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[for Helen’s parents and siblings see page ‘ORMSBY’ at top of screen]

[this post last edited, new information and / or images added 1 April 2013]

Helen (Nelly) McNab Steel ORMSBY was born on 26 February 1895 at Brickrow Farm, St. Quivox, Ayrshire, Scotland, the first of John and Helen (Ramsay MUIR) ORMSBY’s children. She was named after both her maternal (Helen McNAB) and paternal (Helen STEEL) grandmothers, perhaps an indication that her parents had difficulty agreeing on a name.

Right is a photograph of Helen – on the back of photo “Helen Ormsby, 1914” in her mother Helen’s hand writing. Helen (the daughter) was 19 years old in 1914. This portrait was taken at the Studio of Henderson & Son, Prestwick and Ayr. The photograph is from the collection of an Orsmby family descendant who still lives in Ayrshire, Scotland.

Helen (the mother) sent this photograph to her sister Jane (Jean) (MUIR) WATSON in Saskatchewan. Jean’s son James Muir WATSON had recently married Agnes  (‘Nancy’) Elizabeth ACTON in Saskatchewan and the two sisters may have exchanged photographs of their children at the time. [see posting 29 April 2012 for a description of the 1914 WATSON-ACTON marriage in Saskatchewan]

WATSON1911-ORMSBY familyPhoto left: standing, left to right is Nelly’s uncle Henry ORMSBY and her cousin Thomas WATSON. Nelly’s mother (Helen Ramsay (MUIR) ORMSBY) and Thomas’ mother (Jane (MUIR) WATSON) were sisters. Nelly is sitting on the left; to Nelly’s left is an unknown woman, possibly a MUIR cousin.  The photograph was likely taken in Ayr, Ayrshire as there is no record of Nelly having travelled. The date is prior to 1912 as Thomas Watson, a chauffeur, immigrated to Canada in 1912. Photo is from the collection of Donald Slater, (for Donald’s other family photos see www.flickr.com/photos/palaeoecogeek).

Known as ‘the cook’, Helen worked in Ayr as a cook and housekeeper. She never married and died, aged 81, on 26 August 1976 in Heathfield Hospital, Ayr, Ayrshire, Scotland of ‘pernicious anaemia’.