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Isn’t The Internet Wonderful?

For quite a few years, I have been doing genealogy, and although I have found many many family names, I had never actually met any family members associated with my research.

However,  a few years ago I was contacted via ‘Friend Reunited’ a now defunct website, by a second cousin on my Dad’s side. Samantha was my cousin Cheryl’s daughter, and she was looking for members of the Bulford family for her parent’s anniversary genealogy gift. Through Sam, I was united with Cheryl, her mother and my first cousin and from there, more first cousins I had never met.

My parents divorced when I was seven, and after that, I never had further contact with my paternal side of the family. This was SO exciting! There was Diane, my Aunt Sylvia’s daughter, Cheryl, Aunt  Florence’s daughter and Joanna, Uncle Roy’s daughter. All familiar names but people I had never met or even thought I would ever meet. We all contacted each other via the internet in great excitement, and exchanged the information we had all collected, and they sent me photos I had never seen, of my Dad’s family.

After numerous emails, we all decided to meet in the UK when I went over for my annual holiday. As this was the paternal side of my family, we met in Cornwall where my father and my cousins’ mothers and fathers were all born. I met, once again after 68 years my Uncle Roy, the last surviving member of the 11 children born to my father’ family.

We all met at the apartment Uncle Roy lived in with his wife, Aunt Evelyn. They had made us all Cornish Pasties, a local treat. Uncle Roy was 94 then, and Auntie Evelyn was 90 (both still alive today!) and my Uncle looked so much like my father, I became quite emotional. Uncle Roy’s sons David and Jonathan were there too with their sister Joanna and suddenly, just like that, I had five cousins! I had brought photos and they had some too, which we all pored over. I learned so much about the family in that short visit, to add to my family tree.

I showed David and Jonathan a photo of me, aged three that was taken on a beach in Newquay, one of the last visits to my Dad’s family before the divorce, and wondered aloud where it could have been taken. David took me by the hand to the balcony of the apartment opened the door and pointed. David said ‘This is Towan Beach where your photo was taken’ and there before me as in my photo, was the beach and the houses on the cliff behind me, still prominent today. Then I did cry.

The next day, we all had a family reunion Sunday lunch with wives and children, in the local pub. We reminisced we took photos and promised to keep in touch, which we have done so every year for the last 6 years. Every year I visit the UK we have our Bulford reunion usually in the West Country at a local pub, and each year I find out more about my Dad’s family. Photos, war records, marriages, deaths, some researched information I had, that my cousins did not know about were all shared via the internet. PLUS a recently found USA Bulford branch too, which is to be the basis for another story.

The internet, isn’t it just amazing and wonderful?

 

Marian circa 1948

Towan Beach Newquay, Cornwall UK

 

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An Ingenue, a Diary and the Goddess of Love

 

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Young Elizabeth Hardy Fair of Virginia. Daughter of Elizabeth Hardy, who was  sister to Mary ‘Pinky’ Hardy, United States General Douglas MacArthur’s mother.

As a schoolgirl back in the 1960’s before Expo 67 opened in Montreal, the only works of art I would have recognized were the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo.  I would have seen them, you see, on TV caricatured in advertisements for toothpaste or gloves, or on sophisticated Saturday morning cartoons like the Bugs Bunny Show.

Today, when I think of the Venus de Milo, I think of my husband’s Great Aunt  Elizabeth.

In 1910 Elizabeth Hardy Fair,a single society girl from Warrenton, Virginia, USA, was visiting the Continent for the first time. She was in her mid twenties.

The aging ingénue kept a written record in diary form and I have  it.  This European diary reveals that she started her trip in London (hated it, too gloomy) and then went on to Paris,  (loved it, so pretty).

Sorry to say, that’s about as deep as she gets.

Still, Elizabeth penned this one rather intriguing phrase from a visit to the Louvre:  “Saw Gaylord Clarke coming out of the Venus de Milo Room. Second time we have met since abroad.”

Now, if this were a scene from an E.M. Forster novel, and Miss Elizabeth Fair were a luminous young woman of head-strong character, this  ‘chance meeting’ at the Louvre would have been, no doubt, a significant turning point in the trajectory of  Miss Elizabeth’s life.

Just think of it.  In 1910, women such as Elizabeth covered themselves, neck to toes,  in starchy shirtwaists and princess skirts.

Now  contemplate  the Venus de Milo with her sumptuous drapery dipping below the upper curve of her perfect buttocks, and  then figure what it must have felt to be  a young man coming out of the Venus de Milo room  in that era–before the age of California beach volleyball. And then imagine what an opportune moment it was for the very eligible Miss Elizabeth Hardy Fair of Warrenton, Virginia.

As it is, this Mr. Clarke left for England the next day. End of their story.

Elizabeth soon returned to Warrenton, still very much single. Eight years later she would travel to Montreal (to visit her older sister, Mae) and find a husband in the form of one Frank Tofield,  banker.

She would live out her life in the posh Linton apartments on Sherbrooke Street West in ‘uptown’ Montreal, impressing her great nephews and nieces at every Sunday dinner with the button on­­­ the floor under the dining room table that she used to summon the staff with her foot.

Now, as someone who likes to write about ancestors, I like to think that everyone who ever lived is worthy of at least one book, or at least a good short story, but my husband’s Great Aunt Elizabeth may be an exception.

Elizabeth and Frank had no children and all she left behind  to her nephew is a tattered scrapbook with a few yellowed clippings like this one from a 1904 St. Louis Social Notes page: .

Miss Elizabeth Fair of Warrenton VA is the guest of Dr. and Mrs. John O’Fallon and is a beautiful girl who has been a great deal feted and admired around St. Louis. The 1904 World’s Fair!

The year before, in  1903, she attended her soon-to-be famous first cousin, Douglas MacArthur’s, West Point graduation.  She glued the dance card into her scrapbook. Mae had the first dance, a waltz; she had the third, a gavotte.

And then there’s this diary, this pedestrian record of her 1910 European experience visiting  all the usual landmarks, Hyde Park, Les Champs Elysees  and Le Bon Marche where she bought handkerchiefs and gloves. It is a diary exposing no wicked sense of humour, sharing no penetrating insights, and including not even one memorable phrase like, say,   “I shall return.”

Well, she did mention seeing suffragettes on the march in London.

Oh, she does pencil in this candid opinion on Da Vinci’s most famous work.

Went to the Louvre in the morning. Pictures most interesting. Mona Lisa was carefully inspected but it does not appeal to me in the least. After lunch, shopped and then drove through Parc Mont Claire. This park is lovely, abloom with flowers, statuary and strollers galore. Great place for lovers and babies… So, no surprise, in 1910, Elizabeth, had love and babies on the mind.

I wonder what was wrong, then, with this mysterious Mr. Clarke?  If things had gone well, it might have been a very good thing for one Frank Tofield. Family legend has it the well-to-do couple argued incessantly over the decades over her spendthrift ways.

(I found Frank’s signed Bible and it was filled with dozens of brittle, faded four leaf clovers.)

So, no book about Great Aunt Elizabeth Hardy Fair, by all definitions a most ordinary Southern Belle and first cousin to a genuine history-book legend. No short story either.

Just this short blog post.

The End.

Below: Elizabeth at her wedding: lavish tastes

elizabethfairmarriage

Destination: Amerikka

 

by

Claire Lindell

Amidst the many tombstones in a shady corner of Edgewood Cemetery in Ashtabula, Ohio is a very simple thick slab of granite, about the size of one of those washboards our mothers and grandmothers used to hand wash items before washing machines were invented. Inscribed on this granite in very large letters, as simple as the stone itself is the word  “AITI”. which means mother in Finnish. It is the resting place of my great grandmother1, Susanna Karhu (Klemola) who had immigrated to the United States in 1896.

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Susanna was born in Waara, Finland in 1854. In their home country in 1876 at the age of  twenty-two Sanna married Johan Karhu. Over time they raised a family of eight children.

In 1893 Johan seized the opportunity to immigrate to the United States. He left his family in Finland and made his way to Ashtabula, Ohio, a port city on Lake Erie, where he worked on the docks and lived in the area of Ashtabula Harbor. At that time the port was thriving with constant activity. Large flat boats and barges loaded with coal and iron ore were sailing up and down the Great Lakes. These were prosperous times. New immigrants were eager to earn a decent wage.

Once settled, Johan sent for his family. In 1896 Susanna ( Sanna), at the age of forty-two along with her three youngest children, Ida, Jaako, and Lisa set sail by way of Hanko, Finland.2. They boarded the S.S. Cunard ship ‘Lucania’ in Liverpool, England en route to America. Ellis Island was their port of destination in America arriving  there on the 30th of May 1896,  and continuing on  to Ohio.

Very little is known about Sanna. We do know that her two oldest children chose to remain  in Finland. It must have been heart wrenching to know that she would be leaving behind these children and  two of her babies’ graves.

She was a housewife and at the time of her death August 18th 1929. She was 75 years old and among the oldest of the Finnish residents of Ashtabula Harbor having lived there over 30 years. Johan died in 1948. Where he is buried is still a mystery?

GGR-Gram-GGR-Jake-Vic Karhu

Sanna, Ida Susanna, Johan, Jaako and Lisa. Photograph taken several years

after arriving in the United States. Ida, my grandmother appears to be about fifteen or sixteen.

GGR-GR Karhu 50thAn@ Laine Farm

In a photograph taken during a family gathering in 1919 Sanna and Johan

are surrounded by their children, grandchildren and great-grand children.

 

Sources:

  1. 1. “Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,” database with images,FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:X8PB-TC9 : 8 December 2014), Sanna Karhu, 18 Aug 1929; citing Ashtabula, Ashtabula, Ohio, reference fn 50528; FHL microfilm 1,991,908.
  2. 2. Finnish Institute of Migration

Sister Pilgrimage

Early Sunday morning, dressed in our special t-shirts, we left in plenty of time for the morning church service at St Martin’s-in-the-Woods.  The greeter welcomed us warmly, and we asked if there might be any Haningtons at church that day.  She beckoned down the aisle to her husband who then introduced himself as Allen Hanington. 4-1StMartin-Haningtons (9) Overjoyed, we threw our arms around our surprised distant cousin and snapped a commemorative photo.  And so our journey began.

4-1StMartin-Haningtons (8)

My 3x great grandfather, William Hanington, was the first English settler in Shediac, New Brunswick, in 1785.  He was an amazing fellow who emigrated from England at the age of twenty-six, built a whole community, set up lumber exports, built ships, married a PEI girl and had a family of thirteen.   Later in life, in 1823, he donated a piece of land and built St Martin’s-in-the-Woods Anglican Church, where he was buried in 1838.St Martin's in the Woods

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Front: Sister Pilgrimage July 2015 Back: William Hanington – 3x Great Grandfather 1759-1838

This past July, my sister and I decided to go on a one week “sister pilgrimage” to explore our family history in Shediac from 230 years ago.  We ordered our specialized t-shirts and planned our family-and-friends-fun-filled trip to the Maritimes. A very special trip for us both.  We hadn’t travelled together before and my sister, recently widowed, was embracing a “carpe diem” attitude.

Peggy’s Cove was our first  tourist attraction and we enjoyed a stroll around the lighthouse and its spectacular rocks overlooking the ocean. The quaint little shops were charming and the local afternoon tea was delicious.

On our way to Shediac, NB, we visited my sister’s friend Helen who was new to the area and provided us with a hearty lunch.  We checked into our B&B in Shediac, and set off to explore the delightful little town.  On the waterfront, we climbed onto the famous giant lobster to pose for the ultimate tourist photo.  4Shediac (17)Afterwards, while strolling along the boardwalk, we came upon a historical monument dedicated to our 2x great grandfather Daniel Hanington, a famous politician in his time. What a terrific surprise!

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The Anglin Sisters meet the Wallace Sisters.

Hopewell Rocks was our second tourist attraction with its incredible change in tides.  That morning, we walked along the “beach”.  Then we lunched nearby at the Apple Blossom Café, run by three retired schoolteacher spinster sisters.  What a hoot they were!  After lunch, we returned to find high tide had completely transformed the whole bay.  Amazing!

The next morning, our GPS helped us find our way to tiny Clairville, NB, to visit my friends Carol and Bruce.  Their cozy place was beautifully perched up on a hill overlooking a vast field.  After a tour of their house and garden, we had a delicious lunch and then set out for Charlottetown, PEI.

While driving across the spectacular Confederation Bridge, it was difficult to imagine how William and his Indian guides paddled across the Northumberland Strait in 1792 to claim his bride in Summerside, PEI (then known as Ile-St.Jean).

We checked into our B&B in Charlottetown and headed off to meet Anne of Green Gables, our third tourist attraction.  Luckily for us, there weren’t many visitors that day and she was able to personally fill us in on all the latest town gossip.

On our last day, we visited our mother’s best childhood friend. who is living with her son and family just outside Charlottetown.  Our mother passed away when we were very young, and AuntJean“Auntie Jean” has been a precious source of their childhood tales. It was such a thrill to see her again.

Later on that Sunday after the morning service at St Martin’s-in-the-Woods, we visited with Allen’s charming sister Lillian, the family historian who knew our exact location in the Hanington family tree!

And just down the lane from the church, off  Hanington Street, was our grandmother’s summer cottage.  Our grandfather, Canon Lindsay, would fill in as their pastor from time to time over the summers and several people at church that morning remembered him fondly.

Finally, as we drove down the driveway to visit with Allen and his wife Willa, there they were sitting on the porch swing waiting to welcome us into their home. 4-1StMartin-Haningtons (18)The afternoon flew by with lemonade and homemade treats and eventually we bid farewell to our cousins with heartfelt promises to keep in touch.

PS  The August 2015 family newsletter, the Hanington Herald, just arrived by mail! Included in the comments from the President’s Desk (that would be our cousin Allen!), it says: “We just experienced a lovely visit from the Anglin sisters; Lucy (Montreal) and Margaret (Ottawa) who were visiting in the area and attended morning service at St Martin’s-in-the-Woods Anglican Church on Sunday, July 5th 2015.  We had a very nice visit on Sunday afternoon.  They are descendents of Daniel Hanington.”

Illegitimate

Illegitimate
by Marian Bulford

In the March 31st 1901 UK Census Lilian Mary Symons was listed as a ‘servant girl/domestic’ in Leicester, Leicestershire in the employ of Mrs. Mary Whatnall, ‘Retired Lunatic Asylum Matron’ Mrs. Whatnall’s niece also lived in the house.¹

The 18 year old Lilian had, the previous November 25th given birth to a daughter. The father of the baby was a Royal Navy Cooper and master carpenter Thomas Bevan whom Lilian met when she was 17. They had started to court, but neither of them realised she was pregnant when Thomas left for sea. He was gone not knowing he was to be a father and Lilian had no contact with him for the next three years.

Lilian was the oldest in a family of five. Her father was a jobbing gardener and her mother a housewife so they would have had no means to take care of Lilian and another child.

How Lilian must have felt at that time, being pregnant and unmarried is not known, but I can only imagine how she would have had to approach her family and tell them. She also had to tell them that she did not know where Thomas, the father was.

Lilian’s father Thomas Symons unsuccessfully searched for Thomas and he also wrote to the Royal Navy regularly to find out the father’s whereabouts, but to no avail.²

In the 1900’s in the United Kingdom, unmarried pregnant women were often disowned by their families and the work house was the only place they could go during and after the birth of their child. There were no fees, but hard work was expected of the inmates. ³

According to my family, although Lilian was not ‘disowned’ by her family she did give birth to her baby and her child’s birth certificate states the child was born in the ‘Leicestershire Workhouse’.

In addition, the original birth certificate also had the words ‘ILLEGITIMATE’ in large letters stamped over the entire certificate. Lilian immediately tore it up and threw it away. 4

Lilian’s circumstances definitely changed, as I have a wonderful photo of the child at two years old and she is dressed in a very attractive dress with a matching dolly. These are not the usual working attire for someone living in a 1902-era work house and tape recordings of family told me her parents looked after the baby daughter and Lilian went to work for Mrs. Whatnall.

Thomas Bevan did eventually return from sea and Lilian and he got married on 25th April 1904 when the child was three and a half years old.5

In the 1911 Census 10 years later, Lilian is the ‘head’ of a household with three additional children. They lived in the Royal Navy Port of Plymouth, Devon England and Thomas was once again, back at sea.6

The couple went on to have four more children, who all lived to adulthood, including my grandmother, Edith, who had no idea she was born out of wedlock until she was 65 years old, but that is another story!

 Sources:
1 1901 UK Census at Ancestry.com
2 http://www.workhouses.org.uk/life/entry.shtml
3 Family tape recordings
4 Certified copy of a Birth Certificate, Leicestershire City Council, England
5 Registered marriages in April, May and June 1904 Leicestershire, England at Ancestry.com
6 Family tape recordings

Photos Below:

Lilian Mary Symons b. 1882

Lilian Mary Symons 1899

Edith Bevan 1902

Edith Symons Bevan 1902

Thomas Bevan b. 1876

Thomas Bevan, RN

Australia, 1908

 

 

The French Canadians in the U.S.A 1840-1930

French Canadian Emigration to the U.S. 1840-1930

compiled by Jacques Gagné

“The Archives nationales du Québec in Montréal on Viger Avenue are the repository of a wonderful and unique collection of books of marriages, baptisms, deaths of French Canadian families who left the Province of Québec between 1840 to 1930 for destinations south of the border. For it is estimated that during that 90 year period, 900,000 French Canadians left the regions along the shores of the  St. Lawrence River, the Richelieu River, the Chaudière River for the U.S. ”

As part of this research guide, Jacques Gagné has also included the exodus of Acadians to the same New England States, New York State and other points within the United States of America including the Acadian families who were deported to Louisiana.

 

Click here to open the pdf file : French Canadians in the U.S.A. 2014

Our own domain name!

Genealogy Ensemble now has its own domain. Please update your browsers to select http://www.genealogyensemble.com from now on. (The new address is easier to remember, but if you forget, we still can be seen from the old one too.)

We’ve also upgrade our blog to get rid of those pesky ads.

Hope you like our new functioning.

 

Free public archives

No, it’s not just to get your attention, Archives publiques libres  is a group of people who believe archives should be free to search to all, and that, by the same token, if you put your information online to share with others, it is not so a company grabs your info to sell to others.

gratuit genealogieFollow them on Facebook 

On their webpage, they explain their position, list actions they take or that we can take to maintain a genalogical world accessible to all…

I really appreciate their inventory of free genealogical resources: simply click on maps and access lists fromFrance and around the world.  You can also find press releases, tips for using internet etc.

To grow a life-size tree, you grow a family

My good friend Joel Bergeron’s grand-father moved to Temiscamingue early in the 20th century.

Their descendants still meet annually at their cousin’s farm.  The most beautiful tree grows on this farm.

It’s painted on the side of the barn; its trunk has their grand-parents’ names at the base.

arbreP

Wooden apples sit at the base of the main branches:  each pair of apples represents a couple and another branch on the tree.  Along each branch sits an apple for each child and his or her spouse. From each of these grows a smaller stem that in turn holds apples for each of their kids.

arbrdetp

Every year, the entire family comes to the farm from Ontario, Quebec, where-ever they live… to feed that tree with joy.

Un arbre généalogique pleine grandeur!  C’est celui des Bergeron qu’on retrouve sur la grange d’un cousin.  Les grand-parents se sont installés au Témiscamingue au début du 20e siècle.  Leurs noms sont à la base du tronc.  A chaque embranchement, deux pomme pour un de leurs enfants avec son conjoint.  La branche qui y pousse, contient les pommes des enfants de ceux-ci, et les petites branches, de leurs petits enfants.  Et toute cette famille se réuni chez ce cousin, quelques jours, chaque année, parce que la famille, ça se cultive!

Researching Your Ancestors in France

Map of France 1740

Map of France 1740

 Are you researching your ancestors? Do you want to know what part of France they came from;  where they began their journey to New France?  If so, you might be interested in the new group formed by members of the Quebec Family History Society (QFHS).

The France Research Special Interest Group meets every 4th Sunday of the month at 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm at the QFHS Library and Center at 173 Cartier Avenue in Pointe-Claire, Quebec  just off of Highway 20 (opposite the CLSC).

QFHS members are welcome  to join  these monthly meetings.  Together, in a friendly and informal setting, new and experienced genealogists gather to discuss our French ancestors. The focus of the group is to share researching techniques available on the Internet. France has a wealth of free websites containing numerous databases and extensive archives  for each of the 95 departments dating back in time to  the 1500s.

If you are not a member and are interested in joining the group or want know more about QFHS, visit the website at www.qfhs.ca.

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