The Elusive William Little, 52 Ancestors, week #7

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.”

Special request from my husband that I write about one of his ancestors this week – hmmm… Valentine’s gift?  I selected his g-grandfather, William Little.  I have lots of records which lead to lots of questions!

Here’s what I knew when we started:

(1) My husband’s father (deceased) recalled visiting relatives in Cape Breton, near a place called MacDonald Hill (I haven’t located this place, but suspect it is in Sydney) and he remembered being told that his ancestors were “moonshiners”.

(2) My husband’s mother recalls visiting Nova Scotia in 1960, and meeting relatives, Frank and Florence (Little) Marmo.

(3) My husband knew he was the grandson of David Little, who was born in Cape Breton, married Dorothy White, and lived in Lynn Massachusetts. Since I couldn’t locate David’s Massachusetts marriage record (for reasons explained in a past blog post:, I instead ordered David’s SS-5 (Social Security Application), a form he completed in his own handwriting, in 1936, to uncover his place/date of birth and parents names.

david birth
David Social Security Record

Next, I gathered a number of documents and created the following spreadsheet to help me with William:

William Little life events

Although records report William’s birth year anyplace between 1857 and 1872, he was likely born 22 September 1865, on Scotswood Road or in the village of Scotswood, Newcastle upon Tyne (commonly known as Newcastle, in Tyne and Wear, North East England) historically part of Northumberland, to Robert Little (illegitimate – parents names unknown), a coal miner and Elizabeth Harrison (daughter of Thomas Harrison). The birth (pictured below) which lists a residence of Blaydon, Winlaton in Tyne and Wear is approximately 3.8 miles from Scotswood Road.

Several records list a birthplace of Scotswood, Scotswood Road or Northumberland (one lists siblings born in Scotswood) In two military records, he reports his birth as 22 September, one census lists a September birth month.  He married twice, his father is reported as Robert (marriage #1) and Albert (marriage #2 – a typo?) .

There was a William Little born to a Robert and Elizabeth baptized on 11 Sept 1865 at St. Cuthbert, Stella, Durham, England which could be our William.

William birth


The 1861 census enumerator describes the district as follows which seems to confirm that William’s reported birthplace of Scotswood Road and the christening at St Cuthbert’s/Stella parish occurred in the same vicinity:

“That part of St. Cuthbert’s Ecclesiastical District containing 
Haggerstone’s Mill, Blaydon Forge, Blaydon New Houses, Derwent Haugh, 
High Houses, Cottage Row, Swalwell Sands, Bate Houses, Old Engine, 
Shibdon and Colliery houses, Bounded on the North by Stella Township
Gathead and Hexham Turnpike Road and the Eastern Boundry of St. 
Cuthbert’s Place to Blaydon Staith and Scotswood Road to Bridge End on 
the South and East by Whickham Parish Boundry and on the West by Bywell 
Park wall & St Paul’s Ecclesiastical Boundry To Haggerstones Mill”.


I hope to one day uncover a Y-DNA match which would help confirm this theory.  Although William’s father Robert lists “illegitimate” under “Father’s name & surname” on his marriage certificate – which explains a lack of “Little” Y-DNA matches – perhaps Robert’s mother was a Little.  His father (according to close DNA matches) could be Armstrong, Irwin/Erwin, Moffatt, Bell or something else!


My husband tested 37 markers


If this is our William, then he had 10 known siblings.

william siblings

In 1861 William’s parents Robert and Elizabeth were living on Cuthbert Street, Blaydon, Winlaton, Gateshead, Durham (St Cuthbert’s/Stella parish).  Family members included Robert (34), Elizabeth (26), Eleanor (7), Samuel (5), Daniel (1) and a visitor John Harrison (27 – perhaps Elizabeth’s brother, or other relation, as her maiden name was Harrison?).

1861 census1861 census

Daniel Little birth

Daniel’s birth at Shincliff, Saint Nicolas, County Durham 2 Feb 1860 lists Elizabeth’s maiden name as Harrison. Other birth certificates have not been purchased….although someday, when I am independently wealthy, I hope to purchase more 🙂

By 1871, William’s family was living in Newcastle on Tyne, Green Lane.  Family included Robert, a miner (47), Elizabeth (36), Catherine (13), Daniel (11), David (9), William (5), Thomas (3) and Margaret (2 mons)

william 18711871 census

In 1881, his family was living at 55 Spen Road, Village of Spen, Chopwell, Bladen, Chester-le-St (Parish of St Paul). The family included Robert (55) a coal miner, likely for Garesfield Colliery, Elizabeth (46), Daniel (20), William (15); Thomas (12), Margaret (10), Betsey, (7), Robert (5) and Mary Ann (2).

william 18811881 census

William, who claims to be age 21 (if born Sept 1865 he would have been 19?), first married, on 5 August 1885, Margaret Ann Hogg, age 22, daughter of William Hogg and the widow of Thomas Eltringham. He was a bachelor and coal miner. She had a three year old daughter, Mary Isabella. They were married at Hexham, in the register office.  The couple resided at Prudhoe where William was likely employed by the Prudhoe Colliery. Prudhoe is a medium-sized town in Northumberland on the edge of the Tyne Valley. The town is 10½ miles east of Hexham and about 11 miles west of Newcastle upon Tyne.

marriageMarriage Little/Hogg

On 18 June 1886, their first known child, Robert William Little, arrived.  At that time, they were living in Ryton Woodside, Durham, the town of Margaret’s birth and residence of her widowed mother.  The next child, Florence was born a few years later.

c6a9f7c5-4867-4b4b-9b3c-c08c05365eadRobert William Little birth

By 1891, the family had relocated. William, a coal miner, likely employed by Garesfield Colliery, is living in terraced housing on 60 Spen Road, a four room home in the Village of Spen, Chopwell, Bladen, Chester-le-St (Parish of St Paul). The homes on Spen Road were built by the Marquis of Bute who owned the coal royalty at the time (an interesting study of the village: /).

The standard pattern for the housing was two facing terraces separated by unmade 
roadways,the widest roadway, approximately 15-20 metres, was between the backs 
of the terraces: this gap was to accommodate a line of ash closets down the middle of 
the roadway. A concrete pavement, 1.5 metres wide encircled each terrace. There 
was a surface drain gulley at the edge of the pavement and each house had one internal cold water tap.

At this stage there were no shops, so while milk was available from local farms,
general foodstuffs had to be brought in from either High Spen or Blackhall Mill by horse and cart.”

The homes are no longer in existence, but the view can be seen on Google Maps – address Spen Rd, High Spen, Rowlands Gill, Tyne and Wear.

Spen Road

The household included: William (24), Margaret (24), Robert (4) and Florence (1).  Margaret’s 8 year old daughter, Mary Isabella, was residing with her maternal grandmother Ann Hogg in Durham, Ryton Woodside.

1891 William Little1891 Census

In 1891 his parents were still living nearby at 55 Spen.

family 18911891 Census

On 23 April 1891, baby Selina arrived.  The family was still living in Spen. Their daughter Elizabeth was born in 1894.

Selina birth

By 1901, the family is in a four room home, 9 Croniwell Row,  Hamsterley, Medomsley, Lanchester, Consett, North West Durham (Parish Saint Mary Magdalene).  Formerly known as Hamsterley Colliery due to the large Mining Colliery which was situated to the south of the village along the southern banks of River Derwent. The Colliery was halfway between Hamsterley and High Westwood. One of two villages of this name in County Durham, it should not be confused with the larger village of Hamsterley, 20 miles to the south. In 1902 there were 547 workers at the mine, 437 below ground, 110 above ground (

1901 William Little workLikely Workplace

The family included William (36) a coal miner/hauler, Margaret (39), Mary Eltringham (step daughter, 19), R. William (15), a coal miner/driver, Florence (12),  Selina (11) and Elizabeth (6).

1901 William Little census1901 Census

By 30 August 1904 it seems that the Little’s were again residing in Rowlands Gill, at 32 Lilley Terrace, and William was working at the Garesfield Lilley [Colliery], Winlaton (see minutes from the Meeting of Cottage Homes Committee, below).

Lilley terrace 2009.png32 Lilley Terrace, 2009

THE BEGINNING – Coal Mining in the Garesfield Area.

The first reports of mining in the area were near Chopwell, dating back before the 14th century. A pit was also worked there from 1605 – 1645. These pits would probably have been bell pits, the miners accessing seams near the surface. The first deep pit was the Maria pit near Greymore Hill, started in 1756, and by 1767 there was Whitefield Colliery near Chopwell, producing 31 800 tons per year and one at Barlow Fell producing 13 200 tons.

It was, however, 1765 that saw the beginning of the ‘Garesfield’ pits with the opening of a pit near Ash Tree farm, Low Spen, followed by a one on the land of Garesfield farm at High Thornley. These pits were the property of prominent local land owners and the holders of coal royalties; the Marquis of Bute, High Spen and Miss Simpson of Bradley Hall, Wylam.

When the pit at Garesfield farm closed in 1837, it was replaced by the Bute pit at High Spen and as a reminder of the earlier Garesfield pit, it and its associated works were named ‘Garesfield Colliery’. Then over the years, as the owners opened, or acquired interests in more collieries, each one had ‘Garesfield’ in its original name or was changed to include it; there being Garesfield, South Garesfield, Victoria Garesfield, Axwell Garesfield, Swalwell Garesfield, Lilley Garesfield and Dunston Garesfield. All but the first three eventually lost the ‘Garesfield’ suffix, only the names of Garesfield, South Garesfield and Victoria Garesfield remaining unaltered.

Read more here


William’s migration in England from 1865 to 1905:

William in England

It is unknown if William divorced or was a widower or why he decided to leave the UK, likely he was seeking work in the Canadian, Glace Bay mines.In late December 1905, William and the children set sail on the vessel Dominion from Liverpool to Halifax, Canada as 3rd class passengers.  “Little” passengers include William (41) miner, Robert (20) laborer, Florence (19) domestic, Robert (17) domestic, Fredric (16) domestic, Ernest (16) domestic,  Selina (12) child, and Lizzie (11) child.

Ernest was actually Ernest Pickup and Frederic was Frederick Marsh.  The surname of Robert #2 is unknown.

ship manifestManifest 1906

The arrival manifest, dated 6 Jan 1906, is slightly different.  William is erroneously listed as “Mrs Little” a 41 year old miner (the married/single block is blank).  Frederic is missing.

ship arrivalManifest 1906

Information on Ernest [Pickup] Little:

Records of Newcastle Union Workhouse and Ponteland Cottage Homes were searched:

Information searched forTo find admission and discharge information relating to Ernest Pickup who was in the Newcastle Union Workhouse at the time of the 1901 census
Source description
Ponteland Cottage HomesAdmission and Discharge Register
Source dates
1903 – 1924
Source reference
Information Found

Ernest Pickup, admitted 11 September 1903, born 1891, legitimate, religion Church of England, nearest relation mother Elizabeth in Asylum, discharged 10 March 1904 to a situation with Mr W Bryant, 31 Warkworth Crescent, Newburn

Ernest Pickup, admitted 27 August 1904, born 1891, legitimate, religion Church of England, nearest relation mother Elizabeth in Asylum, discharged to situation with Mr Little, 32 Lilley Terrace, Rowlands Gill


There are no admission and discharge registers for the main Newcastle Union Workhouse, but registers do survive for the Cottage Homes which were established to take in children from the Workhouse.

Information searched forFurther information about Ernest Pickup’s situation with Mr Little of Rowlands Gill
Source description
1 Cottage Homes CommitteeMinute book
2 Passenger lists
Source dates
May 1902 – April 1906
Source reference
Information Found

Meeting of Cottage Homes Committee, 30 August 1904: Ernest Pickup was admitted to Homes on 14 August, having left in March 1904 to live with Mr Bryant of Warkworth Crescent, Newburn.  Mr Bryant’s home did not appear to be a comfortable one as another boy ran away and Ernest left to live with Mrs Turnbull at Lemington.  She wanted the boy to be transferred to her charge so he could work in the pit, but the Committee turned down this application after interviewing her.

Meeting of Cottage Homes Committee, 4 October 1904: The Superintendent reported that Ernest Pickup who was admitted to the Homes in August wanted to return to pit work and suggested that he be sent to Mr Little of Rowlands Gill.  The Committee recommended accordingly.

Meeting of Cottage Homes Committee, 31 October 1905: The Superintendent reported that Mr W Little of Rowlands Gill, with whom three of the Homes’ boys had been living [was the third the unidentified Robert?] and working at the Lilley Colliery, had gone to Canada having obtained a good appointment, and that he wanted the three boys to go too.  Two of the boys, Frederick Marsh and Ernest Pickup, wanted to go and the Committee recommended that they be allowed to go.

2 Departure 28 December 1905 onboard ‘Dominion’ departing from Liverpool bound for Halifax, Canada – entry for William Little accompanied by several others all under the surname Little, including Ernest.

Nine months after arrival, on Saturday 13 Oct 1906, William married his second wife, Margaret H. Hendrick, born in Placentia, St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, daughter of Thomas Hendrick and Ellen Carroll.  He was listed as a widower, occupation miner. She was about 42 and the widow of Gabriel Vincent (her husband died while she was pregnant). She had three known children Madeline (b. 1898), Frank (b. 1902) and Margaret Jean Vincent (b. 1903). The marriage record lists William’s father as “Albert“, I believe this is simply a transcription error and was meant to be “Robert“. The marriage took place in North Sydney, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada. Witnesses were John and Rita Lea.  The marriage was performed by the Reverend Allan P. Shatford.

marriage 2Marriage Little & Hendrick-Vincent

They had a son David Charles, ten months later on 11 Aug 1907 in Glace Bay, Cape Breton.  William is a policeman.

David birth 2David delayed birth record

On 24 Aug 1910 they had another son, Thomas.  Sadly Thomas passed away just before his first month’s birthday on 22 Sept 1910 of Cholera Infantum ( a fatal form of gastroenteritis, characterized by vomiting, profuse watery diarrhea, fever, prostration, and collapse). William was listed as a contractor living on Main Street in Glace Bay, Cape Breton.

Thomas Little bd
Thomas birth & death

Glace Bay

In 1911, the Little’s were enumerated in Glace Bay.  They are recorded as Catholic. William is listed as a home contractor and Ernest a miner.  Only Ernest [Ernest Pickup, his informally adopted son], David and William’s 3 step children are living at home.  They also have a 45 year old boarder David Hinley.

1911 census1911 Census

In May 1913, William and Margaret attempted to enter the US through Halifax to St. Albans, Vermont and listed a contact of Jane Burwell, 91 Cambridge Street, Boston (Margaret’s aunt).  They were debarred – Codes next to them read “Sec 11” (William), “P Defective” (Frank) and “LPC” (all others – meaning “likely to become a public charge”) .

[Email from Lindsay Fulton, Genealogist,  New England Historic Genealogical Society, 15 April 2013: I looked closely at the passenger manifest from 1913, and was able to determine that Frank Vincent was classified as “P Defective,” (or physically defective) and suffered from lameness due to hip-joint disease.  Because of his disability, the entire family was debarred from entering the United States under Section 11 of the Immigration Act of 1907, which not only allowed an immigration official to deny entry to an immigrant who suffered from sickness, mental or physical disability, or infancy, but also, “if such alien is accompanied by another alien whose protection or guardianship is required by such rejected alien, such accompanying alien may also be excluded, and the master, agent, owner, or consignee of the vessel in which such alien and accompanying alien are brought shall be required to return said alien and accompanying alien in the same manner as vessels are required to return other rejected aliens.” Therefore, because Frank Vincent was not allowed entry, the entire Little-Vincent family was debarred. Thank you for submitting your questions to the NEHGS Ask a Genealogist service].

Ernest [Pickup] Little, David Little and Frank and Margaret Vincent were with them. William is listed as a Pipe Fitter – 5’8″, fair complexion, brown eyes and brown hair. Margaret in 5’6″, fair complexion, blue eyes and brown hair.

immegrationernest pg21913 Passenger list

On Ernest’s 1914 military registration William is listed as living in Stellarton, Nova Scotia (likely Stellarton Rd, New Glasgow).   In 1914 there was a patriotic fervor and excitement and, having close family and emotional ties to England, William and Ernest must have decided fairly soon that they must enlist in the 25th Battalion, Halifax, to defend all those values which they held dear and were generally thought to be represented by the empire. Like them, some two-thirds of the men who had volunteered for the first contingent were British immigrants.

25th battalion

William’s 1 Dec 1915 registration gives an address of New Glasgow and a birth date of 1871 (not certain why or if he might give a fraudulent date – perhaps he wanted to serve and was trying to report that he was in his 40’s and not 50’s). He says his occupation is “miner” and he served in the 25th Battalion, Halifax.

19151915 Military Reg, pg 1

description21915 Military Reg, pg 2

William registers again in 9 Feb 1917, this time claiming to be born on the same day (22 Sept) but a year later in 1872 (which would make him age 13 on the date of his first marriage). Or is this a different William??  On this form he lists his occupation as a policeman, he is Catholic; he has a scar on his groin and birth mark on his buttocks. This William has blue eyes and medium complexion (other descriptions specify brown eyes and fair complexion). He says he served 9 months in the First Canadian Saffers.

19171917 Military Reg, pg 1

description1917 Military Reg, pg 2

On  16 Sept 1916 Ernest gave his life in the Battle of the Somme, Courcelette, in World War I.  He is buried at the Courcelette British Cemetery.


In 1918, William and Margaret had another child.  They named him Ernest/Earnest.

In the 1921 census, William is listed as a Police Constable living at Stellarton Rd, New Glasgow. Living with he and Margaret are William’s 3 step-children, David and Ernest (#2) and a boarder James Marshall. It is a single family 6/7 room home made of wood which he owns. He reports his age as 64 (born 1857?). His income is $10,000.

19211921 Census

In David’s delayed birth registration dated 10 July 1929, William is reportedly living at 286 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, New York.  He is not found at this address in the 1930 census, nor is he located in city directories.

UPDATE Sept 2016 – William did register for a social security number in May 1937, and was assigned number  116-03-4563.  Numbers beginning with 116-03, were issued in New York from 1936-1950. He provides an address, occupation, his birth date/place and parent’s names.william-little-ss-5

He died 24 Jul 1937 in the Bronx, New York, and is buried at St. Peter’s Cemetery, Haverstraw, New York.  His occupation was listed as “supt. apt house”.


William’s migration in Canada from 1906 to at least 1921:

William in Canada

Other family members:

Robert William Little‘s whereabouts are unknown after arrival in 1906.

Florence Little married Francis James Marmo (Supervisor of Ferry’s), son of James and Mary on 16 Nov 1909.  In 1921 they resided at 2 Anderson Ave., Sydney – Cemetery Transcripts read: Mrs. Francis Marmo 1888 – 1971, St. Joseph’s, Bras d’Or, George’s River, St. Elizabeth Hospital.  They had at least two children, Mary Elizabeth born 1911 who married Chesley “Chester” Joseph Hines 25 Jan 1930 and Frances who married (1) Jim Beaton, (2) John Bonar.  Chester & Frances’ obituaries name many descendants.

Chester's obit

Frances Marmo

Phyllis Marie Waddell 59, George’s River – It is with deep sorrow we announce the peaceful passing of Phyllis Marie Waddell, age 59, beloved daughter, mother, grandmother and sister on Friday, Jan.16, 2009, at her home in George’s River, surrounded by her loving family. Born in George’s River, Phyllis was the daughter of Frances (Marmo) (Beaton) Bonar of Sydney Mines and the late Peter James Beaton of George’s River. She was an active member of St. Joseph Church in Bras d’Or, and also a member of the choir at St. Anne Church, Alder Point. She was an accomplished painter and artisan and was also active with the legion in Frankfort, Ont., when she lived there. Besides her mother, Phyllis is survived by her daughter Terri McMillan (Terry Ross), Madoc Ont.; granddaughters, Veronica and Paige McMillan-Ross; four sisters, Julia Kavanagh, Toronto, Mary (Floyd) Fraser, George’s River, Theresa (Kevin) Carroll, Sydney Mines, Sylvia (George) Summers, George’s River; sisters-in-law, Maureen Brown, Campbellford Ont., Lynne Early, Port Elgin Ont. She was predeceased by her husband, Ron Waddell, two brothers, Francis and Lloyd Beaton, brothers-in-law, Clarence Kavanagh, Tom Early and father and mother-in-law, Maurice “Bob” and Monica Waddell. There will be no visitation by request. Funeral mass for Phyllis will be held at 10:30 a.m., Monday, Jan. 19, 2009, at St. Anne Church, Alder Point, with Rev. Peter MacLeod officiating. Funeral arrangements under the direction of W.J. Dooley Funeral Home, 107 Pleasant St., North Sydney. Online condolences may be sent to

george summers

Selina “Lena” Little on 14 Nov 1909 married George William Long, son of George and Elizabeth (Jobes) Long.  They had at least three children: Elizabeth Ann (1911), Margaret (1913), George William (1914). She died before 1921. Her husband remarried a woman name Jane with whom he had a son Emerson (1921). In 1921, her children were all living in Little Bras d’Or, Cape Breton. Elizabeth Ann married William Henry Tobin 3 March 1930 and in 1958 was living on Butts Street, Sydney Mines.  Margaret married Edward Francis Dawe, 1 Feb 1932,  in Little Bras d’Or. George married Pearl Reid, 25 April 1935, in Little Bras d’Or.

UPDATE – A “cousin”, Mark Halliday, reading this post in August of 2015 writes:

Pearl Reid had 8 children; Anna, Robert, David and Fern(my mom). The other four children died of hypothermia as they lived in the shacks of the mining company. Because of this they moved to Catharines Ontario.
I actually have George William Long Senior’s passport.
He was born in Glace Bay on January, 2nd, 1892. Passport number 925311.
He has grey eyes and red hair, looks grey in the pic.
My sister just had a baby girl and named her Pearl.
Pearl and George’s(my grandparents) children who passed away were named Pearl, Robert, Shirley and Miriah.
There is an old family joke about when the Little family married the Long family,
‘She went into the church Little, and came out Long’. My granddad told us that lots when we were kids:)
Anna had four children; Heather, Robert, Wendy and David.
Robert had Tammy who passed at age 7 from a brain tumor, Robert and Sherry.
David had Lisa and Stacey, years later he had Cory.
Fern had Chris, Mark(me) and Mandy.
My father is a Halliday. His mother was a McNeil. Eleven children in that family.

Ernest Little #1 was part of the 25th Battalion. He gave his life 16 Sept 1916 in the Battle of the Somme, Courcelette, in World War I.  He was 24 years old and described as “5’7″, fresh complexion, grey eyes, brown hair”.  His father is listed as William Little and his mother as Mrs James Pickup of Newcastle-on-Tyne.

Formal adoption did not exist in England and Wales until 1927. Before then, adoptions were usually informal. In a few cases there was some legal documentation, but no central register.

No reference was found in the Cottage Homes Committee minutes for a request from William Little to adopt Ernest Pickup, so it may well be that he adopted him informally.  Assuming the passenger list entry refers to Ernest Pickup, it would appear that he started life in Canada as Ernest Little but seemed to have ties back to his mother in England.



25th battalion ernest

Only one Ernest Pickup was located in BMD indexes.  His birth date is given as 22 January 1891 which differs from that on the military record (21 July 1892). His mother’s name also differs. Parents on this birth record were James and Mary (Harrington) Pickup or 10 Terrace Place, Newcastle.  The archives has been contacted (September 2016) to further research:

 Research order: search the records of St Nicholas Hospital, Gosforth (Newcastle City Asylum) for an entry for Elizabeth Pickup to try to verify that she was Ernest’s mother.  


UPDATE 2016: It appears that Ernest’s sister was actually Elizabeth Pickup (brother was Fenwick), it appears paperwork erroneously listed Elizabeth as his mother: Paperwork here

Elizabeth “Betty/Lizzie” Little may have married James William Doward on 31 Oct 1911 in Glace Bay (the marriage record lists William and Margaret, an accurate birth year in England, however she is listed as Presbeterian when the family seemed to be Roman Catholic – given the commonality of names this might be another Elizabeth Little – I have not yet viewed her death record, which may help to determine if she was our Elizabeth). This particular Elizabeth relocated to Lynn, Massachusetts and had six children:  Ethel Beatrice (1912), John Robert (1914), Elizabeth Ann (1915), George Howard (1918), Margaret (1920) and Lena Olive (1922).  The family relocated to Lynn, Massachusetts about 1924. Young Elizabeth died in 1928.  They were enumerated in Lynn in 1930.  In 1940, George and Lena still reside at home with their parents on 302 Summer Street, Lynn. Lizzie died 8 Sept 1958 and is buried in Pine Grove Cemetery Plot: Plot-K,Lot-91,Grave-1. Ethel married an O’Brien, she died in 1994. John Robert married Louise Ann Savary, they had at least 4 children, he died 8 Nov 1961.  George Howard married Rita LeMay, he died 6 Oct 1965. Margaret died 1 March 2001.  Lena Olive died about 1994.

David Little married Dorothy Elizabeth White/LeBlanc (my husband’s grandparents) daughter of Herbert Joseph LeBlanc/White and Anna Marie Brown, in Lynn Massachusetts.  They had 6 children – Donald, Robert “Bob”, David, Dorothy, Herbert John and Anna “Chick”.

Ernest Little (#2) is possibly at a tuberculousis camp in Rockaway Beach Hospital, Queens, New York in 1930.


He died in New York City, Richmond, New York on 10 Jun 1935 at age 18.

ernest #2 death.jpg

Step-daughter from his first marriage Mary Isabella Eltringham stayed in England and married John Codling Cook.  They had three children – Margaret Ann, Barbara Mary. and John Siddle Coding.

Mary Isabella Cook & grandson Barry 1943

Step-daughter Madeline Vincent crosses the border to Vermont in June 1923. She gives her final destination as 34 North Street, Middletown, NY and a contact name of Margaret Vincent.  She is 5’4″, of medium complexion with dark hair and gray eyes. Her whereabouts are unknown after this date.

Step-son Frank Vincent’s whereabouts are unknown after 1921.  There is a Brooklyn, New York naturalization for a man of the same name which may be our Frank.  Further research is needed.


Step Daughter Margaret Jean Vincent arrived in Vanceboro, Maine, 21 May 1920 and again in March 1921.  She gives a contact as her aunt, Mrs. Henry Burgles/Burghes (?), 59/591 Main Street, Waltham, Massachusetts.  She returned to Canada in time to be enumerated in the 1921 census. She became a US citizen on 27 Nov 1926. She married Harold Bedford (a US Navy WWII Plot).  They resided in Honeoye, New York and had no known children. Margaret was a American Legion Auxiliary Member who volunteered at the hospital.  She enjoyed Bridge.  She died at age 97 on  29 May 2001 in Lake Panasoffkee, Florida.

Frederick and Robert  who traveled with the family to Canada whereabouts are unknown after arrival in 1906.

Research Questions:

(1) William Little gives birth dates between 1857 and 1872 – why?  Are all the records the correct William?

(2) What happened to William’s first wife Margaret?

(3) Who was Robert #2 that came to Canada with the family?  What happened to him, Frederick and Robert #1 after arrival?

(4) Who is Margaret Vincent’s aunt, Mrs. Henry Burgles/Burghs, 59/591 Main St., Waltham, Massachusetts? Is she also aunt Jane Burwell, Boston, Massachusetts?

(5) How did Thomas Eltringham die? How did Gabriel Vincent die?

(6) How do I find Nova Scotia land deeds on the home William owned on Stellarton Rd, New Glasgow in 1921?

(7) Who are the various boarders listed with the family in the censuses and the witnesses at their wedding?

(8) Are there any living descendants of William who may have records/photos?

(9) What happened to Margaret after 10 July 1929? Where is she buried?




6 responses to this post.

  1. […] – “William Little” by Linda on Passage to the Past’s […]



  2. Posted by Mark Halliday on August 9, 2015 at 11:50 PM

    I can’t believe I found this.
    I am George William Long’s great grandson; grandson of George William rj and Pearl Reid.
    Emerson was my grandads step brother.
    When great grandads first wife died, he remarried and my grandfather was pushed out of the family home around the age of four.
    Elizabeth was nicknamed ‘Ben’ but my grandad never spoke to the siblings because they were his step siblings and he resented them because Lena, the second wife kicked him out, or he left from neglect.
    Pearl Reid had 8 children; Anna, Robert, David and Fern(my mom). The other four children died of hypothermia as they lived in the shacks of the mining company. Because of this they moved to at Catharines Ontario.
    I actually have George William Long’s passport.
    He was born in Glace Bay on January, 2nd, 1892. Passport number 925311.
    He has grey eyes and red hair, looks grey in the pic.
    My sister just had a baby girl and named her Pearl.
    Pearl and George’s(my grandparents) children who passed away were named Pearl, Robert, Shirley and Miriah.
    There is an old family joke about when the Little family married the Long family,
    ‘She went into the church Little, and came out Long’. My grandad told us that lots when we were kids:)
    Anna had four children; heather, Robert, Wendy and David.
    Robert had Tammy who passed at 7yrs from a brain tumour, Robert and Sherry.
    David had Lisa and Stacey, years later he had Cory.
    Fern had Chris, Mark(me) and Mandy.
    My father is a Halliday. His mother was a McNeil. Eleven children in that family.
    Thanks so much for all of this info.
    I googled ‘George William Long, Glace Bay’ and it took me here and even tho in the beginning things were not familiar to me, I just had to read on; when I saw George Married Pearl Reid I almost choked, I was so happy to have read all of this. I will be showing my mom tomorrow and she will be shocked too:)
    Thank you so much again:)
    Feel free to email me at
    Or Facebook friend request me at Porc Halliday, it says I live in Marki, Poland but that’s just a joke:)



  3. Posted by Mark Halliday on August 12, 2015 at 12:49 PM

    More on George and Pearl Long’s branch of the family, from children to grandchildren to greats:
    Anna’s(who married Ron Hart) grandchildren are:
    From Daughter Heather Heath(married Bob Heath), grandson Charles.
    From son Ronny Hart(married Rose), Abbey and Scotty.
    From Daughter Wendy Burns( married Howard Burns), Michael and Katie.
    Robert had no children.
    All living in Woodstock, Ontario.

    David Long(married twice to Linda (?) and Adele Pagota)had three children as mentioned and six grandchildren:
    Lisa Gillis(married Paul Gillis) had Eddie, Alysha and Michael; all living in St. Catharines. Mother To Lisa, Linda.
    Stacey Gillis(married Joseph, cousin to Paul of Lisa Gillis) has Anna and Joey.
    Living in Hamilton Ontario. Mother to Stacey, Linda.
    Cory Long has one son, Wesley. Cory is David’s only son with Adele.

    From Robert Long:
    Son Robert has two daughters, Mackenzie and Dakota.
    Sherry Keeley(married Todd Keeley) have Jade, Jonathan, Sean and adopted children Christine who mothered Chase and adopted daughter Isabella. All living in Mississauga, Ontario.
    Sadly Robert Sr had a daughter, Tammy who passed at 7yrs and Robert rj passed at 39.

    Fern Halliday(married John Wm Halliday):
    Mandy Barkwell(married Randy Barkwell) have a daughter and son; named Pearl after great grandmother ‘Pearl (Reid) Long’ and William, named after his grandfather ‘John Wm Halliday’.
    Chris and Mark Halliday have not married or have any children as of 2015.

    David and Robert Long have since passed of Cancer and Anna is a three time Cancer surviver.

    Four child deaths of George and Pearl Long:
    Shirley, Pearl, Robert and Meriah, all passed of hypothermia due to impoverished living in Sydney Mines, Cape Breton, NS which prompted their move to St. Catharines, Ontario.
    I hope this helps and is of enough detail.
    Mark Halliday.
    Is there a place I can post passport pics of George Long Sr’s??



  4. Hello – very interesting, came across this as reference is made to the Victoria Garesfield website I created. Am not sure the photo displayed as Lilley Terrace is actually correct – plus I have some old photos/plans of the Lilley drift colliery in Rowlands Gill – let me know if of interest.



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