Sunday, July 11, 2010

Lost and Found

A few months ago, the Chair of the York Region Branch of the OGS was contacted about a grave marker.  Seems it was discovered several years ago when a seniors development was under construction in Newmarket, Ontario.  Coincidentally, I can see this development from my window, just across the field to the north.  The stone was practically  in my own backyard. 

The owner of the company salvaged the stone.  He could just as easily told them to toss it aside and never given it a second thought.  The stone has been living in the garden at his residence.  He now needs to find a new home for the stone, and would like to return it either to the cemetery it came from, (if it actually ever was in a cemetery), or to a relative of the people named.  This task is proving to be more difficult than I imagined.

Aug. 18, 1870 - May 31, 1950
Beloved husband of
Annie Rimmer.

One of the ladies in their office contacted several cemeteries in town, and in a few surrounding towns.  No burial records found anywhere.  That's when she contacted us.  Since I'm the cemetery co-ordinator for the branch, it was passed to me.  I did the usual.  Checked the OGS surname database - nothing.  Checked the local paper for an obit - nothing.  Ditto for the neighbouring town, and also the two major papers that are online for Toronto.

Next step was the census records, both at and  Again nothing.  I checked the immigration/passenger lists.  Might have found something there.  There is a George and Annie Steadman arriving from England to Quebec in 1923.  The age is 51, which is pretty close to the correct age.  Can't trust age on most documents anyway.

I contacted the local paper to see if they would be interested in running a story.  They did.  The reporter got a few minor facts wrong, but the important information is correct.  So far the only person who has contact us is not a relative, but someone who decided to look on the British census and matched up the people on the passenger list.  Great, but we don't know if they are the correct George and Annie.  I've written an article which will be in the OGS e-newsletter for July, and also for our branch newsletter, which I believe will be out in September.  Hopefully someone comes forward and says, "Hey, those are my grandparents."

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