Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Minor Genealogy Mystery Solved

I mentioned in my last post that I had a couple of women I was trying to track down in the 1911 census. One is Sarah McFarlin, born April 12, 1838 on the lovely island of Islay, Scotland. I don't know when she emigrated, but it was before she was married, with her parents Neal and Flora McFarlin. Sarah married Benjamin Franklin Woodard (a popular name in 1841 when he was born) on August 14, 1860 somewhere in the Simcoe district.

Franklin and Sarah lived in the town of Stayner, and are found there in the 1881 and 1891 census. Franklin lists his occupation as "Labourer" in 1881, and his racial origin as German. They had a big family of 9 children, one baby every two years, like clockwork. I don't know when Franklin died, but Sarah is listed as a widow in the 1901 census, living with her daughter Rachel in Collingwood.It took me a while to find Sarah in the 1911 census, since in the transcription her last name is listed as "McDonald" (it is not given at all in the actual record), and her birth year has magically shifted to 1840. I think things like that happened in the census recording when someone in the household listed everyone, and the exact dates weren't seen as that important. (It sure annoys family history hunters, though). It didn't help that Rachel's name is recorded as Raphael, either, and that she's on the previous page. However, I finally found Sarah, 71 years of age and living with her daughter and family, including two teenage granddaughters and a four-year-old grandson. She died later that year and is buried in the Stayner Union cemetery.

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