A news release from Ancestry.ca:
"Why is Rob Ford such a nonconformist mayor? From antagonistic run-ins with the media to his notorious outbursts on council floor, the source of Ford’s ways may lie in his family tree.
Ancestry.ca, Canada’s leading family history website, has recently uncovered that Rob Ford’s paternal grandfather, Ernest Ford, was sent to Canada from England as a part of the Child Immigration scheme. Moreover, historical records may suggest that Ernest was sent away because he was unruly.
Following the death of his mother in 1900, Ernest is listed in the 1901 British Census living with his widowed father and grandmother in Warwickshire, England. Despite having next of kin with whom he could have lived, Ernest was shortly after sent to Middlemore Homes, an institution known for taking in children who were either truants, disorderly or orphans for the purpose of being sent to Canada.
Between 1833 and 1939, approximately 100,000 children were sent to Canada from Great Britain. At the age of 11, Ernest can be found in the Canadian Passenger Lists migrating to Canada as a Home Child in 1902. He travelled with 32 other children in “steerage” aboard the ship Siberia.
These newly discovered facts are especially compelling as Rob Ford’s paternal grandfather later claimed that he was born in Canada. Ernest Ford reported that he was born in Portage Vale, New Brunswick on his military papers and marriage certificate, both of which can be found on Ancestry.ca. However, Ernest’s birth and christening records show he was born in Birmingham, Warwickshire, England.
If Toronto’s mayor does come by his tendances through his paternal line, if history is any guide, perhaps there is hope for a more conciliatory Rob Ford in the future?
Ernest appears to have made great contributions to Canada following his arrival and was awarded a “Good Conduct Badge” in 1917 for his military service in the Great War, and three additional awards in the Canadian Expeditionary Force: a 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal, and the Victory Medal.
Ernest Ford was the father of Doug Ford Sr., the idol to sons Rob and Doug Jr. whose likeness still appears in a framed picture in the mayoral office. Doug Ford Sr., the rags-to-riches businessman, athlete and Conservative MPP in the Mike Harris government, passed away in 2006."