Thank You to Karen Shirley for sharing her information & photos
Robert (Bob) James Williams married Gladys Clara Sitch in 1928 in Rainy River, ON where my grandfather was working (electrician).
Gladys Mary b: 1929
Donna Joy b: 1931 d: 1993 (my mother)
Bob, Gladys and Donna are buried in the same plot at Riverside Cemetery.
My gr-grandparents were Ernest Sitch and Bridget Mary Keane. They homesteaded in Gillies (1901) then O'Connor Township (1910) on what is now Sitch Road.
Mary was orphaned about age 7 when her parents died in Wexford, Ireland. She was sent to live with an aunt and uncle (Irish Catholic) in Buffalo, New York. Ernest
being from Ingatestone, Essex, England was Anglican. There would never be consent from Mary's aunt and uncle so Mary and Ernest eloped and came here to live. Mary
was disowned by her aunt and uncle. Mary's many letters to them were always returned unopened.
Ernest was a sailor and started as a cabin boy at age 14 on steamship runs to Australia and New Zealand. He had always wanted to settle in Tasmania but never returned.
He had many voyages around the world of which we have saved his writings that were left to us. At around age 21 Ernest and younger brother Arthur came to Canada to
visit older brother Walter in the Niagara area, where they farmed. Ernest and Arthur decided they were going to head to the Yukon Goldrush and hopped on a train
heading west. When they arrived at Fort William, the land agent showed them land in the Hymers area and they decided to stay. Ernest returned for Mary once he
had a home built for them outside of Hymers. There wasn't enough water so moved to O'Connor on Pitch Creek and started Sunnybrook Farm. Arthur stayed in Hymers
and built up Plum Grove Nursery. Walter came later to the Hymers area and started Cherry Hill Farm then moved to California where he continued to grow produce
Ernest and Mary are buried in the Free Methodist Cemetery, O'Connor Township.
Grace b: 1902 Gillies Township d: 1902 bur: Pinegrove Cemetery
Agnes Mary b:11 Mar 1903 Gillies Township d: 2 Oct 1993 Duncan B.C.
Annie b: 1904 Gillies Township d: 1904 bur: Pinegrove Cemetery
Charles Nicholas b: 6 Mar 1905 Gillies Township d: 9 Jul 1989 Duncan B.C.
Gladys Clara b: ... she always thought her bithday was 15 Sept 1907 - sent for her birth certificate which said 11 Sept 1906 d: 26 Oct 2006 bur: Riverside Cemetery
Frederick Ernest b: 13 Apr 1909 Gillies Township d: 19 Aug 1995 -buried in Free Methodist Cemetery
Violet Marria b: 1914 O'Connor Township d: 22 Sep 1916 - drowned in Pitch Creek -buried in Free Methodist Cemetery with parents
your questions or comments to Jude at
Jude's Family & Local History