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The Lumsden Family
Canso, Nova Scotia

Click on any picture to view larger size.

A basic genealogical table of our Lumsden family can be viewed here.
I will be updating the site with photos and clippings of Lumsden information.

The family of James Robert and Anne Rebecca (MacLellan) Lumsden consisted of 9 children, 8 boys and one girl.

(More about the McLellan Family).

The Lumsden family lived at Canso Tittle,   in a large two story house, with a yard and field for gardens - something not many families in the area were able to plant because of the extremely rocky conditions of the land.

A picture of the house, taken from the water side, looking up from the Tickle, just before it was torn down in the early 1970's.

James "Jimmy Snap" Lumsden, as he was called, was the only child of Benjamin and Lucy (Nickerson) Lumsden.

Both Benjamin and "Jimmy Snap" Lumsden were fishermen out of Canso.

The Canso Regatta was, and still is, a yearly event. The Lumsden family attended often.

Lucy (Nickerson) Lumsden
More about the Nickerson family.

The oldest son of James and Annie Lumsden was James Robert Lumsden. He was a fisherman, never married, and lived in the family home his entire life. He inherited the nickname "Jimmy Snap" after the death of his father.

Jim had a girlfriend, a Rossong from Hazel Hill. They never married because, it is said, their differences in religion prevented it. She was Roman Catholic; he was Baptist - his father was a Deacon of the Tittle Baptist Church, and his brother Clarence became a Baptist minister. Religion played a mighty part in the lives of the Canso Lumsdens, partly because of the era, and partly because of the influence of Angus MacLellan, Annie Lumsden's father, who had been born Roman Catholic in Antigonish. Angus left the church and became a strong outspoken opponent of it from that time forward. His antimosity toward the Roman Catholic Church was so strong, it is said, that he disowned a daughter after she married a Roman Catholic - James Hanlon from Canso.

Picture of Jim with Cora, Minnie, Mabel and Mattie.

Second born was Benjamin Weeks Lumsden. He married Mabel Augusta Peart, the only child of Stewart Campbell Peart (called Uncle Buster). Aunt Mabel's mother died at an early age, and "Cam" Peart, as he was called, tended to spoil Aunt Mabel.
Another picture taken at Cook's Cove, on a berry-picking expedition at Pearts' fields.
Uncle Ben had severe asthma - so bad that he could not lay flat to sleep. He had a large reclining chair that he slept in for years. Ben and Mabel had no children. Ben followed the sea, becoming a Sea Captain out of Gloucester. He captained, among other ships, "The Yankee" .
Another shot of "The Yankee" , (both pictures taken at the Canso wharf).

After finishing with the seafaring life, Ben and Mabel moved to Martha's Vineyard, where they owned and operated a Hardware Store. Ben became involved in local politics, being a Selectman for a time.

Another picture of Mabel
Picture of Mabel and unknown woman beside Ben's car.
Picture of Ben and unknown man.
Letter from Mabel, 1965
Letter from Ben, 1965

The third child was another son, Frederick Scott Lumsden.

Fred also followed the sea, becoming a fisherman on board vessels off the Grand Banks. He migrated to the Gloucester area, and in 1907, sent this postcard back home to his brother Percy.

In 1909, he married Cora MacKenzie, and they had 6 children, Neva, Robert, Harry, John, Kenneth and Chester. They lived in Lynn, Mass. On July 9, 1931, Fred died. He had an attack of appendicitis while out to sea, and when he finally got to shore and into the hospital, his appendix had ruptured.

His sister Ida sent this letter home to her mother, describing her visit to view Fred's remains.

Percy's father, Homer Atwood Lumsden, was the fourth child of the family of James and Annie Lumsden. As a child in Sunday School, Homer took an oath to never touch alcohol or tobacco - and he never did his entire life.

Homer worked at a variety of occupations in his lifetime. He was a fisherman, owned and operated two different stores - one in Canso with his brother Hal, one in Cook's Cove - the family general store run out of the house, then he worked as a clerk in stores in Massachusetts, and when he moved back home to Cook's Cove, he farmed and fished, was Road foreman, and Register of Probate, to name a few. He could add pages of figures in his head without ever making an error, faster than most people would be able to use a calculator today.

As people from Nova Scotia quite freely went back and forth from the USA to Canada, Homer and his brothers and sister often worked for long periods in the USA. Homer married Gertie Scott in Boston in 1913.
Gertie had also gone to USA from Guysborough to find work and became a clerk in a dry goods store.

Son number five was Asa Harrington Lumsden, called Hal or sometimes Harry in his younger days.

Hal enlisted in World War I on October 24, 1917, aged 30. At the time of his enlistment at Windsor, N.S., his occupation was Labor Foreman.

He was part of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. He was wounded in the ankle and also narrowly escaped death just before the ending of the war, and as this story of the event shows, miracles do happen!

After the war ended, Hal married Verna Lewis, a woman from Five Islands. She is buried there, and not beside her husband, who is buried in the Canso 4th Hill Cemetery. That decision was made by Verna's sister, who wanted her buried at Five Islands. Verna is remembered as a kind and gentle person.

Another picture of Verna with her brother in law Homer.

Hal became the postmaster at Canso, a position he held until his death in 1948.

Percy John Lumsden, the sixth child of James and Annie Lumsden, was never married. He was an amateur photographer and worked as a clerk in the Menswear Department at A.N. Whitman's store in Canso. In 1914, he moved to Prince Rupert, B.C., and worked there as a sales clerk. He met a woman there, and became engaged to be married.

On March 1, 1915, aged 24 years, he enlisted in the 3rd Canadian Pioneer Battalion at Victoria, B.C. and was sent overseas as part of the Canadian Expeditionary Force.

He wrote this letter to Gertie and Homer on March 2, 1916.

This headstone picture was sent to me by a kind Belgium gentleman - Johan Moors. Mr. Moors is involved in a wonderful project. He is photographing the headstones in Belgium cemeteries. He asked for a photograph of Percy John Lumsden (which I sent) so that he can laminate it and place it beside the stone. That way, when visitors to the cemetery view the stone, they can see the face of the man buried there.

Percy John Lumsden

Percy John Lumsden was killed in action on April 16, 1916. At the time of his death, he had achieved the rank of Lance Corporal. He is buried in Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery in Flanders, Belgium.

After his death, the family received this letter from a friend in Flanders.

His name is inscribed with others on the War Memorial at Canso, N.S.

More pictures of Percy:
Percy 1
Percy 2

This painting was done of Percy and Clarence.

Scrapbook of clippings of Canso World War I men.

Ida Alberta Lumsden was the seventh child and only girl in the family. She never married. She worked in the U.S.A. until she contracted T.B. She returned home to her parents'home in Canso. In 1935, she died at home of tuberculosis at age 44 after spending years in the Sanatorium at Kentville, N.S. This picture was taken of her in the "San".

George Osborne Lumsden was born on Oct. 11/1892. He died in infancy.

The ninth and last child was Clarence Basil Lumsden. At age 20, on Feb. 11, 1915, he enlisted in World War I, as a stretcher bearer. He lost his left arm in the war. After it was over , he attended Acadia Seminary and became a Baptist Minister.

He married Ruth Wilson and they had three children, a son who died a very young child, Howard and Halle.

He was a prominent theologian, and was Professor in Biblical Languages and literature at Acadia University. He was appointed a director of the C.B.C., and served in various positions in the Canadian Legion. Branch 74 in Wolfville is named the "Dr. C.B. Lumsden" Branch.

He died at age 75, and is buried at Willow Bank Cemetery in Wolfville, NS.

Article from the Legion magazine after Clarence's death:
Page 1
Page 2

On the 50th Anniversary of their Marriage, Jim and Annie Lumsden were addressed at the Tittle Baptist Church, in January, 1929.

James Robert Lumsden died on March 17, 1938, and in his will , he left the home and property to his wife Annie Lumsden, and then, to his son Jim.

View a letter written by Grandmother to her grandchildren the night before Grandfather died.

Annie Lumsden died in 1944.

Return to Introduction
Return to Percy - The Early Years