Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Mary CHARNOCK-OTWELL (1874-1935)

Mary OTWELL, Olcott Beach 1923
Photo courtesy Aunt Pat H.

BIRTH - Mary Jane Charnock was born March 3, 1874 in London, Middlesex, Ontario, Canada.  Her parents were Robert Charnock and Eliza Scott.  They were both from England. "Mary Jane" was the name of Robert's older sister.  When Mary Jane was four-years old, her father passed away.

Olive, Mary, Edna with Freddie,
Billy and Jack, 1928
Photo courtesy Aunt Delores S.

MARRIAGE - Mary Jane married Edwin James Otwell on March 31, 1892 in St. Mary's, Ontario, Canada.  She was 18 and Edwin was 20 years old.  They were both listed as Methodists.

FAMILY - Mary and Edwin had 10 children:  Lillian, Irene, Gertrude, Marian, Harold, Olive, Frederick, twins Edwin and Edna, and Dorothy.  Both Marian and Dorothy died at age one.  In 1915 Edwin ran out in front of a car at the age of 10 and was killed.  His death devastated the family.

In 1920 when Mary was 46 her husband, Edwin, died.

From 1874 to 1892 Mary lived in London, Ontario, Canada.
In 1892 she immigrated into the United States.
On the 1900 US Census she lived at 818 Seneca Street, Buffalo, New York.
On the 1910 US Census she lived at 34 Lord Street, Buffalo, New York.
From the 1920 census until her death she lived at 33 Lord Street, Buffalo, New York.  We are not sure if the 33 & 34 Lord Street were the same residence and recorded wrong on the census or two separate residences.

Mary OTWELL, Jim MCKENNA, cousin Elsie CONN
and Olive MCKENNA
Buffalo, circa 1925
Photo from cousin Arlene ROLA
DEATH - Mary Jane Charnock Otwell died October 18, 1935 in Buffalo, NY.  She was 61-years old and died from chronic myocarditis (inflammation and damage of the heart muscle).  She was buried October 21, 1935 at Ridge Lawn Cemetery, Cheektowaga, NY.  The gravestone was purchased by her granddaughter, Arlene (and Al) Rola.

Mary's Obit, Buffalo Evening News, 1935
(Found on Old Fulton NY Postcards)
Photo courtesy of cousin Tracy O.

Visit her on-line memorial:


1915 Buffalo Evening News
(Old Fulton NY Postcards)
1925, Buffalo Morning Express
(Old Fulton NY Postcards)
Mary and the MCKENNAs, Olcott Beach, 1923
Aunt Pat's original photo

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Edwin James OTWELL (1871-1920)

Edwin Otwell
Edwin OTWELL, Buffalo 1919

 Edwin James Otwell was born on October 11, 1871 in St. Mary's, Ontario, Canada.  His parents were Maurice Otwell and Jane Ash.  At the age of ten, his family was living in West Nissouri, Ontario with his father's parents.

Edwin was 18 when his father, Maurice, was admitted into an insane asylum in April 1889.  Maurice spent the rest of his life, about 26 years, at St. Mary's Asylum.  His father had been insane and neglected the family for years.  This had a great impact on the entire family.

In 1891 Edwin was living with his mother and siblings in London, Ontario.  He was 19-years old and a pickle maker.  His Grandfather Otwell owned a cannery and Edwin worked for him.

On March 31, 1892 Edwin Otwell married Mary Jane Charnock in St. Mary's, Perth County, Ontario.  He was 20-years old and a baker; Mary was 18.  In 1892 Edwin and Mary immigrated into the US.  While the majority of Maurice's family moved to Detroit, Michigan, Edwin moved to Buffalo, NY.  We do not know if it was for job opportunities or because some of his wife's siblings also moved to Buffalo.
1902 Buffalo Courier
(Old Fulton NY Postcards)

In 1898 the Otwells lived at 798 Exchange Street, Buffalo.  Two years later he lived at 818 Seneca Street, Buffalo with his wife and four children.  His occupation was day laborer.  In 1902 Edwin was accused of stealing liquor while on the job as an oiler on the Steamer North Land.  He denied this allegation.

The 1904 Buffalo Directory reported Edwin lived at 584 Perry Street and in 1905 he lived at 221 Seymour.  In 1910 he lived at 34 Lord Street, Buffalo with his wife and eight children.  He was a pipe fitter in a ship yard.  In January 1920 he was a rigger in a mill and lived at 33 Lord Street, Buffalo.

We found ten Otwell children.  They were Lillian, Irene, Gertrude, Marian, Harold, Olive, Frederick, twins Edwin Jr. and Edna, and Dorothy.  Marian and Dorothy died at age one.  Edwin was struck by a car and died at age ten.  Edwin's death completely shocked the entire family.

On all the US Census reports, Edwin claimed he was born in Kentucky.  Kentucky was the birth place of his father and grandfather.  Even on his children's census reports they recorded their father as being born in Kentucky.  This was probably done to claim US citizenship when he entered the US in 1892.

Edwin James Otwell died June 2, 1920 at the age of 48.  His cause of death was pernicious anemia (lack of Vitamin B12).  He was buried June 5, 1920 at Ridge Lawn Cemetery, Cheektowaga, NY.
Edwin's Obit, Buffalo Courier
(Old Fulton NY Postcards)

Visit his on-line memorial:

1902 Buffalo Morning Express
(Old Fulton NY Postcards)

Friday, January 20, 2017

Edna OTWELL Photos on Flickr

Edna Otwell-Sim
Edna in bathing suit,
Crystal Beach, 1929
Photo courtesy Delores S.

Edna's photos are now available on Flickr:

Updated 1/25/17: New photos added to Flickr -courtesy cousin Kathy A.

Edna and Uncle Charles H., Easter 1976

Kathy's Prom, 1976 with Joan and PJ, her date, brother Kevin,
and Edna.  Edna was undergoing chemo treatment

Kathy's graduation, June 1976 with PJ and Joan (back)
PJ's mother Agnes BYRNES and Edna (front).
Edna passed away the following September.  This is one of
the last photo of her. And, she looks fantastic
considering her illness.
Thanks Kathy!!!
Please contact us if you have photos to share!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Edna Mae OTWELL-SIM-DAILEY (1905-1976)

Edna, Woodlawn Beach, 1923

BIRTH - Edna Mae Otwell and her twin, Edwin James Otwell Jr., were born May 23, 1905 at 221 Seymour Street, Buffalo, New York.  Her parents were Edwin Otwell and Mary Jane Charnock.  She had six sisters and three brothers.

                                                            EARLY YEARS:
Edna, 1917 Buffalo
Edna, about 1915,
photo courtesy of Delores S.
Edna grew up on Lord Street in Buffalo.  She remained on Lord Street until her marriage in 1924.

When Edna was three, the youngest member of the Otwell family, Dorothy, died at the age of one.

On September 28, 1915 Edna's twin, Edwin, ran in front of a vehicle on S. Division Street in Buffalo.  He was rushed to a doctor's office and then to an emergency room where he died from a fracture at the base of his skull.  Edwin Jr. was buried October 1, 1915 in Ridge Lawn Cemetery, Buffalo.  The twins were ten-years old.                                                           

Edna's father died five years later on June 2, 1920.  Her sister, Irene, had died March 27, 1920.  Edna was 15 years old.
Edna had a 7th grade education.  She quit due to heart trouble (may have been rheumatic heart).  At age 16 she had a job as a printer but only worked at that job for three years.

OTWELL-SIM wedding 1924, Buffalo
MARRIAGE - Edna fell in love with George W. Sim.  Her mother, Mary Jane, was very strict and opposed her marriage to George.  Edna and George were married June 18, 1924 in Buffalo.  They were married without Mrs. Otwell's approval and she did not attend the wedding.  The young couple lived in Lackawanna, NY.  Edna and George had five children which included William, John, Joan, Patricia and Gerald.

On the 1930 US Census, Edna lived at 217 Lasalle Avenue, Buffalo.  She was living at her in-laws' home with her husband and sons, William and John.  She was 25-years old.

On the 1940 US Census Edna was 35 and lived on Chapman Drive in Hamburg, NY with her husband and five children.

Edna's husband, George, died from aplastic anemia on October 19, 194l.  They were still living on Chapman Drive.  Edna was 36-years old when she became a widow and had five children at home.

When Edna was 49, she married John (Jack) R. Dailey on March 16, 1954 in Alma, Michigan.  Jack died on January 23, 1962 in Buffalo.  Jack was 57 and Edna was 56 when she became a widow for the second time.  Jack and Edna were married for 7 years.

Jack and Edna DAILEY, Michigan, circa 1960s

DEATH - Edna Otwell-Sim-Dailey died at Buffalo General Hospital, Buffalo, NY, on September 16, 1976 at the age of 71.  The cause of death was lung cancer.  She also had cervical cancer for over a year before her death.  She was buried at Ridge Lawn Cemetery, Cheektowaga, NY.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Mystery Photos for SIM family

More Mystery Photos for the SIM clan.  Please contact us if you can ID these people or places.
George on right
Back is written "Washington DC 1918"
They are both wearing pins
From Aunt Delores S.

Dated 1 September 1924
George is on right
May 1924
1/25/17 UPDATE: Aunt Pat H. identified the man to right of George as Jim MCKENNA
Golfing - George is far left.
Man #4 appears to have vitaligo
1927; George is 2nd from left
Outside Soda Shop at 17 Wadsworth
5 July 1927 Cemetery; John, Mary Ann and George SIM
We don't know the young lady
about 1925, George is lower

This is a photo of John Wm SIM with his sister Jemima LEWIS, 80th birthday 15 Dec 1948.
Photo taken at home of Frank CLOW, 60 Berwick Road in Rochester, NY
On mantle are photos of Mima's granddaughter Elaine and son-in-law Frank CLOW.
Photo from cousin Mary Ellen F.; ID by cousin Susan L.

Mary Ann SIM, Bernard HOFMAR, John Wm SIM
Woman in middle may be Bertha with her son
Who is woman on right?
From cousin Mary Ellen F.
Some of the following photos may be from the FOLEY side, too.
Edith SIM is on right
Could be Bertha on left?
From cousin Mary Ellen F.
Edith SIM is on left
From cousin Mary Ellen F.
Edith SIM is on right
From cousin Mary Ellen F.
From cousin Mary Ellen F.
From cousin Mary Ellen F.
From cousin Mary Ellen F.
From cousin Mary Ellen F.
Canadian uniforms
From Mary Ellen F.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

William HUSTON (1823-1877) and Esther PARK (1821-1905)

Flag of Ireland
George SIM > Mary Ann WALLACE-SIM > Mary HUSTON-WALLACE > William HUSTON and Esther PARK

In the mid-1800s, Canada gave away farm land to immigrant families with the stipulation that the land be cleared else it would revert back to the crown. Formerly the “Indian Peninsula”, Owen Sound was initially considered “marginal” farm land and one of the last areas of Ontario settled by white men. As late as 1855, Sarawak Township (today known as Georgian Bluffs) was an Indian reservation. By 1857, the Indians peacefully gave up their lands. William HUSTON and his family arrived in the township of Sarawak between 1862 and1864. The last son born in Ireland was Thomas in 1862. Son David, was the first HUSTON born in Canada in 1864 and our earliest document for the HUSTONs is a Sarawak directory from 1864.

William and Esther were originally from Ballymoney, County Antrim, Ireland (north of Belfast). Their Sarawak farm was located on concession 2, lot 30. In Canada, William was an inn keeper and a farmer. We found 13 children: Mary WALLACE (our ancestor), Jane MULLARD, John, Alexander, Sarah “Sally”, Mathew, Martha, Esther GILCHRIST, Anne GILCHRIST, William, Robert, Thomas and David. They were Presbyterians.

From the Grey Roots Museum and Archives
William died at about age 54 on 16 May 1877 of “renal affections” (swelling or infection of the kidneys). Esther, with the help of her sons, maintained the farm. Eventually, the sons were freeholders or tenants on neighboring farms. Esther died at age 84 on 14 Mar 1905. Both are buried at Greenwood Cemetery, but William does not have a gravestone.
HUSTON Century Farm, 1948
Photo from Grey Roots Museum and Archives

The HUSTON farm was listed as a “Century Farm” in a regional book published in 1973. It remained in the HUSTON family with great grandson Gerald HUSTON owning it until his death in 2010. It is unknown who owns it today.
Visit their on-line memorials

Can you help ID the people in the Mystery Photos of Owen Sound?

Map of Sarawak Township with WALLACE
and HUSTON Farms in red

This concludes the SIM Family Tree - Stay tuned for updates.
Next, we will post the OTWELL Family Tree.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Mystery Photos from Owen Sound

Here are some photos that are still a mystery.  These were all in cousin Dorothy's album and shared by her daughter Mary Ellen F. 

These were taken in Owen Sound and likely of the WALLACE family.

Edith SIM is on left; about 1915

Edith SIM is on left; about 1915
Love this hat!
Bertha HOFMAR is in center with dark dress.
Dorothy and Edith FOLEY are on far right; about 1935
Edith and Dorothy FOLEY on left, Bertha HOFMAR on right
same day as above - about 1935
The sign in this photo says 1932; girl on left looks similar to one above
Edith is woman on left with stole.
(Might be Bertha with Barney HOFMAR in the photo above)
 Others same as above photo
Man on left with tam appears in other photos above.

Now go home and make sure all your photos have names, dates and locations.