Andrew May was the fifth generation of Mays to live in the St. Catharines area. May was born on August 24th 1830 on his father’s 300 acre estate in Grantham Township. As a young boy the family moved into St. Catharines where May was educated at “the Old Academy” (notes by Andrew May, May-Morey collection). May later moved to Hamilton where he studied portrait painting with John B. and Mark Harrison.

While May studied art in Hamilton Ontario, a continual flood of letters and valentines arrived for Erecta. On March 1st 1853, the two long-time valentines wed and later had four children together; Louise E. (1854-1945), Annie E. (1859-1978), Lallah F. (1860-1917) and William Andrew (1870- 1948). Shortly after marriage the couple moved to London where May moved from art into dentistry under the tutelage of Dr. Darine Perrin. In 1860, after two years of study the couple returned to St. Catharines where May set up his own dental practice. May became very resourceful making all of his own tools and “also remodeled an old sewing machine for a lathe” (notes by Andrew May, May-Morey Collection). Some of his inventions were even patented, such as the “waxing up tool for dental trial plates” (Patent, Andrew May- Dentist, May-Morey Collection). The couple is buried together, along with two of their daughters Louise and Annie at Victoria Lawn Cemetery in St. Catharines (Grantham Township Ancestors, SPCL FC 3153 G6 P375 1999).

The May family has deep roots in the St. Catharines community beginning in 1739 and continuing today with the Mayholme Foundation. “Mayholme was built in 1857 for George May [Andrew May’s second cousin] by Orren Cole, of the Cole Brothers, Ten Mile Creek (Homer). This was the second house on the property granted in 1801 by the Crown to Peter May, U. E . George May, farmed here until his death in 1891, when he willed the property to his daughter Anna May who had married Eugene F. Dwyer in 1877. Their son Leslie continued farming, selling most of this land just shortly before his death in 1970. The remaining property and the house were inherited by his daughter Corlene (Dwyer) Taylor who has donated it to the Mayholme Foundation which she founded” to aid people in researching their past. (http://www.st.catharines.com/recreation/rec_ps_culture_events_doorsopen.asp)

Click here to view the May-Morey Papers fonds finding aid: http://dr.library.brocku.ca/bitstream/handle/10464/2690/morey.pdf

Recent Submissions

  • Notes - Andrew May 

    May, Andrew (n.d.)
    Notes written by Andrew May that discuss his family history, education, dental career and hobbies.
  • May Family Tree 

    Unknown author (n.d.)
    The May family tree begins with Peter May (b. 1723) and the last entry includes William Amrhein born 1933.
  • Cotillion Party Invitation 

    Unknown author (1851-01-15)
    An invitation to a cotillion party at the D. Coleman Assembly Room in Port Robinson, 15 January 1851. Thee are a list of managers listed.
  • Letter from Delia E. Warner to Erecta Morey, 17 September 1852 

    Warner, Delia E. (1852-09-17)
    The letter begins with Delia Warner describing her journey to Dunville and arriving to see Eliza Kennedy. She discusses where she will go next and the travels of other mutual friends.
  • Letter from Joseph Cowan to Erecta Morey, 8 October 1849 

    Cowan, Joseph (1849-10-08)
    A letter from Joseph Cowan to Erecta Morey in which he discusses Erecta possibly getting married. He also mentions that he is in Chatham. He refers to Erecta as his Aunt through the letter and mentions the name Mr. Cougle ...
  • Letter from Delia E. Warner to Erecta Morey, 8 November 1852 

    Warner, Delia E. (1852-11-08)
    Letter to Erecta Morey from her friend Delia. Her friend, Delia, discusses Andrew May, and talks about a possible break in Erecta's relationship with him. She also discusses their friendship and how currently there are ...
  • Letter from Andrew May to Erecta Morey, 2 September 1852 

    May, Andrew (1852-09-02)
    The letter begins with Andrew May remarking that he has written again while waiting for reply from Erecta Morey. He hopes that she will respond soon with word on how she is doing. The second part of the letter mentions ...
  • Letter from Andrew May to Erecta Morey, 31 March 1852 

    May, Andrew (1852-03-31)
    A letter from Andrew May to Erecta Morey with a note at the top that reads "Steamer Caspian". The letter discusses a difficult few days, which included, get to the Steamer and, becoming ill with the cold, getting aboard ...
  • Letter from Andrew May to Erecta Morey, 4 July 1852 

    May, Andrew (1852-07-04)
    At the start of the letter, Andrew May mentions that Erecta had been ill and suffering from "the quinzey". He also mentions how business is going well and that they currently have a boarder that knows Erecta and had ...
  • Letter from Andrew May to Erecta Morey, 25 June 1851 

    May, Andrew (1851-06-25)
    In this letter, Andrew May mentions that he is staying at the Commercial Hotel and that "George and John are are at work for the same man and prospects are favourable". He discusses Chicago and a recent Rail Road Celebration ...
  • Letter from Andrew May to Erecta Morey, 6 January 1851 

    May, Andrew (1851-01-06)
    Andrew May writes to Erecta Morey about the lack of boats going through Buffalo and how it would be difficult for him to make any wages from the bar at the house. He also discusses a Cotillion party that he plans to take ...
  • Letter from Andrew May to Erecta Morey, 27 November 1850 

    May, Andrew (1850-11-27)
    Andrew May begins the letter by discussing a fire that has broken out "on main street near the Churches". He goes on to tell his "sweet girl" how much he misses her and to write soon.
  • Letter from Andrew May to Erecta Morey, 10 November 1850 

    May, Andrew (1850-11-10)
    A letter from Andrew May to Erecta Morey with a poem at the end that reads: "Loves the night when the moon streams bright, On flowers that drink the dew. When cascades shout as the stars peep out, From the boundless ...
  • Letter from Andrew May to Erecta Morey, 14 May 1850 

    May, Andrew (1850-05-14)
    A letter from Andrew May to Erecta Morey in which he mentions that the last time they were together Erecta had described him as dull and long faced. He states that he was sad to say goodbye and that he has been lonesome ...
  • Letter from Andrew May to Erecta Morey, 17 March 1850 

    May, Andrew (1850-03-17)
    Andrew May writes to Erecta Morey and discusses his friend George Bervel. He mentions that he has become distant since their time in St. Catharines.
  • Letter from Andrew May to Erecta Morey, 23 February 1850 

    May, Andrew (1850-02-23)
    In this letter from Andrew May, he discusses a dream he remembers and Electra is there in the Love joy house, but she looks wasted away like a skeleton. He ends the letter mentioning that he will see her in two to four months.
  • Letter from Andrew May to Erecta Morey, 28 November 1849 

    May, Andrew (1849-11-28)
    The letter begins with Andrew May thanking Electra for her last letter and hoping that she is feeling better since writing she was unwell. Andrew then begins to tell the story of a woman who had last been seen at the Eagle ...
  • Letter from Andrew May to Erecta Morey, 27 September 1849 

    May, Andrew (1849-09-27)
    A letter from Andrew May to Erecta Morey. Andrew begins by apologizing for not writing sooner and explains that those around him are interrupting his writing. He also mentions that it has been nearly three weeks since ...
  • Letter from Andrew May to Erecta Morey, 12 October 1849 

    May, Andrew (1849-10-12)
    A letter from Andrew May to Erecta Morey. He calls her his "Sweet Girl" and wishes he could be back in St. Catharines and wishes for Erecta to write back to him. He closes the letter with "Yours Forever, Andrew May".

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