Fonds - George W. Gordon family fonds

Wingfield correspondence Beamish correspondence Gordon family correspondence George W. Gordon domestic and personal records Lillian Gordon records Rhena, Frank, and Douglas Wilden Gordon records Sandra Moore (née Gordon) records Gordon family photographs Gordon oversize records Gordon professional records

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George W. Gordon family fonds

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  • 1877 - 2009 (Creation)
    Gordon family, Port Credit

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Physical description

2.4 m of textual records and graphic materials
ca. 630 photographs : b&w and col. ; 29 x 35 cm or smaller
ca. 300 photographs : b&w and col. negatives ; 13 x 7 cm or smaller
2 photographs : b&w tintypes ; 9 x 7 cm, 9 x 6 cm
2 audio disks : vinyl ; 15 cm (diameter)
3 CD-ROM : TIFF, MS Word, PDF, mp3 file formats

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Name of creator

(1859 - 2011)

Biographical history

George Wingfield Gordon (named at birth George Gordon Wingfield) was born in Hamilton, Scotland in 1859. He immigrated to Canada soon after in 1863 with his mother, Eliza Wingfield, and her relatives. After a time living with relatives in Scarborough, Port Credit and Parkdale, he settled with the Perrin family in Port Credit. As a young man, Gordon successively built up two farms in the Port Credit area, the first of which was destroyed by fire.

In about 1881, Gordon changed his name from George Wingfield to George Wingfield Gordon. He was appointed Justice of the Peace sometime in the late 1800s. His judicial and political involvement in the affairs of Toronto Township and Port Credit continued for many years. His official roles included district magistrate (1914-ca.1924); deputy reeve, Toronto Township; Toronto Township councillor; councillor of the newly incorporated Village of Port Credit, and clerk and treasurer of Port Credit. Gordon was also a long-time member of the Streetsville Masonic Lodge and the Loyal Orange Lodge #163.

Gordon married Mary Ann Beamish (1874-1937) from Springfield in 1894. They had six children: Margaret Elizabeth (1896-1971); Francis George Victor (1898-1967); Rhena Victoria (1900-1995); Douglas Wilden (1903-1969); Lillian Georgina (1906-1997); and Malcolm (Jan. 13-18, 1913). To accommodate his growing and active family, Gordon built two successive homes on Mississauga Road. Gordon himself was an enthusiastic apiarist and horticulturalist. George W. Gordon died in 1953. His descendants (most notably Lillian and Rhena) continued to live in the last of the family homes for many years.

Mary Ann “Minnie” Gordon (1874-1937) nee Beamish was married to George Wingfield Gordon on 19 September, 1894, in the Beamish family home in Springfield-on-the Credit (later Erindale). She was one of nine children born to Francis Beamish (1818 – 1893) and Margaret Slater.

Lillian Gordon (1906-1997) was an elementary school teacher for the Lakeshore School Board. She distinguished herself by designing several special education and developmental programs in reading. She lectured on education for the Ontario Department of Education, the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, and Durham University (UK). She also authored a number of standard textbooks.

Rhena Victoria Gordon (1900-1995) was a teacher for the Peel County School Board all her life. In 1948 she was appointed Commissioner for the taking of Affidavits and continued in this role for many years.

Francis George Victor (1898-1967) served in the Canadian Expeditionary Forces in World War I. After the war he moved to Oregon, where he spent the rest of his life.

Douglas Wilden Gordon (1903-1969) was a teacher and later Inspector of Industrial Arts mainly active in Ingersoll and Toronto. He resided in Islington although continued as an active member of the Mississauga Lodge of Freemasons.

Sandra Moore nee Gordon (1937 – 2011) was an avid and experienced genealogist who initiated correspondence with individuals and records offices throughout North America and Great Britain. She was a teacher by profession and lived in Thornhill, Toronto.

Custodial history

Records variously appear to have been in the custody of Lillian, Rhena and Douglas Gordon before being collected, partially organized, and researched by Sandra Gordon Moore, at times in collaboration with her brother, Douglas Wilden Gordon. After her death, records were transferred to Diane Gordon (widow of Douglas Wilden Gordon, son of Douglas Wilden Gordon) who donated them to the archives.

Scope and content

Fonds consists of records created or collected by members of the prominent Gordon family of Port Credit during the course of their personal and professional lives.

While the records span three generations of the Gordon family, the fonds centres on the personal and professional records of George W. Gordon. His records, as well as smaller bodies of records created by four of his children, Lillian, Rhena, Francis (Frank), and Douglas Wilden, came into the care of his granddaughter, Sandra (Gordon) Moore who partially organized them and conducted related family research. Moore’s own records and those of her ancestors have therefore been treated as an organic whole and no attempt has been made to split the body of records into separate fonds; however, series are described in terms of the family member to whom records pertain (see below for series listing).

George W. Gordon’s records include a substantial number of letters dating from the late nineteenth and early twentieth century from members of the Wingfield, Beamish, and Gordon family members and acquaintances, relating to daily life in small Ontario settler and farming communities such as Utterson, Allensville, Port Credit, Springfield-on-the-Credit (now Erindale) as well as larger centres such as Hamilton and Toronto. Some letters came from further afield in the North West Territories, England, and the US. Domestic and personal records collected or created by Gordon also include administrative records related to fraternal organizations (Masonic and Orange Lodges), household receipts, farming expense accounts and diaries, land and financial records, and various ephemera.

The fonds also contains a significant body of records emanating from George W. Gordon’s role as justice of the peace and magistrate for Port Credit, including marriage licence applications, administrative records related to the Toronto Hamilton Highway Commission, and police court records. The latter include completed forms such as summons, warrants, and complaints, correspondence and signed statements made in court relating to criminal charges and civil infractions.

Records created by Gordon’s children, Lillian, Rhena, Frank, and Douglas Wilden include correspondence, photographs, ephemera, family research, and professional records related to teaching. Lillian Gordon’s records include a significant amount of mid-twentieth-century correspondence with suitors located in Ontario, the US and Germany.

Sandra Moore’s records contain a substantial amount of family research, including correspondence with relatives and records offices in North American and the United Kingdom. Her records include extensive documentation of the Beamish family of which one branch settled in Springfield-on-the-Credit.

Fonds comprises the following series:

Series 1: Wingfield correspondence
Series 2: Beamish correspondence
Series 3: Gordon family correspondence
Series 4: George W. Gordon domestic and personal records
Series 5: Lillian Gordon records
Series 6: Rhena, Frank, and Douglas Wilden Gordon records
Series 7: Sandra Moore (nee Gordon) records
Series 8: Gordon family photographs
Series 9: Gordon oversize records
Series 10: Gordon professional records

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Physical condition

Some of the nineteenth and early twentieth century letters are fragile, with loosening wax seals, and a number of broadsides and plans are weakened along folded edges.

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Some files in Series 10 are restricted.

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