Saturday, February 26, 2011

Talk to Relatives - You Never Know What You Will Learn About The Family History

Funerals are sad events but they are where you will be re-aquainted with your relatives.  My grandfather died in April of 1982.  I met my Mother's cousin who I hadn't seen in about 20 years.  During our conversations over the couple of days of the wake, I asked about his relationship with my grandfather.

My grandfather was born in Savannah, Georgia in 1889.  The cousin was also born in Savannah in about 1911. His mother and father divorced and my grandfather took care of him, his mother and his own mother.  About 1917 my grandfather travelled up to New York City to get a job.  He had been working as a telegraph operator for the railroad in Savannah and thought he wouldn't have any trouble getting a job in New York City.  He started working for Western Union as a telegraph operator as soon as he arrived.  Several years later after having married and starting a family he had the rest of the family come up to New York City.  He still was providing for the three of them all those years.

While telling about the relationship he happen to mention "did you know that grandpa's family came from Canada?"  Well I have to say I was absolutely stunned.  I had never heard anyone mention Canada ever!  It even got better, he said  there was a town named after them because they founded the town.  I told him my husband and I had just planned a trip by motorcyle up through New England and into Canada for July.  He told me the name of the town was Moores Mills but he couldn't remember the name of the great grandfather who left Canada to come to America.

I checked the map when we got home and found the town and realized it was about 20 miles north of the border crossing we were going to use.  The day before we were going to leave for our trip, I received a letter from the cousin.  He had remember the name, Horatio Nelson Moore.  Well, we were thrilled.

We had a great motorcyle ride up through New England.  It was our first out of state motorcyle ride and it was July and beautiful.  When we crossed into Canada we stayed right at the border in St. Stephen.  We went to the local library and asked if they knew anything about the people from Moores Mills and the name Horatio.  They knew the family right away but said they had several books about one family member named John Warren Moore.  We checked into the books and found that John was Horatio's brother.  The books told the history of the town and the family.
We then travelled to Moores Mills, it is directly north of St. Stephen about 20 miles away.  It is a very small town with only a few houses, a post office, church, and  community house.  We went a  little further and found the cemetery.  We went through the small cemetery and I wrote down all the Moore grave stones information.  I had found from the books at the library that Horatio's father was Tristram and his mother Thankful.  I found their grave and took a picture of the grave stone.

We then went to the archives for that county.  They had a book that someone had put together on the family line.  They didn't have a copy machine, so I ask to use their typewriter and typed out a few pages.  If I had only looked through the whole book at that time I would have seen my grandfather's name.  I found that out many years later when I tracked down a copy of the book and purchased it.
The conversation and then the trip to Moores Mills started me on the genealogy journey to investigate the history of my family.  So you never know what you will learn talking to relatives.

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