Alexander Jeffrey CAMBIE and Elizabeth POSTON
Ireland to Quebec City to Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
April 23, 2006:
Hi Al Lewis
I can't tell you how pleased I was to find your website today.
My maternal great-grandfather, Alexander Jeffrey Cambie, was born in Ireland about 1835.
He emigrated to Quebec (date unknown) and married Elizabeth Poston there on June 05, 1866.
According to census information, he was in the civil service, and later on, chief clerk
and patent clerk with the Department of Agriculture. Through part of your website,
http://www.bytown.net/timesott.htm, I discover their 1866 marriage announcement in the
Ottawa Times. This was so moving to me as their history has been predictably
not personal at all.
I know very little about this part of my family and would love to learn more. Please
advise on how to do this via your website.
Here is the Alexander Cambie family in the 1881 Census:
1881 Census Place: Wellington Ward, Ottawa, Carleton, Ontario, Canada
Source: FHL Film 1375865 NAC C-13229 Dist 105 SubDist A Div 2 Page 126 Family 605
Sex Marr Age Origin Birthplace Occ Religion
Alexander J. CAMBIE M M 46 Irish Ireland Civil Service Church of England
Elizabeth CAMBIE F M 36 English Quebec Church of England
Henry W. CAMBIE M 13 Irish Ontario Church of England
Charles CAMBIE M 10 Irish Quebec Church of England
Sussan CAMBIE F 8 Irish Ontario Church of England
David CAMBIE M 7 Irish Ontario Church of England
Sarah A. CAMBIE F 5 Irish Ontario Church of England
Alexander J. CAMBIE M 3 Irish Ontario Church of England
Eilean CAMBIE F 1 Irish Quebec Church of England
George R. MAYOR M 25 Irish Ontario Civil Service Church of England
Jane WRIGHT F 35 English Ontario Servant Church of England
April 26, 2006:
Thank you very much for setting up the Cambie webpage on your website.
I have some more secondary sources for Cambie and thought perhaps the
website should have them so no one else has to search for these ones in
particular, or at least knows where to go to look.
As far as I can see, Alexander J. Cambie worked in Ottawa although I notice
a few of his children were born in Quebec. I wonder about this; did he clerk
both in Ontario and Quebec? Was he a clerk who contracted himself out, so
to speak? Was this the system back then?
I haven't been able to find anything about his death but his wife (maybe a widow
at the move to BC, certainly later in BC) and some of their grown-up children
moved out to Vancouver, BC., including my maternal grandfather, David Cambie.
1) From The Ottawa Times, 1860's and 1870's...http://www.bytown.net/timesott.htm
MARRIAGES - APRIL TO JUNE INCLUSIVE, 1866.
Quebec, June 6, Alex J. Cambie, Patent Clerk, Dept of Agriculture, to Lizzie,
eldest daughter of William Poston, Quebec.
2) Cambie, Alexander J. Event : Living
Year : 1871
Place : Ottawa
Province of record source : Ontario
County of record source : Carleton
Comments : Chief clerk & patent clerk.
Source : Lovell's Canadian Dominion Directory for 1871.
Publisher : John Lovell
Publication place : Montreal
Volume/Page(s) : 586
3) 1901 Census BC
39 63 Cambie Elizabeth F Head W Feb 1845 66 1901
40 63 Cambie Alexander M Son S Oct 1877 34 1901
41 63 Cambie George M Son S Aug 1891 30 1901
42 63 Hong Chang M Domestic S Apr 1902 9 1901
4) Cambie, Mrs. A. J. Event : Living
Year : 1901
Place : Vancouver
Province of record source : British Columbia
County of record source : City of Vancouver
Comments : Widow.
Source : Henderson's British Columbia Gazetteer and Directory and Mining Companies for 1900-1901.
Volume/Page(s) : 777
5) Mountain View Cemetery, Vancouver, BC Community Services
Elizabeth J. Cambie d. May 25, 1928
At the time of Confederation in 1867, some Civil Servants from the provincial capitals
were transferred to Ottawa to work on federal matters. This is probably the
case with Alexander Cambie.
June 30, 2009:
I am the secretary of Civil Service Masonic Lodge in Ottawa and I have been researching our
R.W.Bro. Alexander Jeffrey Cambie, Past Grand Junior Warden, was a member of Rehoboam Lodge
No. 65 and a founding member of Civil Service Lodge No. 148. Born in Ireland, he emigrated to
Quebec City, and obtained a position in the civil service, becoming chief patent clerk with
the Department of Agriculture. Between 1860 and 1870, Rehoboam Lodge, No. 65 GRC, Toronto,
was not in active operation because most of its members were associated with the Government
of Canada whose seat alternated every four years between Toronto and Quebec City but which,
in 1859, had moved permanently to Quebec. In 1861, M.W.Bro. Thomas D. Harington (Roll No. 36)
issued dispensation which authorized Civil Service Lodge to operate .... as in the nature of
a Military Lodge; that is, a travelling lodge. R.W.Bro. Cambie joined our lodge on the night
of our institution, May 14, 1861 and became our first Inner Guard. He served as Worshipful
Master in 1871 and again in 1872.
In 1865, Queen Victoria chose Ottawa as the permanent capital of Canada, and by necessity
the lodge moved with the government to Ottawa. The is why your sources show both Quebec City
and Ottawa as his residence. The Lodge minutes of October 10, 1865 note that "in consequence
of the removal of the seat of government from Quebec to Ottawa at the above mentioned date
and the impossibility of securing the requisite number of officers and brethren of the Lodge
at either city, no regular communication was held on the evening of that date". The first
meeting of Civil Service Lodge in Ottawa was held on November 14, 1865. Originally, all
members of our lodge were required to be civil servants, thus the origin of our name.
Below is a scanned copy of his signature, taken from our original bylaws.
I hope this is useful information.
I have added a bio to our website at www.civilservicelodge.ca under Lodge History/Renowned
Civil Service Lodge No. 148 AF&AM
I have been in communication with Janet Ker and I have located information on 2 more of our
members - Alexander Jeffrey Cambie & Henry John Cambie. The latter was involved in the CPR
and was present at the Last Spike. I have prepared a photo for our website and thought you
might like a copy.
Ms Ker was kind enough to provide a photo of A.J. Cambie.
I have now identified 63 members of our lodge who made significant contributions including
3 fathers of confederation.
Thanks again for your help.
(Note: I'll post the picture of the Last Spike tomorrow ... Al)
E-mail Janet Ker, Ron Dixon and Al Lewis
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