Lawrence Ling (1844-1918) & Harriett McGillivray (1852-1933)

Lawrence LING was born on 7 Jan 1844 in Low Point, Cape Breton to James LING and Catherine MCDONALD.  In 1871, he was still living in his parents’ household and working as a coal miner.

On 5 Feb 1872 he married Harriett McGillivray (also appearing in the historical record as Henrietta), the daughter of Mary MCGILVARY and Frederick (or James) FISHWICK. Mary was the daughter of Hugh MCGILLIVRAY and Mary VENABLES, Hugh being the son of Donald Daniel MCGILLIVRAY (aka Donald the Soldier) whose life and descendants have been chronicled in this excellent work by Francis Xavier McGillivray.

Harriett was born on 9 Feb 1852 and baptised on the 19th at St. Joseph’s in North Sydney. The record of the baptism reads as followed:

“I the undersigned baptised Harriet born on the 9th [of February] the daughter of Frederick Fishwick and Mary McGilvary sponsors Catherine and Hugh McGilvary.”

The witnesses listed, Hugh and Catherine, are likely Mary’s siblings, although it’s also possible that the Hugh in question is Mary’s father. What is interesting is the absence of the word “lawful.” It seems Harriett was born out of wedlock, which is further supported by the complete absence of Fishwick in their lives going forward and by the fact the Mary, the mother, retained her maiden name. Fishwick’s given name is listed on Harriett’s marriage record as James, which further adds to the confusion.

After researching into the identity of Frederick/James Fishwick, I have come up with a possible match. A Frederick Fishwick was born on 8 Jan 1832 in St Botolph’s, Aldersgate (Middlesex, England) to Fairfax Fishwick and Rebecca James. He married Elizabeth Fisher in either 1853 or 1854 in Saint Katherine Creechurch. In 1871, he is listed as living in Halifax with his wife and several children, and a Frederick Fishwick appears on record as the owner of merchant vessels sailing out of Halifax. It’s possible that he came to Cape Breton as a young sailor around 1851 and then returned to Nova Scotia a few years later with his new wife.

How Harriett and Mary lived their lives during Harriett’s childhood is unknown, as I cannot find any record of them on the 1861 or 1871 census. In 1865, Harriett MacGillivray appears as a sponsor on the baptismal record of Mary, daughter of Hugh McGillivray Jr. (her uncle) and Margaret Burke. The baptism took place at St. Alphonsus in Victoria Mines. Harriett appears again as a witness in July 1871 at the marriage of Alexander McGillivray (her uncle) and Frances McGillivray, and the other witness is Lawrence Ling. Harriett and Lawrence were likely engaged or courting at the time, as they were married the following February.

In 1872, Lawrence Ling was working as a coal cutter in Low Point. In 1881, his family was living in Lingan, and he was employed as a sailor. The 1891 census lists his residence as Lingan Mines and his occupation as pilot. Lawrence appears several times in the Reports of the Pilotage Authority of Sydney, Cape Breton (in the company of other related families – Petries, McGillivrays, Ratchfords, etc.)

In 1894, Lawrence earned $543.41 as a pilot. In 1905, he earned $818.04. In 1916, at the age of 72 years, he was still working and earned $1,137.17.

Harriett’s mother, Mary, lived with the couple from the time of their marriage to her death in 1908. Lawrence appears on the 1901 and 1911 census records for Victoria Mines with Harriett and several of their adult children. He died of a brain hemorrhage in 1918.

In 1921, a widowed Harriett was living in Low Point with her sons Bert and Robert and a 13-year-old girl named Eustace Livingstone, who is listed as her adopted daughter. Harriett died on 9 November 1933 in Victoria Mines. She and Lawrence had eight children:

1. Thomas James LING born 20 May 1873 and baptized at St. Alphonsus in Victoria Mines. He married first Ellen (Nellie) CONDON on 19 Sep 1895 at St. Alphonsus. He was an engineer and served in the Royal Canadian Reg. No. 1 Tunnelling Company during the First World War. According to his attestation papers, he had blue eyes, brown hair, and a tattoo of a heart and anchor on forearm. Nellie died sometime between 1904 and 1910. She and Thomas had seven children:

  • Ethelina Gertrude LING born 03 Feb 1896 in Dominion. She worked as a nurse in Halifax and married Michael J. SHERIDAN on 4 Aug 1931.
  • Bertha Mary LING born 1 Aug 1897 in Dominion.  Died in 1917 in Halifax.
  • Lawrence Robert LING born 23 July 1898 in Dominion.
  • Joseph Charles LING born 20 Apr 1900 in Dominion.
  • Anna Matilda LING  born 2 Jul 1902.
  • Gertrude LING born 4 Apr 1903.
  • Mary Florence LING born 10 Sep 1904.

Thomas married secondly Julia Josephine EMBERLEY and had issue. He died 17 Feb 1944 in Glace Bay. Thomas and Julia had a daughter:

  • Nellie Mae LING born 1911. She married Beniah KENNEDY 10 Mar 1932 in Glace Bay. Nellie died 21 Nov 2007 in Glace Bay.


2. William LING
born 01 Feb 1875. He married Catherine MCKINNON 17 Oct 1922 in Glace Bay. He was a miner and an engineer for the Dominion Coal Company. William died 15 Dec 1933 in New Aberdeen.

3. Rosalie (Rosella) LING born 12 Jun 1877 and baptized at St. Alphonsus in Victoria Mines. She married Andrew J. LIVINGSTON on 1 Nov 1896 at St. Alphonsus. They lived in Glace Bay and had issue:

  • John Charles Hibbert LIVINGSTON born 11 Oct 1897 and baptized at St. Alphonsus in Victoria Mines. He was a miner, and he married Catherine Mary MCPHEE on 26 Oct 1920 in Little Bras d’Or.
  • Harold Randolph LIVINGSTON born 11 May 1899 in Reserve Mines. He immigrated to the United States in 1927 and worked as an office clerk. Harold married Margaret on 26 Jun 1929 in Elizabeth, Union, New Jersey and had issue.
  • Emily Theresa LIVINGSTON born 17 Jan 1901 in Reserve Mines. She immigrated to Laredo, Texas, in 1938. In 1940, she was living in Dallas and working as a teacher at the House of Good Shepherd.
  • Gilbert Lewis LIVINGSTON born 29 Jan 1903 and baptized at St. Alphonsus in Victoria Mines. He was a miner. Gilbert married Florence MCDONALD on 26 Nov 1929 in Reserve Mines. He died 22 Jun 1941 in Halifax.
  • Mary Lauretta (Laura) LIVINGSTON born 23 Jul 1904 and baptized at St. Anthony’s in Glace Bay. She married Martin Joseph GOUTHRO, a miner, on 18 Jun 1929 in Dominion.
  • Joseph Bernard LIVINGSTON born 10 Jul 1906 in Dominion. He was a miner. Joseph married Margaret MCKINNON on 18 Nov 1930 in Reserve Mines.
  • Beatrice LIVINGSTON born Jan 1908.
  • Hilda Agnes LIVINGSTON born 6 Nov 1909 in Dominion. She died 16 Apr 1928 in Glace Bay.
  • Faustina LIVINGSTON born 1915 in Dominion. She married Joseph Wilfred MCPHERSON on 21 Jul 1936 in Dominion.
  • Dorothy LIVINGSTON born 1920 in Passchendaele. She married Anthony Ralph WRATHALL on 24 Jul 1941 in Passchendaele.

4. Catherine Maud LING born 8 Jan 1880 and baptized at St. Alphonsus in Victoria Mines. She married Vincent James MCGILLIVRAY in 1902 at St. Alphonsus and had issue. Maud died in 1967.

  • Vincent James MCGILLIVRAY born 12 Oct 1909 in Victoria Mines. He married Margaret MUNRO on 11 May 1937 in Glace Bay and had issue. Vincent started out as a coal miner and later on became a funeral director in Glace Bay and New Waterford after attending the Boston School of Anatomy and Embalming. He eventually became president of V.J. McGillivray Funeral Homes. Vincent died 15 Aug 1972, and his business is now in the hands of his grandchildren. [Pottie, Erin. “Third generation back in control of V.J. McGillivray Funeral Homes.” Cape Breton Post. Feb 18, 2010.]
  • Mary Evelyn MCGILLIVRAY born 30 Aug 1911 in Victoria Mines. She worked as a superintendent at the New Waterford Hospital. On 15 Aug 1939 she married George Wilson MACPHERSON at Mt. Carmel Church in New Waterford.
  • Pauline MCGILLIVRAY 

5. Joseph Bernard LING born 25 Aug 1882 in Glace Bay. He was coal miner and married Emily Mildred JESSOME. They had issue. He married secondly Agnes MCNEIL. He died 29 Aug 1953 in New Waterford.

6. Herbert Leo (Bert) LING born 23 May 1888 in Low Point and baptized at St. Alphonsus. In 1917, he is listed as an apprentice pilot by the Pilotage District of Sydney. In 1921, he was still living in his parents’ household, and his occupation is listed as a farmer.  He was on the Board of Directors for the Dominion Coal Workers’ Relief Association. Bert died in 1975.

7. Mary Loretta (Laura) LING born 26 May 1890 in Low Point and baptized at St. Alphonsus in Victoria Mines. She married Waldon Jeremiah MACGILLIVRAY, a pilot and coal miner, on 16 Jun 1916 in Victoria Mines. They had eleven children. Laura died on 30 Apr 1982, outliving her husband who died in 1976. Their children were:

  • Mary Geraldine MACGILLIVRAY (1917-2012). Married Roderick MACSWEEN and had issue.
  • Catherine Genevieve MACGILLIVRAY (1918-1998). Married Arthur BOUDREAU and had issue.
  • James Lawrence MACGILLIVRAY (1919-2015). Married and had issue.
  • Mary Loretta (Laura) MACGILLIVRAY (1920-2001). Married Justin MERRITT and had issue.
  • Mary MACGILLIVRAY (1921-2012). Married Bernard MACNEIL and had issue.
  • Blaise MACGILLIVRAY (1922-2012). Married Mary Ellen KAVANAUGH and had issue.
  • Veronica MACGILLIVRAY (1923). Died in infancy according to the Family History of Donald McGillivray and his Descendents.
  • Lenore MACGILLIVRAY (1924-2007). Married Lawrence PARKER.
  • Theresa Muriel MACGILLIVRAY (1926-2010). Married Herb HARTER and had issue.
  • Bernadette MACGILLIVRAY (1929-2013). Married Bill DUNPHY and had issue.
  • Waldon MACGILLIVRAY (1934-2009). Married Joan Gourley and had issue.

8. Amanda Beatrice LING born 30 Aug 1891 in Victoria Mines. Married Charles Francis BUTTS and had issue.

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