Tag Archives: England

12 Months, 12 Ancestors – James Noah Lovejoy

Note: this is the sixth 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.

Awake before anyone really should be, I decided to browse through my favourite website ancestry.ca before getting ready for work. Lo and behold I found a little leaf shaking on my tree where a leaf hadn’t been shaking for a long time. Eureka! A potential find!

James Noah Lovejoy

As the first of his line to come to Canada, I already had a soft spot for this Englishman-com-Hamiltonian. Here’s how I’m related to James Noah Lovejoy:

  1. Corina Hill Harris (Me)
  2. Elizabeth Marlene Hill (Mother)
  3. Elizabeth (Betty) Mae Lovejoy (Grandmother)
  4. Victor Wilfred Lovejoy (Great-Grandfather)
  5. Franklin William Lovejoy (2x Great-Grandfather)
  6. James Noah Lovejoy (3x Great-Grandfather)

He was born in the parish of St. James Norland in the county of Middlesex and was baptized on October 25, 1857. Through the baptismal certificate I could see his parents names as Thomas and Harriet Lovejoy but being not from England, a little more research is required.

I don’t know about you but I always need to look things up when I find a place. I feel an innate need to actually understand where I came from, not just who I came from. So I turned to the trusty Google and began searching for the church. Google brought me upon this record from familysearch.org that outlined what the church is and how it has changed after amalgamating. In searching for the two names of St Clement and St James, I found this tidbit on the church website:

A listed Grade II National Heritage building, St James’s Church (1845) stands impressively at the centre of St James’s Gardens, at the Holland Park end of the parish. The spacious and majestic interior, beautifully illuminated by the original stained glass windows, enhances a reverent but unfussy approach to the Eucharist.

The outstanding church organ is highly valued by the congregation, as well as a variety of orchestras and other music projects which practice and perform in the church.

That of course brought me to Google maps to try and find the location. The church of St Clement and St James is located in London, England near Norland’s Square and Notting Hill. The church is stunning to see but it wasn’t why I was looking up my 3x great grandfather James Noah Lovejoy.

The leaf shaking on my tree was for the opposite of a baptism – his death certificate. I had known that he had traveled to Canada on the Medway back in 1872 at the age of 15. It was only fitting that he would settle just down the road from me in Hamilton, Ontario. He married Elizabeth Mepham and she was the witness on his death certificate.

James died of influenza on March 26, 1932. He had been sick for 17 days but there were some other complications including nephitis (inflammation of the kidneys) and something ineligible to my untrained eye.

Detail from James Noah Lovejoy's Death Certificate
Detail from James Noah Lovejoy’s Death Certificate

He and his wife Elizabeth lived on 24 Hazel Avenue, Hamilton, Wentworth, Ontario and had for 54 years.

His parents are listed as Thomas Lovejoy and Harriet Palmer. Harriet’s last name had been eluding me until this one document unlocked the key to a future search.

His occupation is listed as Steel Worker at Steel Co Canada. (Could this has contributed to his health ailments and his death?)

He was buried in the Hamilton Cemetery on March 28, 1932.

Knowing how much I love looking things up online, this caused me to turn to all the Cemetery Finding Aids I could. I did find his name listed here as being located in the Hamilton Cemetery, Church of the Ascension-D, but thus far haven’t been able to locate a head stone through all of my many searches.

I will keep looking, and it may involve my very own head stone research. After all, it isn’t every day you locate your 3x great grandfather, and the first of his line to come to Canada.


12 Months, 12 Ancestors – Ada Elizabeth Woolgar (Hill)

Note: this is the fourth 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 April Ancestor as part of my 12 Months, 12 Ancestors project is Ada Elizabeth Woolgar.

Great-Uncle Ed shares a chat with my great Grandmother Ada Elizabeth Woolgar
Great-Uncle Ed shares a chat with my great Grandmother Ada Elizabeth Woolgar


What kind of bad ass name is that?

My great grandmother Ada Elizabeth Woolgar came from England. In England, the name goes back to the Doomsday Books, or so it says here:

WOOLGAR, or rather the original spellings of Wulfgar, Wlgar and Vlgar, is a Saxon name meaning ‘wolf-spear’. According to “A Dictionary of English Surnames” by P. H. Reaney & R. M. Wilson (Pub Routledge 1991 ISBN 041505737X), the earliest references to WOOLGAR are:

  • Domesday 1086 in Sussex and Hampshire
  • Wlfgarus de Cokesale 1252 in Colchester, Essex (Cartularium Monasterii S. Joh. Bapt. de Colecestria)
  • Brixi Wulgar 1188 (Pipe Rolls, Norfolk)
  • Teobald Wolgar 1250 Cambridge (Cartularium Monasterii Rameseia)

How amazingly awesome is that?

From tales I have been told, my great grandmother Ada was a strong woman. She was tall, well at least taller than her husband Charles. She was born in April 6, 1884 in the hamlet of Hersham, in Chertsey County, Surrey, England. She was the youngest child to Richard Woolgar and Esther Cannon and by the age of 8 had received a bible from her uncle. She kept this bible for her entire life and used it to record major milestones in her life from her marriage, to coming to Canada and the birth of all 13 of her children and even some of her grandchildren.

According to her bible, Ada Woolgar married Charles Edmond Hill on September 1st, 1900 in Pyrford, village also in Surrey. She was 16 years old at the time of their marriage. Young for our time, but not back then. By 1901, Ada and Charles were living in Long Ditton, Surrey, England in little place called “Moon’s Cottage.” Something about this place draws me in every time. I want to go there and find Moon’s Cottage. I want to see where it was Charles and Ada lived when first married, and where they started their family.

Kate, Ada and Amy, Taken July 1954
Kate, Ada and Amy, Taken in Ontario July 1954

In 1908, with Kate, Albert, little Charlie and baby Lily in tow, Charles and Ada packed it in and made their way to Canada. On the ships manifest she is listed as “wife” and no other occupation has been listed for her in any of the census records I’ve been able to uncover. However, family lore has indicated she was a midwife. I have been told they were allowed to come to Canada despite my great-grandfather having a hump on his back because of her much needed skill. However, I haven’t been able to substantiate this. As British citizens, they should have been able to travel anywhere in the dominion without any issue.

My great-grandparents Charles and Ada Hill with my great-uncle Ed
My great-grandparents Charles and Ada Hill with my great-uncle Ed

The Hill family settled in the Eramosa township area of Wellington County, Ontario, Canada. They rented a farm and had horses and chickens and grew their own food. From what I have been told, Ada was the backbone of the family and worked as hard or harder than anyone else . She doted on her children, in particular her youngest “Eddie” whom became one of my favourite great-uncles even though he lived in Manitoba and we would only see him once a year.

Ada died in 1962 and was buried in Johnston Cemetery, Eramosa Township, Wellington, County, Ontario, Canada. With incredible luck, I found her funeral card while visiting my Great-Aunt Margaret. The font is pure 60’s and the card was in fantastic shape. Here is a breakdown of the details:

In Memory of Mrs. Charles E. Hill
Passed Away
At the Palmerston Hospital on Wednesday October 17, 1962
Ada Elizabeth Woolgar
Widow of the late Charles Edmund Hill in her 81st year.
The Funeral
Resting at the Hardy Funeral Home, Harriston, on Thursday, then to McIntyre and Wilkie Funeral Home, Guelph on Friday where funeral service will be held on Saturday, October 20, at 2:00 pm. Internment in the Johnston Cemetery, Eramosa

The funeral card for Ada Elizabeth Woolgar, wife of the late Charles Edmund Hill
The funeral card for Ada Elizabeth Woolgar, wife of the late Charles Edmund Hill

Ada Elizabeth Woogar Hill is to me someone who I would like to have gotten to know. She could be tough when needed, but also had a good sense of humour and supported her own. I’ve been told my sister Heather resembles her in height, looks and attitude. I think this is a fantastic compliment.