Intriguing Data

I’ve been digging into the family tree roots again, and discovered some interesting facts and figures for my forebear’s family. My husband also got his DNA results back today and is tripping through all the family info — and mis-info — on his side. Names garbled on old records, etc. Dad was Walter Frank and wouldn’t appreciate being listed as Wally T!

Facts and dates, spellings and census records all make for interesting reading and quite a few chuckles as you try to sort out how great-great grandmother had her first child at age seven, or another had her last baby at age 56.

There were some interesting age spreads back then, as there are today. My gr-gr-grandma Ruth’s sister, Rebecca, was 24 when she married John Pepper, a widower aged 44. It really interested me to learn that the couple lived in Fullarton, Ontario, the small town we lived in for some years, thirty-odd years ago.

One of their brothers was Jonathan Burnham Dobson. Confusingly, I’ve discovered two men by that name, one lived mostly in New Brunswick and one in Ontario. That may take some sorting out, if I really want to go there.

I’ve been following the life story and descendants of the Ontario fellow. I’ve learned that his wife was Ann Blatchford (Ontario marriage record — can’t argue with that.) Ann was — if you believe half a dozen Family Tree records the daughter of Thomas Tapson and Jane Blatchford. Or did someone cross a wire there?

Depending on whose record you believe, Ann was born in Lydford, Lifton, or Bridestowe, all in Devon. According to all accounts she was married in 1842 to William Blatchford.

One record says they had 7 children, born from 1845 to 1857. And William died in 1852.
One record says they had five children from 1845-1853, and William died in 1854.
One record shows they had three children widely spaced and William died in 1858.

Her children were for sure William, Elizabeth Ann, George, and Mary Jane, give or take a Richard, Louisa, Joanna, or Thomas Charles.

All agree that Ann (Tapson) Blatchford married Jonathan Dobson in 1859. (Thank you DVS!) Born in 1831, he would have been 27 and she 38. Except that the Ontario Marriage registration gives her age as 28. I’d like to know how lost those ten years. 🙂

I’ve found record of their one daughter, Margaret. Some family trees list her as Margaret Marguerite. I’ve spent this afternoon discovering her spouse, their children and spouses. Don’t ask me why? 😉

One researcher covered all the bases in the info they posted:
Ann was born at Lydford, Devon, England, married William Blatchford in 1842. The couple had six children before William died in 1852. At some point they immigrated to Ontario.
Children’s names and birth years:
William (44), Elizabeth (47), George (49), Thomas C (51), Mary Jane (53) and Richard (63)
Oh, wait — don’t forget Joanna, supposedly born in 57.

Then Ann married Jonathan Dobson and their children were:
Louisa (33), Henry (54), Sara (56), Margaret Marguerite (59) Ann (59) and Emma (63), when Ann would have been 43. Possible — but talk about prolific! It will take some serious DNA research to sort out all those offspring.

While I’m speaking of things being rather a mess, have you all come to terms with the newest update in Word Press, where we have to go through the Stats to get to the WordPress Administration instead of having the left-hand drop-down menu like we used to? I find it a pain.

Mystery Blogger Award

What is Mystery Blogger Award?

the-mystery-blogger-award

“Mystery Blogger Award” is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging; and they do it with so much love and passion.”
– Okoto Enigma

As I mentioned yesterday, I have been nominated for this award, created by Okoto Enigma, who would love to have you drop by and say Hello.

Special thanks to Sue at Crooked Creek, who selected me for this award. She likewise would welcome visitors and has written some very interesting and thought-provoking posts.

Award Rules:
– Put the award logo/image on your blog
– List the rules.
– Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
– Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well
– Tell your readers 3 things about yourself
– You have to nominate 10 – 20 people
– Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog
– Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify)
– Share a link to your best post(s)

Three things about me:
– I have lived in six out of Canada’s ten provinces, and visited New Brunswick & Nova Scotia.
– My siblings were raised by our parents, whereas I was raised by my aunt & uncle. However, we had frequent contact during holidays.
– I’m such a soft-heart that I’ve even been known to rescue sidewalk-stranded earthworms from dehydration after a rain.

The questions I’ve been asked are:
– What influenced you to start blogging?
– Have you ever thought of discontinuing your blog?
– What do you do when you are not writing?
– What is your biggest challenge to blogging?
– The “weird” one: If you were not a human what do you think you’d be?

Answers:
– Over coffee a friend and fellow writer talked of blogging. I said, “Too technical. I could never get it.” She gave me a quick “How to” so I came home and followed her instructions, mainly to prove it was too complex for me.
– Have I ever thought of quitting. Oodles of times. At times I’ve resolved to cease and desist…but then this idea, subject, or experience comes along that I just have to share.
– When I’m not writing I do all the other things that need my attention. Laundry, meals, dishes… Today I dug up part of my long-neglected flowerbed…which inspired a little verse I want to share soon.
– My biggest challenge is time management. That is, not spending all day every day blogging, which is something I really enjoy.
– If I were not a human, I couldn’t think or choose. However, from where I am now…it might be nice to be a bee. They’re social, yet independent, desired and respected.

My best posts are:

Writing Prompt Sources
Life Goes On
The Ages of Women
Baking Bread the Irish Way
The Look
Breaking the Land
Nature Makes Cats Too Smart
It’s Payback Time
The Waters of Babylon
Gift From the Heavens

Most of these posts are flash fiction written for Friday Fictioneers. As I went over my posts to pick out the most viewed and liked, I realize I did my best writing when I was participating in that group. There is definitely merit in a photo prompt and weekly deadline!

Now, as for nominating others…
I’ve no idea who likes to do awards and who doesn’t, so I’m going to take a cue from some other bloggers, and nominate all of you, dear readers. 🙂 If you’d like to accept this award, please do.

Sigh! So many things come to mind for questions one could ask. However, I’ve chosen…

The Questions:
1. What was your favourite recess game, back when you were in grade school?

2. List three of your favourite HUMONGOUS words.
3. What are your three favourite house-plants?

4. When you feel like abandoning your blog, what inspires you to stick with it?
5. The “weird” one: If some small island were looking for a new dictator, would you be a good choice?

I think I have fulfilled all the requirements for the award; now I look forward to seeing your post, if you’re participating, and reading your responses to these questions.
And for anyone, take a moment to consider the questions and leave your answers in a comment below.

Oh, The Stress!

TIRED TO DEATH

by Mary J MacColl

An imaginary conversation between a young society belle and her friend, Grace, with off-side orders to her maid, Marie. The poet has skillfully portrayed the attitudes of the pampered daughter in a prosperous family, circa 1870.

Oh, Marie, come quickly and take off my shoes;
Now, bring my white peignoir and let down my hair;
I’m tired to death! Grace, you must excuse
me to Alice and Captain Bellair.

Not a moment of rest all this day have I had
since my coffee was brought me at ten
with the papers. Each item of interest I read—
by the way, I’m disgusted with men!
A second Maud Muller young Moneysworth’s wed,
when he might — but no matter — and then

an hour was spent dressing, a letter I wrote
to Bell Breeze — she’s a love of a girl!
Drove to Russell’s, was fitted,
then penned a sweet note
to Fred Fairleigh — that card case of pearl

he sent me — a bet on the races last week.
Yes archery is quite the rage;
a cute polo pony’s my very last freak —
I’ll never fall back of the age.

Had breakfast at one, then a short nap I took;
read Daniel Deronda till three;
I must say it’s tedious — not my style of a book —
George Eliot’s too solid for me.

Now, Southworth and Flemming are just to my taste,
and French novels are quite au fait
Kate Norris called next — oh, how tight she was laced! —
and I’m sure she was painted today.

While we talked, Clara Alden rushed in with a gush,
I thought she would strangle me quite.
Her brother is charming; you know, dear — don’t blush —
I saw that flirtation last night.

Next Mordant dropped in — he’s a donkey, but then
he’s worth a cool million or more!
Ma thinks him the nicest and wisest of men —
to me he’s a horrible bore.

But I don’t mean to snub him; his T-cart and drag
are the most stunning turn-outs I’ve seen;
While driving today we met Marion Flagg,
and with envy she fairly turned green.

One cannot well blame her, he is such a catch,
and the poor girl is growing passé.
How she has maneuvered to make a good match!
What! Grace, six o’clock did you say?

Why, I must be dressing; at seven we dine
at Delmonico’s. What shall I wear?
The German at Granger’s commences at nine —
shall I bang, frizz or scollop my hair?

How frightful to think I have not a new dresss;
I’m sure I’ve appeared at least twice
while at Newport, in each of the robes I possess.
My white mull —do you think that is nice?

Come Marie, make haste, you are always so slow —
I wish I had time to take breath.
Well, darling, good-bye, if you really must go

Thank goodness! I’m tired to death.

From the book, BIDE A WEE by Mary J MacColl,
published in 1880 by Peter Paul & Brother of Buffalo, NY.

I found this book in a sale somewhere and it’s still in fairly good shape. Gold trimmed edges and letters! And on the first page are endorsements of Miss MacColl’s poetry by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Henry W Longfellow, Joaquin Miller, and John G Whittier. She definitely hung out with the right crowd, back in her day!

I’m posting this in honour of National Poetry Month.