Mysteries Old & New

“Life is Odd with it’s twists and turns,
as every one of us sometimes learns…”

This poem, entitled “Don’t Quit,” is one of my favourites. It seems to sum things up so nicely. You just never know what’s around the bend.

As I wrote in my last post, I have been helping my cousins get a Family History blog on its feet. This involved the exchange of many explanatory e-mails, as two our cousins wanting to share their memories know zilch about blogging. The other cousin and I, by default, became administrators.

Preparing postings for this endeavour has gotten me into some serious genealogical research again, especially when the stats don’t add up. Take for example, our gr-gr-grandpa John Turner.

According to our family record, John was born in 1810 in Ireland and came to Halifax in 1828. In Halifax he met and married Alice Doyle, from an old Irish family.

Their children:
John ………………..born1830
George…………………….1832
Elizabeth Jane………….1836
Archibald…………………1841
William…………………….1844
Ellen………………………..1849
Sarah……………………….1850
Margaret………………….1852
Matilda…………………….1857
Adeline…………………….1858
MaryAnn………………….1861
Christina…………………..1863
Robert Alexander……..1865

This represents 35 years; Alice would have been twelve when John was born and 47 when Robert was born. Now that’s asking a lot of any woman!

One can only hope those 4-5 year gaps among the older ones don’t represent infants that didn’t survive. Or do they represent a mother that didn’t survive? And who was she? Was John a widower when he came to Canada? The 1871 census records John as 71 and Alice as being 50; if this is correct, she was born in 1821 and was seven years old when John arrived in Halifax–nine when John Jr was born.

According to our family records, John died in 1894 and is buried in a Toronto cemetery. (This is odd when his home was in Grey County.) Alice is buried at Mount Clemens, Michigan. (That’s really odd!) Then comes my great-grandfather’s marriage registration:

William Turner, age 30……born Ontario about 1847
Father’s name: John, Mother: Elizabeth
Married April 18, 1877 to
Alice Watchorn, age 20……born Ontario about 1857
Father’s name: Charles; Mother: Anne

Okay, who is this mother Elizabeth? Just another of the joys of genealogy!

Modern day mysteries:

At church Sunday night I got this brain wave. My grandson loves mystery stories like the Hardy boys. Why don’t I write him one? (Not that I’ve ever done such a thing in my life, but, hey… How hard can it be?)

The mystery: Why did I think this was a bright idea? Why didn’t I consider what all is involved in writing a mystery? Instead I mentioned it to him and now he’s really enthused about it. According to my daughter, the grandchildren have 100% confidence that I can do it. So I can’t let them down, right?

At home after church I found an e-mail from my fellow blog administrator, wanting me to take it over for awhile. She seemed to need a little break, so I agreed to be in charge temporarily. Which gives me my fifth blog to mind, plus my new website. (And did I mention that I’ve put myself down for half a dozen extra shifts in October because two other casual cooks decided to take the month off?)

Monday morning reality settled heavily on my mind. It’s a mystery to me how I get myself into all these things? The Mystery of the Ages: Why is hindsight always so much better than foresight? Are you a “commit first; think later” sort of person, too?

Enter the Eagle

I left for work feeling really snowed under, when what to my wondering eyes should appear but a bald eagle soaring and descending above the slough beside the road – a rare sighting in these parts.

I immediately thought of the Bible verse, “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles. They shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Isa 40:31

It felt like the Lord was sending me a special message of hope: a heavenly “Hang in there.” I should just persevere and the strength will come as I need it. “One day at a time, sweet Jesus…”

So for the past few days I’ve been planning a mystery – and realizing just how complex they are. Like the Law, I need to start with a map of the whole area under investigation. I have a new respect for Franklin Dixon!

Advertisements

One thought on “Mysteries Old & New

  1. I think it is remarkable what you have found out about the Turners. As you say, there are a lot of mysteries. Documents were hand-written and there was more chance for error. It is amazing to learn anything about a man who died in 1894.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s