Mary Jane Miller
Mary Jane Miller with unknown friend
When I think about storms in my life the roughest period was when I was trying to conceive. Month to month was an emotional roller coaster. I always related to Mary Munro. She couldn’t have children either. At least that was what I had been told.
Imagine my surprise when I found Mary Jane and her husband Neil Munro listed with a child, Mary C. on the 1901 census. Mary C Munro was born November 22, 1887. She hadn’t appeared in the 1891 census so I was cautious and checked the 1911 census. She was in that census too but this one listed her as “adopted daughter”.
Mary and Neil had adopted a little girl. My experience with adopted or foster children suggested she was somehow related. I knew from research that the relationship wasn’t on the Miller side so I started researching the siblings of Neil Munro. Since I knew Neil’s parents names from his marriage registration. I went to the Ontario Marriage Registrations on Ancestry and typed only the parents names in the search. Sure enough, the marriage of one sister, Rose Monroe and Arthur Robson showed up. A year later, on November 22, 1887, Mary Christina Robson was born to this couple.
I did more research and discovered that Rosina Robson died of consumption (tuberculosis) on June 16, 1891. Her father would not have been able to care for a 4 year old so the logical thing to do was give her to Mary and Neil to raise since they had no children of their own. This is a very humane way to deal with children.
Mary Christina lived with Mary and Neil until 1914 when she married Howard Stevens and in 1921 she had 3 children of her own.
Although Mary Jane Munro lived through the “storm” of not having children, at the age of 35 she was blessed with a little 4 year old girl to love and raise for 23 years. It’s not the same as giving birth but raising child whether biologically yours or not is a tremendous responsibility and joy, I’m sure.
1901 Canada Census; Neil Munroe Household; Westminster Township; Middlesex South, Ontario; District 89, Subdistrict D2; page 1, family 3; accessed 24 August 2015; www.ancestry.ca; [database online]; Provo, Utah; Microfilm T-6482; ; citing Library and Archives Canada; Ottawa, Ontario.
1911 Canada Census; Neil Munroe Household; Westminster Township; East Middlesex, Ontario; District 95, Subdistrict 22; page 18, family 214; accessed 24 August 2015; www.ancestry.ca; [database online]; Provo, Utah; Microfilm T20384; ; citing Library and Archives Canada; Ottawa, Ontario.
Ontario Marriage Registrations; Munro, Rose; Robson, Arthur; 1886; Lucknow, Bruce; #1704; Microfilm Reel 1869960; accessed April 2006; Family History Library; Salt Lake City, Utah; citing Archives of Ontario; Toronto, Canada.
Ontario Birth Registrations; Robson, Mary Christina; Colbourne Township, Huron; #13447; Microfilm MS 929 Reel 82; Archives of Ontario, Toronto, Canada.
Ontario Death Registrations; Robson, Rosina; 1891; Westminster, Middlesex; #10025; accessed 24 August, 2015; www.ancestry.ca; [database online]; Provo, Utah; Microfilm MS 935 Reel 61; citing Archives of Ontario, Toronto, Canada.
Ontario Marriage Registrations, 1869-1928; Westminster, Middlesex, Ontario; Ancestry.com [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010; citing Archives of Ontario, Toronto, Canada
Howard Stevens Household: 1921 Canada Census; RG 31; Folder Number: 71; Census Place: Westminster (Township), Middlesex East, Ontario; Page Number: 9; Ancestry.com. [database on-line]; citing Library and Archives Canada; Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Tombstone; Howard and Mary C Stevens (Robson); Pond Mills Cemetery, Middlesex Co, Ontario; Photos courtesy of Alison Mitchell-Reid , Additions from Dot Sale , Indexed by Alison Mitchell-Reid at CanadaGenWeb’s Cemetery Project. http://geneofun.on.ca/names/photo/1049650