The missing Huttons

Will & Lena Hutton
Will & Lena Hutton

My maternal grandmother, Peggy Ward – born as Margeret Jane Dempster McLeary, had three brothers and two sisters. her eldest sister was named Helena/Helene McLeary or Lena for short.

We had met Lena & husband Will when they visited England from their home in Canada. That was the sum total of what we knew.

After some research we discoverd Lena married William Hornell Hutton (born Oct 1893 in Castle Douglas, Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland) in Colchester, Essex, England late 1917. They had three children William (1920), Iris (1922) and Jean (1927). When Jean was born they lived at 79 Garrets Green Lane, Birmingham. William junior was killed during WW2 in the Middle East.

Jean married a Canadian soldier, Gordon W. Simms in 1945 and she was ‘repatriated’ to Canada the following year. The address in Canada was: Mrs. P. Swarbrick (Aunt) 360 Esdras Place, Riverside, Ontario. At the time this name/address meant nothing but was a part of the jigsaw that confirmed other parts of the puzzle.

Jean’s parents, Will & Lena, and sister Iris followed her to Canada in Dec 1947. We knew from family tales that Iris Hutton later married Donald Simms, brother of Gordon W. Simms.

Then our research hit the proverbial ‘brickwall’ for a long time. It was on the back-burner but not forgotten, forming part of our on-going search of  Canadian genealogical sources. See further post for update.