John Jelfs, known as Jack, was born at Badsey on 29th December 1904, the youngest of six children of George Rogers Jelfs and his wife, Ashley (née Carter, also sometimes known as Keyte). He was baptised at Badsey on 19th March 1905.
Jack was not yet two when his mother died in November 1905. Whilst his eldest sister, Annie, went into domestic service and another sister, Edith, kept house for their widowed father, the boys went to live with their maternal grandmother, Clara Warner, and her husband, Edward (whom she married in 1896) at Belmont Terrace, Badsey. They were living there at the time of the 1911 census. John was a pupil at Badsey School from 1908-1918.
Clara’s marriage to Edwin was not successful so, in 1921, Jack and his uncle, Owen Keyte, decided to seek work on Jack’s brother-in-law’s farm in Manitoba, taking with them, Clara. Jack’s eldest sister, Annie, had emigrated in 1912 and was married to a farmer, James Joseph Sellman. They set sail from Liverpool on 25th May 1921 bound for Quebec; ship records reveal that Jack’s passage was partially paid for by his sister.
They had only just arrived in Canada when a census was taken in 1921. Jack, Clara and Owen were shown as living at Westbourne, Manitoba, with the Sellmans and their four children.
On 22nd November 1937 at Rosedale, Manitoba, Jack married Ethel May Windsor. They had three children. Jack died at Neepawa, Manitoba, on 16th December 1990, aged 85; his wife died in 2009.