Genealogy and bio: Reynolds, Matthews family moves from Canada to America.

Genealogy and bio: Reynolds, Matthews family moves from Canada to America.

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Harmond James (Jim) Reynolds (see left) was the step-father of my father-in-law, Marsh Blythe and his brother Paul, as well as father to Marsh and Paul’s half-brother William and half-sister Helen. (The original data and images on this individual and family are available on Blythe Genealogy.)

It was as a result of his relationship with Louise Matthews that most of the Reynolds and Matthews family transitions from American to Canadian occurred.

Portrait of Harmond James ReynoldsBorn on October 19, 1902 in Clarkson, Monroe County, New York, he was the first child of William Henry Reynolds and Helen (Hannah) Elizabeth Keller, whose family was originally from Seymour Township, Ontario, Canada.

Reynolds Family circa 1944
Rear: Jim and Louise Reynolds. Front: Louise’s sons, Marsh and Paul Blythe (respectively) from her first marriage.

In about 1950, Jim married Louise (Froemling-Matthews) Blythe, a young divorcee with two young boys, whom he met while living in Chicago.

According to his military records, Jim was 5’9″, 138 lbs., had gray eyes, brown hair, ruddy complexion, “P M (sic) left shoulder”, with the tips of three fingers on his left hand missing and two on his right hand badly smashed.

Jim spent his earliest years with the Keller family of Havelock and then resided with his father in Rochester, New York.

USS Savannah
USS Savannah

He enlisted in the US Navy on or about November 12, 1920 at Rochester, New York as A.S. (sic) for 2 years and served on the USS Southery and USS Savannah, based out of Norfolk, Virginia and Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Pennacook Tug Yard. Jim was discharged November 12, 1922 from the Portsmouth Navy Yard as a Seaman 2nd Class. He was a Bosun’s Mate on the USS Savannah (see left below) AS 8 Submarine Tender, commissioned November 3, 1917 at the Puget Sound Navy Yard, with Lt. Commander Arthur Jensen in command.

USS Southery
USS Southery

In 1943, his residence was recorded as 1116 Webster Ave., Chicago, Illinois.

Subsequent to his mother’s death in 1944, Jim had to apply for permission to leave the US as his discharge certificate from the military was ‘lost or destroyed’, along with all of his possessions, in or about June, 1940 in a rooming house fire at 2 West Ohio Street, Chicago, Illinois. He inherited the family property at Mud Lake (see left bottom), Havelock, Ontario from his mother.

Jim Reynolds, Marsh and Paul at the Mud Lake property.
Jim Reynolds, Marsh and Paul at the Mud Lake property.

Jim, Louise and their family continued to live on the Mud Lake property while Jim worked to support his family in the carpentry trade and was employed in Peterborough and Bancroft, Ontario. He also operated a bread route for Scott’s Bakery in Havelock.

Jim died on December 3, 1965 in Mud Lake, Seymour Township, Northumberland County, Ontario, after suffering with an illness of four years duration. He was buried on December 6, 1965 in Maple Grove Cemetery, Havelock, Seymour Township, Northumberland County, Ontario, Canada.

Although a large portion of the Mud Lake property was flooded during the creation of the Trent-Severn waterway, the Reynolds/Blythe family continued to own the property to this very day. It is much smaller today, though, as Louise had gradually sold off parcels to provide an income for her family. The small portion remaining still has the house pictured at left, although it is not in habitable condition, and a small ‘rustic’ cabin on a small piece of the property that belongs to Mark’s father, Marsh to this day.

While living in Trenton, Ontario for over ten years from 1995 to 2006, we frequently visited family in Havelock and spent a great deal of time camping at the Mud Lake property, as described in a recent post on my personal blog, ‘Feathering the Empty Nest‘.

 

Sources:

  1. Reynolds, Harmond James obituary, Havelock, Ontario, Canada, Abt 10 Dec 1965.
  2. Letter from Harmond James Reynolds (1116 Webster Avenue, Chicago, Illinois) to Helen Elizabeth Reynolds, 11 Apr 1943; held by Bill Reynolds (Havelock, Ontario).
  3. Letter from Stanley Kellar (Seymour Township, Northumberland County, Ontario, Canada) to Dominion of Canada, 1957; held by William Edward Reynolds (Havelock, Belmont Township, Ontario, Canada).
  4. Interview with Marsh and Bev Blythe – about 15 March 2005.
  5. Chicago Telephone Directory, (Chicago, Illinois:, 1936).
  6. Reynolds, Harmond James, Permit of Local Board for Registrant to Depart from the United States, Mar 6 1945 at 4532 N. Broadway, Rm. 133, C hicago 13, Illinois.
  7. Rooming House Fire article, “3 Die as Flames Sweep Flats on Near Northside”, Chicago Daily Tribune, Chicago, Illinois, July 8, 1940.
  8. Reynolds, Harmond James obituary, Havelock, Ontario, Canada, Abt 10 Dec 1965.
  9. Letter from Harmond James Reynolds (1116 Webster Avenue, Chicago, Illinois) to Helen Elizabeth Reynolds, 11 Apr 1943; held by Bill Reynolds (Havelock, Ontario). Letter from Stanley Kellar (Seymour Township, Northumberland County, Ontario, Canada) to
  10. Dominion of Canada, 1957; held by William Edward Reynolds (Havelock, Belmont Township, Ontario, Canada).
  11. Interview with Marsh and Bev Blythe – about 15 March 2005.
  12. Chicago Telephone Directory, (Chicago, Illinois:, 1936).
  13. Application for Certificate in Lieu of Discharge; Reynolds, Harmond James File, Permit of Local Board for Registrant to Depart from the United States, Mar 6 1945 at 4532 N. Broadway, Rm. 133, Chicago 13, Illinois.

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