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Record No: mha00000373
Title: Edmund J. and Nora Ryan fonds
Dates: 1946-1951
Location: MF-0194 MHA
Provenance: Ryan, Edmund Joseph, 1863-1949
Extent: 1.5 cm of textual records
Source of Supplied Title: Title based on contents of the fonds
Restrictions: No restrictions
Adm. Hist/Bio. Sketch: Edmund Joseph Ryan (1863-1949), bookkeeper, business manager, and merchant, was born at Bonavista, son of Michael and Ellen (Fleming) Ryan. He was a brother of James and Daniel Ryan, two prominent fish merchants. Edmund was educated at St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, Nova Scotia. He married Nora Bourke (1888-1951), an Irish nurse from Kildimo, Limerick. They had no children. Edmund Ryan died at St. John's on 8 January 1949. Nora Ryan died at St. John's on 16 January 1951.
     Edmund J. Ryan spent most of his working life in the employ of his brothers James and David. He initially worked as a bookkeeper for the Ryan firm at King's Cove. During the summer months he usually went to manage the Ryan branch stores on the coast of Labrador at Batteau and Webbers Harbour. At one stage he was manager of the Ryan whaling station in Hawke's Harbour, Labrador.
     In 1906 Edmund Ryan was manager of Ryan Bros. Ltd at Trinity, a newly established firm owned in half shares by James and Daniel. James was also the sole owner of James Ryan of Bonavista and owned half of the firm known as Daniel Ryan & Co. (or Ryan & Co.) of King's Cove. Ryan Bros. Ltd purchased the former Garland premises (previously the Lester premises) in Trinity, primarily as a base to service the Labrador floater fishery, supplying schooners going to Labrador and processing, storing and exporting Labrador-produced salted cod. The firm also took advantage of its location and facilities in Trinity to conduct trade with local inshore fishermen and to operate a large general store. Edmund Ryan managed these operations. When James Ryan died in 1917, his portion of Ryan Bros. Ltd. was inherited by his two sons. When Daniel Ryan died in 1934, he left one-third of his half share to Edmund.
     In 1935 Ryan Bros. was reincorporated under new shareholders and remained that way until it closed in 1952. From 1936 onward, Edmund was assisted by his nephew Walter N. White. By the time Edmund died in 1949, Ryan Bros. had completely withdrawn from the saltfish trade and operated only a general store. Edmund J. Ryan had an impressive array of investments and left a considerable estate.
     Nora Ryan served as a nurse in World War I. Afterwards she emigrated to Savannah, Georgia in the USA where she met and married Edmund Ryan. She was noted for her philanthropy and during World War II she was in charge of the volunteer Red Cross work in Trinity, making bandages and garments. She contributed much to the restoration and upkeep of the Roman Catholic Church and priest's house at Trinity. As the main heir of her husband, Nora Ryan was able to dispense a very significant estate to her beneficiaries, including relatives in Ireland, the Roman Catholic Church, and sundry other relatives and friends.
Scope and Content: Fonds consist of papers relating to the estate of Edmund J. Ryan and his wife Nora Ryan. The fonds includes wills, share certificates, correspondence, inventories and receipts, and a detailed list of the total assets of Nora Ryan.
Acquisition Source: Brian Maloney
Associated Material: Ryan Brothers (Trinity) fonds
Custodial History: Brian Maloney was executor of the estate of Edmund and Nora Ryan. Records remained in his possession until they were acquired by MHA in 1989.
Subject: Wills.
Authors_Personal Name: Ryan, Nora, 1888-1951


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