|The History of the Holmes Family
begins in the parish of Ashbourne, Derbyshire, England. It was there,
around the year 1807, that William Holmes was born. In the
mid 1820's, William married a woman named Sarah Twigg. Sarah
was born in 1803 in the nearby parish of Hollington, Derbyshire.
Together, William and Sarah would have a family of six children.
The lives of William and Sarah Holmes, and their children, can be traced
through a combination of records: baptismal; birth, marriage, and
death; and the census that was taken every ten years, beginning in 1841.
Throughout his adult life, William Holmes worked as a coachman, a career he began in the 1820's. It would seem that he worked along a route that connects the towns of Derby, Derbyshire and Leek, Staffordshire (passing through Ashbourne on the way) as the children of William & Sarah Holmes were born in different locations along this road. All but one of the children, however, is recorded in the baptismal records of St. Oswald's, the Parish Church of Ashbourne. The eldest son, John, was born in Ashbourne on January 20, 1826, and baptized on August 19, 1827. Next came Mary, who was baptized January 20, 1828. She was followed by James, who was born October 31, and baptized on December 7, 1829. (The baptismal record of James is especially interesting as it alone includes the maiden name of Sarah Twigg.) The fourth child, George was born in Waterhouses, Staffordshire, and baptized on February 26, 1832. Ann was born in Ashbourne on April 5, and baptized there on May 4, 1834. The final child of William and Sarah was Matthew Charles, who was born in Leek, Staffordshire in 1836. By 1841 William had settled permanently in the town of Derby. The next source of information that should help trace the movements of William and Sarah Holmes is the Census of 1841.
|The 1841 Census of England contains limited,
and often inaccurate, information. An extensive search of this census
reveals no record of a William and Sarah Holmes with son, John. Nevertheless,
this census does identify a William and Sarah Holmes living at 3 Brook
Walk, in All Saints, Derby with five children: Mary (born 1827),
James (born 1829), George (born 1832), Ann (born 1834), and Charles (born
1836). William lists his occupation as “coachman.” As
for John, it is possible that at age 15 he was employed and living away
from home on the day of the census. There is, in fact, an entry for
a John Holmes, born in 1826, working a short distance away. The Census
of 1851 provides more valuable information.
By 1851, the Holmes family lived on Markeaton Street, in St. Werburgh, Derby. Still living with William and Sarah are three children: George, Ann, and Matthew Charles. William's occupation is listed as “coachman and gardener.” Sometime in the 1850's, Sarah Holmes passed away in Derby. William then remarried, to another woman named Sarah, Sarah Pearson, on November 10th 1860. (The marriage record of William Holmes and Sarah Pearson is interesting, as on this registry William Holmes identifies the name of his father as William.) In 1871, William and Sarah are found at 57 Nun's Street, just around the corner from Markeaton Street. In 1881, William and Sarah moved one more block, and lived at 27 Kedleston Street in the home of William's daughter, Ann. William Holmes passed away in Derby on February 10, 1885, age 78. The informant on the registry of death is his son, John. His second wife, Sarah, then went to live with a daughter from her first marriage. The second Sarah Holmes passed away on July 7, 1893. The death registry of the second Sarah Holmes identifies that she was the “widow of William Holmes, Coachman.”
Before turning to the history of the John Holmes family, the next material provides information about the families of James, George, Ann, and Matthew Charles. As nothing more is known about daughter Mary, she is not included here.
|James Holmes was born in Ashbourne, Derbyshire in 1829. He married Ann Moreledge in Derby on July 8, 1849. The Census of 1851 finds James living at 5 Bleach Yard (near his brother, John). His wife, Ann, however, is found in the London Road Infirmary; she must have died soon after. What happens to James after 1851 is unknown, but an intriguing clue is found in the census of 1861. This document identifies a James Holmes, born in Ashbourne, Derbyshire ca 1830, working as a county police officer in Burwell, Lincolnshire, England. There is no clear way of knowing if this is the same James Holmes. All records of James cease after 1861.|
|George Holmes was born in Waterhouses, Staffordshire
in1832, and is found living with his parents for both the Census of 1841
and 1851. On December 25, 1852, he married Hannah Hayes (b. January
7, 1833) in Derby. According to the Census of 1861, George and Hannah
had two children, both born in Derby: Joseph (1855), and Sarah Ann (1856).
George identified his occupation as Green Grocer. By 1867, however,
George had left Derby and moved to the town of Huddersfield, West Riding
of Yorkshire. Here he would work as a chemist, druggist, and herbalist
for the remainder of his life.
The Census of 1871 should tell us more about the George Holmes family, but rather it offers intrigue. First, the family is found lodging in Southport, Lancashire, a seaside area. Since records show that George operated his business in Huddersfield from at least 1867 until his death in 1895, the most likely explanation is that the family was simply on vacation at the time of the census. Second, George lists his occupation as Doctor, which is a clear exaggeration. This, too, has a possible explanation. At some point in time, George became estranged from his wife, Hannah. (In fact, for the census of 1871, Hannah Holmes is found living with her sister in Nottingham.) According to the Census of 1871, George's wife is Mary E. Holmes, born in Bradford, Yorkshire in 1840. There are also children listed with the couple: Sarah A. Holmes, age 15; and Louisa J. Holmes, age 6. (For this census, son Joseph is listed as a visitor in the home of his uncle, John Holmes, in Derby.) Perhaps suggesting that he was a vacationing doctor travelling with his family would help deflect suspicion. What later records make clear is that George ended his relationship with this Mary E. Holmes soon afterwards.
For the Census of 1881, George Holmes still states that he is married, but not surprisingly, no Mrs. Holmes is listed with the family. (In 1881, Hannah Holmes is found living two doors down from her sister in Nottingham.) Two daughters, though, are still with George: Sarah Ann, age 26; and Louisa, age 18. There are, however, three other people in the home of importance: Mary Ann Saunders, born in Nottingham about 1850; her eldest daughter Georgina Saunders, age 5; and a younger daughter, Ethel Saunders, age 3. Mary Ann was identified as a housekeeper, but was in fact George's common-law wife. This situation was legalized in 1886: Hannah Holmes died in Nottingham on February 24th of that year, thus allowing George and Mary Ann to marry in Leeds on April 21, 1886.
The last census in which George Holmes appears is that of 1891. With him are his wife, Mary Ann, and five children, all identified with the family name of Holmes: Georgina, age 15; Ethel, age 13; William Henry, age 9; Charles Edward, age 6; and Edith, age 3. According to the 1891 census there is one more important occupant in the home of George Holmes - his sister, Ann Cowley (see below). George passed away in Huddersfield on May 30, 1895.
After the death of her husband, it would seem that Mary Ann Holmes remarried. Her new husband was Henry (Harry) Senior. For this reason, the 1901 census lists Harry and Mary Ann Senior as living at 39 Colne Road with their children Georgina, Ethel, Charles, and Edith. Later still, Mary Ann would move to South Africa to live with her son, William.
|Joseph Holmes was born in Derby in 1855. He is found living at home in 1861. He is next found as a visitor in the home of his Uncle John for the census of 1871. From Derby, he moved to Nottingham, possibly to be closer to his mother. It was in Nottingham on July 20, 1878 that he married Sarah Elizabeth Row. They are found living in Nottingham in the censuses of 1881, 1891, and 1901. Joseph passed away in Nottingham in 1904, one year after Sarah Elizabeth. It would appear that they had no children.|
|Sarah Ann Holmes was born in Derby in 1856.
On December 25, 1881, she married James Dyson Riley (1850-1910) in Huddersfield.
They had one daughter, Charlotte Hannah. Sarah Ann Riley passed away
in Huddersfield in 1911.
|No clear birth record exists for Louisa Jane
Holmes. According to various documents, she was born either in Leeds
or in Huddersfield around 1866. It is also unclear who her mother
was. On May 24, 1885, she married John Henry Hinchliffe (1864-1925)
in Huddersfield. This relationship seems to have ended in a rather
unfortunate manner as the 1891 census records John Henry Hinchliffe as
an inmate at Wakefield Prison. Despite the fact that he had been
released by 1901, the couple had separated, leaving Louisa to raise their
two children, Beatrice Alice and George Henry Hinchliffe. In 1911,
Louisa is found living with her children at 28 Mulberry Street, Huddersfield.
By that time, Beatrice worked as a tailoress, and George was a baker.
Louisa Hinchliffe passed away in Huddersfield on March 10, 1944.
|Annie Georgina Holmes was born Annie Georgina
Saunders in Huddersfield in 1875. Like some of her siblings, she
was born with the surname Saunders, then renamed Holmes after her parents
married. Known to the family as Gag, she married Charles Newton Dodd
(1878-1941) in Huddersfield on October 28, 1909. A few years
later, the Dodds were part of a family migration to South Africa.
From South Africa, the Dodds moved on to Bulawayo, Southern Rhodesia.
It was here that the Dodds operated a grocery business, and raised their
daughter, Alice May. Gag Dodd passed away in Umtali, Southern Rhodesia
on December 16, 1953.
|Ethel Maud Mary Saunders Holmes was born in Huddersfield on September 18, 1878. She is found living at home for the census of 1881 and 1891. She is also found with her mother and step-father on Colne Road, Huddersfield for the census of 1901. On April 20, 1901, she married she married Harry Wright in the nearby community of Dewsbury, Yorkshire. Like other members of the family, Ethel and James Wright migrated to South Africa.|
|Harry Holmes Saunders was born in Huddersfield early in 1880. He passed away later that year. Because he died before his parents married, his surname was never changed to Holmes.|
Henry Saunders Holmes was born in Huddersfield on December 19, 1881.
By 1901, he was a Sapper in the Royal Engineers. After completing
time in the military, he moved to South Africa, arriving there around 1907.
Here he would work as the resident engineer in the Cullinan Diamond Mines.
Following the death of his father, William also took on the role of head
of the family; for this reason, his mother and siblings came to live
with him in South Africa. It was in South Africa that William
married Jessica Winifred Tweedy; they had three children: Kelvin
Saunders Holmes, William Saunders Holmes, and Charles William Saunders
Edward Holmes was born in Huddersfield on March 2, 1885. He is found
with his family for the Census of 1891; and with his mother and step-father
in the Census of 1901. He, too, moved to South Africa, and probably
worked as a crane driver at the Cullinan Mines. Early in 1913, he
left South Africa for an extended vacation. He sailed first to England,
arriving there on March 27, 1913. Just a month later, however, he
left England bound for Jamaica, transiting through New York on April 27,
1913. His stay in Jamaica was brief, as on May 15, 1913, he was again
in New York. This time, he identified his intended destination as
Toronto, Ontario. Early in July of 1913, Charles left Canada and
sailed to Liverpool, arriving on July 9, 1913. On his arrival he
stated that his ultimate destination was a "British Possession."
In all likelihood, he was on his way home to South Africa.
Whether or not he left England in 1913 is unknown. What is known is that with the outbreak of World War One in 1914, Charles joined the army. On April 19, 1915, he arrived in France with the Duke of Wellington's (West Riding) Regiment, ultimately rising to the rank of sergeant. Although his regiment served in various parts of France throughout the war, they were engaged in a very significant series of battles in 1918. Early in 1918, the German army launched its last effort to capture Paris. By July 18, they had made their greatest advances since 1914. This German advance was turned back during the Second Battle of the Marne: one part of this included particularly fierce fighting at the Battle of Tardenois. It was during this battle, on July 20, 1918, that Charles was killed. He is buried in nearby Marfaux Britsh Cemetery.
|Edith Holmes was born in Huddersfield in 1888. She was the mother of Edith, and the grandmother of Donald and Robin Petch.|
|Ann Holmes was born in Ashbourne, Derbyshire
April 5, 1834. She married Joseph George Cowley (1830-1891) in Derby
on April 20, 1856. They remained in Derby, where they raised two
daughters, Louisa Jane and Sarah Ann Cowley.
|Matthew Charles Holmes was born in Leek, Staffordshire in 1835. He married Emily Rumbold (1839-1886) in Nottingham on August 30, 1857. (On the marriage registry, Matthew Charles identifies his father as “William Holmes, Coachman.”) Matthew Charles and Emily Holmes also lived in Derby; they had six children: William Joseph, Edward Edmund, Mary Ann, Emily, John Charles, and George Holmes. Matthew Charles Holmes died in Derby on July 28, 1917.|
Joseph Holmes was born in Derby on September 23, 1859. He married
Alice Morton in Derby in 1881; they are found living with his parents for
the Census of 1881. William and Alice had a son, Matthew Charles,
born in Derby on July 13, 1881. In 1882 it seems likely that William
and his family moved to Canada, where their daughter Lucy Elizabeth Emily
was born. The family returned to England, however, and they are found
in Sheffield, Yorkshire for the census of 1891. Alice Holmes appears
to have passed away in Derby in 1898. By 1901, William is found living
in Leicester, near his son. In 1903, William left England for Canada
with his second wife, Jemima Hind (nee Rivett). By 1911 William and
Jemima are found living near Huntsville, in the Muskoka District of Ontario.
Jemima Holmes passed away on February 10, 1924. On July 26, 1924,
William married Susan (or Susannah) Ruthven (nee Williamson, 1852-1928).
After she passed away, William married for a fourth time, to Alameda Wallace
(nee Barrigar). William died in Huntsville on October 15, 1933.
|Edward Edmund Holmes was born in Derby in 1861;
he married Betsy Watts there in 1881. A short time later they left
England for Canada, settling first on Wolfe Island, Frontenac County, Ontario
- an island in the mouth of the St. Lawrence River. Later, they moved
to live near Toronto; later still, the family moved to Gravenhurst, Muskoka
District. Edward Edmund Holmes, Sr. was killed in an accident near
Toronto in 1902. Following his death, Betsy remained with the family
in Gravenhurst. Betsy died there in 1937. Edward and Betsy
Holmes were the parents of George Arthur, Lillian May, Lucy Edith,
Francis Edward, John Robert, Albert Sydney, William Alfred, Harry James,
and Edward Edmund, Jr.
|Mary Ann was born in Derby in 1863. She is found with her family for the census of 1871 and 1881, but not thereafter|
|Emily Holmes was born in Derby in 1865.
In 1886, in Derby, she married Charles Dunn (1854-1898), and had three
children: Emily, Minnie, and Harold. In 1904, Emily remarried
to a man named Joseph Robert Hague (1864-1918). In 1919, Emily married
again, to Walter Alcock (1864-1931). In 1920, Emily and Walter left England
for Canada, settling just north of Toronto until Walter's death in 1931.
In 1933, she married Harry Joiner (1865-1934) in Huntsville, although she
and Harry lived in Toronto. Following his death, Emily married one
more time, to David Ayres (1869-1939) in 1937, again moving north, to the
small town of Kearney, Ontario. After the death of David Ayres, Emily
returned to Toronto. She passed away there on February 10, 1943.
She is buried in Prospect Cemetery.
|John Charles Holmes was born in Derby in 1867, and is found with his family for the census of 1871 and 1881. On May 17, 1888, he married Ellen Storer. They had a son, John Henry Holmes, born on February 12, 1889. Then, on June 24, 1893, John Charles and Ellen Holmes had twin daughters named Emily and Mary Elizabeth. In 1902, a third daughter, Ivy, was born. By 1911, this family lived near Sheffield, Yorkshire, where John Charles was an ironworker. John Charles Holmes died in Sheffield in 1932.|
|George Holmes was born in Derby in 1870.
In the census of 1901, George is found still living in Derby, and still
single. Also living with him, however, was his housekeeper, Minnie
Nix (nee Large), who was born in Derby in 1876. Although Minnie was
married, and was the mother of William Matthew Nix (1894-1979), she was
clearly separated from her husband, and was in a common-law relationship
with George Holmes. In fact, they had two children, Minnie Holmes
Nix , and Lily Holmes Nix. Minnie's first husband died in 1904, and she
and George married soon after. By the time of the 1911 census, George
and Minnie claim to have been married for 14 years, and the children -including
William Matthew- are identified with the surname Holmes. The couple
also had a daughter, Marry Ellen (Nelly) Holmes. George Holmes passed
away in Derby in 1922.
Holmes was born in the Parish of Ashbourne on January 20, 1826.
On May 13, 1846, in the Parish Church at Duffield, Derbyshire, he married
Haworth. Elizabeth was born in Ashbourne in 1829, the daughter of James
Haworth and Mary Slater.
By the time of the Census of 1851 (March 30, 1851), John and Elizabeth Holmes, and their son William, are found at 11 Bleach Yard, in St Alkmund, Derby. By the time of the 1861 census, the family of John and Elizabeth had moved to 6 Sadler Gate Bridge, St Werburgh, Derby. The family had also grown substantially in ten years. In addition to eldest son William, John and Elizabeth had four more children: Mary Elizabeth (born 1853), Reuben (born 1855), Martha (born 1857), and Eliza Ann (born 1860). John listed his occupation as “Baker.” The 1871 census reveals that John had changed his occupation to “Grocer and Flour Dealer,” and that John and Elizabeth lived at 7 Abbey Street, Derby, next to or behind a grocery store listed at 5 Abbey Street. Also living with them at this time were their children, Mary, Reuben, Martha, and Eliza Ann. According to the Census of 1881, the family lived at 81 Uttoxeter New Road, Derby. John, at this time, listed his occupation as “Brick Maker.” By 1881, John and Elizabeth lived with only their two youngest daughters, Eliza Ann and Martha.
Elizabeth Holmes passed away on May 31, 1890. On September 27, 1890, John remarried, to a woman named Sarah Summerside. (On the marriage registry, John states he is the son of William Holmes, coachman.) Sarah Summerside was born about 1835 in Burton, Staffordshire, England to Mr. & Mrs. William Clarke. John and Sarah are found in the Census of 1891, but this would be the last time that John would be recorded in any census: he passed away in Derby on August 23, 1895.
The Descendants of John &
Elizabeth Holmes through their Children
William, Mary Elizabeth, Martha, and Eliza Ann
|William Holmes was born in Derby in 1849. On December 15th 1875, he married Jane Elizabeth Beadman. She had been born in the nearby county of Rutland in 1851. William and Jane Elizabeth lived primarily in Derby, where William worked as both dental and medical assistant. In 1901, William and Jane Elizabeth left Derby to become the proprietors of the Farmer's Hotel in Lancing, St. James, Sussex, on the south coast of England. By 1902, however, they returned to Derby; Jane Elizabeth passed away there in 1908. William is found in the Census of 1911, still living in Derby, and working as a medical assistant. He died sometime thereafter. William and Jane Elizabeth Holmes had no children.|
|Mary Elizabeth Holmes was born in Derby in 1852.
She married Frederick Jephson (1854-1919) on December 16th 1874.
Frederick worked as a Furniture Dealer in Derby his entire career.
Mary and Frederick Jephson had a family of seven children. Like her
husband, Mary Elizabeth Jephson died in Derby in 1919.
|Martha Holmes was born in Derby in 1857.
She married Frederick Kirk (1855-1933) there on April 20th 1881.
Frederick worked as a clothier and tailor; and later in life worked as
a postman. Their son, William Frederick Kirk, was born in Derby in
1882 According to the Census of 1911 -a return that Frederick
and Martha had to complete themselves- the couple actually had three children,
two of whom were deceased by 1911. The names of the other two children,
as well as their fates, are unknown. The best place to find the names
of these children was the Census of 1891. Although Frederick
can be found in the census of 1891 (as a boarder in Kettering, Northamptonshire),
Martha and the children cannot be found. By the time of the 1901
census, Martha and Frederick lived and worked in Wilsford, Lincolnshire:
he as a tailor; she as a postmistress. The census of 1911 finds them
living in Sleaford, Lincolnshire. Martha passed away in Sleaford
on January 14th 1920.
|Eliza Ann Holmes as born in Derby on July 19th
1860. On February 1st 1882, she married Thomas Henry Moore (1859-1915),
a grocer. Eliza Ann and Thomas Moore had three daughters: Frances
Haworth, Florence Eveline, and Annie Victoria Moore. Eliza Ann Moore
passed away in Nottingham on May 5th 1918.
Reuben Holmes was born in Derby on June 27th 1855, and was raised in various neighbourhoods in the town of Derby. On February 2nd 1875, he married Ellen Alton. By 1881, Reuben and Ellen lived at Bakehouse, on Derby Road, Etwall, Derbyshire. By this point in time, they had two children: Elizabeth Ann Holmes, born on August 25th 1875 in Derby; and John William Holmes, also born in Derby, on July 23rd 1879. Reuben listed his occupation as “Baker,” the trade he would follow for much of his life. Sadly, daughter Elizabeth (included in this photograph, right) passed away on July 3rd 1883 from typhoid fever.
|Ten years later, Reuben and his family were living in the home of his father-in-law, William Alton, when the census was conducted. In addition to John William, Reuben and Ellen had three more children: Ernest Reuben, born May 27th 1881; Ethel, born December 24th 1887; and Arthur, born on January 28th 1891. The census of 1901 shows that the family lived at 57 Bridge Street, Derby, but had not grown in size. In fact, by 1901, John William was no longer living at home.|
Seated: Selina (Mrs. John William Holmes) holding Florence May, Reuben, Ellen, and Ethel Holmes
Front: Arthur Holmes
|In 1903, the lives of Reuben and Ellen Holmes
changed dramatically, as the family left Derby for Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
The exact details of the trip are not fully known, but the basic story
can easily be assembled. First, in 1903 the Canadian Pacific Railway
entered the business of trans-Atlantic passenger service. Offices
were set up across England, and complete travel packages were offered.
Such packages included the train trip to Liverpool, the voyage across the
Atlantic, and train fare to your Canadian (or American) destination. The
ocean fare for second-class passengers was between $45 and $60. The rail
fare was approximately 2.5¢ per mile. Just past the middle of
May 1903, Reuben and family would have taken a train from Derby to Liverpool.
On the 20th of May, they boarded the S.S. Lake Champlain (pictured below),
and set sail for Canada. At 8:00 AM on May 31st 1903, the Lake Champlain
arrived at Quebec City. Reuben, Ellen and family were then taken
to the railway station where they boarded a special CPR train bound for
Montreal, Toronto, and the United States. This train departed at
4:00 PM. Early on June 1st 1903, the Reuben Holmes family arrived
There is a mystery, however, with the available records. Although misidentified as “Richard” instead of Reuben, a record exists to show that Reuben, Ellen, Ethel and Arthur were onboard the S.S. Lake Champlain. There is, however, no record for the others who should have been on this trip: eldest son John William (as well as his wife Selina and their two oldest children); and Ernest Reuben Holmes. It would make most sense, however, that the entire Holmes family travelled together. There is one other piece of evidence that suggests the entire family did travel at one time: when Ernest Reuben Holmes was married in 1911, the marriage license required that he identify the date at which he began to reside in Toronto. The answer that he gave was June 1st 1903. In order for this to be true, he would have had to travel with his parents.
|When Ellen and Reuben arrived in Toronto, there is no evidence that thay had a person to contact, so they would have had to find their own way through the city. Exactly where the family lived initially is unknown, but the City of Toronto Directory for 1904 does include an entry for a Reuben Holmes, labourer, who lived on Albert Street. By the end of 1904, however, Reuben was able to establish a bakery at 1366 Bathurst Street. This site (photographs courtesy of Rick Hutchinson) is located on the northwest corner of Bathurst Street and Alcina Avenue, in an area then known as Bracondale. According to the 1905 Tax Assessment Rolls for the Municipality of York Township, Reuben was the owner of this property. In that year, the land was valued at $250.00, and the buildings were valued at $750.00. Added to a "Business Assessment" of $350.00, the total value of the Holmes Bakery was $1,350.00. In the City of Toronto Directory (published in January, 1905), the following entry appears for Bakers and Confectioners: HOLMES, Reuben, Bracondale. Also in the directory is this listing for the community of Bracondale: Holmes, Reuben bkr w.s. Bathurst, h. same. This entry is is repeated every year through 1916. By 1917, however, Reuben had left this business, and for the remainder of his life, he followed different lines of work. According to the City of Toronto directories for 1917 & 1918, Reuben listed his occupation as “elevator operator;” in 1919 & 1920 he was a “ship builder;” in 1921, he listed no occupation; and in 1922 & 1923, he was a “bailiff” at city hall. Reuben passed away in Toronto on April 17th 1929.|
|Even while Reuben operated the bakery, Ellen worked as a Grocer from the front of the business, and continued to do so after her husband closed the bakery. In fact, every City of Toronto Directory from 1906 to 1929 includes this entry: HOLMES, Mrs. Ellen, grocer 1366 Bathurst, h same. Following the death of her husband, Ellen continued to live in the same house, but by 1931, Ellen had remarried to a man named Samuel Robert Glass (1860-1935), a butcher who once operated a shop on Alcina Avenue. The last time that Ellen is found at 1366 Bathurst is in the Toronto City Directory of 1932. At this time, Ellen and Sam moved to 44 Hatherley Avenue, where Sam died in 1935. Ellen died at 116 Hope Street, the home of her son, John William, on February 22nd 1937. She and Reuben are buried together in Prospect Cemetery, Toronto.|
||Ellen Alton was born in Duffield, Derbyshire,
England on June 6th 1856. She was the daughter of William Alton,
a surgical bandage maker, and Grace Shaw. William, in turn, was born
on June 3rd 1827 to Thomas and Hannah Alton; and Grace was born in 1816,
the daughter of John and Sarah Shaw. On November 8th 1853, William
Alton and Grace Shaw were married in Duffield. They would have
three children: William, Ellen, and Grace. Both the elder William
and Grace Alton passed away in Derby in 1897.
William Alton, Jr. was born in Duffield in 1855. In 1880, he married Sarah Louisa Litchfield Walker, and had three children. William Alton passed away in Yorkshire, in 1896. Following the death of her husband, Sarah returned to Derby, where she passed away in 1905.
Ellen Alton also had an older half-brother named John Greaves. John was born in 1845, the son of Grace Shaw and her first husband, George Greaves. Although John is found living with his mother and step-father for the census of 1861, it is not known what became of John after that.
Even more intriguing is this photograph, found stored with the two above. It is not identified in any way, but since it was found with other photos of the Holmes Family, perhaps this couple, too, are members of the family. Dating this photo is possible only because of the type of photograph that it is. The picture is not on paper, but was printed directly onto a copper sheet. This technique was used in the 1830's and 1840's. If these two really are members of the Holmes Family, perhaps they are William and Sarah Holmes. But I'm just guessing!
On August 29th 1899, he married Selina Bull. The daughter of William and Charlotte Bull, she was born in Derbyshire, England on November 30th 1876.
|According to the 1911 Census of Canada, John William and Selina Holmes lived at 54 Wychwood Road in Toronto (not far from 1366 Bathurst Street). By 1916, when John William signed his Papers of Attestation for the Canadian Army, the family lived at 85 Wychwood Avenue. The 1920 City of Toronto Directory records the family as living at 13 Alcina Avenue, very close to his parents' home. In 1924, the family lived at 18A Vaughan Road; in 1933 they lived at 110 Alcina Avenue. By 1937, John William and Selina lived at 116 Hope Street. Selina died there on January 12th 1937; John died there on December 15th 1948. John William Holmes is buried in the Veteran's section of Prospect Cemetery; his wife is buried nearby. John William and Selina Holmes had four children who lived to adulthood: Florence May, Frank Frederick William, Ernest Alan, and Gladys Holmes. They also had a daughter, Ellen. She was born in Toronto on September 13th 1906, and died there of cholera on August 25th 1907. Ellen Holmes is buried in Prospect Cemetery.|
|Herb Ball was born in Toronto in 1925.
Like his father, Herb Ball also served his country, as a soldier in World
War Two. For many years, Herb and his wife, Kathelene (nee Fox), lived
in Ajax, Ontario where they raised three children: Lucille, Robert,
and Steven Ball. Herb passed away in Ajax in 1984.
Follow this link to learn more about the Ball Family
Frank Holmes was born on October 22nd 1901 in Derby. On July 30th 1919, Frank followed his father's footsteps by serving in the Canadian military, specifically in the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery. He was discharged on August 2nd 1923, soon after which he married Florinda Mary Beriault (1904-1968). The couple had one son, Franklyn Charles Holmes. During World War Two, Frank briefly rejoined the army, serving in Canada. It was about this same time that Frank and Florinda divorced. Following his divorce, Frank moved to Windsor, where he earned his living as a deliveryman. He died there on August 25th 1962.
|Rosemarie Holmes was born in Puyallup, Washington
in 1929. In 1948, she married Austin Dale Small (1926-1989), and
had three sons: Stephen Allen (1950-2010), Martin and Kevin Douglas
(1956-2008). Later, Rosemarie remarried to Joseph E. Manley (1927-2000).
Rosemarie lived in Portland, Oregon until she passed away on November 28,
||Gladys Holmes was born in Toronto on May 21st 1909. On May 26, 1928, she married Colston Robert Ball (1905-1969). (He was the younger brother of Ernie Ball, husband of Florence.) They lived in Toronto, and Orangeville, Ontario, where they raised their five children: Lorraine, Eileen, Helen, John (Jack), and Robert (Bob) Ball. Gladys passed away on May 18th 1964; Colston Ball passed away on December 12th 1969. They are laid to rest together in Riverside Cemetery in Toronto. (In the photo right, Gladys is seen with her parents and her children.)|
Ernest Reuben Holmes was born in Etwall, Derbyshire on May 27th 1881. On January 23rd 1911, he married Isabella (Bella) O'Connor. The daughter of William and Mary O'Connor, she was born in Dundee, Scotland on May 6th 1885. According to the Canadian Census of 1911, Ernest & Bella lived with his parents. Like his father, Ernest listed his occupation as baker. On December 7th 1914, Ernest completed his Paper of Attestation to also join the Canadian Expeditionary Force. As with the 1911 census, he again listed his address as 1366 Bathurst Street, and his occupation as baker. Not surprisingly, he served as a baker in France.
|Following World War One, Ernest returned to his wife and daughter in Toronto, and established his home at 330 Boone Avenue (pictured right). However, in 1921, Ernest and Bella moved to British Columbia where Ernest operated a bakery for a few years. Later he left the ovens, and began to work sales for Griffith Bread Co. By 1930, he was a driver for Canadian Bakeries, a much larger business that had taken over the Griffith business. Ultimately, by 1938, Ernest became a salesman for Canadian Bakeries. In the 1940's, Ernest began a new career path: in 1945, he was the business agent for Teamsters Joint Council; by 1948, he worked as the business agent for Bakery Drivers Union 189. By 1931, Ernie and Bella came to live at 935 Lynn Valley Road in North Vancouver where they would raise their three children: Mary Ellen, Frank, and Isabel Marjorie. Ernest died there in 1967; Bella passed away in 1969.|
|Mary Ellen Holmes was born in Toronto On April 5th 1912. She married Harold Ward Jacobson on March 14th 1942, and lived in Vancouver. Mary and Harry Jacobson had no children. Mary passed away in Vancouver in 1992.|
|Frank Holmes was born in North Vancouver on April 26th 1921. Following the death of his parents, Frank continued to live at 935 Lynn Valley Road until his own death in 1988.|
|Isabel Marjorie Holmes was born in North Vancouver
in 1923. She married William John Kenneth (Ken) Wilson (1917-1993)
on June 7th 1947 in Vancouver, British Columbia. A few years later,
the Wilsons moved to Portland, Oregon, and came to live on Glisan Street,
just a few blocks from Ernie and Chris Holmes. Here Isabel and Ken
raised three children: Donna, Glen and Jeffrey. Isabel Wilson
still lives in Portland.
On October 22nd 1904 Ethel Holmes married Arthur Henry Cooke. The son of John and Sophia Cooke, he was born in England on March 24th 1882. Ethel and Arthur met while sailing on the Lake Champlain from England to Canada. Arthur Cooke passed away in Toronto on June 11th 1960. Around 1968, Ethel remarried, to a man named Albert Pitt. Albert passed away in 1970. Ethel passed away in Toronto on October 12th 1975. Ethel and Arthur Henry Cooke had nine children
|Arthur Holmes married Grace Avis on September 11th 1909. Grace was the daughter of John Avis and Annie Parrott, and was born on June 22nd 1891. Arthur and his family lived for a period of time at 425 Glenholme Avenue. He passed away there on November 2nd 1948. His wife, Grace, passed away in Toronto on July 27th 1979. Arthur and Grace raised a family of twelve children in Toronto, about whom the following is known.|
|The eldest daughter, Beatrice Mae Grace, was
born on March 31st 1910. She was married to Thomas Walter Balding
(1909-1989), and together they had two children: Isabelle and Stanley.
Mae passed away in Toronto on October 4th 1997.
|Second daughter Nora Kathleen, born February
2nd 1912, was married to Harold Dennison Elliot (1905-1991) on June 6th
1936. Together they had four children: Arthur, Ronald, Susan,
and Douglas. Nora passed away in Toronto on June 9th 2001.
|Elsie, the third daughter was born on December
18th 1914, and passed away in Toronto on September 11th 1990. She
was married to Jack Hardy, and had three children: Robert, Jackie, and
|Arthur Edward Holmes was born on November 28th 1916, and passed away on June 7th 1967. He and his wife, Gertrude Colmer (1916-1994), had no children.|
|Ethel Louise was born on February 19th 1918,
and was married to Larry McKenzie Dunn (1918-1984). They were the
parents of Judy and William. Ethel passed away in Toronto on December
|Marjorie Isabel was born on November 25th 1919
and passed away on November 19th 2003. On November 22nd 1941
she married Roland Harry Davis (born 1917). They had one son, Donald.
|Doris Ellen, Mrs. Robert Howard Wills (1922-2006),
was born November 23rd 1921, and died in Toronto on December 11th 1996.
She and her husband had three children: John, James, and Linda.
|Edith Florence Ruth was born in 1925. With
her husband, Kenneth William O'Brien, she had two children, David and Kathryn.
|John Howard (Jack) was born on July 1st 1927.
With his wife, Iris Redfern (1930-2009), he lived most of his adult life
in Owen Sound, Ontario. He passed away there on June 24th 1997.
Jack and Iris had two chidren, Lance and Grace.
|Marie Shirley was born on September 16th 1929.
With her husband, Douglas Campbell, she is the mother of Blair, Gordon,
and Jennifer. Marie passed away in April of 2008.
|Ernest Gordon (Gord) is Joan's twin. He was born in 1932. He is married to Imelda Desgrosseilliers.|
|Annie Joan is Gord's twin, and was also born
in 1932. She and her husband, Donald Hardinge (1931-2008), are the
parents of Patricia, Thomas, and Michael.