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SASKATOONEXPRESS - December 12-18, 2016 - Page 18

JW121209 James


Digging in family history uncovers felon

Lukas Mackenzie


idly disposed of his haul to a hen you begin dealer called Riley. searching for your Frank’s larceny became family roots, there’s more and more audacious definitely a newly-found and in an article in the Leeds sense of wonder. Thanks to Mercury, he is described as contemporary technology, it’s an impudent thief. Apparnever been easier to search — ently one Mr. Millthorp (a or harder on the head. In the malter) was paying wages not-so-distant past, you could to his workers in the Nag’s always cling to your own Head Inn and in Frank’s presfamily lore with some imence. When the payout was punity. Any existing records Columnist finished, Millthorp was left disproving a story would be with £16 which he placed in a well buried in a dingy, dusty sample bag and put in his pocket. Frank archive somewhere, relatively inaccesand an accomplice then tracked Milltsible. Not so today, as the truth is as close as your desktop computer, or your horp to his home on Rockingham Street. When he had arrived home, Millthorp smartphone. lay down on a sofa in the dining room For most people, it doesn’t take too and fell asleep. long to realize that it is unlikely that It was a very hot day and the back you will find yourself related to royalty. Most of our ancestors usually turn out to door was left open. His wife was upbe pretty ordinary people who do pretty stairs and as she came down the stairs she noticed Frank emerging from the ordinary things appropriate to the time dining room, and asked why he was and the place that they lived in. In that there. sense then, everything becomes more It was subsequently discovered that routine. the money had been picked from MilltThis is why, as a genealogist, you horp’s pocket while he snoozed. Somereally begin to appreciate any rogues how, Frank managed to pass the money who show up on your tree. In my case, to the accomplice who had been spotted for good or ill, there’s a fair number of near the back door. As the money was scoundrels on my paternal tree. Some time ago, when one of my cousins sug- not found on Frank’s person, he was gested that our roots were pretty humble, later acquitted in court. By 1872, Frank was listed on a NaI replied that I could handle “humble” tional Register of Habitual Criminals. but my struggle was with “criminal.” In the criminal category, I present my He was described as five feet seven inches in height with a fresh complexfavourite family felon — one Francis Farrar (aka McDonald, Fowery). Frank ion, blue eyes and brown hair. He obviFarrar (b. 1844) was an older brother to ously wasn’t worried too much about being inconspicuous — the tattoos on my truly unfortunate two-times-greatgrandmother Catherine Farrar, who died his left arm featured two men, a barrel, giving birth to her sixth child at the age a cross and six stars. His left arm was inked with two men bearing flags. of 34 in 1887. Ultimately, only two of Frank spent so much time in court her children survived into adulthood. that he was likely on a first-name basis One, of course, was my great-grandwith the magistrates. He was sentenced mother who was also called Catherine. to a lot of jail time, once being locked up Why am I so knowledgeable about for being a “rogue and vagabond” which Frank Farrar? In the second half of the 19th century, the human desire for sala- legally implied that he was homeless and idle. This is for real, and even today cious gossip was no different than it is today. But lacking television, radio and there are U.S. states that have rogue and vagabond statutes on their books. the Internet, people depended on the Despite much effort I have not been great daily broadsheets for their fix. A able to find out what happened to Frank. bad apple like Frank attracted a lot of interest and a lot of coverage. Thanks to Somehow I suspect there are no tales of vast digital newspaper archives, you and “happily ever after” or redemption. One I can read all about Frank’s misdemean- possible record suggests he may have ours and less than redeemable exploits. ended up in a lunatic asylum. In the bigger picture, there’s huge Frank was born in 1844 to Francis personal family irony to Frank’s woeful Farrar and Mary McDonald, who had story. I have only been able to identify left Ireland for a better life across the one member of this family escaping channel. It never materialized and by 1863 both of Frank’s parents were buried Leeds and Yorkshire – my great-grandin the Beckett Street Public cemetery in mother Catherine who arrived in 1912 Leeds. After Frank’s father died in 1859, with her seven children. Her arrival is significant, because in time a grandchild Frank’s criminal activities escalated. and a great-grandchild became lawyers As a pretty direct descendant to Frank, it’s pretty easy to seduce myself and both became sitting judges in the that Frank stole only to survive as there Canadian judiciary. It makes you wonder what Frank would have made of that. were many appearances in the Assizes Given the great recent presidential over the theft of small items like sacks upheaval in the U.S. and the evident of potatoes and fruit (gooseberries). But, in truth, that would be romanti- populist revolt, an even larger question is, what does it take to change a society cizing the situation. Frank’s larcenous activities gathered speed and he definite- for people like Frank? A steerage ticket ly knew how to fence what he stole. On to Canada? Finally, a word to the wise — if you one memorable occasion, he lifted half decide to turn over a few family graves, a ton of wool listings (material) from a mill shed using a handcart. He then rap- be prepared.

Height: 6’1’’


Weight: 198 lbs

DOB: 26/04/1999 Hometown: Calgary, AB 2015-2016 Season: Saskatoon Blades League WHL: 53 GP • 2 Goals • 10 Assists • 42 PIM

Favorite hockey memory Favourite Pre-game Meal Getting drafted to the WHL Chicken pasta Favorite player Person I would most like to meet Jerome Iginla Wayne Simmonds Best part of my game Biggest pet peeve My heart People not paying attention to detail


Any nicknames?

If I weren’t a hockey player, I would be a Baseball player


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rince Albert National Park is in the festive spirit. Between now and Dec. 25, park visitors are invited to cut down their own Christmas trees from the community fuel break around Waskesiu. Important things to remember: • You must have a valid day or annual pass. • A tree permit, at no cost, is required and can be picked up at the Visitor Centre (open Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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Knights of Columbus Saskatoon Chapter

is the Reason

Saskatoon Express, December 12, 2016  
Saskatoon Express, December 12, 2016