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Montreal Musical Jubilee, 1878

Montreal Gazette, 24 January 1878, page 4


Montreal Musical Jubilee


This project is making commendable progress, and under the able management of the following Committee of Organisation, success in every particular many be deemed certain: – President, Hon Charles J Coursol; First Vice-President, AW Ogilvie, MPP; Second Vice-President, MC Mullarky; Treasurer, Joel Leduc; Secretary, JE Homier; U Perrault and A Carmel, Esqs.

From the printed circular it appears that the jubilee is a competition open to all corps or bands of music of the Dominion of Canada, divided into two classes – first, the class of corps or bands of music formed and organised in Canada, and which were composed of regular soldiers under control and authority of the Government; second, the class of independent corps or bands of music divided into the first and second class.  The regular bands shall have no right to compete with the independent bands, but the first class of the independent bands may compete with the regular bands if they so desire.  The independent bands of the first class shall not compete with those of the second class, nor the latter class with those of the first, and no band shall compete in classes other than those in which they shall have entered.  Five prizes in gold coin of $2,000 in all, and to be divided as follows: Regular bands, $600 and banner; independent bands, first class, $600; second prizes, $400, each receiving a banner; second class – first prize, $300; second prize, $100, each receiving a banner in addition to the prize.  Five judges shall be chosen from the Dominion of Canada and from the United States, and the banners are to be distributed by ladies of different nationalities.

The circular concludes with a number of rules, a copy of which can be had from JSO Dorval, Secretary, box 448 Post Office, Montreal.


Fashion notes, Montreal, 1914

Montreal Daily Star, 15 September 1914, page 8

Sombre Colors for this Fall Seen in Shops

The concerted splendour of Montreal’s fashion shops was to be seen today for the first time, when seven of the leading style centres on St Catherine Street made their formal Autumn openings.  Despite war and sarkings of lean days to come this winter, Dame Fashion is no whit less giddy than she was last spring, for instance.

Her giddiness has taken the form of adopting sombre blacks and browns, however.  The hats and suits are a deliberate attempt at pomposity and soberness.  It is the garb of steppe-dwelling Cossack and moujik that has attracted the designer. There is much fur, and heavy woolly coats, and broadcloth redincote suits, with nothing but the glitter of an occasional jet metal button or ornament to relieve the depressing effect.

“Made in Canada”

If Russia supplied the casus agenda for the designers, it was an easy mode to bring to Canada.  That is why the “Made in Canada” cry of some of the [illegible] is quite in order, and stylish, besides being patriotic.  There is Hudson Bay [illegible] and Alaska wolf, and James’ Bay broad-tail to choose from.  Ermine and skunk betoken the north again, as do muskrat and mink, and silver fox.

In the evening dresses maize and pink and absinthe (that’s a new one, a delectable green shade) supplant former blazing tangoes and vermilions.

Hats bear old trimmings, from pheasants tails to such sized pansies and gilt flowers as never garden produced.  The hats are either tight-fitting cloches or enormous headgear a la Gainsborough.  There are some cocket hats to give a military air and all manner of drooping plumes as a[illegible] contrast.

[illegible] impression that the fashion makers were in[illegible] for the fall things when the war rumors [illegible] made Runneymede to Cromwell.  A stern sort of black and white season with some irresistible colors and geegaws bursting out of the austerity.

A Smart Costume

[illegible] The stuff is a broadcloth, pleated very mannishly in the back.  The padded [illegible] of butler-propriety descends well below the knees; in the front in style of cut-away which was expected, the goods tipple out into as effect, almost eastern.  The skirt flares full to the hips, and there is lace at the collar and cuffs.  Black buttons are arranged to tell at the skirt, the front end of the coat and the sleeves.

Afternoon coats at this store, most of which are in the redingote-tail style are short, while those for street wear are very long indeed.  Tete-de-negre, blue and tartans made in worsted or heavy tweed or rough furry cloth, like men’s great coats last year, are the basis for fall outdoor coats.  A corduroy, called golf-tan in the lexicography of new styles, is the same shade of green as tarnished copper.  It is cut with a cap and raglan sleeves.  The costume is distinctive.

An afternoon dress, canary silk bodice with a black crepe tunic, is another of Ogilvy’s best.  Tasselled sash, rows of little cloth-covered buttons, and a double-folded loop on the skirt, show an expert touch.

A noticeable hat is white satin, with a bandeau of some scraggly-hair fur around the bottom of the crown.  The hair is long, and laps over the side of the brim showing itself a contrast to the white material of the hat shape.

A Bonnie Cap

Hamilton’s has a bonnie close fitting Scotch cap, with sable fur on a mahogany colored velvet.  A fancy mount catches the fur in front. This is of silver filigree, wrought into a most wondrous rose.

A jet band encircles the vast expanse of a Gainsborough shape, and a jet buckle at the front, with a plume is the other ornamentation.

A brown velvet sailor hat is crowned with brown fur and has a gilded flower front and in the back.  A yellow poppy as big as a pond lily, adorns another hat.  Ostrich plumes are noticeable.  There are no ordinary hats.  All are either big or small by the extreme.

Brown chrome stripes in heave chiffon make an effective vest blouse.  There are pockets in front, fit to support the staidest of heavy gold watch chains. The blouse is about the most masculine garment shown for the ladies’ wear in any of the stores.

Military swagger is given to one of Hamilton’s costumes by the close collared coat with a pleated under tunic which gathers the hips into shapely contour. The skirt is balloon shape, the most popular.  Moss green is the color.

Louis Quinze Floor

The Louis Quinze Floor at Fairweather’s Ltd which is claimed as a unique departure in showing merchandise is in itself so imperious that the habits trailed over the floor fleur-de-lis in its carpet should be lovely, and they are.  Taste and practice have collected some distinctive models here.  The cut of a cape, the drapings of a bunched up skirt give one more to appreciate than to describe. There are even styles in corsetry, as Messrs Fairweathers will tell you.  Mde Galbraith of New York, samples an interesting disquisition on the uses of aids to form, and is here for the Fall opening.

There is much fur trimming on Fairweather’s hats.  A turban of black velvet has two ospreys effectively crossed. A chain of gold filigree about an inch wide, limits the top of another crown.  Big purple tassles set with a simple jet band on a black velvet sailor are attractive.

Milady’s muff this year must be shaped like a melon.  A variance is the Rugby football shape, which seems a similar design to the non-technical.  Fox is the fur to wear in a set, and skunk mole, chinchilla, Russian or Hudson Bay sable are a la mode. Seals and Persian lamb, mink and ermine, are the thing for fur coats.

Monkey Fur

The acquisition of monkey-fur to adorn the hats of Montreal women is the prize Goodwin’s lady buyer at Paris carried off when she crowded on the platform of one of the last trains to the sea-board.  Boxes and trunks were got through to England by dint of much persevering, and the stands and models and show-counters at Goodwin’s proclaimed Paris and the boulevards thereof.

Six quails spread their mottled wings and bodies over a brown velvet hat that is to adorn some graceful head.  Two parrots gaze at one another, over the jet mount of a black turban.  And between the birds comes the fur of the peanut loving monk, to serve as a graceful wavy bandeau on a pink satin sailor.

There is a little hat which comes to a velvet point at the front.  Inside the cockade is a cerise plush.  A long pheasant tail darts nearly two feet down over the ears, the daring hat looks peculiar.  Slouched over the eye, tilted almost to slipping off.  It is at once debonair and charming.  Mlle the Paris buyer insists that all the new hats should be worn so perched well over the forehead, with the plume or the silver rose, or what ornament there be, set at the one possible angle.  It is thus Chat they wear them in Par-ee.

“Battleship Grey”

“Battleship Grey” is a series of ominous little sheet-steel slivers, tempered and polished to glitter like jet. They certainly bristle like a British man-o-war, and incidentally are a real ornament to a hat.

That is one of the details in the “Made in Canada” infusion which Morgans have put into their opening. Midnight blue is a shade they introduce.  They revivify bottle green as facing in a cocky little cockate, and corinthe, a regular Omar Khayam of a color, is a luscious new wine-shade.  More huge pansies – these are purple ones, and some cream-yellow poppies with red pollen centres are features.

This is a Russian season, as the cloak and suit man at Morgan’s remarked.  Roman stripe in an under tunic, pleated beneath the broadcloth of the outer coat, is an impressive costume he has to show.  Coats are long, he said, and silk braid and velvet plentiful.  A basket-ribbed French serge catches the eye.  The suit is made into cape-sleeve affairs described as angel-wings in the lingo of the style salon.  Coats of ratine, tartans and tweeds show an assortment that speaks well for the mills of Canada.  Coats are long, half-belted, talled mannish.  Blanket cloth for children’s coats might be adopted by their elders.

The Native Models.

High-trimmed native models, with all the variety of ornament that the French styles offer, are predominant at Scroggie’s.  A black form with pink satin under-facing of the [illegible] and a keen-eyed jet bird between the wings. This is chic and effective.

A dun green is the body of another hat, with a tete-de-vegre feather bandeau.  The sparkle of jet relieved the lack of brilliance.  Ospreys are to be seen on several hats, and ostrich plumes are turned into service on a number of the season’s creations. Large artificial roses add a novel touch to some tight-fitting little turbans.

Russian capes and cloaks stand out in the Scroggie display of street wear.  One tunic tartan had a girdle of crushed black satin with silk tassels and a military collar effect.  In afternoon costumes the Medici  collar, often with a short coat and tight fitting skirt, is to be remembered.

Evening wear runs to maize and pink and blue shades.  Plum is very good, and of course, bottines must match whatever the tone of the dress color.  Scarves and yoke-satins are in the same delicate shades.

Heavy furry cloth seem the most popular for great coats.  Swooping curves or strict military angularity are varied in cut.

A Driscoll model at Dupuis Freres is one of the original costumes among all the fall openings.  This was of French broadcloth, tunic style. The trimming is fur, Alaska sable, and the habit is lined with broche satin.  A yoke in the skirt is of charmeuse silk, the very type of suit to go with a black turban, cerise-faced, which the living models wear with it.

There are some forty costumes paraded on living models for the benefits of Dupuis’ customers.  A honey-comb coat, trimmed with plush at the collar and cuffs attracts more than one inquiry.  The sleeves are raglan style and the coat is half-lined with satin.

The basque idea in evening dress is very popular here.  One charmeuse silk dress has the basque, with an effective belt at the back. With this is a wide-brimmed had, with three shaded ostrich feathers. The hat is Alice blue plush faced with silk and trimmed with a silver rose and a bandeau.

A black velvet sailor is faced with cerise satin under the brim.  Black and new middy flat trimming is used, and a cerise rose in front catches the crown. A plain silver filigree band encircled the top of the soft crown.

The entire store of Dupuis Freres is tastefully decorated for the opening.  An extensive display of furs and dress silks are particularly attractive.

Alone and Deserted, Montreal, 1914

Montreal Daily Star, 3 October 1914, page 3.

[political cartoon]

“Alone and Deserted”

“Nobody Loves Me, I’m going into the garden to eat worms.”

Deliberately hitting a genealogical brick wall – in the name of history! 2017

While I consider myself a really good researcher, I have to admit to a great reluctance in looking into the several family lines who were called SMITH.  I am sure that most people are aware of just how common Smith is as a last name – it is!  This is further complicated by the fact that these Smith relatives made their homes in Birmingham, England – a city built on craftsmen – Silversmiths, gunsmiths, blacksmiths, etc.  Occupational names can be a pain in the ass. Truthfully, I have just avoided these families and instead built my family history around them, not delving in too deeply into their lines except where they join mine.  This changed two weeks ago.

I was approached about one of my Smiths, specifically Maude Smith, who was my grandfather’s first cousin.  Could I trace her family to find living members who were more closely related to her than myself?

And so the adventure began.  So what I knew starting the research on Maude’s family.  She was the daughter of Sidney Smith and Kate Jennings.  I have their marriage certificate, and they were married on the 19th of June 1881 at St Edburga’s Church in Yardley.  According to the certificate Sidney was the son of John Smith.  His wife Kate was the daughter of Isaac Jennings, Butcher and publican at the Swan Pub in Yardley.  She was the sister of my great-grandmother Emma Jennings Paulin.

From the census (and from talking with my family) I have listed four siblings:  Sidney John Smith born in 1885, Percival Thomas Smith born in 1889, Leslie Hampton Smith, born in 1896 and Dorothy Mary Smith born in 1898. I know for certain this is the family from these sources, but then this is where things get complicated.  I have found no marriages for any of her siblings.  I know Maude never married, so she is easy.  Also because her name was Isabel Maude Kate Jennings, she is relatively easy to trace.  I thought that it would be easy enough for Leslie Hampton –but he does not appear to have married either.  I don’t know about Dorothy – a rather common name.  I found a death for a Dorothy Mary Smith in the 1970s but I cannot be sure this is the same person.  Cannot find anything yet on Sidney John.

Then there is Percival Thomas – there are two Percival Thomas Smiths in Birmingham of about the same age.  One is the son of a bricklayer, so not the same, but some records don’t allow this kind of precision.  My mom was sure Percy had children – so I am assuming he was married, but so far no luck.  The other Percival Thomas was married twice.

Another problem, and this was highlighted in my search on Ancestry, there is another couple called Sidney and Kate Smith.  And it appears that two members decided my Sidney and Kate is the same as theirs, but they did not look too closely at the sources – like there are two different households with those names.  The other Sidney was the son of William and Kate’s maiden name was Cashmore.  They also lived in Birmingham.  It is rather complicated and darn frustrating.

So I have made myself a new brick wall.  I will keep at it, of course.

If anyone has information on Sidney Smith from Bickenhill, jeweller/commercial traveller and his wife Kate Jennings Smith, and of course their children Isabel Maude Kate (suffragette), Dorothy Mary, Percival Thomas, Leslie Hampton (who worked at Dunlops) and Sidney John then please contact me.

Here is a picture of some of the Smith family…. with my family

Wedding Grace Paulin & Herbert Goodson, 1917, Photo courtesy D Thornton

Front (Left to right) – Kate Jennings Smith, Hilda Paulin Curtis, Irene Paulin Hunting, Emma Jennings Paulin and Dennis Hunting.  Back (left to right) Norman Paulin, Herbert Goodson, Grace Paulin Goodson, Sidney Smith, and Maude Smith.

Sidney gave Grace away at the wedding as her father had passed away in 1912.

Sarsaparilla Recipe, 18C

Recipe from 18th Century, found in Library and Archives Canada.


Put six ounces of sarsaparilla root, & six pints of boiling water into a sauce pan; which keep at the side of the fire (with the cover loosely on) for four hours, then take out the sarsaparilla root, and braise it.  When braised, put it back into the same liquor, boil down to one half then press out the whole, and afterwards strain through a linen cloth.

Half a pint of the above decoction to be taken three times a day.

[and no, it did not say what it was to cure – so don’t try this at home!]

Widow Keeps her Husband’s Name, Etiquette, 1922/37

Etiquette: The Blue Book of Social Usage by Emily Post, New York and London, Funk & Wagnalls Co, 1922/37.



Widow Keeps Husband’s Name

A man gives his name to his wife for life – or until she herself through re-marriage relinquishes it.  A widow, therefore, should always continue to use her husband’s Christian names.  She is Mrs. John Hunter Titherington Smith, or to compromise, Mrs. JH Titherington Smith, but she is never Mrs. Sarah Smith, at least not anywhere in cosmopolitan society.

Robbing a relative, Isaac Jennings, Yardley, 1860

Ari’s Birmingham Gazette, 26 March 1860, page 4

Philip Butler and Thomas Cullon were charged with stealing 10£ belonging to Isaac Jennings, of Yardley. – Mr Elers for the prosecution; the EC Leigh for the defence. – The prosecutor is a licenced [sic]victualler, and the prisoners called at his house on the 24th of January last.  He was about to pay money to a party in the house, and having occasion to leave the kitchen for a short time, he left his purse containing 10£ on the kitchen table until his return.  During the absence of the prosecutor, one of the prisoners took the purse, and both ran away.  They were, however, immediately pursued and captured a short distance from the house.  Verdict – “guilty”.  Sentence six weeks imprisonment.

Well-known Old-Time Lacrosse Player Laid to rest, Montreal, 1917

Montreal Gazette, 19 November 1917, page 5

James B McVey buried

Well-known Old-time lacrosse player laid to rest Saturday

The funeral of James B McVey, who died on Thursday last, took place on Saturday morning at half-past eight from St Ann’s Church.  The late Mr McVey was a popular old-time lacrosse player and played a prominent part in the championships won by the Shamrocks some twenty-five years ago.  At the funeral on Saturday, the Rev Father Kelly pastor of the church was at the altar, assisted by the Rev Father Mulhern, deacon, and the Rev Father Corrigan, sub-deacon, while there was also a full choral service.

The chief mourners at the funeral were Wm P McVey, brother; James S McVey, Ottawa, brother; Master WP McVey, nephew; John A McVey, nephew; Frank J Meehan, nephew; James L Stapleton, Granby, cousin; Fred A Stapleton, Granby, cousin.  Others present included Rev Canon O’Meara, pastor of St Gabriel’s parish; Rev A Walsh, St Mary’s; Rev Bro Stanislaus, provincial of Presentation Brothers; Rev Bro Murray, Presentation Brothers; Rev Bros Andrew and Michael of the Christian Brothers; while the Grey Nuns and the Sisters of Providence were also represented: Patrick Donnelly, ME Casey, Chas Hale, M McInerney, Bernard Hughes, Ald O’Connell, ex-Ald Gallery, Ald Rubinstein, Laz Rubinstein, Thomas Dwyer, W McKenna, Albert Hinton, Wm Duggan, Jack Tucker, D McCrory, L Spenard, J Lord, H Logan, Tom Carlind, JPR Flynn, J Baird, J Phelan, James Bathurst and Thomas Collins.

Juvenile Court to Teach Manners, Montreal, 1917

Montreal Gazette, 6 jul 1917, page 5

Juvenile Court to Teach Manners

Drenching Young woman on street to bring stern rebuke

Too frolicsome boys

Boy left Toronto to be a Jockey in Montreal and Ended in court – promises did not materialize

It is a matter of opinion in Juvenile court circles that giving a young woman a public bath, and especially without notice, is not according to the usages taught in the best circles of society, and several young boys who lately forgot that fact are so informed, politely, but very firmly.  An indignant uncle figures prominently in this affair.  The story, as unfolded before the court yesterday, has much of the commonplace. It is related that a day or two ago a young woman was walking up St Alexander street when from the seventh storey of a building fronting on that street several boys dropped a paper bag upon her splendid new hat, one of the kind with lilies of the valley profusely enthroned upon it.  The bag was filled with water, and when it collided with the hat, the result was disastrous for the millinery, and the person of the wearer. It was a big bag, and the drenching corresponded.

Indignant at this treatment on the King’s Highway, the victim told her uncle, and the latter instituted some Sherlock Holmes enquiries and discovered the miscreants, and informed the Juvenile Court that he had solved the problem. The court, properly impressed, issued little billets doux to the boys in question, requesting the honour of their company in the morning. Probabilities are that the youngsters will be entertained with some remarks on decorum, and given a chance to repent. The authorities are determined that the streets shall be made safe for summer finery especially as the opportunity for its display is so short this year.

Another case, that had the attention of the Juvenile court yesterday is that of a boy of sixteen who was unearthed by a special constable of the CPR in a race horse car at the Windsor Station.  The story told by the boy is that he is a resident of Toronto, not in itself a serious matter but he left his mother’s home without permission to come to Montreal to be a jockey.  His story further adds that he was induced to do so by a race track man, who made him plenty of fine promises, but that when they reached Montreal told him to shift for himself as best he could.  The boy’s only idea was then to get to Toronto, and he chose the “no ticket” system.  The story is being investigated, as there appears to be several discrepancies in the telling.

In addition to these cases, the Juvenile court had the usual number of little affairs to dispose of.

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