Friday, 30 November 2012

Is that you, Uncle?

I began the search for our great grandfather with the last document we can connect to him, the passenger manifest of the SS Regina on its voyage to Canada. Information from that source confirmed that this was the father of Robert Joseph (b 1924) and suggested a likely birth year for further research. That line of investigation has led us to assert that his parents were Robert and Eliza Jane.

There was one further piece of information in the manifest. In addition to listing anyone who they expected to follow them to Canada, immigrants were asked to specify the person in Canada with whom they proposed to live.

In response, great grandfather Robert provided the following:

Uncle Mr J McAlister 67 [Ib?]ay Avenue Mimico Ont.

If we could identify this person and if he was a "real" uncle, then we would have a further insight into the identity of the previous generation of McAllisters.

The town of Mimico now lies within the boundaries of the city of Toronto but it has a proud history reflected in the blog Town of Mimico - Soldiers of the First World War which in February 2002 included information about

T. J. McAllister
According to his attestation papers dated September 25, 1915 at Toronto, Thomas James McAllister was born on July 7, 1879 at Corkstown, Tyrone, Ireland. ... In the 1921 Toronto City directory he is listed as a fruit dealer living on the south side of Hay Avenue, Mimico.

A copy of that 1921 City Directory is still available and it does indeed list Thomas McAllister on Hay Avenue on page 89.

It also lists some thirty other McAllisters living in different parts of Toronto, but this does appear worthy of further investigation.

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