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My father Ernest Robert Brien Henry (known as Tom) was a professional ice hockey player (from Saskatchewan in Canada) when he met and married my mother Isabel Montgomery Jamieson in Scotland in 1952. Their relationship was short-lived but lasted long enough for me to be conceived (although they were well on their way to divorce by the time I was born in early 1953!!). After divorcing my mother, Tom married his childhood sweetheart Leona Regush with whom he had two sons Michael Shane Henry and Bradley Henry.
My mother married a further two times after divorcing my father - once to James Johnston in 1958 in Toronto and then to Christopher Piesley in 1969 again in Toronto. I am her only child. My mother died in Toronto in June 2015.
I was raised in Glasgow by my mothers sister and her husband (Annette Muirhead nee Jamieson and Joseph Muirhead and with my two cousins Eileen and Helga). I was estranged from the Henry family for many years (from 1958 until 2003) with very little contact as a child and no contact as an adult. I found the Henry's again in 2003 and was reunited with them and with my dad when I visited Saskatchewan for the first time in 46 years in February 2004. My dad died the following year in 2005 and is buried near Chitek in Saskatchewan. When I visited in 2004 my grandmother Georgina Henry nèe Vandal(e) was still alive and aged 97. She died 5 weeks following my visit on Easter Sunday 2004.
The Henry family still mostly live in northern and western Saskatchewan. Although the common spelling of the family name is Henry, in records it is sometimes referred to in records as Henri or dit Henry. The family are Metis and First Nations people living, working and studying in the Canadian mid west. The Henry family is recorded on the roll call for the North West Rebellion of 1885 and were centrally involved in the resistance and the culmination of the Revolution at the Battle of Batoche in 1885. A number of my near ancestors are cited as Martyrs of Batoche on the memorial there.
The Rebellion was a definitive moment in Canadian history and in the culture of the Metis people. Its effects and memory resound strongly to this day and its fighters are considered heroes and martyrs by the Metis people. The resistance was led by the charismatic and still much-revered figure Louis Riel and his lieutenant Gabriel Dumont who formed a Provisional Government (to achieve the vision of a separate homeland for aboriginal people). The Provisional Government were called the Exovedate. My great great uncle Pierre Henry fought alongside Riel at the Battle of Batoche and was a member of the Exovedate. He wasn't executed with Riel (who was hanged following a show trial by the Anglo-Canadians) but was imprisoned on a reduced charge of treason. My great great grandfather Damas Carrière was also a member of the Exovedate and murdered by the Anglo-Canadians. Many more ancestors recorded here were active and prominent members of the Resistance.
My grandma was a Vandal (more recently spelled Vandale) and her maternal grandfather was Damas Carrière. I believe my grandmother Georgina Vandale (who died in April 2004) was born in Duck Lake around 1906.
My great-grandfather x 4 Alexander Henry was a much renowned trader and explorer in the 1700's who was a major figure in opening up the Midwest - he even published a book about his exploits, founded the renowned Beaver Club in Montreal and is buried in that city.
My paternal ancestral family is mainly French but also with a number of First Nations ancestors. Several female ancestors were "Filles de Roi"....Founding Daughters of Quebec... arriving from France in the 1600's sponsored by Louis XIV. I have traced
parts of my extensive French ancestry as far back as the 1400’s.
As for the Henry name....this strand originated in Scotland/Northern Ireland and came to Canada via the eastern USA in the late 1600’s (before there was a USA) as voyageurs who very quickly inter-married with “New French”/Quebecois and with native people and, since then, the family has been firmly established within the indigenous peoples of Canada and remain proud defenders of that heritage and culture.
On my mothers side (Jamieson) we are pretty solidly Presbyterian Glaswegian working-class going back generations and come from the Gorbals/Tradeston area of Glasgow. Some earlier ancestors originated from Perth-shire, Stirling, Lanarkshire and Ayrshire. The family and its branches seem to be firmly rooted in central and west Scotland going back many generations into the 1700's and beyond. Separate DNA testing shows that my maternal line are indigenous to the north of Europe most likely Scotland for many thousand years.
My ancestors appear to have been pretty humble but they also seem to have been hard workers with many of the men becoming journeymen (brassfounders, bakers, porters and jewel-case makers) in the 18th/19th century and the women working in mills and factories. I expect that many of the children named on this site didn't survive for long since infant mortality would have been high and increasingly affected by poverty and industrialisation. These people were the backbone of Scotland and certainly were at the heart of the Industrial Revolution in the middle of a thriving Glasgow from when it was still a thriving mercantile town in the 1700's through the industrial expansion of the 19th and 20th centuries into the great city that it is today.
But it hasn't all been plain sailing......I was told (by my uncle Gordon - now deceased) that my grandpa Alexander Jamieson was involved in the robberies of a couple of Post Offices in the late 1920's/early 1930's along with his brother and sister. My grandpa apparently hid the loot in the midden at the back of the tenement and was jailed for reset (handling stolen goods). I think his brother Archie was also jailed for his part in the robberies but his sister apparently took a share of the money and fled to the USA and has never been heard of since. I don't know if this part is true but it's a good story!! My great grandparents Jamieson are buried in Largs in Ayrshire on the west coast of Scotland.
So my ancestral makeup is quite straightforward ...... indigenous Scots predominates followed by a very large chunk of French followed by First Nations. Adventure, struggle, hard work, and resilience are our hallmarks.
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