Emigration Stories 2

Timperley to Saskatchewan

This is the story of three sisters from the Poll Bank Clan who emigrated from Timperley to a remote rural area in Saskatchewan. It is based on information sent to me by Dorothy Dobson, the granddaughter of Isabella, one of the sisters.

The first of the sisters to leave was Isabella, the third child of John Warburton, a market gardener in Timperley, and his wife Eleanor nee Sharpe.

Isabella’s birth was registered in 1877 with mother’s maiden name Sharpe. She was baptised, along with her younger brother James, at Christ Church, Timperley, then in the parish of Bowdon, on December 8th 1878.

She emigrated in 1904, travelling as a servant, and arriving in Quebec on April 21st. She then travelled via Montreal (where she appeared on an Incoming Passenger List) to Moosomin, Saskatchewan, arriving at the train station on May 4th 1904.

Moosomin, which takes its name from a native American Chief, was founded just 22 years before Isabella’s arrival, when the Canadian Pacific Railway was built. In the 2021 census it had a populations of 2,657. It lies 20 kilometres west of the Saskatchewan-Manitoba boarder.

The probable reason for Isabella’s emigration was that her mother had died in 1896, and in 1899 her father remarried. His new wife was Sarah Ann Abram who was about 18 months older than Isabella, and already had a daughter, Amy by Isabella’s uncle William, her father’s younger brother. By the time Isabella left she also had 2 young half brothers.

She married Charles Joseph Minty on 12 July 1904, at Rocanville, an even smaller community 28 kilometers north of Moosomin. In 2021 the population was 889. At the time of the marriage Rocanville was situated in Assinaboia, North West Territories.

The marriage was just 2 months and 8 days after Isabella’s arrival at Moosomin station. Her first cousin was mad at her for getting married so fast, and to a man whose house only had a dirt floor. However the choice was probably limited in such a small community, and life insecure for a single woman. Charles and Isabella had 2 sons and 3 daughters, all born in Rocanville.

Isabella died in 1920, of a cancerous tumour in her stomach, supposed to be the size of a football.   She knew her tummy was getting bigger but just thought she was pregnant again. When she finally found out the truth it was way too late. She died in Brandon, Manitoba, aged 43. Brandon is the second largest city in Manitoba and Isabella was being looked after by her brother-in-law, Dr. Herb Minty, a chiropractor. She was buried in Rocanvile.

In 1910 Isabella’s two sisters, Martha Ellen (Mattie) Bell, and Ethel Maud (Ettie) Warburton  travelled to join her. They were John and Eleanor’s fifth and sixth children, of eight. They departed Liverpool on July 16th, together with Mattie’s son William, on the White Star ship Dominion, bound for Montreal. They arrived in Quebec on July 25th, where Ethel was recorded as travelling to her sister in Rocanville.

Mattie was born in 1881, and had married William Henry Bell in 1907. However William died the following year, aged 26, and leaving Mattie with a young son. On 31st December 1912 she married Charles John Joop in the mall village of Welwyn (2021 population 133) which is southeast of Rocanville. They had 2 sons. Charles died in 1928, but Mattie lived until 1968, when she was almost 87 years old. Both Mattie and Charles died in the Moosomin Union Hospital, but while Charles was buried in Moosomin, Mattie was buried in Rocanville.

Ethel was born in 1883. Her middle name Maud does not appear on her birth registration, and no baptism has been found, so it is uncertain when `maud was adopted as her middle name. On January 1st 1911 she married William James Christie, also at Welwyn, at the home of John Swanton. They had a son and daughter, and both had long lives. William died in 1970 aged 82, and Ettie died in 1974, aged 91. Both died in the Moosomin Union Hospital, and both are buried in the Sunset Memorial Gardens at Moosomin.

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