Sunday, February 3, 2013
William Henry McCann
Lately, I've been thinking a lot about my great-grand uncle, William Henry McCann. You see, I have just discovered that the house where he lived with his wife and children during the Halifax Explosion in 1917 is still standing! And, I drive by it several times a week, giving a figurative tip of my hat to Will each time. I feel a connection with this collateral ancestor of mine that I can't quite explain. I didn't know Uncle Will, as my mother called him. He died in the fall of 1934 long before I was born. I didn't even hear a lot of stories about Uncle Will. Someone mentioned that his brother (and my great-grandfather), Fred, made the hour and a half drive once a month from Windsor to Halifax to visit Will. And my mother said that when she was a teen, she stayed for a few days with Uncle Will and his wife, Aunt Ida. A cousin said that Uncle Will worked for the Intercolonial Railway or ICR. These short stories were a tease for me as I needed to know more about him. I pictured Uncle Will as a sort of rough, work-a-day kind of guy. He was a labourer his whole life; a machinist, blacksmith and carpenter and worked hard in the Car Shop of the ICR. I expected his garb in any photos would be overalls and work shirts. Well, I was literally gobsmacked when I first saw a photo of Will, Ida and Fred. They were dressed to the nines and a good-looking bunch to boot! That photo hasn't yet been scanned, but I will add it here as soon as it is. Next time, I'll tell you what I learned about Uncle Will through my research. Until next time, Happy Researching!