Tuesday, October 9, 2012

grave post - Paffard

The Paffard family has a long history in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

One who had the most interesting, if unfortunate start in life, was the wife of Frederick Paffard
Born in Missolonghi, Greece, Katharina was kidnapped at age 3 by the Ottoman Turks during their battle for that city.  The British Consul in Egypt purchased her from a Turkish woman and sent her to England where she was adopted.  Not remembering her original name, she chose Haideen, her Turkish name, as her last name.  In England, she met and married Frederick Paffard, brother of pharmacist and later Mayor Henry Paffard.  After emigrating to Niagara, they lived on Queen Street in what is now the Charles Inn.

From the donation of three small family books to St Mark's Church in NOTL by a later descendent, we know that the Paffard's had a daughter known as Katie (Katarina) who was born in England. The Paffards were living in Niagara by 1855, according to one of the books, a "Proper Lessons to be Read at Morning and Evening Prayer" which is signed by Fred Wm Paffard, Niagara, June 1855. Another, a small Bible in French, is signed "Katie Paffard, February 1869" and includes the donor inscription of "this being the property of our mother during her school days in England".
It is believed that Katie, who was two years old in 1855, must have been sent back to England for schooling and that with her mother already knowing three languages she was perhaps eager for her daughter to also learn a second language. She must have also used this French Bible when she returned to Niagara and was attending St Mark's as there is an added inscription "Mrs Wilkinson, Pew 115".  A companion Bible, in English, is inscribed "to dear Mama from her affectionate sons, Fred and Walter".  Both these Bibles (and the Prayer Book) in the archival book collection of St Mark's were donated by the great-granddaughters of Katharina and Frederick Paffard.

Katharina Paffard - 1823-1883
Frederick Paffard - 1814-1886

read about other interesting findings at Taphophile Tragics


  1. Wow. Such an interesting life lead. Fantastic post, I really enjoyed reading it.

    Beneath Thy Feet

  2. Gosh. How interesting. But how terrible for her parents to have her stolen. Or maybe they were killed, who knows?

  3. Paffard is a funny last name!


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