I had planned to write about the older Valentine cards that I had in my collection of memorabilia but I discovered that they were birthday cards instead. Since Valentine’s Day cards and events often lead to marriage I decided instead to indulge you with newspaper records of wedding ceremonies found during my research.
This report of a wedding came from the Manitoba Free Press 10 May of 1882:
Another of those happy events, the joining in the “holy bonds” of “two hearts that beat as one,” took place in this village on Tuesday, the 18th inst., the contracting parties being Mr. John Cameron, foreman for Armitage & Douglas, and Miss Mary Campbell. Rev. J. M. Wellwood tied the connubial knot, and our best wish for the happy couple is that they may never have occasion to regret his having performed this interesting ceremony.” 1
The last sentence left me wondering if the author of this report knew John personally because he was later to become the tamer of the lawless frontier town that Minnedosa was to become. He was to deal out rough justice to the point that he was fired, because while nursing a hangover he struck one of the town councilors.
Sharp eyed genealogical researchers have already caught the term “ inst.” Knowing that it means previously in the same month they are having difficulty reconciling the 18th day for the marriage and the 10th day for publication of the nuptials in the paper. A check of this particular column reveals that at the bottom of it is written the date of submission to the editor, “April 23rd, ‘82”. A wise move is to check these “gossip” columns for a date in order to save research headaches.
Some wedding notices were to the point. This notice is courtesy of the Elora Observer 15 February 1872:
On Thursday 8th inst, by the Rev. Mr. Barker, at the residence of Mr. George S. Armstrong, Nichol, Mr. Joseph Sanderson to Miss Maria Sims, both of Eramosa.”
Sadness followed this wedding ceremony because some 7 years later Maria died two weeks after the birth of her second child Lavinia Sanderson.
This wedding notice is courtesy of the Toronto Star 29 March 1941:
“Noted Figure Skater Miss Ruth Hall Wed
Becomes Bride of Pilot Officer Guy Moore at St. George’s United
An interesting marriage was solemnized yesterday afternoon in St. George’s United Church when Miss Ruth Hall, noted figure skater, and daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Bertram Hall, Glencairn AVe., became the the bride of Pilot Officer Guy Everett Moore, son of Mr. and Mrs. J.F. Moore, of Beaver Lodge, Alta. Rev. Willard Brewing officiated against a setting of spring flowers, with Mrs. G.T. Mitton at the organ.
The bride, given in marriage by her father, wore a gown of white sheer and lace, her finger-tip veil caught to the head with a halo of the same lace. She carried roses. Miss Marion Scott attended her as bridesmaid, in a forget-me-not blue frock of tulle trimmed with tiny pink bows. She wore a small flower hat with long blue velvet streamers and carried a colonial bouquet of forget-me-nots, roses and sweet peas. Edward Moore, cousin of the groom, was best man and the ushers were fellow-officers of the groom in the R.C.A.F.
A small reception followed at the home of the bride’s parents, the bride’s mother wearing a navy sheer wool ensemble with corsage of sweet peas. The couple left later on a motor trip, the bride wearing a navy blue herringbone tweed suit with navy accessories, corsage of orchids. The will reside in western Canada.”2
The stress on flowers and frocks leaves me wondering if a woman was writing the wedding announcements for the paper at that time. I would certainly not have picked up on all the accoutrements if I had been there to report the event!
The expression “noted figure skater” refers to Ruth being one of four skaters, including William Caulder, Elizabeth Chambers and John Milson, who won the Four skating championship at Ottawa in 1940. According to Wikipedia, “Four skating is a figure skating [and artistic roller skating] discipline. Four teams consist of two women and two men. The sport is similar to pair skating, with elements including overhead lifts, twist lifts, death spirals, and throw jumps, as well as the elements of single skating in unison, pairs elements in unison and unique elements that involve all four skaters.”3
Family members note that Ruth qualified for the Winter Olympics in 1940 but they were cancelled due to World War II. Ruth wrote a novel using fictitious characters, A Special Courage, based upon her teenage years as a figure skater.4 I had the pleasure of visiting with Ruth while on one of my research trips to Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
I cannot close off this post without sharing with you an ad that I found in the Forest Free Press 27 August 1914:
“Wanted – A Wife
Wanted a wife who can handle a broom, to brush down the cowwebs and sweep up the room; to make decent bread that fellow can eat, not the horrible compound you everywhere meet; who knows how to fry, to boil and to roast, make a cup of good tea and a platter of toast; a woman who washes, cooks, irons and stitches, and sews up the rips in a fellow’s breeches; a common sense creature, but still with a mind to teach and to guide, exalted, refined.
Will ladies between 20 and 28 correspond with Mr. John Loyd, Camlachie,
I don’t know if John received any responses. Perhaps one of my readers will recognize the name and will be able to tell us if John received any valentines after his ad ran in the paper. Perhaps it was all in jest.
Happy Valentine’s Day to all!
1. Minedosa, Manitoba Free Press, 10 May 1882, p. 2, column 2.
2. Noted Figure Skater Miss Ruth Hall Wed, Toronto Daily Star, 29 March 1941, p. 25.
3. Four Skating downloaded from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_skating 2 February 2020.
4. Ruth Moore, A Special Courage (Pencil Point Press, 2010).
5. Wanted – A Wife, Forest Free Press, 27 August 1914, p. 6.