Brick Walls, 2014

brick wall

My Brick Walls – Research that Frustrates

In the past I have used my blog to share my successes, but of course I have had some problems in my genealogical research. They are called Brick Walls. And there are quite a few.

Today’s brick wall is Amy Elizabeth Jennings. She was the sister of my great-grandmother Emma Jane. She emigrated with Emma Jane, Emma Jane’s husband Ernest Paulin, and his brother Herbert in 1884.

Shipping list, 1884

Shipping list, 1884

I know that she married William Momson on Oct 5th 1887 in Victoria, and then the trail goes cold.

Marriage record from BC 1887

Marriage record from BC 1887

I do have these pictures, which came from my grandparents’ collection that my Mom identified as the “Mitchells” and said that they were related to her Nanny [Jennings] and that the picture was from BC. Are they Amy’s family? There is a slight resemblance to her sister in the older lady in the shots. Not sure though.

From the collection of my grandparents

From the collection of my grandparents

I was hoping that with a name like Momson would be easy to find, but they aren’t. It might be the kind of name that is often misspelt. had a listing for a Mis William Momson in a 1949 Victoria street directory, but when the page attached is brought up doesn’t actually include that name.

So facts that I am sure of: Amy Elizabeth Jennings born in 1859 in Yardley, and baptised at St Andrew’s Bordesly in January 1860. She was the daughter of Thomas Jennings and his wife Emma Newberry. She emigrated in 1884 to Victoria, BC, and in 1887 she married William Momson age 26 of Kelso, Scotland, in 1887.

If anyone can shed some light on her life after her marriage, and if the picture Mom identified as the Mitchells is her family or not, or they recognize the picture, please contact me.

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Does Your Boy Smoke? Montreal, 1907

Montreal Standard, 12 January 1907, page 11

Does Your Boy Smoke?


The boys of our country are being poisoned by cigarettes. The habit is fastening itself upon thousands of mere children. Who is there who has not seen hundreds of smoking boys not yet in their teens? Mere children marching forward to depravity. Who of those who have watched has not seen the child smoker slide down the moral grade and quickly take on those other accomplishments that are characteristic of the blackguard?

Moderate smoking among men may be harmless but children who smoke are doomed in health and morals. In ninety-nine cases out of a hundred the child smoker becomes degenerate. A child who smokes never becomes a man. He develops into a human weed. The child who smokes is on his way to a premature grave; he may be on his way to the penitentiary; he cannot be on his way to a successful career. A child who smokes probably swears and lies and to all intents and purposes has already joined the criminal classes.

No matter whose darling he may have been, the physical and moral ruin of the child smoker is being effected. A ruined boy cannot grow up to be a good citizen. Every man who has ended his career on the gallows was once an innocent child. There is not a decent minded smoking man in all Christendom who approves of the child smoker. Mothers little dream of the surreptitious smoking of the day by tots of boys who cannot appreciate their danger. Do you want to save your boys?

The Standard has set itself the task of saving thirty thousand boys by reclaiming fifteen thousand child smokers and by dissuading fifteen thousand from ever forming the habit.

The Standard will, in due course, unfold its plan, and put it into execution. It will require money and patient work to do this.

The Standard will supply the money and pay for the work. . .

The Standard knows there is no such word as fail in this task.

The result will prove whether or not The Standard has set itself an impossible undertaking.

The Standard is now going into nearly every English reading home in Montreal. There are whole streets, and whole sections – each embracing many streets – where, from one end of it to the other, scarcely a house can be found where
the Standard is not read.

The Standard is in touch with the people.

For many weeks the demand for each issue of The Standard has increased on the previous issue, so that its
circulation is counted now not by hundreds, not by thousands, but by tens of thousands, and has now a total bona fide circulation achieved in one year greater than any other paper in Canada ever achieved in five years, and with a total larger in the City of Montreal than any other English paper bar only one.

George Murray Publishing Company, Ltd.

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Gilliandoctor- It is all about the name, 2014

I imagine a number of people are curious about why I call this blog gilliandr, or why I use gilliandoctor on twitter as my handle.

Some people who know me assume I use the doctor because I have a PhD. And while yes, I have a PhD and I am proud of it, that is not why I use it.

Others may assume I use it because I am a huge fan of Doctor Who, and well yes, I am a big fan, that is not why I use it.

I use Doctor because of my last name, Leitch. The name itself is Scottish, and refers to an occupation. It is like the name Cooper or Smith, and refers to doctors. Yes, doctors. Leitch, Leech or Leach means doctor, because back in olden times and not so olden times, medical practitioners used leeches for medical purposes, and even when they weren’t using the little critters to draw blood from their patients, they were bleeding them for much the same reasons. Hence the name.

I have googled my name a number of times, and there are a lot of Gillian Leitches in the world so using it on the net was probably not that distinguishing a thing to do. So I use gilliandr instead….. it means the same thing!


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William Leitch’s Service During the Upper Canada Rebellions- a-ha! 2014

william leitch
In a biography of James Leitch, there is small biography of his father William Leitch. It reads:
“and is a son of William Leitch, who was born at Ardrossan, Ayrshire, Scotland. William Leitch came to Canada when sixteen years of age (1832), and served in the Stormont Militia under Col Vankoughnet, during the Rebellion of 1837-8.”[A Cyclopaedia of Canadian Biography: Being Chiefly Men of the Time, George Maclean Rose, ed., Toronto, Rose Publishing Company, 1886, p. 646]

A similar narrative appears in “A Standard Dictionary of Canadian Biography: The Canadian Who was Who, vol 1,” Charles GD Roberts & Arthur L Tunnel eds., Toronto, Trans-Canada Press, 1934, p. 300. So where to look to ascertain this as truth? actually has the muster rolls for the British Army and Canadian Militia online, so I googled William Leitch. The rolls actually have him listed under the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Provisional Battalion, 4th Provisional Battalion (Glengarry Highlanders) 5th Provisional Battalion.

More specifically the books list him under the 6th Company, 3rd Provisional Battalion of Militia under the command of Lieut Col the Hon Philip VanKoughnet. He served from at least from May 1838 to April 1839.
I guess the last question I had to ask was what did he do when he served, did he fight, did he go to Lower Canada, or did he patrol in his home area?

For this I researched VanKoughnet, his commanding officer to find out where he was, because by association, you know that is where his soldiers were. And to answer the question, yes, William Leitch appears to have seen actual battle. His group were at Prescott, Ontario in November 1838, and repelled the attack of the Hunter Patriots at the Battle of the Windmill, at Windmill Point.

Battle of Windmill Point, contemporary image, Wikipedia

Battle of Windmill Point, contemporary image, Wikipedia

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Oats ad, Montreal, 1912

Montreal Daily Star, 8 May 1912, page 7


“Eh! Man, but I’d like a dish o’ they Oats.”

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And the Cutlers Just Keep on Giving! 2014

I was basking in contentment at my tracing of the Cutler family to the family of William Windham of Felbrigg, pleased that I had been able to connect through an illegitimate daughter to them, and by virtue of this connection trace the family into the 1400s. Wow, what an achievement, and quite honestly further back than I had expected to go. Most people are lucky to get into the 18C, with the nature of record keeping, record preservation, and so forth. I had posted my information to my blog, and hoped that this wondrous discovery would be of benefit to others related to me. And I figured that really, there were many who were related considering the amazing numbers of children the Cutlers seemed to have had.

Then I got an email from a heretofore unknown Australian cousin, A Connor, who had looked at my lovely Windham chart and had made a connection from my chart, and was able to trace the family further. And wow, further is right. He looked at the wife of Sir John Wyndham (d1502) who had married Margaret Howard, who was the daughter of the Duke of Norfolk. And there it was, a lovely pedigree.

A line that could be traced back to Edward I (Longshanks – Hammer of the Scots, etc). King of England- I repeat, King of England. Even better, Margaret was descended from his son Thomas of Brotherton, whom he had with his second wife, Margaret of France. She was the daughter of Philip III of France. I repeat King of France. And there you have it, a royal connection, a family tree that can go to the earliest days of English monarchical rule, and to the Capetian Kings of France.

From Wikipedia

From Wikipedia

Now of course the Scot in me (1/4) is a bit conflicted about being related to the “Hammer of the Scots” and I am sure the Irish quarter is none too impressed, but hey, the English half is most pleased, and amazed. And I think I should wear a tiara all the time because- hey a couple drops of royal blood.

Here is the chart:

Henry III of England Phillipe III of France
Edward I of England (Longshanks) Margaret of France

Thomas of Brotherton, 1st Earl of Norfolk (1300-Aug 1338) m. 8 Jan 1326 Alice de Hales (d/o Sir Roger de Hales) (d Oct 1330)

Margaret, Duchess of Norfolk (Earl Marshal of England) (1320-Mar 1399) m. @1335 John Segrave, 4th Baron Mowbray (d. 1 Apr 1353)

Elizabeth de Segrave, 5th Baroness Segave m. John de Mowbray, 4th Baron Mowbray (23 June 1340-1368 in Constantinople)

Thomas de Mowbray, 1st Duke of Norfolk (22 Mar 1367-22 Sep 1399 Venice) m. Elizabeth FitzAlan Arundel (d/o Richard FitzAlan 11th Earl Arundel) (c1372- 8 July 1425)

Margaret de Mowbray (1388-1459) m. Sir Robert Howard of Tendring (1385-1436)

John Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk (1425- 22 Aug 1485) m. Katherine Moleyns (d 3 Nov 1465)

Margaret Howard m. Sir John Wyndham of Crownthorpe & Felbrigg (d 1502)

Sir Thomas Wyndham (1522) m. Eleanor Scrope

Sir John Wyndham (d. 1572) m. Florence Waldham

Sir John Wyndham (1558-1645) m. Joan Portman

Thomas Windham (1585-1654) m. Elizabeth Mede

William Windham (1647-1689) m. Katherine Ashe (1652-1729)

Ashe Windham (1673-1749) m. Elizabeth Dobyns (1693-1736)

William Windham (1717-1761) & Mary Morgan (Mistress)

Elizabeth Windham (aka Morgan) (1743-1810) m. Richard Guise (1735-1806)

Sarah Elizabeth Guise (1762-1833) m. Rev John Cutler (1756-1833)

John Cutler (1794-1843) m. 1824 Louisa Freak (1806-1874)

Mary Cutler (1836-1921) m. 1861 Frederick Paulin(e) (1831-1918)

Ernest Alfred Paulin (1864-1912) m. Emma Jane Jennings (1866-1951)

Grandad m. Nanny

Mom m. Dad


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Patriotic Song, Montreal, 1869

Montreal Gazette, 1 November 1869, page 2.

Patriotic Song

The following is one of the many poems called forth by the prize offered by the Caledonian Society, and though the bard was not successful, we have no doubt he would like to be “known to fame” and therefore it is presented to the

Fine country, fertile, flourishing,
Full of fruit and vegetables nourishing!
When Fenian foes were vanquished quite,
And ran away with all their might,
Who would not fight for such a land,
As long as he’d a leg to stand?
It’s lakes are deep, its streams are wide,
And girt by trees on every side.
In climage it’s not very much to boast,
For in winter you freeze and in summer you roast,
But in stream or lake, in heat or cold,
It’s a better country than the old,
And I’d rather on whisky and pork live here,
Than in England on beef and table beer!
It’s people are rather a motley crew,
But to the old Flag they’ll ever be true;
The cowards who write for annexation.
Shall be kicked o’er the bounds of this loyal nation,
And the Yankees who think to be masters here,
Will find they have got the wrong sow by the ear;
Then all unite with heart and hand
To keep for ourselves this mighty land,
And in honour and in truth, in fame and renown
To preserve this brightest jewel in the British Crown!

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