Sunday, February 6, 2011

Dorothy Bird (Dorothy Florence Hazel Milliken)

Dorothy Bird by far has been my biggest challenge and frustration throughout my genealogy research.  She is my Mom's Nana (on her Mother's side) and therefore my Great Nana.  I never had the opportunity to meet her as she passed away before I was born.

I believe this to be a picture of my Great Nana before she was married and on the back of the photo is printed to Gertie and Jack, Florence Milliken

A few of my favourite pictures.

Dorothy and Stanley

The information I have:

Date of Birth:  Aug. 26th (1899 or 1895 or 1896)
Location: possibly Pensecola, Florida although marriage certificate states Penscola, Alabama which I can't find any record of

Date of Death:  Oct. 14th 1971
Location: at her home 227 Ellerslie Ave, Willowdale, Ontario
Buried at Mount Pleasant Cemetary, Toronto, Ontario (no headstone)

The obituary found in the Toronto Daily Star on Thursday Oct 14 1971 read as follows:

Bird, Dorothy Florence – Passed away at her home, 227 Ellerslie Ave. Willowdale, on Thursday October 14 1971.  Dorothy Florence Bird, beloved wife of Stanley Bird, dear mother of Mrs. J Wilson (Audrey), Mrs. J Greaves (Bernice), Mrs. S Tucker (Marion).  Also survived by 5 grandchildren.  Resting at The Murray E Newbigging (difficult to read) Funeral Home,
733 Mt. Pleasant Rd.
(at Eglinton).  Service in the chapel Saturday

Dorothy and Stanley Bird on their wedding day
Aug. 3 1921
Dorothy and Stanley's Wedding

Married to Stanley Harold Bird on Aug. 3 1921 at St. Clements Anglican Church, Toronto, Ontario.

On the marriage certificate Dorothy's parents are listed as
Mother: Annie Florence Mason
Father: Robert Frank Milliken
At this time I have not been able to locate any records or information regarding Annie Mason or Robert Milliken.

Dorothy's address at the time of her marriage was 23 Eglinton Ave. W. Toronto, ON and her occupation is listed as telephone operator.

The write up that appeared in the Toronto Star on Thursday Aug. 4 1921 read as follows:

Bird – Milliken

St. Clement’s Anglican Church was the scene of a pretty wedding yesterday when Florence Dorothy Milliken was united in marriage to Mr. Harold Stanley Bird of Toronto, Rev. Carpenter officiating.  The bride who was given away by Mr. F. L. McCrae, looked charming in a gown of white Georgette and tulle veil held with orange blossoms.  She carried a bouquet of Ophelia roses with lily of the valley.  Miss Mabel Cascaden, the bridesmaid, wore pale green organdie with black mohair hat and carried sweetheart roses.  Mr. Dudley Bird was best man.  Immediately following the ceremony a buffet luncheon was held at the home of Mr. and Mrs. McCrae,
23 Eglinton Avenue
.  After the reception the happy couple left for Rochester, Buffalo and Detroit, the bride wearing a suit of grey jersey with French hat.  On their return Mr. and Mrs. Bird will reside at
2 Oakwood Avenue
and will be at home to their friends after September 1st.

At this point this is all the confirmed information that I have.  Dorothy was very secerative about her childhood and never shared any information with anyone about where she came from and what her childhood was like.  I have no idea where she was born, if she had any siblings or where her parents came from.  The information I do have is from bits and pieces of conversations I have had with my Nana (her daughter) and my Great Aunt Audrey (one of Dorothy's other daughters)  From them I learned that Dorothy around the age 14 - 16 (possibly in 1914) may have moved to Charlottetown Prince Edward Island either on her own or possibly with her father.  It is possible that she moved in with an Aunt and her father may have worked for the railroad, this may have been their reason for coming to PEI.  It is possible that Dorothy became an orphan at the age of 16.  Upon moving to Toronto it appears Dorothy lived with someone with the last name McCrae and they may have lived next door to Stanley Bird's family.

Other interesting things to note are that Dorothy was incredibly afraid of storms, to the point of having my Mom and her brother hide in closests and boarding up the windows when it would start to storm, could this be a result of experiencing hurricanes or really bad storms in Florida?  Who knows.  Dorothy seemed to come from money (as my Mom put it) as she always wanted things just right and required my Mom to wear white gloves when the bridge ladies came over.  Dorothy also had a housekeeper named Rose before the depression. 

Dorothy and Stanley lived at 227 Ellerslie Ave. Willowdale from 1954 to 1971 and had 3 daughters;
Audrey - born in 1923
Dorothy Bernice - born in 1924 (my Nana)
Marion - born in 1926

Dorothy with Audrey and Bernice 1930
Dorothy and Stanley at Audrey's wedding 1950
Dorothy, Bernice (at the time of her 2nd wedding) and Stanley 1961

Documents I have:
Marriage certificate
Obituary and Wedding write ups in Toronto paper

To send away for death record
Continue researching


Jennifer said...

Family history is so interesting and can be frustrating at the same time. I did genealogy before I was a scrapbooker and I think that's one of the reasons I was drawn to this hobby. I want a record of our modern lives for those that come after us. Thanks for sharing what you know about your Great Nana.

Pam said...

I too find family history so interesting. It must be frustrating to run against brick walls like you have. I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors to uncover family stories/background. I love your great-grandparents wedding picture. They look so happy.

Tracy said...

I have been trying to do a heritage album for years.
Most of my family passed as such young ages there is no one to ask about such things.
I only have one picture of many of my relatives.
I think you have a lot of information.