Deaconess Profiles


Each of nearly 700 United Church of Canada Deaconesses has a unique story of ministry and service to tell. At the bottom is a listing of all the women identified to date. There are still more names to come, especially from the period after 1964.   Keep checking or send us an email to inquire about someone in particular.  Clicking on the name will take you to a page of information about her. Each page includes: a resume of her work (appearing very soon); and where available, a picture, biography, and links to other documents such as newspaper clippings, writings, videos or additional pictures.

This resource of diaconal history will evolve as more information is collected. If you have additional material of any kind about any of the women, please contact so it can enrich the record.

Some women were disjoined before they joined the Order.  Faced with a decision to marry or pursue their church vocation, they married.  Comprehensively identifying these women would be difficult, yet some stories are known.  A few biographies of women in this category appear in Disjoining Affected Profiles

Birth and Married Names

Tracking women’s stories is complicated by name changes.  In the early records, when there was more formality in discourse, women may be referred to simply as ‘Miss Smith’.  Later, the same woman might be ‘Mrs. George Jones’!  Nearly all of the Deaconesses who married changed their names. In the list of women below, the women appear alphabetically by their most recent surname, when it is known.

Can’t find a woman?

If you can not find a Deaconess, it could be because:

  • the complete list is not yet online, contact us to inquire about someone particular
  • you are using her birth name, not her most recent name.  Try the SITE SEARCH engine to see if you find her.
  • she may not have been a Deaconess.  Sometimes a woman assumed to be a Deaconess was instead a Woman Worker.  There were three categories of professional work for women in the United Church: a designated, or set apart Deaconess; a commissioned Woman’s Missionary Society employee; or, a lay worker.  This project focuses on the women who were Deaconesses.  (see a few other biographies under the Disjoining tab)

Please, contact us if you are unable to locate the woman you are interested in, or have information about someone not on the list.  Perhaps you have “found” a Deaconess lost in the records!, or we might be able to verify her status as a church worker and redirect your inquiry.

Women’s Stories

Gayle Letherby points out that “studying women is not new, yet studying them from the perspective of their own experiences so that women can understand themselves in their social world has virtually no history at all.  The first step, then is to make women’s lives visible.”[1]

Often women feel that their lives are not of much interest to historians.  It is no different for women church leaders. Disbelief would frequently describe their response to the idea that their lives are noteworthy. This tendency is exaggerated in many women who trained to be Deaconesses. They were taught to be self sacrificing, behind the scenes, assistants to the men.  Even women who did not conform to these expectations can be reluctant to think their stories are of worth. These Profiles record the activities of the women along with some reflection on their work and lives.  Some of the stories are autobiographies, others are biographies, sometimes it is a combination of both.  Efforts have been made to verify the content with the woman if she is still alive.

1 Gayle Letherby, Feminist Research in Theory and Practice. (Buckingham: Open University Press, 2003) p 73.

Ackison, Maude
Adair, Marion
Adams, Minnie
Aldridge, Olive
Alexander, Levina (or Lavina)
Allan, Margaret
Allen, Vera
Anderson, Isobel (Benham)
Anderson, Margaret Pearl
Angus, Jean
Annand, Irene (Scott)
Archibald, Bertha (Fox)
Ariss, Augusta
Baglole, Alice
Banks, Marion
Barlow, Alice (Smith)
Barlow, Maud
Barnes, Ellen (Roper)
Barnes, Susanna
Barnett, Frances (Grogan)
Bartling, Dorothea Henrietta Hedwig
Batchelor, Alberta
Batchelor, Celia
Bates, Etta
Beard, Hattie
Beattie, Grace
Bechtel, Lillian
Bell, Mary (McIlwraith)
Bell, Sylvia (South)
Bentley, Bessie
Berridge, Ruby (Horton)
Bickell, Nettie
Biggs, Jane
Binns, Susan
Bishop, Annie
Blain, Mary
Blair, Mary G.
Blokland, Agnes (Snyder)
Boake, Lazelle
Boast, Lois
Bock, Madeleine
Bollinger, Anna (Keith)
Bolton, Edith
Bould, Geraldine (Dearing)
Bowes, Sadie
Bradley, Bertha
Bradley, Florence
Brailey, Josie
Brand, Olive
Brandow, Mabel
Bratt, Lauretta
Brillinger, Marion
Brown, Aidleen
Brown, Ruby
Bryant-Anstie, Barbara Ann (Bryant)
Bryd, Jean (Carr)
Brydon, Emma (Cuntz)
Budge, Pearl (Spencer)
Buhr, Isabel (Rourke)
Burry, Stella
Burwash, Mary
Cade, Wilma (Unwin)
Cairns, Marzetta
Cameron, Ethel
Cameron, Margaret
Campbell, Annie (Carmichael)
Campbell, Henrietta
Campbell, Lucy
Campbell, Phyllis
Campion, Margaret
Carmichael, Mary Margaret
Caron, Charlotte (McLean)
Carr, Lillie
Carson, Lizzie
Cartwright, Elicia
Carty, Bessie
Cass, Gertrude
Chantler, Ethel
Chow, Lily (Chin)
Christie, Harriet
Churchill, Ruth
Clapham, Marvel
Clark, Georgie A.
Clark, Vera
Clarke, Florence
Clarke, Frances
Cline, Doris
Cline, Mildred
Clipsham, Maddie
Cockburn, Annie (Hicks)
Coleman, Virginia
Collins, Essie
Collins, Martha J.
Collins, Mary
Colwell, Elsbeth
Combe, Joyce
Comfort, Ella (Snyder)
Conly, Mary A. (Bremner)
Connor, Caroline
Conway, Thelma
Cookman, Maude
Coons, Emma
Cooper, Frances (Staples)
Copp, Barbara
Coutie, Agnes Rachel
Cowan, Agnes
Cox, Elinor
Crabtree, Jean (Boal)
Craig, Elizabeth "Bessie"
Crocker, Charlotte Amelia
Crockett, Luella
Cross, Annie (Settle)
Crowhurst, Clara
Cruickshank, Alberta
Cruise, Alice
Cunningham, Emma
Cunningham, Mary
Current, Marion
Currey, Minnie "Mary"
Currie, Christina
Currie, Isabella
Daly, Viola
Darch, Bertha
Dau, Heather
Davidson, Holly
Davis, Sharon
Dawdy, Emily
Dawson, Margaret "Muggie"
Day, Anna
Day, Ila
Day, Jean (Tough)
Day, Marie (McDougall)
Dedrick, F. Mabel
Deeprose, Violet
Delve, Marion (Honsberger)
Dempsey, Margaret
Deyell, Emily "Millie" (Hayter)
Dickin, Joyce
Dickinson, Maud
Dickson, Louise (Mollenhauer)
Dickson, Margaret (Kee)
Dinwoody, Leah
Dixon-Murphy, Thelma (Dixon)
Drummond, Margaret
Duke, Janet (Parnell)
Dunbar, Margaret (McKague)
Edmonds, Margaret
Edwards, Nancy
Elder, Margaret (Martin)
Elliott, Barbara
Elliott, Eva
Elliott, Ida
Elliott, Viola (Bickell)
Emminghaus, Margarete
Erb, Colleen
Erratt, Margaret
Ervin, Linda
Facey, Elizabeth
Falconer, Geraldine (Beairsto)
Fee, Florence
Feltman, Emily (Kelloway)
Fennell, Bessie
Fenton, Dorothy
Ferguson, Eleanor
Ferguson, Marion
Fife, Mary
Finson, Sheila
Firth, Mary
Fisher, Audrey
Flemington, Inez (Morrison)
Forler, Patricia
Foster, Alice
Franklin Hearne, Lottie (Franklin)
Fraser, Nancy
Frazer, Elaine (Harland)
Frost, Catherine
Fullerton, Jane
Fullerton, Louise
Fulton, Margaret
Gailey, Annie
Gamble, Eleanor
Gardner, Letha
Garrett, Emily (Martin)
Gawley, Annie
Geib, Eleanor
Getty, Adella (MacPherson)
Gibson, Elizabeth
Giffin, Edith Giffin (or G
Gilchrist, Mary
Gilcrest, Mary (Timanus)
Gillespie, Sadie (Dick)
Gilmore, Lillian
Glass, Celia
Gleeson, Heather (Norman)
Glendinning, Lissa
Glenn, Grace
Glenn, Thomasina (Fraser)
Goddard, Jessie
Gollan, Maimie
Gordon, Elizabeth E.
Gorie, Eliza
Gorwill, Mildred (Goldie)
Goudie, Jennie
Graham, Eileen
Graham, Ferne
Greer, Faye
Gugeler, Joan (Vale)
Gunn, Aileen
Hackett, Marie
Haddock, Isabella
Hadlock, S.W.
Haig, Mary
Hale, Mabel (Maclean)
Hall, Emma
Hall, Margaret
Hallam, Margaret
Halliday, Margaret
Halson, Bernice (Moore)
Hamilton, Sheila (Earle)
Hannah, Marjorie
Harding, Joan (Steadman)
Hardy, Nancy
Harris, Winnifred
Harrison, Lydia
Harrison, Sara
Hart, Etta
Hart, Wilberta
Hartley, Martha
Hatcher, Eleanor
Heffren, Hazel
Heffron, Edith
Heinonen, Vieno
Heller, Alma (Gomez)
Henderson, Barbara
Henderson, Helen
Henderson, Jessie I.
Henderson, Myrtle
Henderson, Priscillla
Henderson, Winnifred (Davis)
Hesller, Marvel (Neddow)
Hetherington, Margaret (Thompson)
Heuer, Kay (Bentley)
Hicks, Ruth
Highfield, Esther
Hill, Gleetis
Hobbs, Bessie
Hockin, Katharine
Hodgins, Marion
Holman, Nancy
Holt, Jean
Holtzman, Pearl
Hooker, Ruth (Moody)
Hopkins, Rosina
Horn, Mary
Horning, Enid
Hotson, Jenny
Houston, Margaret (Thomson)
Houston, Minnie J. (M.J.)
Howe, Lillie (Elizabeth)
Howeles, Lydia (Rivers)
Howey, J. C.
Howson, Ethalind
Hudgins, Ruth
Hugo, Olive
Hurd, Lottie
Hurlbert, Hattie
Inglis, Lulu (Phoenix)
Irwin, Alice (Dahms)
Irwin, Annie
Irwin, Bessie
Jackson, Nettie
Jackson-Tyler, Marion (Jackson)
Jacobs, Catherine (Goodchild)
Jacombe, Eleanor
James, Joyce
James, Sarah
Johns, Elinor (Armitage)
Johnson, Agnes
Johnson, Essie
Johnson, Tyyni (Heinonen)
Johnston, Jeanetta
Johnstone, Ida
Johnstone, Margaret
Jones, Edna
Jones, Mabel
Jones, Minnie
Jost, Harriet
Karn, Muriel
Karn, Myrtle
Karpoff, Florence (Capsey)
Keirfoot, Mabel (Kerr)
Kenny (or Lenny), Olive
Keough, Margaret
Kerr, Ida
Ketcheson, Ethel
Kierstead, Emily (Cosman)
King, Hattie
King, Jeanie
King, Laeta
Kinghorn, Frances
Kirkland, Margaret
Kirkwood, Bessie
Krucik, Donna (Griffiths)
Laird, Frances
Lake, Mary
Landells, Dorothy (Ovens)
Lane, Bessie
Lang, Charlotte "Lottie"
Lang, Ruth (Sandilands)
Lanigan, Ruth
Large, Eva
Larstone, Jean (Collier)
Latimer, Emily
Laughlin, Elizabeth
Laughlin, Helena
Lawrence, Audrey
Layton, Adrianna
Lazenby, Ruth
Lediard, Ella
Lee, Ada (Garbutt)
Leslie, Joan
Lewis, Bessie (Scott)
Lewis, Martha
Lillico, Annie (Joynt)
Lindsay, Mabel
Little, Janet
Littlewood, Prudence
Livesey, May
Livingstone, Sarah Margaret
Long, Laura (Sharpe)
Lothian, Isabel
Lowes, Margaret
Luke, Millicent
Lum, Joan (McLean)
Lyon, Maud
Lyons, Olive
Lytle, Marie
MacDonald, Helen
Macdonald, Joan (Peck)
MacDonald, Mardie
Macdonald, Mary
MacFarlane, Mary Anne
Mack, Helen
MacKenzie, Estelle
MacKenzie, Ida
MacKenzie, Jessie
MacKie, Joyce
MacLeod, Emily
MacLeod, Jessie
MacPherson, Janet
Main, Frances
Manarey, Bertha
Manning, Helene
Manuel, Dulcie
Manuel, Ethel
Marlin, Betty
Marshall, Eliza
Marshall, Laura
Martin, Mary
Matheson, Joyce
Mathews, Evelyn
Mathison, Emma
Maxwell, Marjorie
May, Dorothy
Mayne, Maureen
McArthur, Lily
McCalla, Dency
McCausland, Mary
McClelland, Fanny
McClelland, Shealagh (McCormick)
McColgan, Elizabeth "Betty"
McCrae, Lucy Rose or Rosa (Keene)
McCulley, Louise
McCullough, Judith
McCullough, Lydia
McDevitt, Myrtle (Burpee)
McDonald, Annie (Hastings)
McDonald, Ethel (Quick)
McDonald, Kathryn
McElhenie, Ora
McGill, T.M.
McGill, Winona
McGirr, Margaret
McGregor, Helen
McGregor, Janet
McHardy, Ethel
McIvor, Elizabeth
McKay, Aldeen
McKay, Verna (Crooks)
McKee, Shirley
McKelvey, Alice (King)
McKenzie, Jean
McKenzie, Rose
McKim, Audrey
McKinnon, Margaret
McLachlin, Pat (Andrews)
McLelland, Fannie
McManus, Hazelle
McMaster, Mina
McMurtry, Gwen (Davis)
McPhee, Ruth (Glanville)
McSpadden, Joan (Grenkie)
McVeigh, Marion (Boyd)
McWilliams, Augusta "Gussie"
Menzies, Jean (McClelland)
Mercer, Mary (Longley)
Merriam, E. May
Millar, Bertha (Watson)
Miller, Annie
Miller, Clara
Miller, Edith
Miller, Elsie (Bunner)
Miller, Marguerite
Miller, Rose
Miller, Vera (Entiknap)
Milliken, Lillian
Mills, Frances "Fannie"
Milton, Iris (Daly)
Mitchell, Sophie
Mitchener, Bessie
Moffat, Christina
Moffatt, Annie
Moffatt, Mary
Moffitt, Esther
Moore, Charlotte
Moore, Flossie
Moore, Hattie
Moore, Mabyle
Moore, Mary Ellen (Suter)
Morgan, Marie
Morrison, Winnabell (Harper)
Moss, Anne Dow
Mossop, Mildred
Mountford, Lorraine (Roberts)
Mulley, Annie
Munro, Shirley
Murray, Mary
Myers, Mabel
Myles, Marlyne
Nablo, Catherine
Namba, Grace
Naylor, Dorothy
Neilson, Nora
Nelson, Carol (James)
Nelson, Margaret (Bea)
Nelson, Viola (Crouse)
Nettle, Gloria (Kilpatrick)
Nettle, Mary Ellen
Newmarch, Lynda
Newsham, June (Woodworth)
Newsom, Mabel
Newton, Blanche
Newton, Ila
Nickerson, Alice (Mitchell)
Nixon, Kathleen
Noble, Annie
North, Minnie
Noseworthy, Alfreda
Nott, Annie
O'Brien, Doreen (Hooper)
Oates, Patricia
Oliver, Olive (Whyte)
Oliver 1915, Jessie
Oliver RN, Jessie
Olsen, Floris
Ormond, Harriett
Overland, Vida
Palethorpe, Emma
Palmer, Eliza
Palmer-Harding, Elaine (Palmer)
Pardy, Marion
Parker, Jean (Swan)
Parker, Nellie (Barker)
Parkin, Marilyn (Vrooman)
Parney, Agnes (Allan)
Patterson, Ellen
Peacock, Elaine
Pearson, Edna
Peters, Druscilla (Russenholt)
Peters, Eunice
Pettigrew, Margaret
Philip, Alice
Pike, Isabel (Griffiths)
Pirch, Louise
Pitt, Doreen
Pitt, Ida
Pollard, Mary Lois (Williams)
Pope, Marion
Porter, Alice
Porter, Violet
Pritchard, Louise (Cox)
Putnam, Bertha
Quiqley, Margaret
Ranton, Clara
Ratté, Marie Ratté (
Ratz, Aileen
Read, Margaret (Creighton)
Richardson, Annie
Richardson, Laura (Fielder)
Richardson, Muriel
Rickard, Daisy
Ricker, Evelyn
Riddols or Riddolls, Laura
Ridgeway, Alice
Ridout, Margaret (Bettger)
Robinson, Elizabeth (Scott)
Robinson, Susan (Skene)
Rogers, Daphne
Rose, Annetta
Rosenberg, Elsie
Ross, Elizabeth
Ross, Ishbel
Roy, Jean D.
Russ, Eleanor (McDougall)
Ruth, Nancy (Jackman)
Sallmen, Rosalene (Bostwick)
Sanders, May (Kinloch)
Sandy, Joan (Davies)
Sangster, Dulcie (Cook)
Sargeant-Powell, Kathryn (Sargeant)
Saunders, Margaret
Schauffler, Dorothy
Scott, E. Jean
Scott, Joyce (McMaster)
Scoular, Ruth
Scruton, Ethel
Seaman, Kate
Sensoning, Ruth (Wardlaw)
Shand, Judith "Judy"
Shapley, Beulah
Sharp, Charlotte (Collinson)
Sharpe, Wilma
Shaw, Edith
Shaw, Olive
Sherwin, Edith
Sherwood, Amy
Sherwood, Jean (Windsor)
Shier, Bertha
Shilton, Jean (Baynton)
Shorten, Marion (Daniels)
Shynkar, Gwennith (Grieve)
Sibbald, Helen
Silver, Margaret
Simmers, Shirley (Johnston)
Simons, Vera
Simpson, Ruth
Siteman, Ella
Slaughter, Sarah
Sleeth, May
Smith, Daisy (Billings)
Smith, Elsie
Smith, Jessie
Smith, Julia (Gagnon)
Smith, Mabel
Smith, Margaret
Smith, Marjorie
Smith, Martha
Smith, Priscilla
Smith, Susie
Snow, Etta
Sparling, Olive
Spencer, Amelia
Spiller, Jean
Sprigley, Evelyn
Springer, Sadie
Sproule, Ethel
Srigley, Zelma
Staples, Agnes
Staples, Elizabeth "Lila"
Staples, Gertu
Steele, Frances (Lodge)
Stelck, Margery
Stephen, Elizabeth
Stevenson-Seller, Carol (Stevenson)
Stoddard, Zaidee
Stone, Millicent
Struthers, Helen
Sutherland, Adelaide
Sweetman, Jessie
Syer, Betty (Bowman)
Sykes, Grace
Sykes, Phyllis
Sylvester, Susan
Taggart, Joan (Dee)
Tait, Lois (Neilson)
Taylor, Ethel
Thomas, Annie
Thomas, Mary
Thomas, Wilna
Thompson, Agnes (Maud)
Thompson, Alice
Thompson, Mabel
Thomson, Marion
Thrower, Edith (Mann)
Tillman, Ruth
Timmins, A. Myrtle (McArthur)
Tingley, Josephine
Tompkins, Ethel
Tonkin, Grace
Topp, Pauline
Townsend, Isabel (Belle)
Tredrea, Ellen
Trenholm, Eleanor May (Oulton)
Trollope, Diane
Tunbridge, Marjorie
Turner, Margaret (Morton)
Turner, V. Regina
Tyndall, Cora
Ullman, Verda
Urquhart, Mary
Utting, Elizabeth
Uyeda, Lily
Veazey, Jennie
Veldhuis, Oriole (Vane)
Virgo, Ethel
Walker, Alice
Walker, Annie (Harris)
Walkinshaw, Jennie (Mills)
Wallace, Edith (Robinson)
Walmark, Alma (Gadd)
Walter, Clementina
Ward, Eleanor (Beaton)
Ward, Florence
Waugh, Mary
Way, Lizzie
Webster, Ida
Weir, Irene
Wellington, Florence
Werry, Emma
Whalen, Nina
Wheeler, Annie (Maitland)
Whitby, Annie
White, Mabel (Gunn)
Whitehead, Elizabeth "Lizzie"
Whitehead, Sarah
Whitworth, Jean
Whitworth, Sadie
Wilcox, Caroline "Carrie"
Wilford, Grace
Wilke, Yvonne (Clipperton)
Wilkins, Ruth (Bewell)
Williams, Mary
Willis, Joan (Cheesman)
Willows, Mabel
Willows, Pearl
Wilson, Deanna (Steadman)
Wilson, Leslie
Wilson, Pearl
Wing, Beatrice "Betty" (Carkeek)
Winter, Leone
Wiznuk, Dorothy (Kushner)
Wonfor, Margaret (Brown)
Wood, Janet
Wornell, Annie L.
Wu, Ruth (Honegger)
Wylie, Esther Georgina
Yoshioka, Alison (Andrews)
Young, Dorothy
Young, Louisa
Young, Mary J.
Zuffanti, Norma (Bean)