One of the drawbacks of being a grandchild is not knowing one's grandparents had a life. Certainly, Grandpa Lou's background has always been
a mystery for me. These photos taken to commemorate a visit illustrate the importance of family in those hard scrabbled days. Their tint
reminds us this was the Golden Era of the British Empire although it was not that golden for them. It certainly is wonderful to have this new
information, thank you Adrienne.
Garth
Adrienne Hall of British Columbia sent along these amazing photographs taken at the same time as the one of the children. Lou and Rufus McComb were first
cousins of about the same age, 1873 and 1875 respectively, and both born in Bruce County in Ontario. Lou's parents were Robert McComb and Elizabeth Kerr.
His grandparents were Alexander McComb and Isabella (unknown) and William Kerr and Mary Hyndman. Rufus was a Kerr born of James Kerr and Maggie
McCully. His grandparents were William and Mary Kerr and John McCully and Agnes (unknown).
Adrienne also writes that she
knew our grandparents as
Uncle Lou and Aunt Flossie.
She is quite certain Rufus
was Lou's first cousin.
Sometime around 1881, Lou
and Rufus moved out to the
Franklin area of Manitoba,
(see Homestead). Lou was
Best Man at James second
marriage to Caroline
McLaughlin 1899. It is
Adrienne's grandmother,
Merle who goes on to take
the pictures of the children
including Verna Goodwin. In
a follow-up, Adrienne noted
she is soon to receive the
Kodak box camera that took
these images...a neat thing.
Lou McComb, Caroline, Belle Kerr, Flossie McComb and Rufus
Kerr
Yet another follow-up from Adrienne: Caroline's wedding registration to a John Arthur McDonald on July 27, 1898 in the Rosedale area. I couldn't find the
daughter's birth registration (too early per the privacy legislation perhaps) but I did find that Caroline had a son, Robert John McDonald, born July 12, 1898
in the Rosedale area. Caroline was born about 1876 in Bruce County, so a few years younger than Lou.
Merle Kerr, Flossie McComb and Caroline.
Flossie McCpmb, Caroline McComb/McDonald
(Grandpa's sister) and Belle Kerr
Bruce County
This detailed view of the 1851 Census for Canada West, Durham County, Darlington Township, Part 4 lists my Grandfather's family. From it we learn it was a
large family of nine with seven children. Robert McComb was 13 at the time of this census. His father, Alexander came from Ireland and saw himself as a
member of the United Church. There was a twenty year age difference between his Mother, Isabella and her husband. Lou McComb was to have just such a
broad age difference and large family in his marriage to my Grandmother. Another interesting but purely coincidental fact are the names, as many: Isabella,
Sarah and Mary existed on the Goodwin side of the family as well.
Cousin Jean Hennesey provided this information.
McCombs' are descended from William Kerr and Mary Hyndman, who
left Ireland in 1843. One son, James Kerr, is my great-grandfather. A
daughter, Elizabeth, married Robert McComb and they were your great-grandparents.

James married Maggie McCully in Perth County, where the senior
McCullys and McCombs had lived side by side. It's likely that
Robert/Elizabeth introduced Maggie/James, or vice versa. The McCombs
and McCullys  moved to neighbouring Bruce County where, by 1881,
James and Maggie Kerr were living with widowed Alexander McComb,
Robert's dad....why, I'm not sure, as they were only linked through
Elizabeth Kerr's marriage to Robert . However, in 1871 Robert and
Elizabeth had been living beside his folks Alexander and Isabella,
but by 1881 they had moved to a neighbouring township.... and
Alexander had been on his own since 1875, when Isabella passed away.
Perhaps James and Maggie needed a place to live, and the families
were good friends...they could look out for the elder Alexander, who
would have been left on his own.

James and Maggie Kerr were married quite young and their first child,
Robert, passed away at the age of 8 months in 1874. When your
gg-grandmother Isabella McComb passed away a year later in 1875, she
was buried beside little Robert McCully. They are buried in the Salem
Presbyterian Cemetery in Elderslie, Bruce County.

I have never been able to find Alexander McComb's burial place.

Goerge Kerr, the oldest Kerr son, moved to Manitoba first, settling
in Plumas. James and Maggie Kerr followed around 1882.  Elizabeth
Kerr and husband Robert McComb moved out sometime between 1881 and
1891. Another brother, John Kerr, followed between 1891 and 1901.
All, with the exception of George Kerr, lived in the Franklin area.

I thought this photo might be John Leonard and his wife. James and
Maggie had a son, Rufus Kerr---my great-grandfather. Rufus married
Isabella Leonard and your grandpa Lou was Rufus' best man. It's
possible that Lou knew Isabella's brother, John Leonard, but I doubt
he would hold onto a photo of him.
Early in 2011, Adrienne Hall sent out more material, viewed here. Adrienne has done
extensive work seeking out the death notices for early generations.

The highlight for me was this image of my grandparent's wedding portrait. Although
Edwardian, the costumes seem to come from even earlier in history, even the
Georgian era. Perhaps, this is just me being overly romantic. In any case, they
appear happy and looking forward to their own large family to come.

The section below is Adrienne's retelling of her understanding of our early family
history.