Third Great-Uncle Edgar Douglas White: A World Away

There are others (cousins) who could probably give a more detailed and colorful account of Jennie’s oldest brother Edgar, but this is my own account, based on my own research.

Edgar Douglas White was born to Job R. and Elizabeth White on October 3, 1840 in Shelburne, Nova Scotia. He was christened on January 8, 1842 at Christ Church (the combined parishes of St. George & St. Patrick). (Interestingly, this church was founded in the 1780s by Loyalists and is still an active church to this day.) By 1846, the family lived in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.

Like his parents, Edgar left Nova Scotia in 1869; but unlike them, he did not go to the United States. Instead, he traveled to Little Akaroa, New Zealand. From there he made his way to the Coromandel area, where gold mining was booming. I don’t know how successful Edgar was in finding gold, but he did manage to find a wife in Thames, New Zealand. In 1872 he wed Frances Organ in the parsonage of St. George’s Church. The two went on to have a very large family:

  • William Edgar (born 1874)
  • Richard James (born September 25, 1875)
  • Frances Elizabeth (born November 1, 1877)
  • Annie Jane (born September 25, 1879)
  • Rose Mary (born 1881)
  • Flora Isobel (born November 23, 1882)
  • Alice Matilda (born 1884)
  • Edgar Douglas (born 1886)
  • Joseph Milton (born March 18, 1889)
  • Rachel Eleanor (born August 15, 1891)
  • twins James & unnamed (born and died March 10, 1895)
  • Gladys May (born January 7, 1898)

As Edgar’s family was growing, misfortune struck. On April 1, 1887, he had to file for bankruptcy. That must have been difficult with so many mouths to feed. From what I can tell, however, Edgar continued to be involved in the mining industry.

Edgar and his descendants did not forget their home folks. Correspondence was kept up with Elizabeth White, her granddaughter Bertha Colomy, and Bertha’s granddaughter Cherie Pleau. I’m sure other members of the family were written to as well. Today, I am blessed to be in contact with one of Edgar’s great-grandsons.