Isabel & Agnes with Shirley
Agnes daughter of Benjamin Brocklebank and Eleanor Thompson/Mossop,
Brocklebank, born 1881 at Wray Head, Drigg, Cumberland, after the census was
Her sister Isabel was born in the same house in 1885.
1901 sees Agnes working for a Miss Eliza Gilmour of Prospect House, Holmrook, as a General Domestic, Isabel is at home with her mother Eleanor at Taylors Cottage, Drigg, next door to her half sister Elizabeth Mossop.
Agnes and Isabel emigrated to Canada; I had no knowledge of where or when. My search began, for years I posted their names on surname list and genealogy message boards
My mother told me that my grandfather was going to go with Agnes and Isabel
to Canada but changed his mind, but paid the fare for them.
I found a transcription of Agnesís Passenger details but no Isabel
. Transcription from the inGeneas Database
Record ID: 307741
Comments: On board the S.S. "Canada" which sailed 9 June
1904; destination Indian Head.
Event: #i901: Women (and others) brought to Canada
by the United British Women's Emigration
Source: Transcribed from (film of) original documents held
at the National Archives of Canada [Ottawa]:
Immigration Branch, RG 76, volume 45, file 1378,
part 2, reel C-4708.
So now I knew were Agnes had gone to, but if she had married? How would I be able to find her? Was she still living there? and why could I not find Isabel if they had gone together; she would have been only 19 years old and Henry my grandfather would have only been 16 years old and an apprentice Blacksmith unable to afford the fare to Canada.
I contacted Indian head library and the Saskatchewan family history society.
ARNOLD DALES contacted me offering to help me. He lives in the Saskatchewan area
and was very encouraging. He kept me looking when I thought I would not find
anything about the Brocklebank girls, as I have always called them, telling me
what a great job I was doing. He sent photos, text of the hostel and church in
Indian Head, also a marriage certificate for Agnes.
I had lots of help from GEORGE ALLISON, a Canadian living in the US, he is on the same Cumberland Rootsweb mailing list. George was the first to find Isabel and her burial, in a town called Medicine Hat.
I contacted the cemetery where an Isabel Brocklebank was buried hoping she was mine. Here is their response to my request for information.
We concern ourselves with very little information in our records but
here is what we have for Isabel
Died March 3, 1947 at the age of 61
Born in England and died form Rheumatic carditis.
Her location you already have. She does not appear to have a
Hopefully this is the information you need. If you would like to access
an obituary you can contact the local paper. Medicinehatnews.com
Parks Operations Foreman
City of Medicine Hat
Isabel had not married!
I then contacted the Alberta Genealogical Society left a message re Agnes and Isabel; below is the news I wanted.
Thank you for your e-mail to the Alberta Genealogical Society dated 15 Nov
2002 and relating to Isabel and Agnes Brocklebank.
The Isabel you found on the Medicine Hat Cemetery web-site is your
A search of the Alberta death indexes listed the death of Isabel Brocklebank
on 2 March 1947. The informant was Agnes Hodgson.
A search of the AGS Master Surname Index (mainly transcribed burial records
for Alberta) detailed the burial of Agnes Hodgson, also in Medicine Hat.
Both Isabel and Agnes are buried in Hillside Cemetery, Medicine Hat Alberta.
I have found obituaries for both of them in the Medicine Hat News. If you let
me know your mailing address I will put copies of these in the mail to you.
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Norma Wolowyk, Volunteer
AGS Research Services Committee
Norma then sent me a extract from a book called ď Indian Head; History of
Indian Head and District and there was a article by Agnesís daughter Mary Haas,
I was very pleased to find out that Agnes had a daughter but also to find her
husband Joe Hodgson was from the small village of Eskdale also in Cumberland
although they had never met before they arrived in Canada.
HODGSON, Joseph and Agnes
by Mary Haas
"My parents were not acquainted before coming to Canada although both
came from the same country of Cumberland, England, from places not too
far from each other. My father came from a farm and my mother from a
small village. My father Joe Hodgson, came out as a farm worker for
the late A. E. Wilson, Saskatchewan was then the North West Territories
so the date of his arrival was in 1902-03. My mother (Agnes
Bracklebank) came some months later to become maid, cook or whatever
have you for Mr. and Mrs. A. E. Wilson. After marriage my parents
rented a farm from Mr. Wilson east of town. Mr. Sam Woodward lived on
this farm after my folks moved to the Sunny Slope District about
1910-11. They remained on the Dr. Hart farm in Sunny Slope for about
7 years and moved to the Fair Play District. While in Sunny Slope we
were raising sheep and cattle and suffered some sheep loses due to
coyotes. We lost some horses when they got out of the fence and were
killed on the railroad and some from Swamp fever. Wheat prices were
low and one time in WWI I remember our wheat was sold when the price
was down. However things balanced out a bit and my parents were able
to purchase land in the Fair Play area.
Our recreation consisted of weekly trips to Indian Head, the picnic
held yearly in the district, the 1st of July celebration, Farmers Day
a the Regina Exhibition and visits to close neighbours. As their only
child I eventually became a teacher and taught for about twenty- four
years in Sask and Alta."
Mary and John Haas on their wedding day. (Mary is Agnes's daughter)
I was sent the obituaries of Isabel and Agnes
Taken from the Medicine Hat Daily News 3rd March 1947
Taken from the Medicine Hat Daily News 6th March 1947
Isabel had been in Canada for 35 years, she had died in 1947,
So it seems that she went out in 1912 and not with Agnes in 1904. As yet I have been unable to confirm this part of the story. If it is the case then my Grandfather would have been 24 years old and he would have finished his apprentice. I think he must have met my Grandmother by then too, as they married in1914. This may be the reason why he did not emigrate to Canada with his sister Isabel. This is pure speculation on my part but it seems to fit the oral family history recalled by my elder relatives.
I am still looking for any information on Isabelís life and passage to Canada
Update 2008: Passage to Canada: Ship Name Teutonic. 4th May 1912 Liverpool to Montreal. White Star Dominio
Agnes and Mary (daughter) are with Isabel so Agnes must have come back for a time and taken Isabel with her.
Agnes Brocklebank Hodgson obituary taken from the Medicine Hat New 29th March
Taken from the Medicine Hat News 3rd April 1950
Now I have the name of a Grand daughter Shirley (Update: 2005. Have now
established contact with Shirley. more to follow)
I am still looking for information of the above.
Joe Hodgson died in 1933 in Caroline, Alberta
From the "Innisfail Province" June 22, 1933:
On Friday last, June 16th., Mr. Joseph Hodgson of Caroline passed away, aged 56 years. The deceased was a native of England and came to Caroline District about a year ago. He leaves to mourn his loss a wife, living at Caroline.
The funeral was held on Monday June 19th from St. Marks Church. Rev. Neville Blunt conducted the Service.
The pallbearers were, Messes, T. Hutton, J. Leask, Geo Redding, H. Langley, Roy McArthur and J. Hopkins. The funeral arrangements were under the direction of Mr. R.D. Sheffield.
I am still hoping to find more information on this family.
I had lots of help from people on this research my thanks to them all.
Gail (Brockelbank) Smith
Patricia Clews. 2003 ©