I have been working on my family tree for the past 15 years. I enjoy every aspect of the hunt. I have taken numerous courses and spent hours in libraries and sitting at my computer. I look forward to working on compiling my research into a format that is interesting to readers and especially family members.
My grandfather fought in WWI and I have been looking for a way to showcase what artifacts are left from his time in the war. I decided to do it in a video with a few audio recordings of my son as well as some music.
I like how it came together.
Oh so many years ago I remember I would go and visit my dad on his weekends (my parents were divorced). My hands down absolute favorite thing to do was to head down into his basement were he had 3 or 4 boxes of my grandma's papers, photos and oodles of Rebekah memorabilia. The connection I felt as I held some of the more special items, like the two tin types and the recordings she made of birthdays.
I remember coming across an old letter folded until it was a tiny square. I recall ever-so-gently unfolding it and slowly revealing more and more of the wonderful writing until it was sitting in my lap. I read the letter and asked my dad who these people possibly were? He had no idea, none of the names mentioned in the letter were written on any of the other papers that my grandma had kept.
The letter now sits in my office and I know more of the story behind it.
The key items in the letter were:
1) the date Dec. 14, 1883,
2) the address 93 Glenarm Rd., Lower Clapton,
3) people - addressed to Uncle and Aunt and signed M & R Brock
Once the 1881 English census was available I found the people living at 93 Glenarm Road -
Robert Brock - listed as son, age 23
Martha Brock - listed as daughter, age 25
Henry Brock - listed as son, age 21
Edward Brock - listed as son, age 17
No parents listed at all.
Over time and research I discovered that these Brock children had lost their parent's, first their mother Martha in 1877, and shortly thereafter their father Robert in 1879.
The children stayed together as we see in the 1881 census.
The letter goes on to describe the loss of their brother Henry who fell ill and how they miss him. They also speak of their younger brother who headed to New York for work but came back again as he had "altered his mind".
At least now I knew the letter writers and I suspected that the Uncle that they wrote to was Richard Lee Norton who was born in Great Yarmouth in 1819. I assumed that this must come from Richard's family because he was my only ancestor from England that I knew of on my grandmother's tree. I have since been able to show that this is most likely the case.
I have not been able to find the marriage record between Robert Brock and Martha Norton which would be the one item that would tie this story up into a pretty package. I have located Robert and Martha Brock from the 1851 census when they were living at St. George in the East, then St. Luke and their last residence at 6 Red Lion Market where the family was before they moved to Glenarm Road.
I have not uncovered all the clues in the letter, I have yet to find out who is mentioned in this portion - "Richard was at Yarmouth in the summer they are all well except Aunt she being very feeble". I feel like they are waiting, wondering what is taking me so long.
I am so thankful as I look back on those times when I was able to go to my dad's and drag box after box upstairs. I chuckle remembering the lack of understanding of my family who would groan as I slowly drifted downstairs to lug another box up to a spot in the middle of the living room to see the same items I had just viewed the month before.
After working with my daughter on the video that I posted on a previous blog post Sharing Names my daughter is begging me to do another. I am trying to come up with an idea for another one and I have had to tell her it will have to wait.
Lately though, she has been working on a book. I didn't know anything about the book, as she has been adding to it at night in her room (instead of sleeping), and early in the morning (she is an early riser).
This morning I was presented with her completed book.
April 2013 - Jordan age 6
Leafing through it she talks about what she loves to spend time doing and the friends she enjoys spending time with. I have to find ways to hopefully encourage her to continue exploring this self-reflection. I am thrilled to see a little spark of interest in herself and documenting her life!
Another picture from the book explains she is in ballet class, one of her favorite things to do!
When I wrote my blog post the other day, Wills At Family Search I did not realize there would be a part 2. I am happy to announce that there is!
After having success with locating my husband's 3x great grandmother, I decided I would have a look at the Manitoba Probate Collection 1879-1930. I have been putting this off, why you may ask? Well I hesitate to say it, but for the simple reason that they are not searchable... I guess I have been a little spoiled with all the information available by entering a name, and the thought of looking through these wills page by page had me avoiding this task. Today I decided to give it a try and I was wrong about not doing this sooner!
True, the records are not searchable --- but there is an index!!
Once you select the Manitoba Probate Collection at Family Search you arrive at a page to select the Judicial District, with the following choices -
Central, Eastern, Northern, St. Boniface, Dauphin, Manitoba, Southern & Western.
I went to google maps and decided I needed to look at the Southern option to find wills for Thornhill, Manitoba where some of my Mordy family moved to.
I selected Southern, and low and behold, there is an index! I was so happy to see that index!
I found my way to the M's and it wasn't long till I found that Ann Jane Mordy of Thornhill had made a will. I was surprised to see that as I had thought if I was lucky I may find her brother Brock's will. After locating her in the index I made sure to copy down the number, book and folio that was listed by her name. I left the index, went back to the previous page where I selected index but this time I picked Estate Files. Once that page opened it did not take me long to see that the wills were arranged by Number. With a bit of looking to find her Number among the pages, her will was on my screen.
Ann Jane Mordy did not marry, so she divided her holdings between different family members, mainly her nephews and nieces.
What I learned: Next time I am looking at the records at Family Search and the option is browse images, I am going to go in and see if there is an index already done.
I am still unpacking my genealogy after our move and came across these wonderful papers pertaining to a court case between my family members. It seems there was a disagreement about who would inherit from their aunt Harriet Milligan, she died in Chicago without issue.
Norton Court Case from the Superior Court of Cook County
My question is --- where do I put it? Do I create its own file in my file cabinet? But with over 100 pages maybe it is better to put it into it's own binder. What do you do when you acquire a large amount of paper? How do you organize it? I have thought of digitizing it but feel like it would take a LONG time!