Monday, September 1, 2014

52 Ancestors # 33: Sailor James Annal (1849-1930)

No Story Too Small has issued a New Year's Challenge: "Have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor.”

This week's blog post is about my great great grandfather James Henry Allan Annal. He was born on the 28th of March 1849 in South Ronaldsay, Orkney Islands, Scotland.  Orkney is an archipelago in northern Scotland comprised of approximately 70 islands of which 20 are inhabited.

James Henry Allan Annal (1849-1930)

Map of Orkney showing topography and main transport routes

"In the 17th century, Orcadians formed the overwhelming majority of employees of the Hudson's Bay Company in Canada. The harsh climate of Orkney and the Orcadian reputation for sobriety and their boat handling skills made them ideal candidates for the rigours of the Canadian north." (Thompson (2008) pp. 371-72.)

James Henry Allan Annal was the son of  James Annal and Elizabeth Wylie. He was the father of Elizabeth (Annal) Coughlin and the grandfather of Rhea (Coughlin) Moynahan.

James Annal was a sailor all of his life and his obituary revealed that "he had an interesting and varied sailing career, as a boy was on a whaling expedition for three years in the Arctic."

He emigrated to Canada in 1870 (according to the 1901 census). He lived in Bruce county (Walkerton, Bruce south) and was a sailor on the Great lakes for many years.

1881 Canadian Census
(Bruce South, Walkerton)

"He had an interesting and varied sailing career, as a boy was on a whaling expedition for three years in the Arctic, and sailed every windjammer on the Great lakes a hardy and fearless sailor, and very expert in the construction of ship models."

A model ship made by James Annal

James Annal married Mary Hess (1853-1927) of Elora (c 1870) and they had four boys and four girls.

  • James Annal (1873-1921)
  • John Annal (1875-1960)
  • Mary (Annal) (1878-1948)
  • Annie (Annal) McIntyre (1880-1909)
  • Elizabeth Annal (1884-1953)
  • Ethel Annal (1886-?)
  • William Annal (1888-1949)
  • Wilford Andrew Annal (1896-1897)

Standing (L-R): J.H.A. Annal and Gabriel Hess
Sitting (L-R): John and James Annal, Joe Hess
Bottom: William Annal
Hess and Annal family

1891 census

1891 Canadian Census
(District 47, Bothwell, Wallaceburg Village)

1901 census

1901 Canadian Census
(Wallaceburg, Bothwell, Pg 13)
On closer look at census details, I learned that Elizabeth (Annal) Coughlin was living with daughter Madeline Coughlin with her mother and father (and William Henry Coughlin is not listed?). This explains why I could not find Lizzie and Henry's residence after their marriage in 1899.

1930 Death Certificate

Ontario Death Certificate

Headstone: Riverview Cemetery

"Find A Grave" listing for Annal headstone


Orkney Links

Sailing Links

The Bruce Peninsula
Excerpt from "The Bruce Beckons"
The following information was added September 4, 2014:

The chart below represents James Henry Allen's family. 

James' father James Annal was "by calling" an Orcadian " fisherman, and he had numerous fishing boats". I learned of these facts by reading a detailed account of Jame's sister Jemima Almina (Annal) Sutherland's life (see below). 

James Sr. "death occurred in 1876 when he was but fifty-five years of age, while his wife (Elizabeth Wylie) died in 1892, aged seventy-five years....The children born to this union were: John who died in Edinburgh, Scotland; Jennie who died in the Orkney Islands, unmarried; Jemima who married James Sutherland; Elizabeth deceased, who married James Burgess."

James and Jemima Sutherland of Chatham, Ontario
(Jemima was James Annal's sister)

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