Fonds F02053 - Bird Family fonds

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Bird Family fonds

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Reference code

CA ON00239 F02053

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1882-1993 (Creation)
    Bird, Harold Godfrey
  • 1882-1944 (Creation)
    Bird, Charles Harold
  • 1882-1993 (Creation)
    Bird (family)

Physical description area

Physical description

1.5 m of textual records and other material

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Name of creator


Biographical history

Harold Godfrey Bird, son of Charles Harold and Edith Bryson (Dunn) Bird, was born September 1899 in Gananoque, Ontario. After attending several private schools in Kingston he entered, with his younger brother Edward, the University of Toronto Medical School in the autumn of 1917. Following their graduation together in June 1922, H. Godfrey Bird interned for a year at the Toronto General Hospital in preparation for establishing, like his father before him, a general practice.

The following year he returned to Gananoque and took over the practice, on a temporary basis, of one Dr. J. de L. Campbell. Upon the latter's return in 1924, H. Godfrey joined his father in his practice and remained with him until August 1925, at which time, with his brother Edward, the two embarked for further studies abroad. They took courses in Pathology at the American Medical Association of Vienna and psychoanalysis from Sigmund Freud's assistant, Paul Schilder. In London, H. Godfrey spent time attending clinics at St. Bartholomews and London Hospital and he completed his term as houseman at the Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford. From there he went on to Dublin, Ireland to the Rotunda Lying-in Hospital to gain further instruction in obstetrics.

Commencing in January 1927, he undertook a position in the Medical School at Queen's University at Kingston, Ontario, teaching Physical Diagnosis, a position he held until the fall of 1964. At the same, he began a practice of general medicine from which he retired in late 1979.

In September 1928, H.Godfrey married Edna Rough of Montreal and over the years seven children were born to the couple: Robert Godfrey, the eldest, was followed by Shearman Godfrey, Edith Amoi, Mary Caroline, Richard Rough, Virginia Grace, and Edna Godfreyda.

He was later recommended by Dr. Lorimer John ("Blimey") Austin, of Queen's Medical School, for charter membership in the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, and in order to keep himself abreast of new developments in the field of health care he enrolled as a post graduate student at Toronto General Hospital.

H. Godfrey was also interested in music and, for a time, played in the viola section of the Kingston Symphony Orchestra.

Name of creator


Biographical history

Charles Harold Bird was born in September 1872 in Barrie, Ontario. Son of a Chinese mother (Amy Laura Amoi) and an English father (Shearman Godfrey Bird, Lieutenant in the Royal Engineers), he was the youngest child in a family of eight children, five born in China, one in England, and two in Barrie. Following an honourable discharge, and after a brief time spent in England, Shearman Godfrey Bird removed to Canada and Barrie, where he established himself as a successful land surveyor and architect. In 1873, Shearman Bird died, leaving his wife to raise a large family on the pension of a retired army veteran.

C.H. Bird entered Trinity Medical College, Toronto and graduated as gold medallist and valedictorian of his class in the spring of 1893, being the only person, to that point and for some years after, who passed the final examination with honours. Following his internship he moved to Dromore, County Grey, where he set up practice for a little over a year. In 1896, Charles Harold Bird removed to Gananoque, at his brother's invitation, and established himself in the town where he would spend the rest of his life. Over the succeeding years he built "Wigborough" (1897), the house named after the family home in England, and designed by his older brother Eustace, a graduate of the Royal Institute of British Architecture in England and married Edith Bryson Dunn of Toronto (1898) with whom he had three children: Harold Godfrey, Edward Shearman, and Laura Frances.

Charles Harold Bird held many respected positions both within the provincial and municipal medical communities, including being an examiner for many years for the Ontario Medical Council, and the Medical Officer of Health for the Town of Gananoque. In 1942, he, along with the assistance of others, helped in the formation of the local chapter of the Victorian Order of Nurses (V.O.N.). His concern for the safety of public health led to his championing the pasteurisation of milk that in turn resulted in Gananoque becoming one of the first municipalities in Ontario to have "safe milk".

Active in community affairs, he was instrumental in having the Gananoque Arena erected and joined with other community members to form the Gananoque Arena Company; as well as beginning the North Shore Realty Company. The formation of the Thousand Islands Motor League was in large part due to his energy and foresight. For many years too, he was a member of the local Board of Education; a Director of the Ontario Steel Products Company; the Medical Officer for the Steel Company of Canada's Gananoque Plant from the time it first had a "shop physician" to the time of his death in 1944; the District Medical Officer for the Grand Trunk Railway (later the Canadian National Railway); and was President of the Chamber of Commerce at the time planning was under way for the construction of the Macdonald-Cartier (401) Highway.

Dr. Charles Harold Bird died in September 1944, age seventy-two. He was predeceased by his first wife, Edith Bryson Dunn in 1933. His second wife, Jean Bain (m. 1934), died in August 1984.

Name of creator

(fl. 1800s)

Biographical history

Family of Charles Harold Bird.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists of correspondence; subject files; financial and legal records; Daybooks with accompanying Indices; writings; diplomas and certificates; photographs; and videocassettes providing a detailed portraiture of the 'country doctor' in Eastern Ontario from the late 19th to the mid- 20th century.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Location of originals

F3 C3.7
MI 142

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

Correspondence and Daybooks series contain personal medical information, and are restricted without a signed researcher agreement.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Copyright provisions may apply, please see archivist

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No further accruals are expected

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  • Shelf: 1004.9
  • Shelf: 1001.53
  • Shelf: F3 C3.7
  • Shelf: MI 142