I'm trying to locate any information on Jack Norman Cairns. He is my grandfather on my mother's side, but my mother has very little information about him. She believes he was from the Hamilton, Ontario area. He married Margaret Douglas, and had 3 children (Doug, William, and Sandra); however, apparently he was already married, so he divorced Margaret. My grandmother would never talk about him, and if asked questions about his past she would not answer them.
My mom believes he died in 1956 at the age of 51... so born either 1905 or 1906 depending when his birthday was.
The 1911 Canadian census has a Norman CAIRNS, b. Dec. 1905, in Hamilton, with his parents John, born Jan 1880 in ON, May, born May 1881 in Scotland, and siblings Douglas, born July 1904, Muriel, born Nov 1907, and Alma, born Mar 1911.
I'm having trouble finding a birth record for Jack Norman, but there's one for a Douglas Ross CAIRNS b. 20-July-1904 in Pittsburgh Township, Frontenac, ON. Parents were John CAIRNS and Mary SAMUELS. Also a birth record for Muriel Margaret CAIRNS b. 23-Nov-1907, same location, same parents.
There's a marriage record for Muriel Margaret CAIRNS to William James MIDDLETON on 27-Nov-1925 in Hamilton, Wentworth, ON. Bride's parents were John CAIRNS and Mary SAMUELS. Groom's parents were William MIDDLETON and Bertha ALEXANDER.
There's a marriage record for a Jack Norman CAIRNS to Barbara RORIE on 4-Feb-1928 in Wentworth, ON. Bride's father's name was William RORIE.
I did see the marriage record for Jack Norman Cairns to Barbara Rorie.. but, i don't have a subscription to ancestry.ca (15/month annually billed!) so I couldn't click it.. Wentworth is pretty far from Hamilton, but it is possible.. i just can't find something to link him to the right Jack Norman Cairns. I tried following the path of the Rorie's, but couldn't find anything linking to Cairns other than that marriage record.
It is difficult because my mom doesn't know if he went by Jack Cairns, or Norman Cairns.. she thinks Jack... (my mom doesn't remember too much of her father..).
Edit: One thing I forgot to add - his birthday was December 23.. that was one thing she was confident of.
If this is the right family, something bad must have happened. I found the two youngest girls, Muriel and Alma, plus another sister, Mona, who was a year younger than Alma, living in a Children's Home in Hamilton in the 1921 census. I can't find either of the boys.
I think Hamilton is or was part of Wentworth County. If the record just says Wentworth, it could be anywhere in the area. I also do not have a paid membership at Ancestry and so could get a look at the actual record.
The fact that your Mom is certain he was born Dec 23rd is another indication that the Jack Norman you are looking for was the Norman listed in 1911 as the son of John CAIRNS and Mary SAMUELS. It looks like they were from the Kingston area, which is quite a way from Hamilton. I will see if I can find anything else to make a firmer connection. I see entries in Kingston in 1901 for people I believe to be the right John and Mary, but that still doesn't connect them to your Jack Norman CAIRNS.
To access the attachment photo I clicked on your name at the end of your post, then clicked Lenihan site, then family photos and there it is.
Seeing that your mother's middle name is Muriel and that she also had a brother named Douglas and the 1911 census family had siblings of Norman named Muriel and Douglas, well it could be a coincidence, but I'm thinking it's another indication that we have the correct family. Do you know the middle names of her other siblings?
I will try to track down that Jack Norman Cairns then through his sisters as well and/or the parents.
Thanks for your help on this by the way.. i'm new at this (started just yesterday) so still learning all the searching places. My wife's side was easy.. we are already back to 1488 for her ancestors.. lots of her relatives have family trees created it seems!
You are very welcome. If there is anything else I can do, just let me know. I started on my own family research back in the late 70s when I was just a teen. The internet has been a marvelous thing for genealogists and I enjoy helping other people get started.
I would recommend www.familysearch.org as a very good free site. I have already scoured them for info on Jack Norman CAIRNS, but you might try searching there again in case I missed anything. Also, and this may seem obvious, but it isn't always to some people, Google can help. A lot of folks just getting started go right to genealogy sites and don't even think to just try Google.
Oh, and one more warning - check other people's work. It is thrilling to find that someone has put a huge tree for your family online, but sometimes they are not accurate. Mistakes can be as simple as typos or as bad as people making assumptions and then writing it down as truth. Be careful.
The 1911 Canadian census.. that you found the info below.. I can't seem to find it.. i'm using ancestry.ca to search it.., and tried on myheritage here. Are you searching a different way?
"The 1911 Canadian census has a Norman CAIRNS, b. Dec. 1905, in Hamilton, with his parents John, born Jan 1880 in ON, May, born May 1881 in Scotland, and siblings Douglas, born July 1904, Muriel, born Nov 1907, and Alma, born Mar 1911. "