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The Bowles of Canada and their Roots in Ireland and Great Britain

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Georgina Bowles Lee

Back to The George Gilley Bowles Story
Georgina was born in 1884, George Bowles' of Lindsay's eldest child by his second wife Jane Gilmour.  In 1901 the family was still living in Lindsay where George worked as a carpenter for a carriage builder (1901 Census) but they were living in Midland in 1903 when George died after a two year battle with diabetes (death certificate).  The move to Midland may have been for his medical care. 
In 1909 Georgina married Lewis William Lee in Midland.  Their marriage registration shows that Lewis was an engineer while Georgina was employed as a clerk.  William Bowles, George's elder brother who lived in nearby Tiny township, was the bride's witness at the wedding.  In 1911 they had settled in Sault Ste Marie where Lewis worked in the Algoma Steel Works and where their daughters Myrtle and Virge were born. 
Georgina's family tree is included in her grandfather's Robert Bowles Family Tree
Georgina's brother Alf also moved to Sault Ste Marie about when they did where he worked for a grocer who supplied the boats passing through Sault locks on the St Mary River between Lake Huron and Lake Superior.  In 1912 Alf moved on to Fort William where he and their brothers Stanley and Clarence operated three Bowles Brothers Grocers stores until they sold out their business in 1918. 
Between 1914, when Virge was born, and 1918, when their third daughter Genevieve was born, Georgina and Lewis moved to Fort William.  In 1919 Alf either bought out or founded a ship chandling company, the Marine Grocery.  In 1920 brother Clarence joined Alf in the business.  It seems that the Lees also had some role in the Marine Grocery as the Canadian Grocer issue of November 26, 1920 contained a notice that 'The Marine Grocery, Fort William, Ont., has sold to G. M. Lee'.  I've searched the Henderson's Directory for Fort William for 1920 and the 1921 Census for that area and the only G. M. Lee I could find is Georgina May.  It would actually be stranger if it was some other unrelated G. M. Lee who was involved with a sale of their business which only Alf held before 1920 and after this transaction Alf and Clarence and possibly the Lees held it.  It's just very unusual in that time for a woman to have her own money independant from her husband's.  An explanation might be that Alf, Clarence and Lewis and Georgina entered into a partnership in the store which was placed under Georgina's name as she was the one person directly related to them all.  Further study of the business papers at the Thunder Bay City Archives would probably better explain this transaction.  In 1923 brother Stanley also joined them in the business which may have been when the Lees left the business as I've never heard before that they were involved in it other than in the 40's and 50's when their daughter Myrtle Lee Ross worked in a senior position at the store.
In 1923 the Lees son George was born.  The Lees remained in Fort William where Lewis died a few years later in 1937 and Georgina passed away in 1945. I don't have much more about their family history in this time but I'm in touch with some of their descendants now who may be able to help me complete their story.

Their Children

(note: I will include old photos of living people but will not identify them, in the family trees I don't include identification or other details for living people.)

Georgina and Myrtle about 1915; Myrtle and husband Tony Ross wedding in 1930 and about ?

Virge with her Aunt Ethel Bowles (the author of this site's grandmother) in 1915; Virge and Fred Bryan's wedding about 1935; their children
Georgina and Genevieve  around 1916; she was a concert violinist; Genevieve and husband Marcel Ray; their children
George William Lee
The Lees with son George about ?; George about ?;  George with Georgina at Virge's wedding; George and wife Lorna in 1986

This site was last updated 02/09/21