Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Great Grand Dad Tobin

John William Tobin 1874 - 1960 was my Great Grand Dad on my mother's maternal side.  He was born December 1st, 1874 in Ship Cove, Placentia Bay Newfoundland.  He was the youngest of ten children to Patrick Tobin and Agnes O'Rielly (from Dunville, NFLD)

"John Willie" married Mary Bridget Follett "Minnie" from Angel's Cove (the next town south of Ship Cove) around the year 1900. They raised seven children, Patrick Joseph, George (who died at age 7), Ellen Mary (my grandmother), James Joseph, Mary Christine, Agnes and Margaret Lucy.

Not many people get to meet their Great Grandparents in their lifetime or if they do they are so young they hardly remember very much about them. My Great Grand Dad died March 11th, 1960, the year before I was born. He was 86 years old and had       lived his entire life in Ship Cove.

I learned a few things about my Great Grand Dad from my cousin Edna during my recent visit to Newfoundland. "John Willie" was actually her Grand Dad, Edna's mother Margaret was his youngest child.

Edna shared with me that after Grandmother Tobin passed away in 1948, Grand Dad came to stay with them in Point Verde during the winter months.  She was just a young girl but remembers he always had a mustache.  As children, they were fascinated by his mustache and wanted to touch it. As they would slowly reach up to his face, Grand Dad would snap his hand at them trying to catch their hand. And so, the game became his game!

Edna told me, fishing was his livelihood, he learned to fish from his father, who learned from his father as well.

Edna described Grand Dad as a quiet man, she remembers he would always play the Tin Whistle and was really pretty good at it.


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