Thursday, November 3, 2011

My Newfoundland Connection!

Catholic Church in North River on the Avalon Penisula where Mrs. Carroll is buried.

I have been coming to Newfoundland for almost 20 years before becoming a resident. I am known to islanders as a "Come from Away" and while, it isn't meant to be rude, it just means I am from somewhere else.

One time,I asked someone, how long do you have to live here before that term is inapplicable. I was told until you have someone buried in Newfoundland.

For years, I have heard my dear Mother talk about a relative who lived in Newfoundland until she was 115 years old. But didn't know much about her, just a last name, Mrs. Carroll. On CBC yesterday, while listening to the CBC celebration, they played a tape of a Mrs. Carroll being interviewed by Joey Smallwood on her 113th birthday.

After a short search in I found this information;

The Oldest Resident
Born on October 21, 1828, Mrs. Ellen Carroll lived til December 8, 1943 when she died where she had been born in North River at the tender age of 115 years, 7 weeks.

In addition to her being Newfoundland's oldest resident, Mrs. Carroll is also known for her radio broadcast debut on the night of October 19, 1940 in celebration of her 113th birthday. Mr. J.R. Smallwood choreographed the broadcast and the following dignitaries were in attendance: Honourable Sir John C. Puddester, Vice-Chairman of the Commission of Government and Commissioner for Public Health and Welfare. Greeting were sent by the Queen and King, and His Excellency Governor and Lady Walwyn, as well telegrams were sent from the Bishop of Newfoundland, the President of the United Church, the Mayor of St. John's and Captain Bob Bartlett.

Mrs. Carroll in her lifetime had witnessed many changes in her community, province and country. For example, there had been rule by Governor, Representative Government, Amalgamated Government, Responsible Government, and Commission Government and when she was in her fifties the Dominion of Canada was formed. The first railway was built when Mrs. Carroll was in her early sixties.

I am not sure how or where the connection is, but now, I can honestly, say I am not longer a Come From Away!


  1. 115 years old!! You have longevity in your genes! Very interesting history and it must make you feel more connected than ever to the people of NFL.
    Cathy G

  2. LOL Good for you. I understand the CFA mentality. I lived in PEI for awhile and was told that unless you were BORN there you would always be a CFA.

  3. Ellen Carroll was my Great Great Great Grandmother. She died on December 8th and I was born on December 8th....years later. I used to bring the Guiness Book of World Records to school as a kid to brag about her, located on page 29a of the 1977 edition. I just purchased the same edition for my kids from ebay. It arrived today, which brings me to the net to do more research on her. Wow, she had 15 kids! Her Great Granddaughter (my Grandmother) had 13, my mother being #12. My mom had 3 daughters and I have 2. Our numbers have definitely dropped. Does anyone have a picture of her? OR... How do I get to listen to the radio broadcast?

    P.S. My 1st daughter was due on December 8th, but decided to come several days early.

  4. I have her rocking chair and I am in the process of restoring her head stone. Her grandson, Micheal F. Brazil was married to my grand mother, Mary Cooney before he passed away around the year 1953. Many pictures of Ellen were taken with my Aunt Ellen and Anne in them. I have a few original pictures of her. Her rocking chair is made of wicker and has been in my family since she passed.