Children Who Perished in the Protestant Orphanage During the Halifax Explosion - Robert Jackson
Not much information was given for the Robert JACKSON who was among the 26 children killed at the Halifax Protestant Orphange during the Halifax Explosion on December 6, 1917.
In the McAlpine's Halifax City Directory for 1918, 1535 victims of the Halifax Explosion were listed including a Robert JACKSON from the Protestant Orphanage
Robert JACKSON was listed in the Halifax Explosion Death Registration Book:
Victim Number 1233 on page 205
JACKSON, ROBERT Male, no age given, Protestant Orphanage Halifax, body not found. Each page in the Halifax Explosion Death Registration Book lists 6 victims. On page 205, victims number 1230 - 1235 are all children from the orphanage: Roland McNeill, John Ross, Roy DeWolfe, Robert Jackson, Gladys Taylor and Lena Parslow.
In the online searchable database from the Nova Scotia Archives, which is constantly being updated, you will find Robert listed as fatality number 1488. No age and no family members are listed.
With such limited information I started the search for a Robert JACKSON who would likely have fit the age of a child in the orphanage at that time. The oldest boy listed was John Reuben HOWARD and he was 11 years old. The majority of the children ranged in age from 5 - 8 years old. I read somewhere that boys typically did not remain at the orphanage past the age of 12. All of the victims in the orphanage who I have researched so far have been born in Halifax County so I set off to find a Robert JACKSON born in Halifax County between 1905 and 1917 and I found one on the Nova Scotia Geneology Page.
A Robert Earl JACKSON was born on August 8, 1909 in Halifax to a William JACKSON and Omeada Blanch HUTT (I believe this is a misspelling of her first name as on all other records it is spelled Omeda and her middle name in all other records is spelled with an E on the end as Blanche).
But he was not the only child of William and Omeda. In fact, he was their third son with 7 and a half years between Robert and his next closest brother, George.
William JACKSON married Omeda Blanche HUTT on January 9, 1900 in Ship Harbour. William JACKSON is listed as 40 years of age, working as a laborer and living in Halifax but born in England. His parents are George and Mary. Omeda Blanche HUTT is listed as 24 years of age, living in Dartmouth. Her parents are Henry and Mary. When searching for this record on the Nova Scotia Genealogy Page you will have to type in Amelia B. Hutt to find her marriage record even though on the record itself she is listed as Omeda.
William and Omeda welcomed their first born child, William Henry JACKSON on July 14, 1900 in Halifax and their second child on December 25, 1901 aptly named George Christmas JACKSON, born in Dartmouth.
In the 1911 Canadian Census the family is listed as:
William born November 1856 age 55
Omeda born October 1866 age 36 (obviously their birth years are listed incorrectly as the math doesn't add up)
William born Jul 1900 age 11
George born Dec 1901 age 9
Robert born Aug 1909 age 2
I know that William JACKSON (father) died sometime before January 3, 1919 as I found a marriage record for Omeda Blanche JACKSON, listed as a widower, marrying a fellow widower, Charles HARDY on January 3, 1919 in Halifax. Omeda was 43 and Charles, 46.
The only record I can find of a William JACKSON's death in Halifax between 1908 and 1919 that fit our William JACKSON was as follows:
William JACKSON, age 60 (that would make his birth year about 1859). In the search results of Nova Scotia Geneology it lists the year as 1912 but in the actual death register it says December 15, 1915). It lists his birth place as Scotland and other records say England so not sure if this is just a clerical error or if this means this is not our William JACKSON. This William is listed as married. And the timing of his death would make sense with Robert ending up in the orphanage. Both of his brothers would be older and able to work and care for themselves. William would have been 15 and George would have turned 14 10 days after is father's death. Robert would have only been 6 years old.
I am unsure as to when or how Robert JACKSON ended up in the Halifax Protestant Orphanage but he would have been only 8 years, 3 months and 29 days old when he was killed in the Halifax Explosion on December 6, 1917. He is buried in the St John's Cemetery in Halifax with 24 of the 26 children killed in the orphanage that day, in the plots belonging to the Halifax Protestant Orphanage.