Canadians know a thing or two about romance.
That according to Ancestry.ca, which dug deep into its collection of historical documents to reveal more than 13,000 couples between 1608 and 1948 affirmed their love with a Feb. 14, Valentine’s Day wedding. Among these couples were two men who received ‘jewels’ of their own on Valentine’s Day:
• John Maxwell Newman married Pearl Louise Frayne in 1906 in Victoria, B.C. Pearl, who was born in Ontario and was only 17 at the time of her marriage, was given away by her father George, a mill foreman as was listed in the 1901 census.
• Twenty-three-year-old farmer Benjamin Charles Munsell wed 19-year-old Ruby Myrtle Ferguson Feb. 14, 1917. Ruby was born in Grande Prairie, Alberta, but was married to Benjamin in Armstrong, B.C The couple settled in Oregon for several years before returning to B.C. where they spent the rest of their lives together.
Throughout history there were many who chose to commemorate their fondness for romance and love in a way that would withstand the tests of time – through the names of their children. Historical records are full of examples, including:
• Eight-year-old Cupid Diamond, named on a ship manifest, arriving in Canada with his father Jonah Diamond on June 30 1913. They departed from St. Johns, Newfoundland, and arrived in St. John, New Brunswick on a vessel called The City of Sydney.
• Love Burns was 13 years old and living in Harbourville, N.S., at the time of the 1871 Canadian Census. Peter Burns, her father, was born in Nova Scotia and was a free-Baptist labourer. Peter and Mary gave their son a more mainstream name of Francis, who was 10 years old in 1871.
• The 1851 Canadian Census lists a three-year-old girl named Heart Nowe living in Toronto with her parents, John and Elizabeth and her younger brother James. Her father was a blacksmith from England.
Canada’s population included many more hopeless romantics, such as:
• 580 people with the first name Valentine, as listed in the 1861 Census.
• Twenty people with the first name Amour are found in the 1891 Census.
• Nine people with the first name Paris, after the city of love, found in the 1891 Census.