My paternal grandmother, Rosa, was not a big talker as I remember her. When we used to go visit her she was living with one of her daughter and family. As she died as I was a teenager and quite a shy one I might add, I didn’t ask a lot of questions about her life. I would describe her as a reserved person. She looked a little sad and I know she had a difficult life. My grandfather Ovila was a daily laborer often without work. They had nine children, six of them making it to adulthood.
On a Sunday afternoon, one of her sister stopped at our house and asked for directions to go visit my grandmother. My father suggested that my older sister went with them as she knew how to get there. When my sister came back late that afternoon, she said that she had never seen her so happy and talking so much (my grandmother hadn’t seen her sister for a long time). My sister said that my grandmother told them at one point that she was “lying in bed the other day and thought about all the time that we had to leave an appartment in a hurry because we didn’t have any money to pay the rent.” My grandmother said that she counted as many as 42 different places!
A few years ago, I visited my aunt, her daughter, and we talked about my grandmother and it was great. I talked about that story to my aunt about the 42 different places and she went to her room and came back with a notebook that belonged to my grandmother and there it was on a page: the list of all the addresses where they lived!
My grandparents got married in 1908 and my grandfather died in 1950. They didn’t move every year during 42 years. They lived at 42 different places between 1908 and about 1935!
Would you be surprised if I told you that I can’t find them in the 1921 Canadian Census?