Saturday, October 4, 2014

1881-1887 Autograph Album of Eliza Rowe of Hamilton, Ontario


1881-1887 autograph album that belonged to Eliza Rowe of Hamilton, Ontario.  Contemporary handwriting on the first end paper indicates that Eliza was the sister of William H. Rowe who invented the cigarette vending machine, but I don't have proof of that, and they seem to have been born about twenty years apart if the obituary I've linked to is correct.


Three people in the album indicated a relationship with Eliza, an uncle and two cousins.  Sadly, only one of the cousins gave his entire name.  Uncle Bill inscribed a page at Hamilton, Ontario, on December 17, 1882.


Cousin Ernest of Roseneath, Ontario, inscribed a page on March 13, 1882.


Fortunately, the other cousin, Fletcher Charles Sherwin of Grafton, Ontario, gave his entire name when he inscribed a page on October 30, 1886.


Interestingly, Fletcher's mother was Ann (Turner) Sherwin.  I found an Eliza Rowe, born about 1865 in England, enumerated in the household of George and Mary Turner and their children C. Turner and G. T. Turner in the 1871 Census of Hamilton, Ontario.  It's possible that the George T. Turner who signed a page in Eliza's album on April 2, 1882, was the same G. T. Turner, and that it was the Turner line that linked Fletcher Charles Sherwin and Eliza Rowe.


There was an Eliza Rowe, also born about 1865 in England, in the 1881 Census of Hamilton, Ontario, with father William Rowe and mother Sarah.  The other children in the household were Elizabeth, William H. and Emma.

One page in the album has very faint handwriting which might be Bro. Will, but I can't be sure.

If, after taking in these clues and reading the list of signers for additional clues, you have a theory as to Eliza's identity, please leave a comment or contact me directly.

The album measures approximately 8" x 6" and contains the sentiments of 42 of Eliza's relatives and friends, many of whom, sadly, left only first names or initials.

Two pages were so lovely that I must include them.  One was inscribed and sketched by Annie Steinmetz on March 20, 1882.


The other was inscribed and sketched by Eugene Schwendau of Hamilton, Ontario, on April 10, 1882.


As it turns out, Eugene Schwendan and Annie Steinmetz married at Hamilton, Ontario, on September 28, 1887.  Is it possible that Annie or Eugene did both pages?  Or did they collaborate?

Surname list

?JS
? [18]JonesSarginson
AMSchwendau
AndersonMcKenzieSherwin
Arthur [3]McLeodSteinmetz
BMcMenemyT
BakerMillerTurner
BlainRW
CRedmanWhite [2]
CockburnRowe [2]Woods
D
Davis [2]

Signers in the album       [Note: Given names within a specific surname may not be in alphabetical order.]

?
  • A. L. H., signed at Hamilton, Ontario, on August 17 [no year written]
  • S. G.
  • Lizzie, signed at Hamilton, Ontario, on January 18, 1882
  • "Your Cousin Ernest", signed on March 13, 1882 at Roseneath, Ontario
  • Lillis
  • A. S. T., signed on April 2, 1882; not sure of initials, except for the given name initial. Middle initial could be L; surname initial could be L or J or ?
  • Very faint. Might be Bro. Will, signed at Hamilton, Ontario, on December 25, 1881
  • Friend Emma, signed at Hamilton, Ontario, on January 28, 1882
  • Emma, signed at Hamilton, Ontario, on December 23 [no year written]
  • Uncle Bill, signed at Hamilton, Ontario, on December 17, 1882
  • "Scribbler"
  • Nimrod, signed at Hamilton, Ontario, on June 4, 1883
  • Signed with given name only - looks like Hebb, but not sure - signed at Hamilton, Ontario, on June 21 [no year written]
  • Jean, signed on "5/8 1882"
  • Lottie, signed at Hamilton, Ontario, on December 4, 1882
  • G. W. F., signed at Stratford, Ontario, on January 2, 1887
  • E. O., signed on "9/8/86"
  • G. H. S, or G. H. Y., signed at Hamilton, Ontario, on August 8, 1883
A
  • M. Anderson, signed on January 20, 1882
  • Ben Arthur, signed at Hamilton, Ontario, on February 3, 1881. Benjamin Arthur, son of Humphrey M. Arthur who signed the next page.
  • H. M. Arthur; presumably Humphrey M. Arthur, whose son Benjamin Arthur signed the preceding page.
  • R. Arthur, signed at Hamilton, Ontario, on May 2, 1882. Perhaps Regenna Mitchell (Bunt) Arthur, wife of signer Humphrey M. Arthur.
B
  • Agnes A. Baker, signed at Hamilton, Ontario, on January 1, 1886
  • Jennie Blain, signed at Hamilton, Ontario, on April 4, 1882
C
  • Mrs. Cockburn, signed on January 11, 1881
D
  • Tillie Davis, signed at Hamilton, Ontario, on January 23, 1884
  • Calvin Davis, signed at Hamilton, Ontario, on February 14, 1884
J
  • W. E. Jones, signed at Stratford, Ontario, on January 8, 1887
M
  • Maggie McKenzie, signed at Hamilton, Ontario, on January 10, 1882
  • Mina McLeod, signed at Hamilton, Ontario, on January 28, 1882; not sure of given name
  • Hattie A. McMenemy, signed at Hamilton, Ontario, on December 28, 1881
  • Lizzie Miller, signed at Hamilton, Ontario, on January 18, 1882
R
  • Bena Redman, signed at Bellfield on June 14, 1886
  • Page entitled "Faith" and signed E. R., presumably Eliza Rowe herself.  Contemporary handwriting on the first end paper indicates that Eliza was the sister of William H. Rowe who invented the coin-operated vending machine, but I can't verify that.
  • S. R. Inscribed to "My Darling Sis".  Presumably Rowe, but whether sister or sister-in-law, I don't know.
S
  • Jennie Sarginson, signed at Hamilton, Ontario, in August 1884
  • Eugene Schwendau of Hamilton, Ontario, signed on April 10, 1882; he decorated his page beautifully.  He would marry signer Annie Steinmetz, who also had a beautifully decorated page.  They must have influenced each other.
  • Fletcher C. Sherwin, signed at Grafton, Ontario, on October 30, 1886; Eliza's cousin.
  • Annie Steinmetz, signed on March 20, 1882; she decorated the page beautifully.  She would later marry signer Eugene Schwendau, who also had a beautifully decorated page.  They must have influenced each other.
T
  • George T. Turner, signed on April 2, 1882; not positive of middle initial. Interestingly, the 1871 Census of Hamilton, Ontario lists a household with a George and Mary Turner, children C. Turner and G. T. Turner and an Eliza Rowe.
W
  • Bella White, signed at Hamilton, Ontario, on March 29, 1884
  • Carrie M. White of Hamilton, Ontario, on March 29, 1884
  • Susy Woods, signed at Stratford, Ontario, on January 23, 1884
Hamilton, Ontario


Thanks for stopping by!



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