A Gaull Tale

My second great-grandfather, John Gaull (1860-1942) raised 13 children who were born between 1879 and 1904. Evidence indicates that John was not the biological father of all 13 but assumed a parenting role to all. To my knowledge, based on documentation gathered to date, George Irvine Gaull, named after the twin brother of John, was the first of the Gaull children to strike out from the family farm for North America, and Canada specifically. In 1910, George immigrated to Toronto, Ontario where he eventually married and operated a small grocery store on Pickering Street.

In 1920, a younger brother, William Fowler Gaull, also immigrated to Canada. As was required by Canada at the time, William completed a Form 30A. This form was in use for only a relatively short period of time, that is from June 1, 1921 until December 31, 1924. During this time all individuals, including children but excepting those enroute to the United States, arriving by ocean vessel, were required to complete the form. Use of the form is reported as being inconsistent with some immigration offices requiring the use of the form as earlier as 1919.

If you are lucky enough to have an ancestor who immigrated to Canada during this period, these completed forms provide a wealth of genealogical information including name, age, occupation, birthplace, religion, destination and name of the nearest relative in the country from which the passenger came. The form also provides the ship name, date of sailing, intent to settle, and the amount of money carried.

William Fowler Gaull was 23, born in Kemnay, Aberdeenshire when he immigrated in May 1920 to Canada. He sailed 3rd class from Liverpool, England aboard the White Star Lines S.S. Megantic with $25.00 to his name. He was single at the time and intended to join his brother, George, and settle in Canada. He indicated that he could read and write and spoke English. He listed his `race`as `Scotch.` I should note that I was raised to always tell people who asked that I was Scottish as Scotch was a drink!

William listed his mother, Harriet Gaull (nee McKenzie) of Glenhead, Kemnay as his next of kin in Scotland and his occupation was listed as Stone Driller. Adding to value of the Form, William is described as being 5 feet, 8 and one half inches tall with a `fresh`complexion, grey eyes and dark brown hair. He reported that he had no distinguishing marks or scars and I assume, this included tattoos.

Although William had indicated his intent was to settle in Canada, he did return to Scotland where he married Mabel Tobin with whom he had at least two children – a daughter in 1938 and a son in 1941. William passed away on 19 July 1985 in the City of Aberdeen.

To learn more about the Form 30A and to search for your ancestors who may have completed one of these forms, I recommend visiting the Canadian Genealogy Centre, part of the Library and Archives Canada site.

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