I'm researching a Canadian ancestor and i've hit a dead end.

+5 votes

I wonder if someone is able to point me to another place to look. I've looked in the usual places: familysearch, ancestry, google.

The person is Jeneva (Wilson) King at [Wilson-53705]. She married Ernest King [King-29013]. They eventually moved to the family hometown, Highlands, NJ (USA). He died during WWI. She disappears, i suspect back to New Brunswick, CA with her parents, but no proof. Unfortunately i've no living relatives that could provide any info, or even a hint at her whereabouts.

Here's her bio:

Jeneva was born in February of 1892 in New Brunswick, Canada to Francis X Wilson and Ida Landey. Francis and Ida were also born in Canada. [1] [2]

On 25 October 1914 Jeneva (age 23) married Ernest (age 21) in Boston, Massachusetts. Both were living at 20 Leverett Street [3] at the time. She was a laundress and he was a painter. [1]

On 5 June 1915 she was living with Ernest in downtown Highlands, New Jersey. She was a housekeeper and he a waterman by trade. [2]

Any help you could offer would be greatly appreciated.

-Stew King

WikiTree profile: Jeneva King
in Genealogy Help by Stew King G2G1 (1.8k points)
Hello Stew.

Is Jeneva's husband (Ernest L. King) middle name Leroy?
I didn't know so i had to do some research. Apparently it is.

I asked because I found this WW I reg. card.


I think this is your grandfather's brother.

Maybe he had a lapse in his birth year. The card was filled on 5 Jun 1917. If he were born on 1 Oct 1894 (as stated in the card) he would be 22 by 5 Jun 1917 (23 on 1 Oct 1917). His age is correct: 23 years.

According to the card, Ernest was a US Navy Seaman for 3 1/2 years, matching the 1915 NJ State Census, Occupation = Waterman.

According to the card, he had no dependents (item 9) and he was Single (item 10).

As you said, Jeneva just desappeared.

Would she die so young as Ernest??

Yes, i also found his draft card. He died in 1918, service related, did she commit suicide because of her great love for him? I suppose it's possible they had an almost Romeo and Juliet ending, but, realistically, I'm not banking on it. 

Fall time was the height of the spanish flu in the area, but if she died, i would have expected to see an obit of her, and my relatives would have taken care of a funeral. Because she's not buried in the family section of the local cemetery nor does she show in the '20 census in NJ or back in Boston (or anywhere else i looked), my assumption was she high-tailed it for her Canadian home, but again, no evidence.

This has been nagging me for nigh two years with no breakthroughs. 

Further thinking on the card, reading it more carefully, it said a dishonorable discharge, but he was still in the service at the time of his death in '18. So, perhaps that card isn't actually him. Along that line, the town erected a monument listing him and three others having died in the service, I don't think they would have done that on a dishonorable discharge.
One more thing, my Ernest was a Private at the time of this death, I don't think that's a Navy rank.
I also read about the "dishonorable discharge from Navy", but that happened before that date.

The date in the draft card is 5 Jun 1917 and source no. 6 in his profile says he was enlisted 28 Jul 1917.
Do you have Jeneva exact date birth,moth,day,year. ???
I don't know. Would the army take someone who was dishonorably discharged from the navy? It was war time so maybe they'd overlook that. In researching (and getting sidetracked) i found an example in the paper where someone back then in jail was to be held until it was time for him to report to the draft, so maybe?

Sorry, no. The best i have is February 1892. That's based on the 1915 New Jersey state census that does ask for month and year.

6 Answers

0 votes
Off there marriage record, His father Francis X. King,

mother  Ida Landey.Ernest born October 1893;
by Wayne Morgan G2G6 Pilot (868k points)
Yes, thank you, that's how i knew she was Canadian by birth; i had references in her record and links to her parents. But the question still remains: What happened to her after her husband died? Brick wall is all i got.
+1 vote

Could this be her immigration record

Eva Wilson, age 19, last residence Nelson, N.B., father Francis Wilson, Nelson, N.B.

by Christine Daniels G2G6 Mach 6 (65.3k points)

Here is another website for you, The Provincial Archives of New Brunswick.

They have a lot of vital records on their site.

Ha, yes it might be. The fact that it's a shortened form of Jeneva doesn't help. I'll have to do a bit better investigation (like trying to read the blackened part of the record) but it does seem like a solid hit. Thanks for that!


Yes, alternative places to look are certainly one thing i was looking for. Thank you for pointing it out!


Following up on the 1912 immigration record that mentions an Eva Wilson with a father named Francis, I found some 1911 returns for the Nelson area.  

Subdistrict 22 on Ancestry.

Subdistrict 23 on Ancestry

i glanced through the pages of each document for any families called Wilson or Landry or Landey, but didn't notice any.  The writing is not all that clear and the photostat is a bit bitty, so i could have missed the pertinent items, or they could have missed being enumerated, or their family name could have been mangled. Or they could have moved to Nelson between the enumeration and the immigration record....

Or Eva could have stated that she is from Nelson, but actually be from a smaller village adjacent to Nelson, which i didn't look for...

+2 votes

Hmmm, you have an interesting one here!  Neither Jeneva nor her father Francis/Francois/Frank are showing up for me on Canadian census returns.  Nothing is popping up for me at PANB so far either. I would NOT say i have exhausted all avenues.

I notice that Jeneva is Eva on the 1915 census.  A theory: She might sometimes be named Jane Eva, or Jennie Eva.  She might sometimes be enumerated as just Jane.  She will be hard to pick out of the lists, if that is the case.

Her mother's maiden surname as Landey in New Brunswick is unlikely.  It is much more likely to be Landry.

The most likely next step in her life is to get married again, either in the town she was living in, or back in NB with the rellies.  

Just musing here: Should she have been in line for any pension if she survived her husband?  If so, where would we see those records?

What do you think of this possibility? (line 32). I wouldn't be too concerned about the census taker's informant not knowing her birthplace, nor tagging her as single.  The owner of the lodgings might not be aware of her full story.  I'm intrigued by someone with this name being in the same town as your potentially widowed Jeneva. Can you identify her fellow lodger Minnie King? If so, that would be the item that would cause me to prick up my ears.

I really think, though, that the best thing to look for is the marriage of Ida Landry and a Mr Wilson. If she is actually a Landry and if his given names are Francis Xavier, it is likely to be a Roman Catholic wedding. I took a quick look, but there are a lot of ladies named Ida Landry in New Brunswick at that time!

I will keep poking around...



by Shirlea Smith G2G6 Mach 9 (94.8k points)
Hello Shirlea.

I have no Ancestry subscription. I can't see the "possibility" you are listing above.

What is the information on Minnie King in the record?. Jeneva's mother in law was aka Minnie King, the same name you are listing as her fellow lodger.
Nice catch. My eyes lit up when i saw, two lines above her, "Minnie King" as that was her m-i-l's name. However the age for Minnie is given as 30, and not 45, that's not a mistake anyone is liable to make. But i can see someone equating NB ("way up north") with Maine.

Yes, I also thought that catholic might be her religion based on her father's name. And i have seen her referenced as Jennie, Jeneva, Geneva, Eva, and i should probably look for your suggestions too. But i was unaware of PANB until reading Christine's reply above a few mins ago. I will poke around there.

The spelling of her mother's name i got from Jeneva's marriage record, so it's quite possible that the person writing it down mispelled it.

I do think that at her age Geneva eventually remarried. That would make my task even worse! But since i grew up in the same town where she and Ernie were living in the '15 census and when he died, and was related to a big chunk of the populace one way or another, and it being a small town, I think she would have been known. One of my aunts ( b.'26) that's still alive has no recollection of meeting Eva nor any knowledge of what happened to Jennie, (And yes, she's still quite coherent :)

So, this is fine work you've shown me and thanks for that! It shows me that i need to do some more research and thinking and research.

yes, I'm sure the Minnie King in the same boarding house is NOT the mother-in-law (too young) but could be a namesake.  Are all the descendants and possible namesakes of Minnie Sr accounted for?

Theoretically, Francis X and Ida could have had more children, and we could eventually find a record for one of them, either a marriage on PANB or a US Social Security record or something!  Something that shows that there really was a Francis-and-Ida!  The immigration record mentioning Nelson NB is interesting.

I was also following up another lead on a younger Geneva Wilson b 1919 at Turtle Creek, NB.  I was hoping she would turn out to be a namesake of your Jeneva.  I have poked around in that part of NB for half a century, and it was common for children to be given names in honour of those who had recently passed away, especially if it was a younger person who passed.  But so far i don't see any connection to your Jeneva.  I might keep looking there, in wider and wider circles, since there is a peripheral relationship to my own tree.

Apologies to Ruben and others who will not be able to see behind Ancestry's paywall.  If anyone can find the familysearch version of any of these records, please feel free to provide the link.



Re: Minnie offspring -- All known offspring of minnie and stewart are accounted for. I suppose it is, again possible that minnie went away to have a child that no one knew about who ended up being about Jeneva's age and roomed with Jenny in boston, yada, yada, but i'm not taking that one to the bank either. Nice try though.

It would be cool if the new Geneva was named after Jeneva, though maybe Jeneva did die young. I did search through the archives of the nearby newspaper assuming that she would be associated with Ernest, but i didn't find any mention of her at all, either that they had been married, or that she was left after his death (though mentioning the funeral, there was no list of attendees). 

So, relationship to your tree: simply NB or something closer?


p.s. Haven't been able find any military records of claims against his 'account' as if he were still married, i would have thought she could collect. Maybe the marriage broke up before he died. The paper did mention him on furlough coming to visit his parents, twice, but as i said, no mention of a wife.

hi Stew

The relationship to my tree isn't exactly pinpointed yet, but there is little doubt that the younger Geneva Wilson born in 1919 will be my relative somewhere along the line.  Here are the three reasons why i think this is likely to be so:

Nearly every family that lived for any length of time in the Petitcodiac region made some marriage with descendants of the families who arrived on the Lovey in 1766.  I am descended from most of those families, so there is likely to be a connection.

I already see some names in Geneva's extended family that are familiar from the family connections mentioned above: Geldart and Stiles spring to mind.

In wandering around Ancestry.com looking for other family researchers' work on this family, i noticed that this family is documented in trees that belong to my paperwork distant cousins and my DNA distant cousins.  So probably there is a connection.

But we don't know yet whether the younger Geneva has any connection to your Jeneva.  This is a fun one!



Although all known offspring of Minnie and Stewart are accounted for without producing a Minnie King Jr, what about nieces and grand-nieces?
Here's a curve ball: In looking more deeply at the not-insignificant number of Ida Landry entries in PANB, i noticed something odd -- these ladies were getting married as Ida and having babies as Ida -- but they themselves had never been born - at least not as Ida.  It was a very popular name as they were getting married: there were at least three ladies called Ida on one page of the marriage registry.  But...it doesn't seem to be an RC saint's name...So, what were they named before they massaged it into the popular Ida?  I followed the trail of one of them, and found that she had been baptized Marie Elida Landry.

So Jeneva's mother Ida Landry may indeed have been using the name Ida at the time of Jeneva's wedding, but she might have been baptized, married, enumerated and listed on Jeneva's birth registration as something else altogether.

Sorry 'bout that.
Hi Shirlea,

This all could have been made somewhat easier if Ernest had the courtesy to wait until the '20 census before he died. Ernie and Jeneva never had children. Ernie's parents (Minnie and Stewart) only had 4 known children; the remaining 3 are well known, of course barring the unwed mother kind of thing. There is a big gap between the third and 4th children, but the same husband of the 4th throughout. Two of the eldest remaining children were my grandfather and his brother. All my grandfather's kids are accounted for, as is his brother's. Anyone younger than that couldn't have possibly been housemating with Jeneva.

I suppose, hypothetically, Stewart's brothers could have named one of their kids after Stewart's wife, but Stewart had moved from the family 'compound' and contact was minimal.

Still, a good thought.
@Shirlea Family trees: This is why i love doing this stuff. The people you meet. Met some of Stewart's gr-grandchildren i never even knew about, among many others. I just wish i had started this much earlier when more elderly relatives were still alive.

In case you're interested (and apologies to others w/out ancestry) here is my family tree there. It's less rigorous than here as it was my first foray into genealogy and was a lot like, "close enough, link them up". I'm moving them over one by one to wikitree and doing better on the documentation.
+1 vote
Jennie made a trip too New Bruswick too see her married

sister.Found nothing else.Nothing on her mother and father.

Francis Xavier Wilson,may not be his original name.This has

me stumped.
by Wayne Morgan G2G6 Pilot (868k points)
@Wayne Morgan Where did you find info on this? That sounds really interesting, certainly something i'd like to include in Jeneva's bio.

You can find her border crossing too Canada on Ancestry.

That is where she went too see her sister.who is married.
+1 vote

Now i'm going for long shots, Stew!  I noticed that at the time of Jeneva's marriage to Ernest, he was stated to be 21 and she was stated to be 23.  She might have been older yet, and might have had some interest in minimizing that fact.  I would stay open-minded about a birth year for her that could be a couple years earlier, even 1888.  That would leave the door open for her to be the Jennie Wilson who is recorded returning to NB from Maine in July 1912 with a Lottie Wilson, although that Janie or Jennie might just be the daughter of Hazen Wilson and his wife Eliz Leaman, and the aunt of Geneva b 1919.  So, no Francis X or Ida in sight.  On the plus side for this Jane/Janie/Jennie being your Jeneva, this Jennie's birthday is Feb 15, and the family trees on Ancestry don't record a marriage for her, so she probably dropped out of the NB scene.

by Shirlea Smith G2G6 Mach 9 (94.8k points)
Another long-shot scenario: what if she had been married before and acquired the name Wilson from that marriage.  But that fact didn't come out at the registration of her marriage to Ernest, so there was an assumption made on the part of the registrar that her father's given names, as reported by herself, matched with her current surname, when in fact her father is Francis X ________ and her mother is __________ Landey or Landry.
I suppose she could have been married earlier and if she was really 23 (or 25 or 27). However, the '15 state census does record her birth as February 1892, which matches the age in the marriage certificate. She could have prepared the answers ahead of time and memorized her new birthday, as telling the same detailed lie to two different people separated by time and space is difficult.

But for that matter, there's no proof yet that Francis X and Ida are her real parents. And at 23(+ ?) she wouldn't look like a minor and so the person that filled out the marriage certificate might have just taken her word at it.

Not being familiar with Canadian stuff i've been handicapped a bit in the search. I would have thought there would be census records, or local church records, and the like in NB. Perhaps they're just not online yet, or somewhere i can't find. But it's great to see the effort that a number of people here have put into finding poor, lost Jeneva.
Hi Stew!  yes, i don't know if we will really solve this one.  If there were descendants, we could check DNA, but in this case, i don't know. Are there any photographs in the family?

The Canadian records are all online, and you'd think in such a recent time frame we wouldn't have any difficulty!  But what with anglicizing of French names, sometimes in a very mix-and-match kind of way (today i saw Helen Lejeune and Ellene Young - same person) and people becoming more secularized and feeling free to take whatever name they like (all the Idas) and none of them knowing that we would be poring over the records trying to make sense of it all, sometimes it just doesn't fall together.  As you said, it would have been considerate of Ernest to hold on for one more census!


PS - i wouldn't think of any of it as a lie - nobody can remember being born, let alone what the calendar said.  In that timeframe, people weren't asked their birthday three times a year like now, so the topic might never have come up, and so when you were asked your birthday and where you were born, and you are in a different country from the people who could tell you and the phone isn't in widespread use yet, you just do the best you can.
+2 votes
How about this record???

Ancestry.com. New Brunswick, Canada, Marriages, 1789-195


Name: Eva Guitard
Gender: Female
Age: 28
Birth Date: abt 1891
Marriage Date: 26 Aug 1919
Marriage Place: Restigouche, New Brunswick, Canada
Father: Frank Guitard
Mother: Ven* Landry
Spouse: Clement Guitard
Certificate Number: 002318
by S Stevenson G2G6 Mach 7 (70.8k points)
That is quite interesting!  I'm not an expert but i believe that it is not too great a stretch to anglicize the French name Guitar(d) with an English name starting with W.

Now to build a family tree for these people, and see if we can tell where this Eva might have been during the time Jeneva was in the States married to Ernest.

I see that some of the Guitard family are recorded as being Black on earlier censuses.  I wonder if Jeneva/Eva had black ancestry somewhere along the line, and whether that influenced how easily she was forgotten in Boston. (Not making any judgments - can't judge an earlier time period by our present day standards)

the ancestry tree says the mother's name is 

Marie Venerande Landry 8 Aug 1863

marriage certificate


I tried in Ancestry to find where this person was during the time person of interest is in the US and come up with nothing.  further supporting this might be the same person.
could not find a marriage to a Wilson

looks like Venerande is already on WikiTree 


I'm not doubting (too much anyway) as i have no idea about anglicization of NB french names, but wouldn't a direct translation be used? Or maybe sound-alike? I can see the W, but my (extremely limited) knowledge of french (aka google translate) doesn't make it sound remotely close to "wilson."

This Venerande lady married francis joseph, with no mention of x (presumably xavier). Sure could have been given birth name and x is a christening name, true.

My head hurts from hitting so many brick walls. Thank you both for the work you're putting in on this.

There weren't any standards established.  It worked the other way sometimes too -- if the official record maker was french speaking, he might record english names with his best guess in phonetic french, or translate them, or accept what he is told...
With French christening names (and German too, i'm told) no-one ever expects you to use your first name.  Your second name is more likely to be your 'calling' name.  So whole families name all the girls Marie this and Marie that and all the boys Joseph this and Joseph that...and then there could be a confirmation name....it does get tricky.  At least that experience informed our modern times, where we even lock in a specific spelling! That was unheard of in the past

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