The History of the Holmes Family

The main focus of the material that follows is to tell the story of Reuben Holmes and his descendants.  The material that comes first, however, outlines the history of the Holmes Family as thoroughly as possible. (The direct line of Reuben's ancestors is in bold text.)  Additionally, as part of the story of Reuben Holmes, expanded material is included on the family of his wife, Ellen Alton.

The Family of William and Sarah Holmes
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.

The Descendants of William & Sarah Holmes through Son James
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.

The Descendants of William & Sarah Holmes through Son George
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.
  • Charlotte Hannah Riley was born in Huddersfield in 1884.  In 1919, in Huddersfield, she married Charles Edward Thompson (1892-1950); she and her husband would have no children.  Charlotte died in Huddersfield in 1945. 
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.
  • Beatrice Alice Hinchliffe was born in Huddersfield in 1886, and passed away there on October 19, 1980.  She never married.
  • George Henry Hinchliffe was born in Huddersfield on May 14, 1889, and passed away there in 1972.  He never married. 
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.
  • May Dodd married Ian Young.
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.
William 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 Holmes.
  • Kelvin Saunders Holmes was born in Cullinan on August 16, 1914.  He first married Miar Robertson, and had a daughter, Elizabeth Holmes.  Kelvin passed away in Pietermaritzburg on March 28, 2005.
    • Elizabeth married Desmond Marshall, and had two children:  Bret and Sarah.
  • William Saunders Holmes was born in Cullinan in May of 1916, and passed away there on October 28, 1921.
  • Charles William Saunders Holmes was born in Cullinan, South Africa on December 14, 1921.  He married Barbara Helen Chatterton (August 8, 1920-December 30, 1977) in Birmingham, England in 1944.  They had four children:  Rhett Charles (Buster), Carol Ann, Stuart William, and Charles Anthony Holmes.  Charles passed away in Port Shepstone, South Africa on September 26, 1992.
Charles 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.

The Descendants of William & Sarah Holmes through Daughter Ann
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.
  • Louisa Jane Cowley was born in the town of Derby in 1856.  It would be in Derby that she married James Morecroft (1856-1935) in 1876.  Louisa and James were the parents of Martha Louisa, Ada, Florence, Frederick James, Mabel Annie, and Lillian Morecroft.  Louisa Jane Morecroft passed away in Derby in 1927.
    • Martha Louisa Morecroft was born in Derby in 1877; she passed away there in 1898, at the age of 21.
    • Ada Morecroft was born in 1879, in Derby, where she married Albert Pearman (1878-1939) in 1902. Shortly after their marriage, the couple moved to Sheffield, where Albert worked as an electrician.  Ada and Albert had three children, all born in Sheffield:  Horace James, Albert Cecil, and Ena Pearman.  Ada Pearman passed away in Derby in 1961.
      • Horace James Pearman was born in Sheffield on September 10th 1905.  He first married Winifred Bates (1907-1938) in Derby in 1932.   They had one son, Trevor John Pearman.  Following the death of his first wife, Horace remarried, to Marjory Sayles, in 1939.  Horace passed away in Derby in 1974.
        • Trevor John Pearman was born in Derby in 1935.  He married Barbara Weller in Birmingham in 1959.  Together they had twins, Clare and Christopher.  Trevor passed away in Worthing, England in 2007.
      • Albert Cecil Pearman married Alice Emily Cabell in Derby in 1935, and had one son, Keith.  In 1946, Albert and his family emigrated to Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  Albert passed away there in 1982; Alice passed away in 2007.
        • Keith Pearman and his wife Anne lived in Toronto, where they raised three children:  Julie, Christopher, and Keith.
      • Ena Pearman married Thomas Burton in Derby.  They had one son, Desmond W. Burton.  In 1946, Ena remarried, to a man named Gordon Frederick Williams (1911-1996), and emigrated to Canada.  Ena and Gordon Williams had two daughters, Faye and Beverley, and one son, Gerald.  Ena Williams passed away on April 4th 1995. 
    • Florence Morecroft was born in Derby in 1880.  She married John William Peach in 1906.  They had one daughter, Dora F. Peach.  Florence Peach passed away in Derby in 1966.
      • Dora F. Peach was born in Derby in 1915.  In 1940, she married James A. Moore, and had one son, David J. Moore.
    • Frederick James Morecroft was born in Derby in 1884, and it was there that he married Ada Moore in 1908.  They had one daughter, Aileen Ada Morecroft.
      • Aileen Ada Morecroft was born in Derby in 1909.  In 1954, she married Thomas Woodward.  Aileen and Thomas had no children.  She passed away in Derby in 1974.
    • Mabel Annie Morecroft was born in Derby in 1888.  In 1925, in Derby, she married John Phillips.
    • Lillian Morecroft was born in Derby in 1897.  It was also in Derby that she married George A. Newton in 1923.  They had one son, George Roy Newton.
      • George Roy Newton was born in Derby on December 12, 1923, and passed away in Derby in February of 1993.
  • Sarah Ann Cowley was born in Derby in 1863.  She married Arthur Potts (1863-1941) in Derby in 1887.  Sarah Ann and Arthur were the parents of Gertrude Martha and Arthur Joseph Potts.  Sarah Ann Potts passed away in Derby in 1945 
    • Gertrude Martha Potts was born in Derby on June 25, 1892.  It was there that she married Albert E. Meakim (1891-1968) in 1916.  They had two children, Eric and Betty.  Gertrude passed away in Derby in 1982.
      • Eric Meakin was born in Derby in 1920; he died very soon after.
      • Betty Meakin was born in Derby in 1923.
    • Arthur Joseph Potts was born in Derby in 1894.  He married Dorothy Muriel Besson (1898-1992) in Derby in 1922.  Together, they had four children: Barbara, John, Alan, and Roger.  Arthur Potts passed away in Derby in 1967.
      • Barbara Potts was born in Derby in 1924.  She married Ralph Bates there in 1958.
      • John Potts was born in Derby in 1930.
      • Alan Potts was born in Derby in 1937.  In 1958, he married Janet Riley.  Alan and Janet are the parents of Sarah Potts.
      • Roger Potts was born in Derby in 1941.  He married Christine Hinks in 1965.  Roger and Christine have two children:  John and Suzanne.

Proof that Ann Cowley is the sister of John Holmes comes from the census of 1881.  This census identifies not only the Cowleys, but also two others in the Cowley home: William and Sarah Holmes.  More importantly, this William Holmes identifies his birthplace as Ashbourne, Derbyshire, and also states that he is an unemployed coachman.  Thus, Ann Cowley must be the sister of John Holmes.  Furthermore, because Ann was with her brother George Holmes in Huddersfield in 1891, George must also be the brother of John Holmes.  Ann Cowley passed away in Derby in 1911.

The Descendants of William & Sarah Holmes through Son Matthew Charles
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.
William 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.
  • As indicated above, Matthew Charles Holmes was born in Derby in 1881.  In 1900, he married Rose Hind (daughter of Jemima), and is found living in Leicester for the census of 1901.  In 1903, Matthew and Rose also emigrated to Canada.  Here, they would raise eight children.  Matthew passed away on December 27, 1963.  Rose passed away on December 11, 1949.
    • Violet Rose Emily Holmes was born in Leicester on December 22, 1901.  She first married William Clifford (Cliff) Stagg (1898-1975) in Toronto on August 16, 1921.  Shortly after their marriage, Vi and Cliff moved to the United States, living first in Ohio, and later in California.   Together, they had two children:  Arthur Harold and Juanita June Stagg.  Following a separation from Cliff, Vi was briefly married to a man named Tex Gregory before she married Philip John Gaddelin (1913-1965) of Alameda County, California.  Following the death of Philip Gaddelin, Vi returned to Canada, and lived near Burk's Falls, Ontario.  Here she married one last time -to Jack Styles- before she passed away on August 3, 1989.
      • Arthur Harold Stagg was born in Dayton, Ohio on November 4, 1922. He first married Marjorie Remigton Bebout (1919-2003), and had five children: Christine, Linda, Julia, Arthur and Clifford.  By the 1970's, Arthur Stagg had moved to Toronto, where he would die on November 30, 1979.
      • Juanita June Stagg was born in Los Angeles, California on April 30, 1924. She and her husband, Albert Arthur (Bert) Blake (1922-1994) would have one son, John Arthur Blake.
    • William Matthew (Bill) Holmes was born on August 15th 1904.  Bill's wife was Ida Hickey (1910-1997).  Bill passed away on April 22, 1994.  Bill and Ida had one son, Larry (1935-2003).
    • Elsie May Holmes was born on June 22, 1906.  She first married Ernest Styles, and had five children:  Joyce, William, Ernest, Raymond, and Lorraine.  Following the death of her husband, Elsie married Howard Goheen.  Elsie passed away on February 23, 1994.
    • Florence Edith Holmes was born on August 25, 1908.  In 1935, she married Malcolm Kitchen (1901-1975).  They adopted one daughter, Margaret Rose Kitchen.  Florence passed away on December 28, 1996.
    • Ivy Evelyn Holmes was born on February 19, 1911.  With her husband, Irvin Russell McKernon (1908-1987), she raised a family of seven:  Robert, Evelyn, Florence, Betty, Helen, Jean, and Sylvia.  Ivy passed away on February 27, 1978.
    • Lennard Holmes was born  November 9, 1913, and passed away July 1, 1936.  After his death, Lennard's widow, Gladys Wenn, married Arthur Cecil Hind (see below).
    • Edna Olive Grace Holmes was born on February 11, 1919.  She married Clifford Jerome (Kip) Newman (1919-1944), and had two sons:  Patrick and Gary.  Kip Newman was killed during WWII, when the ship he was on (the HMCS Valleyfield) was sunk in the Atlantic Ocean.  Edna then remarried to Gerrard Francis Newman (1929-1987), Kip's younger brother.
    • Winnifred Holmes was born on November 21, 1923.  On June 21, 1944, she married Hugh Donald Singleton (1918-1962).  Together, they had three children:  Judy (Mrs. George Hiles), Marilyn (Mrs. Richard Broad), and James.  Winnie Singleton passed away on January 16th 2006.
    In 1924, Matthew Charles and Rose Holmes separated.  For a short period of time, Matthew moved to the United States, and is found working as a butler near Chicago in the census of 1930.  He returned to Canada, however, and in 1942 he married Ellen Fanny Bush (1897-1992).  Matthew Charles Holmes passed away in London, Ontario on December 27, 1963.
  • The second child of William and Alice Holmes was Lucy Elizabeth Emily Holmes, who was born in Kingston, Ontario, Canada on September 3, 1884. She is found living with her family in Sheffield in the census of 1891, but exactly where Lucy lived after 1891 is unknown:  her mother appears to have passed away in Derby in 1898, and she is not with her father in Leicester in 1901.  Lucy's story cannot be picked up again until March 31, 1906, when she married William Albert Neil Deane in Sheffield.  They would have one son, William Edward Neale Deane.  The elder William then died in 1907.  Lucy remarried to Charles Jubb Nelson on October 4, 1913.  Sadly, he was killed on March 12, 1915, while serving in France in the Great War.  On August 29, 1915, Lucy married again, to Irvine Cryer.  By 1959, Irvine Cryer had passed away, and Lucy lived in Hamble, Hampshire, England (near Southampton), near her son, William.  In 1959, Lucy married a final time, to William (Bill) Barrow (1891-1970).  Lucy passed away in or near Hamble in 1970.
    • William Edward Neale Deane was born in Sheffield on June 14, 1906.  In 1929, he married Gertrude Furniss and had three sons:  William, Kenneth, and Brian.  William Deane served for a number of years in the British military before coming to live in Hamble, where he worked in the aircraft industry.  In 1972, William remarried to a woman named Muriel (1922-1978).  William passed away in or near Hamble in 1976.
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.
  • George Arthur Holmes was born on Wolfe Island on August 4, 1883, but was baptized in Derby on April 6, 1884.  He  married Ethel Grace Strothers (1882-1959) in 1904.  Together they had nine children:  George Earl, Edith Pearl, Mary Lillian, Arthur Leslie, Ernest Edward, Charles, Dorothy Eileen May, Lloyd Sidwell, and Lyle Sidwell Holmes.  George Holmes passed away in Muskoka on April 9, 1950.
  • Lillian May Holmes was born on Wolfe Island on January 14, 1886.  In 1906, she married Henry Hind (1886-1936).  Henry (aka Harry) was the younger brother of Rose Hind, the wife of Lily's cousin Matthew.  Lily and Harry had six children:  Henry Edward, Alice Edith, Violet, Arthur Cecil, Tessie, and Irene Hind.  Lily Hind passed away in Toronto on May 14, 1962.
  • Lucy Edith Holmes was born in Kingston on April 5, 1888. Since Lucy does not appear with the family for the census of 1891, and although no record of her death exists, it seems most likely that she died while still an infant.
  • Francis Edward Holmes was born on Wolfe Island on April 5, 1889.  He passed away in Muskoka on September 22nd 1916.  He was survived by his wife, Jessie.
  • John Robert Holmes was born in Toronto on September 10, 1891.  He married Mary Margaret Walmsley (1894-1941), and had seven children: John James, Elizabeth, Frederick, Alice Lenora, Victor Frederick, Isabelle, and Gwen.  John Robert Holmes passed away in Toronto on August 16, 1956.
  • Albert Sydney Holmes was born in Toronto on March 2, 1894.  With his wife, Mary, he had five children: Carson, Francis, Harold, Lawrence, and Lillian.
  • William Alfred Holmes was born in Muskoka on October 22, 1897.  In 1917, he married Edith May Barnes in Gravenhurst.  They would have a family of three:  Betty, Roy William, and Harvey Calvin Holmes.  William also had another son, Norman Thomas, before his marriage to Edith Barnes.  William passed away in Gravenhurst on June 22, 1986.
  • Harry James Holmes was born in Muskoka on May 10, 1900.  With his wife, Mary Ellen Middlebrook (1903-1975), Harry raised ten children: Harley Sidney, Viola May, Ernest Robert, Dorothy Ellen, Harry James, Percy William, Evelyn Jean, June, Florence jean, and Madeline Mabel Holmes.  Harry passed away in Bracebridge, Ontario on June 2, 1978.
  • Edward Edmund Holmes, Jr. was born in Toronto on December 9, 1902, and passed away there on April 25, 1903.
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.
  • Emily Dunn was born in Sheffield on January 27, 1889. She married Arthur Berry (c. 1885-1929) in Sheffield on March 14, 1914, and had six children. (Emily also had a child prior to her marriage.)  Emily passed away in 1928. Following the untimely death of her daughter, Emily Alcock returned to England from Canada, and took some of her grandchildren to that country.
    • Horace Dunn was born in Sheffield, but later moved to Canada.  With his wife, Olga (1910-1994), he raised four children:  James, Dolores, Lorraine, and Robert.  Horace passed away in Toronto in 1980.
    • Gwendoline Berry was born in Sheffield.  With her husband, Leonard Daniel Perkins, she raised a family of four sons:  Tony, David, Roy, and Malcolm.  Gwen Perkins passed away in 2004.
    • Francis Emily Berry also moved to Canada, where she married Lawrence Carr, and raised two daughters, Colleen and Diane, in Weston, Ontario.
    • Ann Berry married Earl Clifford Collins, and raised seven children in Toronto, Ontario: Clifford Earl, Mary Elizabeth, David Richard, Lawrence Paul, William James, Cheryl Ann, and Sandra Adel.
    • Ivy Berry married Oscar Hill, and raised two children in Sheffield, England:  Patricia and Frederick.
    • Edith Grace Berry married Eric Mannion, and raised two children, David and Margaret, in Sheffield, England.
    • James Berry married Ellen Sargent, and raised two children in Sheffield, England: Malcolm and Penelope
  • Minnie Dunn was born in Sheffield in 1891.  She passed away there when she was thirteen.
  • Harold Dunn was born in Sheffield in 1898.  He married Annie Green (1899-1978) in Sheffield in 1918.  They had one son, Harold E. Dunn.
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.
  • Minnie Nix Holmes was Born in Derby in 1898. 
  • Lily Nix Holmes was born in Derby in 1901.
  • Mary Ellen Holmes was born in Derby on May 6th 1908.  On September 21, 1929, she married John Wood (1907-1988).  Together, they would have three children:  John, Avis, and Francis.  Mary Ellen Wood passed away in Derby in 1979.
    • John  Wood was born in Derby in 1930, and passed away in 1938.
    • Avis J. Wood was born in Derby in 1933.  In 1956, she married Harry Day.  They are the parents of Andrew Day.
    • Francis J. Wood was born in Derby in 1938.  In 1958, he married Beryl Pearson.  They are the parents of Ashley Wood.

The Descendants of William & Sarah Holmes through Son John
John 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 Elizabeth 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.
  • Frederick John Holmes Jephson was born in Derby in 1875.  In 1900, he married Ellen Elizabeth Edwards (1880-1964).  They had three children: Doris Victoria, Frederick Albert, and John Leslie Jephson. Frederick John Holmes Jephson passed away in Belper, Derbyshire in 1954.
    • Doris Victoria Jephson was born in Derby on February 16th 1901.  She married William John Sturgess (1902-1988) in Derby in 1926.  Doris and her husband had no children.  Doris passed away in 1988.
    • Frederick Albert Holmes was born in Derby on June 30th 1902.  He passed away in Eastbourne, East Sussex, England in 1974. 
    • John Leslie Jephson was born in Derby in 1907.  He passed away in Surry, England in 1968.
  • Ethel Alice Jephson was born in Derby in 1877.  She married Harry Cott there in 1900, and had two sons, Harold and Sydney.  Ethel Cott died in Newcastle in 1955.
    • Harold Cott was born in Derby on May 14th 1901.  In 1930, he married Edith Lillian Smith (1903-2000).  They had no children.  Harold Cott passed away in 1993.
    • Sydney Cott was born in Derby on July 23rd 1902.  In 1935, he married Barbara Woore (1908-1993).  They had two children, Felicity and Richard.   Sydney Cott passed away in 1988.
      • Felicity Cott married Theodore M. Fixsen.  They are the parents of Hazel Fixsen. 
      • Richard Cott married Rosemary Atkinson.  They are the parents of Nick and Sebastian Cott.  (Nick Cott is today a city councilman in Newcastle, England.)
  • Evelyn Beatrice Jephson was born in Derby in 1878.  She married Joseph Smart there in 1900.  They had two daughters:  Muriel Evelyn, and Clarice Edna Smart.
    • Muriel Evelyn was born in Derby in 1902.  In 1926, she married Frank Preston (1901-1962).  Muriel and Frank had two children, Michael and Pamela.  Muriel Smart passed away in 1961.
      • Michael Smart was born in 1929, and passed away in 1950.
      • Pamela Smart married Arthur Yelland Moon (1927-2009). Pamela and Arthur had three children:  Deborah, Michael, and Diane Moon. 
    • Clarice Edna Smart was born in Derby on June 3rd 1905. She married William George F. Peach (1910-1965) in Derby in 1934.  They had one daughter, Bridget Jane Peach.  Clarice Peach passed away in Derby in 1994.
      • Bridget Peach married Lyndon Clifford Pegington (1945-1998), and had two children, Elizabeth and John.
  • Bernard Harold Jephson was born in Derby in 1881.  In 1902, he married Sarah Jane Wilson (1877-1967).  By 1910, Bernard and Sarah operated a boarding house in Darlington, County Durham, England.  During World War One, Bernard served as a Lance Corporal in the 6th Battalion of the East Lancashire Regiment in Mesopotamia.  He was killed in action on December 15th 1916, and is honoured at the Basra Memorial, in southern Iraq.  Bernard and Sarah had two children, Frederick Harold and Helga Jephson.
    • Frederick Harold Jephson was born in Derby in 1903.  In 1937, he married Ada Holmes.  They had two children:  Sylvia and Raymond .  Frederick Harold Jephson passed away in Wirral, Cheshire in 1944.
      • Sylvia Jephson trained to be a nurse.
      • Ray Jephson and his wife Janine had four children:  Nicholas, Christopher, Timothy, and Elizabeth.  Ray & Janine operate a pharmacy with two of their sons, Nick and Tim, in Swindon, Wiltshire, England.
    • Helga Jephson was born in Darlington, Durham, England on April 28th 1910.  In 1934, she married Herbert John E. Moore (1901-1961).  Helga passed away in 1975.
  • Mabel Susan Jephson was born in Derby in 1882, and passed away there in 1959.  She never married.
  • Clarice Edith Jephson was born in Derby on December 25th 1883.  In 1907, she married Walter Stanley Highton (1883-1947).  He worked as an accountant for Thomas Cook and Sons, even being positioned in the United States for a period of time.  On October 26th 1910, Walter and Clarice arrived in New York, and took up residence in Bergen, New Jersey.  Their only child, Eric Walter Highton, was born in New Jersey on November 24th 1911.  The Hightons were in the United States long enough that Walter registered for the draft into the American army in 1918.  By 1920, however, Clarice and Eric had returned to England, to live in London.  Her husband rejoined her some time later.  Clarice Highton passed away in Hendon, Middlesex, England in 1954.
    • Eric Highton married Margaret Elinor Harrison, and had one son, Jeremy Peter Highton.
  • Arnold Haworth Jephson was born in Derby on June 25th 1887.  In 1912, he left Derby, and eventually made his way to Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.  A short time later, he was met by Ada Jeannette Gibson.  They were married in Victoria on June 14th 1913.  They had one daughter, Edith Jeannette Jephson.  In 1914, with the outbreak of World War One, Arnold joined the Canadian army, and served in the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry.  He was killed in action on May 8th 1915, at the Battle of Frezenberg, one of the first occasions when poison gas was used during the war.  He is honoured at the Menin Gate, Ypres Memorial in Belgium.
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.
  • William Frederick Kirk was born in Derby on January 28th 1882.  As mentioned above, he was one of three children born to Martha and Frederick Kirk.  The census of 1901 finds him working as an Apprentice Grocer in Belper, Derbyshire.  By 1911, he lived in Liverpool.  It was there that he married Ellen Mary Milne in the Spring of 1911.  According to the Census of that year, he and his wife lived at 5 Fletcher Drive, Cressington, Liverpool.  William worked as a Packing Department Manager in a food processing plant.  It would appear that William and Ellen came to live in the town of Poole, in Dorset, on the southern coast of England.  William died there in 1953; Ellen died ten years later.
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.
  • Frances Haworth Moore was born in Derby on July 29th 1883.  On December 26th 1910, in Nottingham, she married Henry, aka Dick, Skellett (1880-1957).  She passed away in Nottingham on September 7th 1962.  Frances and her husband had one son, Henry Francis Skellett.
    • Henry Francis Skellett was born in Nottingham on October 28th 1912.  In 1939, he married Ivy Parkes (1916-1989).  They were the parents of Colin Frank and Trevor John Skellett.  Henry passed away in Nottingham in 2006.
      • Colin and his wife, Jennifer, are the parents of Richard, Daniel, and Emma.
      • Trevor and his wife Ann are the parents of Paul and Nicola.
  • Florence Eveline Moore was born in Derby on October 20, 1885.  In 1909, she married Harry Hazeldine, and had two daughters, Sarah Dorothy and Lillian Agnes.  Following the death of her husband, Florence remarried, in 1952, to William E. Smith.  Florence passed away in Derby on April 18, 1976.
    • Sarah Dorothy Hazeldine was born in Derby on March 17, 1910.  In 1934, she married William Isaac Shaw (1905-1965).  Sarah passed away near London in 1995.
    • Lillian Agnes Hazeldine was  born in Derby on January 26, 1913.  In 1934, married Reginald Cope (1913-1995), and had two children, Derek and Judith Cope.  Lillian passed away in Derby in 1991.
      • Derek Cope was born in Derby in 1935.  With his wife Shirley, he raised three children: Andrew, Lindsey, and David Cope. Derek Cope passed away in 2009.
      • Judith married Dougkas C. Martin.
  • Annie Victoria Moore was born in Derby on April 3rd 1887.  In Nottingham, on May 29th 1909, she married Henry William Chipperfield Betts (1885-1960).  Their daughter, Hilda Evelyn Betts, was born in Nottingham on September 23rd 1911.  Annie passed away in Nottingham in 1961.
    • Hilda married Ralph Edward Richards (1906-1971) on July 23rd 1938 in Nottingham.  She passed away there on December 10th 1976. Hilda and Ralph were the parents of Ralph Gordon and Lesley. 
      • Gordon and his wife Ann are the parents of Caroline and Katherine.
      • Lesley is married to James McLatchie.

The Descendants of John & Elizabeth Holmes through Son Reuben
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.

The Family of Reuben & Ellen Holmes, 1900
Standing:  John William and Ernest Reuben Holmes
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 in Toronto.

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.

The Family of Ellen Alton, Mrs. Reuben Holmes
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.

  • Florence Walker Alton was born in Derby on December 4th 1881.  In 1907, she married Harold Williamson.  They had a daughter, Clarice, who was born in Derby in 1908.
  • William Bertram Alton was born in Derby on November 15th 1887.  Around 1910, Bert Alton emigrated to Canada, and lived near his Aunt Ellen and Uncle Reuben.  In 1914, Bert joined the Canadian army, and served throughout World War One.  On August 9th 1919, he married Agnes Theresa Prescott.  They had two children, Gwen and Norman.  Bert died in Toronto on January 30th 1971.
  • Ettie Louisa Alton was born in Yorkshire, England in 1894.  She married Herbert Fowers (1891-1940) in Derby in 1920.  They had two children, Kathleen and Derek Fowers.  Following the death of her husband, Ettie remarried, to Josiah Stevenson (1887-1975).  Ettie passed away near London in 1978.
    • Kathleen Fowers was born in Derby on August 17th 1921.  In 1952, she married Robert George B. Edwards (1917-1988).  They had no children.  Kathleen passed away in Brent, Greater London, England in September of 1995.
    • Derek Arthur Fowers was born in Derby on December 31st 1929.  He married Ruth Hughes in Shardlow, Derbyshire in 1959.  They had no children.  Derek passed away in Huddersfield in September of 1989.
Grace Alton was born in Duffield in 1859, and passed away there in 1865.

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.

These two photographs may well be of members of the Holmes or Alton Families, as they were both taken in Derby and sent to Toronto.  Unfortunately, they are not identified in any way.  All that can be determined -from the name and address of the photographer- is that the photo on the left was taken between 1899 & 1903, and the photo on the right was taken between 1903 & 1912.
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!

The Descendants of Reuben & Ellen Holmes through son
John William Holmes
John William Holmes was born on July 23rd 1879 in the town of Derby.  Although he would eventually earn his living as a blacksmith and carpenter, John William Holmes also had military inclinations. On February 15th 1899, he enlisted with the King's Dragoon Guards.  He was discharged, however, on March 2nd 1899, which was his right to do within 3 months.  Later, he served four years in the 1st Volunteer Battalion of the Derby Regiment, the so-called Sherwood Foresters Volunteer Battalion.  During World War One, he served in the 139th Overseas Battalion, Northumberland Battalion in the Canadian Expeditionary Force.

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.

Florence Holmes was born in Derby on May 22nd 1900. On December 11th 1923, she married Ernest George Henry Ball.  They had one son, Herbert Henry Ball.  Ernie Ball passed away on May 14th 1939; Florence Ball passed away on March 7th 1956.  They are both laid to rest 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.
  • Lucille Ball married Robert (Bob) Hutchinson; they are the parents of Karen and Rick.  Rick and his wife Melissa are the parents of Blake, Cole, Trent and Jillian.
  • Robert (Bob) Ball married Maxine Tully.  Together, they had three children: Doug, Brian, and Jennifer.  Doug and his wife Trista are the parents of Austin.
  • Steven George Ball (1956-2011) was the father of Raymond, Michelle, Chris, and Katie.

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.
Frankie Holmes was born on January 22nd 1925, and raised in Toronto.  Like other men in the Holmes Family, he joined the military.  On August 5th 1943, he completed his papers of “Enrolment and Attestation” for the Canadian Army, and began his basic training soon after.  He was assigned to R Wing of the 5th Company in Toronto until December 9th 1943.  He was then transferred to the Basic Training Centre in Brampton.  He remained here until February 14th 1944, when he was transferred to Base Borden.  Here he trained as a driver, and as a mechanic.  He completed this training by July 8th 1944, and was then granted leave until July 23rd 1944. 
On August 3rd 1944, he departed for Europe, arriving in England on the 10th of August.  He was then Taken on Strength in the Canadian Armoured Corps, Reinforcement Unit as a Driver Mechanic.  He received additional training in England until October 16th 1944, when he was shipped to Belgium (arriving there on October 17th) and assigned (on October 19th) to the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry.  On January 7th 1945, he was promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal.  On March 2nd 1945, he was severely wounded in battle (shrapnel wound to the chest), and died that day from his wounds.  He is buried in the Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery, near the town of Nijmegen, Holland, close to the German frontier. 

Photographs of Lance corporal Frank Holmes can be found at the Canadian Virtual War Museum Website.  His name is also commemorated on page 525 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance, located in the Canadian House of Commons in Ottawa. Every morning, at eleven o'clock, the pages of the Books of Remembrance are turned by a member of the House of Commons Protective Service Staff.  A calendar was devised so that each page of each book is turned once a year. The page which honours his name is open on November 6th of each year.

Ernie Holmes was born in Toronto on July 5th 1904, the first member of the Holmes family to be born in Canada.  Like his father, he made his living as a carpenter.  As a young man, however, Ernie left Toronto, and moved to Vancouver, British Columbia.  It seems most likely that Ernie went there soon after his uncle, Ernest R. Holmes, moved to Vancouver (see below).  It would be in Vancouver, on September 29th 1926, that he married Christina Caroline Campbell.  Eventually he would settle on Glisan Street in Portland, Oregon, and establish a carpentry business,   It was in Portland that Ernie and Chris would raise their daughter, Rosemarie. Ernie died in Portland on December 26th 1972; Chris, died there on April 14th 1982.  They are laid to rest together in Portland.
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, 2010. 
  • Steve was the father of Justice, Jesse, and Ember Rose Small. 
  • Martin is the father of Ginger and Martin D. Small II, and the grandfather of Rebekah Ann Alvear.

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.)
Lorraine married Ray Gemmill.  She is the mother of Sharon, Brian, Karen and Kathy.  Sharon and her husband Lloyd Moore and the parents of James and Deborah, and the grandparents of Jacob, Andrew, Matthew, Robert, and Jessica.  Brian and his wife Theresa are the parents of Nicole, Sonya, Mari, and Bronwen, and the grandparents of Robbie, McKenzie, Zachary, Benjamin, Kira, and Gabrielle.  Lorraine now lives in Richmond Hill, Ontario.
Eileen married Roy Shinniman, and lived in Orangeville, Ontario.  There, they raised their family of five:  Carol, Pat, Frank, Steven, and Peggy.  Carol is the mother of Larry, Stanley, and Shaun; and the grandmother of Elaine, Deanna, Danielle, and Nicole.  Pat is the mother of Cynthia, Wesley, and Mark; and the grandmother of Logan, Avery, and Jamie.  Eileen passed away in 1969.
Helen married John Lamb, and lived for many years in Durham, Ontario.  Here they raised their family of five: Barbara, Bruce, Bob, David, and Terry.  One son, John, died in infancy.  Barbara is the mother of Carrie and Christopher, and the grandmother of Alexis.  Bruce is the father of Jackie, John, and Jeremy.  Bob is the father of Pamela, Joseph, and Nathan.  David is the father of Brendan, Collin and Garrett.  Terry is the father of Coleson and Cylis.  Helen passed away in 1979.
Jack married Lois McConnell, and had three children:  Linda, Wayne, and Tracy.  Wayne and his wife, Mariana, are the parents of Andrew and Michael.  Tracy and her husband, Kelly, are the parents of Robyn and Tara.  Jack passed away in 2003.
Bob and his wife Marty had five children:  Michael, Robert, Lori, David, and Darren.  Lori is the mother of Krista and Kaillie.  David and his wife, Angela, are the parents of Shelby, Abigail, and  Alyssa.  Darren and his wife, Sarah, are the parents of Charlotte.  Bob passed away in 1992.

The Descendants of Reuben & Ellen Holmes through son
Ernest Reuben Holmes
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.
Ernie & Bella Holmes, with daughter Isabel
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.
  • Donna is the mother of Sean Carline, and is married to Gerry Barker
  • Glen passed away in 1980
  • Jeff and his wife Connie are the parents of Jilleona

The Descendants of Reuben & Ellen Holmes through daughter
Ethel Holmes
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
  • Evelyn Ellen May (Eva) Cooke was born on July 27th 1905.  She first married George Eldridge, (1900-1961) on August 13th 1924, and was the mother of George, Lorraine, and Joyce.  Following the death of her husband,  Eva remarried to F. Elliot.  Eva Elliot passed away in Toronto on April 13th 1985, by which time she was Mrs. F. Pillar.
  • Arthur Oswald Cooke was born on August 10th 1909.  With his wife, Ethel Powel, he had two children, Kenneth and Joan.
  • Albert Edward Cook was born on January 21, 1911, and died on January 15, 1912.
  • Ethel Mary Cooke was born in 1912; she passed away in 1950.
  • Leonard Cooke was born in Toronto on July 18th 1915.  With his wife, Ethel Margaret Winterburn (1917-1974), he had five children:  Elizabeth, who passed away as a newborn in 1938; George Gordon (1940-1973); James Leonard;  Dianne Elizabeth; and Deborah Lee.  Leonard passed away in Toronto on July 3rd 1978.
  • Lillian Cooke was born on October 27th 1918.  On January 3rd 1938, she married John Mudrey (1918-1990), and lived in Oshawa, Ontario.  They had five children:  John Arthur, Yvonne, Audrey, Patricia, and Robin.  Lillian passed away in Oshawa on November 6th 1990.
  • John Henry Cooke was born in 1920.  He and his wife, May Short, were the parents of John (Jack), Gordon, and Kathy.  John Henry passed away in Peterborough on March 1st 1982.
  • Gordon Cooke was born on May 19th 1926.  He is the father of Marion, Gordon Leonard and Albert William Cooke.  He passed away in Little Current, Ontario on August 15th 2009.
  • Albert William (Bill) Cooke was born in Toronto on October 7th 1930.  He and his wife, Lois, are the parents of Brenda Elaine, Cynthia Jean, and Laura Cooke.

The Descendants of Reuben & Ellen Holmes through son
Arthur Holmes
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.
  • Isabelle married Robert McAllister
  • Stanley married Carole Coupland, and had three sons:  Bryan, Lawrence, and Wayne.
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.
  • Arthur is married to Jane
  • Ronald is married to Marcia
  • Susan is married to John Houston
  • Douglas is married to Susan
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 Susan.
  • Robert
  • Jackie is married to Jean Nielson
  • Susan is married to James Mininni
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 23rd 2005.
  • Judy married John Firth, and had two children:  Jason David and Stephen John Firth
  • William is the father of Terry and Tim Dunn
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.
  • 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.
  • John is married to Noreen
  • James
  • Linda is married to William Goodhand
Edith Florence Ruth was born in 1925.  With her husband, Kenneth William O'Brien, she had two children, David and Kathryn.
  • David Kenneth O'Brien is the father of Matthew David and Victoria Margaret Grace O'Brien
  • Kathryn Lynn
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.
  • Lance and his wife Deborah are the parents of Robert and Sandra
  • Grace married Mel Pampu
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.
  • Blair
  • Gordon
  • Jennifer
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.
  • Patricia and her husband Alan Colterman are the parents of Dennis and Steven.
  • Thomas
  • Michael and his wife Michele are the parents of Amanda Nicole and Mark Edward Hardinge

The other pages to visit are:
The Holmes Family Main Page
The Index Page