Johnson Morriss Affleck and
Gwynedd Isabel Affleck

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Johnson Morriss Affleck
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1. Mr. and Mrs. John Harper Penney were from South Shields.
2. Alderman Robert Affleck was from 'Bloomfield' Gateshead.
3. Herbert Gilles Penney was the second son of John Harper Penney.
4. Lottie Affleck was the only daughter of Robert Affleck.
5. They were married on Saturday 11/12/1909 at St. Georges Church in Gateshead.
6. Mr. Harry G. Wicks was a cousin of Herbert Gilles Penney. His mother, Mrs. Wicks was the Mayoress of Gateshead. She must be aunt to Herbert Gilles Penney and née Penney, and therefore sister to John Harper Penney and Edward Penney.
7. Gifts were received from, 'Mr. R Penney and Mr. C. Penney and Miss Flo' . I suggest that Mr. R. and Mr. C. are two more younger sons of John Harper Penney and Miss Flo is Florrie Penney.
8. Similarly, Misses R. and J. and Master Stanley Penney. I suggest that R. and J. refer to Rita and Jean and Stanley is another son.
9. Similarly, Mrs. E. Penney and Miss Penney. I suggest this is Caroline Valencia Penney, wife of Edward, and Valencia Ann Harper Penney, my grandmother.
Some notes on the Afflecks, 1800 Present.

All the following notes were written by William Strickland Affleck

The following is based, in the main on a collection of letters written by my grandmother and my uncles to my father after he had gone to Canada in 1906. It is supplemented with the results of various researches, including birth, marriage and death certificates and information from other family members. The material in the letters is, obviously subjective and tells us as much about the writers as it does about the subjects. The collection of letters is also a clearly incomplete source. Letters were not written during visits and there is no certainty that all that were written, were kept. That subjects are not, apparently, covered does not mean that they were not discussed. The collection is also one-sided. Evidently my father was a regular, even prolific correspondent but only a handful of his letters survive.

Up to 1881

The Afflecks originated in Scotland but the family was in the Tyneside region for some generations before my father was born.

My great-great grandfather was a William Affleck probably born before 1800 and died after 1857 and before 1870. He is described as a miner on my great-grandfather's marriage certificate.

My great grandfather was also a William Affleck, probably born in 1815 (based on age at death and his age in the 1881 Census -which gives his place of birth as Urpeth County Durham). He married Charlotte Clarke in 1853, in St. Andrews Parish Church. Newcastle-upon Tyne. The marriage certificate shows him as an engineer. William and Charlotte had twins, Dorothy Sarah and William James in 1855. On their birth certificates their father is described as an engineman at a colliery. In1858 there was a son, Robert, who would be my grandfather. On his birth certificates his father is described as an engineman.

At the time of the 1881 Census, William (66), Charlotte (63), Dorothy (25) and Robert (22) were living at 10, Osborne Terrace, Gateshead. (William James was not present). William is described now as a Land Agent, Robert as a Professor of Music. William would, later that year be Mayor of Gateshead. Charlotte died Jan 11th, 1883, aged 66. Robert is still shown as Mayor of Gateshead on her death certificate. William subsequently (1884) remarried to Sara Harley, who was some 30 years his junior and, reputedly, had been his cook This was a registry office marriage in Belford, Northumberland and no one from the family was present. William died on Feb 7th 1890, aged 75. We understand there were children but have no information about them.

0ne of the mysteries of the family is how William progressed from being an engineman in 1858, when he would already be in his mid 4Os, to land agent and Mayor of Gateshead in 1881.

My grandfather Robert was born in Gateshead, County Durham in 1858 (June 2nd). Apart from the 1881 Census record we know nothing about his activities until August 2nd 1881 when he married Georgiana Scotson Morriss in St. Edmunds Church, Gateshead.

Georgiana was born in Gateshead in 1853 (May 18th). Her parents were Johnson Morriss of Gateshead and Sarah Wilson Scotson who was born in 1818 at Carlton, just north-west of Stockton-on-Tees. They were married in Middlesborough, then in County Durham, now in Cleveland, in 1843. We have records of Scotsons back to 1725 in the Kirklevington area. just south of Stockton-on-Tees. Georgiana had a sister. Wilhelmina, who, as Aunt Lily figures throughout. There is a story, impossible to validate, that both Georgiana and Wilhelmina were attracted to Robert. Georgiana won, in the sense that she became Mrs. Affleck, but Wilhelmina seems to have come along as well and spent much of her life living with them.

From 1881 to 1910

Robert was 23, Georgiana 28 when they were married. Robert Affleck was later a Justice of the Peace and Alderman of the city of Gateshead. He was a house agent and property owner. The family business was that of landlord and property developer. He was Chairman of the Board of Guardians in Gateshead. The Board of Guardians administered charities and were in charge of poor relief, workhouses, etc. The family was involved with the Unitarian church in Gateshead and Robert played the organ. The Afflecks ultimately had quite a large house, Bloomfield, which then stood in its own grounds and they appear to have lived in some style with indoor and outdoor servants, etc. There was a pipe organ in the house. After the second World War the house was used as council offices, and extended and modified. It was finally demolished in1957.

Robert and Georgiana had six children between 1882 and 1893. The family came to a crisis point in 1910, and it is useful to follow the children's progress up to that date.

Next was Johnson Morriss ("Johnsie"), my father, who was born October 17th. 1886. He was named for his grandfather. He was at the Boys High School in Gateshead and went from there to St. Bees School, at the age of nearly 14, in September 1900. He left St Bees in April 1903 to go to Hollesley Bay Colonial College in Suffolk as a preparation for going out to Canada. We think that following (or just possibly instead of) this he spent some time on a farm run by a family called Strickland (from whence I get my second name) but have not yet pinned this down. I thought the farm was in Lancashire but there are references to Stricklands in the mother's letters and these refer to County Durham. There are letters to Johnsie Affleck addressed to him in Alberta from mid-1906. Next he is at various locations in British Columbia finishing in Kelowna (a town in the Okanagan valley in B. C.) in August 1908 where he bought land. He seems then to have gone back to England for the winter 1908-9, returning in the spring of 1909.

From 1910 to 1920

Grandfather Robert was suddenly taken ill while on holiday in 1910. He died on August 3rd. in Dunoon, following an emergency operation for a burst appendix. He was 52. This was an extremely traumatic event for the family.

Johnsie was nearly 24 when his father died. He went home to England for the winter 1910-11, following the death, in response to a great of pressure from his mother to sell up and come home permanently. At that time he seems to have had two properties, one "in Kelowna" and one in Port Henry. The possibility that he would leave Canada altandether was complicated by the land issue, and probably by the fact that he had received 'money from home' in August 1909 to 'pay off the balance on your land.' He was no doubt encouraged to stick at it by his Father, and, up to the time of his Father's death, by his Mother. He returned to Kelowna, with his younger brother George, in the spring of 1911. He seems to have sold a property and moved to another in 1913. He then stayed put until the outbreak of the Great War.

Johnsie enlisted in 1914 and went into camp in Vernon (B.C) with the 30th Regiment, BC Horse for a period, leaving his Kelowna place to be 'looked after'. He had always had very poor eyesight and had to wear glasses which seemed likely severely to hamper his military Career in the Canadian forces. In October 1914 he had obtained his discharge and travelled to England, enlisting in the King Edward's Horse, a cavalry regiment, and going to France with them in the spring of 1915. In 1916 he was selected and trained for a commission and served for the rest of the war as an officer in the Northumberland Fusiliers. He finished the war without wounds (more, it seems by good luck than any instinct of self preservation) as Capt J.M. Affleck, MC. He was involved in the repatriation of German prisoners of war and was not demobilised until November 1919. He spent the winter in England and returned to Canada, sailing from Liverpool on March 5th, in 1920.

From 1910 to 1930

Johnsie returned to Canada and settled into East Kelowna. Billy must have lived with him for a period but we have no details. In 1921 Johnsie bought, through the Provincial Soldiers Settlement Board, land which he developed as an orchard and on which he subsequently built a house. 'Northside'. Other packages of land were added giving, ultimately, an orchard of some 45 acres. He spent part of the winter 1924/5 in England, visited with his brother Robert, and his mother who was then in Hexham This would have been the last time he saw her.

From 1930 to the Present

In 1930 he courted and married Gwynedd Isabel Simkins, my mother. Johnsie and Gwyn lived in the house 'Northside', the house built on Johnsie's PSSB lot, until 1945. Their sons were born there, William Strickland (that's me) in 1932 and Robert Scotson in 1941. The family went ('back') to England immediately following the end of WWII, actually leaving Kelowna on VJ day. In England they initially lived in Yorkshire at the house, 'High Dalby' occupied by George. In 1946 they bought and moved into 'Millgrove House' near Whitehaven in Cumberland.

Both Robert and I went to St Bees School (quite near Whitehaven).

I went on to National Service (1951~3). Oxford (1953-57), Imperial College, London (1951-1962) and then to work for Shell, moving to Chester in 1962. I married Joyce Watson in 1957; we have three chhildren.

Robert went to Sheffield University and thence to work for a mining equipment company Anderson and Mavor. He married Sylvia Shone in 1968; their two children are John (1971) and Beth (1974). In 1982 the family went to U.SA with their company on what has turned out to be a much extended assignment. They now live outside Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

By 1970 Johnsie's health was failing and the upkeep on Millgrove getting too much for them. They sold up and moved, intending to build and occupy a bungalow adjacent to William's house in North Wales near Chester. Johnsie died (of cancer of the bowel) in October 1971, before the bungalow, to be named 'Kelowna' was built. Gwyn lived there with her brother until 1989 when she had to go into a home, dying in June 1991.

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