File 238 - Ephemera : Christmas lists.

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Ephemera : Christmas lists.

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Biographical history

The Schantz Family in North America is large and widespread; alternative spellings of the last name includes variations such as Tschantz, Shantz, Shonts, and Schanz. The family descended from Jacob Schanz (June 12, 1710-February 5, 1781) who emigrated to the United States of America in 1737 and settled in Pennsylvania. In 1810 Jacob’s son Christian Shantz (1769-1857) came to Waterloo County and settled at Freeport on the Grand River.

Christian’s son Benjamin Shantz (1811-1868) was an early Waterloo County inhabitant and one of the founders of Port Elgin, Ontario where he settled in 1854 and established a grist and flour mill. Benjamin married Lydia Kolb (1814-1862) on April 10, 1842 and together they had ten children; Josiah K. Schantz (1834-1913), Catharine Schantz (May 17, 1836-February 28, 1917), Hannah Schantz (April 1, 1838-August 20, 1841), Christian Schantz (January 20, 1840-?), Tobias Schantz (1842-1925), Abraham K. Schantz (September 20, 1844-?), Benjamin K. Schantz (December 5, 1846), Menno K. Schantz (January 31, 1849-July 6, 1888), Lydia K. Schantz (August 17, 1851-July 16, 1900), Sarah K. Schantz (April 1, 1854-April 10, 1878), and Enoch K. Schantz (October 7, 1856-May 25, 1888).

When Lydia died in 1862, Benjamin remarried his housekeeper, Margaret Swinton. Benjamin and Margaret left Port Elgin, Ontario and settled in Dallas County, Missouri. Correspondence in the collection between Benjamin and his son Tobias recount Benjamin’s settler experiences in Dallas County, Missouri.

The Schantz Russell Family Papers centre around Tobias Schantz, his wife Mary Schantz and their descendants, drawing together primary sources relating to several early white settler families of Waterloo County, primarily the Schantz, Moyer/Meyer and Bowman families, and material relating to descendants of the Moyer settlers of Lincoln County, Ontario.

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Dorothy Etta Russell was a teacher and photographer. Born to Etta Lydia Mary White (nee Schantz) and Ward White on April 26, 1900 in the family home at 43 Schneider Avenue, Berlin (now Kitchener), Ontario. Shortly after giving birth, Dorothy’s mother died from complications of childbirth. At the time of Dorothy’s birth, her father was homesteading in Alberta and he remained out west after she was born.

Subsequently, Dorothy was raised by her grandmother Mary Schantz, her aunts Sophie Emma Schantz, and Florence Annie Catherine Schantz and her uncle Franklin Abram Schantz.

At the age of ten, Dorothy began attending school for the first time. She was enrolled in Courtland Avenue School in 1910. Later, she attended Victoria Public School. Between 1916 and 1920, Dorothy attended the Kitchener and Waterloo Collegiate Institute.

In September 1920, Dorothy enrolled in the Toronto Normal School to train as a teacher. She stayed at a boarding house in Toronto, Ontario during this time. Afterwards in 1921, Dorothy accepted a position at Suddaby Public School in Kitchener, Ontario as an assistant kindergarten teacher.

In 1923 Dorothy began taking Hawaiian guitar lessons from Clarke Russell and the two developed a relationship. The couple married on July 2, 1924. They moved to Chatham, Ontario around 1928.

Their first son Donald Richard Russell was born on February 24, 1929.

In 1933, Clarke moved to Toronto to pursue his music career. Dorothy and Donald moved back to Kitchener, Ontario and into the family home at 43 Schneider Avenue.

Dorothy and Clarke’s second son Harold Clarke Franklin Russell was born on September 14, 1935.

In 1937 Dorothy accepted a teaching position at Margaret Avenue School and stayed there until 1954. Afterwards, she taught at Prueter Public School until she retired in 1965.

Dorothy enjoyed a successful retirement spending time travelling and pursuing her interests including photography.

Dorothy died on January 18, 2005 after a period of illness.

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Scope and content

Two leaves of paper listing who Dorothy sent Christmas cards to from 1965-1969, their addresses, and whether she received one in return.

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Donated by Harold and Lynne Russell in 2011.


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  • English

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  • Described by JB in 2012.
  • Revised by NM in January 2019.

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  • English

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