Thursday, 28 June 2018

Susan "Toots" (Westell) Jarrell: The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter

"Toots" Westell, age 16. Photo courtesy of her son, Don Jarrell.

Susan Lorena "Toots" Westell, born 11 May 1923 was nine years old when her father, Oran Westell became keeper of the Kincardine Lighthouse in 1929.

Kincardine Lighthouse.
During the depression the monthly salary for a lighthouse keeper was $15. Toots received 25¢ a week from her father to open and close the blinds in the light room.

A coal stove in the lighthouse kitchen was their only source of heat for a long time so they wore long underwear for months. Toots was allowed to remove her long underwear and go for a swim around the May 24th weekend.

Toots atop her home, the Kincardine Lighthouse, c1933. Photo courtesy of Don Jarrell.

The third floor of the lighthouse is where they turned on the big light. Toots recalled that when she and her sister got the giggles, their mother would send them up there and close the trap door until they calmed down. 

In her youth, Toots was a dancer and drummer for the Kincardine Scottish Pipe Band. Founded in 1908, it's believed to be the oldest street pipe band with unbroken service in Ontario. 

Toots, age 18. Photo courtesy of Dan Jarrell.
After school Toots worked as a telephone operator at the Bruce Municipal Telephone System, earning 75 cents per shift. Her next job was at Kincardine's Gledhill Shoe Store. During the Second World War, Toots worked at the Bank of Montreal. 

At the end of the war in 1945, Toots took a hairdressing course in Toronto and set up her own business in Kincardine.

Romance bloomed when Toots met Kincardine-born John Mackinnon "Mac" Jarrell (1917-1986.) Toots and Mac met through an arranged ride from Toronto to Kincardine. Mac was attending University in Toronto at the time, while Toots was attending hairdressing school - and both of their mothers agreed to arrange the ride home.

Prior to meeting Toots, Mac was one of the nearly 9,000 Canadians held in prisoner of war camps during the Second World War.

On 27 April 1946, Toots and Mac were married.

Toots on her wedding day. Photo courtesy of Don Jarrell.

The couple headed to Detroit for their honeymoon. 

Toots honeymooning in Detroit, 1946. Photo courtesy of Don Jarrell.
Mac Jarrell on his honeymoon in Detroit, 1946. Photo courtesy of Don Jarrell.

Children soon followed. Donald Gordon Jarrell and his sister were both born in Kincardine. 

Toots with her first child, Donald Gordon Jarrell, age 3 weeks in February, 1947. Photo courtesy of Don Jarrell.

The Jarrell family moved to London, Ontario in 1949 when Mac accepted a job with the Department of National Revenue. 

The Jarrell's lived in this house at 1407 Brydges Street, London, Ontario from 1949-1952. Photo courtesy of Don Jarrell.

The house is still there. Image captured 2017.

In 1952, Mac was transferred and the family moved to St. Catharines, Ontario where another son was born.

Toots and Mac Jarrell with a painting of their house in St. Catharines. Their neighbours presented this gift to them when they learned of Mac's retirement and decision to move back to Kincardine.

When their youngest child was 10, Toots took a job as a buyer for the five Canadian locations of the Right House department store. She retired at age 50. 

The Right House department store.

Mac died in 1986. Toots died 12 April 2013 at St. Catharines General Hospital, age 89. Mac and Toots are buried in Kincardine Cemetery.

Toots Jarrell. Still drumming in 1974. Photo courtesy of Don Jarrell.
Toots Jarrell. Still doing the Highland Fling in 1974. Every one of her children and grandchildren could perform the basic steps of a Highland Fling, thanks to her. Photo courtesy of Don Jarrell.
Susan Lorena (Westell) Jarrell's family tree:
John Culbert & Mary Ward (2xgreat-grandparents)

Elizabeth "Eliza" Culbert & Richard Dagg (great-grandparents)
Susan Dagg & Omar Westell (grandparents)
Oran Westell & Jane Russell (parents)

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

ORAN WESTELL (1891-1955): Lighthouse Keeper

On Sunday I asked, “Which descendant of John Culbert & Mary Ward was a lighthouse keeper and raised his family in a lighthouse?” 

The answer? Oran Westell, grandson of John Culbert & Mary Ward.

Oran Westell, 1910, age 19. Photo courtesy of Don Jarrell.

Born 17 May 1891 in Clandeboye, Ontario, Oran left home at a young age to work on Great Lake schooners, including the “Lyman M. Davies” and the “Burt Barnes.” 

Oran was witness to the fierce “Great Lakes Storm of 1913” also known as “The Big Blow” and “The White Hurricane.” 

The blizzard raged for 16 hours with hurricane-force winds that raised waves higher than 10 metres (33 feet.)

The storm exacted a toll far greater than that of the gale that sank the famous SS Edmund Fitzgerald in 1975. This storm devastated land as well... 

Many ships were lost and more than 200 men perished at sea. Oran was aboard one of the only surviving ships. 

With the outbreak of World War One in 1914, Oran enlisted with the Canadian Expeditionary Force and went overseas. 

Oran Westell in WWI uniform. Photo courtesy of Don Jarrell.

Amazingly, Oran survived a chlorine gas attack

Life-size cutout of Oran Westell at Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre in Southampton, Ontario. Oran's son, John "Jack" Westell on left and Oran's grandson, Don Jarrell on right. Photo courtesy of Don Jarrell.

While recuperating in England from the chlorine gas attack, Oran met his wife-to-be, Jane “Jenny” Russell, while rowing in Heaton Park, Manchester. They married in Prestwich, Lancashire on 29 March 1919.

Engagement photo of Oran Westell and Jane "Jenny" Russell. Photo courtesy of Don Jarrell.

When Oran and his bride arrived back in Canada, they moved in with Oran's father, Omar in Kincardine, Ontario. Oran's mother, Susan (Dagg) Westell passed away in 1916, before his return from overseas.

Oran's parents and siblings. Oran in back row, in uniform, late 1914 or early 1915. Photo courtesy of Don Jarrell.

In 1929, Oran became the fourth serving lighthouse keeper at the Kincardine Lighthouse

Kincardine Lighthouse, 1940s. Photo courtesy of Jamie Westell.

Oran, his wife Jen, and their three children moved into the lighthouse where they remained until 1955. 

Oran’s duties included taking care of harbour traffic as the Wharfinger, Storm Signaller, and Harbour Master.

From the master bedroom on the second floor of the lighthouse, Oran could sit up in bed and determine which way the wind was blowing.

The lighthouse position paid little but provided a home for his family. Oran supplemented his income by sorting the outgoing mail at the Kincardine Post Office. Oran was a volunteer Fire Fighter in the town, and he became the Kincardine Fire Chief.

Left to right: Oran Westell in his firefighter uniform; Oran's father, Omar Westell; and Oran's brother, Earl Westell. Photo courtesy of Don Jarrell.

Oran Westell was fatally injured on a foggy night in 1955, near Ottawa. The car driven by his son, John, missed a turn and crashed into a ditch. Oran died on the way to the hospital, age 64. He is buried in Kincardine Cemetery. 

Oran’s hobbies included fishing and messing about in his converted lifeboat. For a man who had served his country and community well, survived a hurricane at sea, and survived a chlorine gas attack, he deserved a little leisure time as he entered his retirement years. Sadly, it was not to be. 

Oran & Jen Westell with three of their grandchildren, c1950. Photo courtesy of Don Jarrell.

Oran Westell’s family tree: 

Ancestors of Oran Westell: 

John Culbert & Mary Ward (great-grandparents) 
Elizabeth Culbert & Richard Dagg (grandparents) 
Susan Dagg & Omar Westell (parents)

Descendants of Oran Westell & Jane “Jenny” Russell: 
John “Jack” Russell Westell (1920-2013)
Private (living) (daughter)
Susan “Toots” Westell (1923-2013)

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Living in a Lighthouse

Which descendant of John Culbert & Mary Ward was a lighthouse keeper and raised his family in this lighthouse?...

Photo by JustSomePics

Come back soon to the Culbert Family History blog for the answer.

Friday, 22 June 2018

Henry "Harry" Dagg: Card Shark

In the previous post, I reported that Eliza Culbert and her husband, Richard Dagg had several children and all but one married. His name was Henry "Harry" Dagg.
Henry "Harry" Dagg (c1856-1934)

He was born around 1856 in Biddulph Township, not far from the Culbert homestead.

He's often confused with other Henry/Harry Daggs who lived in the same area at the same time. Note to genealogists: This is not the same Harry Dagg who married Martha Conley. Our Harry Dagg remained single all his life.

Harry died in Kincardine of acute bronchitis in 1934. He was 77. He's buried with his parents in an unmarked grave in Kincardine Cemetery. Harry and his parents share a plot with his brother, Robert Wellington Dagg, who does have a headstone.

But what about all that time in between? He was a farm labourer but we know little else about him. However, this quote from his nephew's daughter, "Toots" sums up Harry's character...

"Enjoyed cards.....known as a "card shark". On his death, Jen Westell put a deck of cards in his coffin with him. Chewed tobacco on a regular basis."
--Quote from Susan Lorena "Toots" (Westell) Jarrell, daughter of Jen Westell.

Henry "Harry" Dagg's family tree:
Ancestors of Henry "Harry" Dagg:
John Culbert & Mary Ward (grandparents) 

Elizabeth "Eliza" Culbert & Richard Dagg (parents)

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Eliza Culbert and Richard Dagg

In the previous post, I introduced you to Elizabeth "Eliza" Culbert, the first-born child of John Culbert and Mary Ward.

Eliza Culbert & Richard Dagg

Eliza's husband, Richard Dagg was a Private in the 26th Middlesex Battalion, along with Eliza's brother, William Culbert. Both Richard Dagg and William Culbert were awarded Canada General Service Medals for their role in the Fenian Raids of 1866-1871. The medal was awarded to those who took part in turning back the Fenians; a secret society of Irish patriots who wanted to turn Canada into a republic and join the USA. 

Canada General Service Medal awarded to Richard Dagg for his role in the Fenian Raids. Photo courtesy of his great-great-grandson, Don Jarrell.

Eliza and Richard lived in Biddulph Township near Lucan, Ontario, Canada; not far from the Culbert homestead. Later, they moved to a farm in Kincardine Township. They retired to a house on Alice Street in Kincardine on the shores of Lake Huron. Eliza and Richard had 9 children.

The Eliza Culbert - Richard Dagg Family, March, 1912 on the occasion of Richard & Eliza's 64th wedding anniversary. Back row, left to right: John, James, Emma, Henry, Robert, Susan. Front row, left to right: Eliza, William, Richard, Ann, and Maria.

This is a London Free Press article from 1912 about their 64th wedding anniversary. Scroll down below the clipping to read the transcription...
Clipping courtesy of Don Jarrell.

Just 64 years ago yesterday Mr. Dagg and Mrs. Richard Dagg of this town now 93 and 90 years respectively, were wedded in the village of Lucan.

Though it is four years since the diamond anniversary of that wedding was celebrated, the couple, who have by two decades and more passed the prescribed three score and ten, are still actively interested in the world about them and appreciative of the joy of life and action.

It was on March 21, 1848 that Richard Dagg, a young Irishman who had come to Canada while still a youth, took as his bride Miss Elizabeth Culbert, of Lucan, the wedding ceremony having been solemnized at that village.
One of the pioneers of Biddulph Township (Middlesex), Mr. Dagg hewed his farm there from the virgin forest, fighting with the other pioneers of the township the battle of civilization against the gigantic pines and maples of the forest. In the Fenian Raid of '66, he shouldered his rifle and marched to the front for the protection of his home and country.

While a boy in his teens he was one of those who helped to build the original Borough's bridge [Brough's Bridge] at London. Prominently identified with the advancement of the Township of Biddulph and of Middlesex, he is one of the best known men, not only of the section of this country, but of the entire Western Ontario peninsula. For the past few years, Mr. and Mrs. Dagg have been residents of the town of Kincardine and left their farm in Biddulph to reside here.

Now after a lifetime of noble usefulness in the pioneer upbuilding of his country, he has a rich fund of stories and tales of pioneer happenings and incidents. Gifted with an excellent and unimpaired memory he delights in entertaining his grandchildren with the stirring tales of pioneer days.

Mr. Dagg is a staunch and enthusiastic Orangeman, a member of the Anglican Church and an old-time Conservative. He has been a lifetime reader of the London Free Press.

The union, consummated over three score years ago, has been blessed with five sons and four daughters, 25 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. The sons are: James of British Columbia, John of Bervie, Harry, William of Western Canada, and Robert of Kincardine. The daughters are Mrs. Chas. Hall and Mrs. Omar Westall of Kincardine, Mrs. Wardell of Huron and Mrs. J. Smith, Saskatoon, Sask.

Mrs. Robinson J. Orr, of 262 Cheapside Street, London, is a niece, while Mr. Thomas Culbert, 748 Wellington Street, of that city, is a brother of Mrs. Dagg. -- London Free Press.
Eliza (Culbert) Dagg (centre) with her daughter, Susan (Dagg) Westell (left), and her granddaughter, Lorena (Westell) Casemore (right). Photo courtesy of Don Jarrell.
In Middlesex County and Huron County there are a few Richard Daggs and there are five Elizabeth Daggs or Eliza Daggs which makes documenting their lives a challenge. Here then, are the basics you need to know if you're researching this family and if you're a descendant of Eliza and Richard:

Elizabeth "Eliza" (Culbert) Dagg (1829-1914) & Richard Dagg (1817-1912)

Descendants of Eliza Culbert & Richard Dagg:

Ann Jane Dagg (1850-1925). Married Charles Hall.
John Dagg (1855-1937). Married Elizabeth Bradley.
Henry Dagg (1856-1934). Unmarried.
Robert Wellington Dagg (1857-1939). Married Annie McLeod.
Maria Matilda Dagg (1858-1930). Married Johnston Smith.
Susan Dagg (1860-1916). Married Omar Westell.
James Dagg (1863-1925). Married Sarah Ann Langstaff.
William Albert Dagg (1866-1951). Married Annie Ellen Miskimmons.
Rebecca EMMA Dagg (c1870-1955). Married Vincent Wardell.

Friday, 15 June 2018

Elizabeth "Eliza" (Culbert) Dagg (1829-1914)

Eliza's journey in life took her from Ireland to Lucan-Biddulph, Ontario, Canada to Kincardine, Ontario.

Elizabeth Culbert also known as "Eliza" and "Lizzie" was the eldest daughter of John Culbert & Mary Ward

Eliza (Culbert) Dagg. Photo courtesy of Don Jarrell, Eliza's great-great-grandson.

Born 1829 in Ireland, she was about 11 years old when the family immigrated to Biddulph Township, near the village of Lucan, Ontario in 1840. At the time of their arrival, Ontario was known as Upper Canada.

As the eldest daughter, Eliza's duties would have included minding her younger siblings, as well as performing endless household chores in and outside of their small log cabin.

Eliza Culbert married Richard Dagg on 21 March 1848 when she was about 18 years old. He was 31.

Like her mother, Eliza had a large family. Nine children lived to adulthood but there may have been two more children who died in infancy.

Eliza & Richard lived in Biddulph Township not far from the Culbert homestead. 

In the 1870s, they moved to Kincardine Township, Bruce County, where some of their adult children were living. They purchased property on Concession 5, Lot 34.

Richard & Eliza retired to the town of Kincardine on the shores of Lake Huron before 1899 however, the farm stayed in their hands until 1901.

Eliza (Culbert) Dagg died of heart failure on 13 May 1914 in Kincardine, age 85. Her husband predeceased her on 15 December 1912.

It's sometimes falsely stated that Eliza's mother was Mary McArdell, McArdel or McArdle rather than Mary Ward. This is because her mother's name was incorrectly entered on Eliza's death certificate, using a variation of the spelling of her mother-in-law's maiden name. The name of Eliza (Culbert) Dagg's mother was MARY WARD. Unfortunately, official documents can't be altered, even if they contain incorrect information.

It's my understanding that Eliza & Richard are buried without a headstone in the same plot as their son, Robert Wellington Dagg in Kincardine Cemetery. 
Note to genealogists: Our Richard & Eliza Dagg are not the same Richard & Eliza Dagg who are buried in St. James Cemetery, Clandeboye despite the many Culberts buried there.

I'll write more about Eliza & Richard but for now, consider this an introduction to their life.

Eliza (Culbert) Dagg's family tree:

Ancestors of Eliza (Culbert) Dagg:
John Culbert & Mary Ward (parents)

Descendants of Eliza Culbert & Richard Dagg:
Ann Jane Dagg (1850-1925)
John Dagg (1855-1937)
Henry Dagg (1856-1934)
Robert Wellington Dagg (1857-1939)
Maria Matilda Dagg (1858-1930) 
Susan Dagg (1860-1916)
James Dagg (1863-1925)
William Albert Dagg (1866-1951)
Rebecca Emma Dagg (c1870-1955)

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Back In Time For Dinner

Are you ready for a time-travelling adventure? Then tune in to CBC Television on Thursday evenings for a new series: "Back In Time For Dinner."

Follow a typical, contemporary Canadian family of five as they turn their own home into a time machine. Each week, the family's house will be completely transformed to reflect a different decade, from the 1940s through the 1990s.

The Campus family must give up their modern ways to adapt to each era. Watch as they adjust to different food, fashion, decor, leisure activities, technology, world events, and gender dynamics. 

Good luck trying to send a text message on this!

Having watched the BBC TV show on which this series is based, I have hopes you'll be entertained.

If you're young, this is your chance to glimpse how your older family members lived before you were born. For you older folks, this will be a trip down memory lane.

"Back In Time For Dinner" debuts Thursday, June 14 at 8 p.m. (EDT) on CBC TV. More details here.

Monday, 11 June 2018

Lucan Biddulph Whiskey Riot

It's been said that the sons of John Culbert and Mary Ward "used to go into town (Lucan) and "clean up" the taverns for fun; just get into a really good brawl for entertainment.  They were a wild bunch of boys."

Source: Exeter Times, 22 Jan 1874

Whether or not the Culbert boys cracked a few heads on the night of Saturday, 17 January 1874, we might never know.

The sons of John Culbert & Mary Ward. Left to right: Henry (born 1837), William (born 1842), Thomas (born 1847), Joseph (born 1848), and Richard (born 1853). Photo taken circa 1865.

Henry, the eldest son had moved away by the time of the "whiskey riot" but William, Thomas, Joseph and Richard still lived in Biddulph Township.

As an aside, the Culbert boys were contemporaries of the Donnelly boys. The Culbert homestead on the Coursey Line was about 2 1/2 miles almost straight across from the Donnelly homestead on the Roman Line. Thomas Culbert was once involved in a scuffle with Thomas Donnelly. But that's another story for another blog post.

As the song by Elton John and Bernie Taupin goes, "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting."

Thursday, 7 June 2018

Cory James Wozniak

It's my pleasure to introduce Cory James Wozniak, the great-great-great-grandson of John Culbert and Mary Ward.

Cory only recently found out that he's a Culbert! I can hear you exclaiming, "Whaaaaattt?" So let's back this train up and I'll explain.

I recently took the Ancestry DNA test. I hope you'll do the same. When you get the results from your test, you're given a list of "matches." These "matches" are people who are related to you with shared DNA.

When my DNA test results came in, I noticed someone very high on my list, indicating that he's a fairly close relation. My cousin, Phil Culbert has also taken the test. So I asked Phil if Cory was on his "matches" list and Phil said, "yes." I asked Phil, "Who is this guy, Cory? He's closely related to us but I've never heard of him!" Phil had never heard of Cory either.

This is an image from my DNA test that shows Cory is a DNA match with me. Based on the amount of DNA he shares with me, Ancestry categorized him as being in the 1st-2nd cousin range which is correct. Cory is my first cousin, once removed. In other words, Cory is the son of my first cousin.

I contacted Cory and started plying him with questions. (As you know, I can be very nosy although I prefer the word "inquisitive.") I said to Cory, "Apparently, you're a close relative of mine but I don't see any names I recognize in your Ancestry family tree." To which Cory replied, "That's a family tree I created of my adopted family."

Cory didn't know much about his birth parents but he did know that his biological father was a Culbert. 

Cory also knew that his birth parents had lived in Calgary, Alberta where Cory was born on 12 July 1977. 

Naturally, I started making all kinds of assumptions about which of my cousins might be Cory's father. Before I got too carried away with the finger-pointing, Cory found his birth document with the name of his biological father: Jon Arthur Culbert.

Jon Arthur Culbert is my first cousin! Cory didn't know anything else about his biological father, Jon Culbert and I don't actually know very much about Jon either.

Jon Arthur Culbert, born 1954 in London, Ontario was the son of Earl Culbert (1929-1994) and the grandson of Myron Culbert (1884-1961.) Jon grew up in London but at some point he moved to Calgary.

Jon Culbert died in 2013. I have no memories of Jon, even though he's my first cousin. If any of you have any memories of Jon to share with Cory or any photos of Jon, please contact me.

Fortunately, Cory was adopted into a loving home in Calgary. (Thank you, Mr. & Mrs. Wozniak!) 

Cory now lives in Sacramento, California with his wife, Alyson; son, Carter; and daughters, Claire and Kate.

Back, left to right: Carter and Cory. Front, left to right: Kate, Alyson, and Claire.

We don't know if Jon Culbert ever knew that he had a son but now Cory is a part of our Culbert family.

Please join me in welcoming Cory James Wozniak and his family to the Culbert family!

Cory James Wozniak's Family Tree:

John Culbert & Mary Ward (great-great-great-grandparents)
Richard Culbert & Jane Fairhall (great-great-grandparents)
Myron Culbert & Effie Taylor (great-grandparents)
Earl Culbert (grandfather)
Jon Arthur Culbert (father)

Descendants: (children)
Carter Wozniak
Claire Wozniak
Kate Wozniak