Saturday, July 09, 2011

Looking for my roots

So what do you do when you've just got back from a two week road trip and you don't have to go back to work for another week? Take another road trip!!!

One of the reasons on my very, very long list of Reasons to Move to Ontario was the fact that I know my family originated out here. This is going up my dad's paternal side of the tree. It's the oldest line I have on any of my branches that is still in Canada. Everyone else immigrated within the last 100 years. This one goes back to the mid 1850's and they're still in Ontario. My grandpa is Orville, his dad is Clarence, his dad is Milton and his dad is James. I was looking for James, my great-great-great-grandpa. I didn't find him, and I am in fact more confused than when I left but I DID find James' two wives and his second son Everett.

First, the other thing I found was a detailed history of Milton's wife Eliza Jane Post. It contains over seven thousand names (including my dad). It goes back to her great-great-grandpa Nehemiah Hubble who was a United Empire Loyalist who came from the US to Canada in 1788. It also goes seven generations back from HIM to 1567. I was shaking when I found that. So excited!

Of course that doesn't solve my issues with finding James. So, in the Hubble family history it lists Milton and Eliza Jane and lists Milton's parents as James and Rebecca. That matches what I had from dad's cousin Jean (I've talked about her before in
relation to genealogy). In fact, from her, I have pictures of James and Rebecca. I need to scan them. I'll try and do that. Anyway, so I've confirmed that James and Rebecca are Milton's parents. In the Trenton, ON library (where I took my roadtrip to for my research) they have cemetery listings and Rebecca and James are both listed. Making a long story short, I found the listing and the approximate of where the cemetery is and, after the library closed, I went for a drive.

On the side of Frankford Road in Quinte West, Ontario - a road also known as Hwy 5 which seems to link to the original name of Concession Road 5, is a small cemetery. At one end is this gravestone. The inscription says: Rebecca A. McDonald, wife of James Madden, d. Aug. 16, 1863, aged 24 years, 1 mo. 4 days. My great-great-great grandma.

This confirms both Rebecca and James and the dates jive with everything else I've found. I also know that after Rebecca died James, who had a three year old Milton to care for, remarried. His second wife was Amarilla Scott and together they had a son named Everett. I don't know how long James lived after his marriage to Amarilla but I also know that after he died, she married a Daniel Phillips (confused yet?) LOL

After finding Rebecca's gravesite, I took a chance on finding another cemetery, the one that contained Amarilla's gravestone (as a side note, don't you love that name? Amarilla? Maybe it's just because I recently visited Green Gables in PEI but I love the sound of it.) So I knew there was another cemetery but I didn't know where. I knew it was in the general vicinity because the records said that a lot of families had people buried in both. Unfortunately it's hard to google cemeteries unless they have offices onsite. Anyway, I picked a direction and went for a drive, I came to a fork in the road and went down the one that was called "Ashley" (the cemetery I was looking for was originally the Ashley family plot, seemed like a safe bet). I drove through the little town of Foxboro (it's the Foxboro Cemetery...getting warmer) and sure enough, down a side road I saw monuments. Jackpot! This cemetery was larger than the last one but I had a general idea of where the monument I was looking for was located and it didn't take long to find it. It's an impressive marble structure. I'll spare you pictures of all four sides and just tell you who is there. The main name is Phillips. You've got Daniel Phillips, d. Oct 24, 1893, Amarilla Scott, wife of Daniel Phillips, d. Feb 20, 1916, aged 70 yr. 8 mo., Everett Madden d. 26 1888, aged 23 yr :( and James Madden d. June 6, 1886, aged 32 yr.

I'm confused though. The age for Everett jives with the census data I found listing him Daniel and Amarilla in the area in 1881. Who is the James that's listed her though? If it IS my James, then the math doesn't make sense. 1886 minus 32 years makes him born in 1854 which means he was six when Milton was born. Wrong. Is it another child? Is their math off? Is Amarilla buried with both her first and second husband? I don't know. So, as you can see, I have more searching to do.

After the high of linking back to Milton's wife's family so effortlessly, this other head scratcher is frustrating. By the time I finished my traipsing all over the countryside to cemeteries and then made my way back to Trenton, it was 8pm. It's a three hour drive back to Waterloo and I wanted to do some more work at the library so I found a cheap motel and stayed the night. Friday didn't turn up anything particularly useful although I do have an unverified record of James and Amarilla's marriage which lists the date as February 18, 1864 and lists him as being 30 years old. (This was just in a database, I need to find the actual record and see if I can confirm it somehow). If that is true, and it does make sense in relation to Milton's birthdate, then I'm a bit closer.

Friday I left Trenton around 1:30 and took the long way back. I'm developing a strong dislike for major highways, especially the 401 north of Toronto. I just drove it on my way back from Ottawa last weekend and I drove it to Trenton on Thursday so I wasn't excited about driving it again on Friday. Instead I drove the "old" highway, which winds through the towns along Lake Ontario. On the way I connected with Ashley, my roommate from Chicoutimi and made plans to have dinner at her place in Toronto. It was great to see her again, and not only because she's a fabulous cook and it meant I missed Toronto rush hour :) Her mom was in town so I got to meet her as well.

So, that's what I do when I have time off :) I love summer!!!

No comments: