Fonds RBSC-ARC-1726 - Bamford family fonds

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Bamford family fonds

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on the provenance of the fonds.

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Physical description

1.96 m of textual records and other material

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(1889-2003, predominant 1910-2003 (Creation))

Biographical history

William Bamford (b. 3 June 1826) was born in England and immigrated to Canada in 1860. On 26 August 1862, Bamford married Lydia Ann Blackley in Belleville, Ontario. Blackley was a descendent of American Loyalists who fled Boston, Massachusetts, in 1785 and settled in Picton, Prince Edward County, Ontario. William Bamford and Lydia Blackley lived in Ancaster and Burlington, Ontario, where Bamford worked as a manufacturer and later as a store keeper and merchant. The couple had three sons that lived to adulthood: William Blackley Bamford; Charles Harry Sydney Bamford, who became the director of Ashdown Hardware Company; and Thomas Henry Lord Bamford, who was a merchant of the firm of Hicks and Bamford.

William Blackley Bamford (10 Sept. 1863-29 Aug. 1946) was a railroader, beginning his career in 1880 as a telegraph operator. In 1889, he married Henrietta Odell in in Sherbrooke, Quebec, and had at least one son, William Blackley Stanley Bamford, and one daughter, Florence Odell Bamford (d. 7 July 1918). Bamford served as a Canadian Pacific Railway operator, station agent, and later traveling freight agent and district freight agent in several Ontario cities and towns. He moved to St. John, New Brunswick, in 1910 to act as a division freight agent before returning to Ontario in 1916. In 1920 he was transferred to the Kootenay and Boundary Division at Nelson, British Columbia. Bamford’s retirement from the CPR became effective 31 December 1928 after 48 years as a railroader.

William Blackley Stanley Bamford (24 Jan. 1890-9 Oct. 1966) was born in Elora, Ontario, and enjoyed a long career in the banking industry. In 1908, he secured his first position with the Traders Bank of Canada in Tweed, Ontario, and in 1917, he obtained a job as a temporary clerk with the Bank of Montreal. He continued with the company in various roles and through a transfer to Vancouver, British Columbia, until his retirement in April 1952. Bamford married Amy Lauretta Huestis on 26 December 1929 at St. Mark’s Church in Vancouver. The couple had one son, William Huestis Bamford.

William Huestis Bamford (17 Sept. 1930- ) was at born in, Vancouver, British Columbia. After completing his schooling in Vancouver, Bamford worked briefly in the British Columbia forestry sector before joining the Canadian Army. Bamford acted as a driver mechanic, attaining the rank of Lance Corporal, and spent one year overseas in Korea before leaving the service in April 1954. Bamford then worked briefly as a taxi driver before becoming an employee of Canada Post in June 1956. Bamford served as a letter carrier and later as a supervisory letter carrier in Richmond and Vancouver until his retirement. Bamford married Esther Adelina Lasell Blyth in July 1957 in Vancouver. Bamford was step-father to his wife’s four children from a prior marriage: Lynne, Sharon, Roy, and Verne.

William Blackley Bamford, William Blackley Stanley Bamford, and William Huestis Bamford were all avid diarist and kept line-a-day or page-a-day diaries for most of their adult lives.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists of diaries, scrapbooks, and correspondence spanning the period 1910-2003 and related to the professional and personal lives of three generations of the Bamford family—William Blackley Bamford, his son William Blackley Stanley Bamford, and his grandson William Huestis Bamford—as well as to members of the Lasell and Ord families, related by marriage to William Huestis Bamford. Diaries in the fonds include concise “five year” or “line a day” diaries, as well as more detailed daily journals and many cover aspects of the Bamfords’ professional and personal life.

Scrapbooks in the fonds, which contain newspaper clippings, ephemera, correspondence, photographs, notes, and other material, primarily reflect the Bamfords’ personal interests, but also interests their chosen professions and employers, including the Canadian Pacific Railway Company and the Bank of Montreal. Beyond the incoming and outgoing personal and professional correspondence included in the scrapbooks, the Esther Adelina Lasell Bamford series contains incoming correspondence related to a branch of the Ord family living in New Zealand.

The fonds is arranged into four series by family member: William Blackley Bamford; William Blackley Stanley Bamford; William Huestis Bamford; and Esther Adelina Lasell Bamford.

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Immediate source of acquisition

The original accession was donated to Rare Books and Special Collections at UBC Library by William Huestis Bamford on 9 July 2013.


Diaries and scrapbooks in the fonds are arranged in chronological order.

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No further accruals are expected.

Physical description

Includes 52 diaries and 6 scrapbooks containing multiple media.

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Finding aid prepared by Chelsea Shriver (June, 2015)

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