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Unveiling the Forgotten Woman on the Criddle Homestead
Homesteading saga—1882 to 1903
The painter of the water-colour to the left was a talented young woman from Heidelberg engaged to a young English music student in 1863. His mother refused permission for them to marry as she could not support a family and he had no means to do so. He returned to England but visited Elise at Christmas and other occasions until 1866 when he stayed for an extended six-week holiday which resulted in a pregnancy. That Christmas her family expected him to do the ‘honourable thing’ and marry Elise. Germans required a groom to have parental permission, a profession or job, and a dwelling, none of which Percy had, so he promised to marry Elise in London. Although no marriage record has been located, they had five children by 1874 when he married Alice Nicol. Both women registered Percy Criddle as the father of sons the following spring. Using his wife Alice’s legacy, Percy decided to emigrate to Canada in 1882 to become a gentleman farmer. Following Elise’s agreement to go with him to help Mrs. Criddle with her four young children, Elise with teenager Minnie down to seven year old Cecil, became the Criddles’ servants. Original letters, diaries, documents, and research in Canada, Germany, and England are the foundation for this compelling, stranger than fiction tale.
The story begins as the three adults and nine children leave London.
To read click Chapter 1
The Book’s 512 pages include:
Illustrations, letters & original documents
Maps, bibliography & index in 3rd edition
Soft cover with 4 inch flaps