Well, here they are again – quite a few years later:
My great-great-grandfather, on my mother’s father’s side, Ernest Augustus Harris and his wife Mary Eliza Harris (nee Wheelock) with their daughters, Lillian, Ida May, Carrie and Ida Grace. Don’t ask me to name which ones they are for certain. I think the one on the far left is the older girl in the back in the top photo, and naturally the youngest one would be Mary Grace, in the middle, who was the baby in the earlier picture. The son at the back would have to be the oldest boy, Frederick Wheelock Harris, and one of these ladies (possibly the one at the back, to the left of Frederick) has to be his wife, Kathleen because there were only the four daughters in the Harris family census documents suggest this was likely.
Notice how the styles for the ladies have gotten much brighter, the hairstyles, less severe, and especially Ernest, himself has really gone for a much less hirsute look – forgoing the mutton-chops for a genteel beard and moustache.
Heaven knows where I got the notion that Harris was in the shoe business because the 1891 Census lists him as an Agent for the Fishery! His son, Frederick is listed a Law Student and his other son, Arthur (not pictured) is a Fish Inspector. Of course the only thing these two professions have in common is that they work with a lot of sole. Get it?
There are two other sons who do not appear in this photo: Louis Vanderbilt ( I’m very curious how he got THAT name) and Lyman (he doesn’t even appear on this census, much less in the photo). They may have been at boarding school. Certainly they look as though they could afford it. Just have a gander at that shag rug!
The photo was likely taken sometime between 1898 and 1901 because the 1890 Census has Frederick listed as single, and by 1901 he is married with a two year old son, Kenneth. He is also listed as the head of the household with Ernest Augustus and Mary Eliza living under his roof (or perhaps even in the original Harris house).
What’s interesting, is that by 1901, Frederick is listed as a Barrister at Annapolis Royal, and his parents are living with him, ( Ernest Augustus is 54 and Mary Eliza is 56) but by 1911, Eliza is a widow.
There is also a fascinating Passenger List associated with the Harris sons.
In March of 1932, Frederick and his brother Louis, set sail aboard the “Lady Hawkins” from Demerera, Guyana, of all places! Frederick was now listed as “Town Clerk” (that’s two Town Clerks in my mother’s family, if you’re keeping a record) and Louis was a Druggist (I think there was another one of those too). They are listed as visiting their “friend”, I.M. Harris, who, presumably, is their sister, Ida May. The ship is en route back to Boston, from where they will undoubtedly have returned home to Nova Scotia.
My question is this: what were they doing in Guyana? I know Demerera is a kind of sugar; could they have been importing sugar? When this question was put to my 83 year old mother, she had an entirely different idea: RUM! “They love their black rum, down there in Nova Scotia.”
So, I guess I will never know if my great-great-grandfather’s sons were smuggling rum back into Canada, and what Ida May was doing in Guyana, but then again, you know MY motto: “Never say never!”
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