Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Anna and Muriel Stewart, the 'aunties' that were cousins

Why were my Stewart Cousins, my Aunties? 

Anna and Muriel Stewart; embossed signature of photographer J. Paynter (Joseph).

Muriel Scott Stewart (1899-1978) and her sister, Catherine Anna Steele Stewart (1896-1986)

They were the children of Benjamin Stewart, a jeweller, and Mary (Marie) Scott. The sisters were born in Carberry, Manitoba, as was their brother, John Haliburton Stewart. Aunt Muriel and Aunt Anna never married; they came to British Columbia and lived in North Vancouver from 1920 in the home Benjamin bought for the family. I remember our visiting with them many times at our home and in North Vancouver.

Yes, I did call them "Aunt", and my mum referred to them so, although they were my second cousins, once removed. This was a courtesy title extended in my day to my mother's closer friends and older relatives. Likely Mum didn't want to explain it all to me, the child with far too many questions. But their grandfather, John Scott, and my great grandfather, Walter Scott, were brothers.

Now, of course, I'm sorry I didn't listen more closely to their conversations. I could have saved quite a bit of time with my Scottish research! And known about the oft married relative sooner. But now I wonder if perhaps Mum thought the family divorce (bigamy) might as well stay buried. (She did tell me but long, long after.)

I liked both Muriel and Anna - they got on well with children. And I thought them artistic.  Muriel was a music teacher; Anna, a North Vancouver School teacher. I'm glad to have this charming photograph of them as girls.

The family house in North Vancouver (245-248 Fifth St. E.) was moved in 2015 to the Port Hammond area of Maple Ridge as a heritage find. The house their brother, John, and his wife, Doris Garling, lived in later is also seen as a heritage house, and is still there, I believe. (455 20th St. E.)


Joseph Paynter, photographer, born in Owen Sound, Ontario, died in Winnipeg in 1931. He was active in Carberrry, Manitoba, Canada, from 1899-1918, according to Glen C. Phillips' book, The Western Canada Photographer's List (Global, 2002). The Carberry Plains Archives has more of his Carberry photographs: 
Joseph Paynter Obituary, The Winnipeg Tribune, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Tuesday, 22 September, 1931, p. 22. 

"North Vancouver Heritage Homes Bought for $1"...., by Maria Spitale-Leisk, August 10, 2015  REW Blog:

North Vancouver Heritage Register, 2013:  


Unknown said...

Information on Joseph Paynter, Photographer.
Hi M. Diane Rogers,
Thank you for your response to my posting about Joseph Paynter (Painter) and Mary Cary. I appreciate the information for Joseph Paynter (age 83) Obituary in the Winnipeg Tribune and additional information on his vocation as photographer featured on CanadaGenealogy, or, 'Jane's Your Aunt."

As you suggested, Joseph was born in 1848 in Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada (according to his obituary) where he was also buried. Joseph is the son of Charles M. Painter (England spelling) (Paynter), (born 29 November 1818 in Ashton Keynes, Wiltshire, England) [Charles is the son of Joseph Paynter (Painter) and Mary Cary] Charles married Esther Reynolds (Christened 18 September 1815 in South Cerney, Gloucestershire, England) 31 December 1839 in Wiltshire, England. Charles, his wife, Esther, and son William Daniel, born 1843. came to Ontario about 1844, Their daughter, Mary was born in Canada in 1845 and a son Charles, in 1847, before Joseph who was born 1848 in Owen Sound. Charles' father, Joseph Paynter (Painter) was a barrel Maker and he established a Cooperage business in Owen Sound, before he accepted a contract at Bruce Mines, Algoma, Ontario, Canada to build barrels to ship ore to be processed. Joseph died in Bruce Mines 27 August 1876. [We are still searching for information on the death and burial of Joseph's wife, Mary Cary Paynter (Painter).]

The 1871 Census of Owen Sound in Grey North District in Ontario, Canada, shows Joseph, age 22, living with his parents and siblings in Owen Sound.

The 1916 Canada Census of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta shows Joseph, age 68, Single, Birth year 1848, living in Neepawa, (Address: Carberry Manitoba) Manitoba Canada
I have additional information on the Paynter families in Canada that I am willing to share.

M. Diane Rogers said...

Thanks for letting me know about the Paynter family. If I find new information, I will be sure to post it.

Nancy said...

Sometimes it's too hard to explain relationships to children, at least when they're young.... It's great you have childhood memories of them and the sweet photo. It's wonderful that their home was preserved as a heritage home.

When I was a child we visited relatives, a childless couple, on my father's side who were just a little older than him. I always wanted to call them aunt and uncle but no, we were to call them by their first names. It was very strange to do so at a time when all adults were either aunt, uncle, Mr., Mrs., or Miss. I learned later that they were my father's cousins, therefore my 2nd cousins (and have since learned that they are my second cousins once removed).

Unknown said...

Thank you, Diane.