One searches for clues in yesteryear,– Lines from a poem by Mr. D. Hoogeveen
Our Ancestors lives were shaped by perseverance,
Endurance was their virtue and reaction.
Our being here is but a speck in time,
In the large spectrum of eternity.
(Past Pres. of Saskatchewan G. S.)
Mariah Walker was the daughter of Anne Page (1803-1875) and William Walker (1804 -1884), who were married on Dec. 29, 1823 in England. They had emigrated with their family from Lincolnshire, England. It has been said the trip took 5 weeks and they arrived in New York, USA, and then had to travel north to Canada making their way to Mountsberg through rough trails. Anne’s brother, Joseph Page had already arrived in Canada along with friends who settled in the Mountsberg, Flamborough area, which was not far from Kilbride. It should be noted that Anne and Joseph’s sister Mary had married Josiah Mount.
William’s granddaughter, Alma Vivian Carson recalled that he once made a wreath of maple leaves for her when she was a little girl. Alma also lived for a number of years in Kilbride. Anne and William Walker are both resting in the Mountsberg Methodist Episcopal Church Cemetery along with other family members. William was known by his neighbours to be somewhat of a Veterinarian. He also liked to drink and his wife would often say, “William Walker when are you going to mend your ways”.
David Vivian was born in Cornwood, Devon and was the son of Charlotte Hake (1796 -1849) and Richard Vivian (1796-1838) who were married in 1820 and raised 7 children. They are both resting in Cornwood, Devon, England. The Vivian family is believed to be of Norman French origin and resided in southern England from the 12th Century.
Mariah married David Vivian and they raised a family of 13 children, 12 of whom survived to adulthood. Their children: George, Charlotte, William, John, Pamela, Lydia, David, Louise, Frederick, Matthew, Alfred, Edwin and Alma. The family has always lived in the area taking up residence in Lowville, Aberfolyle and eventually Kilbride.
David was never known as an especially industrious worker but he did play the hand accordion and the organ and was known as a good singer. He was a ‘happy-go-lucky’ man and it was said to be quite a character. Mariah’s family have indicated that she was a dear, hardworking woman who gave a great deal of her time to the local Church. Mariah and David are now resting in the Pioneer Cemetery in Kilbride, Ontario.
Alma Vivian Carson, mentioned above also lived in Kilbride as a child and later in life as an adult. She was quite a character like her father; she was “the black sheep of the family” as she was a vaudeville performer. An article in the Canadian Champion mentions some of the following facts that Alma supplied during an interview in March 1976.
“She was dancing and singing in the American theatre as far west as California. She was a dreamer longing for the bright lights to escape the boredom of Kilbride. James Carson a descendant of the famous Kit Carson, came through the area with a travelling tent show, it was love at first sight and off she went with the travelling magician. It was a time when there were no roads so they travelled the trails on horseback. Eventually, she purchased the family home in Kilbride from her mother as a place to holiday in the summer.” Alma did part ways with James later in their marriage and eventually lived in Kilbride year round.
Alma Vivian Carson 1880-1980 – resting in the Kilbride Pioneer Cemetery
Alma Vivian at the turn of the century, when she escaped the boredom of her Kilbride home and ran away with a travelling magician.
Sophisticated Lady, Alma Carson did a solo act and was know for her song and dancing routines. Her music came directly from Irving Belin.
One of David’s sons, William Richard Vivian and his wife Ellenor (nee Bell), their family held reunions every year, with family members from each of their 11 children attending. It was a great time for both the young and old. Children enjoyed various activities while the older folk would share stories of earlier days. This big family picnic was held at various locations in the area – Lowville Park, Boyne Hall, or on one of the family farms in the area.
Around the time, the family farm in Nelson Village was being sold descendants gathered for a massive family reunion with many coming from near and far. It was an event to honour William and Ellenor and their children.
Edith Eliza Vivian (1892-1976) and Robert Telford Willoughby Sault (1898-1996)
Edith Vivian was the daughter of Ellenor Bell (1869-1950) and William Richard Vivian (1859-1950). They were married in 1888 at Ellenor’s parent’s home located in Nelson village. Edith was one of 11 children raised on the family farm, which was located just west of Nelson Village. Her father, William R. Vivian was the son of Mariah Walker and David Vivian who lived in Kilbride. He would have been raised and played there as a youth.
Robert Sault, the son of Annie and Joseph Sault, was born in Valens, Ontario. He moved to Lowville in 1917 where he worked as a farmhand. A pay raise encouraged him to move to Carlisle. In 1922, he was working on the construction of Highway # 5, driving a team of horses.
Edith and Robert “Bob” were married in 1921 and they had 7 children losing an infant son. The couple raised their children on the family farm located just north of Kilbride on McNiven Road. They had purchased it about a year after they were married. Their children were Audrey, William, Myrna, Alma, Charlotte, Garnet and Robert.
In those early years, it was a big struggle to raise the family and tend to the chores on the farm. Edith certainly had many fond family experiences and memories of her early days in Nelson to share. Being from a large family there was always something happening. She and her siblings helped their parents whether it be daily cores, attending market days in Hamilton, threshing time or getting things ready for special family events – weddings, Easter, Christmas etc. Her one brother Tom would really make Christmas a special time with a visit as Santa. Edith and Bob’s children, niece and nephews would always recall their childhood delight when Santa would arrive after circling the house in a sleigh, filled with presents for all at the Vivian farm house in Nelson.
The children, grandchildren and the many nieces and nephews who visited the Sault farm all benefited from the marvelous qualities and gentle ways that Edith had. Her family was her life and she always had time for them all. She enjoyed the little ones very much, taught some of the girls to embroider, sew and bake. Even with her own large family, she always had room at the table for visitors and quite often, a few games of Euchre were enjoyed. Threshing time on farms were very memorable times, as everyone had to pitch in from working in the fields to preparing meals for all the helpers.
In 1968, they moved from the farm into the village of Kilbride where they enjoyed their new home and garden. The family attended the Anglican Church and both supported the many activities held, and, in fact, at one time Robert provide new front doors for the Church.
Both Edith and Robert are resting in St. John’s Anglican Church Cemetery located at Nelson Village – Highway #5. They rest along with many of Edith’s, Vivian family members.
- The Nelson Vivian Family book by – Sarah Helen, Vivian Tuttty, Peggy Anne, Smith, Marsha E. Waldie UE
- Photo’s courtesy of Marsha Waldie
- Milton Canadian Champion
- Family Obituaries, History
- Milton Historical Society Archive File
- Family member recollections of events etc.
Contributing Author: Marsha Waldie