Birch, Bertha Jane 1 2 3

Birth Name Birch, Bertha Jane 4a 5a
Gender female
Age at Death 97 years, 5 months, 2 days

Narrative

Bertha Birch was the youngest child of Edmund and Elizabeth Birch, born in Birch Hill, PEI. Bertha frequently talked about growing up in a home where family members "made their own fun" and were always laughing at stories and jokes. She demonstrated some of these games, like the button on a string toy, or Kitty in a Corner. She was very fond of her brother Percy and sister-in-law Enid.

In 1920, at the age of 29, she married Ed Dyment at her home. No photographs were taken, but there was a description of the wedding in a local paper. Bertha wore a gown of white bridal satin with an overdress of georgette and bugle trim, possibly made by her sister Florence, a noted seamstress.

Although brought up as an Anglican, with a father and grand-father who were strong supporters of the Church of England, she told me she became a Presbyterian when she married because that was her husband's church. Their first child, a daughter, was stillborn; she then had two sons and a daughter, Florence, named after her only sister.

Bertha and Ed lived in Northam, and then moved to Margate. Later in life they sold the farm and moved to a small house in Kensington.

Bertha loved to bake, and she was famous for her white cake which she took to most social events. She complained about needing to keep an eye on the women working in the kitchen, who sometimes kept the cake back for themselves!

When she was a farm wife, she made all of her own bread, probably using the flour that she and Ed got directly from a mill "up west". Although she never drank alcohol, she made her own dandelion and sarsaparilla wine - for medicinal purposes only. She also made her own lye soap, a rough bar that was mainly used for laundry and cleaning. A small bottle of olive oil was her only cosmetic.

It was rare to see Bertha sitting down. She didn't like to be idle. She claimed that she had never been sick, and she was a healthy woman late in life.

Bertha and Ed were supporters of the Conservative party. (I'm pretty sure her white cake would have been served to John Diefenbaker, the Conservative Prime Minister, if he had ever made a visit to Kensington during an election.) A small shelf in the kitchen had a picture of Diefenbaker, as well as the Premier - as long as he was a Tory. Through her mother's family, she claimed Walter Shaw, a provincial premier, as a cousin.

It was a more formal time. She and her close neighbour, Mrs. Brown, knew each other for at least forty years, and yet always addressed each other as Mrs. Dyment and Mrs. Brown. She was proud of her title as "Mrs. Edward Dyment."

The attached picture of an oxford shoe from 1920 is the kind of shoe my grandmother wore, even in the 1960s.

For more information on the Birch family, see Leaves from the Birches of Avoca by Jeanette Birch, 1984.

Events

Event Date Place Description Sources
Birth December 8, 1891 Port Hill, Lot 13, Prince County, Prince Edward Island, Canada PEI Baptismal IndexLeaves from the Birches of Avoca 4b 5b
Death May 10, 1989 Summerside, Prince County, Prince Edward Island, Canada age 98  
Residence 1901 Lot 13, Prince County, Prince Edward Island, Canada   5c
Residence 1911 Prince County, Prince Edward Island, Canada   4c

Parents

Relation to main person Name Birth date Death date Relation within this family (if not by birth)
Father Birch, Edmund HenryMarch 1, 1851April 30, 1944
Mother Maynard, Elizabeth AnnJune 14, 1855May 1942
    Brother     Birch, John Walter 1879 1881
    Brother     Birch, James Russell April 7, 1881 April 16, 1960
    Brother     Birch, Ernest Reagh December 25, 1882 September 19, 1951
    Brother     Birch, Thomas Reginald November 9, 1884 October 19, 1980
    Sister     Birch, Eliza Florence December 1, 1887 August 18, 1970
    Brother     Birch, Percy Lawrence November 15, 1889 March 28, 1974
         Birch, Bertha Jane December 8, 1891 May 10, 1989

Families

Family of Dyment, Edward Earle and Birch, Bertha Jane

Married Husband Dyment, Edward Earle ( * October 3, 1897 + April 12, 1972 )
   
Event Date Place Description Sources
Marriage November 3, 1920 Port Hill, Lot 13, Prince County, Prince Edward Island, Canada newspaper report  
  Children
Name Birth Date Death Date
Dyment, Annie BellDecember 1921December 12, 1921

Source References

  1. History of Margate
  2. Birch Hill W.I.: Climbing the Hill - A History of Birch Hill, Lots 13 and 14
  3. Jeanette Birch: Leaves from the Birches of Avoca
  4. 1911 Census of Canada
      • Source text:

        Birth date: December 1898 Birth place: Prince Edward Island Residence date: 1911 Residence place: Prince, Prince Edward Island, Canada

      • Source text:

        Birth date: December 1898 Birth place: Prince Edward Island Residence date: 1911 Residence place: Prince, Prince Edward Island, Canada

      • Source text:

        Birth date: December 1898 Birth place: Prince Edward Island Residence date: 1911 Residence place: Prince, Prince Edward Island, Canada

  5. 1901 Census of Canada
      • Source text:

        Birth date: 1893 Birth place: Pe Residence date: 1901 Residence place: Lot (township/canton) 13, Prince (west/ouest), Prince Edward Island, Canada

      • Source text:

        Birth date: 1893 Birth place: Pe Residence date: 1901 Residence place: Lot (township/canton) 13, Prince (west/ouest), Prince Edward Island, Canada

      • Source text:

        Birth date: 1893 Birth place: Pe Residence date: 1901 Residence place: Lot (township/canton) 13, Prince (west/ouest), Prince Edward Island, Canada