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Interesting Facts Abour Canada - Page 2

post #31 of 32
Is your grandad from Yarmouth orginally ? Thats only about 45 minutes from where I live, I shop there all the time
post #32 of 32
I'm not sure where he was originally from, and there isn't really anyone left on that side of the family that I can ask, but I'll tell you a few little stories about his youth and maybe it will mean something to you.

He was born in Nova Scotia a few years after the turn of the century. He wanted to enlist in WWI but he was only 16 so he lied about his age to appear older. Now this is where the timeline gets messed up for me. Apparently at that time all the birth and death records were kept in a church that burned down. The story is told that nobody could find his records when he emigrated to the US so they used the erroneous military record, but I think it must have burned down before that, because surely he would have needed a copy of his birth certificate to enlist? He was quite senile by the time he was telling me any of these stories, and he was never quite sure if he had corrected his birthdate or not, so I'm not entirely sure how old he is.

Either way, away he went. He ran into a little problem because his name was Ansel Butler with no middle initial, and the sargeant who did his intake insisted that since the form had a space for a middle initial, he had to come up with one, and the sergeant chose "R". My mom remembered him telling this story, but by the time I knew him, he was saying it stood for Robert. So, I'm not sure whether he has middle name or not. Certainly his immigration papers said so, but they were based on his military records, which as I said are questionable.

His family was mostly farmers, but during the Depression they had more mouths than they could feed and his brother Aubrey emigrated to New Hampshire to work in the factories there. I have never met Aubrey, so I don't know if he stayed in the US or returned to Canada. Grandpa eventually married a woman from NH who was 10 years younger than himself (my grandma) apparently because they were pregnant but they lost that baby. My mom was born some years later in 1937, the first of 3, but that isn't important.

The only other person I know from that generation on that side is "Uncle Dan". I never knew his last name so I don't know which of them was related to us, and I think his wife was Gladys but I'm not sure. They were snowbirds, used to drive to Florida for the winter and back to Nova Scotia for the summer. He always came to our house and took my picture, beautiful studio quality pictures, that he gave my mom as a gift. I remember for 2 reasons : My parent's didn't take many pictures of me - no joke, there's like 5 rolls of film of my entire childhood, they just weren't picture taking people - and he is one of the few people to take a good picture of me. I am not photogenic. Anyway, they eventually got to old to take that trip twice a year and retired to Florida. I don't know when they died, but they had stopped visiting us by the time I started school.

My mom remembered going to Nova Scotia as a child, but she didn't remember the name of the town. A friend of mine who has family in the same part of the country said the church fire was in Yarmouth because it affected his family records for the same generation, but that's an educated guess. So if you live near a bunch of Butlers, and any of the over 50's remember an uncle Ansel or Aubrey, or even someone who emigrated toward the end of the Depression, they're probably my family.
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