Lost Children of Windsor


I promised Adele M. M. McLennan I would post this charming photo in my blog. She brought it to my attention through something called Facebook. Perhaps you’ve heard of it. And perhaps you’ve come across some of Adele’s musings; she is a prolific poster of all things Windsor.

Here is a bit of our facebook chatter:

Adele: here’s a mystery for you. Perhaps someone might recognize this family. My mum always said these children were no relation to us, just friends of her family. This old photo has always fascinated me. You will see info on the back: Freeman or Truman?? 489 Caron Ave.

Me: What a great photo! it looks like the boy is named Truman and the two girls are Hazel and Marjory and their last name is Randall. Definitely an intriguing mystery!

Adele: Thanks Elaine! You could be right about the boy’s name being Truman. It would be wonderful if someone recognized it.

Me: I think that the pic may have been taken a few years earlier than 1925 based on what the children are wearing, and especially as the girls have long hair. The short “Bob” and “Shingle” cuts were in style for girls and women in the 20s. Therefore, whoever dated the card, might have done it years later and was estimating the year. And one more thing: as there is currently no 489 Caron Ave., perhaps they meant to write “487”, which does exist.

And now, gentle reader, do these children look familiar? Perhaps they are long ago relatives of yours? Or, are you are in fact looking at your own portrait?

If so, please let me know. Adele will be most grateful.

Local history lovers – especially those born post WWII – will adore our latest book: “500 Ways You Know You’re From Windsor”. Even if you weren’t born here, there’s so much to behold and enjoy: over 680 color and black & white photos of what made Windsor such a special place to grow up in from between 1945 and 2000. Available at Indigo Books, Coles Books, Juniper Books, From the Heart Gifts, The University of Windsor Bookstore, Ellis  Graphics, The Windsor Community Museum, Unique Gifts (Essex) and online through walkerville.com.

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About Elaine Weeks

How history was taught in my day: memorize lots of boring dates and facts, watch corny old black & white history films. There was one bright spot, however. Grade 9 history at Walkerville Collegiate with Miss Falls (Georgina) when she taught a section on local history and took us on a field trip to explore some of Windsor's built heritage. Due to a series of peculiar events, celebrating local history became part of my business. My company, Walkerville Publishing Inc., (partner is Chris Edwards) launched "The Walkerville Times" in 1999 and we produced 61 issues - the last in 2016. In 2004, we began producing local history books; that year we released "Best of The Times Magazine". Our current titles include 5000 Ways You Know You're From Detroit, 500 Ways You Know You're From Windsor, Walkerville - Whisky Town Extraordinaire, and Windsor Then - A Pictorial Essay of Windsor's Glorious Past. I also wrote a novel, Time Trespasser, that blends time travel with local history. I am working on a sequel. I am a writer, editor, blogger, photographer, mother, wife, sister, activist, traveller, gardener, knitter, glass is nearly full person.
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3 Responses to Lost Children of Windsor

  1. Hi, My name is Jiskje Randles. I have been doing my husband’s family tree on Ancestry and these children: Freeman, Marjorie and Hazel Randles, are the children of Edward H Randles and Ada Freeman. They had 7 children. Edward’s job as a Building Contractor took him and his family across Canada and the USA and back to Windsor where some of this Randles family are buried. My husband is a 1st Cousin 3x removed. My thanks goes out to James McMartin for connecting me to this photo through my Ancestry yesterday.
    I believe that I have solved your mystery photo. My email is jbrandles@shaw.ca
    Thank-you for this wonderful photo,
    Mrs Jiskje Randles

  2. Hi,

    I grew up in Windsor, and came across your site while searching for Windsor-related things from the past (e.g. roller-skating at Wheels, pictures of the Red Barn restaurant, Sneaky Pete’s at Tecumseh Mall, etc.).

    I saw this post and love a good mystery / challenge, so I did some research:

    This family (these three had at least four other older siblings) appear on the 1911 census in Vancouver but by 1921 are in Windsor on 348 Wahketa Street (listed as “Ave.”, but next to listings from Dougall Ave – right around the corner, and right around the corner from Caron Ave. as well – so the “Ave.” is a likely typo).

    The surname is actually Randles, and the three children are Hazel E. (1908-1997), Marjorie Aline (1904 – 1958), and Freeman (1911 – 1984). Your guess about the picture being taken before 1925 is likely correct – judging by their ages, maybe around 1915?

    Their father (Edward Henry) appears to have passed on around 1916. Their mother (Ada Mable) died in 1930 and is buried in Windsor. Hazel moved to the US, was a “bookkeeper” and is buried in Kentucky. Marjorie married and is buried in Wentworth County, Ontario. Freeman moved to the US, married in 1935, fought in WWII (1943-1946), and divorced in 1950. I believe he remarried. He is buried in Kentucky. Freeman was his mother’s maiden name, so that is likely the source of his unique name.

    I have contacted someone who I believe is a relative / descendant of this branch of the Randles. I hope this picture will be news to them!

    By the way, are there any bookstores in Toronto that sell your book? Or do you have any plans for an ebook / digital version?

  3. RE: Lost Children of Windsor—Perhaps their last name is actually Truman, and the boy’s name is Randall. You may also want to do a search of the Photographer—Murdoch Studios, Windsor, Ontario

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