The Cannons were from Prince Edward Island. This is where I started. I knew my grandfather’s father was named Milton. I also knew that my grandfather’s mother was named Agnes Claire Croken, and that she was the reason that branch of the family was Catholic.

artemas-herbert---albert-leslie-cannonPictured here are two of Milton’s older brothers who served overseas in World War I: Albert Leslie Cannon (right) and Artemas Herbert Cannon (left). Herb made it home. Leslie died at age 23 of bronchopneumonia at the Camiers-Dannes Military Hospital in France

Leslie’s obituary read: “Mr. Albert C. Cannon, Charlottetown, has received word that his son, Pte. Albert Leslie Cannon is officially reported died of bronco pneumonia, 18th General Hospital, Dannes, Comiers, Nov. 27th.

Pte. Cannon went over with the 105th and has two brothers also serving in France. Miss Pearl Cannon of Summerside is a sister.”

The patriarch noted above, Albert Cannon, is where I found a new-to-me family mystery starting with Albert’s baptismal record.

Albert Cannon was baptized on February 24th, 1875 at St. Mary’s Anglican Church in Summerside when he was 11-years old. He is noted as being “illegitimate,” with his mother being listed as Elizabeth Canon [sic]. He next appears in the 1881 census at age 17, living in Charlottetown at a blacksmith’s house as an apprentice. His childhood remains shrouded in mystery.


Via Prince Edward Island PARO Collections database

In hopes of determining the identity of Albert’s mother, I consulted with some distant (and other not so distant) relatives who have done their own research on the Cannons. I also looked at the ages and locations of  Elizabeth Cannons living in Prince Edward Island at the time.

It seems likely that the mother of Albert Cannon could have been Elizabeth Jane Cannon (1844-1904), daughter of Samuel Cannon (1819-1902) and Susanna Wallace (1818-1901).

Elizabeth Jane Cannon would have been 19 years old at the time of Albert’s birth in 1863. Three years later she married William Ellis, with whom she had 10 children. The Ellis family eventually moved to Middlesex, Massachusetts where Elizabeth passed away in 1904. She was buried in Bideford, PEI where she was married.

Other than being the right age in the right place, a cousin who is also descendant of Albert Cannon has done DNA testing and moderately matched with descendants of Samuel Cannon.

Elizabeth Jane Cannon’s ancestry offers up a number of interesting avenues to explore. I’ve already done some digging. But how sure can you ever be? Can I fairly draw a line back from “Elizabeth Canon” to Samuel and Susannah? I certainly feel inclined to do so.


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