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Following the Life of Jennie Mae (Riley) Floyd and Family


§  Jennie Mae Riley was the fourth daughter and seventh child of Timothy W. and Mary Jane Riley of Bear River East, NS. She appears to have been born in Bear River East on June 23, 1887.  


§  The earliest record for Jennie is a reference in the 1891 Canadian census for Clementsvale where, at 4 years of age, she was enumerated with the full Riley family minus Ida May who had died in December of the previous year and Boyd who would not be born until December of 1892.  


§  Jennie is listed with the family (minus George and Ida Mae) in the 1901Canadian census and is noted to be 13 years of age with full date of birth available. Her religion is given as Methodist and the census notes that she spent 9 months in school during the previous year.


§  Jennie married 24 year old (likely incorrect age as other records suggest he was 30) Bert H. Floyd on January 27, 1904 in the Baptist church in Clementsvale when she was 17. Bert (Bertis) was recorded as a farmer as were his parents and Jennie’s parents. Mother Mary Jane was a witness at the ceremony.


§  Bertis was the third child and second son (and perhaps a bit of an after thought as he was separated by 10 years from his nearest sibling) of 49 year old James and 44 year old Elizabeth Floyd of Hessian Line (Bear River East/Clementsvale) in Annapolis Co. NS. The 1881 census indicates his birth year to likely be 1874 and the 1891 census confirms this date.


§  Bertis was listed in the 1909 and 1913 Wakefield directories as living at 193 North Ave and employed as an iceman. By the time of publication of the 1917 directory he was recorded as being a rattan worker. Later directories in 1936 and 1939 simply list the home location of the three Floyds at 193 North Ave, Wakefield.


§  The April US 1910 census found Jennie and Bertis living in Wakefield, MA at 193 North Ave, a residence which became the couple’s lifelong address in the US. It noted Bertis as being 35 and Jennie as 23. Both sets of parents were listed as being born in Canada. Bertis was recorded as being a teamster on an ice wagon. By this time the family had been enlarged by the birth of 4 year old Lawrence C. in March of 1906.


§  Interestingly a couple houses away on adjoining 17 Linden (?) street lived Ernest and Isobel Rogers, whose then 13 year old daughter eventually married Jennie’s brother Boyd in 1921at the age of 23. Boyd lived with Jennie and Bertis prior to enlisting and subsequent to discharge from the Canadian Expeditionary Force in 1917 and 1919 respectively. 


§  Bertis Harding Floyd filed his WWI draft registration on September 12, 1918 in Melrose, MA. He gave his age as 44 and his date of birth as July 14, 1874. He indicated himself to be of medium height, slender build, with brown hair and eyes. At that time he was working for the Attwood Ice Co. as a driver from their facilities at 43 Church St., Wakefield. The couple was living at 193 North Ave at the time of registration.


§  The January 1920 US census continued to find the 46 and 31 year old couple and son Lawrence, then 13, at the same residence. Living with them in 1920 was Jennie’s 27 year old brother Boyd, recently returned from WWI and England via Canada.  Immigration dates are given therein as 1901 for Bertis, suggesting he was in MA before being married; Jennie’s date however is given as 1904 suggesting she likely did not arrive stateside until after being married. Boyd’s immigration date is given as 1910; the year after his father’s passing.  Bertis had by this time left the ice delivery business and was working in a factory, but the writing describing his job is not legible.


§  The April 1930 census found the family continuing to live in rental accommodation at  193 North Ave; at this time Bertis gave his age as 55, Jennie as 42, and Lawrence as 23. In this record Jennie indicated that she continued to be an alien and that she arrived in the US in 1905. Bertis likewise confirmed lack of naturalization but in this record indicated his year of immigration to have been 1890; he was then self-described as a metal worker. Lawrence was out working by this time but his occupation cannot be determined beyond an assistant with some form of electrical appliance company due to illegible handwriting. In 1940 the family continued to live at 193 North Ave, Wakefield, Bertice was 63, had Gr. 9, and was in the flower nursery business, Jennie was 53, and had Gr. 9, and Lawrence was 33, had two years college, and worked as a clerk in the office of a retail business.


§  Jennie appeared to be her mother’s favorite as she was the only one of the Massachusetts-based children her mother admitted to having visited (at least to 1910), traveling to Wakefield on March 7 and returning to NS on May 22, 1906 after nursing her daughter, ostensibly during the last stages of Jennie’s pregnancy. There is evidence of several trips made by Jennie between Boston and Yarmouth in the 1930’s: the first is on March 4, 1930 on the ferry “Yarmouth”, the second is March 28, 1936 on the same ship; the third being on October 4, 1938 accompanied by sister Lottie and the Hanington/Howes boys, and the fourth was on April 11, 1939, a few months before her mothers death. Jennie provided the information for mother Mary Jane’s death record (registered Oct 16, 1939) suggesting she was likely present for her mother’s funeral.


§  Lawrence at 34 years of age married 26 year old nurse Evelyn G. Kirsh of 567 Lebanon St., Melrose MA on November 9, 1940. Evelyn’s parents were given as Robert Kirsh (more frequently spelled Kirsch) and Ella Juenger, both born in Germany; she was the eldest of five children. Lawrence was still living at home at the time as he gave the 193 North Ave address for the marriage record.


§  Jennie Fahie advised she had met Lawrence several times when he came to NS to visit family. He apparently had designs on some other young lady but his mother interfered and the relationship was terminated (These Riley women tended to be somewhat strong and dominating!). He apparently was convinced to enter the relationship with Kirsch by his mother, but according to Jennie Fahie was never really happy.


§  The younger Floyd’s appear to have had one daughter, Janet Marilyn, born in the Melrose, MA hospital on March 29, 1945 when the couple was living at 15 East St., Melrose. Janet applied for her Social Security Number at 15 when the family was living at 40 Main St, Saugus. She attended the University of Massachusetts-Amherst where she majored in accounting, graduating with the class of 1967.  


§  First cousin once removed Jennie Fahie noted she had correspondence with Janet into the 1970’s but it gradually fell away. She did indicate that Janet had married a Mr. Foley, was certain there had been a child, and that Janet had lived in Nassau in the Bahamas for some period.


§  If Janet married a Foley a likely candidate would be Robert H Foley, veterinarian, and more recently lawyer, who was a classmate in the UofM and who operated a successful veterinary business in Florida for several decades. However, a definitive connection between the individuals is yet to be made.


§  Janet Marilyn Floyd passed away on 24 of September, 1993 in Florida under her maiden name suggesting the likelihood of a divorce if indeed she had been married. At the time her residence was given as Silver Springs, Marion County. The distribution of Janet’s estate as per the terms of her will was finalized in Court in 1998.   


§  Son Lawrence Floyd died in 1966 and is buried in the Lakeside Cemetery in Wakefield. His wife Evelyn Floyd died in Carlsbad, CA in September of 2010.


§  Bertis Harding Floyd died of cerebral hemorrhage on October 28, 1951 falling out of a cerebral arteriosclerosis illness of several years. At the time he was living at home at 193 North Ave, Wakefield. His age was given as 77 years, 3 months, and 14 days suggesting a birthdate of July 14, 1874. His birthplace was recorded as Clementsvale NS and his parents as James Floyd and Elizabeth Wright, both of whom were born in Clementsvale. His occupation at the time of death was given as a wholesale florist.  He was buried in Lakeside Cemetery, Wakefield, on October 30, 1951. The informant for the death record was wife Jennie Riley. Interestingly, this record gives Jennie’s middle name as “Maud”.


§  Jennie Mae (Riley) Floyd died at 98 years of age on November 15, 1986 in the Grandview Manor Nursing Home in Wakefield, MA. Her usual residence was given at the time as Bathol St., Wakefield, which is likely the address of the nursing home. Her birth date was given as June 23, 1887. She is reported to have died of cardiac arrest. Parental information is correct except for the fact that the record has her father having been born in MA. She was buried in Lakeside Cemetery, Wakefield, on November 19, 1985. The informant for the death record was the legal office of McAuliffe & McAuliffe suggesting that Jennie likely had a will.


RAR -12.03.05

Updated -17.02.13