Staying In Touch with the Family

Who Went “Up to the States”

by Joy Morash

     This story begins with my great-grandparents Rufus and Bertha (Mosher) Casey who resided in Mosherville, West Hants, NS., circa 1890. The Mosher family was among the Planter settlers coming from New England to Nova Scotia in the 1760s, while the Caseys arrived in East Hants in the late 18th/early 19th century.

     Rufus and Bertha had four children, Ruby, Marion, Gertrude and Norman. The oldest child, Ruby, married Frank Palmer, and they settled in Stanley, NS, and became my grandparents. Marion and Gertrude Casey traveled “out West” and eventually made their way to Boston circa 1920. Their reason for leaving Nova Scotia was that they were seeking better opportunities. Gertrude, a school teacher, worked in a bank and Marion became a nanny to a family in the greater Boston area.*

     Norman would eventually join his sisters in Boston, but later settled in Toronto. He married and was the father of three children. One of his sons played briefly for the Toronto Argonauts football team in the 1960s.

     Gertrude married James Breen. They settled in the Newton area of Boston and had seven children, raising them in the Auburndale suburb of Newton. A couple of their grandchildren are graduates of Princeton and West Point.

     Both sisters stayed in touch with my grandmother and made at least one trip home to Nova Scotia, as did their brother. My grandmother also traveled to attend the weddings of some of her nieces and nephews. I have maintained contact with the Breen family and with my husband and daughter have attended several family gatherings in New Hampshire. One of Gertrude’s great-granddaughters has done extensive research on the Casey and Mosher family histories which spans both East and West Hants.

  • An interesting side note on Gertrude concerns her brief career as a school teacher. The Provincial Normal College (PNC) records show that she attended PNC during the term beginning in September 1914. Her age is recorded as 15 years, 10 months, suggesting that she was born about November 1898. She had previously applied for and received a Nova Scotia teaching license, a D License, in 1913 after finishing grade XI, although she had had no teacher training prior to that. It appears she did not teach with this license before her application to PNC for the 1914 term. At the end of her term at PNC, she received a Second Rank Diploma. She is recorded as having taught in East Hants during 1915-1916 and West Hants 1916-1919, before leaving Nova Scotia for the West. [Thanks to Harold Stewart, a volunteer at The Little White Schoolhouse Museum in Truro, NS, for retrieving this information for us.]

Shown below: Family gathering, N. Attleboro, MA, 2018. Joy Morash is seated far right, middle row.