Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Family Tree

In 2008, I visited the graves of both sets of my maternal great-grandparents in Mt. Whatley, NB and Murray Corner, NB respectively while in the area with Francey and Lorna. All the cemetery information was available online so between that information and GoogleMaps, I was able to find the old cemeteries without too much trouble, although the church was long gone from the site of my grandfather's parents' cemetery.
Skip has been spending lots of time researching his parents' ancestors and it inspired me to do more research as well. I keep finding out more and  more information and have been able to trace my grandfather's ancestors back to the 1700s in Yorkshire, England. They came to Nova Scotia and New Brunswick in the 1770s during a great migration from northern England.

Then I found a new (to me) website that has my grandmother's ancestors catalogued and quite a bit of information about dates, marriage dates and burial places. When I clicked a link for my great uncle, Carl (my grandmother's brother), I learned that not only had he died at only age 20, it was on 12 April 1917 in France. He was in the 42nd Battalion of the Canadian Infantry (Quebec Division). His date of death is significant because it was on the last day of the battle at Vimy Ridge. I'm not sure he was at Vimy Ridge as the cemetery at Wimereux where he is buried is quite a distance from Vimy. However, it sure is a coincidence. Another surprise was when I learned that John McCrae (who penned the famous poem 'In Flanders Fields') is buried at Wimereux, too. Note: I've now had it confirmed that he was injured at Vimy Ridge on 9 April 1917 and died 3 days later.

My friend, Suzanne, recently sent away for a copy of the page from the WWI Book of Remembrance that contained her great-uncle's name. She said she was very impressed with the copy which she received last week. I, too, ordered a copy of the page with my great-uncle's name.

One reason that I was surprised to learn the Carl was buried in France is because his name is on his parents' headstone in the Mt. Whatley, NB cemetery.
Isn't it cool that my great-grandfather was Charles Brown? Charlie Brown????

The records from that era are very accurate and a matter of public record. They are largely based on the census between 1851 and 1901. Also, most church and county records have also been incorporated into the data base I was using. I learned that my grandmother was 8 years old for the 1901 census so was able to finally confirm her birth date of 4 March 1893. However, her wedding date was not included so I will have to do more searching. I assume she and Grandpa got married at the Mt. Whatley, NB church (where the cemetery is).

I will try and get access to the church records some way. I believe they married in 1915 or 1916 but am unsure of the accurate date.
It was such a beautiful day when we visited there two years ago. I hope to visit there in the next couple of months, this time with my sister.

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