Yearly Archives: 2014

12 Months, 12 Ancestors – Lillian Lilly May Young (Lovejoy)

Note: this is the eighth installment in my own version of #52ancestors where geneabloggers have been asked to write about a different ancestor every week for a year. To understand the concept, read my blog entry from January 19, 2014.

My family tree has many twists and turns but none have been more controversial as my great-grandmother Lillian (Lilly) May Young. She was born in Jerseyville, Ontario, Canada which is part of Ancaster township. She was the oldest of 4 children to Ira Elmor Young and Mabel Ethel Misener. Her birthdate was February 12, 1901.

Lilly May Young, Ira Elmor Young, Mabel Misener, birth record
This image from Archives of Ontario; Series: MS929; Reel: 156 was found on Ancestry and records the birth of my great-grandmother Lilly May Young

In the 1911 census, 10-year-old Lilly May is listed as living at 106 Arthur Street in Brantford, Ontario, Canada. She lived with her parents and her siblings Cora – 8, Lawrence – 5 and Elmer – 10 months. The family is all listed as having Dutch origins and Canadian nationality. They are all listed as Baptist. Looking at the streetview on Google, the house looks like it hasn’t really changed much. All the houses look to be over 100 years old. The street is located pretty close to the downtown core of Brantford. Lilly’s father is listed as a labourer at a machine shop and Lilly is listed as a student.

As yet, I cannot find Lilly on the 1921 census, but I do know that her soon to be husband Victor Wilfred Lovejoy was living in Hamilton with his parents at 35 Wentworth Street North. He is listed as 15 years old.

On April 29, 1922 life changes for Lilly and Victor as they exchange wedding vows. Some slight fibs were told on both of their parts, as Lilly states she is 20 years old, when in fact she is 21. Victor’s lie is even larger of as he states that he is 19 years old and yet by being born November 6, 1905, he would only be 16 years old. The pair were married in Hamilton where both of them lived at the time.

Marriage record, Victor Lovejoy, Lillian May Young,
On April 29, 1922 Victor Wilfred Lovejoy was listed as a 19 year old tool maker and Lily May Young was a spinster of 20 according to this record I found on this marriage record on Ancestry from Archives of Ontario; Series: MS932; Reel: 630.

It would appear that Lilly May Young wasn’t only lying about her age at the time of the wedding. Her oldest son Ronald Lovejoy was born in September of that same year, only 5 months after they exchanged vows.

Two years later, little Raymond Lovejoy came along.

And two years after that my grandmother Betty May Lovejoy came into this world. 3 children – all under the age of 6. I can’t imagine life was easy for any of them.

All of my life, I have heard that my grandmother’s mother had died in childbirth with my grandmother. I didn’t know her name and in fact, knew nothing about her. I knew that my great-grandfather had asked someone to come and help him raise his kids, and that he had married her as he had 3 more children (2 more boys Ben and Ted and 1 girl Saundra). But I knew nothing when I started my genealogy journey.

A few years back I became obsessed with finding out where I came from. My grandmother was gone and my mom had also passed – there wasn’t anyone I could get answers from easily. I turned to ancestry.ca and began looking into things and before I knew it I had the marriage certificate. A few weeks later I found her birth and death certificate.

I felt the mystery was solved and brought my information to the Lovejoy Family reunion. I had both of Victor’s marriage certificates and the death certificate of my great-grandmother. It was a pretty big deal and answered my questions.

Only it didn’t answer everyone’s questions.

My grandmother was born on May 28, 1926.

My great-grandmother died November 27, 1927.

There is no way that my great-grandmother died giving birth to my grandmother.

It was all in black and white and staring at me in the face but it didn’t click in until someone brought up the story again about how my grandmother died in childbirth. But she didn’t die giving birth to my grandmother. How did she die?

A well meaning cousin told me a rumor that Lilly had died due to a botched abortion. Could this be true? Was she pregnant but didn’t want another baby with 3 more in the house under the age of 8?

Lilly May Young, Death Certificate, 27-Nov-1927
This death certificate for Lillian May Lovejoy came from Ancestry and was part of Archives Ontario Registrations of Deaths, 1869-1938. MS 935, reels 1-615.

This is where the death certificate came in. I scoured it for details and this is what I found:

  • Surname of deceased: LOVEJOY
  • Full given names: LILLIAN MAY
  • Age: 26
  • Place of birth: CANADA
  • Date of birth: Feb. 12, 1901
  • Occupation: HOUSEWIFE
  • Length of Residence at death: 1 DAY
  • Length of Residence in Ontario: LIFE
  • Name of father: IRA YOUNG
  • Name of mother: MABEL MISENER
  • Name of physician: Dr G. BROWN
  • Address: GENERAL HOSPITAL
  • Name of Informant: VICTOR LOVEJOY
  • Address: 63 WENTWORTH ST. S.
  • Relation to deceased: HUSBAND
  • Place of Burial: WOODLAND CEMETERY
  • Date of Burial: NOVEMBER 29, 1927
  • Date of Death: NOVEMBER 27, 1927
  • Dates from which medical practitioner attended the deceased: NOV 27/27 – NOV 27/27
  • Primary cause of death: Cerebral Hemorrhage & Embolism
  • Did an operation precede the death: ____
  • Was an autopsy performed: YES

And that’s where it ended up. Not childbirth. Not an abortion. I haven’t been able to find a headstone on any online databases and at some point I plan on figuring out where she is buried but I believe I might already know. Victor Lovejoy was buried in the Woodland cemetery as well. Even though her name is not on the stone, do you think it’s possible they would be buried together?

With the circumstances of her death been concrete in black and white, it really shows the tragedy that was her life.

Young and full of promise.

Three small children.

26 years old.

No family pictures survive that I know of. I have no images of her. Her husband will also die young at the age of 45. His second wife a few years later at 44. Her children will grow and raise families of their own. They will see their children live and thrive and they will have grandchildren they can love and spoil before they too pass away.

No one survives that knew Lillian May Young.

All we have are stories that were passed to the younger generation and no one can be 100% sure if they are true.

She was only 26 years old. Gone, but I have not forgotten.

© Corina Hill Harris 2014
Image taken at the Sudden Tract © Corina Hill Harris 2014

Hill Family Descendants

On Sunday August 17, 2014 all of the descendants of Charles Hill and Ada Woolgar met for the 54th Hill Family reunion.

The reunion held at the Rockmosa Community Centre in Rockwood, Ontario brought members of the Hill family together from all across Ontario to share stories, learn about our history and to create some new memories.

At the gentle urging of my father, Howie Hill, I put some of my genealogy work to good use. I put together a descendant chart for Charles Edmonds Hill and Ada Elizabeth Woolgar. I had no idea what I was getting into, but I knew that it was possible.

Utilizing Family Tree Maker, which links to my account with www.ancestry.ca, it was fairly easy to pull together all of the information. By playing with all the settings and getting all the names on the chart I was astounded to see the number of pages needed to lay out the chart. 102 pages! All laid out hit was asking for 102 horizontal 8 1/2 x 11 pages. I played around with the settings, changed the orientation to vertical and I was able to fit it all onto 43 pages.

43 pages of family. My family.

All the names of the descendants of Charles Hill and Ada Woolgar took up a lot of space at the Hill family reunion in 2014
All the names of the descendants of Charles Hill and Ada Woolgar took up a lot of space at the Hill family reunion in 2014

At the top were my great-grandparents Charles and Ada followed by their 13 children:

  1. Kate Gertrude Hill (1901-1972)
  2. Albert William Hill (my grandfather) (1903-1960)
  3. Charles Edmond Hill (1905-1923)
  4. Lillian Gladys Hill (1907-1996)
  5. Minnie Mary Hill (1909-1985)
  6. Frank George Hill (1910-1998)
  7. Jane Maria Hill (1912-1999)
  8. Ada May Hill (1914-2007)
  9. James Stewart Hill (1916-2008)
  10. Amy Elizabeth Hill (1918-2005)
  11. Stanley Roland Hill (1920-2009)
  12. Donald Richard Hill (1925-2004)
  13. Edward Alexander Hill (1927-2006)

Each of those children had children of their own save one, Charles Edmond Hill, who passed away at a young age due to scarlet fever. Those children had children and even those children had children. The Hill family has grown exponentially since arriving in Canada back in 1908 and nothing proved it more than rolling out the pages across the room for everyone to see.

The chart seemed to keep going and going and as members of the Hill family walked along to find their name it made one thing clear: this wasn’t everyone. Pencils and pens were brought out and the new names of the next generation were added. Issues with spelling and further details were added and the tree continue to grow. In all, 47 extra names were added to the tree.

Looking back over the chart, it is astounding to think of all the names and relationships in the Hill family. 604 names. 604 descendants. I knew the Hill family was big, but I had no idea it was that big. I wonder how many more names will be added next year at the 65th Hill Family reunion, 3rd weekend in August, Sunday in the same location and at the same time. Our family hasn’t been in Canada long but we have sure helped to populate it!