A Wee Girl on a Sad Day

Here is my father’s mother – Alice Annie Green standing by the graves of her grandparents, in England in 1896. Annie was born in 1890 at Cowesby, North Riding of Yorkshire, where her father James worked as ‘a hosteler’ (he looked after horses) on the Cowesby Estate.


I think the photo captures a visit back to Bransdale at the time of her grandmother’s funeral and burial. The photo is taken high in the ancient, quiet cemetery grounds of St. Nicholas chapel, Cuckan, Bransdale.

St. Nicholas was a chapelry of Kirkbymoorside parish in the North Riding of Yorkshire. This little church provided a place of meeting and worship, and intermittent sacrament reception, as the remote dale was situated some distance from Kirkbymoorside and Helmsley, towns to the south.

Less than a mile south in West Bransdale was Cowl House where Newark Wilson (1819-1890) and his wife Hannah (Wood)(1819-1896) farmed for many years. Formerly, it belonged to Green relatives, the Moon family. Newark was also a blacksmith and though born in Housyke, NRY and marrying Hannah in Whitby, they had started their life in the dale with his working at the Brandale Mill of Sir William Strickland.

Annie came with her family to Canada, on the SS Canada, in 1906. They settled first in Winnipeg where she worked for a number of years with the T. Easton Company before the family removed to a Whitelaw Road farm in Guelph Township, where she met and married Gordon Barber whose father owned a nearby 100 acre farm, at the corner of Whitelaw and Paisley Roads.


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