Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Maurice Burt, Married to Clara Taylor, Aunt CB’s Aunt by Pat Kinsella Herdeg and Aunt CB Kinsella

This story idea began when Pat found this terrific picture. It shows Maurice with my grandfather Lloyd and his children Ruth and Arnon, and my great uncle Floyd with his sons Rex and Bryant.
What DID we know about Maurice Burt?

Maurice Edward Burt married Aunt CB’s Aunt Clara Taylor on June 3rd, 1923. By the 1930 census, Burt is no longer living with Clara, who would end her days in Willard Hospital with mental health issues. Clara’s story has already been beautifully written up by Aunt CB in this blog before—
So we’ll just add a bit to who Maurice Burt was, along with some pictures of his family.

Clara Taylor and Maurice Burt

Maurice was the youngest son of the Burts, who had six sons and two daughters. Maurice was born on April 10th, 1902 in the small village of Chale on the Isle of Wight off of Great Britain. As a teenager, he watched his five brothers go off to fight in World War One; angrily he rode his bicycle down to enlist, but was too young.

In March of 1921, a nineteen year old Maurice sailed to St. John, New Brunswick on the ‘Scandanavian’. He made his way to his brother Charlie’s home, in Ontario right across from Buffalo. 

Two years later, he married our Clara. In the 1925 Batavia City Directory they were living together; his occupation is a machinist. In 1929, the City Directory still lists them living together, but sometime during this year, Maurice took off to his brother’s house in Canada. Clara hired a private detective who managed to track him down; Maurice told Clara he would return to her, but he never did, thus further shattering Clara’s fragile personality.

Records tell us that by the 1930 Census, Clara is a roomer living with two other couples and she is a dressmaker. Further city directories name her as a widow, which we know is not true. A Toronto City Directory from 1938 places Maurice in Broadview, near Toronto.

What became of Maurice? We are not sure, but one newspaper clipping has a Maurice Edward Burt—late of the Royal Canadian Engineers—‘very quietly’ marrying Frances Elizabeth Cunliffe Hardy in October of 1945 in Whitchurch, United Kingdom. This does sound like our Maurice, as he would have wanted to finally get his chance to fight like his older brothers, and he would need to marry quietly as he was still married to Clara.

Although we do not know who is who in these pictures, here are family pictures of the Burt Family:
One is of Maurice’s family when he is a very young boy. The other is perhaps the marriage of one of his siblings? Maurice seems to be the man in the darker suit—the best man?
Maurice Burt—another puzzle in the Taylor Family tree. We can only hope that Clara had some happy memories from the six years she lived with her husband.


Sue Kinsella said...

One time when Alex was probably 8 or 9, we were hiking and found a small private airplane crashed partway down a hill, hidden by some trees. It had apparently happened long ago and had just been left there. We wondered what had happened.

Alex got out a notebook and started writing down clues. We searched all around the airplane to get ideas of how it had crashed and why it had stayed there, then used those to generate theories. That started our plan to create the Mom and Alex Detective Agency. Maybe detective work runs in the family?

CB/Mom said...

I wish I could help you to "SEE" the Aunt Clara that I knew! She was petite, always neatly dressed and well groomed. She was the aunt who asked about our dolls, our paper dolls our joys or heartaches. She was also the one who shared her dress maker samples! They were just the proper size to work as blankets for our paper dolls , which were figures cut from a neighbors funny papers and stored in a 2X4 in matchbox! [ depression days!]
Now I realize that she was sharing what she had not had in her childhood! Hers was a Busy childhood, as the oldest she helped raise younger sisters and brothers! [ and had a mental break when her 5 year old sister died from scarlet fever .} Clara was 20 then. She has always carried a special place in my heart!

Julie Riber said...

That is a sad story about Aunt Clara. But it's nice that her memory lives on, Aunt CB, through her kindness and interest in the lives of her nieces.