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I had to join this group as I have this morning solved a mystery that began in 1993! I published in my One Name Newsletter, the Duncalf Dossier a story about Laurie Duncalf entitile "How Sapper Duncalfe Got G.B.S. Autograph", G.B.S being George Bernard Shaw. He got the autograph by being a patient in the Canadian General Hospital in England situated on the Astor estate, Cliveden. GBS was a regular visitor to Lady Astor. This was in 1941 and the story was sent to me by the late Lloyd Duncalfe of Manitoba.

Laurie (Laurence) was, according to his obituary, best known as CFCN's "The Pelican Man" , the master of ceremonies for a popular radio amateur show during the 1940s. At the end of the 1993 article I wrote that I hoped I would discover from whom he was descended by the next issue (six months). It has taken me 16 years!

Yesterday I discovered the Candian Census returns on Ancestry. Henry G is in Stanstead, Quebec in 1891, 1901 and 1911. Laurence also appears in all three censuses. In the 1891 however, Henry G has a sister called Mary Brookhouse and a sister in law called Ann Meek living with him. I had already found Henry's marriage on Ancestry, at Georgeville, Sherbrooke, Quebec in 1884. Both Henry and his bride, Annie Elizabeth Sutherland Meek were "late of Manchester" and there were two witnesses, Mary and Newton Brookhouse.

Henry could not be found on any of the English censuses so I searched the 1881 census on just the forename Henry G, in Manchester, born c1856. I found a family with the surname Backhouse - son Henry G aged 25 and a daughter Mary 46, the correct ages. The mother, Sarah M W was a widow. In 1871 there was also a son Newton. However, in 1861 there was also a nephew Edward Becker, and this name began to ring bells. A Mary Duncuft had married Hanibal Leigh Becker, and Mary had a sister Sarah Maria Wroe Duncuft who, I discovered, married a Backhouse! It therefore seems that Henry G, on his emigration to Canada, adopted his mother's maiden name, but in the original form, Duncalf. The Duncuft variant came about when an Isaiah Duncalf moved his family to Oldham in Lancashire from Cheshire in the early 18th century and the name began to be spelt Duncuft, a spelling that has survived to this day.

Henry's second name was Gawaine, clearly written in his signature on the marriage entry. There has been one or more people of the name Gowen in this family since the 1500s.

I know that the late Lloyd Duncalfe was in touch with a descendant of Henry Gawaine Duncalf; perhaps that descendant will see this and know that his ancestry can now be traced back to the 16th century in Cheshire, England.

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I've uploaded the article about Laurie Duncalfe. - Will have to try again as it didn't work properly!!
OK, second go, should work this time.
More on Henry Gowaine Backhouse (as he was registered in the March quarter of 1856, Stockport Registration District).

An article that appeared in the Globe & Mail Toronto on the day after his 91st birthday (January 28 1947) states that he was then living in Toronto with his married daughter Dorothy LAWRENCE at 59 Glenwood Avenue. His three surviing children were living and he then had six grandchildren and seven great grandsons. The article confirms that he was born in Lancashire in 1856 and that he emigrated to Canada in 1883. It omits to say that he was born a BACKHOUSE and not a DUNCALF!

I have put together a small family tree and have uploaded it here.

Surely there must be some male descendants about if he had 7 great grandsons in 1947.



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