Sunday, November 23, 2014

52 Ancestors #46: Beloved Matriarch: Dorothy (Moreland) Creighton

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 post is about my grandmother "Nana" Dorothy (Moreland) Creighton. She was a beloved matriarch who:

  • was born to a father who was a military man with the Royal Garrison Artillery and fought in World War I (WWI)
  • lost her mother when she was only six years old
  • grew up in a foster home in Halifax while her father served in WWI
  • survived the Halifax explosion by having the good fortune of visiting out of town that day with her foster family
  • wrote poetry and had it published in the newspaper as a young girl (12 years old)
  • raised seven children in Tuft's Cove and later on Chester Avenue in Halifax
  • devoted herself to the Anglican church
  • seperated from her husband and moved away from Nova Scotia in the 1950s
  • was a single mother 
  • went back to school at 53 years of age to earn a nursing degree
  • was a prolific "crafter" knitting and crocheting for family and charity
It has been challenging to gather the information on Dorothy's life and there are likely some errors and/or omissions. Please feel free to contact me if you would like to see something added or corrected.
Dorothy Claire Moreland is Born

Dorothy Moreland with her mother Florence Mary (Curd) Moreland

Dorthy Clara Moreland was born the 14th of March 1909 on McNab's Island Nova Scotia. to soldier John Moreland and mother Florence Mary Curd.

McNabs Island is the largest island in Halifax Harbour.

Dorothy's Mother Dies

Dorothy's mother Florence (Curd) Moreland died on February 3, 1915 of tuberculosis at 29 years of age. She had been suffering with the illness for two years. Dorothy was only six years old when she died.

Dorothy's Father Serves Overseas

Dorothy Moreland with her father John "Jock" Moreland 

John Moreland fought in WW1. John re-joined the RCGA with the 8th Siege Battery in 1916 and was sent to France until Dec 1919. Seven year-old Dorothy and her baby sister Florence were sent to live with a foster family in Halifax.

Dorothy Survives the Halifax Explosion

Dorothy's foster family was out of the city visiting when the explosion happened. The house they were living in was destroyed.

Dorothy's Poetry Published

When I conducted an oral history interview with Dorothy in 1988, and I asked her about her childhood, Dorothy was most proud of a piece of poetry she had written that was published in the Halifax newspaper when she was twelve years old. Efforts are being made to locate the poem and I will post it here when I find it.

Dorothy Marries Frederick Creighton

Dorothy Claire Moreland (20 years) married Frederick Doughlas Creighton (22 years) on the 15th of October at Trinity Church in Halifax Nova Scotia.(Trinity Church no longer exists. It was torn down about 5 years ago. It’s now a parking lot.)

Trinity Anglican was  torn down 4-5 years ago,
It is the white church steeple in the lower right. Now it's a parking lot,

Fred, Dorothy and Dawn Creighton

Dorothy Raises Her Family 

Fred and Dorothy's children

Fred , Dorothy, Claire, Jack, Fred Jr
The Creighton family lived in Tuft's Cove and later at 23 Chester Avenue in Halifax. There were seven children: three boys and four girls.

Dorothy Devotes Herself to the Anglican Church

Above is a newspaper article from The Halifax Mail-Star (1953, now the Chronicle Herald) where Dorothy as St. Philips Church of England Choir Director presents a gift to John Whittaker.

Dorothy played a role in St Philip's Church (now the Anglican Church of the Apostles) and when the church celebrated an anniversary in 19**, Dorothy returned to Halifax for the celebration. Dorothy's name appears on a cornerstone there.


Dorothy Creighton, Myron Huston and
Dorothy's youngest daughter

Dorothy in Courtenay-Comox, B.C.


Dorothy Becomes a Registered Nursing Assistant



Dorothy Passes On the 6th of December 2000 

Every year, my father places a wreath on Dorothy's grave 

Glendale Memorial Gardens

Halifax, N.S. Links
Nursing Links
Dorothy's Sister 
Florence May (Moreland) Smith 

Florence's family: Martin - Pearson - Smith 
L to R: Florence (Moreland) Smith, Dawn (Creighton) Moynahan
and Dorothy (Moreland) Creighton

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