I’ve made my first real progress with the Irish roots of my Holmes ancestors. It’s not much progress, mind you, but it’s not nothing.
I’m pretty much resigned to the fact that the Holmes family will be a perpetual brick wall (a term that genealogists use to describe families that one can find no further data about, thus acting as a barrier to any further knowledge about ancestors). To some extent, this isn’t shocking: pursuing Irish genealogy frequently stumbles on the problem of the destroyed records. In 1922, the Public Records Office burned in a civil war battle, and most of the censuses (and many other records) were lost. I’ve seen a number of Irish genealogy presenters talk, encouragingly, about how it’s wrong to think that all records have been destroyed. Ireland had plenty of records, still, and you shouldn’t write off the possibility that there are some records to be found. But it’s increasingly looking like the records for my Holmes ancestors have not survived.
I’ve certainly had no luck with any of the searches I’ve tried in various online databases. But I decided to hire a professional genealogist to see if anything could be discovered. Several days ago, I received their report. And while they have also failed to find any definitive records, they did uncover some clues that might tell us a thing or two. But it’s in the realm of speculation, rather than “clear record.”
Oh, my Draomi-loving heart.
Legion is probably too enamored of its weirdness to tell as rich and emotionally complicated of a story as it wants to.
— “How Legion’s season 2 finale exposed the emptiness at the show’s core”, Vox
I opened my door to accept some food delivery and discovered that a PC flyer was hanging from my doorknob. I have no idea when the PCs came by, and I don’t remember hearing any knocks at the door. But it wasn’t there the last time I opened the door, but it’s there now.
I’m not going to vote for the PCs, for three reasons:
- First, and most obviously, because Doug Ford is human garbage monster, and will bring shame on the province;
- second, the PC platform (if such a thing can be said to exist) is pretty far from my own political bent, especially when we have candidates talking about debating whether or not the Holocaust happened or rolling back abortion rights; and
- thirdly, the PC candidate has no chance of winning my riding — one that’s been NDP or Liberal for 20 years (although strictly speaking, my riding is only a few years old, it was spun out of Trinity-Spadina with a bit of Toronto Centre thrown in).
Currently, my riding’s MPP is Liberal Han Dong who displaced our long-standing NDP MPP Rosario Marchese in the last election. I don’t feel like I’ve really seen much community engagement from Mr. Dong, so that’s a bit disappointing. This year, the NDP is running a white guy named Chris Glover, who I don’t know and haven’t met. He’s not my ideal candidate, both because I wish the NDP had found a person of colour to run in the riding, and because I feel like all of his experience is outside of our riding. But otherwise, his bona fides seem solid.
I am a bit critical of Han Dong, although my criticisms would probably be the same with any Liberal backbencher. He’s part of the majority party, and I therefore expect him to represent our riding in important provincial issues. For me, the most important work I wanted him to be vocal about is pressuring Bombardier about meeting its delivery commitments to the TTC. The Liberals were happy to hand Bombardier tons of bail-out money, and Wynne kept going on about how important Bombardier was to the Ontario economy. But as my MPP, I expected Han Dong to agitate for Toronto and Spadina-Fort York and ensure that we’re getting our streetcars in a timely fashion. I’ve seen no work on this front.
I also have other, more general criticisms of the Liberals. Part of me wants to like Kathleen Wynne, as she’s our first openly lesbian Premier. Liberal policies are generally too right-wing for me, so I wasn’t likely to vote for her party, but I thought that the representation mattered. I also agree that a lot of the hatred toward Wynne was nasty in a way that reeked of sexism and homophobia. I think that this especially comes through in criticism of the Ontario sex education changes. Most of that criticism just seems to be a form of “how dare you tell the children that gay people exist!” and I… well… I just have no sympathy for that point of view.
Are these two Violas the same Viola?
There’s a distant bunch of Bantam relatives who went off to live in Kansas. It starts with the family of John Sylvester Bantam, who moved from the Bantam homestead in Port Rowan, Ontario to Norton County, Kansas. John has a son Gilbert (“Gilley”) and Gilley has a son, Harold John Bantam, born 21 Apr 1907. According to Don’s notes, Harold married a woman named Viola. Don doesn’t know Viola’s maiden name.
(I’ve just reviewed his notes, now, and noticed something that I had recorded incorrectly: I had Harold listed as the father of Viola’s two children, Jerome and Carolyn, but Don is clear that the two children were from an earlier marriage).
So I went spelunking on Ancestry to find out more information about Viola. The suggested hints that I’ve found aren’t entirely clear on the topic, but there are two dominant stories. The first is that, according to some sources, Viola’s name is Viola C. Lamb. The primary sources for this are some other folks’ Ancestry records, and a reference to a headstone-recording website. That website is telling me that Viola’s name was Lamb (but that doesn’t appear to be data on the actual headstone). I’m guessing that the other Ancestry users picked up that name from that website. Many of these websites are transcribed and maintained by genealogy societies, and they may bring other sources to bear to flesh out the data, but it’s not clear where the name “Lamb” originates. Her headstone says that she was born on 16 Sep, 1910. Her headstone is shared with Harold, so this is clearly “my” Viola.
Bad things happened! Some details:
More learnings: Marion and Milton had just been married. Marion was 35 in December 1937, when she married Milton McVicar. On Jan 3, Marion’s younger brother Beverly died (he’d had poor health for all of his life). The following month, Milton died.
I’m putting together details about some of my Smith relatives. The Smiths were the oil family, and many of them became involved in local politics.
My great-grandfather’s sister, Marion Gertrude Smith married a man named Milton Duncan McVicar, who was a member of the Enniskillen Council, and later Reeve, and Lambton County Warden, but in 1934, he was elected to the Ontario legislature as a Liberal-Progressive.
As an M.L.A. (although in Ontario, these days, we tend to say M.P.P.), he had a number of successes which made him popular back in Lambton County, but in 1938, he caught a serious cold/influenza/pneumonia and died on Feb 3rd, 1938.
2000 people attended his funeral, “representing every walk of life in the country.” Newspaper write-ups described it as the largest funeral in town in years. The Premier, Hon. Mitchell F. Hepburn sent provincial secretary, Hon. Harry C. Nixon to represent him at the funeral (probably because McVicar died while in office).
Here’s the connection that really jumped out at me: one newspaper write-up includes this tidbit: “It was largely through his [McVicar’s] efforts that the Government established a park at Ipperwash Beach.”
Ipperwash Provincial Park, of course, is the site of the Ipperwash Crisis and the death of Dudley George.
I’m not really in to Royal Weddings, but I get why this one is so ground-breaking.
But I found myself wondering about a minor protocol matter. Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Sussex is American, and not Canadian, even though she lived for a time in Toronto. But if she had been Canadian, how would the Nickle Resolution have played out with respect to her titles as Duchess and Countess? Princess isn’t a peerage title, so I don’t think the Nickle Resolution applies there. And I suspect that the whole “title by marriage” rather than “title by honour” thing would be part of it. But, y’know, dudes who marry princesses (such as the Earl of Snowden) are often granted peerages. So the situation could come up. I suspect that parliament would just try to avoid the question if it happened, because they’d come off as wet blankets in royal wedding euphoria.
I find byzantine protocol things kind of interesting.