Humphrey, Ellen Jane

Birth Name Humphrey, Ellen Jane 1a 2a 3a 4a
Gender female
Age at Death 64 years, 11 months, 16 days

Narrative

Ellen Jane (Janie) Humphrey was the adopted daughter and niece of Charles Humphrey and Agnes Fife (or Fyfe). This information came from census records and Charles' will, in which Charles said that Janey was his niece, and daughter of his little sister Jennie (Janet) Humphrey. He didn't give Janet's married name, Fiddler, and the Humphrey farm was left in trust for Janie's son William Watts.

No record of Ellen Jane's baptism has been found. Some of the other Humphrey daughters were baptized as young ladies rather than as infants - however, I would have expected Janey to have been baptized (or shown proof of her baptism) before her marriage. Her year of birth ranged from 1862 (on her gravestone) to 1865 (on census records) and 1866 (death record). The correct date would be useful, as it might provide a clue to her father's identity. If she had been born in 1865 or 1866, then she might have been the daughter of Janet Humphrey and her husband George Fiddler.

One possibility is that she was born closer to the 1865 date, and went to New Brunswick with her mother Janet, where she was baptized. Ellen Jane's mother Janet died in 1870 in New Brunswick, leaving a second daughter who stayed with George Fiddler and his second wife. This argues against Janie having been in New Brunswick and being George Fiddler's daughter. However, according to census records, Janet and George's daughter Mary was severely handicapped and perhaps it was too much for the older couple to handle both girls.

Ellen Jane was not in the household of George Fiddler in the 1871 New Brunswick census.

In the 1881 census of PEI, Ellen Jane was living with her uncle, Charles Humphrey. Her name was scribbled over, and could have been Ellen Jane McEachan (McEachern) or Humphrey. Perhaps the census taker was confused by the presence of Agnes' nephew, Abert Bennett McEachern, son her her younger sister Margaret,who had also been taken in by the childless couple. Margaret Fyfe McEachern had had died in 1871, leaving three children who were separated and raised in three Fyfe households.

Ellen Jane was 15 in the 1881 census. In the 1891 census, Charles was 60 and Agnes 65; Janey E. Humphrey, age 25, was identified as their daughter. John Wats, age 25, was the hired man. The Humphreys were Methodist, and John was Church of England. In this census, only Charles' age was reliable. It seems unlikely that Janie was lying about her age to appear younger, since she was just 10 years older than in the last census when her age (and unmarried status) would not have been a factor. If Agnes and Charles had been trying to save face by making it appear that Janie had been born after her mother's marriage to George Fiddler, then they should have given her the last name Fiddler, and given her mother's married name in Charles' will.

John Henry Watts, born in 1863, was actually older (age 28), and only one year younger than Janie if she had been born in 1862.

After Agnes' death, and as Charles Humphrey grew older, John Henry probably took over the management of the Humphrey farm, and married Ellen Jane. They had two children, William and Bertha.

According to Margate church records, Janie died in on February 20 1928 at the age of 62 of pneumonia (born 1866). According to one of her grand-daughters, she stepped on a nail and died of blood poisoning. Her death certificate, with information provided by her husband, gave her age as 61 years, 11 months and 16 days and her date of birth as March 4 1866; he named Charles and Agnes as her parents.

A history of the Fyfe family says that Charles and Agnes' adopted daughter kept in touch with her Fyfe relations. This, the death certificate, and the fact that Ellen Jane put Mother and Father on Charles and Agnes' gravestone, certainly gives the impression that she considered them to be her parents, rather than an uncle and aunt.

The information that I am missing on Janie could be in a family bible somewhere. No one in the family has pictures of Janie or John Henry.

Events

Event Date Place Description Sources
Birth March 4, 1863 Prince Edward Island, Canada Unable to find a birth record; named as dau. Janet Humphrey in Charles Humphrey's will; raised by Charles and his wife Agnes Fyfe as their daughter; consistently gave 1866 as yr. of birth; tombstone says 1862 1b 2b 3b 4b
Death February 20, 1928 Clinton, Lot 20, Queens County, Prince Edward Island, Canada cause of death was pneumonia, according to Margate church records  
Residence 1881 Queens County, Prince Edward Island, Canada name given as Ellen Jane McEachern on census, possibly because Albert McEachern, a nephew, was also in the Humphrey household 4c
Residence 1891 Queens County, Prince Edward Island, Canada   2c
Residence 1901 Lot 20, Queens County, Prince Edward Island, Canada   3c
Residence 1911 Queens County, Prince Edward Island, Canada   1c
Adopted     by Charles Humphrey and Agnes Fyfe  
Marriage October 19, 1903 Summerside, Prince County, Prince Edward Island, Canada    

Parents

Relation to main person Name Birth date Death date Relation within this family (if not by birth)
Mother Humphrey, Jannett Jennie1833February 17, 1870
         Humphrey, Ellen Jane March 4, 1863 February 20, 1928
 
Stepfather Humphrey, Charles Jr.July 1830July 30, 1915
Stepmother Fyfe, Agnes1821February 5, 1900
    Brother     Humphrey, Wallace 1855 (Adopted, Adopted)
         Humphrey, Ellen Jane March 4, 1863 February 20, 1928 (Adopted, Adopted)

Families

Family of Watts, John Henry and Humphrey, Ellen Jane

Married Husband Watts, John Henry ( * May 24, 1863 + November 18, 1935 )
   
Event Date Place Description Sources
Marriage October 19, 1903 Summerside, Prince County, Prince Edward Island, Canada RG19, Series3, Subseries4: Marriage Licenses, 1903  
  Children
Name Birth Date Death Date
Watts, Bertha JaneJanuary 10, 1904February 17, 1970
Watts, William CharlesJune 28, 1905September 20, 1989

Source References

  1. 1911 Census of Canada
      • Source text:

        Birth date: March 1866 Birth place: Prince Edward Island Residence date: 1911 Residence place: Queens, Prince Edward Island, Canada

      • Source text:

        Birth date: March 1866 Birth place: Prince Edward Island Residence date: 1911 Residence place: Queens, Prince Edward Island, Canada

      • Source text:

        Birth date: March 1866 Birth place: Prince Edward Island Residence date: 1911 Residence place: Queens, Prince Edward Island, Canada

  2. Library and Archives Canada: 1891 Census of Canada [database on-line]Statistics Canada Fonds. Microfilm reels: T-6290 to T-6427.
      • Source text:

        Birth date: abt 1866 Birth place: Prince Edward Island Residence date: 1891 Residence place: Queens, Prince Edward Island, Canada

      • Source text:

        Birth date: abt 1866 Birth place: Prince Edward Island Residence date: 1891 Residence place: Queens, Prince Edward Island, Canada

      • Source text:

        Birth date: abt 1866 Birth place: Prince Edward Island Residence date: 1891 Residence place: Queens, Prince Edward Island, Canada

  3. 1901 Census of Canada
      • Source text:

        Birth date: 1866 Birth place: Pe Residence date: 1901 Residence place: Lot (township/canton) 20, Queen's (west/ouest), Prince Edward Island, Canada

      • Source text:

        Birth date: 1866 Birth place: Pe Residence date: 1901 Residence place: Lot (township/canton) 20, Queen's (west/ouest), Prince Edward Island, Canada

      • Source text:

        Birth date: 1866 Birth place: Pe Residence date: 1901 Residence place: Lot (township/canton) 20, Queen's (west/ouest), Prince Edward Island, Canada

  4. 1881 Census of Canada
      • Source text:

        Birth date: 1866 Birth place: Prince Edward Island Residence date: 1881 Residence place: Queens, Prince Edward Island, Canada

      • Source text:

        Birth date: 1866 Birth place: Prince Edward Island Residence date: 1881 Residence place: Queens, Prince Edward Island, Canada

      • Source text:

        Birth date: 1866 Birth place: Prince Edward Island Residence date: 1881 Residence place: Queens, Prince Edward Island, Canada