Elizabeth Ann Cowley

Her square on the quilt


Elizabeth, better known as Lizzy, was born on December 16, 1886, as written on her birth certificate. The information I received from the Barnardo home has her birth as December 26. According to the information I received from The Home, Mary Jane Simpson Cowley , her mother died June 28, 1898 (when Lizzy was 12 yrs old. She died of Chronic Bronchitis, age 49. William Henry Cowley, her father died March 5. 1892 of “Chest Complaint”. He was an Engineer's Labourer. Her sister, Edith (26) married then and was Mrs. Twist had Lizzy in her care, but her husband objected to having her, and being nasty tempered, and addicted to taking a drop of drink, gets excited and has several rows with his wife over Lizzy. Mr. Twist was a keeper of the Liverpool Savings Bank at 350 Scotland Road. His wife, being delicate and also had 4 other children of their own, couldn't keep Lizzy in her care anymore. Other relatives kept Lizzy, but they tossed her about from one to another. Her other sister , Matilda, had 5 of her own children and was also keeping Lizzy's other sister Caroline(16). A brother, William Henry's (30) schooling had been neglected, speaks loudly and rough in manner. Her sister Edith died March 2, 1901 of consumption. Elizabeth was taken to the Liverpool Sheltering Home, which was a charitable child care organization and a branch of the Annie MacPherson Home, July 1899 (13) All of their records were entrusted for safe keeping in 1925 to The Barnardo Home, following the gradual winding down and eventual closure of it's operations.

Elizabeth left the UK aboard the SS Parisian on the 23rd February 1900 and arrived in Halifax on 3rd of March 1900. She was 14 yrs old. From Halifax she was sent to The Knowlton Home, Knowlton, Quebec, Canada under Louisa Birt. From here she was sent to various places as a worker, 7 that were recorded. At one place she , my grandmother had told a friend later that she was abused and treated like a slave. She was visited by the keeper of the Knowlton Home and returned. In July 1903 Lizzy called the home and stated she liked the new place and is doing well. She met my grandfather, Arthur Perry on the farm and was married October 16 in Richford , Vermont, USA. They had eight children in 18 years, one being my Dad, Lawrence Perry. She died in 1962 in Stanbridge East, Quebec, at the age of 76. My grandmother never talked about her youth, at least to me. She did make contact with her siblings in Liverpool through letters, but never every saw them again.