The Cruickshank Family Members

Our Cruickshank family tree dates back to 1590. The earliest document we have is the baptism of John  Cruickshank in 1730, below. Old Machar is a parish in south eastern Aberdeenshire. Parents were George Cruickshank, a 'shoomaker' and Jean Traile.

This John Cruickshank married Elspet Milne who was born March 27, 1731, in Cathill, Belhelvie, Aberdeenshire. They had a son, William who was born June 10, 1763 and christened in Old Machar, Aberdeenshire. William became a crofter, and married Elizabeth Lucas (B1776 - D 1840). William and Elizabeth had a son named George (born 1794), in Peterhead, Aberdeenshire.

This George Cruickshank (born 1794) married Elizabeth Jack on May 12, 1818, in Longside, Aberdeenshire. George was a farmer and a crofter. He died at Grassiehill, in the parish of New Deer in Aberdeenshire on November 16, 1868. This is the first reference to Grassiehill, (alternately spelled Greciehill, Gracyhill) which remained the home of the Cruickshank family for at least another two generations. It is at this farm my grandfather grew up. The death register below shows George's parents names. The son who was the informant of this death was James Adams Cruickshank, my great-grandfather.


Elizabeth Cruickshank (nee Jack) died November 16, 1867 at Greciehill, New Deer. The death register below gives the names of her parents. The son who was the informant of her death was James Adams Cruickshank.

Eliz (Jack) death-1867- b99a7d6a-cae3-43

Elizabeth Jack was the daughter of George Jack and Margaret King. George Jack was born September 24, 1778. Margaret was born in 1753. George Jack and Margaret King married May 8, 1784 in Old Meldrum Parish. George Jack died March 17, 1831, in Longside, Aberdeenshire.



The ancestry of George Jack has been very well researched by my distant cousin Kathleen. 



Frank came to Canada on the Ionian in 1910. This ship of the Allan Line Steamship Company sailed from Glasgow on April 23, 1910 and arrived in Quebec City on May 3, 1910, then on to Montreal. Frank's destination is listed as Winnipeg, Manitoba. The ship's manifest asks "Have you ever been to Canada before" with the replies "Yes" and "in 1909". The trip from Quebec to Winnipeg would be by train.

According to the Winnipeg census of 1911, Frank Cruickshank's year of immigration to Canada is 1907, so the referenced trip in 1909 might not have been his first trip to Canada. The manifest for a ship, the Athenia, does list Frank Cruickshank, aged 23, born in Aberdeen, Scotland, with occupation Farm Labourer. The Athenia departed Glasgow on March 9, 1907, and arrived at St John, New Brunswick, on March 16, 1907. The Athenia was of the Donaldson Line.

Frank is shown in this 1911 Winnipeg census as a lodger living at 734 Beverley Street. His wife and children are not yet with him. This census indicates his occupation is a Carpenter-works at house building. Winnipeg censuses were normally taken in June.


By 1911 Frank was married to Georgina (nee Norrie), and had 2 children; a son named Frank (born in 1905) and a daughter named Hilda (born in 1906). Travel was difficult in those days requiring seven to eleven days across the Atlantic Ocean. The trip was considered to be a huge undertaking, and very expensive. To understand the times we can remember that the Titanic headed for New York in April, 1912.

Frank's wife, Georgina and daughter Hilda are listed on the ship's manifest of the Hesperian in 1911, which sailed from Glasgow to Quebec City. This ship left Glasgow on July 8, 1911, and arrived in Quebec City on July 15, 1911, then on to Montreal. The manifest records that Georgina (age 25) and Hilda (age 4) are carrying $20.00 cash. Georgina lists her husband as a Joiner, and it appears he is not on this ship. They state they have never been to Canada before, and their destination is Winnipeg, Manitoba. Georgina gives her occupation as Housewife and their religion as Presbyterian.

(The Winnipeg census dates for immigration are questionable as they do not line up with the ships' manifests. Specifically, one censuses indicates Frank arrived in Winnipeg in 1906, which is not supported by any passenger list. The 1911 Winnipeg census lists Frank's year of immigration as 1907, which seems right. The 1916 census indicates that Georgina and Hilda immigrated to Canada in 1907, which is wrong. The 1921 census gives Frank's immigration year as 1907 (right); but Georgina and Hilda's immigration year as 1910 instead of the correct 1911.) 

In the 1916 Winnipeg census we see, Frank, Georgina, daughter Hilda (9 years old) and son Charlie (9 months old) were living on Garfield Street in Winnipeg. This census lists Frank as a Carpenter-buildings.

Frank and Georgina decided to leave Frank Junior (born 1905) behind in Scotland. There are 3 stories to explain that including: parent-in-law influence, the childrens’ recovery from scarlet fever, and Georgina’s reluctance to immigrate. They did leave him with his maternal grandparents (Norrie family) expecting to have him come to Canada after they got settled. After, when they were ready for Frank Junior to come to Canada, his grandparents did not want to let him go. Frank Junior stayed in Scotland, growing up around New Pitsligo, in Aberdeenshire.



In Winnipeg

Frank and Georgina settled into the 1 ½ storey house that Frank built at 1040 Garfield Street, in Winnipeg, and appear there in the 1921 Winnipeg census (listed as 1020 Garfield in the census). This census shows Frank as an employee with the occupation Carpenter, and work location given as "School". The children's ages are Charles (5 years old), Hugh Robert (2 years old), Alexander J. (3 weeks old), and Hilda Mary (14 years old), a student.


This little house at 1040 Garfield was at the west end of the city of Winnipeg; and further west was just natural prairie. Georgina continued to have a garden and kept chickens in the back yard for food. In that house, small by today's standards, Frank and Georgina raised daughter Hilda, and the 3 boys: Charlie (Charles born 1915), Hughie (Hugh, born 1918), and Alex (Alexander, born 1921). My Dad (Charlie) told me that he, his brothers, and his sister slept upstairs, in the upper half-storey. My Dad also told me that he and his brothers used to hunt rabbits in the prairie, almost just out the back door.


Frank started and ran a business building houses, and apparently built several in the west end of Winnipeg. House building was difficult in those days before machinery. The basements were excavated using horses to pull excavators with a man behind, similar to ploughing with horses. Frank sub-contacted out the excavation to the man with the horses. It was slow going by today’s standards. Of course construction season was in the Summer, and excavation could only occur after the ground was thawed. Winnipeg would have Summer temperatures of 30 degrees Celcius and more. We are told that Frank wore long underwear even in the Summer and claimed it kept him cooler.


There was time for enjoyment, too. Frank and Georgina would play music at Scottish gatherings. Georgina played piano and Frank played fiddle. It was said that Georgina was expecting son Charlie and still playing at their dances so Charlie was a musician before he was born. Georgina said that after Charlie was born, she took him to the Scottish dances and put him in a basket behind the piano. She said she didn’t do that with Hughie and Alex and that is why Charlie was the most musical of the 3 boys.


At some time (or sometimes, such as school summer holidays) Charlie, Hughie, and Alex worked for Frank on house construction. To put a year on it Charlie was born on August 28, 1915 and he was helping to build a house when he was 6. That would bring us to 1921. He quit school for a full time job around 1930, but may have continued helping Frank off and on. Charlie's daughter Rhonda was born in June 1939, when Charlie was turning 24 years old. By that time he had a full time job, and was not working for Frank full time. So the time of Charlie working for Frank would have mostly been between 1921 and 1939.


Frank’s sons in Canada all grew up knowing how to work with wood, and Hughie became a full-time, self-employed carpenter, in Vancouver. I think they felt their dad was pretty strict with them and didn’t much like working for him; especially when their friends were playing during summer holidays.


During the depression years, Frank built houses for people who could not afford to pay. He ended up accepting barter as payment. His sons often said how their dad came home with a chicken or something else when he went to collect payment from his customers. They said he was not a very good businessman. The family remained not-so-well-off.


In 1941, Frank built a house for his son Charlie, his wife Isabelle, and daughter Rhonda in Winnipeg, 2 blocks west of 1040 Garfield. The address was 1156 Downing Street. Charlie and his brothers helped with the building of it. Frank used horses to excavate the basement and looked at his watch for break times and mealtimes. It was completed in September, 1941.


Frank, now know as Grandad, passed away on August 25, 1950. That Spring had brought a huge flood (2) which wreaked havoc in Winnipeg. My sister, Rhonda, was 11 years old in June; I was not yet born (Ray Cruickshank). Grandad never did see his son, Frank, after 1910 or 1911.

As mentioned, Frank and Georgina's son, Frank, grew up with his grandparents (Norrie family) in Scotland and had a son named Frank, who is my first cousin. My cousin Frank had daughters in Scotland. The next in line, my Auntie Hilda married Stan Rhodes and had 2 children, a son named Frank (Rhodes) and a daughter named Dorothy. Frank Rhodes had 4 daughters. Then the third child in line was my Dad (Charlie). Not surprisingly, I suppose, my Uncle Hughie absent mindedly often called me “Frank”. It just seems to be a family name.