family history

An interesting collection of materials came to the Archives last week from Robert Detlor. Mr Detlor’s grandfather, Bismarck (Mark) Leroy Detlor (1876-1951) operated a bake shop and confectioner’s in St. George Street, Deseronto, south of the junction with Edmon Street. The collection includes this fine photograph of the interior of the store:

2011.15(5) Interior of Detlor’s Bake Shop

The Detlor shop was in operation for over 30 years. The photograph below shows Bismarck Detlor, his wife, Winnifred (née Moore, 1879-1963) and their eldest son, William Kenneth Detlor (1903-1930). The woman on the left is believed to be Winnifred’s sister, Laura Blake. The family are standing outside the Detlor store, with their car.

2011.15(4) Detlor family with Chevrolet Series F Superior

In this photo, a ‘KODAK’ sign can be seen just behind the car: the store sold camera supplies as well as baked goods and candy. An intriguing combination!

Deseronto resident Johanna Gordanier visited the Archives today, looking for information on her uncle, Jos van Langen. He was a Dutchman who died in a plane crash in Europe in the 1930s. A little rooting around brought up a Dutch site on plane crashes and a page about the accident. The page is in Dutch, but Google’s translation service did a good job of converting the page into English.

Jos van Langan was an editor for the Dutch newspaper De Tijd. He was on his way home to Amsterdam from Milan, on a flight that would cross the Alps before stopping in Frankfurt. The aircraft, a KLM DC-2, ran into bad weather as it entered Switzerland, flying at an altitude of 5000 metres. Rather chillingly, van Langen recorded the last moments of the flight in his journal. You can see the readings of the altimeter, as the plane descended:


Jos van Langen's notebook


The pilot attempted a crash landing, but the plane landed awkwardly and the main fuselage was completely destroyed, killing all on board.

The notebook itself is now in the archive of the Press Museum in Amsterdam.

Another passenger killed on this flight was the English artist Arthur Watts. Examples of posters he produced for the London Underground can be seen at the London Transport Museum.

One of Watt’s illustrations featured a plane crash:


Flown the Atlantic have ye? Then supposin' you catch my cows and tell them about it!


This image (recovered from the Internet Archive) was originally on a website maintained by members of Arthur Watts’s family.

A recent accession into the archives was this fragile photograph album, dating from the late nineteenth century. It was found in the home of the late Beatrice Boulender of Niagara Falls and was donated to the archives by her great-neice, Aaron Baptiste.

Photo album 2010.06

The album contained 32 ‘cabinet card‘ style photographs of a number of individuals and families. Many of the photos were taken in Napanee at the studio of J. S. Hulett, who was a photographer in the town for over 25 years. One of the pictures was taken in Deseronto and one in Brighton. There are a significant number of photographs that were taken in Watertown, New York and a few in Plainwell, Michigan.

The picture below shows the See family and was taken in Bathgate, North Dakota. John See was born in Ontario in 1854 to Samuel and Mary See, who had both been born in England in around 1809. Samuel was a farmer. Census records show that John was the youngest of seven children, all of whom were born in Canada except the eldest, William. This means that the family must have come to Canada between 1833, when William was born, and 1837, the year of Elizabeth’s birth. Between 1851 and 1881 the family were living in Richmond township, Lennox County (in or close to Napanee).

John and Mary See and family, c.1893

By 1861, John’s father had died and his brother-in-law, Thomas Brown, was living with the remaining members of the See family. The same family grouping is seen in 1871, by which time Thomas and Elizabeth Brown already had five children of their own.

In 1881 John was married and living with his wife, Mary, and their two eldest children, William (4) and Annie (1), still in Richmond township. In 1886 they left Canada and moved to the United States. The 1890 US census was destroyed by fire in 1921, but in 1900 the family were living in North Carlisle, Pembina, North Dakota, by which time they had  seven children: William (23), Annie (20), James (17), Thomas (13), Richard (11), Grace (8) and Allice May (2). In this photograph, the baby is probably Grace and the picture would date from around 1893.

The album clearly has a connection to the Quinte area: it seems to record images of friends, or perhaps family,  who had moved away from the immediate locale and who kept in touch by sending back their photographs. As yet, we don’t know the exact connection of the people in the album to Beatrice Boulender’s family.

All the photographs from the album are now available through our Flickr account. We’d be interested to hear from you if you have any connection with any of the families who are pictured there.

DESCHS-06-19 Unidentified Deseronto family

The Deseronto Archives Board is sponsoring a contest for the children of Deseronto Public School in time for the Family Day holiday on February 15.

Entrants are being invited to produce a piece of work on their family history or on the history of their community, in any format. Judging will take place in Deseronto Public Library and competition entries will be put on display in the Library from February 10th to 19th.

Prizes for the winners will be:

First: $50

Second: $25

Third: $15

Two consolation prizes: $5

The announcement of the prize winners (and a display of the winning entries) will be made at the Deseronto Community Recreation Centre on February 15 at 4pm. This will round off a whole day of family activities in the town.

Good luck to all entrants!

As part of an investment of $15 million by the Ontario Ministry of Culture, all users of public libraries in Ontario now have access to Ancestry Library Edition within the libraries for the next two years. Ancestry is a tremendous resource for anyone researching people, holding, as it does, an enormous range of databases.

For family historians, the ability to search across census information and immigration details can be of immense assistance in tracing the whereabouts of family members in the past.

Ancestry Library Edition can only be accessed from within Ontario’s public libraries. As Deseronto Archives is situated within Deseronto Public Library, we are very pleased to be able to make use of this service, which is already proving extremely useful in answering family history enquiries from our users. If you are in Ontario, are having trouble with your family tree and haven’t got a personal subscription to Ancestry, we highly recommend hot-footing it down to your local library!

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