Friday, 29 August 2014
I was watching the "Who Do You Think You Are" episode about Minnie Driver and it resonated with me. My grandfather never talked about his family either, so my father and his siblings knew very little about them. My father's sister, Betty, had 3 brothers and would have liked a sister. My grandfather was one of four boys, and his father was one of seven boys with one sister, just as his father was one of seven boys with one sister. (it is like the X chromosomes were being saved up for my generation as I have only one male cousin!!).
Knowing my grandparents (or should I say what I thought I knew of them) I did not expect to find that my grandfather was married before, at a young age, and that a few months later a daughter was born. My aunt had a half-sister!
It was obviously a shotgun wedding, and one my grandfather was not happy about. He stuck around for a year, working as a carpenter for his father, then he left, taking work as a travelling salesman and living in Montreal. There he met my grandmother and soon filed for divorce in Detroit (See my article More than BMD).
So moving forward I found a marriage record and then a newspaper announcement of their daughter Marion Victoria's marriage to Ross Leach in 1922. The newspaper account said they were to make their home in Guelph.
After months of searching I didn't find them there, but I did later discover they were buried in Sault Ste Marie! Marion and her husband both died in the late 80's so my aunt was never to meet her half-sister. I contacted the library in Sault Ste Marie and a volunteer gladly found and sent me copies of the obituaries. From these I discovered that the couple had one son, and 2 grandchildren! This was promising. Next I left messages on every bulletin board imaginable where I thought it might be seen by someone in the family or knows of them. More than a year passed and no word. Then at the end of last summer it happened. I received a message from a young woman who is the granddaughter of Marion Victoria. My 90 year old aunt has met with her grand niece a couple of times now, and enjoys hearing stories and seeing photos of the sister she never met.