The Women of 1949-Inmates of Bridgetown Poor Farm

Last weekend, author Denise Rice and I shared a table at the Round Hill Community Hall annual sale. She was selling her many books on genealogy and I was selling my book A Wholesome Horror: Poor Houses in Nova Scotia.  Denise is often at sales for anything regarding genealogy and had picked up several boxes from a local person whose parent, a genealogist, had died recently. When going through the boxes, she came across some things that would be of interest to me.

Denise handed  me a rough photocopy of an undated article from the Weekly Monitor, a newspaper from Bridgetown Nova Scotia and a photocopy of a page of the Register of Inmates 1949. The list contained names of women who were in the Annapolis County Asylum and Poor Farm in 1949.

The names are               Community                         Age                 Religion        Civil State

Sabean, Martha               Port Lorne                         67                   Baptist            Single

Sabean, Catherine           Port Lorne                         82                   Baptist           Single

Minard, Bertha               New Grafton                      71                   Anglican        Single

Minard, Helen                New Grafton                      33                   Anglican        Single

Spurr, Maria                   Lequille                              81                   Anglican         Single

Mosher, Beatrice           Bridgetown                        40                   Baptist             Single

Sabeans, Florence         Bridgetown                        34                   Baptist             Single

Clayton, Phyllis              Parkers Cove                      30                  Baptist             Single

Orde, Maud                    Clementsport                     50                   Anglican          Married

Palfrey, Elsie                  Bridgetown                         39                  Baptist               Single

Baker, Etta                     Margaretsville                    76                  Baptist               Single

Sears, Addie                   Kempt                                  70                  Baptist               Married

Smith, Edith                   Inglisville                           76                   Baptist               Single

Cress, Charlotte            Bridgetown                        77                   Baptist                 Single

Banks, Annie                Port George                        43                    Baptist                Single

Caufield, Lavinia         Lunenburg                         67                   Baptist                 Widowed

Forrester, Margaret    Bear River                          34                   Baptist                  single

Jeremy, Rebecca           Annapolis Co.,                  91                    R.C.*                     single

Young, Bertha              Granville                             71                                                 single

Whynott, Ellen            Springfield                          72                                                  widowed

Orde, Caroline             Lake LaRose                        77                                                 widowed

McCormick, Ruth        Bear River                           54                                                 single


*R.C. = Roman Catholic

The religion of the last four women are not noted or else, through multiple photocopying, the Ditto sign has faded out.

The first two women, the Sabeans could possibly be sisters as there are 15 years between them and they are both listed as ‘single’.

The Minard women from New Grafton are possibly Mother and Daughter as there are 38 years between them but they are also both listed as single.

And then again, perhaps the elder women in these two groups of women were unmarried when they became mothers.

Rebecca Jeremy from Annapolis County could possibly be First Nations as Jeremy was often a First Nations surname.

The married women, Maude Orde  and Addie Sears might have been separated from their husbands who were in the male quarters of the poor farm.

So much information and so little information at the same time. I’m grateful but frustrated. I want to know more!

Next post will be about the ‘new’ asylum and it’s size and dimensions as well as a Letter to the Editor protesting the cost of this new place. Bridgetown.RegisterofInmates.1949


One thought on “The Women of 1949-Inmates of Bridgetown Poor Farm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s