I reunite identified family photos that I find in antique shops and second hand stores with genealogists and family historians. If you see one of your ancestors here and would like to obtain the original, feel free to contact me at familyphotoreunion [ at ] yahoo [ dot ] com. I also accept donations of pre-1927 images to be reunited. I hope you enjoy your visit!
~The Archivist

Monday, February 22, 2016

Funeral Card: Mary Jane Boyle, Grey, Ontario, Canada, 1915


I found this funeral card at an antique store in Victoria, BC a few years ago. These little cards are genealogy gems. As a tangible artifact from the last event of a person's time here on earth they sometimes contain a wealth of genealogical information, and other times, just a few details.  This one is somewhere in-between. It says:

In Grey Township, on Monday, May 3rd,
Mary Jane Boyle
Relict of the late Robert Robertson
Aged 66 Years, 10 Months and 22 Days

After a short service at the home, Lot 6,
Con. 12, on Wednesday, 5th Inst., at 1.30
o'clock, the remains will be conveyed
to the Presbyterian Church, Cranbrook,
where service will be held at 2.30.

Interment in Cranbrook Cemetery.

I'm a huge fan of Find-a-Grave, and that's where I headed first when I decided to look into the life of Mary Jane Boyle. Lucky us, Mary Jane's gravestone has been photographed. Not only that, but someone has provided a few extra details about Mary Jane's life.

Of course, when you find information on a site like Find-a-Grave, or in an Ancestry public tree, you should ALWAYS confirm what you find there with proper documentation. In this case, I went in search of Mary Jane's death record. There, I found a discrepancy regarding her birth date. It says that she was 66 Years, 10 months and 12 days old when she died. So, according to these two sources, her birthdate is either the 11th or 21st of June 1848. The record states that she was born in Ontario and her father's name was John Boyle. The death record also tells us that her late husband, Robert, was a farmer1.

Robert Robertson was 73 years and 28[?] days old at the time of his death from pneumonia in 1902 which calculates out to a birthdate of 31 May 18292. He was born in Paisley, Scotland.

Mary Jane and Robert raised their four children in Huron County, Ontario: Robert John (b.1873), William George (b.1877), Florence L. (b.1881) and Samuel R. (b.1887)3 4

Mary Jane Boyle married Robert Robertson in Elma, Ontario on the 19th of March 18725. Her parents were John and Mary Ann Boyle which should help in tracking down her birth record. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to locate it.

1 "Ontario Deaths, 1869-1937 and Overseas Deaths, 1939-1947," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JDZ8-VNG : accessed 21 February 2016), Mary Jane Robertson, 03 May 1915; citing Grey, Huron, Ontario, yr 1915 cn 15966, Archives of Ontario, Toronto; FHL microfilm 1,862,267.
2 "Ontario Deaths, 1869-1937 and Overseas Deaths, 1939-1947," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J6CW-826 : accessed 21 February 2016), Robert Robertson, 28 Jun 1902; citing Grey, Huron, Ontario, yr 1902 cn 12072, Archives of Ontario, Toronto; FHL microfilm 1,854,184.
3 “1881 Census of Canada,” digital image, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca: accessed 19 Feb 2016), entry for Robert Robertson household, Grey, Huron Centre, Ontario, District 174, p. 80 (penned); citing LAC microfilm C_13273.
4 1891 census of Canada, Grey, Huron East, Ontario, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 76, subdistrict C, p.28 (penned), family 150, Robert Robertson household; digital image, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 19 Feb 2016); citing Library and Archives Canada microfilm T-6344.
5 "Ontario, Canada Marriages, 1801-1928," online database, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca), Mary Jane Boyle and Robert Robertson, Marriages 1872, Perth, Ontario, 19 Mar 1872; citing original data at Archives of Ontario; citing microfilm MS932, reel 8.


  1. I wonder about what year birth records become "regularized" to the point most everyone had one - and it was recorded somewhere?

  2. Civil registrations of B-M-Ds began in Ontario in 1869. Before that things are less regular. I haven't done much in the way of Ontario research, but I think before then, you'd have to see what was available at the county level or go to the church records, if available.