Updates on Neil Charles, Nana’s brother

Nana’s statement that her brother Neil C. was struck or tripped as a child may have actually been referring to Neil’s son David, who fell as a child, hit his head on a rock, and developed epileptic seizures as a result. Since some of Nana’s stories of Neil’s fall involved him hitting his head on a rock, it’s possible Nana was confusing father and son, or both Neil and his son suffered a similar childhood injury.

Neil was indeed a “moonshiner” and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police came to arrest him one night and Neil jumped into his son’s bedroom to hide! The RCMP caught him and he served eight months in jail for moonshining.

[Source: Florence Gillis Gerus, Neil’s granddaughter (Duncan’s daughter)]

Nana strongly disliked her brother Neil. He wasn’t a nice man.
[Source: Mom]

Clarification: Neil Gillis left the Glendale farm after his wife died in 1943 and it’s now a forest, hard to get to, about 3.5 miles from church. Neil moved so that the family would be closer to the church, and took what he could from the old home to build his new home.

[Source: Jeannette MacVarish]

This sheds new light on Nana’s comment that Neil “Let the place go.” It sounds like he didn’t let the place go, but left it to build a better home for his family. Also, this corroborates Nana’s statements that the walk to school was long — it was three and a half miles

Neil also came to the United States and married Florence (his wife) at Gate of Heaven in East Boston in 1926 before returning to Glendale. Maple Brook was the area of Glendale that is now covered with trees.

[Source: Jeannette MacVarish]