David Adams Family – 1920’s


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 World War 1 had ended, and the Mozley family had lost both husband and father when Walter Harrison Mozley remained in Alberta as a potato farmer, never to return to them.  Young Stella, quite possibly through her father when he first returned to civilian life, had met Andrew Mackay, and I can only guess that there must have been a whirlwind romance.  They would marry in May of 1920, but their daughter, Joy, would be born without a father.  Mackay, so Joy told my father in later years, had died of war injuries.

 With the help of her mother, Maude, Stella would hold down a job and raise Joy on her own as a single mother.

 Science of Being would bring the Mozley family into contact with the Adams family as Stella and Charlie found common interests as they met together at the Science of Being meetings held in Winnipeg.  In September of 1927, they would marry.  Joy, from that point on, would become an “Adams”, and the following November, David Adams would be born.




According to Joy’s birth registration certificate, on May 6, 1920, in Calgary, Alberta,  Stella Mozley married Neil Andrew Laird Mackay, an officer “in the Imperial Army”.

 On November 20, 1920, Joy Stella Mackay was born at 8:30 a.m., delivered by Dr. Bjornson, in Winnipeg, Manitoba.  She was brought home to the house now shared by her mother and her grandmother, Maude Mozley, at 443 Stradbrooke Avenue.  Stella indicated in some of her correspondence that she was unwell for a time after Joy’s birth, but when she was well again, she took employment in the legal department at Union Station in Winnipeg.  Postcards tell me that she definitely worked there in 1923.  There may have been other jobs that she did but I was never told of them.  Maude Mozley, or Mum-a-Mum, as Joy called her, was very involved in the early years of Joy’s care.

 Between the above mentioned birth registration form, a series of letters in the 1950s sent and received by Stella trying to settle the matter of Joy’s correct name so she could get a passport, and discussions between my father, David, and myself, there were questions that arose surrounding the Mackay marriage and the circumstances surrounding Joy’s birth.


On the birth registration, Joy’s birth was described as “posthumous” indicating that Mackay had died between May 6 and November 20, 1920.  Neither Stella nor Joy would ever speak about the events of this time, nor about the relationship, although Joy did once tell David that Mackay had died of war injuries.

 Stella, in the series of letters written back and forth to and from the Department of Vital Statistics of Manitoba, indicated that she had been ill at the time of Joy’s birth, and that her mother, Maude Mozley, had filed Joy’s birth registration on Stella’s behalf.  According to Stella’s letters, Maude had made some errors.

 The “Child’s full name” section was an obvious error.  Maude had filled it in as “Mackay, Neil Stella/Catherine” instead of “Mackay, Joy Stella”.

 One area of the form that Stella refuted was where Maude had indicated that Joy’s was not a premature birth.  Joy’s birth date had only been 6 months after the marriage.  In the letters, Stella seemed defensive about this section, adamant that Joy’s birth had been “definitely” premature.

 That particular era of their lives always seemed to be shrouded by some cloak of secrecy.  Both Stella and Joy were always tight lipped when asked about that part of family history.  Both my father and I felt that it may be entirely possible that Joy had indeed been born full-term and had been conceived during the whirlwind romance that had preceded the marriage of Stella and her lover.  This was the 1920s, remember, and there was a huge stigma attached to premarital sex and to families whose children were born out of wedlock.  It seemed like there was some kind of proverbial “skeleton” that both Stella and Joy were invested in keeping hidden in the family closet.

 The fact does remain, however, that in the mid 1920s, Stella would meet Charles Adams, and that in 1927, the two would marry, and from that point on, Joy would be an “Adams” for the rest of her life. 

 My grandfather intimated to me during my own unwed pregnancy how Joy had not been his own child by “blood ties”, but that he had loved Joy as his very own, just as he loved me as his own too when I too was raised by my grandparents Adams in later years.

 There was a time, David told me once, sometime during the 1940s so I recall, that his mother had tried to tell him that Joy was not really his sister.  Later in life, he would regret that he had not asked more questions, but at that time he said he simply retorted “Joy IS my sister, and always will be!!”  End of subject.. 

 Joy was born “Joy Stella Mackay” and her natural father remains a mystery in the story of our family, but to all of us in the Adams family, she was always “Joy Stella Adams”, daughter, sister, and aunt.


This is the one and only baby picture I could find of Joy taken, I would say, in the Spring of 1921


This is also the only picture I could find of “Mum-a-Mum” Joy’s grandmother Mozley. They seem to be near a train station. The caption for both this picture and the one below is “coming back from the store and eating buns”.


Joy and Stella Joy looks to be about 4 years old



Joy about 4 years posing with Uncle Boy old about 20 years old


Joy, 4 or 5, with Stella at the beach


Joy, with umbrella

Both Walter Harrison and Maude Mozley were gone before David was born.

Because he was not heard from again, it is unknown when David’s Grandfather Mozley actually died.  Given her presence in the photograph above when Joy was about 4, Mum-a-Mum was alive for at least part of 1924, so she would have died somewhere between 1924 and November of 1928.



Introductory note:

  • The subject of Science of Being and Eugene Fersen will be expanded upon in a section of its own.

 From the mid 1920s forward, our family owes its existence to a Russian baron by name of Eugene Fersen, who, due to political unrest in his homeland had been forced to flee with his mother and sister to North America.

 Bringing with him his enlightened teachings of Science of Being, Baron Fersen set up a headquarters in Seattle, Washington, while expanding his teachings to various locations, including Winnipeg, Manitoba.  It was at such an information session in the mid 20s that two curious young people drawn by the concept of Science of Being also found themselves drawn to one another.  Charles George Adams and Stella Maude Mozley (still Mackay at this time) became friends.  Friendship grew to be love, and a courtship, actual length unknown, began.  From this picture below, I believe that the two of them met at least by 1924.




Charlie and Stella’s Marriage Certificate

As per the above Marriage Certificate, Charlie and Stella were married on September 5 of 1927 at a Knox Church in Winnipeg.  From that point on, Charlie adopted Joy as his own, and both she and her mother took the name of Adams.

 From the union of Charlie and Stella would come three more children:

  • David on November 16, 1928
  • Joan on July 9, 1931
  • Lawrence on November 2, 1936

 and down the road would come their grandchildren:

  • Janine on April 25, 1951
  • Emily on February 12, 1985

 and one great grandchild:

  • Mark on January 12, 1979




Introductory note:

  • More detailed information about this location is found in the 1930s

 Somewhere during the 1920s, Miss Haye’s Tea Room, located near the church in St. Andrews, along the Red River in Winnipeg, became a social meeting place for family and friends.  Below is a picture of St Andrews Church.


“Our Church” as inscribed by Uncle Boy

There is a series of pictures, which look very much to me like Wedding pictures, taken in the garden at Miss Haye’s Tea Room.  Although I cannot be 100% positive, my guess is that after the church ceremony, they may well have had their wedding reception at the Tea Room. 



Charlie and Stella
















From left to right: Back: Cyril Adams, Elsie Adams?, Charles J and Florence Adams, Stella and Charlie Adams, Walter A Mozley Front: identities unknown



Back: Cyril, CJ and Flo Adams, Charlie and Stella, WA Mozley, unknown Front: identities unknown



 Charlie Adams had worked as a motor mechanic since 1917 when he was 15, although I don’t know any of the names of his employers until 1926.  The year before he married Stella, he was hired as a motor mechanic by the Winnipeg Bus Garage, his source of employment for the next 27 years.  By the early 30s, he would be promoted to being General Foreman.



 Cars were Charlie Adams’ passion in life.  This car, pictured here is the first of his cars of which there is a picture.  The make, model and year I don’t know.


The car below is a 1926 Ford Model A Sport Runabout.

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 With the marriage of Charlie Adams and Stella Mozley, a new family was formed, and not only did Joy receive a new father, but she also got a new extended family:

  • Grandparents Adams (Charles James and Florence)
  • an Aunt Elsie
  • an Uncle Cyril

Charlie G., Florence, and Joy on the running board:


Florence, Charlie , and Joy


Charlie, Joy, and Florence




Joy sits at the feet of her Grannie Adams and Stella. The 26 Ford is in the background:


Joy and Stella and the 26 Ford


Joy and Charlie

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Charlie and Stella at the beach


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Charlie and Joy by the 26 Model A Ford Sport Runabout


1928  NOVEMBER 16



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Charlie and Stella holding their  Newly born son


Unfortunately, I have no real details about the birth of David, except that Stella’s General Practioner at that time was Dr. Meingle.  I do know that Stella was suffering from malnutrition at the time, something which caused David to develop rickets at an early age and to be a weak baby and toddler.

 David’s first home was 12 Havelock in Winnipeg.  It was, so Charlie said, a very poorly built house, drafty and damp, something which caused Stella

 to develop a case of rheumatism.  Charlie reported that eventually they were able to successfully sue the builder, allowing them to get out and move on to 623 St Mary’s Road at the end of 1929.

 Of note, Charlie spoke of the maid, Miss Sheppard, hired at 12 Havelock, to help Stella out with both housework and caring for David when they came home from the hospital.  Apparently, Miss Sheppard was sneaking her boyfriend into the house at night.  Once the situation was discovered, she was abruptly fired!!  David was actually able to remember this young woman, whom he didn’t like because she was forever making him wash his hands.  Given he would have been under a year at the time, this is probably just about his earliest memory.


Baby David 6 to 8 months old


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 After giving birth to David, Stella began to experience back pains which grew increasingly worse and worse.  She could get no satisfactory explanation, let alone a cure, for the problem when she consulted her GP, Dr. Meingle.  Charlie said she told him that Dr. Meingle would just minimize her pain by saying “Oh..aches and pains are expected after giving birth.”  Stella knew that these were not normal symptoms, and so changed to a new doctor.  Dr. Joseph Hollinger, as her new GP, discovered that Stella had cysts on her ovaries and finally corrected the problem for her.  In late 1929, Dr. Joe removed her cysts in Mesacordia Hospital in Winnipeg. 

For the duration of the family’s stay in Winnipeg, Dr. Joe remained our family doctor, helping to deliver into the world Joan,  Lawrence, and much later, myself, Janine, in 1951.



Not long after David was born, in early 1929, Charlie got himself another vehicle, the 1926 Essex.  He kept this car until 1933.  The 1929 License Plate number was 5- 902.  Below, Charlie sits with Joy and baby David, about 6 – 8 months old, on his lap.  The 26 Essex is in behind them.



From left to right: A friend of Joy’s, Joy with David on her lap, and Stella David looks to be 9 – 10 months old


David Adams



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