Emily's Siblings title
Image of Emily's Siblings

My sister Alice was two years older than I and knew a lot. Lizzie was two years older than Alice and thought she knew it all. My big sister did know everything. Mother knew all about God. Father knew all about the earth. I knew more than our baby, but I was always wondering and wondering.

The Book of Small by Emily Carr
image#: B.C. Archives A-02037

Biography of Emily Carr's Siblings. Image of Edith and Clara Carr

Lizze, Alice and I were always dressed exactly alike. Father wanted my two big sisters to dress the same, but they rebelled, and Mother stood behind them. Father thought we looked like orphans if we were clothed differently.

The Book of Small by Emily Carr
image#: B.C. Archives A-09185

Image of Edith Carr y big sister had a kind heart. Nothing pleased her more than to drive old, lame or tired people into the country. There was always some ailing person tucked up in her phaeton being aired. All about Victoria were lovely drives-Admiral Road, Burnside, Cadboro Bay, Cedar Hill. The country roads were very dusty and dry, so every few miles there was a roadhouse with a bar for men and a watering trough for horses- ladies went thirsty. No lady could possibly be seen going into a bar even if only for a glass of water.

The Book of Small by Emily Carr
image#: B.C. Archives A-07015

Our family had a big gap in the middle of it where William, John and Thomas had all been born and died in quick succession, which left a wide space between Dede and Tallie and the four younger children.

The Book of Small by Emily Carr Image of Emily and Dick Carr

Because of William, John and Thomas being died, Mother's only boy was Dick. He had a lovely little face with blue eyes and yellow curls. He wore a little pant suit with a pleated skirt over the pants which came half-way down over his thin little legs.

The Book of Small by Emily Carr
image#: B.C. Archives G-02842

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Biography of Emily Carr's Siblings

Edith (Dede) 'The Elder'

Edith was born in California, Febuary 5, 1856. She came with her parents to Victoria in 1863. Edith was a very strong willed woman and was the main disciplinarian of the Carr children. She saw to their religion, bathing, and daily needs. She also cared for their weak mother. After the death of her parents Edith became the guardian of her younger siblings. Edith is also one of the founding members of YWCA in Victoria. Edith lived out her life in the Carr family house, she died on December 10, 1919.

Clara (Tallie)

Clara was born in California, May 16, 1857. She also moved with her parents to Victoria in 1863. An attractive woman, Clara spent her young womanhood being courted by Major John Nicholles of the Royal Engineers. She later married Nicholles on June 21, 1882. Clara had five children and was the only sibling to marry and have children. Nicholles later deserted Clara. Her sister Elizabeth said that she herself would not marry because of the result of Clara's marriage. Clara died on January 29, 1919 in Vancouver and is the only Carr not buried in the family plot at Ross Bay Cemetary.

William, John and Thomas

William was born in England on December 11, 1861, he died four days later.

John was born in England on October 22, 1862, he died two days later.

Thomas was born in Victoria on April 6, 1865, he died on September 5, 1865.

In the middle of the Bible, between the "old" and the "new", were some blank pages, and all of us were written there. Sometimes Father let us look at ourselves and at William, John and Thomas who were each written there twice, once for being born, once for dying. That was the only time William, John and Thomas seemed to be real and take part in the family's doings. We did little sums with their Bible dates, but could never remember if they had lived for days or years. As they were dead before we were born, and we had never known them as Johnny- or Tommy- or Willie-babies, they felt old and grown up to us.

The Book Of Small by Emily Carr

Elizabeth (Lizzy) 'Bigger'

Elizabeth was born in Victoria, on November 6, 1867. As a child Lizzy dreamed of becoming a missionary and studied to memorize religious texts. As an adult Elizabeth became a masseuse, a physiotherapist as we call them, today. Elizabeth died on August 3, 1936.

Alice 'Middle'

Alice was born in Victoria, on October 18, 1869. As a child Alice loved to play with her dolls and did well in school. As an adult Alice became a school teacher and opened her own school house on a parcel of the family property. Alice was also Emily's favorite sister. Alice died on October 25, 1953.

Richard (Dick)

Richard was born in Victoria, on October 20, 1875. Richard was a frail child and spent most of his childhood under the close care of his mother. Richard died on September 6, 1899.

Gallery Tour Family Writing Issues Team

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