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Archival description
George W. Gordon family fonds
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Beamish correspondence

Series consists of letters from members of the Beamish family sent to George Wingfield Gordon (both under this name and as George Wingfield) or to Gordon's own family after his marriage to Mary Ann (Minnie) Beamish. The Beamish family resided in Springfield-on-the-Credit (now Erindale). Topics in the letters revolve around personal, family, and local news

Series includes letters written by Mary Ann Beamish to George Wingfield during their courtship, as well as letters sent to Mary Ann herself from her sisters after her marriage to Gordon. This series also includes letters from children and youths. Envelopes are included for many letters. A small amount of non-correspondence records (largely ephemera) belonging to Francis Beamish, the father of Mary Ann Beamish, is included in this series. These records may comprise material that was originally included as enclosures in correspondence.

This series was maintained under the title "Beamish letters" in a binder by George W. Gordon's grandaughter, Sandra Moore. Moore transcribed many of the letters; these transcriptions have been included in this series, with files of transcriptions immediately following the originals to which they pertain. Moore also annotated the transcriptions with notes that clarify some relationships. Moore compiled an inventory of these letters (see Series 7, File 104) but occasionally letters are missing which are present in her inventory.

George W. Gordon domestic and personal records

Series consists of largely non-correspondence personal and domestic records created and retained by George W. Gordon in the course of running his small hold farm, his personal affairs, and his household. Series includes tax, insurance, and property records, account books, farming diaries, receipts, legal documents such as deeds and certificates, financial records, publications of personal interest, news-clippings, and ephemera.

Series includes several files documenting Gordon's membership in fraternal societies such as the Masons and the Young Men's Protestant Benevolent Association. As Gordon assisted in running local branches of the latter, there are several files of official records of the Association including dues accounts, dues notices, and correspondence.

This series contains a small amount of professional material retained by Gordon at this home in the course of his duties as justice of the peace and/or magistrate for Port Credit. This material includes impoundment records, court statements and notes, and lists of fines owed. Note that the bulk of the professional records which Gordon personally retained were received in a different accession, now comprising Series 10 in this fonds.

George W. Gordon family fonds

  • Fonds
  • 1877 - 2009

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

Gordon family, Port Credit

Gordon family correspondence

Series consists of correspondence to and between family members within George W. Gordon's family group, including his wife and children. As well as letters exchanged between family members, letters include those sent by friends, acquaintances, and tradespeople.

Series includes personal and domestic correspondence addressed to George W. Gordon, including letters sent by Gordon to Mary Ann (Minnie) Beamish during their courtship, and letters from friends from outside the province and country. The latter include letters documenting the settlement of Crescent Lake in the North West Territories. Several files are topical in nature, relating to controversies between Gordon and acquaintances.

This series also includes letters sent by Frank Gordon to his family, some of which document his time at Army camps at Petawawa and in British Columbia at the end of the First World War.

This series was maintained under the title "Gordon letters" in a binder by Gordon's granddaughter, Sandra Gordon (Moore). Moore compiled an inventory of these letters (see Series 7, File 104) but occasionally letters are missing which are present in her inventory. The archivist has imposed some additional order on the series and included the occasional letter not in Moore's original binder. Other letters have been relocated into series pertaining to George W. Gordon's children.

Gordon family photographs

Series consists of photographs collected or created by members of the Gordon family of Port Credit including George W. Gordon and his children, and by related families such as the Beamishes of Springfield (Erindale). Photographs depict family members, family homes (largely exteriors), family and farming activities, and formal portraits. Photographs in this series have been organized by topic by the archivist. Researchers should be aware that other series and files in this fonds contain photographs.

Gordon oversize records

Series consists of records framed by the creator (and de-framed by the archivist) or otherwise stored together by the creator due to their large size. Series includes educational and Masonic certificates, plans of Port Credit, a church broadside, portrait photographs of Gordon family members, a commemorative edition of a newspaper, and Peel Board of Education poster.

Gordon professional records

Series consists of official records created or collected by George W. Gordon in the course of his duties as justice of the peace or magistrate of Port Credit and apparently personally retained by him. Records include two registers of marriage licences, completed marriage licence forms (administered in collaboration with Rhena Gordon in her capacity as a Commissioner for the Taking of Affidavits) correspondence with defendants (many of whom were objecting to being charged with speeding), correspondence with officials of the Toronto Hamilton Highway Commission, completed forms used in the administration of justice and police court system (such as summons, information statements from witnesses, subpoenas. recognizance of bail) and associated sworn witness, defendant, and plaintiff court statements. Charges represented in court documents include, among others, assault, theft, liquor-related offences, making threats, threatening to commit suicide, trespassing, traffic offences, indecent exposure and assault, desertion, and firearm-related offences.

Lillian Gordon records

Series consists of records created or collected by Lillian Gordon, daughter of George W. Gordon and Mary Ann Gordon. The bulk of the series comprises correspondence sent to Lillian in Port Credit by various suitors, some of whom became long-term friends and correspondents.

Because of the geographical locations of these correspondents, these letters variously document conditions in Germany immediately post-surrender (Second World War), Lethbridge, Alberta, and the Homewood Sanitorium (Guelph, Ontario) as well various towns and cities in the US. Series also includes professional material related to Lillian's career and achievements as a teacher and educational innovator, including royalty statements, resume, certificates, and some correspondence.

Rhena, Frank, and Douglas Wilden Gordon records

Series consists of records created or collected by Rhena Gordon, Frank Gordon, and Douglas Wilden Gordon, children of George W. Gordon, in the course of their private and professional lives. (Materials from each follow each other in the above order.) The records of Rhena and Douglas Wilden, who were both teachers in Peel and/or Toronto, form the bulk of the series. Series includes certificates, membership records, a travel diary, travel souvenirs, and correspondence regarding Gordon family lore and ancestry. Douglas Wilden Gordon's records contain a significant number of photographs, most in negative form, some of which show other members of the Gordon family.

Sandra Moore (née Gordon) records

Series consists of records created or collected by Sandra Moore nee Gordon, granddaughter of George W. Gordon. Series includes some of Moore's personal records which notably include records relating to the settlement of the estates of Lillian Gordon, Rhena Gordon, and Mary Ann Gordon and related disputes.

The majority of the series comprises Moore's research materials for her extensive work on the Wingfield, Gordon and Beamish families. This work branched out to include families who were otherwise related or intermarried into these families. Moore's research activities were substantial and this series documents the working methods of a serious genealogist prior to and at the beginning of the digital age.

Much of the research was arranged by Moore in files or binders based on the individual or family she was researching, or on related correspondents with whom she consulted. This organization has largely been maintained and is indicated by file titles. Materials include correspondence, notes, clippings, family trees, computer print-outs and original archival materials such as photographs, letters, and certificates. This archival material was left in situ by the archivist as Moore's files often provide the only context and identifying commentary for these records.

One of Moore's major personal projects was a history of the Beamish family, which she summarized in a group of self-printed booklets on branches of that family presented at a family reunion. This series contains her research notes for that project as well as a scrapbook which served as a preview of her work (perhaps presented at another family function). Besides multiple instances of her Beamish research, there are also several iterations of research about Gordon and Wingfield family members. The origins of Eliza Park Wingfield (Gordon's mother) and his unknown father also exercised Moore.

Wingfield correspondence

Series consists of letters from members and relations of the Wingfield family addressed to George Wingfield (largely before his assumption of the additional surname Gordon). Gordon was himself a Wingfield and arrived in Canada with other members of the family represented in this series.

Correspondents particularly well represented include Gordon's mother, Eliza Park Reid, her husband, Henry Nottage, and a cousin, Charles Wingfield. The letters exchange personal and family news of daily life in locations such as Allensville, Utterson, and Port Credit (all in Ontario) in the nineteenth century. The series includes several letters from children and youths. Envelopes are included for most letters.

This series was maintained under the title "Wingfield letters" in a binder by George W. Gordon's granddaughter, Sandra Moore nee Gordon. Moore transcribed (with annotations) many of the letters; these transcriptions have been included in this series, with files of transcriptions immediately following the originals to which they pertain. It is not immediately clear how some of the correspondents are related to the Wingfield branch of the family, but as Moore included their letters in this grouping, they have been retained here.

Moore compiled an inventory of these letters (see Series 7, File 104) but occasionally letters are missing which are present in her inventory.

In Moore's research material (see Series 7) Eliza Park Reid Wingfield is identified as George W. Gordon's mother. However, she addresses herself to him as an aunt. This oddity may be related to Gordon's illegitimacy, a fact with which his descendants (including his daughters and granddaughter) wrestle throughout these records.