French Family Association

The Official Website of the Surname French

Chart #57, Edward French, 1737
(combined with former Chart #44)

FrenchÕs Cove, Bay Roberts, Harbour Grace, and Bareneed,
Newfoundland, Canada;
New Westminster, British Colombia, Canada

Eighth Generation

This chart updated by Mara French on 9/8/13. Numbers in brackets [ ] show sources and refer to the bibliography at the end of this chart. An asterisk (*) shows continuation of that line. Send any corrections or additions to this chart to Revisions: 2009, 2011, 2013.


Home Page of the FFA

Home Page of FFA Chart 57

Bibliography and Records


GENEALOGY   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10

Eighth Generation

Children of James Henry French and Ada Mae Wamboldt, 7.12

8.1 Harry H. French, b. 14 Jan 1903 in Nova Scotia, Canada, d. 9 Oct 1983. In 1920 he was 16 and living in Acton, Middlesex Co., MA. Last lived in Shirley, Middlesex Co., MA. He m. Ovena Canton.

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Another day of hunting for Harry H. French. I don't know of any contemporary hunters who dress so properly for the job. I guess you could say Harry was a 'gentleman huntsman'. -- from the French Family of Acton Archives, private collection. Second photo is ca. 1940. Harry H. French was a skilled hunter and marksman. Farmers liked to hire him to rid their property of such pests as woodchucks, and he supplemented his income in this manner. -- from the French Family of Acton Archives, private collection.

8.2 Kenneth ÒTedÓ Gordon French, b. 1904 in Nova Scotia, Canada. He lived in Action, Middlesex Co., MA, in the 1920 census.

8.3 Beulah H. French, b. 1905 in Nova Scotia, Canada, d. 14 Oct 1937 in Acton, MA. She m. George M. Hardy, and had at least 3 children in the 1930 census: Richard, Walter, Charlotte.

8.4* Charles Benson French, b. 12 Jan 1908 in Acton, Middlesex Co., MA, d. 9 Nov 1988 in Marlborough, Middlesex Co., MA. He m. Annabell and had at least 3 children. He d. 9 Nov 1988 in Marlborough, Middlesex Co., MA. He m. Annabel B. Doucette in Jul 1928. In 1930 they lived in Hartford, Windsor Co., VT. In 1940 they lived in Cambridge, Middlesex Co., MA. They had at least 3 children.

8.5 Elsie L. French, b. 1913 in MA.

8.6 Mary Helen French, b. 17 Sep 1915 in MA.

8.7 James H. French, Jr., b. 1817 in MA.

8.8 Edith G. French, b. 1920 in MA, the 1940 census states she is a daughter, not a granddaughter.

8.9 Marjorie L. French, b. 1925 in MA, the 1940 census states she is a daughter, not a granddaughter.

8.10 Robert George French, Jr., b. 23 Apr 1930 in MA, the 1940 census states he is a son, not a grandson. In 1996 he is listed in the directory at P.O. Box 30, Cambridge, ME, born 23 Apr 1930, and listed as Robert G. French Jr., which makes me think he was a grandson. However, the Massachusetts Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988, have a handwritten listing of Robert George French, born in Acton, MA, to James Henry and Ada Mae Wamboldt, and that James Henry was a truck driver and his father was in ColeyÕs Point, Newfoundland, Canada, and his mother was born in Westfield. Ada Mae WamaboldtÕs father was born in Bay Roberts, Newfoundland, Canada, and her mother was born in Queens Co., Nova Scotia.

Children of Edgar Garfield French and Edith Benson, 7.15

8.11 Fred French, died before 1939.

8.12 Don French, living in 2010.

8.13* David Benson French, b. 18 Jan 1939 in ColeyÕs Point, d. 5 Dec 2010 at age 71 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Jerry and Brenda Mercer, the Victoria Museum Playhouse, and the community of Bay Roberts were saddened at David French's passing in December, 2010. They give their sincere condolences to his partner, Glenda MacFarlane, his son Gareth and his daughter Mary. Brenda Mercer was able to visit with David in Toronto last fall. At that time, she informed him about the Canadian Culture Days production of Salt-Water Moon. The Mercers are pleased to display items from David at the Museum, including the typewriter he used to write many of his plays.

See various websites:    website 1    website 2    website 3


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Award-winning playwright and Officer of the Order of Canada, David French joined Trent University students at Champlain and Gzowski colleges during the Fall of 2003 as a writer-in-residence. He shared his experience of more than four decades with high school students, local theatre groups and interested community members.

Champlain College has had writers-in-residence for more than 30 years, the first of whom was Margaret Laurence. In each of the last five years, the college has welcomed five writers-in-residence, among them, Dennis Lee, Andrew Pyper and Michael Ondaatje. Mr. French was in residence between October 6 and 17, 2003.

"David French had one of the most sustained careers in the Canadian theatre," says Prof. Stephen Brown, master, Champlain College. "ItÕs fair to call him the Canadian dean of playwriting, and thatÕs what made him attractive to us."

Mr. French was best known for his semi-autobiographical Mercer Family series plays Leaving Home, Of The Fields, Lately, Salt-Water Moon, 1949, and SoldierÕs Heart. These plays, based on a Newfoundland family, have been performed across Canada and the United States. Of The Fields, Lately has been produced on Broadway along with The Seagull, which starred Jon Voight, Laura Linney, Tyne Daley, Tony Roberts and Ethan Hawke.

Originally produced by TorontoÕs Tarragon Theatre in 1979, Mr. FrenchÕs Jitters has since had hundreds of productions throughout the world, including a highly acclaimed six-month run at the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven. Jitters was revived with success in Toronto by CentreStage in 1987.

Mr. FrenchÕs plays have inspired screenplays, been filmed as full-length drama specials for CBC Television and translated into French and Spanish. They have garnered awards such as the Hollywood Drama-Logue Critics Award, the Canadian AuthorsÕ Association Award for Drama, the Dora Mavor Moore Award, Outstanding New Play and the Chalmers Award for Best New Canadian Play. Born in ColeyÕs Point, Newfoundland, Mr. French was the first inductee into the Newfoundland Arts Hall of Honour in 1989.

In his more than 40-year career, Mr. French has worked as a professional actor and in the 1960s and 1970s, wrote half-hour television dramas and episodes of the CBC childrenÕs series Razzle Dazzle. He has adapted his stage plays for radio and has written several original radio dramas and screenplays as well as dozens of short stories, poems and song lyrics for a musical revue.

Mr. French has, in the last four decades, given many Canada Council-sponsored readings and workshops at universities, theatres and libraries throughout Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes.

French moved with his family from Newfoundland to Toronto when he was 6. He studied acting after high school, performing professionally (1960-65) before turning full time to playwriting. His earliest plays were half-hour TV dramas broadcast on CBC, beginning with "Beckons the Dark River" (1963). His first stage play, Leaving Home (1972), produced and directed by Bill GLASSCO at Toronto's TARRAGON THEATRE, portrayed with humour and powerful emotion the generational conflict and cultural alienation within a Toronto family of transplanted Newfoundlanders. Its sequel, Of the Fields, Lately (1973), won the Jean A. Chalmers Outstanding Play Award and cemented French's position as Canada's foremost stage realist. The third play in what became "the Mercer Trilogy,"Salt-Water Moon (1984), follows the courtship of the characters who turn up as the parents in the other 2 plays. It won the Hollywood Drama-League Critics Award for Best Play in Los Angeles in 1985, and the Canadian Authors Association Literary Award for the next year. The trilogy became a tetralogy with 1949 (1989), in which the expatriate islanders gather in Toronto on the eve of Newfoundland's union with Canada. Jitters (1979), a backstage comedy, remains one of the most frequently produced plays in the history of Canadian theatre.

DAVID BENSON FRENCH, O.C. Playwright 1939 - 2010 David French was born on Wednesday, January 18, 1939 in Coley's Point, Newfoundland. It was a snowy, blustery day in the tiny outport and David's father arrived home with the doctor in tow to find the baby already nestled in his mother's arms. David was the third of the five sons born to Edith Benson French and Garfield French; two older boys -- Fred and Don -- came before him and twin brothers Wallace and Billy followed a year and a half later. David's first years were spent in Coley's Point, a place he remembered vividly and held close all of his life. During World War II, Garfield, a carpenter, worked for the Eastern Air Command in Canada and after the war Edith and the boys joined their father in Ontario. Granny French soon came to live with the family, too and David, who spent many hours reading the Bible to her, became her particular favourite. In Toronto David attended Rawlinson Public School, where he excelled in sports. He went on to high school at Harbord Collegiate and completed Grade 13 at Oakwood Collegiate, where he made several lifelong friends. David was initially uninterested in books, but in Grade Eight a teacher made him sit down and read a book as a punishment for talking in class. The volume David happened to pull off the shelf was Twain's The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and by the time he finished reading it he not only knew he wanted to be a writer, he knew that he was one. Almost immediately he started to have poetry published in small magazines. In the late 1950s and early 60s, David studied acting, first at the Pasadena Playhouse in California and later at various Toronto acting studios. He got work as a leading man in several CBC television dramas, but soon turned to writing instead. Throughout the 1960s David wrote many half-hour teleplays for the CBC as well as working on the children's series Razzle Dazzle. In 1971, David took a draft of a play he was working on to a new theatre in Toronto, the Tarragon, run by Bill Glassco. That play was Leaving Home, which was an enormous success in the Tarragon's first season and led to a thirty-year collaboration between the two men, with Bill directing each of David's premiere productions. Leaving Home went on to be produced at every regional theatre in Canada - the first Canadian play to do so. Leaving Home introduced audiences to the Mercers, a family, which, like David's own, had been transplanted from Newfoundland to Toronto. David wrote four more plays about the Mercer family: Of The Fields, Lately, Salt-Water Moon, 1949 and Soldier's Heart. David's other plays include the popular comedy Jitters, the dramas That Summer, The Riddle of the World, and One Crack Out, the mystery Silver Dagger, plus adaptations of The Seagull, The Forest, and Miss Julie. His work has been produced internationally and throughout North America, including on and off-Broadway runs. In recent years, Toronto's Soulpepper Theatre has staged highly-acclaimed and successful revivals of his work. David was one of the first inductees into the Newfoundland Hall of Honour. He was a recipient of the Queen's Silver Jubilee Medal and in 2001 was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada. David was predeceased by his parents and his brother Fred. He is survived by his partner Glenda MacFarlane, and their daughter Mary; his son Gareth; former spouse and friend Leslie French; brothers Don, Bill, and Wallace and their spouses, as well as his many nieces and nephews and their families. David also leaves behind a host of dear friends across the country, but especially in Toronto and at Cable Head, PEI, where he spent the past forty summers. A Memorial Service will be held on Friday, December 10 at 2 p.m. at Metropolitan United Church, 56 Queen Street East, Toronto. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Writers Trust (90 Richmond Street East, Toronto M5C 1P1) would be greatly appreciated.

8.14 Wallace Cecil French (twin), b. 23 Jun 1940, living in 2010. He petitioned for naturalization in New York City on 27 Apr 1977. He was living at 303 Shearwater Court West, Apt. 31, Jersey City, NJ 07305-5413.

8.15 William ÒBillyÓ French (twin), b. 23 Jun 1940, living in 2010.

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Twins William and Wallace with brother David.

Children of Robert Charles French and Bessie Brown, 7.19

8.16 Edward W. French, b. 30 Jan 1908 or 22 Apr 1908 in ColeyÕs Point or Bay Roberts, Newfoundland, Canada, m. Josephine Caswell on 28 Apr 1939 [4]. Josephine was an FFA member [49]. He appears in the 1920 census of Watertown, Middlesex Co., MA, age 11. This poor copy of a record of registry shows that Edward entered the U.S. on 22 Apr 1908 to Vanceboro, Maine, showing a destination of Watertown, MA.

8.17 Albert G. French, b. 28 Aug 1910 in Watertown, Middlesex Co., MA, appears in the 1920 census of Watertown, Middlesex Co., MA, age 9. He d. on 2 Jun 2009 in Sudbury, Middlesex Co., MA, according to the Social Security Death Index. He lived at 655 Boston Post Rd., in Sudbury.

8.18 Lily B. French, b. 1912 in Watertown, Middlesex Co., MA, appears in the 1920 census of Watertown, Middlesex Co., MA, age 8.

Children of William Aquilla French and Mary Jane Kelly, 7.21

8.19 Myra French, b. 12 Dec 1902, chr. 22 Dec 1902 [4]. She died unmarried at Brigus, Newfoundland, on 20 Feb 1986, age 83. See

8.20 William Frederick French, b. 23 Jun 1905, chr. 24 Jun 1905, d. 8 Sep 1905 at 2 months old [4].

8.21 Harold French, b. 17 Mar 1911, chr. 3 Apr 1911 [4].

Children of John Charles French Sr. and Gertrude Mae Marson, 7.27

8.22* Ralph H. French, b. 12 Nov 1901 in Jamaica Plain, MA. In the 1920 census, he was living in Plainville, Norfolk Co., MA. He d. 16 Sep 1994 in Millinocket, Penobscot Co., ME. He m. Marion Elizabeth Pearson and had at least 2 sons, Edwin R. French and Peter A. French as per the 1940 census of Millinocket, Penobscot Co., ME. Marion was b. 10 Jul 1903 in Newcastle, Lincoln, ME, and d. 10 Feb 1989 in Millinocket, Penobscot Co., ME.

8.23* John C. French, Jr., b. 1 Sep 1903 in Mansfield, MA. In the 1920 census, he was living in Plainville, Norfolk Co., MA. He d. 27 Dec 1989 in Burlington, Chittenden of chronic obstructive lung disease. He m. Helen Campbell. He was buried with his parents and his wife at Lakeview Cemetery, Burlington, Chittenden Co., VT. Helen was b. 1901 and d. 1994. They had John C. French III by the 1930 census, just born.

Children of Maxwell French and Florence Morrison, 7.35

8.24 Wilma French.

Children of Maxwell French and Marguerite Pearl Clark, 7.35

8.25 Karen French.

8.26 Maxwell French.


Bibliography and Records