Thorne & Bryan Genealogy
   Last Page Activity: March 22, 2014   

Mercy 'Irene' SHAW

Birth:         July 25 1890  Saint John, New Brunswick

                 Registration of her birth is quoted in 1956 as "Mercie Irene Shaw"

Baptized:   Feb 23, 1906 by Rev A A Graham BD, Minister, Saint David's United Church 

Father:      James SHAW

Mother:     Catherine JONES born 1854    Family was Baptist.  Married James SHAW Jan 4, 1876 by Rev Dr. Mathers

Fraser Campbell MORRISON

Birth:      28 Apr 1892   Saint John, New Brunswick

Death:     Lachute, Quebec

Father:   William Sommerville MORRISON MD (1849-1938)

Mother:  Mary KENNEDY (1854-1936)


Marriage:   25 Apr 1916   Hazen St., Saint John, New Brunswick

Children:  None


In Praise of "Aunt Irene"

Irene was a rock for the Morrisons.  She was small but feisty with a mind for business and an inclination for keeping house on a limited budget. She saw her husband and her husband's family through some rough times and had energy to spare. When she laughed she would throw her head back and, with mouth wide open, express her pleasure in the moment. 

But it is Irene (the last of her line of Shaws) Morrison's thoughtfulness in keeping family records, papers, photographs and keepsakes that will endure her to the family for generations to come.


Ketepec,  New Brunswick 1914
This grouping of photos believed to have been on her family's farm ca 1916 ... perhaps just before her marriage to Fraser Morrison or during their honeymoon around New Brunswick.  

1901 Census show living at the home of James Shaw St. John sub-district 21 - Wellington

James Shaw  age 68
Kate Shaw      age 47
Mary Shaw      age 34
Ethel Shaw      age 20
Henry Shaw     age 19
Irene Shaw       age 10
SHAW farm Wellington, St John, New Brunswick   SHAW family women ca 1916 
SHAW family  SHAW women 
SHAW family on steps of farm house  SHAW Mercy Irene left with most likely her sister Ethel ca 1916 Irene (nee SHAW) MORRISON 1919 
SHAW - MORRISON wedding invitation 
MORRISON-SHAW wedding newspaper clipping
Irene (nee SHAW) Morrison wed Apr 25 1916 - This picture taken May 18, 1916 at Receiving Day after honeymoon 
Irene (nee SHAW) MORRISON wed Fraser MORRISON Apr 25 1916 - This picture taken May 18, 1916 at Receiving Day after honeymoon.

Following are some of the things she shared with us about her life and others in our family: 

  • From a letter to great-niece Sherrie (Bryan) Thorne April 17, 1972:  "... When you wrote about buying the swag lamp, I had to go looking in catalogues to find out what it was.  They were just hanging lamps in our young days and usually hung from ceiling with an oil lamp at the bottom; only real likeness was chains.  We belong to the oil and gas days, when a daily duty was to wash and polish the lamp chimneys.  Times have sure changed; our roads weren't paved and in dry weather the horses feet plop-plopped in the dust and you wore a "duster" to protect your good clothes, and a linen rug over your knees to help there.  And if it was only a mile or two you walked. In town you had time to look at shop windows and see the neighbors too.


  • From a letter to great-niece Sherrie (Bryan) Thorne April 24, 1977:  "... I never had a christening gown and wasn't given my name in the usual fashion for we lived then in the country and such things probably weren't too important.  Anyway, when I wished to become a proper member of the church in (I think) my 13th year, the christening had to be performed and Irene walked on her two feet, my hat removed to the front of church before the font and there the Rev Angus A Graham did the job and my mind was wondering if the water that dribbled down the front of my Sunday blue dress would stain it. 
  • "Now another story -- PIGS -- pigs is pigs.  When Fraser and I were first married (I was 26) there were 2 little pigs in a large pen on a bit of side hill between house + barn + on east.  We sat on our step on Sunday afternoon and looking up towards the WEST what was our surprised to see 2 little pigs trotting to us, side by side.  Our quiet hour was busted.  Fraser headed for barn, grabbed pail with some feed, flipped the feed trough outside the fence and the poor little fools stuck their snouts into the feed.  We stood directly behind them and Frasers words were 'When I say grab ..... GRAB !'  He said it and I grabbed mine (he got his) and there I was my arms clasped around the middle of a fat piggy its four legs sticking straight out and its snout towards heaven and the squeals -- I can still hear them.  They were dumped over the fence, the trough went along to occupy them while Fraser closely checked the fence and ground at the base of it.  I forget what they got out by; but you watch your fence.   continued ...
Some years later at Ritchie Lake, we had 1 pig up to fair size and it apparently got sick of being alone; digging rough ground and it escaped and two days later was secured at a farm half a mile away.  So watch your fences.  I like pigs, they are clean animals unless humans force them to live in small dirty pens.  They always pick the same corner as a toilet and it makes a spot to get a bit of good garden earth.  And people talk about them rolling in mud.  No worse than some fancy humans and mud packs for beauty (if any).  I've seen little piggy that you could hold on your lap go rooting his wee snout under a tough grass root and digging so hard that the little hind legs would fly off the ground with his effort.  Saw a piglet whose mother had one too many for the milk suppliers.  He was bottle fed and grew into good bacon and ham.  And this is all my present scratching.  hope you can read it.  Love Aunt Irene" WEB PAGE St John New Brunswick house - in SHAW Mercy Irene  m MORRISON Album ca 1918  
1918 Irene (nee SHAW) MORRISON is joking around in 20 below temperatures. 
1918 Irene (nee SHAW) MORRISON is joking around in 20 degrees below temperatures. 
St John sleigh ride at 20 degrees below  
 SHAW Irene 1914  SHAW Irene - children unknown SHAW Mercy Irene 
Irene SHAW with Mary nee Kennedy MORRISON Irene SHAW at Ketepec NB 1914
SHAW Irene (R)  with future mother-in-law Mary nee KENNEDY MORRISON (L) - June 8, 1914  Irene SHAW at Ketepec, New Brunswick with MORRISON family 1914 
  • PASSPORT:  Irene's May 1957 passport reads:  Profession:  "Housewife"  Place and date of birth:  "Golden Grove, New Brunswick, Canada 25 July 1890;  Resident: "Canada"  Height: "5 Ft. 4½ Ins";  Colour of eyes: "Blue";  Colour of hair:  "Grey".   Other than her Canadian Citizenship stamp, there were no others.