Thursday, October 31, 2013

c1900 Photograph of Emma Eliza Gillis, by a Calais, Maine studio

Photograph taken by the Pearson studio of Calais, Maine, of a young woman identified on the reverse in her own writing as Emma E. Gillis, "Lizzie".

From online research, hopefully correct: [corrections and additions welcome!]

Emma Eliza Gillis was born 5 November 1874, possibly at Calais, Maine, the daughter of John Gillis and Margaret Ann (Ross) Gillis, who were born at St. David, New Brunswick, and Tower Hill, New Brunswick, respectively.

I believe John Gillis' parents were Irish immigrants Michael and Alice Gillis, but I'd like confirmation of that.  The parents of Margaret Ann (Ross) Gillis were Hugh Miller Ross and Mary A. (Thompson) Ross.

Emma Eliza Gillis was still at Calais, Maine, by the time of the 1910 Census, but at some point soon after she had found her way to Manitoba, where I think it was this Emma who was enumerated at Brandon, Manitoba in the 1916 Canada Census of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta and who gave her year of immigration as 1913.

Emma's sister Carrie Grainger Gillis married Oscar Longfellow Boyd at Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1907.  Whether Oscar went to Winnipeg first and then sent for Carrie, or Carrie had relatives in Manitoba and had gone on her own, I don't know.  Oscar was born at St. Stephen, New Brunswick, just across the St. Croix River from Calais, so it is quite possible that they had known each other from youth, but they could also have met at Winnipeg through other New Brunswickers.  

By the time of the 1921 Census of Canada, Emma was living with Carrie and Oscar at Winnipeg, Manitoba.  She didn't give an occupation but was perhaps helping Carrie with her four children.  I can't quite decipher Oscar's occupation, but it looks as though he was a manager for the city of Winnipeg in some department.

I don't know if Emma ever married or had children.  I believe she died at Winnipeg, Manitoba, in 1960.

If you have corrections to the information above, or additions to it, please leave a comment or contact me directly.  Thanks!

Calais, Maine, with St. Stephen, New Brunswick across the river:

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