Albert E. Berry in a photograph taken more than 100 years ago

Albert E. Berry in a photograph taken more than 100 years ago

Vernon pioneer remembered

Vernon & District Family History Society holds an open house, where the secrets of genealogy will all be revealed

Albert Edward Berry was born August 1890 in Bristol, England, the first of four children in the family of Henry and Jennie Berry. Jennie died soon after the birth of their fourth child in June 1895. In June 1899 Henry remarried to Ellen Toogood and they had six children.

In April 1911 he sailed from Bristol on the ship Royal Edward, arriving at St. John, N.B. His Canadian arrival form says his destination is Vernon. I don’t know how or why he picked Vernon.

Soon after his arrival here he had the above photo taken and sent copies to his family in Bristol. He is standing at the north end of what is now the Briteland building, with the bell tower of All Saints Anglican Church visible over his left shoulder (the church building was severely damaged by a fire in September 1931).

His first job here was teamster for Major E.H. Cunliffe in Coldstream, then office work for Okanagan Fruit Union and the City of Vernon.

With the outbreak of the First World War, he began training at the Army Camp with the 30th BC Horse Militia Regiment. In August 1916 he joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force and by Sept. 25, he was in England for more training. Transferred to France in April 1917, he was wounded Sept. 27, 1918 at the Battle of Cambrai. He was hospitalized in England until June 1919 when he returned to Vernon. He worked for the City of Vernon until 1922, then Okanagan United Growers until 1924. He married Doris M. Costerton Dec. 1, 1921 at All Saints Anglican Church and honeymooned by cruising to Penticton and back on the steamboat Sicamous.

In October 1924 he joined the firm of C. F. Costerton Ltd. Real Estate & Insurance Agents. Costerton died in July 1930, and Albert took over the management of the business. In 1938 the company’s name was changed to A. E. Berry Ltd.

He died in August 1963 while on a trip to Bristol, England to visit his siblings.

Everyone is welcome to come and learn more about the Vernon & District Family History Society and activities during our open house Saturday.

Our volunteers will be available to explain the projects we are involved with and how we can help you do your family history/genealogy research more effectively.

Posters and demonstrations on our computer research tools will be available, as well as Legacy family tree capture software, how to document and validate your records, examples of our quarterly journal, language translation tips and the wonderful genealogy holdings of our library, plus our cemetery research projects.

Please bring any questions and we will try to help your research efforts.

The open house takes place Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Peace Lutheran Church in Vernon, 1204-30th Ave.