The last member of my family on my mother's side died in February 2014, and while alive refused to give me any information about our family or my maternal Grandfather. While my father's side is well documented (French Canadian Nadeaus), of my mother's side I only know the following:
- A 1921 Census record my son found online at a tree at ancestry.com (also confirmed by helpful people here, thank you!)
- A copy of family Baptismal/Birth Certificates of my Grandmother and Aunt that my Aunt's executor saved and later sent to me. My Aunt's certificate was also found/confirmed by the Sacred Heart Parish in Chapleau, but they said they couldn't find any further records.
- Some family stories.
The only records my son and I could find (1921 census) indicated James immigrated in 1919 from the US to Canada and that he was employed by the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR).
James Edward Allan (name from Aunt's Baptismal certificate) lived in Chapleau, Ontario with his wife Elizabeth Allan (nee Hayes - originally from Newfoundland, daughter of John Hayes and Jane Getheral - information from Grandmother's cert. and Parish records) at the time of the June 1921 census along with my mother who was aged 1. The local cemeteries have a few 'Allan's, but I cannot prove any definitive link.
My Aunt's baptismal certificate which confirms she was born there in 1921, but was not included on the census for some reason.
There are two death scenarios for my Grandfather that I was told growing up:
- Died while working for CPR
- Died while prospecting and body was not found until spring thaw.
I was told he died when my mother was five and Aunt was four years old (1925), but my son and I cannot find any record of his death at that time anywhere.
I have - as much as possible online - investigated CPR's archives and Chapleau's local archives/library related to CPR and newspapers/obits around that time with no success. Such an event would have been newsworthy (and indeed several train accidents are exhaustively covered in the paper) but there is no mention of my Grandfather. This leads me to think the family stories are cover-ups as the older members of the family always refused to discuss him.
I have checked with the Library of Congress (in case he went back to the USA) as well as the deaths and marriage listings in Ontario, the various churches, the local mines and everywhere else I can think of with no success. I have also consulted with local genealogists (I live in Australia), who say that I simply have too little information to go on.
My Grandfather seems to have completely vanished - no records prior or after the 1921 census that we can definitively link to him - which is very frustrating.
To my knowledge, my sons and I are all that is left of the Allan family. Would be more than happy to discuss any further avenues of investigation!
- James born in USA, abt 1891 - from Canadian 1921 census
- 1890 - Elizabeth born in St. Johns, Newfoundland - with baptism/birth certificate available (family documents). Note - Birth date from certificate contradicts census date
- James immigrated to Canada from USA
- Elizabeth immigrated to Canada from USA or Newfoundland
- Not known if/when they married - no marriage record found (listed on census as housewife)
- 1920 First daughter born but no birth/baptism record known
- 1921 Census record (James Allen, 1921 Canada Census, Census Place: Chapleau, Algoma East, Ontario) says James was employed by the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) but CPR has no employee files for that area in this period
- 1921 Second daughter born with baptism/birth certificate available (family documents)
Basically, I am running into the same problem as you're discussing - other than that record there is nothing else in either direction on the timeline - CPR has already informed me they have no records for that place or time period and I haven't been able to locate border crossing records for either adult.
Apologies for the mistakes - I'm not computer savvy and resorting to this out of lack of options. Was just trying to provide as much of my current research as possible.