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Masts of HMS Warrior 1860

Craig family

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 Part 4: James Craig (1832 - 1910)


Marriage to Elizabeth Jane Russell Harvey

James Craig was the second child of Andrew Craig and Helen Reid. He was born 04 June 1832 in Birmingham, England, where his father's regiment was stationed at the time. In 1851 he was a lodger with the Winship family at 13 Three Field Lane in the St Mary's parish of Southampton. Thomas Winship had been born in Partington, near to where the Craig family had been living in the 1840s so it is possible James and Thomas had known each other before both moving to Southampton. James at the time was a painter (not the artistic type!) and single.

In 1854, he emigrated to Canada, most likely with his father, step-mother and siblings. James married Elizabeth Jane Russell Harvey (c1837 - 1895). Where and when this occurred is not known but most likely c1857 in Ontario (which was known as 'Canada West' until Confederation in 1867). They had eleven children, though three died in infancy: Elizabeth Helen, James Reid, Edward Harvey Reid, Andrew W, Ada Margaret, Andrew Socrates I, Hypatia Alexandrina, Blanche Octavia, Andrew Socrates II, Stella Beatrice and an unnamed boy. There is some confusion as to when and where his first two children were born (official birth records for Ontario only began in 1869 and people were not always accurate when filling in the census!).


Railway career 

James worked for the rail industry his whole life and like his father, he would move frequently and his children would be born in various locations. He started with the Great Western Railway company (GWR) which had been formed in 1834 under the name 'The London and Gore Railroad Company'. Opening in 1853, its main line ran from Niagara Falls to Windsor, via Hamilton and London. James involvement with the company took place at a time when the rail industry was rapidly expanding in southern Ontario. In the late 1850s he was based in Preston (now part of Cambridge) and Port Credit (now part of Mississauga). By 1861 he was a Station Master in Thamesville. To go from being a painter to a station master was quite a leap and James was obviously ambitious. The station master had a high standing in the community and if he lived at the station itself, was on call 24 hours a day to deal with all matters regarding the freight and passenger trains. The Craig family's accommodation would either be a dedicated station master's house or the station itself! In 1861 their house was known to be a two story frame house. 

In the mid-1860s, the family were in Galt (now Cambridge), which the GWR line ran through. It would appear that the family briefly spent time in the United States c1868, possibly Missouri. By 1870, they were back in Canada and James was a baggage master in the border town of Sarnia, which was the end of the line on the Canadian side (it would extend across the border to Detroit and Chicago). In 1872 the family was living in Brock Street, Toronto, and James was a clerk. By 1875 they had moved to Nelson Street which would remain the family home until James' death. In 1881 he was a freight agent working for rival company, the Grand Trunk Railway (GTR), anticipating that company's takeover of GWR the following year. An agent did various things on behalf of a railway company, such as arranging for goods to be transported by rail. Sometime in the 1890s James retired. In 1880 GTR had extended its line to Chicago and four of his children settled there over the next two decades. James was known to have visited them on at least one occasion, in 1900.


Marriage to Agnes C Templeton 

Elizabeth died 27 February 1895 and James remarried Agnes C Templeton (1830 - 1903) 09 June 1898. Agnes had been born in Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland July 1830 to William and Catherine Templeton and had emigrated to Canada in 1894. Nothing else is known of her life in Scotland. Agnes died 02 August 1903 of paralysis of the heart, aged 73. A year before he died, James sat down and wrote out what he knew of his father and grandfather's families and military careers (helped by some notes made by his father Robert and the official discharge papers). James, however, neglected to write about his own family and his life (which would have been helpful to his descendants researching the family tree with a lack of official records!). James died of hepatitis 16 February 1910, aged 77, at his home at 55 Nelson Street. James, his two wives, and his eldest daughter Elizabeth were all buried at the Toronto Necropolis Cemetery. [1] 


James Craig


The Craig monument. In the background is the monument that was raised in memory of Samuel Lount and Peter Matthews, 'Patriots of 1837'.



Children of James and Elizabeth Jane Russell


Elizabeth Helen (1858 - 1876) was born 11 August 1858 in Preston, Waterloo County, Ontario. She became a schoolteacher, probably when she was only about 16 or 17 years old. At that time, the number of female teachers was almost equal that of males. There were few opportunities for Elizabeth and her sisters to work: nursing, sewing, being a domestic servant, working in a factory or teaching - and female teachers were obliged to stop working upon marriage.

Like her rural counterparts, Elizabeth likely taught eight grades in one schoolroom (teachers in Toronto probably just had one or two age groups). She would have had little training as a teacher and might have earned an annual salary of about $CAD 230 (at a very rough calculation that might equate to $CAD 8,000 in today's money). [2] Tragically, Elizabeth died aged 18, 10 October 1876, after suffering from inflammation of the brain and spinal cord for a fortnight (meningitis has similar symptoms). She was buried in the family plot C58 at the Toronto Necropolis Cemetery, where her parents were later buried.


James Reid (1859 - 1923) was born 08 November 1859 at Port Credit Station, Ontario. After the 1871 Canada Census, he does not appear in any official records with any degree of certainty about his identity. However, from unsubstantiated listings on the IGI website the following might be a likely account of the rest of his life: James emigrated to the USA c1876 [3] and he married Jennette (Jennie) Feinberg, who was 18 years his junior, 03 October 1895, in Chicago, Illinois. Jennie had apparently been born at sea en route to the USA in 1877, her parents being originally Russian or German. James and Jennie had six children: Elizabeth Jane, Elizabeth, Jeanette Bertha, James Reid, Margaret Anna and Blanche Ada, but only Jeanette, Margaret and Blanche survived infancy.

By 1900, the couple were living in the heart of Chicago's printing and publishing district, renting a saloon hotel in Custom House Court. James was the saloon keeper, Jennie the housekeeper and they had a bartender boarding with them. At the time, the breweries rented out huge numbers of saloons and keepers like James lacked control (and money). Many turned to crime to supplement their income. Whether James was involved or not in the seedier side, by 1906 an expensive licensing fee and changes to the laws saw saloon numbers fall dramatically. James and Jennie left the city and by 1910 were farming in Lincoln Township, with Jennie's sister Hannah living with them. However, only a year later they were back in Chicago. Jennie died in 1918 and likely soon after, James and his daughters moved in with Jennie's brother Abraham Feinberg and his wife Bernice, and Bernice's 13 year old sister (Bernice being able to help look after all three teenagers). The Feinbergs lived in a neighbourhood where there were many immigrants from Russia, Germany and Bohemia (part of present-day Czech Republic). James was no longer in the saloon business but involved in real estate. He died 20 August 1923, aged 62.


Edward Harvey Reid (1861 - ?) was born 09 November 1861 at the Station Master's House, Thamesville, Ontario. He appears in the 1871 Census with his family but nothing else is known of his life.


Andrew W (1863 - 1863) (his middle name is unknown) was born 08 September 1863 in Thamesville and died that same month.


More information about Ada Margaret (1865 - 1953) appears in Part 5.


Andrew Socrates (I) (1867 - 1867) was born about February 1867 and died aged only seven months, 22 August 1867 in Galt, Ontario.


Hypatia (Patience) Alexandrina (1868 - 1937) was born in 1868 in the USA (possibly Missouri). Her namesake, Hypatia of Alexandria was the first notable female mathematician, as well as being an astronomer and philosopher, who lived from 370-415 AD. Little is known of Hypatia Craig. She altered her name to be known as 'Patience' (not liking the strange classical name she was given) and married Scottish-born Francis (Frank) Cooper Creighton c1889. The family lived in the South Side of Chicago where Frank was a clerk and they had a daughter Marjorie born in 1906. Marjorie married Dr Edwin Pratt Jordan who was Chief Executive of the American Medical Group Association from 1950-1967. Frank died in 1922 and was buried in the plot next to his parents-in-law at the Toronto Necropolis. Hypatia died in 1937 and was buried in Graceland Cemetery, Chicago.


James and Elizabeth's eighth child was Blanche Octavia (1870 - ?) (hence the unusual middle name) and she was born 23 December 1870 in Galt, Ontario. Like her elder sister Elizabeth, Blanche worked for a time in her late teens as a librarian (probably until she married). The first library in Toronto (a 'library' as we know it which lent books to the public for free) opened in 1883 (previously, people paid to be members). There were just over half a dozen libraries in Toronto in 1891 (the majority of which had been built with money donated by the philanthropist Andrew Carnegie). The Scarborough Mechanics' Institute (later the Bendale Library) was the nearest library to 55 Nelson St so might have been where Blanche worked, though it was not a public library at the time. Blanche would have received her training through an apprenticeship, where she would imitate others, or on-the-job trial and error (the first formal library school had only been established in the US in 1887).

On 25 July 1894, Blanche married Canadian-born Thomas Funston. Thomas was a grocer/merchant who would later become a salesman, then a manger of wholesale groceries, then finally an insurance collector. Their first daughter Ada Dorothy was born in June 1895. Sometime in the late 1890s (he was not consistent when noting the date!), Thomas moved to Chicago. Blanche and Dorothy (as she was known), followed him a year later. Their second daughter, Elisabeth (known as 'Betty') was born c1907. The family lived at various addresses on the South Side and in 1917, Thomas became naturalised with his sister-in-law Hypatia and her husband as witnesses. Blanche and Thomas died sometime after 1930 and it is not known what happened to Dorothy. Betty went to the local high school, Parker Senior High School and graduated in 1925. She became a public school teacher and according to an alumni report from her high school's 1940 yearbook, she managed a dancing school in Chicago, specialising in aerial dancing!


Andrew Socrates (II) (1872 - ?) was born 06 November 1872 in Galt, Ontario. At some point in the 1880s, Andrew emigrated to Chicago (he lists both 1884 and 1888) and he was likely naturalised in 1893. In 1900, he was running a saloon hotel on State Street. Apparently he had been married for four years at that point but there was no sign of his wife living there, just a bartender and a 17 year old news boy. In 1903 he married Mary (Mamie) Oscar, who was the daughter of Austrian/Bohemian parents. They had a son, Andrew, born c1905. By 1910, Andrew's saloon was doing sufficiently well enough for the family to live in their own house a few blocks away on 59th Street. They even had a servant, one Mary Apochoneky who had just emigrated from Europe the year before and only spoke Polish! On 06 April 1917, the United States officially entered World War I and an Act was passed requiring every male between 18 and 45 to register for the draft. Andrew registered in the 'Third Registration' (12 September 1918) which included men aged 31 to 45 (Andrew being two months shy of turning 46). His draft card described him as being of medium height, brown eyes, light brown hair with no loss of limbs! However, as the Armistice was declared 11 November, Andrew almost certainly remained in Chicago. There is no record of the family after this date. It is possible Andrew died in 1926 in Chicago but this is not confirmed.


Stella Beatrice (1875 - 1960) was born 15 January 1875 in Toronto. She would later be known as 'Big Aunt Stella' to distinguish her from her sister Ada's daughter, Estelle. Stella married Stuart Archdale Marvin 16 January 1894. Stuart was a clerk who had emigrated from England only three years earlier. Their first child, Marjorie Stella was born 31 May 1894 and their son, Edward Harvey, 13 June 1899. Stuart eventually became a stockbroker and after his retirement, he and Stella travelled to England, possibly to visit his family. Unlike most of her siblings, she and her family did not move to Chicago but stayed in Toronto. Stella died in 1960.


The last child of James and Elizabeth was an unnamed boy (1881 - 1881) who was born 09 July 1881 in Toronto and died twelve hours later, being 'feeble at birth' as described by the family doctor, J. Algernon Temple M.D.


Next: Ada Margaret Craig



[1] International Genealogical Index [IGI]; England Census 1841, 1851, Canada Census 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901, 1911, United States Federal Census 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, US Naturalization Records Index 1791-1992, World War I Draft Registration Cards, various family trees,;; notes made by James Craig, Toronto 1909; Wikipedia; Ontario Cemetery Finding Aid database (; Charles Cooper's Railway Pages (; the Canadian Encyclopedia (; Colin Churchers' Railway Pages (; Railways of Kent County, Ontario (; 'The Life and Times of the Station Master' by David Holmes (2007); 'It's Elementary: A Brief history of Ontario's public elementary teachers and their federation' by Barbara Richter from the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario website (; 'The Ontario Teacher 1800-1910' by J. G. Althouse (1929, 1967); Encyclopedia of Chicago (; Explore Chicago (; A Look at Cook (County, Illinois) website (; Dumfries Reformer Death Notices 1866-1870; the American Medical Group Association website (; Toronto Library (; 'Educating and training library practitioners: a comparative history with trends and recommendations - includes appendix on history of library education' by Anthony M. Wilson and Robert Hermanson, 'Library Trends', Winter 1998 (

[2] 'The Ontario Teacher, 1800 - 1910' by J.G. Althouse, Ontario Teacher's Federation (1967)

[3] James does not appear with any certainty in the 1880 US Census and the 1890 US Census was largely destroyed in a fire in 1921.