Wise words from Edgar A Guest
‘Tis better to have tried in vain
sincerely striving for a goal,
than to have lived upon the plain
an idle and a timid soul.
‘Tis better to have fought and spent
your courage, missing all applause,
than to have lived in smug content
and never ventured for a cause.
For he who tries and fails may be
the founder of a better day;
though never his the victory,
from him shall others learn the way.
From his book A Heap O’ Livin’
As I said in an earlier post, eight days ago I received the results of my DNA test and got a long list divided into potential 1st + 2nd cousins, 3rd to 4th cousins, and 4-6th cousins. I was invited to give ancestry.com a try —a “14 Day Free Trial” to be exact . So you can guess where I’ve been this past week. 🙂
I already had a stack of data loosely gathered.
Through Ancestry.com I can now access the family trees of near & far kin. From other Falconer descendants I’ve learned my great-grandfather’s parents, John & Jemimah Falconer were both born in Scotland (she in Inverness) and met and married in Pennsylvania before moving to Minnesota.
Ancestry also has an extensive collection of census records, govt & church birth, marriage & death registrations that often verify — but sometimes raise gnarls in the branches. According to our family’s oral history, gr-gr-grandfather John Turner was born in County Fernanagh, Ireland in 1810 and came to Canada in 1828 and married Alice Doyle, “from an old Irish family. However, when I found the marriage registration of his son William to Alice Watchorn — my great-grandparents— it says John was born in Canada and his wife Elizabeth in England. More stats show 35 years between John’s oldest (1830) and youngest child (1865); Annie obviously died and he remarried Elizabeth, but who was she?
Altogether, the stats, info, records, and scraps of family stories have the appearance of a huge schmozzle of names and dates to be sorted and pieced together.
And, because I enjoy jigsaw puzzles and scrap-quilt piecing, I hope to assemble the families into in some sensible order. If you don’t see any blog posts from me for a few weeks, this is likely what I’ll be doing.
For today’s tribute to National Poetry Month, I’m going to publish a verse by that multi-faceted poet, writer of umpteen dozen verses, Author Unknown. Born in the year 001, last I heard he — or she? — is still alive and kicking. Perhaps I should say THEY are, just in case it’s a couple?
However, I’ve heard that the coming of Google Search — an invasive species if ever there was one! — is threatening the existence of the whole clan of Unknowns.
An Old-Timer Speaks
You laugh at us old-timers
and maybe youth has cause,
for when your hair gets gray and thin
you don’t expect applause.
Perhaps we’re not so handsome,
perhaps we’re not so spry
but when youth gets as old as us,
then youth won’t wonder why.
For we have fought the battles
and we have led the van,
and made this life an easier road
for many a younger man.
And he will do tomorrow
a lot of things that pay
because old-timers thought them out
and tried them yesterday.
We know the world is changing
the ways of trade are new;
men put new labels on their goods,
new roofs on houses, too.
But still the old foundation
that some old-timers laid
remains the cornerstone of all
the progress we have made.
her words say sorry
but her eyes
not on board
My contribution today to National Poetry Month, or NaPoWiMo.
Happy the family that can work together to make their home more attractive!
When it’s clean-up week in springtime
and the winter’s past and gone;
when the balmy air of evening
signals summer’s coming on;
it is then I love to wander
when my day’s work is complete
through our friendly little village
greeting those I chance to meet.
There are things that strike my fancy
as I move along the way.
The impressions gained in childhood
are still holding good today;
for I love to see the parents
with the children large and small
clearing rubbish that has gathered
’round their home since previous fall.
I love to watch the children
and to hear them run and shout,
gathering sticks and bits of paper
that the wind has blown about.
And the father, too, is busy;
I can here him sing and chant
as he’s spading up the garden
for the seed they’re going to plant.
But there’s one thing holds attraction,
I don’t need to tell you what:
it’s the smudge that’s gently burning
in the corner of the lot
as the children pile fresh armfuls
of the rubbish which they bring.
It makes their home more cheery
after clean-up time in spring.
Written by a fellow Saskatchewan poet, Roy Lobb, born around 1893
Taken from his book PLAIN FOLKS, the second edition of which was published 1961 by Modern Press, Saskatoon, SK.