Jerome Bishop Eberts - Registration
Jerome Bishop Eberts - Photo
Jerome Bishop Eberts - Description
Attestation Paper

Henry and Mary Ann’s third son was Francis Goldworth EBERTS (Frank), born 1860, a grain merchant. The 7th March 1882 Frank married Florence Edith BENNETT, daughter of Thomas and Annie BENNETT. Both Frank and Florence were single, aged 24, residents of Chatham; the marriage was witnessed by brother Newton and sister Ellie. Between 1882 and 1899, Frank and Florence had 7 children, 4 daughters and 3 sons, and they made a point of continuing the family names of ALDIS and GOLDWORTH by giving them as second forenames to Effie Aldis EBERTS and Edith Goldworth EBERTS.

Some uncertainty attends Frank EBERTS both personally and in business. The 1891 census records the family of Frank and Florence with 4 children and Frank’s mother, Mary Ann. By 1901, however, Frank is no longer with his family, and there is no mention of the grain business. Florence, aged 41 with her six surviving children, is described as a ‘housekeeper’ with no reference to her marital status. The same census on Chatham lists Frank as a ‘boarder’ living elsewhere with 26 other men; his occupation is described as “agent R.”, his religion has changed to Roman Catholic, and he is still ‘married’. Family contemporaries of Frank claim that he was, or became, thoroughly unstable, squandering money, taking on bad loans, gambling and drinking heavily. He liked to travel, and lost money on a silver mine in Colorado.

Frank died in 1905, aged about 45, and by 1911 Florence is officially a ‘widow’ with her two youngest children, Francis and Nellie aged 14 and 12 respectively. She was living at the time with daughter Edith, her husband Charles JENKINS, and their young family. We also know that in 1917 she was living with son Jerome in Suite 4 Dyke B/K Fort William.

Census birth dates, one might note in passing, are notoriously unreliable. Francis, whose birth registration is the 17th October 1897, is given a birth date of 14th October 1896, while Nellie, who was registered for birth the 23rd March 1899, is given a birth date of 12th March 1898. The same census records the first child of Frank and Florence, Edith Goldworth EBERTS, who had married Charles Christopher JENKINS in 1908, with her 2 daughters, Florence Margaret JENKINS born July 1908, and Phyllis Frances JENKINS born December 1910. By this time Charles is editor of the ‘Planet’ newspaper. Charles and Edith had 2 further children, Helen Valentine JENKINS born 1912, and Eberts Julien JENKINS born 1918. Charles and Edith moved to Toronto, presumably when Charles got a job with a bigger newspaper, and Edith died the 26th June 1975, aged 93, at St. Joseph’s Hospital Toronto. She is buried in Park Lawn Cemetery Toronto.

Of the remaining children of Frank and Florence, Henry Thomas died young, and Nellie Margaret married J. Dumaresq SMITH the 23rd May 1942. Francis Robertson, who is believed to have worked in his father’s business, married Ena MONTY whose parents were Harvey MONTY and Margaret FREEMAN. Both aged 24, they were married the 11th October 1923 in St. John’s Church Port Arthur which amalgamated with Fort William to become Thunder Bay. Francis and Ena went on to have 3 sons and a daughter.

Jerome Bishop EBERTS, born 1893, enlisted in the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Forces on the 20th April 1917 in Port Arthur, Ontario. He was living at the time, according to his attestation papers, at Dyke Block Fort William. Next of kin was his mother Mrs F. EBERTS, who would have been aged about 60, living at the same address. Young Jerome was single, a journalist, who had already served 10 months with the 141st Battalion as a lieutenant. He is described as 6’ tall, of medium complexion, having blue eyes and dark hair. In 1918 he was awarded his Aviator’s Certificate by the Royal Aero Club of Great Britain. The 13th August 1927 he married Carolyn Brewster DAVISON in Vancouver BC. Jerome died the 28th January 1974, aged 80, in Vancouver and Carolyn the 22nd January 1972, aged 66, also in Vancouver.

George Aldis
July 2009