Arthur Durston

Arthur younger Arthur youing man

These photos believed to be Arthur in Adolescence, and  at 24 Arthur - Middle-Aged

Tom and Annie Durston

Arthur and Emilie's Family
The family of Arthur Durston and Emilie Joan Smale (British Home Child) Circa 1915. Arthur and Emilie in Centre
The photo was probably taken in the summer of 1915 prior to the oldest boy William's departure for WWI
(All of the people in this photo are deceased)

Arthur Durston was born in Bleadon England. He left Bleadon to emigrate to Canada in 1887. He and Annie Amesbury were married on July 26 and they sailed from Liverpool three days later on July 29. They sailed on the steamship "SS Sarnia" captained by Joseph Gibson and bound for Quebec. There was food aboard for 32 days and 149 people made the voyage. There were 96 of English descent and 53 "Foreigners". 23 children were aboard. The "Cabin" contained 19 people; 16 single males, one single female, and Arthur and Annie.

Upon arrival in Canada, they spent about a month in Toronto, buying household goods and spending some time (and $2.08) at the Toronto fair. Later, on Sept 28 they made their way to Durham, Ontario spending $12.90 on the train fare.

By September 30, 1887 Arthur had purchased land at Durham from Samuel Whitmore and Mary Jane Whitmore. The land is identified as Lot 7 Concession 22 of the Township of Egremont, Grey County.

The next three years would see the birth of Tom and Annie in 1888 and 1890 and the death of his wife Annie on March 17, 1890.

On October 24, 1890 Arthur sold his land back to Samuel Whitmore and headed west.

After the sale of his Ontario property, the Manitoba census taken in April 1891 finds Arthur working as one of two labourers on the farm of James Leytle near Portage la Prairie in Manitoba.  Later that year, after probably hearing of the availability of Homestead land claims further west, Arthur moved west to Kemnay, Manitoba and staked a claim there. He would remain there until 1899 when after having proved the claim,  he sold that farm and bought another  from a previous homesteader at Griswold.

Tom and Annie had been left in Ontario to be cared for by the Whitmores with the parties probably intending that to be temporary. It was not. However, the Whitmores did eventually also move west to Manitoba. In the census of 1906, Tom and Annie lived with Whitmores who registerred at Oakville, Manitoba, a town near Portage la Prairie.

Arthur was married in Brandon, Manitoba on October 10, 1891 to Emily(ie) Joan Smale who was listed in the 1891 census as residing with the Pooles. He was listed as "Widower", she as "Spinster". Arthur's parents were listed; hers were not.  

Children were Edith Merle, William Arthur, Winnifred Maude, Nellie Ruby born while they were living at their homestead at Kemnay.

This family moved to Griswold, Manitoba in 1899 where the remaining eight children were born. Their home was on NW1/4 of 5-9-22W. These children were Anthony John, Albert Charles, Frank Henry, Dora Emily Martha, Catherine Ruth, Jessie Rose, Lucy, and Lily. Lucy and Lily died as infants and are buried on this property.

Arthur died in Brandon on January 14, 1929 after treatment for cancer. He is buried at Griswold, Manitoba, Canada

Arthur's Headstone

Arthur's Headstone in the Griswold Cemetery (Dora is his Daughter)

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