Sunday, March 2, 2014

Sunday's Obituary ~ Henry Eric Purchase (1894-1961)

Here's another obituary from Nana's scrapbook. This one marks the passage of Henry Eric Purchase, the husband of my 1st cousin 3x removed, Lila Mae MacKay. Lila and my great grandmother were paternal 1st cousins.

Henry Eric Purchase (He was known as Eric as far as I can tell) was born on August 8, 1894, in Smethwick, Staffordshire, England, the only child of Henry Archer Purchase and Emily Hatton Cookson.  He first appears in the 1911 Census of Canada as a 17 year old lodger in Halifax.

He fought in World War I, first with the 193rd Battalion, and later as part of the "Fighting 25th" Battalion, Nova Scotia Regiment, of the Canadian Expeditionary Forces.*

He came to the States in time to be enumerated in the 1930 U.S. Census as a single 35 year old roomer, living in Chicago, Illinois. By the 1940 Census, he had married Lila Mae MacKay, daughter of John William MacKay and Emma Jane Deyarmond from Upper Stewiacke, and together they had two children, Jean aged 6, and Ian aged 4.

He also registered for the World War II draft.

For most of his post wartime life, he was a switchman on the railroad.

I don't know whether he and Lila returned to Canada in their later years. Even if they did not, it would not be unlikely that they wished to be buried down east.

Eric Purchase passed away in Otter Brook, Upper Stewiacke, and is buried in Riverside Cemetery, in Upper Stewiacke, Nova Scotia.

* For more on "The Fighting 25th," read:


1911 Census of Nova Scotia, Halifax, Halifax County, Henry E. Purchase, transcribed digital image, Automated Genealogy ( : accessed 1 March 2014).

1930 U.S. Census; Census Place: Chicago, Cook, Illinois; Roll: 440; Page: 16B; Image: 813.0, Henry E. Purchase.

1940; U.S. Census; Census Place: Chicago, Cook, Illinois; Roll: T627_948; Page: 14B, Henry E. Purchase. U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010.

"Public Member Trees," database,, "Whatley Family Tree," for Henry Eric Purchase (b. 8 Aug 1894), with linked image.

“Stories of the Stewiacke Valley,” spiral-bound, published for the Stewiacke Valley Bicentennial, 1980

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