awanderingbard: (Buzzcocks: Welsh accents are hard)
[personal profile] awanderingbard
I got a couple of months of Ancestry subscription to help me peruse my parent's DNA results and to work on the whole 'who is my mom's great-grandmother' thing (talked about here). I still don't know, but I did discover my mom's great-grandfather had a wife none of us knew about before the one we did know about. That side of the family is all from the Eastern Townships of Quebec, which is very close to the border of Vermont and so they often popped down there to get married and I found a record of him and a woman from 1893. It's definitely him, right name, right parents names, close to right age (no one knew how old they were then, as far as I can see), right place of birth (the town still has only 500 people in it, so there's very little chance of it being a name coincidence thing). However, I cannot find any records of the wife beyond the marriage one. Her name does not appear elsewhere, her parents' names do not appear elsewhere, there's no record of her death, I have nothing to go on. I suspect the records are typed from handwritten ones and the spelling is funny on them through a combination of bad transcription and the original person writing down the information trying to sort out French names/accents and using phonetics. I can tell it's my grandfather because I know the names, but without any info on the bride, I can't guess how they might have changed it. All I know is that he married this woman in 1893 and by 1906 he'd married the lady who raised my mom's grandfather. AND, I cannot find him on the 1900 US census or the 1901 Canada census, despite going page by page through the regions I know he lived in.

And let me tell you about trying to find this family on the census! Not only do they not know when they were born, they willy-nilly went by different names and I have yet to see two censuses where the same spelling of the last name was used. It ends in et (making an 'eh' sound). I have seen: -er, -ette, -et, -eau, -ear, and -ier. One of the censuses has none of them using their birth names, but I was able to spot them through knowing their middle names and nicknames. Except for my mom's great-grandfather, who was named Henri but written down twice as Andrew, on two different censuses. None of his names are Andrew, or close to Andrew, or contain the same sounds as Andrew. One sister went by four different variations of her name through her life. And I suspect one sister is written down by her sister's name on one census, but I can't prove it.

All of this is frustrating, but also oddly fun, and keeping me busy. I'm continuing to chill and rest and try to recuperate. My dad's doing a lot better now and my mom has a surgery date for her hip, so hopefully by July or so, at least a couple of us will be on the mend!
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