Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Elizabeth GRUER-SIM (1832 - 1907)

George SIM > John Wm SIM > Elizabeth GRUER-SIM
BIRTH - Elizabeth Gruer was born May 12, 1832 in Hastings, County of Sussex, England. Her twin was Mary Ann Gruer.  Elizabeth was known as Betsey.  She was the daughter of William Gruer and Magdalane Whyte (White).  Her parents were of Scottish descent.  However, William Gruer was in the Coast Guard and they lived at various locations in England and Scotland.

Elizabeth's Birth Certificate and Registry for the twins


On May 15, 1851 at the age of 19, Elizabeth Gruer had a daughter, Jessie Coglan Gruer, born in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.  Jessie's father was Timothy Coglan.  She was raised by her grandparents.

One month later, on June 10, 1851 Elizabeth and her sister, Flora, left from Liverpool, England on the ship, Reliance, arriving in Port Adelaide, South Australia on September 13, 1851.  She is listed on the ship's manifest as a single woman who is a servant from Aberdeen, Scotland.  Her daughter, Jessie Gruer, remained in Scotland with Elizabeth's parents. Read more about Eliza's journey.

From an Adelaide Observer, Sep 1852
On March 8, 1852 at St. John's Church, Adelaide, S. Australia, Elizabeth married Thomas Holland Edge.  In the South Australia newspaper, articles were found showing that Elizabeth (Betsey) & Flora's parents along with the emigration agent were looking for them.

Government Gazette, 31 July 1852

In September 1852 an article was found that stated Elizabeth Edge charged Thomas Edge with beating her and threatening to take her life.  Another article found charged Thomas Holland Edge with desertion by his wife, Elizabeth Edge.  Yet another article listed Thomas Edge on the inquest of the murder of Thomas Cornell.  Thomas along with two other "bushrangers" escaped prosecution.

Adelaide Observer, 30 April 1853

A daughter, Eliza Edge, was born on March 10, 1853 from this union.  Eliza Edge died on May 6, 1854 at the age of one.  Cause of death has not been found.  Baby Eliza Edge is buried in West Terrace Cemetery, Adelaide, Australia.

Elizabeth next showed up in Drainie, Moray, Scotland on May 27, 1855 with the birth of a daughter, Isabella Sim, with her husband, James Sim.  No divorce from Thomas Edge or marriage to James Sim have been found.

Later in 1855 the Sim family moved to Canada.  They settle in Northumberland, Ontario and appear on the 1861, 1871, 1881 and 1901 Canada Census Reports.  Elizabeth Gruer Sim lived in Canada for 52 years.

FAMILY - Elizabeth and James Sim had at least 8 children.  They are Isabella, Mary, Sarah, Margaret, Emma, Willie, Jemima and John.  Three of the children died young.  They include Willie who was one-day old; Emma, eight years old; and Margaret who was 25.  Elizabeth's daughter, Jessie Gruer, joined the family in Canada some time after 1879, and was known as Jessie Gruer Sim Skinner. Read more about their children here.

OCCUPATION - Besides wife and mother, a Sim scrapbook article on Elizabeth dated April 1889 stated Mrs. James Sim was an agent for home improvements in their village.  She appeared to be a well-respected member of the community.

From the Sim Scrapbook

DEATH - Elizabeth Gruer Sim died on Saturday, July 20, 1907 at the age of 75 in Northumberland, Ontario, Canada.  She was buried in Salem Cemetery, Cramahe, Ontario.

From the Sim Scrapbook

Visit her On-Line Memorial:

Thomas Edge Charged with Murder (prior to marriage to Elizabeth), Colonial News, 1845

Elizabeth Gruer-Sim was my favorite ancestor to research.  She was a pioneer, a risk-taker and a woman before her time.  I believe the Sim Scrapbook was started by her.  It shows she loved fashion, the Royal Family of England, poems about life and her religion.  For a short time, someone continued to place articles in the book after her death.  The scrapbook gave us a peek into her life.  

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