Canadian Connection

I have always known about the Canadian family, but never to any extent. Willy (Bill) was talked about, mainly at Clare Bridge, Granny and Granda Allen’s home. At 22 years of age I remember the excitement when it was known that Willy and his wife were coming to the area for a few weeks to visit family and long lost friends. Don’t remember where they stayed, but do remember that Aunt Eileen was involved with the arrangements. The year was 1969.

SEE LINK: SamWillyMamie

Bill on the left!

I remember so very well, Willy and my Granda walking up the small private lane towards the NI Farmers Bacon Company and thinking how alike they look in body shape, height (short) and especially their walk gait. It was just like twins, only difference being that Granda was wearing a cloth cap!


The following year 1970, Aunt Eileen, cousin Allister and second cousin Lila Pierce (nee Ross) travelled to Ontario and visited the Allen connection. However I have no recollection of any talk or references to the visit on their homecoming. I heard nothing nor never had personal contact with the Canadian Allens, until one early Autumn evening in 2007, when our home telephone rang in Linnebäck, Sweden!

It was Yvonne explaining that they had Gord and Linda Allen at our home in Clare, Cookstown!

First Dad spoke to me and I could hear that he was excited. He told me there was somebody here who wanted to speak to me.... and you look very alike!! That was the moment I spoke my first words to Gord. We spoke rather long and intensively, ending up with the promise that some day we would meet!....and we did….but we keep that to later, when I will describe Gord’s and my reaction to that visit.

This was the beginning of my renewed interest in the Canadian Allens! Gord, Linda, Liz and I have kept contact since.

To summarize the Allen’s in Canada : Willy (as he was known in Moneymore prior to emigration) emigrated to Ontario, in the early/mid 1920’s (exact date and crossing details not yet confirmed). It appears from information received and “thought” to be correct that Bill (as he was to become) met his future wife Mamie (nee Clements) on the ship to Canada. From rumour he had a steady girl friend when he left Moneymore?

I have no details of the early years in Canada, but do know that they had 3 children (one of whom was adopted). James K. 1935-2010, Raymond William 1928-2007 and Wayne/adopted* (NOT sure on this), dates unknown.

James K. (whom I got to know via My Heritage, FaceBook and numerous e-mails) married Peggy (nee Ward). Most of their life was spent in the North Bay area, on the edge of Lake Nipissing, northern Ontario. If Bill and Mamie lived in this area I have no idea, nor do I know if they lived in the Toronto area?

James and Peggy had 6 children: W.Keith, Kenneth G, Kirk L, Kerregan J, Kyle R and Leona. (was she adopted?)*

Ray William married Jessica Lorna (nee McArthur) and had 3 children…Lorne, Gordon and Patricia Louise/Trish.

From the telephone contact with Gord that autumn evening in 2007, we continued to discuss, where and how we should meet! We had exchanged e-mails, talked on the telephone, least we knew how they looked!

That meeting has now taken place, in Sweden. 8-12 September 2011 in Stockholm and 12-15 in our home at Värmlandsvägen 7B, Karlskoga. Liz and I travelled to Arlanda Airport on Thursday 8 September 2011 to greet and welcome Gord and Linda Allen to Sweden, but most of all to have our first meeting with a blood relative from the Canadian connection. We waited as the passengers filtered through the arrivals doors, when suddenly there they were.....

Gord dropped all bags and cases and made a dash to where I was standing. We had a long and emotional hug….tears were “tripping us” when we just stood there and looked at each other. At long last………………

We spent an eventful few days in Stockholm and had a family orientated 3 days in Karlskoga, when Gord and Linda met most of the Swedish Allen connection.

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