Heritage: Grandparents, Aunts & Uncles


by Annie Coleman (Kerr) Sexton, published in Stanton Stats March 10, 1994

As the Irishman said “I have a good memory, but short.” With my short memory I’m recording what I can remember of my ancestors. My great regret is that I didn’t get written records from my parents.

My grandfather, John Kerr, was born in County Cork, Ireland. . . He acquired a small farm near Clear Lake, Ontario. …He was a very stern parent and a very devoted Methodist. . . He had a very good singing voice. (My father couldn’t sing a note.) He must have grown grain . . . because he would carry a sack of grain forty miles to Brockville and carry back the flour. His years of hard work left him with sciatica rheumatism and he suffered agonies from it before he died.

He married a local girl, Matilda Stanton, when she was sixteen years of age. Her English grandmother lived to be 103 years old and smoked a corn cob pipe to the end. Grandmother [Matilda] Kerr was a happy, easy going person. [My father] inherited his mother’s disposition.

[Matilda] developed a tumor in her stomach and at that time there was no cure. The doctor would drain off the fluid and that was the only relief she got. She died at an early age.

John and Matilda, had five children, three sons and two daughters. One daughter Susanna died young. One son, Jim, died in early manhood. Sarah Anne, Uncle George and Edward (my father), grew to manhood and womanhood.

Sarah Anne was a big, strong, fun loving girl. She married a widower with two boys from New York State, town of Oneida. He was a train engineer. They had four sons; then she fell a victim to diabetes and died at age thirty-four Before she died, she made Uncle Bill Harding promise to marry a woman she knew and whom she thought would be a good mother to her children. The woman wasn’t unkind but was untidy and a very poor substitute for capable Aunt Sarah Anne.

Uncle George married and settled down as a cheese maker. Later on, with their two boys and two girls, they came to Manitoba. Aunt Matilda opened a hat and dress shop at Sinclair, Manitoba. Uncle George worked at any job he could find. This shop didn’t do well and they moved on to Carlyle, Saskatchewan, where again they had a hat shop and Uncle George was a janitor in the school. They ended their days at Carlyle.