Armstrong Family fonds. — [1900-2014]. — 10.5 cm of textual records. — 30 photographs.
Susan Maria Whitman was born January 1, 1861 in Guelph, Ontario to parents John Whitman and Matilda Burkholder. At the age of 16 she married Thomas Blair Armstrong the son of Irish immigrant parents William Armstrong and Elizabeth Blair. Thomas was born May 14, 1851 in Mono, Ontario and he and Susan married April 28, 1877 in Wiarton, Bruce Co. Ontario. Thomas and Susan settled in Albemarle which was fairly remote and this is where their ten children were born. The children: Frederick John (b.1877); Victoria Matilda (b.1879); Rueben Matthew (b.1881); Mary Louise (b.1883); Thomas Ashford (b.1885); Samuel Leo (b.1889); Gertrude Ruth (b.1891); David Edward (b.1896); Dessie Lavina (b.1898) and Ila Irene (b.1901) were all born in Ontario. The family’s main source of income was farming and much time was spent clearing the land of the numerous trees in North Ontario.
Thomas Armstrong became ill and passed away April 12, 1914 at the family home located on Lot 21 Con. 1 and he is buried in Red Bay, Bruce Co., Ontario. The following year Susan with some of her children decided to head west. Brothers Ed and Leo were sent ahead to file on homesteads and, Sec 35-T72-R11 W6 was chosen for their mother. The boys returned to Ontario and in 1916 Ed, Leo, their mother Susan, sisters Ila and Dessie loaded their supplies and traveled to the end of the rail. They then journeyed on to reach their homestead near Hythe, Alberta.
Thomas Ashford Armstrong had been living in Arcola, Saskatchewan, where he farmed with Whitman relatives. It was here that he met and married Frances Murray and in 1917 they too moved to Hythe.
David Edward “Ed” was drafted in March of 1918, to serve in the war but was discharged a few months later as the war had ended.
Dessie married Aubrey Hawkesworth at the Armstrong place on January 1, 1919 and they lived on his homestead by Hythe.
In 1920, Leo Armstrong was “rushed” by horse and wagon to Lake Saskatoon to see a Doctor, the family story is that Leo’s hair had turned whilte due to the pain he was in. Leo’s appendix had burst and he didn’t survive, he is buried in Mountainside Cemetery. Thomas, his brother took over his homestead on Sec 2 T73 R 11 W6. This is about the time that Susan and son Ed purchased the boarding house in Hythe, called the Halfway House from owner Maurice Shapiro. Ed was married to Evelyn Everton on Nov.16, 1922 and they moved out to their farm.
In 1927 Ila and her mother left Hythe for Edmonton, here Susan continued to run a boarding house. Ila married James M. Murray and settled in Three Hills, working at the Prairie Bible Institute. When Ila’s mother was unable to continue with her boarding house she joined Ila and James there. Susan died in 1946 and is buried in the Three Hills Cemetery.
Thomas and Susan’s other children ended up in various places in Canada. Frederick John Armstrong married Henrietta Cooney of the famous Cooney family of Tranquille, B.C. They lived in Kamloops, B.C. and after Henrietta passed away Fred married Audrey Hunter Carrall. Victoria Matilda Armstrong married John Crawford Hodgson who passed away in 1919 and she later married Robert Clyde Settle and they lived in Victoria, B.C. Rueben Matthew Armstrong moved to Arcola, Saskatchewan and it is unknown what happened to him. Mary Louise Armstrong married John Nelson Armstrong and lived in Barrie, Simcoe Co., Ontario. Gertrude Ruth Armstrong married Charles Clayton and stayed in Ontario.
The records came into the Archives in two accessions from two different branches of the Armstrong family. Clayton Greber brought in a collection of photographs that he had received from a relative Allyson Ropchan who is a granddaughter of Dessie Armstrong.
Grace Wideman brought in a collection of photographs that had been passed down through her family, her branch of the family is through her grandfather David Edward “Ed” Armstrong. Grace also brought in two scrapbooks that she has made about the Armstrong family and descendants.
Scope and Content
The fonds consists of records relating to the Armstrong family. The records are organized into three series, personal papers, photographs and scrapbooks.
Table of Contents
|Series 632.01||Personal Papers|
|Series 632.01||Personal Papers. — [1914-2012]. — 29 photographs.
The series consists of newspaper clippings and photographs of the Armstrong family. The clippings consist of a death record for Thomas B. Armstrong (1914), obituary of Samuel Armstrong (1920), newspaper notice of D.E. Armstrong taking over the Hythe Half-Way House (1922), Leo Armstrong’s notice of estate claims (1922), 2 copies of Henderson’s Directory for Edmonton with the entry for Susan Armstrong (1928, 1929), registration of death and obituary for Henrietta (Cooney) Armstrong (1945), registration of death for Susan Marie Armstrong (1946), notice of the death of Thomas A. Armstrong (1947), obituary of Honor Bennett (1953), death registration and obituary for Frederick John Armstrong (1954), obituary of David “Ed” Armstrong (1960), obituary of Harriet Armstrong (1976), obituary of Elmer Nelless Bennett (1987), obituary of Merv Staggs (2012).
|Series 632.02||Photographs. — [ca.1900-1979]. — 30 photographs.
The series consists of photographs of the Armstrong family and friends.
|Series 632.03||Scrapbooks. — [1917-2014]. — 10 cm of textual records.
The series consists of 2 scrapbooks created by Grace Wideman that relate to the Armstrong family. Items in the scrapbook include memorial cards, photographs, news clippings, birth and death registrations and various other items. The scrapbooks were photocopied in their entirety.