The French Connection

from Sue Lebrun, Ottawa. 19 April 2000

My mother's father was born and raised in England, and is a Tallett. His father spelled their last name Tallett, but my mother said his family came from France

His name was Charles Albert Tallett, and he was an ice sculpurist who worked at the Hotel Cecil in London until his premature death. He died of pneumonia around 1905. The Hotel Cecil was destroyed in the war.

His wife and mother then opened up a general store in London (1905-1911) where they sold produce and clothing. She then later took her sons, twins Albert and Charles, my grandfather, to Canada.

and told by Sue's mother, 31 August 2005

My Great Grandfather's father was a Tallet from Paris, France and was also an artist (that is all we know about him). Then my great-grandfather was born in Paris and later he moved to England and married my great-grandmother Caroline Hall. You had it accurate that he was an ice sculpturist at the hotel you mentioned, and at the age of 33 he had an afternoon off and went to the beach and fell asleep. He ended up getting a bad burn and suffering with chills had to go into work that night to work in the freezer on a sculpture and that is where he got sick and then died days later. My great-grandmother (still spelling her last name Tallet - one t at the end) then had to put her two boys, twins Albert and Charles up at an Orphanage because she had no way of running a store and caring for her three sons. She kept the youngest with her, Louis.

When her twin sons were about 17 or 18 she feared them being taken away from her to fight in the war, so was encouraged to move to Canada. She found a job on a farm and had her sons work the land for the farmer and she did housework. He was an older farmer who married her but apparently they didn't get along and she felt she had to get away, so she left with her children.

My grandfather Charles, later married my grandmother Hilda and operated their own confectionary store in Toronto, near the Young and Eglington area. She died at the age of 42, leaving my mother Marion (12), and younger brother Charles (9) without a mother. My grandfather later re-married but couldn't stand the woman and left to enlist in the army, leaving my mother and her brother to fend for themselves. It was actually years later that my grandfather moved to Ottawa and opened up a confectionary store and with his name Tallet, apparently too many people would expect him to speak French (because it was a French name), so he added the second "t" at the end so that people would think he was English.

So today I have cousins and an uncle that spell their last name with two 't's just like you, but my mother's birth certificate and marriage certificate still only has the one 't'.