Saturday, May 11, 2013

Autograph Album/Journal of Ada Alice (Gilbert) Eagles of Ontario


Autograph album/journal dating from 1879 of Ada Alice (Gilbert) Eagles, with a few pages inscribed to Josie or Joe. 

The reverse of the first end paper has a note from Ada's granddaughter indicating that the album was Ada's and mentioning the surnames Wing and Zschernitz.  One of Ada's daughters, Florence Elise Eagles married Martin James Wing.  Their daughter Ada married Robert Zschernitz.


Most of the album pages are filled with religious thoughts, hymns and poems dealing with themes of abandonment and unhappiness.  It would appear that there were some sad times in Ada's life.



The album is approximately 8" x 6-1/4" and contains 10 pages with autographs, two of them inscribed to a "Josie", so this album may have belonged to someone else before or after Ada acquired it.

From online research, hopefully correct: [corrections and additions welcome!]

Ada Alice Gilbert was born about 1855 at St. Marys, Ontario, the daughter of Rev. Charles William Milton Gilbert and his second wife Hester Ann Rogers Smith Gilbert.  I'm not sure whether Rogers or Smith, or either, was her maiden name, as I haven't yet found any information on her.

On 10 November 1871 at Welland, Ontario, Ada married Arthur William Eagles, son of H. Wilkinson Eagles and wife Mary Elizabeth Eagles.    Their daughter Florence Elise Eagles, mentioned above, was born 26 December 1879 at Middleton, Ontario.  "Flossie" signed a page in her mother's album.


About 1890, Ada moved over the border to the United States.  By the time of the 1900 Census, she was at Neilsville, Wisconsin, working in a bakery and living with daughter Aggie; she indicated she was a widow.  Ada had an older half-sister named Agnes, mentioned in the album, apparently by Ada herself, so it appears young Aggie was named for her aunt.


Ada was still at Neilsville, Wisconsin at the time of the 1910 Census, and living with daughter Jennie.  Ada was working as a nurse, and Jennie as a typesetter.  

By 1920 Ada was living at Pine Valley, Wisconsin, a servant in the home of a Mr. Joseph.  Interestingly, the family enumerated on the next line was that of Ada's granddaughter Ada (Wing) Zschernitz, her husband Robert Zschernitz and their daughter Rosada.

If you have corrections to the information above or information on any of the people mentioned in the list below, please leave a comment or contact me directly.  Thanks!

Just for grins and giggles, I uploaded images of the pages in the album, in page order, to YouTube, my first, and admittedly primitive, attempt.  

Alphabetical list of the names in the album:


  • Agnes - a page inscribed to her by her sister, either "Josie" or Ada.  Ada had a half sister named Agnes.
  • Annie, signed on 10 May 1879  "A trusty Friend is hard to find, But when you find one just and true, Change not the Old one for the New."
  • Your Friend, J. G. "Forget Me Not and think how true My steadfast heart will beat for you, And parted many days or few, Forget Me Not."  
  • Annie Lawanda  "A proof  [spring] of Friendship Sacred forever [flower ?], In these few lines you'll see, When far off in a lonely tower, View  ? and think of me.
  • Carrie, inscribed at Delhi, Ontario, on 17 November 1883, "To Ada, Remember me is all I ask, Though but a simple boon of thee, Oh may it prove an easy task, To sometimes think of me, Carrie."
  • Minnie Dale; her page is inscribed to Josie, whose identity I haven't yet determined.
  • Ada Alice (Gilbert) Eagles, album owner, shared with "Josie".  Her name is mentioned on the back of the first end paper by her granddaughter.  Ada also initialed a page entitled "Farewell" and penned at least one other page.
  • Flossy Eagles; Florence Elise Eagles, born 26 December 1879 at Middleton, Ontario, daughter of Arthur William Eagles and Ada Alice (Gilbert) Eagles  "I wish I was home with Mother in lane where the little cottage is my sisters and brothers are.  The man in the moon.  Flossy Eagles"
  • Sadie Jackson of Detroit Michigan, inscribed "To Ada, Remember me when far away if only  half awake, Remember me on your Birthday and send me a piece of cake.  Your friend,  Sadie Jackson, Detroit, Michigan"
  • Rev. E. P. Powell - newspaper clipping about him upon his leaving the Third Unitarian Church of Chicago because of religious differences
  • Sadie Sheppard, inscribed "To Joe" at London, Ontario, on 7 October 1884, inscribed "To Joe, Sailing down the stream of life in your little bark canoe may you have a pleasant trip with room enough for two.  Your friend."
  • Wing - name mentioned on back of first end paper
  • Zschernitz - name mentioned on back of first end paper
St. Marys, Ontario


Thanks for stopping by!




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