Friday, November 21, 2014

Thomas Argyle and Ellen Tufts; lighthouse keepers in Victoria, British Columbia

As I have been working on the third chapter of Nova Scotia Tufts I came across this story about Gershom Tufts Great-Granddaughter from his son Francis and his son Samuel of Dartmouth or Halifax NS. It’s unclear what possessed Ellen to move from Nova Scotia to British Columbia but she made a wonderful life there and left many descendents.

MARY ELLA (Ellen)  TUFTS (1836-1923) 
married THOMAS FREDERICK ARGYLE (1839-1919) of Birmingham England.
These pioneers in early Victoria, British Columbia lived and worked on the small island called Race Rocks where they were lighthouse keepers. They had 6 of their nine children there and many of their stories are available for research. They lost a son to the sea. They also say Thomas found a treasure as he used to pay for supplies in gold coins. Please read the full story below. I also have some news stories I can send to interested readers.
Image of engineers from their site 

One item the articles and references here need correcting on is their continued statements that Ellen’s family were loyalists expelled from Boston. Gershom Tufts moved to Nova Scotia well prior to the war and Loyalist expulsions. One reference even claims the Tufts came to America on the Mayflower.  Ellen's ancestry clearly traces back to Peter Tufts of Charlestown Massachusetts in 1638, our common immigrant ancestor. Their family details will be chronicled in Nova Scotia Tufts families’ chapter 3.Perhaps it fit better to describe her as such, given Thomas' status with the Royal Engineers.
I have not chronicled their family descendents here. A quick search on reveals many trees with full families of many children. They could be living in the area today. Please feel free to leave details of their descendents in the comments section or links to family sites. Some of these images are from trees.

In the publication Canadian Frontier: Annual 1977
Edited by Gordon Thomas Stewart, Brian Antonson
Published by Antonson Publishing, 1977 a great story about this family is told by writer George Inglis:  
click on the images for a larger image to read the article.

Thomas is recognized on the Royal Engineers page was well:

Monday, November 10, 2014

Tufts stars in Canadian Hockey in 1898

There is quite a bit of sporting history recorded in the book Saint John: A Sporting Tradition 1785-1985 by Brian Flood and Richard Papenhausen. Chapter 4 specifically describes the origins of hockey in the city and even contends the sport may have been first played on the lakes of Dartmouth Nova Scotia.
The chapter opens with the quote:

“Big Tuffy, Little Tuffy, Old Tuffy’s son. Big Tuffy shot a goal,-St. John’s won.”

The footnote states this and other material used for the chapter is from the The Tufts Scrapbooks Vol. 3, New Brunswick Museum. These would be fun to discover.

There are many images at their Balls, Bats and Boats exhibit:

This image is rough but the book has a much better copy. It shows F.L. Tufts in the front row (left) and Andy Tufts in the second row (center).

The above quote was the cheer from 1898 when Andy Tufts led the Canadian Winter Port hockey team (of St. John) to a 5-0 win over the All Halifax team. Apparently it was quite a rivalry. The author goes on to discuss the first hockey ever played. While Montreal and Kingston (Ontario) claim to have had played in 1855, there is the possibility it was played nearer to 1828 in the lakes of Dartmouth. There had to be some Tufts on that ice as it home to many Tufts families. There is more discussion of the birthplace of hockey here:

It appears that nearby Windsor, Nova Scotia lays claim to the first organized ice hockey. They relate quite a bit about the first hockey sticks coming from the Mic Mac Indians of Tufts cove and other places.

Book on Amazon:

Update 11/12/2014 These 2 Tufts sons appear to be the descendents of Hugh Kearns Tufts the immigrant from Ireland. They will be detailed in a later chapter of the Nova Scotia Tufts