Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Halifax, a Casualty of War part 4

But what of the family lines I have traced in Halifax? Did the explosion affect members of the Hickey or McLaughlin families that I have been researching? My study of the Halifax Explosion included genealogical research to see if any members of these families were affected by the disaster.

By 1917 most of the members of the Hickey family had moved from Halifax and were living in Doctor's Brook in the county of Antigonish. But not all of them moved. A report on the family states: “A brother stayed behind in Halifax and it is believed that he died in the Halifax explosion. The family had kept in touch with him but after the explosion he was never heard from again. They went to Halifax but could not find him anywhere.”

This was George Hickey who was last seen with the family in the 1911 census aged 16. Had he died in the explosion? There is no record of a George Hickey among the identified casualties from the Halifax Explosion which can be found at https://novascotia.ca/archives/remembrance/. But my previous research had brought to light a George Hickey who died in 1921 at the age of 26 in the Halifax City Home. He died of tuberculosis but was listed as insane. The ages and circumstances match so this is most probably the George I want. Further records revealed that he entered the home in 1916 which would explain why the family lost touch with him around the time of the explosion. The Halifax City Home was on South and Robie Streets far away from the devastated North End of the city. He might not have even known that the disaster had happened.

The Halifax Municipal Archives are in Dartmouth and have records for the Halifax City Home

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