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Table of Contents
The Surveyors
JTR's Colorful Families: GENN
Joanne's Genn Research Notes

The Genn Family
of Canada
A family history researched and compiled by David Genn and his cousins




1 Origins

2 Anjou, France

3 Yorkshire, England

4 Virginia, British America

5 Maryland, British America

6 Falmouth, Cornwall, England

7 Pernambuco, Brazil

8 Liverpool, Lancashire, England

9 Canada

Chapter 9 - Canada - 1864-2000

A family history researched and compiled by David Genn and his cousins. If you wish to contact us regarding this story or any other family connection that we may be heir to, please write to:
David Genn, 7894 East Glen Place, Sooke, BC, Canada V9Z 0J8
Phone:  250-642-3750
Email: davgenn(at)


It would appear that the death of Diogo Maddison Genn, husband, father and breadwinner, brought hard times upon the widow Eliza Genn and her five surviving children, ages two to thirteen. They left Grove House and moved to less luxurious quarters. Emily Genn was the first to leave home, at about age 17, and came to Victoria, BC, we assume, from a note in Emily's hand in her father's diary, 19 January, "Came as governess to Mrs. Walleby, 1882." A William Henry Walbey, residence at 10 Blanchard Street, was found in the Victoria City Directory for 1889 and 1890. This is the same residence address listed in 1889 for Francis Bourchier, the illustrious spouse of Bertha Genn, sister of Emily Genn.

Eliza Genn's marriage to John Jarman in 1883 was not taken well by the remaining children. They resented someone taking their father's place. Reginald left about this time and went to sea, then finding his way to join his sister in Victoria. Anthony Genn followed, and at age 11, joined his sister Emily in Victoria in July 1887.

Edith Genn, daughter of Diogo Madison Genn and Eliza MacGregor, about this time married Alexander William Knowles. We presume that he is the Alexander William Knowles born in Perth, Scotland in 1853, the son of Duncan Knowles and Jane Williamson Malloch.

Alexander and Edith Knowles also attempted to reach Victoria by crossing Canada overland, early in 1885. Edith's sister, Bertha Genn, was also with them. They were stopped at Fort Garry (now Winnipeg) on account of the Metis rebellion led by Louis Riel, (we seem to have this propensity for being in the wrong place at the right time). Alexander Knowles took a job with the Hudson's Bay Company at Fort Garry and worked two years to earn funds to return to England.

Alexander and Edith Knowles returned to England in time for their son, William Henry (Harry) Knowles to be born at Urmston, near Manchester, 24 May 1887. A second son, Charles Knowles, was born in 1889, and there was a daughter, Dora Knowles. Edith Knowles died in Bothwell, Scotland, 24 July 1895 of "phthisis pulmonalis", resulting from a flu epidemic. Their address at the time was reported as 33 James Orr Street, Glasgow. Alexander Knowles, whose profession is shown as a Commercial Clerk, died in Camlachie, Scotland a few months later.

William Henry (Harry) Knowles completed a five year apprenticeship in engines and boilers with John Brown and Company, Clydebank, Scotland, 17 October 1908.
Two weeks later he and his brother Charlie sailed for Canada on the Empress of Ireland, landing at Quebec City. Charles Knowles returned to Scotland in the spring of 1909 and died in 1910, age 21.

Dora Knowles, remained in England.

Harry Knowles followed a career in marine and stationary engineering along the Pacific coast. From 1912 to 1916 he was employed by The Pacific Cable Board as an engineer at the Bamfield, BC terminus of the Transpacific Communications Cable to Australia and New Zealand. From 1916 to 1919 he served with the Royal Engineers in Europe as a Marine Engineer, earning the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

Harry Knowles married Myrtle Alice Thelma Doughty, English born, daughter of Henry Edward Doughty and Alice Walker, 3 October 1934.

Harry Knowles died in Victoria 3 February 1972, and is buried at Hatley Memorial Gardens, (Sec. B 113 E1/2), near Victoria. The west half of the grave is bears a plaque identifying Myrtle A. T. Knowles, 19 February 1912

Bertha de Miranda Genn, daughter of Diogo Madison Genn and Eliza MacGregor, came to Canada with her sister, Edith and brother-in-law Alexander Knowles in 1885 and we presume she returned to England with them in 1887. She then came to San Francisco, according to Harry Knowles, "in one of her uncles windjammers". She had found her way to Victoria, BC by the early 1890's. Here she met, and formed a romantic liaison with Francis Sydney Bourchier. Bourchier was born in Bristol, England with the name of Sydney Francis Bees. He had come to Victoria with his wife, assumed the name of Bourchier and operated a successful real estate business. Bourchier's wife divorced him as a result of his involvement with Bertha Genn. His financial dealings over the next few years gained him considerable notoriety and several confrontations with the law.

Now, under the assumed name of Sydney Francis Gray, and possibly married to Bertha Genn, he engaged in some real estate handling which again caused him some legal embarrassment.

He appears to have escaped a conviction, but left hastily, with Bertha, for New York. A daughter, Dorothy Grey (spelling switch intentional) was born in 1895, location not yet known.

While in New York, the pattern continued, winning Sydney Francis Grey (Bourchier, Bees) a term in Sing Sing state prison. One newspaper report states that Bertha Genn and her baby had died in New York early in 1895. Further findings established that this was not the case.

Sidney Francis Grey gained his release and he and Bertha returned to British Columbia, stopping in Vancouver. A son, Donald Grey was born 3 December 1898 in Indianapolis, Indiana, either on this trip or a subsequent one.

It would appear that Sydney Francis Grey abandoned his young family after they arrived in Vancouver. Bertha was left to forage for herself and her young children, working as a hairdresser or by whatever means she could sustain herself. She died in Vancouver of nephritis 13 May 1907. She is buried at Mountain View Cemetery, Fraser Street, Vancouver, BC (Grave no. 1

Emily Maddison Genn, eldest daughter of Diogo Madison Genn and Eliza MacGregor, met and married Arthur Douglas Lewis in Victoria. He was on a sight-seeing trip to Victoria when they met. After their marriage they resided on Packington Street, near Victoria Street.

Arthur Lewis was born in London, England, in 1866. J. D. Lewis, father of Arthur Lewis, had worked for the investment firm of Foster and Braithwaite in London since 1856 and had been made a partner in 1895. He had held a seat on the London Stock Exchange since 1874. J. D. Lewis died about 1906.

Arthur Lewis was educated at the Palace School, Enfield and at Windsor. After completing school he took employment with his father at Foster and Braithwaite. He was discontent with the work so his father sent him to Canada in 1888 to learn farming. According to his daughter, Nora, he arrived on the prairies complete with "tennis racquet and whites".

Arthur Lewis took the position of Clerk, Royal Navy Yard Supply Depot, at the dockyard, Esquimalt, BC under A. S. Innes. Arthur Lewis' residence in 1892 was listed as 111 Humbolt Street, Victoria. After some years at the Dockyard Arthur Lewis joined a Mr. Poudre on exploration work in Northern British Columbia.

In 1898 he went to Skagway, Alaska, as agent for the Bennet Lake Navigation Company and for the next eight years was practically all over the Yukon.

Arthur Lewis' father, who had an influential position on the London Stock Exchange, arranged a job for Arthur managing the store at Bennett, Yukon in 1898. Lewis, A. D. is recorded as a passenger landing at Skagway on the ship "Australian", on 17 June 1899, 11 July 1899 and 14 July 1899. It is not known if he landed three times or if this represents some duplication. A steam powered river boat operated between Whitehorse and Bennett in 1899. It is likely that he was commuting, but not to Skagway.

According to his daughter, Nora, Arthur Lewis was quite generous with the store's supplies and sometimes gave away too many free gloves to the miners and, on occasions, had trouble showing an adequate profit.

One of Arthur's duties was to carry the receipts from the store over the Chilkoot Pass to the bank in Skagway, Alaska. During one crossing, he was confronted by Soapy Smith and his gang of robbers. He explained to them that he was carrying his company's money, but as he had no gun he could not stop them from taking it. Soapy Smith told his men, "Let this one go. He is one of those damn fool Englishmen who doesn't have enough sense to carry a gun". Soapy Smith invited Arthur Lewis to drink with him in his bar in Skagway, and presumably, the offer was accepted.

By about 1916 Arthur Lewis was in the real estate business in Victoria, BC as a member of the firm of Lewis and Roberts. Arthur Lewis must have maintained his business connections in the north. He was travelling from Skagway, Alaska to Victoria in October 1918 on the Canadian Pacific Steamship, Sophia. The Sophia struck Vanderbilt Reef off southern Alaska on 24 October and sank the following day. All 269 passengers and 74 crew were lost including Arthur. The casualty list for the Sophia notes his wife, resident at 383 Sunrise Avenue, Shoal Bay, Victoria, BC and H. M. Lewis, his son, 1652 Wilmot Place, Oak Bay, Victoria, BC. The ship's Captain was eventually found at fault for the loss and some claims were paid by the owner, Canadian Pacific Railroad, some fifteen years later (1933). Nora Lewis, Arthur's daughter, had mentioned that no compensation was ever paid her mother, not even for the missing baggage.

Arthur and Emily Lewis' family included three children. There were sons: Lieutenant John Douglas Lewis, R. A. F, born in Victoria, BC in 1890; Harold Madison Lewis, a Land Surveyor and of the firm of Gray and Lewis, born in 1892; and a daughter, Nora Margaret Lewis.

Nora Margaret Lewis, was born, 2 May 1897, at 22 Lincoln Road in Finchley, England. Finchley is a neighbourhood in north

It would appear from a newspaper clipping that she graduated third in a class of 38 from South Park School.

With the death of Arthur Lewis, Nora's father and the family breadwinner, Nora and her mother fell on hard times. Nora had to become the provider as her mother was not in good health. Nora took employment, first with the Bank of Commerce, then with the Bank of Montreal as a teller.

Nora received a small legacy in 1949 and was able to build a four room bungalow for her mother and herself on top of Gonzales Hill in Victoria. Nora's time was consumed by her need to care for her mother until her death 2 July 1951. Because of this, Nora never felt she was free to marry.

Nora Lewis retired from the Bank of Montreal in 1957. As a pass time she had taken up painting about 1950. Her successes included top honours at Victoria University at the 14th annual Jury Show, in 1964, a painting exhibit at Port Alberni and one at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Fredericton, New Brunswick.

Harold Madison Lewis married Yoder Pemberton, widow of Joseph Despard Pemberton. Harold died in 1933. John Douglas Lewis died in 1984. Arthur, Emily, Harold, and John are buried at St. Michael and All Angels Anglican Church, at Royal Oak, near Victoria, BC. Nora Margaret Lewis passed away on 12 July 1992 at Victoria. There were no grandchildren.

Arthur Lewis' brother Dr. Francis John Lewis, F. R. S., was born in London, England, in 1875. While studying at the Imperial College of Science and Technology, he came under the influence of Thomas H. Huxley, and this steered him into a career in Biology. In 1912 he received a Doctor of Science from the University of Liverpool where ha had lectured in geographical botany for six years. He then came to the University of Alberta where he became the first Professor of Botany. He specialized in peat moss and bogs and is was associated with the study of the oil sands of northern Alberta. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1918.

In 1935 Dr. F. J. Lewis left the University of Alberta to occupy the chair of Botany at Fouad I University, Cairo, Egypt, a position which he held until his retirement in 1946.

He had built spacious botanical laboratories at Abbassia and Giza and was known for his work for the Ministry of Public Works on the irrigation system of the Nile Delta. He then returned to England where he died 24 May 1955.

Reginald Genn, eldest son of Diogo Madison Genn and Eliza MacGregor, attended school in Liverpool with his brother Anthony. Their father had died when Reginald was six years old. Reginald presumably then developed a rebelliousness that made him difficult to contain within the strict British school system. At age eleven, he was witness to a fellow student being caned. He offered the advice that the master would do better to pick on someone his own size. The master then directed his wrath toward Reginald. At that point, Reginald abandoned the school, along with any further attempts at formal education. With the assistance of "Uncle John" (John Hawke Genn, his great uncle), Reginald, in 1882, gained employment as a cashier in the firm of Macintosh in Liverpool.

By the time Reginald Genn was 14, his mother had remarried. Reginald, having had enough of structured society, ran away to west Africa. Details of this part of his career are sketchy, but it is recalled of him telling of travelling up the Niger River. Here, with another white man, they had some administrative responsibility for a colony of natives.

Reginald became seriously ill with "black fever". His biography may have ended here, but for a passing ship which returned him to England. On his arrival, he was met by "Uncle John" whose best advice was that he "pause in his wild career, in hopes that the future would redeem the past".

Reginald Genn, now age 17, was apprenticed, through his "Uncle John's" connections, on a sailing ship. During the next two years he made two trips around the Cape Horn to the Pacific coast. The first trip was on the 200-ton Riverside and the second was on the 800-ton Nith. On the second trip he deserted the ship at San Francisco and made his way to Victoria, arriving in 1890 to find his sister Emily and his brother Anthony. Now sporting a beard, Reginald arrived at Emily's address and knocked at the door. Emily did not recognize him. Fearing this bearded stranger, she greeted him with "Go away, you naughty boy!", at which he replied, "It's me, Regie, Emily!".

In the 1892 Victoria City Directory, Reginald Genn is recorded as a clerk for the Department of Public Works and his residence is shown as 25 Parkington, home of Thos Whitwell.

Reginald's next adventure was to Trail, BC where he and his brother Anthony operated a row boat ferry across the Columbia River. The fares were $1.00 for a man, $3.00 for a horse. The proceeds for the venture came to $30.00 per day. His other endeavours at Trail were a bakery, a restaurant and a laundry.

Reginald Genn next migrated north into the Cariboo country of British Columbia and took up the search for gold. The information is sketchy, but presumably he found a valuable showing and sold the claims for $3,000. The Free Miners Directory for British Columbia, 1897 included the following entries:

  • Genn, A., No.77588, 19 September, Nelson, BC.
  • Genn, G. A., No.80408, 15 July, Midway, BC.
  • Genn, Rey, No.77257, 16 November, Rossland, BC.

Genn, A. is possibly Anthony. Genn, Rey could be a misspelling of Reg. Genn, G. A. doesn't resemble anyone that we have so far identified. These permit numbers may prove useful in tracking the Caribou gold claims.

The Directory for British Columbia, 1897/1898 lists the following:

  • Genn, Anthony, Miner, Trail, BC.
  • Glenn, _____ , Miner, Lillooet, BC.

The second entry was possibly intended to be Reginald Genn and may be a clue in solving the Caribou mining venture.

Money in his pocket, Reginald Genn now headed for Seattle where he purchased a sail boat. In 1897 he sailed out of Seattle with two Norwegians, a sea captain and a civil engineer, bound for Skagway, Alaska. Rather than use rocks for ballast, Reginald decided to load up with 30 tons of Yakima potatoes, costing $3.00 per ton.

Following the coast of British Columbia, the voyage was interrupted by the boat running aground on a sand bar. While waiting for high tide, they went ashore to hunt deer. Reginald squared off a tree and wrote the name GENN on the tree in indelible pencil. While the actual naming of Genn Island at the mouth of the Skeena River has been attributed to Reginald's second cousin, Sub

On arriving in Skagway, it was revealed that there was a shortage of potatoes. The 30 ton cargo was sold to ten restaurant owners at a price of $100.00 per ton. The boat was sold a few days later.

Approximately 22,000 gold seeking adventurers found their way to the Yukon by way of the Chilkoot Pass and Reginald Genn was among them. To effect some degree of safety on these people, the North West Mounted Police erected a customs station where the Chilkoot trail crosses the border into Canada. Travellers were required to have accumulated a ton of provisions at the border before being granted permission to enter Canada. Records were kept of the names of people entering Canada by way of the Chilkoot but Reginald Genn's name does not appear on the list. It is suspected that he crossed before the customs system was implemented.

This writer recalls seeing among the family heirlooms, a leather bound writing kit and in the cover was written, "To Reg from Tony on your first trip to the Yukon, 1897". Tony (Anthony Genn) was Reginald's younger brother.

Reginald Genn was at Tagish Lake, Yukon on 1 June 1898, however, as this is where he was issued a Dominion of Canada Free Miners' Certificate (No. 49192). The original certificate yet survives. Tagish Lake is on the main travel route from the Chilcoot Pass to the Yukon River. At the foot of Tagish Lake was located a police station known as Tagish House. Here a Customs Officer would collect $2.50 per person as they proceed down river.

Reginald Genn proceeded to the Klondike gold fields and staked placer mining claims on three of the famous creeks in the area south and east of the City of Dawson, namely Blackhills, Hunker and Gold Run. Dawson at that time was the largest city west of Winnipeg and north of Seattle.

On 7 July 1898 Reginald Genn staked a placer claim recorded as the "Lower half of Discovery (the first claim staked) on Blackhills Creek". Blackhills Creek is a tributary of the Stewart River which feeds the Yukon River. The claim was granted him by the Crown (instrument no. 28501) on 9 July 1898. The claim was described as being 25 miles from the creek mouth. The "Upper Half of Discovery" was staked by Oscar M. Johnson of Victoria, BC, and was granted him by the Crown, (instrument no. 28503) also on 9 July 1898. With the two instrument numbers almost consecutive, one would suspect that they were partners, and that Oscar Johnson may have been one of the Norwegians that sailed from Seattle with Reginald Genn.

The in

The diary of Harley H. Tuck of Seattle for 23 June 1898 reports the following: "We arrived at Stewart River at 2 P.M. and are now camped on an island just where the rivers join. Find several hundred people on the island most of whom are getting ready to go on a stampede up Stewart River, there having been a strike of pay dirt made on Black Hills Creek some 75 miles up the Stewart." This report is dated two weeks ahead of date on which Reginald Genn staked his discovery claim. This is slightly puzzling but travel time to the recording office in Dawson City may account for the delay.

Both the upper and the lower halves of the discovery claim (Genn's and Johnson's) appear to have been held for a year or more. They were next bought at a government auction on 4 February 1901 at which point they were granted by the Crown (instrument no. 29329) to Thomas A. McGowan.

Reginald Genn had told his grandchildren that he and his partners were the first miners on Blackhills Creek. This story has now been verified. It is interesting to note that Blackhills Creek was mined during the 1988 field season under the direction of one of those grandchildren, David Genn, mining engineer, the writer of this story.

On 28 September 1898 the Crown granted to Reginald Genn, (instrument no. 11287), for the fee of $15.00, a bench claim described as "third tier opposite the lower half of the left limit of no. 25 below (the 25th claim downstream of the discovery claim), on Hunker Creek, a tributary of the Klondike River. This claim would lie on the south bank of Hunker Creek, just upstream from where Goldbottom Creek enters Hunker Creek.

On the following day, 29 September 1898, Reginald sold a one

On 11 February 1899 the Crown granted to Reginald Genn, for the payment of $75.00, a placer claim on Gold Run Creek. Gold Run is a tributary of Dominion Creek and Dominion Creek feeds the Klondike River. The claim is described as Claim No. 29 on the Tributary at No. 66 on the left limit of Gold Run. It lies on the tributary (pup) which joins Gold Run about 20 miles from its mouth. On 3 March 1899 Reginald transferred this claim to H. M. Henning.

In the records supporting the foregoing chronology, Reginald Genn's name was spelled: Gem, Glenn, Genix, Geimmie. The documentation was verified from his signature and the number on his Free Miners' Certificate.

On 1 February 1905, Reginald Genn, now back in Victoria, BC, married Grace Jane King. Grace was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba on 10 November 1880, the daughter of Archibald King and Mary Delmage. Archibald King was from Scotland. Mary Delmage was born in Ontario, and was of Irish descent. The Delmage family and the King family are presented in Appendix VI and VII.

The first son of Reginald Genn and Grace, Kenneth Reginald Genn, was born 21 November 1905 in Victoria. The family residence was on Princess Avenue, just east of Douglas Street.

In January 1906 Reginald Genn and his wife and son Kenneth left Victoria for San Francisco intending to go to New Zealand. Boat service from San Francisco was unsatisfactory so they all returned to Victoria. From Victoria they sailed by way of Honolulu and Sydney and arrived in Aukland, New Zealand on 1 April 1906.

The object of the trip was to engage in chicken ranching. They shipped their belongings to the ranch and went themselves to have a look. On seeing the ranch, Reginald changed his mind about the whole deal. On their way back to Auckland, they met their belongings still going the other way.

After getting into financial difficulties, they packed up and left New Zealand at the end of September 1906 and returned to Victoria. They were in Victoria when Reginald's sister, Bertha de Miranda Genn, died in Vancouver, 13 May 1907.

From 1906 to 1908, Reginald Genn was employed as secretary of the Victoria Sealing Company, Limited. The Register of Shareholders for the Company, dated 30 November 1906 bears the signature of R. Genn as Secretary, and again for the year 1907. The Register for 1908 appears to be written in his hand, although the signature page was not found. On 29 June 1908, the Company held an extraordinary general meeting at Bastion Square, Victoria, BC at which a resolution was passed authorizing the issuance of $33,000 worth of 7% debentures. The resolution was signed by R. Genn, Secretary.

The Pelagic Treaty between Britain and the United States had restricted seal hunting on the open Pacific Ocean and a complexity of claims had to be settled concerning the owners of the sealing fleet who had been put out of business by the treaty.

In May 1908 Reginald Genn, his wife Grace and son Kenneth travelled across Canada, presumably by rail, then boarded the Empress of Ireland, crossed the Atlantic and debarked in Glasgow, Scotland. They took up residence at Kilmacolm, a village some ten miles west of Glasgow. A second son, Hugh Douglas Genn, was born on 5 September 1909 at 623 Avalon, Knowl Terrace, Giffnock, a suburb of Glasgow some four miles south of the city center. Reginald's business was that of selling whale oil in England and Italy. It appears that he had shifted from sealing to whaling.

A collection of 35 post cards dated between 1908 and 1911, mostly from Reginald Genn to his sons, give a relatively clear record of their movements during that period. The first card, dated 8 September 1908, postmarked Berwick, is from Dora Knowles to Mrs. R. Genn of 4 Kildonan Terrace, Ibnoc?, Glasgow. We are reminded that, according to Harry Knowles, Kenneth Genn's "great uncle" was Chief Constable of Berwickshire. His police whistle survives among the family artifacts. Knowles reports the whistle at 150 years old and that was stated about 1958.

The next post card, dated 8 October 1908, is addressed to W. H. Knowles at Mossgiel, Kilmacolm, Near Glasgow. A few days later Mrs. R. Genn, then son Kenneth, are receiving card at the same address and this continues until 5 March 1909.

From 9 March 1909 to 19 November 1909 post cards are addressed to Mrs R. Genn and Kenneth Genn at "Lochrae" or Lochrea", 35 Kilmarnock Road, Giffnock, Near Glasgow. Most of these are from Reginald Genn and were postmarked "Liverpool"

From 23 March 1910 to 31 August 1910 the receiving address is Knowl Terrace, Kilmarnock Road, Giffnock, Near Glasgow. The ones sent by Reginald Genn are postmarked "Southport".

On 20 May 1911 both Hugh D. Genn and Kenneth R. Genn receive cards from their father c/o Nora Lewis, 1024 Packington Street, Victoria, BC. These cards are also postmarked "Southport". The children are now in Victoria, while their father continues to do business in Southport.

From 26 July 1911 to 31 October 1911, Reginald Genn continues to send cards from Southport to his sons, now at 3002 Prior Street, Hillside Avenue, Victoria, BC. According to Kenneth's writing, they left Scotland in 1909 and took up residence at 6 Alexandria Road in Southport, a town 15 miles north of Liverpool. He reports that they left Southport in April 1909 and arrived back in Victoria in May 1909. These dates provided by Kenneth conflict with the birth date of his brother, Douglas, in Scotland in September 1909. Substituting 1911 for 1909 in the information provided by Kenneth would make more sense.

While in England, Reginald visited relatives and may have tried to persuade some of them to emigrate to Canada. Reginald's nephews, William (Harry) Knowles and Charles Knowles, sons of Reginald's sister Edith, arrived in Vancouver, BC soon after. Reginald also visited his Uncle, John Hawke Genn, while in Liverpool.

By May 1911, Grace and two sons, Kenneth and Douglas, resided at 3002 Prior Street in Victoria. A daughter was born 26 August 1911. Reginald was apparently still in Europe at the time of the birth. The child was named "Kathleen". Reginald arrived in Victoria when "Kathleen" was six months old, decided he didn't like the name "Kathleen" and renamed her Grace Mary Genn.

Reginald worked at various tasks during this time, including driving a street car and being the bookkeeper at Porters Meat Market, a riveters helper at Albion Iron Works, and Assistant Resident Engineer, Province of BC.

Reginald Genn then joined the accounting firm of William Curtis Sampson (b. l850

In 1921 Reginald took over the firm and that same year he became a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, a professional organization which his mentor, Curtis Sampson, had helped to establish.

Reginald Genn retained many of the firm's older accounts. He administered the estates of deceased clients and looked after the financial affairs of the Pemberton and Sayward heirs.


Reginald Genn remained in the Victoria area for some 42 years. His residences in and around Victoria between 1911 and 1953 are listed as follows:

  • 1911 - Prior Street, Grace M. Genn attending Quadra School
  • 1917 - Lindsay Road, R. Genn built the house, it had a nice orchard
    Wellington Street, Grace M. Genn at Strawberry Vale School
    Wilkinson Road, R. Genn built the house
  • 1922 - Burnside Road, Grace M. Genn at Strawberry Vale School, Tillicum School and St. George's School
  • 1925 - Newport Road
  • 1927 - 420 St. Charles (now 520 St. Charles)
  • 1935 - 5275 Parker Avenue, Summer home only
  • 1936 - Newport Road, G. M. G. went to England
  • 1937 - Moss Street
  • 1940 - Parker Avenue, year around
  • 1943 - Tattersall Drive
  • 1944 - Salisbury Way
  • 1945 - Blenkinsop Road, south
  • 1949 - Blenkinsop Road, north
  • 1953 - 900 Tweedsmuir Apt. park Blvd. (Reginald Genn died at this address)
  • 1953 - 1269 Union Road, Grace J. Genn only.

Reginald Genn died in Victoria, 7 May 1953, and is buried at Royal Oak Burial Park (I

Kenneth Reginald Genn, son of Reginald Genn and Grace Jane Genn, following his brief adventure in New Zealand as an infant, spent his youth in Victoria, attending Collegiate School, Quadra School, Royal Oak School, back to Quadra School, to Strawberry School, then graduated from Oak Bay High School in 1922. He took his first job at Colwood Golf Links in August 1922.

He left Victoria in February 1923, age 17 years, and started work on 8 February 1923 with the Bank of Montreal at Merritt, BC. In Merritt he also served as a volunteer with the Merritt Fire Brigade. He lived in a room above the bank.

Kenneth resigned from the bank on 15 July 1924. During his term of notice he contracted typhoid fever and spent 3 1/2 pleasant (his word) weeks in St.Joseph's Hospital in Victoria.

Kenneth then took employment with Cameron Investments and Security Company, then after two weeks started school at Rockland Academy (an affiliate of Sprott Shaw Schools). He passed his algebra, geometry, literature and composition but failed French.

Kenneth then took employment with Sidney Roofing and Paper Company, Victoria, starting 3 August 1925.

In November 1927 Kenneth went to work in his father's accounting business. During the 1930's and 1940's Kenneth studied various aspects of accounting, achieving the designations of Certified General Accountant, Certified Public Accountant and Registered Industrial Accountant. On his father's death in 1953 Kenneth took over the accounting business. He remained at the same office address until about 1978, at which point he adopted semi-retirement but continued to serve several preferred clients from his home.

Kenneth Reginald Genn died 24 March 1982.

Grace Mary Genn, daughter of Reginald Genn and Grace Jane (King) Genn was born in Victoria, BC, 26 August 1911.

Grace Jane Genn, mother of Grace Mary Genn had been a soloist in the choir of St.Andrew's Presbyterian church on Douglas Street, Victoria. Grace Mary was introduced to music at an early age and it became an important part of her life. She studied piano and in 1929 she was urged by her Victoria teacher, who had moved to Toronto, to enroll in the Toronto Conservatory of Music and live with her while she earned her degree.

She returned to Victoria in 1933 and gave piano lessons. In 1935 a friend of the family arranged for her to continue her music education in London, England. She travelled to London with 14 other passengers on the freighter Damsterdyk, sailing directly from Victoria.

Grace returned from England to continue teaching piano in Victoria.

On 22 December 1943 Grace married Alexander Hendry, a banker who later became manager of Victoria Plywood Ltd. They had no children. Alex was president of Colwood Golf Club and also served as councillor in Oak Bay municipality. Alex died in 1970. Grace continued to live a quiet life in Oak Bay, maintaining her interest in music and her association with the Victoria Chapter of the Royal Conservatory of Music.

In 1987 Grace Hendry suffered a stroke and died 11 March 1993 at Aberdeen Hospital. She had sponsored an annual award in music known as the Grace Hendry Scholarship Fund and left instructions for its continuance.

Anthony Genn, son of Diogo Madison Genn and Eliza MacGregor, was two years old when his father died in 1877. He attended school in Liverpool with his brother Reginald. When he was age seven, his mother remarried to John Jarman. Four years later, at age 11, Anthony travelled to Victoria to join his sister Emily Genn.

In 1892 Anthony performed at the Vancouver Opera House with a Mikado Troop.

The 1892 Victoria City Directory lists Anthony Genn, Clerk, Devereau and Company.

The 1893 Victoria City Directory lists Anthony Genn as a Student

The British Columbia Directory for 1897/1898 lists Anthony Genn, Miner, Trail, BC.

On 5 June 1899 Anthony was issued Free Miner's Certificate No. Bl3108 at Rossland, BC.

On 3 July 1899 in Vernon, BC. Anthony Genn was married by the Reverend George Wilson to Mary Bell. Mary had been teaching school in Keremeos, BC. and Lumby, BC. Mary was born in Ottawa, Ontario on 31 January 1978 and had moved with her parents, Robert Brown Bell and Elizabeth Conner, to Vernon, BC in October 1894.

Anthony and Mary settled in Rossland, BC after their marriage where a son Harold Madison Genn was born on 15 September 1902. It is believed they moved to Victoria shortly after Harold's birth. A daughter, Marguerite Elizabeth (Daisy) Genn, was born in Victoria on 25 September 1904.

Anthony Genn was working at this time in the wholesale grocery business for a firm named R. P. Rithet.

The family moved in 1907 to Whitehorse in the Yukon Territory where "Papa Tony" as Anthony Genn was known as, worked as the manager of a large grocery store (possibly Simon Leiser or Kelly Douglas) for 5 years.

In 1912, the family returned to Victoria where Anthony was employed as the manager of a retail liquor store for a firm named Pither and Liser. Anthony became the agent and distributor for Victoria and Vancouver Island for Dewer's Scotch Whisky. Anthony shifted back into the wholesale grocery business (probably in 1916 when BC passed prohibition laws), working for the Kelly Douglas Company.

Anthony and Mary's son Harold Madison Genn moved to Eastern Canada living in Quebec, then to Nova Scotia during World War II, then to Ontario. Their daughter Daisy Genn died of tuberculosis on 25 September 1956 in Tranquille, BC.

After his wife, Mary, died on 31 January 1950, Anthony Genn sold their home at 1009 Richardson Street, Victoria, and moved into the Glenshiel Hotel. He died at Eva Ford's residence on New Year's Eve or perhaps after the midnight hour 1 January 1958. Eva and her husband Jim (then deceased) were good friends with Anthony and Mary and the four had shared many bridge games over the years. It was considered fitting, Tony with a glass of scotch in one hand and a blonde on the other.

Revised: 01 April 2000

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