Fonds CR-12 - Curtis family fonds

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Curtis family fonds

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  • [18--]-1991 (Creation)
    Curtis (family)

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Physical description

18 cm of textual records;193 photographs;5 maps

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Biographical history

William Edwin Curtis (1863-1952) arrived in British Columbia from his birthplace in Brighton England in 1886. Trained as an accountant, William became bookkeeper and manager of the Harlock Cannery in Delta, and later in 1896, the Lowe Inlet Cannery in northern B.C. William also obtained his Master Mariners papers, and subsequently was known as Captain Curtis. William married Isabella McKee, daughter of John McKee (1816-1900) and Margaret Johnston (1818-1911), in 1892. The McKee family had migrated from Ireland in 1874 to the Delta region, becoming a prominent family in East Delta. John McKee owned farmland in East Delta as well as a butcher shop in Ladner. John and Margaret had eight children, James, Samuel, Robert, Isabella, John Jr., William, Mary Ann (who married John Allen of Ireland), and David. The senior McKees, and John and his wife Margaret Lilla McNeill, bought and lived in a house (built in 1895) on Arthur Drive, which they called "Rosetta" and is now known as the "McKee House". The McNeill family owned the McKee House until 1975 when it was bought by the Municipality of Delta. William and Isabella Curtis had one son, Edwin Johnston Curtis, born 1894 in New Westminster, and a daughter, Rose Margaret who died at 5 months. E.J. Curtis attended school in Ladner, travelling with his parents to Lowe Inlet in the summers. He served briefly in WWI with the Royal Air Force, and later in WWII as a major in the Medical Corps. E.J. trained as a medical doctor, specialising in paediatrics, and graduated from McGill University in 1923. In 1926, Dr. Curtis married Eloise M. Scovern in St. Louis Missouri where he was completing his residency at St. Louis Children's Hospital. Dr. and Mrs. Curtis made their home in Vancouver where E.J. practiced medicine and was a founding member of the Osler Society of Vancouver. Dr. and Mrs. Curtis had two children, Edwin Johnston (Ted) Curtis, born in 1928, and Nancy Ann, born 1929. Nancy Ann married Thomas O. Youtsey in 1954.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists mainly of two groups of records. One group was created as a result of Dr. E.J.Curtis' interest in the genealogy of the McKee family. The other is a compilation of material, some of which was arranged in 3 albums (see conservation note), that describes the activities and accomplishments of Edwin Johnson Curtis, his parents, and his children. The fonds includes photographs, correspondence, certificates, research notes, family trees, newspaper clippings and ephemera. The photographs contain many family portraits, scenes of early Ladner and Lowe Inlet, and depictions of family activities and holidays. Dr. Curtis corresponded with archives, genealogical organizations, and family members to obtain records and information about the family of his mother Isabella McKee, compiling this information in detailed handdrawn family trees. Original records include certificates of various family members' birth, death, marriage and accomplishments, and records of Dr. Curtis' war service, education, memberships, and professional competency and appointments.

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Folder inventory is available. Item level description of photographs is available. To view reference copies of photographs, see Photograph Reference Binders under photo number.

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BCAUL control number: DMA-313

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