10 March 2020

Jeanette Arthurs RIP

With sorrow, I record the passing of BIFHSGO member Jeanette Arthurs.

Until recent years Jeanette was an active member of the Society. She was profiled by Saxon Harding as a volunteer in the Winter 2004 issue of Anglo Celtic Roots.

Jeanette Arthurs credits her husband Bill with getting her started in genealogy but she claims sole responsibility for the decision to respond to a request to handle BIFHSGO's mail. The Mail Ma’m has been collecting, opening, sorting and processing it faithfully since 1995, when she joined the Society.

What makes it easy, she says, is the pleasure she gets from calling up members with good news—that and the interesting stamps she finds on the envelopes.

Jeanette recounts how a visit to her birthplace in Dunnville, near Lake Erie, for a wedding was the starting point for research into her ancestors. The discovery of the grave of her grandmother, Martha Jane Darragh, in a local cemetery was thrilling but, as BIFHSGO members know only too well, just a
deceptively easy beginning. She now knows that the Darraghs came from Ireland about 1803. Another
ancestor on her mother’s side was a Palatine who came to America in 1709. His descendants subsequently moved north to Canada, as part as part of the Loyalist migration. Her father's family, Riggs and Deardens, came from Haslington in Lancashire. The growth of her genealogical knowledge has allowed her to share her information with an extended family she would otherwise never have known. 

Jeanette was educated in Toronto and taught English and History in Cardinal and Kenora before teaching for Department of National Defence Schools overseas and, subsequently, meeting Bill at an Air Force Base in France. The Arthurs moved to Ottawa in 1969. 

In 2010 Jeanette stimulated a BIFHSGO research project by producing an old indenture she had saved in the 1970s from being junked. It was a mystery how and why the document had found it's way to a church basement in Iberville, Quebec. Although the mystery was not solved BIFHGO members were able to return it to a local archive in Cheshire, England, and found a connection to a World War Two child evacuee to Canada at the time living in Ontario.

Condolences to Bill and family.

1 comment:

Lesley Anderson said...

So sorry to hear this news and my heartfelt condolences go out to Bill and their family. She was such a gracious lady - She will be missed. Lesley