Adrienne Hall  from Vancouver writes:

Based on the ages of the children in the photo, this portrait was taken in Manitoba. They lived outside of Minnedosa.


I am related to the Bonters and Leonards in the area. Four Leonard brothers - John, Richard, William and George- left County Fermanagh  and settled in Marmora in the 1850's. I am descended from John, whose son Richard Leonard married Eliza Jane McCluskey in Marmora in 1878. John died working on the Grand Trunk Railway in 1860 and Richard and his siblings were spread around between his mom (and her new husband), and other Leonard relatives. Around this time,  Richard was working at the Blairton Mine.

All but Richard stayed in the area but Richard and Eliza Jane moved to Neepawa around 1898, Manitoba where their grand-daughter, my grandmother, was born. My grandmother married in Neepawa in 1928 but ended up back in Ontario where my grandfather became the forest ranger for the reforestry station, Department of Lands and Forests, on highway 45 between Cobourg and Roseneath. If you know the area, the only ski-hill in the region was the hill that their fire tower had been built on.  My grandmother died in Cobourg in 1966 and I have inherited all of her photo albums.

The photoof the class taken on school steps is marked as taken at Coldstream School in Manitoba. However, I received this photo many years ago from a cousin in Manitoba who had been given this information. Based on the ages of the two Leonard children in the photo though, this photo had to have been taken in Marmora.

Eliza Jane McCluskey's parents were Sarah Bonter and Joseph McCluskey. Sarah died in childbirth on July 31, 1857, in Marmora. I have not been able to find her grave in the Marmora Cemetery....perhaps she is in an unmarked grave.  A year to the day after Sarah died, Joseph married her younger sister, Elizabeth Ann Bonter who, as far as I can tell, died in Marmora about 1872. He disappears at that point.   Joseph McCluskey was in Blairton with his family in the 1871 census,  where he was a miner.  James and Eliza Bonter were living beside them.

More onthe McCluskeys

When Joseph McCluskey remarried in 1858, he and Elizabeth Ann Bonter had several children -                           James Albert, Margaret Ann, Joseph, Sarah and Charlotte.  

I don't know what happened to James Albert McCluskey but there was a James McCluskey who was married to Rose-Ann, living in Marmora in 1891. He was a jeweller; doesn't show up in the 1881 census or in any census after the 1891 census.

Margaret Ann was sent to live with an "aunt" in Michigan after her mother passed away and ended up living in Greenland, Michigan, where she passed away in 1949.

I don't know what happened to Joe as I have been unable to find him in any census after 1871. However, Margaret Ann's living descendants do make note of her brothers  Joe and Jim and a sister Charlotte who "died young".

Sarah married John Mack in Marmora in 1888 but died in Rawdon in 1894. I don't know where she is buried.

Charlotte may be the Charlotte Bonter living with her grand-parents James and Eliza Bonter in Blairton in 1881. She was born in 1871 in Blairton and I believe her mother passed away at that time or not long after. She died April 11, 1890 in Blairton. I don't know where she was buried.


More on other Leonards

Donalda Leonard sent us these two Leonard photos:

Above:   Donalda Leonard's Grandpa Charlie and his 5 brothers shown here at their mothers funeral 1927 - William, Stephen, Charlies, James, John and Bert

Right:  Her Great Grandfather, James Leonard.                                      (Sept 9, 1857, Nov 5/1934.)