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Home: Surnames: Dowley Family Genealogy Forum

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Re: Allen Alfred Dowley, Ireland, Canada, Texas
Posted by: Richard Brezet (ID *****5603) Date: July 01, 2005 at 23:06:46
In Reply to: Re: Allen Alfred Dowley, Ireland, Canada, Texas by Connie Kervin Brashear of 45

Hello again Connie:

You recall we corresponded a few years ago about the DOWLEY name in Canada and the USA. I just happened upon your e-mails with Tim Van Zoost about the Dowley and Winchester connections. What a small world it really is.

Tim and his family grew up in Yarmouth, and I was the age of his older brothers David and Jonathan and used to play with them. I remember Tim as their younger brother, but I doubt he would remember me.

My mother told me that, as a young girl, she used to see Maude Dowley come with her family into Yarmouth from South Ohio (about 5-6 miles away). Maude was born in 1903. Maude used to see movies at the theatre across the street from where my mother's father had a candy store for many years. I believe John Dowley (see below) was her father.

In the 1960's, my mom and I used to stop to see Maude and her husband Everett Lewis in their tiny house in Digby County, NS. We never did buy any of her paintings (she was asking $5 to $10 each then and used to sign them "Maude"), and now they sell for tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. Maude died in 1970. She became known as Canada's "Grandma Moses".

After Everett died, the house stayed unoccupied into the 1980's. As Tim has said, the Province of Nova Scotia moved it to the capital city of Halifax to make it part of a larger display of her life after she became famous. There is now a stylized reproduction of the little house on the original location.

The Winchester's who were Tim's mother's people were all from Digby County. One of them, Carl Winchester, was the projectionist at the Capitol Theatre on Main Street in Yarmouth for many years. I wonder if he learned his craft from Charles Dowley.

I see you were looking in April 2005 at the 1901 Canadian Census on-line. As you saw, there were two households of DOWLEY in Yarmouth County in 1901:

A widow Isabella Dowley b. Sep 14, 1846 (was her husband named Charles?) had three daughters: Louella b. July 3, 1872; Annie b. Sept 14, 1874; and the oldest Eliza b. April 1, 1871, a widow with surname GRAY and two daughters Eva b. 1891 and Portia b. 1894.

John b. Aug 16, 1875; his wife Agnes b. Dec 23, 1870; and a son Charles b. Jan 2, 1898 (Maude b. 1903 must have been a member of this family). I think John Dowley was Isabella's only living son, and that Maude (Lewis) was his daughter and a sibling of Charles b. 1898. Was Charles the one who moved to California?

What became of Louella and Annie Dowley, Eliza Gray's slightly younger sisters? Did they ever marry and have children? Did Eliza herself re-marry and have other children? If so, what are the surnames of all these families?

Since Maude married late in life and never had any children, perhaps you will have to trace Eva and Portia Gray's family lines to find more info. Many of the GRAY families came from Yarmouth Co (usually from Kemptville, Carleton, or Ohio). You would have to find the surnames of the families Eva and Portia married into. Some of their children could still be living, and certainly their grandchildren might have more knowledge of your relationship to the DOWLEY family.

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