VARNEY/MORAN, Ronan, Alta.
- From the Rootsweb newsletter: if it rings a bell, contact the person who
submitted the item, e-mail address at the end.
* * *
In 1913, Louise VARNEY nee MORAN, a widow, and her young daughter, Violet,
left the east end of London ("Stratford East") for the district around
Ronan, Alberta, Canada. All Louise knew about farming was what she had
seen in southern England. Her intention was to make a new start for
herself and her daughter in a new land of opportunity. She took a piano
with her, so she had every intention of staying.
Ronan had a post office that became a lifeline to England for Louise and
Violet. Surviving letters show that they approached Ronan from the south,
staying one night at a boarding house at Wildwood, then called Junkins.
While in Ronan they stayed at Ronan Post Office, apparently in a log cabin
in a place where most of the trees had been removed. When they left,
Louise gave her piano to Mr. and Mrs. JENKINS, who ran the post office.
Louise VARNEY had thought she was coming to a home and farm, but her
expectations were dashed when it turned out that the principal living was
gained by felling trees, the land being poor and the farming very
difficult. She had a miserable time and wanted to return home, but Violet
wanted to remain, having made contact with prospective husbands,
identified in letters as Morris CRULES and Mr. CASPER. These plans did not
work out and Louise and Violet began the journey home by the Canadian
Pacific Railway via Montreal. Their difficulties continued and, after a
difficult journey to Montreal, in May 1914 both were drowned in the Gulf
of St. Lawrence while on the Canadian Pacific liner, the "Empress of
I would like to hear from anyone who has information or has heard talk
about an English woman above age 60 and her young daughter, in distressed
circumstances about 1913-1914, in the area of Ronan, Alberta, Canada.
Mike Reeve, Harrogate reeve.mjr@...
Written by Mike Reeve <reeve.mjr@...>. Previously published by
Julia M. Case and Myra Vanderpool Gormley, CG, Missing Links, Vol. 5, No.
22, 31 May 2000. RootsWeb: <http://www.rootsweb.com/>