Ancestor Sketch – Andrew James Halcro

Halcro Line

This is my first foray into researching a Canadian Ancestors. Although I’ve been very successful finding individuals in the US Census Records, I’ve not been as good at finding individuals in the Canadian Census Records. I clearly need to increase my skills researching Canadian Ancestors.

Halcro-Varone Project – Ancestor #4

List of Grandparents

  • Grandfather: Andrew James Halcro
  • 1st Great-grandfather: William Francis Halcro

Andrew James Halcro (1876-1925)


Andrew James Halcro1 was born on 31 Jul 1876 in Quebec, Canada as the third child of William Francis Halcro4 and Harriet Park3. He had three siblings, two older sisters, May5 and Harriet, and a younger brother George. It also appears that he had three younger half-siblings, Willie, Bessie, and Alice. I have more research to confirm these relationships. Andrew died on 15 Jul 19256 in Hudson Heights, Vaudreuil-Soulanges, Quebec, Canada. Hudson Heights is an off-island suburb of Montreal.

Mother’s Death – Between 1879 and 1881.

Andrew’s younger brother, George, was born circa 1879. Andrew’s father, Frank (William Francis), was a widower during the 1881 Census, so it appears that Andrew’s mother, Harriet (Park) Halcro, died between 1879 and 1881.

1881 Census

The 1881 Canadian Census found four-year-old Andrew living in Vaudreuil, Quebec, Canada with his father, a widower, and three siblings, Mary, Louisa, and George.  There are other Halcro families on the same page of the Census form.  Immediately before Andrew’s father are Elizabeth (a widow), Ada, and Kate Halcro (ages 68, 25, and 22). Also, on the same page are John H. Halcro and his apparent wife, Sophie and apparent son Isaac (ages 25, 23, and 5/12). Certainly, these households are likely related, but will take further research to determine the relationships to Andrew.

1891 Census

The 1891 Canadian Census finds 14-year-old Andrew living with his father, W. F. Halcro, his stepmother, Annie, his three full siblings, May, Hattie, and George, and his three step-siblings Willie, Bessie, and Alice. The family is living in Como Village, which was incorporated into the town of Hudson in 1969.

1901 & 1911 Censuses

I have been unable to find Andrew James Halcro in the 1901 or 1911 Census records. Actually, I’ve not been successful finding any Halcros in Quebec during either census. As such, I will try researching the 1891 neighbors, looking for grossly misspelled Halcro individuals.


Beginning in 1909, Andrew J. Halcro shows up in the logbooks of a notary having various real estate transactions. It appears that he bought and sold several properties. The notary records do not provide information regarding the properties; however, they do provide information to search for deeds. Doing property searches would be part of another follow-up action.


I have not been successful in finding a marriage record for Andrew and Ralla, but Lawrence’s birth suggests that Andrew and Ralla married in 1916.[i]

Children of Andrew and Ralla Halcro

Child Birthdate Birthplace
Lawrence Andrew 20 Aug 1917 Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Robert J. c. 1919 Canada
Horace J. 3 Dec 1920 Montreal, Canada
Russell D. 15 Dec 1921 Canada
Mary Rella (or Rella I.) 28 Dec 1925[ii] Canada

1921 Census

Andrew’s entry in the 1921 Census is one of the most frustrating entries I’ve ever encountered. What would have been a nice simple entry of Andrew, was overwritten with lots of incorrect data.

Name Original Entry Updated entries (wrong)
Andrew 45 year-old Head 55 year-old Head
Ralla 28 year-old Wife 28 year-old Son
Lawrence 3 year-old Son 23 year-old Daughter-in-law
Robert 2 year-old Son 2 year-old Son
Horace 1 year-old Son 1 year-old Son
19 Ballantyne, Montreal West today. (Image thanks to Google Maps.)

However, the good news is the 1921 Census clearly indicates that Andrew and his family lived at 19 Ballantyne, Montreal West. That house exists today.

He was working on his own account in Real Estate and indicated that his “Racial or Tribal Origan” was Scotch. He was Presbyterian, but his wife and children were Roman Catholic.


Andrew died on 15 July 1925 in Hudson Heights (Now Hudson), Vaudreuil-Soulanges, Quebec, Canada.  He was buried in Saint James Anglican Church Cemetery, Hudson Heights. I was unable to find a memorial for Andrew James Halcro at Find-a-Grave, so I added a memorial for him and requested a photo.

Further Actions / Follow-up

  • Continue research using American Ancestors, My Heritage, Canadian Library & Archives, and Newspaper resources.
  • Research Elizabeth (a widow), Ada, and Kate Halcro (ages 68, 25, and 22) from the 1881 Census & determine if there is a relationship to Andrew.
  • Research John H. Halcro and his apparent wife, Sophie, and apparent son Isaac (ages 25, 23, and 5/12) from the 1881 Census and determine if there is a relationship to Andrew.
  • Do a Neighbor search for 1891 neighbors of Andrew in the 1901 Census.
  • Do a Neighbor search for 1901 neighbors of Andrew in the 1911 Census. In 1911, Andrew is known to live in the Montreal area and worked as real estate agent.
  • Research the marriage of Andrew and Ralla.
  • Confirm the birth date and place for all of Andrew’s children.
  • Follow-up with Find-a-Grave for Andrew James Halcro.
  • Research property records for Andrew James Halcro from 1909 through 1917.

————–  Disclaimer  ————–


Canada Census, 1881

Canada Census, 1881, Library & Archives of Canada, Frank A Halcro – Vaudreuil, Vaudreuil, Quebec. Item Number: 5775195. Accessed 28 Aug 2020.

Canada Census, 1891

Canada Census, 1891, Library & Archives of Canada, W. F. Halcro. Accessed 28 Aug 2020.

Canada Census, 1921

Canada Census, 1921, Library & Archives of Canada, Andrew Halcro – Wife, Rala, & three children. Montreal West, Family 101, Page 10.

Portland Press Herald, Portland, Maine (online archive)

Obit – Lawrence A. Halcro, 81. Portland Press Herald (Maine) 14 October 1998, obit for LAWRENCE A. HALCRO WORKED IN CONSTRUCTION,  Accessed 27 August 2020).

Quebec, Canada, Notarial Records, 1637-1935

Quebec, Canada, Notarial Records, 1637-1935 (Montréal, Quebec, Canada, ),, Andrew J Halcro – 1909-01-26 – Sale . Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec; Montréal, Quebec, Canada; Collection: Fonds Cour Supérieure. District judiciaire de Montréal. Cote CN601. Gre.

Quebec, Canada, Notarial Records, 1637-1935 (Montréal, Quebec, Canada, ),, Andrew J Halcro – 1911-01-24 – Obligation . Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec; Montréal, Quebec, Canada; Collection: Fonds Cour Supérieure. District judiciaire de Montréal. Cote CN601. Gre.

Quebec, Canada, Notarial Records, 1637-1935 (Montréal, Quebec, Canada, ),, Andrew J Halcro – 1911-03-28 – Acquittance. Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec; Montréal, Quebec, Canada; Collection: Fonds Cour Supérieure. District judiciaire de Montréal. Cote CN601. Gre.

Quebec, Canada, Notarial Records, 1637-1935 (Montréal, Quebec, Canada, ),, Andrew J Halcro – 1913-04-22 – Discharge . Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec; Montréal, Quebec, Canada; Collection: Fonds Cour Supérieure. District judiciaire de Montréal. Cote CN601. Greffes de notaires, 1648-1967.; District: Montréal; Title: Legault, Alphonse-Alexandre (1890-1916) – Accessed 28 Aug 2020. .


[i] Lawrence was born on 20 August 1917. Presuming that Frank and Harriet were married before Lawrence was conceived, Frank and Harriet were probably married before November 1916.

[ii] This date suggests that Mary Rella Halcro (possibly Rella I Halcro) was born about five months after Andrew’s death.

The Canadian Library & Archives

Tuesday Tips

I had the opportunity to do some genealogical research for a friend who knew virtually nothing about her grandfather, Andrew Halcro.  He died in 1925 at the age of 48 and was not talked about much by the family.  What made him of interest to me is that he was born, lived his entire life, and died in Quebec, Canada. I have very little experience with Canadian ancestors and thought researching him would be a great exercise for me to learn more about Canadian research.

First – Family Search

My first step in learning about an ancestor is to try to find the individual in Family Search. I quickly found my subject as ID: LYBX-5WS. Next, I go to Sources for the individual. In this case, I learned that someone had associated three sources with events in my subject’s life.

    1. 1881 Canada Census showing Andrew in the household of his father, Frank.
    2. 1891 Canada Census showing Andrew in 1891 Census but no image of the record.
    3. A 1998 obituary of one of Andrew’s sons indicating that Andrew was the son’s father.

Going from the most recent record back, I reviewed the 1998 obituary and then incorporated it into my research. The 1891 Canada Census was something of a conundrum. Why was there no image at FamilySearch?

Library & Archives of Canada

I was pretty sure I’d find it at Ancestry.Com, but that requires a World Explorer License. So, I did a Google search for: 1891 Canada Census.  I immediately saw an entry for the Library and Archives of Canada. I did a search for Andrew there and immediately found him. His entry was the only result.  There were links to download an image for the entry in either JPG or PDF format; I like that.

I then began to look at what else they have at the Library and Archives of Canada. All kinds of Census records from 1825 “Lower Canada” to a “1926 Prairie Provinces” Census.

As I wandered around the site a little bit, I learned they have Military Records, Passenger and Border Entry Lists (Immigration records), Birth, Marriage, & Death Records, Divorce records, and even some city directories online. What a great resource; not only does it have wonderful records, it is free. Anyway, it is a “Bright, Shiny Object” in my current project, so I took some notes to come back and data-mine the resource soon.

I searched the Family Search Records and was not successful in finding any new records relating to my Andrew. However, I noted there was another person with the same name living in the same town at the same time. I would need to be careful to differentiate between my Andrew (1876-1925) and this other Andrew (1811-1878) in any records I find.

Future Actions:

Datamine for the Halcro family in the Library & Archive of Canada.

Five Photos – Eight People

Photo Friday
By Don Taylor

Very good week for my Photo Identification Project. Five photos, eight people, and all but one identified, and I have her (very common) name.

Rose Anne McLaughlin – Johnson children – Walter Blaisdell – Moody B. Lovell – Edward Rand Sherman

Edward Rand Sherman

The back of the photo says, “Edward Rand Sherman – xmas 1901.”  The photo is by “Jackson Studio, 548½ Congress St, Portland, ME.”

A FamilySearch search quickly found Edward R. Sherman, born 12 February 1899, who lived in Portland, Ward 7, Portland, Cumberland County, Maine, with his parents, John Curtis and Margaret Eva Lena (Taylor) Sherman. At Christmas 1901, Edward would have been nearly 3-years-old, which fits this individual.

There does not appear to be any alternative individuals that fit the criteria of this photo.

Family Search ID: LVDB-R1Y.

Moody B. Lovell

The back of the photo says, “Mr. Moody B. Lovell – Coaticooke, PQ, Canada – Died Jan 1902 @ 14 Carlton St. Portland.”  The photo is by “Montminy & Cie, Quebec.”

Mr. Moody B. Lovell – Coaticooke, PQ, Canada – Died Jan 1902 @ 14 Carlton St. Portland

There was a Moody B Lovell, born 1854 and died 29 January 1902 in Portland, Maine. His parents were Henry and Artemisia (Merriman) Lovell.

There does not appear to be any alternative individuals that fit the criteria of this photo.

Family Search ID: LVBM-ZDK.

Walter Blaisdell

The back of the photo says, “Walter Blaisdell – No. Berwick, Maine.”  There is no studio identified.

There was a Walter Blaisdell who was born 5 November 1890 in Chelsea, MA, but lived in North Berwick during the 1910, 1920 and 1930 Censuses. He married Nelda Naismith on 1 September 1925. It appears that this photo is of that Walter Blaisdell.

There was another Walter Blaisdell who was born 11 May 1879 in New Hampshire and lived in Berwick in 1920. However, all of his information appears that he lived in Berwick and not North Berwick.

Family Search ID: L289-371.

William, Lottie, Lillie, and Carrie

The back of the photo says, “Wm Huntington, Age 17 – Lottie May, Age 15, – Lillie Richardson, Age 10 – Carrie Ella, Age 12 – June 1900.” Although there is a photographer’s name on the print, I can’t make the name out, however, with close examination I could tell the location was “Augusta, ME.”

Even though I didn’t have a surname for this family group, I was pretty sure I’d be able to identify who they are. A look at FamilySearch was not successful for me. However, Ancestry.Com provides more sophisticated search capabilities. There, I quickly found William H Johnson, son of Richard and Carrie Johnson. William had three sisters, Lottie M., Carrie E., and Lillie R. They Lived in Hollowell, Kennebec County, Maine, which adjoins Augusta. No doubt this is them.

Family Search ID: G71F-1TQ – William Huntington Johnson.
Family Search ID: G71N-WWX – Lottie M. Johnson.
Family Search ID: 9V8Q-MCJ – Carrie E. Johnson.
Family Search ID: G71N-9FJ – Lillie Richardson Johnson.

Rose Anne McLaughlin

The back of the photo says, “Rose Anne McLaughlin.”  The photo is a cabinet card by “H.M. Smith Studio, 478 Congress St., Portland, ME.”

There are at least seven individuals that this photo could be an image of.

Anne 1840 – There was an Anne McLaughlin, born in Ireland in 1840, and lived in Portland, in 1860 with the Henry Illsley family as a servant.

Rosa 1844 – There was a Rosa McLaughlin, born about 1844, and the apparent wife of James McLaughlin who lived in Portland during 1870.

Annie 1850 – There was an Annie McLaughlin who lived in the John McLaughlin in Portland in 1870.

Anna 1854 – There was an Anna McLaughlin, born in Ireland in 1854. In 1880 she was a servant living with the Anna F Jones family in Portland, Maine.

Annie 1863 – There was an Annie McLaughlin, born in Ireland, 1863. In 1880 she was living in Portland, Maine, as a servant in the household of Clarence Cheeney.

Annie 1866 – There was an Annie McLaughlin, apparent daughter of Margaret McLaughlin, living in Portland during 1870.

Annie 1871 – There was an Annie McLaughlin, born in Maine in 1871 and lived in Portland with her parents, William and Jane McLaughlin in 1880.

Because the date is unknow and could have been taken any time between 1870 and 1910, I am unable to determine which of the many individuals this may be.

Final Note

If you are related to any of these individuals, or can help identify Rose Anne McLaughlin, I’d love to hear from you.

– – – – –Disclaimer – – – – –

Donna Montran & “Chin Chin” at the Empire Theatre, Saskatoon, SK

Donna Montran & “Chin Chin” at the Empire Theatre, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada on January 12th thru 14th, 1920

Vaudeville – Chin Chin – Donna Montran

It was a hectic week before. The “Chin Chin” company played in Medicine Hat on the 5th and 6th, in Lethbridge on the 7th, and Calgary the 8th through the 10th.  After seven days of shows in three cities, I hope the cast received the 11th off, because the crew would do three days at the Empire Theatre in Saskatoon[i] before continuing on to another three days (the 15th thru the 17th) in Regina. Saskatoon was bitter cold that week.  When the cast arrived on the 12th the high temperature for that day was a balmy 28 degrees Fahrenheit. That night the temperature dropped to two degrees and continued to drop to five degrees below the night of the 13th. When the cast left on the morning of the 15th, the temperature was still below zero.[ii]

The first newspaper advertising I’ve found was 9 days before the show. On January 3rd, 1920, the Saskatoon Star Phoenix, on page 10, column 3, the last article reported that the “Dreams of Arabian Nights Realized in ‘Chin Chin.’”


Star-Phoenix – Jan 3, 1920

Coming to the Empire theatre on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan. 12, 13 and 14, is Charles Dillingham’s “Chin Chin” the musical comedy which is one of those tales of love and wishing common to the Arabian Nights. All impossibilities are crowded into it, jumbled together like the figures in a dream, and in the end it resolves itself into a vehicle for the display of the clever grotesqueries of the two clever “turn” artist, Walter Wills and Roy Binder. Mr. Binder gives us a rapid succession Chin Hop Low, the widow, a Coolie, and the Ring Master, lightning changes of mood, manner and get-up that provoke the audience to mirth. No more diverting and entertaining “comics” have come this way for many seasons.

In the same paper, on page 3, was a display ad for the coming show. On the 5th was another display ad and on the 7th was another text story about “CHIN CHIN” COMING. The 10th and the 12th had similar articles and displays.


On the 13th, the day after the show’s opening, both the Saskatoon Daily Star and the Saskatoon Star Phoenix had articles that included callouts about Donna.

The Daily Star wrote, “Outstand among the other principals were Donna Montran as the goddess of the lamp, Neva Larry….”

The Star Phoenix wrote, “Donna Montran has a nice voice and puts two very pretty songs across to advantage. Star Dunham.…”


Empire Hotel & Theatre c. 1918.

The Empire Theatre opened in 1910 as a live stage venue. It was built as an addition to the existing Empire Hotel. In 1914, the theatre was equipped with screen films, keeping it current. In 1930, the theater was sold, converted to full-time motion pictures, and renamed the Victory Theatre.[iii]

Specifications for the Empire Theatre

Seating Capacity: 1,154 Total — 442 on the floor, 276 in the balcony, 400 in the gallery, and 36 in boxes.[iv]

Proscenium opening: 27×32 ft
Front to back wall: 22 ft

Nearby info

Map of Saskatoon from “Vaudeville Trails” (c) 1919 by Herbert Lloyd

Nearby, the Elite Café (#2 on map), which was a block from the theatre, advertised that they catered to performers. About two blocks away was the Hub Café (#1 on map) which touted Yankee Coffee and that “All the Acts Ate Here Last Week.” The Canadian National Railway station was about two blocks from the venue and the Canadian Pacific Railway station was another block or so further.[v]

What happened to theater

During the 1960s the brick exterior was clad in marble. Today, the theatre building is part of “The Lighthouse,” which provides long-term housing for 68 people.[vi]

Empire Hotel & Theatre building is now the Dubé Lighthouse


[i] I learned that Donna played Saskatoon last January and wrote about that in a “Donna in the News” post.

[ii] Internet:  Government of Canada Environment and natural resourcesWeather, Climate and HazardPast weather and climateHistorical Data for Saskatoon, SK in January 1920.

[iii] Internet: Cinema Treasures – Victory Theatre, 221 20th Street East, Saskatoon, SK S6V 1K7. accessed 14 May 2019.

[iv] Cahn-Leighton Official Theatrical Guide – Volume XVII – 1913-1914. (via Google Books)

[v] Vaudeville Trails – Thru the West – © 1919 by Herbert Lloyd, (AKA: Herbert Lloyd’s Vaudeville Guide) pages 179 and 180

[vi] Internet: The Lighthouse Supported Living – The History of The Lighthouse.  – Accessed 14 May 2019.

Donna in the News – “Chin Chin” is Well Liked… in Saskatoon

“Donna in the News” is my reporting of newly found newspapers articles and advertising regarding my grandmother, Madonna Montran (aka Donna Montran and aka Donna Darling). I am always excited when I find a new venue for my grandmothers exciting show business career of the 1910s and 1920s.

This week two articles from two newspapers in Saskatoon.

  • Saskatoon Daily Star (Saskatoon, Canada) dated January 13, 1920.
  • Star Phoenix (Saskatoon, Canada) dated January 13, 1920.

“Chin Chin” in Saskatoon – January 1920

I have long known that Donna and the cast of “Chin Chin” played in Calgary on January 8th through the 10th and in Regina on January 15th through the 17th.  I suspected that the show played in Saskatoon, SK, in between the two shows but had no evidence of it. Sure enough, newly digitized newspaper pages at Newspapers.Com showed two callouts for Donna among some 18 articles and advertisements for “Chin Chin” playing in Saskatoon on January 12, 13, and 14.

On January 13th, the Daily Star wrote, “Outstand among the other principals were Donna Montran as the goddess of the lamp, Neva Larry….”

Also, on January 13th, the Star Phoenix wrote, “Donna Montran has a nice voice and puts two very pretty songs across to advantage. Star Dunham.…”

New information added to the Madonna Montran career list:

Jan 12-14, 1920 – Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada – Empire Theatre (