I shared this lovely old photo to Twitter and Instagram last week in a hope of being able to identify the first name written at the bottom that began with B. The rest of the writing could just be deciphered but that first word, a man’s name, stumped me! The photo itself is a bit faded and flecked but still a very lovely victorian family group from the 1880’s.
Twitter follower Jenni @JenniPh came to the rescue, BEVERLY! Huge thanks Jenni!……..Not only that but she had found a possible family and it looked very promising, she said “There’s Douglas Henry NELLES born 26 March 1881 in Grimsby, Ontario to Beverly Robinson NELLES and Louisa BUCKWELL – baby would be Lawrence Buckwell NELLES … I think they could be a possible match for this family (Beverly 7 years older than Louisa, pic would be late 1884)” and also “They’re on several Ancestry trees, none with photos to compare with as far as I can see, although there is a photo of Douglas as an adult on Wikitree“: wikitree.com/wiki/Nelles-52
Jenni’s information gave me a great starting point to find out more about the family and add other members, so I started a small tree on Ancestry. Jenni was correct that there are a few other tree’s with this family on, but some of the details are slightly different to what I found or have not been entered. I will message some of them after I have posted this blog to see if they are actually descendants of the couple.
The Nelles Family it seems came from German origins and I believe several cousins intermarried in the family just looking very briefly at the records for the wider family.
Beverly‘s parents were father Henry William Nelles who was born on 19 Jan 1798 in Ontario, Canada and mother Ann Eliza Smith. Henry died on 10 Mar 1842 in Grimsby, Niagara Regional Municipality, Ontario, Canada.
Henry William Nelles and Ann Eliza Smith had the following five children:
1)Samuel Abraham Nelles was born on 04 Mar 1832 in Grimsby, Niagara Regional Municipality, Ontario, Canada. He died on 08 Mar 1901 in Grimsby, Niagara Regional Municipality, Ontario, Canada.
2)Catherine Isabella Nelles was born on 25 Apr 1834 in Grimsby, Niagara Regional Municipality, Ontario, Canada. She died on 25 Feb 1906 in Grimsby, Niagara Regional Municipality, Ontario, Canada. She married James Willison Grout Nelles on 03 Dec 1867 in Lincoln, Ontario, Canada.
3)Henrietta Ann Nelles was born on 26 Jun 1836 in Grimsby, Niagara Regional Municipality, Ontario, Canada. She died on 10 Mar 1864 in Woodstock, Oxford County Municipality, Ontario, Canada. She married Henry Edward Hamilton Nelles on 06 Nov 1861 in Lincoln, Ontario, Canada.
and their fourth child was
4)Beverly Robinson Nelles see below:
5)Emma Maria Nelles was born on 21 Aug 1842 in Grimsby, Niagara Regional Municipality, Ontario, Canada. She died on 20 Feb 1930 in Toronto, Toronto Municipality, Ontario, Canada. She married Henry Hyde on 07 Mar 1877 in Grimsby, Ontario, Canada.
Beverly Robinson Nelles was born on 21 Oct 1838 in Grimsby, Niagara Regional Municipality, Ontario, Canada as the fourth child of Henry William Nelles and Ann Eliza Smith.
In 1866 Beverly served in the Fenian Raids on the Niagara Frontier in the 19th Lincoln Battery. “When it became apparent that a Fenian invasion was imminent, a General Order called out a force of 10,000 volunteers to defend the frontier, answered by the militia in St. Catharines. This included area companies of the 19th Battalion, the forerunner to the present-day Lincoln and Welland Regiment.” This and more information I found on the excellent Blog of St Catharines Museum: https://stcatharinesmuseumblog.com/2016/06/02/the-fenian-raids-st-catharines-connections/
Then when he was 34, he married Louisa Buckwell, daughter of Alfred Buckwell and Louisa Waters, on 17 Sep 1873 in Norfolk, Ontario, Canada. Beverly’s occupation was a Farmer. He died on 03 Jan 1901 in Grimsby, Niagara Regional Municipality, Ontario, Canada. Beverly Robinson Nelles and Louisa Buckwell had the following children:
1)Beverly Robinson Nelles Jr was born on 26 Jun 1874 in Ontario, Canada. He died on 15 Nov 1881 in Ontario, Canada.
2)Ethel Louisa Nelles was born on 27 Feb 1879 in Ontario, Canada. She died on 23 Feb 1880 in Ontario, Canada.
3)Douglas Henry Nelles was born on 26 Mar 1881 in Grimsby, Niagara Regional Municipality, Ontario, Canada. He married Marjorie Ketturah Stowe Wainwright on 31 Jan 1914 in Carleton, Ontario, Canada. He died on 07 Dec 1960 in Ontario, Canada. As far as I can see they had three children Arthur, Muriel and Malcolm, so maybe they have descendants.
4)Lawrence Buckwell Nelles was born on 03 Jul 1884 in Lincoln, Ontario, Canada. Says on the Canadian 1911 Census that he is married but no wife is mentioned next to him on the census, and he is a Farmer. Now living in Battleford, Saskatchewan, Canada, nearly 1800 miles from where he was born in Grimsby Village, Wentworth South, Ontario, Canada.
He died on 06 May 1950 in Saskatchewan, Canada. This notice appeared in the Grimsby Independent Newspaper, 15 Jun 1950, p. 4: Death – Lawrence Buckwell Nelles on May 6th, 1950, at City Hospital, Saskatoon, Sask, in his 66th year. He was a son of the late Beverley R. Nelles of Grimsby. Again no mention of a wife? I’m not sure if he was married or had children, there are too many possibilities for him for me to be sure.
So just two of the four children survived into adulthood. This is the link to a small PUBLIC family tree I have compiled on Ancestry: https://www.ancestry.co.uk/family-tree/tree/177448781/family?cfpid=372305643479
After following the link to WikiTree (from Jenni’s information) I was also able to follow other links to find out more about Douglas the older boy in the photo.
DOUGLAS HENRY NELLES. Nelles was a Canadian representative of the Dominion Land Survey on the United States-Canada Alaska Boundary Survey party of 1907.
During World War One, he served as a major with the 19th Forestry Company. At the time of his enlistment, he worked as a civil engineer and lived in Ottawa.
Website link here: http://canadiangreatwarproject.com/index.asp
Civil Engineer and Land Surveyor Served in Canadian Army in WW I as an Officer
Boundary Survey taking surveying measurements. The man on the left is Douglas Henry Nelles.
Information from Wikipedia: A couple of photos of the more modern Grimsby, Ontario, Canada. Above: Canada’s first Chautauqua-like organization (a Methodist camp) was established in 1859 in Grimsby Park on land donated by J.B. Bowslaugh; colourful cottages were later built and some visitors spent entire summers in the area. These are two of the remaining cottages in the Grimsby Park area.
Once again if you are a descendant of the NELLES family in this old photo please do get in touch!
Till next time then………..
Thanks for your wonderful work on filling in the info. on the Nelles people in the picture. I am not related to that specific Nelles branch but I do have many links to other Nelles branches in the Grimsby, and Ontario area. It is great to be able to put a face to a set of names.
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Thanks for getting in touch with me Michael and yes you’re right, it makes such a difference to be able to see who you are researching!