Fonds AR281 - Frank and Cecilia Sylvester family fonds

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Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Frank and Cecilia Sylvester family fonds

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Fonds

Reference code

CA UVICARCH AR281

Edition area

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area

Date(s)

  • 1854-1950 (Creation)
    Creator
    Sylvester, Frank and Cecilia (family)

Physical description area

Physical description

30 cm of textual records, 269 photographs

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Archival description area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Frank Sylvester and Cecelia Davies Sylvester, and their families, were notable figures in the early Victoria establishment. They were among the first Jews to arrive in Victoria and were active in the founding of the Jewish congregation.

Francis Joseph Sylvester (1837-1908) was born in New York and moved to San Francisco when he was 20. He traveled to Victoria in 1858 en route to the Fraser River gold fields and returned to Victoria in 1863. After first working for clothier, H. M. Cohen, Sylvester joined the auctioneer firm of Judah Philip Davies and, in 1869, married Davies’s youngest daughter, Cecilia. Sylvester remained with the auction house for 15 years and then established his own accounting business. He was active in public affairs and helped establish the Victoria Fire Department Charitable Association. He was prominent in the Ancient Order of United Workmen and was the secretary of the Natural History Society. Sylvester also gave lectures at the Victoria Historical Society.

Cecilia Davies Sylvester (1848-1935) was born in Sydney, Australia and moved with her parents to San Francisco and finally to Victoria in 1863. She was a member of the Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire and was active in charitable work and Jewish organizations. She was on the board of the Royal Jubilee Hospital, which her father helped found.

Frank and Cecilia Sylvester had eight children:

Elizabeth Eula Sylvester (1870-1937) m. Morris Menkus
Louise Marion Sylvester (1872-1955)
William B. Sylvester (1876-1931)
Clarence B. Sylvester (1876-1933)
May Violet Sylvester (1878-193?) m. Abe Ellis
Jesse Percival Sylvester (1880-1943)
Rachel Valentine Sylvester (1884-1975) m. Lorne Campbell
Ruby Florence Sylvester (1889-1980) m. Lawrence P. Macrae

Custodial history

Lawrence and Ruby Macrae collected and maintained their family archives.

Scope and content

Fonds consists of 4 series: the Frank Sylvester series, ca. 1862-1908; the Cecelia Davies Sylvester series, ca. 1854-1928; Family ephemera series, 1867-1918, and Photographs, ca. 1870-1950. The Frank Sylvester series includes: cannery contracts, legal invoices, lecture manuscripts, and a diary. The Cecelia Davies Sylvester series includes: an autograph book, and scrapbooks containing clippings, photographs and ephemera. The Family ephemera series includes: biographical information, documents, pamphlets and publications. The Photographs series includes: photographs, negatives, and glass plate negatives.

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Inventory available with series and file level control.

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Description record identifier

frank-and-cecilia-sylvester-family-fonds

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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

2013-02-05

Language of description

  • English

Script of description

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