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Schwartz family

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 Part 5: Sir Wilhelm Anton Schwartz, Knight (Order St. Olav), RVO[1]

(1825 - 1902)


Early life

Wilhelm Anton Schwartz [2] was the second son of Hans Jürgen Schwartz Jr and Marie Cathrine Johansen Wærner. He was born 01 December 1825 and baptised 08 February the following year in Strømsø parish church, Drammen. He had half a dozen godparents, which was not unusual for Norwegian children. (His mother Marie Cathrine was godmother to at least twenty children, most of whom were her grandchildren, and Wilhelm and his siblings were godparents many times over to various nephews and nieces.) The family would have been Lutheran and when he was fifteen or sixteen he would have been confirmed like his siblings, as was mandatory in Norway at the time (although there is no record of him actually being confirmed).

Confirmation marked the passage to adulthood and Wilhelm would have graduated from school at this time and probably joined his father in the shipping and timber business. Although he was only 18 at the time of his father’s death, he probably took on his father’s interests when Hans Jr died. By the late 1850s he was a ship owner and in 1857, his business interests took him to Bristol, England, where he met Elizabeth (Lily) Bryant (1834 - 1868) the daughter of a merchant with shipping links. (More information about her and her family appears in the Bryant family history.)


Marriage to Elizabeth (Lily) Bryant

Wilhelm and Lily married 27 June 1857 at Shirehampton parish church and she returned to Drammen with him to live. It must have been difficult adjusting to a new culture and language though she was probably lucky in that her mother-in-law was half-English and no doubt bilingual. Wilhelm may well have had a flair for the language, too. It was probably a happy marriage and they had four children: Edvart Hans Jørgen, Marie Cathrine, Elisabeth and Johan August.

The family lived in Tangen, a district of Drammen, and Wilhelm remained as a ship owner for the next decade. By 1865, he was also an assurance casserer (insurance cashier). Sadly, Lily died 25 July 1868, aged only 33. The cause of death was listed as krampeslag – an old-fashioned medical term for convulsive fitting.


Marriage to Aletta Ludovica Nørregård

Wilhelm remarried 16 June 1870 to Aletta Ludovica Nørregård in Kråkstad (in what is now the town of Ski), not far from Drammen. Aletta had been born 15 February 1836 in Odal, Hedmark (just northeast of Oslo) and was the eldest of five daughters born to Carl Ernst Nørregård, a sogneprest (vicar), and Mette Christine Louise Hesselberg. Aletta and Wilhelm had six children, three of whom were born in Drammen, the last three in Quebec: Lily Alette, Louisa Caroline, Anthony Halvor, Hans Jürgen, Wilhelm Theodore and Anna Elise.


Emigration to Canada

In the London Gazette (the Official Newspaper of Record) of 14 August 1874, there appeared a tiny announcement: 

‘Foreign Office, August 11, 1874. The Queen has been pleased to approve of Mr. Wilhelm Antony Schwartz as Consul at Quebec, with jurisdiction over British North America, for his Majesty the King of Sweden and Norway.’

Wilhelm had been appointed following the death the previous year of Baron Gerhard Knut Alfrid Falkenberg, originally from Sweden. Baron Falkenberg had spent time living in political exile in New York but when his allies gained power of the government, he returned to Sweden and was asked in 1855 to become the first Consul General to British North America, based in Quebec (at the time, Quebec was the temporary capital of the Province of Canada). The need for a consulate came about because of the high number of Scandinavian ships engaged in the export of timber from Quebec to various countries (most important in the early 19th century with Napoleon’s blockades). Although the timber industry began to decline in Québec by the second-half of the century, there was obviously still a diplomatic and trade need for a consulate. The position was an honorary one without payment.

The reason for Wilhelm’s appointment to the post is not known (at present) but in 1874, he was in business with Baron Falkenberg’s son, Frederick Andreas Falkenberg, in Quebec so he may have been recommended to the post by the Falkenberg family. The company Schwartz & Falkenberg acted as ship brokers, commercial merchants and insurance agents and had its premises at 40¾ Rue St-Pierre in the Vieux-Québec district by the port. Wilhelm probably first went to in 1873 but returned to Norway shortly afterwards. In 1875, he accompanied his wife and his three youngest children to Liverpool, England, where they boarded the ship ‘Prussian’, accompanied by an English nurse Mary Williams, and arrived in Quebec 06 May. It is not known when his eldest children arrived in Quebec (except for Edvart) but Maria and Johan were certainly living with them by 1881.

The family settled in the Montcalm district which was not far from Vieux-Québec and attended the Holy Trinity Anglican Cathedral (where Lutherans such as themselves worshipped). Many of the big houses in Montcalm were owned by wealthy English-speaking men involved in the timber industry. The consulate was located initially at 12 Rue Mont Carmel, close to Rue St-Pierre. By 1879, Schwartz & Falkenberg was no longer operating but Wilhelm remained as Honorary Consul until his death. He was awarded orders of chivalry by the Swedish and Norwegian governments in 1882 and 1900 respectively for his consular services to both countries. (Upon his death the insignia would have been returned to the respective countries.)

Aside from business affairs, the Schwartz family appeared to be involved in founding the first Quebec Ski Club in 1896 - family members thought it might even have been the first ski club in Canada! The oldest ski in the Quebec Ski Museum's possession is said to have belonged to Wilhelm. The younger children also participated in ice skating, especially if it involved fancy dress occasions!

Aletta died 05 September 1894 and Wilhelm himself died at his residence of 29 Rue Mont Carmel, 02 January 1902, aged 76. He may have had a mild stroke a few months earlier, then a second one which eventually led to his death. A splendid obituary praising his generosity and loyalty to his adopted homeland appeared the day after his death in the English-language newspaper 'The Quebec Chronicle', as well as an account of his funeral service at the Anglican Cathedral and burial at Mount Hermon Cemetery. [3]


Wilhelm c1874 upon his appointment as Consul


Wilhelm's second wife Aletta Nørregård



 Children of Wilhelm and Elizabeth

More information about Edvart (Edward) Hans Jørgen (1858 - 1893) appears in Part 5.


Marie Cathrine (1859 - 1914) was known as 'Thrina'. She was born 05 November 1859 in Drammen. She married Frederick Stuart Weatherley (c1861 - 1914) in Quebec in 1889. Frederick was an accountant of the Bank of Montreal, working his way up to become a bank manager. He and Thrina died within a month of each other in 1914 in Ottawa and were buried in Quebec. They had two children, Lilly Aletta and Ernest H, who became a clerk and signed up in 1916 with the 224th Forestry Battalion.


Elisabeth (1861 - 1926) was known as 'Bess' or 'Betsy' and shared the same day of birth as her older sister Thrina, 05 November. She married accountant Ernest Frederick Wurtele (1859 - 1936) in 1887. They lived in Quebec and had one son, Harold Anthony Saxton who served as a captain in the Royal Field Artillery during World War I and later moved to Florida where he had a photographic studio. Elisabeth died 10 June 1926. Ernest remarried Emma Isobel Dunbar and died 12 March 1936.


Johan August (1864 - 1929) was known as John or 'Johnny'. He was born 12 May 1864 in Drammen and became a ship owner like his father, frequently traveling back and forth across the Atlantic to Norway. He was also a secrétaire at the Swedish and Norwegian Consulate. He married Marie Honorine Alphonsine Chouinard (known as Alphonsine) 22 April 1891 and they had two sons: Anton and Eric Alphonse. John ('Uncle Johnny' as he was sometimes known as) spoke Norwegian, English and French (no doubt like all his siblings) and returned to live permanently in Drammen by 1900 where he died in 1929. It is not known where or when his wife or sons died.


 Children of Wilhelm and Aletta

Lily Alette (1871 - 1943) was born 05 December 1871 in Drammen. She managed the consulate's affairs after her father Wilhelm was incapacitated by a stroke and married Carl Richard Esaias Samuelsson Bagge (known as Richard) in 1902. Richard succeeded his father-in-law as Swedish and Norwegian Consul to Quebec (and was the first paid Consul). Richard was from Stockholm, Sweden, and a good singer and dancer (one family story has it that he ripped his trousers trying to do a Russian (Cossack?) dance one time!). Both Lily and Richard painted (she watercolour landscapes and he pencil drawings, as well as being a keen photographer). 

They had one son Ragnvald Richardson (Kenty) who was born in Quebec in 1903. Richard became Consul for Shanghai where he died in 1910. Before his death, Lily promised Richard that she would bring Kenty up in Sweden. She was a very religious person but also possessed a great sense of humour. During World War I when both countries were neutral, she travelled to Norway to visit her relatives and smuggle meat back to Sweden! Kenty himself would have a long diplomatic career post-World War II in such varied locations as Colombia, Iran, Iraq and Poland. Lily travelled with her son on some of his postings and died in Sweden in 1943.


Louisa Caroline (1873 - ?) was born 30 May 1873 in Drammen and died sometime after 1930 (possibly in Canada). It is likely she never married but had independent means to travel. She travelled to Cardiff c1890 (most likely to see aunt Martha 'Patti' Tellefsen - her father's first wife's sister) and at one point she was living with her brother Hans Jürgen in New York (1920). It is thought she might have died in 1933. Nothing else is known of her.


Anthony Halvor (1874 - 1877) was born 26 September 1874 in Drammen but sadly died in Quebec 22 May 1877, aged two years and eight months from dysentery.


Professor Hans Jürgen (George) M.D. C.M. (1876 - 1956) was known as 'George'. He was born 28 May 1876 in Quebec and later became a noted doctor. He attended Quebec High School and McGill University in Montreal where he gained his Master of Surgery in 1898. He did his internship at Montreal General Hospital then was a General Practitioner (GP) for two years in Quebec before emigrating to New York City in 1901.

For the next few years, he was a GP in and then began to specialise in dermatology and syphilis. From 1904 to 1923, he held many roles at Cornell University, New York, including that of Professor in Dermatology, and wrote many articles in various medical journals. He married fellow Canadian Margaret Kilgour in 1910 and they had three daughters, twins Margaret (known as 'Peggy') and Aletta, and Jean. To his relatives he was known as 'Uncle Bab' or 'Uncle Bob' and was much fun. He was a member of many clubs and associations, including the Salmagundi Club for artists, though it is not known if he was an artist-member or a lay member. He died 15 February 1956.


Wilhelm Theodore (1878 - 1880) was born 11 December 1878 in Quebec. He was baptised 29 March 1879 at the Anglican Cathedral Holy Trinity Church in a private baptism. He sadly died of a brain fever 01 July 1880 aged one year and seven months and was buried 02 July in Mount Hermon Cemetery in grave R-664. His father and half-brother Edward were present at the burial.


Anna Elise (1880 - 1967) was born 30 June 1880 and married Richard Henry Phillips Oliver, a superintendent of Mexico Mining, in Quebec in 1904. They had two children, Kathleen Elise (known as 'Elise') and William Schwartz. Elise was born in Velardeña, in the state of Durango, Mexico. There are still numerous mines in Velardeña and it was likely William was born there, too. By 1916, the family was living in Duck Lake, a tiny town between Saskatoon and Prince Albert in Saskatchewan, Canada, where Richard was a town clerk. The family later settled in British Columbia where Elise became a nurse at the Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria until her marriage to Arthur William Aylard. They had four children and she died in 1975. Brother William married Miriam Helen Barclay and he died in 1963. Their respective spouses, Arthur and Miriam would later remarry each other.

Richard died in Victoria, British Columbia in 1953 and Anna in 1967.


Next: Edvart Hans Jørgen Schwartz



[1] The Royal Norwegian Order of St Olav (Norwegian order of chivalry), Royal Order of Vasa (Swedish order of chivalry).

[2] His name was sometimes anglicised to ‘William Anthony’.

[3] Marriage certificate (General Register Office), Contrats de marriage de la region de Québec 1761-1946, Registre d'inhumation du Mount Hermon Cemetery 1848-1904, 'The Quebec Chronicle' newspaper (and its various incarnations: 'Morning Chronicle', 'Quebec Morning Chronicle' and 'Quebec Chronicle'), Bibliothèque et Archives nationales Québec (BAnC); ‘The Sacred and the Secular’ article by Valerie Borey (; Norwegian digitised parish records (Norwegian National Archives); Norwegian Census 1865, 1875, 1900; Quebec City Passenger Lists Index 1865-1900, Libraries and Archives Canada (LAC); London Gazette; Swedish National Archives; Census of Canada 1881, 1891, 1901, 1911; 1916 Canada Census of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, 1920 United States Federal Census, 1930 United States Federal Census,  Biography Index, Volume 4: September 1955-August 1958 (; ‘Who’s Who in American Medicine 1925’; Ontario Government website; Tim Falkenberg’s family tree website; the ‘London Gazette’ online archive; Quebec official city website; Quebec & Levis Directory; IGI; Bagge family website (; Bagge family history; Quebec Ski Museum; Canadian Nurse Journal Vol 29, 1933