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Wednesday 27 April 2016

Dorothy Young of the Greenses, Berwick; Who Emigrated to Canada

From Margaret Dougherty, a descendant of the Youngs of the Greenses:

My grandmother, Dorothy Young (1889-1967), set out from Berwick-upon-Tweed on her own for Canada as an 18-year old girl looking for adventure in September 1908. Perhaps you see something familiar in her features in this photo of her when she was about 30.
Dorothy Young (1889-1967)
Dorothy was the second eldest daughter of Robert Alexander Young (1854-1915) and Isabella Knox (1862-1937) of the Greenses. She originally went to Canada for a nanny position in small-town Ontario, but quickly grew bored with that, and for a time worked as a cook in a Northern Ontario lumber camp where she was the only woman, before settling in Montreal by 1911, where she worked as a servant. There, she was part of a circle of other Berwick immigrants, as I’ve found in news items in old issues of the Berwick Advertiser.

I have documented my grandmother’s lineage, which in addition to Young and Knox, includes Patterson/Pattison, Wedderburn/Weatherburn, Cowe, Clark, Melvin/Milvin, Edminson, Brack, Johnson, How and Spiers ancestors.

Dorothy returned to England in August 1915 to marry my grandfather, John Matheson, in London, while he was on a short leave from the Canadian Expeditionary Force.

They had met in Montreal, where John had emigrated in 1909 from Aviemore, Scotland. She remained in Berwick throughout the First World War, seeing my grandfather when he had leave. My mother, Isobel Young Matheson, was born in Berwick in May 1919. In August of that year, my grandmother and mother sailed for Montreal. Dorothy never returned to Berwick, but exchanged many letters with her mother and sisters.

I am still looking for any descendants of Dorothy’s siblings who stayed in England: Margaret Knox Young who married a distant cousin, George Young; Henry, Robert, William and Peter. Dorothy’s sisters Lizzie, Aggie and Izzie came to Canada as well, but Aggie and Izzie ultimately returned to Berwick, I believe.

After my mother died in 1979, we lost touch with her Berwick roots.
If you have any information about these, please add a comment below.


  1. I hope you are able to connect with more of your relatives. It's lovely that you do know so much of your lineage. And I do see some of my old schoolmate in your grandmother's face.


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