Catharine Gardiner and Ralph Horatio Sherwood

When Catharine Gardiner was born on January 1, 1890, in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, her father, Samuel, was 30 and her mother, Teresa (nee Stevens), was 28. She had two brothers and six sisters.

Catharine married Ralph Horatio Sherwood on July 25, 1910 in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. Ralph Horatio Sherwood on May 24, 1889, in Lockport, New York, USA when his father, Horatio, was 33, and his mother, Emily (nee Wilson) was 29. He had two brothers and one sister.

The marriage record indicates that Ralph was in the "Theatrical Profession" and Catharine (here spelled with an "e" instead of an "a" as in her birth registration), was a clerk. It also suggests that Samuel was a Superintendant (unknown at this time what that refers to).

The couple had one son:
  • Samuel James Sherwood (1912-?)
The next record we find of the couple is Samuel's birth record on September 3, 1912. The record mistakenly lists Catharine as "Cathleen". The birth was registered in Hamilton, where Catharine's parents were living, but appears to have occurred at the Salvation Army Hospital in Niagara Falls, Ontario. I have found no record of this hospital, and it doesn't appear to exist in present day.

The 1920 US Census suggests that the family had settled in Niagara Falls, New York. The record suggests that Catharine became a naturalized American citizen after emigrating in 1907 (prior to her marriage but clearly before Samuel's birth when they were in Ontario). Ralph's job is still Silver Worker, and Catharine isn't working, presumably at home with seven-year-old Samuel (likely named after his grandfather). Samuel is listed on the next page.

They're found again in 1925 living at 1311 13th Street in Niagara Falls, New York.

a home near 1311 13th Street, Niagara Falls, NY (image via GoogleMaps)
Catharine died sometime before the April 1930 US Census, where her husband Ralph is living with his brother Otto, and is listed as a widower. They're at 1017 20th Street in Niagara Falls, New York. The record also suggests he's changed jobs and is now selling pianos.

1017 20th Street, Niagara Falls, New York (image via GoogleMaps)

Image via
Samuel is not living with Ralph and Otto in 1930. We find him instead at the Niagara County Tuberculosis Sanatorium. A relative confirms that he was stricken with the disease.

We next find a record of Samuel crossing the border in August 1930 to visit his uncle, Frederick Gardiner in Hamilton, Ontario. He must have recovered sufficiently by that time - he's listed as having "odd jobs". It's not believed that Samuel had an extended visit. A relative of Frederick who would have been in the home at the time doesn't have any memory of it.

Catharine's death information and burial site have not been located. No information on Ralph of Samuel has been identified after the 1930 US Census (after an extensive records search on both sides of the border), but a relative believes that Samuel was poorly after his bout of TB and didn't survive past his twenties.

Want to keep up on my family tree research? Use this link to sign-up for a weekly newsletter so you never miss a story!