Good research questions get you thinking about your old roadblocks in new ways, and that exactly what just happened with all of the questions I was asking myself yesterday. I have just had an incredible flow of answers and new information. I can hardly keep up with it, between the fast pace and the excitement I'm feeling.

So let's just start with the questions I began with yesterday, before I make a mess!

Question 1: Did Charles and Lester working for the railroad (CPR and ICR) have an impact on their moving from Barbados to Halifax, Nova Scotia?

Answer: YES!

Google Book Search for "Intercolonial Railway and Barbados" produced this result. And you want to talk about genealogical serendipity--I didn't even put Charles' Pinheiro's name in the search, and the blurb on the search result included his name. I would have skimmed right on over it if I hadn't seen the name. I love this stuff!

Check out this page from this book I found, North of the Color Line: Migration and Black Resistance in Canada, 1870-1955 by Sarah-Jane Mathieu. Saje Mathieu teaches history and the University of Minnesota. It was at this point that I began to recognize that my ancestor is a very well-researched individual in all the right circles.


What is the S.S. Acadia? I wondered. Wikipedia took care of the rest.

Question 2: Where did Charles go to church? What bearing did it play on his personal life?

Answer: St. Paul's Church of England

I hit Google Books again, this time for Charles Pinheiro in Halifax, and found a fantastic article by Judith Fingard, From Sea to Rail: Black Transportation Workers and their Families in Halifax, c.1870-1916. She goes into an unprecedented level of detail on the personal life of my ancestor.

Fingard mentions that he was a member of St. Paul's Church of England, with the exception that he and his wife Rose Dallas were married in the Methodist church because her family was Methodist. He was also a Freemason, and Fingard points out how many other black men in the railway industry would have been masons in the same lodge together.

Question 3: What happened to Lester Ince?

Answer: He joined the military

My family has veterans galore. Now I can say I have them from two different countries. Lester Ince joined the Canadian military as part of the troops assembled to fight in World War I. Library and Archives Canada provides access to the applications, which provide insight into what Lester looked like and his other military service.

Because he doesn't appear with his family after the war in the 1921 census, I think it's safe to theorize that he died in the war. That would certainly explain why he doesn't show up in any of the death or burial records back in Halifax. I'll have to keep looking so I can substantiate that theory, but it does provide me with my next step.

Question 4: What happened to Charles? Where did he die? Where is he buried?

Answer: He moved to Montreal and died there.

And there's an obituary! I can't find an online archive for the newspaper yet. But thanks to Judith Fingard, I know there's an obituary for him in The Halifax Chronicle of 22 July 1944. Once I get a copy of this obituary, hopefully it'll tell me where Charles is buried. He was a true patriarch. He loved and cared for the extended generations of his family. I want to know where the final resting place of his body is. If I ever get the chance, I want to be able to pay my respects.

I wrote to Judith Fingard with what I deduced must be the email address provided to her from the university. I asked her for whatever help and insight with which she could provide me. She just wrote me back about 20 minutes ago, and we'll be touching base in a couple of weeks. I'm simply in awe of how quickly and completely these pieces are falling into place.

There is even MORE to go into, but I'm going to call it good for today. Be on the lookout for the follow up with Judith Fingard, the missing Pinheiro census records, and the new records I found for Rose Dallas and her family!

To be continued...