Ellen Maud Agnes or Nell Shill was the last of John and Ellen Mary Shill's nine children. Family and friends called her "Nell" or "Nellie".
James Verner Waddell April 05, 1926, Trinity Memorial Church,
N.D.G., Quebec, Canada
Died: January 14, 1991, Pointe Claire, Quebec, Canada
Buried: Rideau Memorial Gardens, Pointe Claire, Quebec, Canada
Nell's descendants are lucky enough to have a large collection of photos, written accounts and memorabilia related to her life. Much of what remains relates to the aspects of her life that can broadly be termed "Women's Work". She knit, sewed, cooked, took care of the children and volunteered in various capacities, as well as working outside the home when she had the opportunity.
As is common, she was largely responsible for preparing for the celebration of holidays. It seemed to me that she prepared for the Christmas Bazaar at her church throughout the year.
Most importantly, an Oral History was recorded on videotape by her grandson, Peter Waddell, for her 90th birthday. Additionally, there are two audio recordings of her. One recording is of Nell and her daughter looking through an old photo album. Another recording was made of an interview between her and a person doing research on the emotional life of elderly people for a school project. Nell's collection of historical material forms the foundation for this website.
Nell's Oral History can be broken roughly into chapters. Her comments will be presented in her own words in maroon throughout british-immigrants-in-montreal.com. The Oral History has been edited and rearranged by theme. Her three children, all still alive, will be referred to as the daughter, first son and second son.
You can see the "full" text of Nell's Oral History by downloading this PDF file.
Coming to Canada
After World War I – 1918-1926
Grace and Jack Hardy
Holidays with Mother
Nell’s 21st Birthday in Morin Heights: The Flu Epidemic
James Verner Waddell (Jim)
The Western Harvest
Jim boards with the Shill Women
Work at the Mount Royal Hotel
Jim Takes a Second Look at Nell
Early Married Life (1926-1933)
Working at The Bell
Marriage and Nell’s Self-Esteem
Summer in England
Children’s Health Problems
Jim in the Hospital
Moving to the Country in Ste. Rose (de Laval)
Our Second Son
Work Outside the Home
A New Bedroom Set
Peter and the Car
1965 and Widowhood
No Pension or Telephone for the Widow
Nell Rediscovers Herself
A Satisfying Life
So what's the secret of having a contented and long life?