|Beattie/Campbell Wedding Invitation found in an antique shop, Victoria, BC.|
"Mr. & Mrs. A. Trerice
invite you to be present at the marriage of
Mary Grace Beattie
Mr. Joseph Campbell,
on Wednesday evening, January the
eighteen hundred and ninety-seven,
at half after eight o'clock,
I love working on old wedding invitations. They're a nice break from the trying to solve a photographic mystery since they usually contain something I cherish: Cold. Hard. Facts.
The bride and groom are usually fully named in a wedding invitation. Parents are commonly named as well. There is also a wedding date and place since guests need to know where the ceremony will take place. We know this invitation was given to Mr. Charles Estlin because his name is written on the accompanying envelope. This invitation is a bit unusual since there isn't a specific location provided for the wedding. It simply gives the town: Melita, Manitoba, which is located in the south-western part of the province. Perhaps one was to assume the wedding would take place at the bride's parent's home. Maybe the only building in Melita at the time was a church.
Today Melita is a small farming community of just over 1000 people. Alexander Trerice was an early settler to the Melita-Arthur area, and built the first framed house there in 1882.1 He was (Mary) Grace's step-father; Alex married Graces' mother, Hannah Beattie, on the 12th of February 1889 in Dresden, Ontario2.
Before her marriage in 1897, Grace was a music teacher in Dresden. The couple's first child, (Dorothy) Louise, was born in Winnipeg in 19003.
While I haven't found Graces' birth record, I believe her father to be William C. Beattie who died in Dresden, Ontario in 1887.4,5 If you can any further family details, I'd very much like to hear from you.
UPDATE April 23/14 : Most genealogists have experienced serendipitous events in relation to their research and I can say I certainly have had my share. Last month I attended my local family history society meeting, where there was a speaker from Victoria talking about her recent book. The speaker went through her research following a family that came from England to Manitoba. As she launched into her presentation one of her surnames stuck in my brain....Estlin. Hmmm...where have I heard that name before?
When it came to the portion of the talk about the family's life in Canada, she mentioned the town: Melitta, Manitoba. That really got me wondering and so, after a discreet search on my smartphone, I realized that I had blogged about the above-mentioned wedding invitation which had belonged to this woman's relative. All I could say was "Wow." Really. Wow. The invitation will be heading on its way back home soon.
1 Melitta-Arthur History Committee. Our First Century: Town of Melita and Municipality of Arthur, 1983; p. 2↩
2 "Ontario, Canada Marriages, 1801-1928," online database, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca: accessed 27 Oct 2013), Alexander Trerice and Hannah Beattie, Registration No.005852, Dresden, Kent, Ontario, 12 Feb 1889, citing original data at Archives of Ontario; citing microfilm MS932, reel 64.↩
3 Manitoba. Vital Statistics Agency. Manitoba Consumer and Corporate Affairs.( http://vitalstats.gov.mb.ca : accessed 26 Oct 2013), entry for Dorothy Louise Campbell, 15 Oct 1889, Winnipeg, registration #1899-007783.↩
4 “1881 Census of Canada,” digital image, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca: accessed 25 Oct 2013), entry for William Beattie, Ontario, Bothwell, Dresden, District 178, p. 37 (penned); citing LAC microfilm C-13277.↩
5 William C. Beattie, Death Registration 008010 (8 Nov 1887); “Ontario, Canada, Deaths, 1869-1938 and Deaths Overseas, 1939-1947,” digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 27 Oct 2013), citing microfilm MS935, reel 47, Archives of Ontario, Toronto.↩