Additions 31st May 2005

Two of the children of John Joshua and Mary, his first wife, of Knutsford in Cheshire were Joseph born 1864 and William  born 1871.  On 18th September 1901 William married a nurse Margaret Jessie STOUT in Lincolnshire and they came to live in Taber, within ten miles of Purple Springs.  William was born in Knutsford,  he died in Taber 30th January 1953 and Margaret soon after, on 14th July.

William and Jessie’s son William Ogden was born in England in 1902 and he married Ethel Louise AMUNDSEN. His second name is perhaps due to the fact that in 1863 his grandfather had married Mary A OGDEN who died in 1875. William taught in various Alberta schools over a period of 40 years.

Ethel died on 1st April 1978 and William followed on 23rd October 1978.

Ethel was a daughter of Ole Jacob AMUNDSEN [a first cousin of the explorer, Roald] and Mary THOMPSON.  Ole and his wife were killed in a car accident in 1918.

Alfred HAMMAN, the brother of Joseph’s widow Sylvia,  had come from Knutsford toCanada in 1888 at 22 as a teacher but, changing career, he qualified in medicine and went to Taber in 1909 as a Coal mine doctor to some five hundred families. He spent the rest of his long life there, dying in 1958 at 91.

Sylvia was born on 7th June 1860 and died on 4th December 1939 at 79 just one year and five months after retiring.  She had qualified as a teacher in England and taught in Ince, near Wigan Lancashire, where her daughter Sylvia was born in 1892.  Son Joseph Hamman was born in 1895 in Knutsford to where the family had returned - see the Knutsford page.

Her husband Joseph died prematurely aged 39 in 1903.  On 2 June 1910 Sylvia with son Joseph and daughter Sylvia sailed from Liverpool on the “Tunisian” to Montreal and went to wher her brother lived.

At the age of 59 Sylvia applied to increase the size of her Taber homestead originally acquired in 1910 and used for grazing.   She describes her occupation as “Farmer” and, when absent from the homestead, “Teacher”.  The printed forms assume the applicant is a man so her application must have been pretty unusual.

Sylvia’s service in Canada, including nearly twenty years in Taber earned her the King George V medal for long service.  An obituary says “J.H.(Pilot) Gidman is the only son and Mrs T.C. Williams the only daughter of the deceased”. 

That medal is now in the possession of her great grandson in New South Wales, Michael Gidman HAND who has been given it by his mother, Barbara HAND.  She is one of the three children of Joseph Hamman [who served in the RCAF and then as a Park Ranger] and his wife Ruth Olive GULMICK who were married in 1922 in Taber.   In 1945 Barbara married an Australian RAAF pilot who had been posted to Calgary and they returned to Sydney where all their children were born.

Mrs T C WILLIAMS was the name Sylvia junior took at her second marriage.

 I am indebted to Phyllis Burnett of the Lethbridge branch of the Alberta Genealogical Society for her research; she also sent me articles on the Hamman and Amundsen families which I could forward to anyone interested in evocative descriptions of settlers lives early in the 20th century.

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