and pictures, the things I love the most.

My Family Year 2013

There were many changes, additions and sadly, losses this past year.

I learned I was a descendent of a Puritans (which I know I need to still post more about).

I was contacted by various branches – some kept in contact and some didn’t but that is the way that these always happen. People are excited at first to find out information or people that are related but then after the first contact and minor exchanges, you don’t hear from them again.

Then there are the breakthroughs – you find out about people, you find where people are buried, what they did for a living, the best is finding living family members.

In the past month, I have been talking well facebooking with a 2nd cousin, who was posting on another cousins’ facebook page, and me being nosy (I know shocking isn’t it). I sent her a friend request and asked if we were somehow related because we shared the same last name. It turns out that she is the Granddaughter of my Grandfather (Gordon Elliott Rutledge) brother — a person I have little to know information about.

And she only lives about 30 minutes away from me!!! How cool is that. All these years, and she has been this close. And then on Christmas Eve, I mention her to my Dad and he says “Yeah, I think that years ago at one of Bob’s (my Uncle/Dad’s brother) birthday parties I met her. Never thought to tell you about her.”

But hopefully once, Christmas and moving is over, I will be able to meet her face to face.

And there are other cousins that I have met on facebook that I hope to be able to meet up with either for the first time (Denise Carol) or visit (Leanne) or cousins that live in the Lower Mainland / BC area that I can meet up with again (Carol, Marlene, Ted & Darlene). And there is my family far away – Australia, Sweden and Finland – maybe one day we will all meet face to face – it is a dream on my bucket list of life to meet you all.

And my family, I have been very bad this year at keeping in touch and I need to do more of that as the family grows.

But I also want to try and break through on the many things I haven’t been able to find — the most important is the Marriage Date of my Grandparents – I can find everything BUT that. It still is a mystery to me.

So as this year comes to a close and I think back on the year – our tree is still strong and growing stronger with each passing year. Hopefully the branches will continue to grow bigger, the roots will stay strong.

And though it is always nice to see the stats as I grow the tree, it is the people, the places and the stories that I love the most, like the story my Dad told me on Christmas Eve about his Uncle Percy and the bagpipes and raspberry bushes. It is things like that I want to concentrate more on in 2014.

What makes this family of my interesting – whether on the English side or the Swedish-Finnish side are the stories of lives lived. I hope to start collecting more of them as time goes by.

So, to my family close or far away, I hope that 2014 brings you all everything you ever wanted and more. And hopefully more meetings, reunions or just chats with each other.

My love always


We are descendents of

Puritans. Who knew?

This will be long, so this is Part One

In my many searches, there are a lot of times that I find information but when I see how exactly we are connected, a lot of the time it isn’t a very close connection if there is a connection at all. I have found in the past, that the farther back, it can become something like the “brother-in-law of the sister-in-law of the niece of the Uncle of the 10 cousin 2 times removed” So nothing that really comes back to me or family. Sort of a relative by marriage of marriage of some sort of connection.

But this time, it turns out that the people I am tracing back through my Beach Family Line (my GG Grandmother was a Beach – Caroline Margery Beach) are really related, being my 14th Great Grandparents and Puritans.

So, first– what is a Puritan?

From an internet search at

The Puritans were a group of people who grew discontent in the Church of England and worked towards religious, moral and societal reforms. The writings and ideas of John Calvin, a leader in the Reformation, gave rise to Protestantism and were pivotal to the Christian revolt. They contended that The Church of England had become a product of political struggles and man-made doctrines. The Puritans were one branch of dissenters who decided that the Church of England was beyond reform. Escaping persecution from church leadership and the King, they came to America.

The Puritans believed that the Bible was God’s true law, and that it provided a plan for living. The established church of the day described access to God as monastic and possible only within the confines of “church authority”. Puritans stripped away the traditional trappings and formalities of Christianity which had been slowly building throughout the previous 1500 years. Theirs was an attempt to “purify” the church and their own lives.

Researching this branch, the Bulkeley Family is very interesting.

Some quick Facts:

  • originally from Odell, England
  • one of the a wives was descendant of William I, King of Scotland
  • left England for greater religious freedom
  • were Purtians and Clergyman
  • founder of Concord, Massachusetts
  • and most interesting — has a Wiki page!!!
  • I will end this with a quote about my 12th Great Uncle Peter Bulkley:

    “noted even among Puritans for the superlative stiffness of his Puritanism”