Read the first part here: The Mystery of Robert Erwin Clifford
It was a seemingly innocuous and almost apologetic note I received today written in French by the “Research Team” for the Center for Archives in Montréal. It said (translated):
Hello Mr. Thomas,
We have only found the “act de décès” (the burial record) of 23 February 1891, South Stuckley Methodist Church. Nothing else in our database, files or microfilms. There is, to this day, a large railway routing station in Farnham. You can ask for help from a genealogical society for more in-depth research:
Attached to this note was the following record. Again… seemingly innocuous:
The important part is the witness. Jennie A. Clifford. I knew two of Robert’s sisters traveled from Vermont to attend his funeral, but he had no sister named Jennie. She was, in fact, his wife!
I was subsequently able to find her in several census records. Jennie Adeline Dingman, born 24 May, 1865, Daughter of Alvin and Harriet Dingman, sister to Hubert Dingman, James Dingman and Frank Dingman. Listed as a “widow” in the 1901 census of Eastman, Canada.
Just as exciting, Robert and Jennie had had three children prior to his death, and I was able to find baptism records for all three of them!:
Jennie Francis “Francis” Clifford (b 28 Jul 1887)
Harry Gordon Clifford (b 26 Nov 1888)
Inez Winifred Clifford (b 17 Oct 1890)
Harry became an engineer, and I was able to find him in the 1921 Census living with his sister Francis in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Québec, Canada, which is just outside Montréal. He is married to Margaret Estella “Maggie” Marshall, and has two children, Robert Marshall Clifford (b 4 Sept 1915) and Dorothy Evelyn Clifford (b 7 Feb 1919). So far I’ve not found any further records on Harry or his family.’
I’m very hopeful that there are some living descendants out there somewhere, probably in Canada.