I accidentally found on the weekend that Ontario Canada Death Records has been added to on Ancestry.com
I've been waiting a long time to look for the death of my great grandpa Alexander McGinnis. I knew he died in 1935 because the year of death is on his tombstone. Mind you, his year of birth on his stone is incorrect (I have his church baptism records as proof). The stone was erected by his eldest daughter Mary Sheward and I figure she may have been confused about his year of birth but she surely knew when he died!
Finally Ancestry.com has updated the death records to include 1935. I was pretty excited to search for Alex as there's a bit of a story about him.
My dad, who was Alex's grandson, never met his grandfather and grew up believing that Alex was long dead. One day my grandfather came downstairs wearing a suit and tie - which he never did, and my dad asked him jokingly if he was going to a funeral. According to my father, his dad replied "Yes, my father just died" and then walked out the door without another word.
My father was stunned. He was 23 years old and never knew his grandpa was not only still alive but lived just a few miles away. Eventually my father got part of the story from his dad - that Alex and his son Joe (my grandfather) had a huge argument and falling out in the early 1900s and never spoke again. So for over 25 years my grandfather and his father were estranged, and my father never met his grandpa.
Never knowing much about Alex, I was quite curious how and where he died. The death certificate stated that he fell down a flight of stone steps (most likely leading to his basement), broke his neck and was in hospital for 17 days before succumbing to his injuries and pneumonia. I felt very sad reading this, and thought about his son, my grandfather, probably knowing that his dad lay seriously injured in the local hospital but not going to visit him.
What a sad way to live one's life, with arguments and estrangements and pretending that family members don't exist. Perhaps I'm being harsh but it seems hypocritical to me for my grandfather to then attend his dad's funeral. His dad and mother separated when the children were young and his mom had died several years before his father. So it's not as if he went to offer support and comfort to his mom.
Oddly enough I confess that I feel anger at my grandfather for not letting his sons grow up knowing their grandpa. Perhaps I'm misjuding him, perhaps it was his father Alex who refused to give in. Who ignored who? One of life's mysteries and one which I will likely never know what the truth was. To me it all boils down to stubborness and pride and it's a terrible waste.