Monday, April 07, 2008

Genealogue Challenge #124

Neil Richler thought this might make a good challenge. I agree.

[A] man named Leigh Wilkinson Metcalf joined the Department of Highways in Grimsby, Ontario and became a bike cop. He sadly died on duty at the age of 26, when his cycle was involved in a head-on collision.

Now, more than 80 years later, the Ontario government is planning to honour the fallen officer, but officials have a major problem - after so many years, they can't find any survivors.
What can you find out about Leigh's family?


A search at Rootsweb supplies the following info on: Arthur & Gertrude's family:
. Arthur METCALFE.

3. Cynthia Gertrude BEAMER was born 9 Jan 1877. She was the daughter of 6. Brazilla BEAMER and 7. Melissa LEE.

Children of Cynthia Gertrude BEAMER and Arthur METCALFE are: i. Vera METCALFE.
ii. Barbara METCALFE.
iii. Dorothy METCALFE.
iv. Joyce Ellen METCALFE. She married John WESTHALL.
v. David METCALFE.
vi. Isobella METCALFE. She married Arnold INGLEHART.
vii. Blanch METCALFE. She married Arthur AMAN.
viii. Bertha Gay METCALFE was born 25 Jul 1882, and died 10 Nov 1957. She married John MCMILLAN. She married Bethal Stewart PICKETT 11 Dec 1908.
ix. William Edward METCALFE.
1. x. Harold B. METCALFE was born 1 Apr 1898.
xi. Janeth METCALFE.
xii. Frances METCALFE.
xiii. Llewelyn Elmer METCALFE. He married Dorothy SNYDER.
xiv. Arthur David METCALFE. He married Mary Jane ALISTER.
xv. James Gordon METCALFE was born 24 Nov 1899. He married Marjorie MITCHELL.
xvi. Lee Wilkinson METCALFE was born 17 Apr 1901, and died 17 Oct 1927.
xvii. Margaret Gordon METCALFE was born 25 Jul 1902. She married Henry MOORE. He was born 9 Feb 1905

The 1901 CN Census at Automated Genealogy Lists Arthur and Gertrude at Grimsby, Wentworth, Ontario, with the following family:
Harold born 1 April 1898
Gordon born 24 Nov 1899
George (COUSIN)born 1 Jan 1861
Mary (Mother) born 7 Jun 1848
Ella M (Sister) born 22 Sep 1874

The 1911 CN census at Automated Genealogy, Lists Gertrude and Arthur, resident in Grimsby North, Lincoln, Ontario, With Barzilla. and the following Children

Harold-DOB April 1898
Gordan DOB Nov 1899
Lugh (probably Leigh) DOBB Apr 1901
Margret DOB Jul 1902
Moore DOB Feb 1905
Ralph DOB May 1908
Isobel DOB Mar 1910.

So the Census confirms the parentage for the following children:
Isobel- married Arnold Inglehart
Harold- no marriage record
James Gordon- marries Marjorie Mitchell
Margaret-marries Henry Moore.

So if we can find any children from these marriages......


The Rootsweb entry for the family shows Living descendants for the
Margaret Metcalf- Henry Moore and
James Gordon-Marjorie Mitchell marriages.

Chris's Ontario VRs offer these details:

Arthur Wilkinson Metcalfe, son of James F. and Mary M. (Wilkinson) Metcalfe, married 23 June 1897 in Lincoln Co., Ontario, Cynthia Gertrude Beamer, daughter of Barzillai and Melissa (Lee) Beamer.

Births only go up to 1909. Their children include:

Harold Beamer, b. 1 Apr. 1898.

James Gordon Metcalf, b. 24 Nov. 1899.

Lee Wilkinson Metcalf, b. 17 Apr. 1901.

Margaret Gertrude Metcalf, b. 25 July 1902.

William ["Henry" written above] Moore Metcalf, b. 2 Feb. 1905.

Ralph Arthur Metcalf, b. 9 May 1908.

All but Ralph (born in Essex Co.) were born in Lincoln County.

Leigh died 19 Oct. 1927 at City Hospital in Hamilton, and was buried in Queens Lawn Cemetery.

Andy E. Wold's Family Trees has a database maintained by Leigh's niece, Roberta Casella, a daughter of Leigh's youngest sibling William. I have contacted her and here is her reply:

Hello Andy,

This has been a most exciting week, I just did an interview for CBC radio, about my uncle Leigh. The article done by the Globe and Mail appeared in today's edition. This is such an honour for our family, we are truly touched.

I am planning on attending the ceremony on May 4th, along with my sisters. Leigh was a part of our lives that we always remembered even though we never had a chance to know him personally.

Please feel free to contact me if you hear from others in my family. Thank you so much for contacting me.

Sincerely, Roberta Casella

Her database includes a family photo including Leigh. (


Thanks, Andy! Here's the link.


in reponse to mfraser, your info regarding children of Cynthis Gertrude Beamer and Arthur Metcalfe has some issues. Vera Metcalfe (my grandmother) was a Metcalfe by marriage only. She was Vera Beamer who married Harold B. Metcalfe, the oldest son of Gertrude and Arthur. Barbara and Dorothy (as well as my mother Katharine) were their three daughters. Some of the children you have listed are actually grandchildren. Not sure where you got your info. Out of interest over 80 family members from across Canada have responded to the OPP concerning the honouring our of Uncle Leigh. The interest has been overwhelming to say the least.

Metcalfe Relative from Calgary


The initial info I posted on Metcalfe family comes from a posting on Rootsweb.

From that initial information, I cross-referenced the 1901 and 1911 Canadian censuses to determine which of the Rootsweb listings could be confirmed, and came up with only four family members that could be checked -- Vera was not among them, despite her initial posting in the Rootsweb entry.

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