Hon. Albert Perkins Prowse (1858-1925) was a merchant and politician from Murray Harbour, Prince Edward Island, Canada. He was the son of Samuel Prowse (1835-1902), who was a Canadian Senator.
Albert was born on December 24, 1858, in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. He was the 2nd child of Samuel Prowse and Eliza Willis. He had an older brother, Frederick. Soon after Albert’s birth, the family moved to Murray Harbour, Prince Edward Island, where Samuel went into business. Albert’s mother died after giving birth to a baby girl, Eliza Elizabeth, in Feb 1860. Tragically, the baby only lived for a few months, and Frederick died a couple of years later Samuel Prowse married his late wife’s older sister, Louisa Willis. They went on to have two more children, William H. Prowse and Samuel Willis Prowse.
Albert attended school in Murray Harbour, and then went to Wesleyan Academy in Charlottetown from 1870-1872. Following his studies, he returned to Murray Harbour to enter into business with his father.
Marriage and family
On November 29, 1881, Albert married Wilhelmina (Minnie) Kirkland at her parents’ home in Kingston (now Rexton), Kings, New Brunswick. The couple settled in Murray Harbour, where they raised a large family of 10 children over the next 21 years. Although their first child, Louisa, died before the age of 4, the remaining 9 children all survived. Their youngest child, Ada Louise, was born in 1903.
Albert and Minnie raised their children in the large family home that Samuel had built in the mid 1870s. This house remains a prominent landmark in the village of Murray Harbour, and was identified as one of Canada's Historic Places.
Albert became a partner in his father’s business around 1879, then known as Prowse & Son. In 1884, his half-brother William joined the partnership, which then became known as Prowse & Sons. In addition to a General Store, Prowse & Sons exported dried fish, canned lobster and agricultural produce. The business included a starch factory, using local potatoes to produce starch, a lumberyard and a cannery, where employees made cans throughout the winter for use during the next canning season.
Following Samuel Prowse’s death in 1902, William sold his share in the business to Albert, who continued the business alone under the same name
In 1900, Albert and Minnie went on a buying trip to London and Paris, and kept a diary, the transcript of which can be read here. During this trip, he visited the Paris Exposition, and had this to say about the Canada pavilion:
The Exhibits from Canada were all very nice, what there was of them, but the whole of Canada’s Exhibit was to my mind by no means as extensive as it should have been. We saw a fair showing of Minerals of different kinds from British Columbia to the North West and some from Ontario, but did not see any coal from Nova Scotia. A very fair showing of grains, peas, beans and other farm produce. A very small exhibit of a few overgrown potatoes, apples were showing to poor advantage being apparently decaying and shriveled.… The only article we saw from P.E.I. was one cheese. The Cheese Exhibit was poor as they were all very black on the outside. I think whoever had charge of hunting up and preparing Canadian goods for Exhibit in the Worlds Exhibition of 1900 did not do Canada the justice she deserves.
Along with following his father into business, Albert also followed his father into politics. A Conservative, he first ran for the Prince Edward Island Legislative Assembly in 1897, where he was defeated. He was subsequently elected in 1899 in 4th Kings, the riding his father Samuel had held between 1876 and 1889, before being called to the Canadian Senate. Albert held the seat from 1899 to 1900, from 1904 to 1919 and from 1923 until his death in 1925. He was Speaker of the Legislative Assembly from 1918 to 1919
A lifelong Methodist, Albert was very active in his church, and had strong views about what constituted proper behaviour. In the diary of the passage from Canada to England during his trip in 1900, he writes the following:
Sunday was a damp day – still we stayed on deck some of the time as we passed down the shores of the east coast of Ireland. The scenery was nice to us and beautiful. We had a service preached by Rev. W. Hart, going through the English Church formation his text was. `What think of Christ`. A very nice and interesting discourse, but on the passage over we came to the conclusion that the English Church people or at least some of them judging by some of the company we had, do not share a very good example of Sabbath observance, as card playing was indulged on board on Sunday afternoons and was assisted and abetted by an English Church Minister who was on board namely Rev. Mr. Bannister who spent nearly all his time while on board even staying up all night playing cards. He was not generally liked by anyone on board and was by more than one styled `The Monk`. He could have his bottle of Whiskey beside him at every meal.
Albert died on Saturday, June 20, 1925, and his obituary was on the front page of the local newspaper the following Monday. His funeral was held on June 22, 1925 in Murray Harbour, and was “one of the largest attended funerals in the community for a number of years, and revealed the large number of friends which the deceased had in the community and other parts of the Province”.  Albert was buried in the Murray Harbour Cemetery
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Albert by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA.
However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line.
It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with Albert:
Albert is 21 degrees from Charles Darwin, 20 degrees from Amelia Earhart, 22 degrees from Queen Elizabeth II Windsor and 23 degrees from Gilly Wood on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.