The Mystery of Robert Erwin Clifford (continued)

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:


Research Team
Direction du Centre d’archives de Montréal et des archives privées, judiciaires et civiles
535, avenue Viger Est
Montréal (Québec) H2L 2P3

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.


About cthomas1967

Seeking to bring my ancestors out of the shadows of history and into the light. I have always been interested in history, and at a few different times I tried to do a family tree, but wasn't able to do it with the technology that was available then. On a business trip I visited the World War I Museum in Kansas City, MO and it was a very impressive establishment. While I was there I remember thinking, "Didn't my great-grandfather father fight in World War I? And wasn't his brother killed alongside him in some famous battle? I wonder if I can find out where he died." That's what started it all. View all posts by cthomas1967

2 responses to “The Mystery of Robert Erwin Clifford (continued)

  • Mark Pimlott

    Hi Folks,

    Just picked up the first pieces of the genealogical threads posted here a few minutes ago and perhaps I can contribute a bit if you’d like to get in touch.

    My maternal grandfather was Harry Gordon Clifford and grandmother was Margaret (Maggie Marshall) Clifford. My mother Dorothy was born in Saint Jean sur Richileu in 1919.

    I never met (great) Aunt Francis but knew (great) Aunt Inez for a few years prior to her death in the late ’50s. I was born in the early 50s.

    My mother passed away in 1995 and had spoken of the Marshall and Dingman side of the family and even her family’s roots in Vermont. However I thought that their (Robert’s) immigration to Quebec was a century or so earlier as so-called ‘United Empire Loyalists’ around the time of the Revolutionary War. Perhaps it was the Marshalls or Dingmans who also had their roots in the New England states some years before as did many in the predominately English speaking ‘Eastern Townships’ of Quebec in that era.

    A very brief bio of my father can be found in the Canadian Encyclopaedia ( I think). He was Douglas Humphreys Pimlott.

    Cheers from north of the Arctic Circle in the Nunavut territory of Canada.

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