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Nellie Rose Daniels 1891-1952

October 16, 2014

Sadly, no photos are available of Nellie Rose Daniels. But, it’s possible she’s one of the girls in the photo below.  Thanks to Gerald Southam for sending the information and photos on Nellie, his great aunt. Readers interested in Middlemore Homes, the agency that immigrated Nellie, can visit the Middlemore Atlantic Society Canada here.

June 12, 1906 - girls ready to board the Siberian

Girls ready to board the Siberian – June 12, 1906 (photo from Children’s Emigration Homes, St. Luke’s Road, Birmingham, 34th Annual Report.)

Nellie Rose Daniels was born on March 7, 1891 in Birmingham to Rose Anne (Southam) and Walter Wallace Daniels. Walter was a bricklayer. The parents registered her birth on April 14, 1891 at All Saints Church in Birmingham. Later that year, on May 6, 1891, Nellie was baptized in the parish of Ladywood, St. John, Warwickshire.

Nellie lived in a three-room flat with her parents, older brother, Walter Wallis, half-brother, Josiah Charles and sister, Edith, at 2 Frances Building, Cape Street, Birmingham. Another brother, William Dudley, had died at birth.

On July 21, 1897, Nellie’s mother died from complications involving a fractured hip.

In the early 1900s, Nellie’s family fell on hard times. By 1901, her eight year-old sister, Edith, was living with brother, Walter Wallis, 22. Walter was married to Elizabeth Mynott. The couple had one child, Rose Margaret Daniels.

Liverpool Docks Circa 1900

Liverpool Docks Circa 1900

At about age twelve, Nellie’s family became so fractured that she was sent to the Worcester Poor Law Institution on Tallow Hill. Having custody of Nellie, the Institution asked Middlemore Homes to consider her for immigration to Canada. After three months at the Middlemore Children’s Emigration Home for Girls on Spring Road in Birmingham, Nellie left for Liverpool. On the same day, June 12, 1906, she arrived at the docks with 159 other child immigrants. A Miss Riley travelled as chaperone. Nellie boarded the steamship S. S. Siberian bound for Canada.

After a ten day journey, the ship docked at St. John’s, Newfoundland briefly then sailed on to Halifax, arriving June 23, 1906. The passenger list states Nellie is thirteen but she was actually fifteen.

Nellie was taken to the Middlemore Receiving Home, a fifty acre plot and house in Halifax. Nellie’s first two placements lasted only six months each. Reports show that she “was opposed to attending school,” but perhaps she was simply having a difficult time settling into her new life.

On July 20, 1907, Nellie was shipped to Halifax then boarded a train. Her destination was Annie MacPherson’s receiving home at 51 Avon Street in Stratford.

Josiah Charles Southam, Nellie's half-brother

Josiah Charles Southam, Nellie’s half-brother

By this time, Nellie’s half-brother, Josiah Charles Southam, is also living in Stratford. He had immigrated to Canada with the help of the Salvation Army in 1904. It’s possible that Nellie lived with Josiah for a time. She dropped the name “Daniels” and began using “Southam,” her mother’s maiden name and the name Josiah used.

In December, 1910, Nellie married Albert Frederick Hall, also an immigrant from England, in Stratford. Both Nellie’s husband, Albert, and her brother, Josiah, worked for the Grand Trunk Railway locomotive repair plant.

52 North Street

Nellie and Albert’s Home at 52 North Street, Stratford

A son, Charles Frederick Hall, was born to Nellie and Albert on June 14, 1915 in London, Ontario. Nellie and Albert lived at 52 North Street, Stratford.

After only eight years of marriage, while he was serving with the forces in France, Albert was killed in action “whilst taking part with his company in operations.” At 27, Nellie became a widow.

For a time after her husband’s death, Nellie lived and worked as a waitress at the Tecumseh Hotel in London, Ontario.

In 1921, Nellie remarried to Alfred Meehan, who had immigrated from England as a nineteen year-old. They remained married for twenty-four years, until Alfred’s death.

Nellie Rose Daniels (Southam) passed away on June 25, 1952 while she was living near her only child, Charles Frederick, in Richmond Hill. She is buried there at the Presbyterian Church Cemetery on Young Street in Richmond Hill, Ontario.


book coverPromises of Home – Stories of Canada’s British Home Children

by Rose McCormick Brandon is available here.

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