Wednesday, 12 December 2012

In passing

I'm trying to get ready for Christmas. I really am. This probably means I should stop checking John Reid's blog Anglo-Celtic Connections. This time, he was passing on a tip about links to birth, marriage and death registrations at the Royal British Columbia Museum web site.

So, instead of addressing more Christmas cards and getting my parcel to Victoria ready to mail, I was diving into the registrations of the handful of relatives I know to have BC connections. What did I discover? Well, for one thing, BC marriage and death registrations are very detailed, particularly the death registrations: place of death, last address, every physical malady that contributed to the death and how long they were sick, names of parents, spouse, what they worked as and for how long, length of time in British Columbia... I found out that the reason I've been having trouble chasing down one cousin is that she had a radically different middle name than the one I had in my records, and her funeral was held where my sister was married. I learned that her sister was married in Christ Church Cathedral in 1910. Christ Church Cathedral is just up the hill from our last home in Victoria. Younger daughter was christened there. Elder daughter went to Sunday School there. The Resident Fan Boy's father's funeral service was held there.

So much for yesterday.

This morning, I still couldn't leave it alone. Family research is a disease, didn't I tell you? I remembered hearing that my great-great-aunt by marriage emigrated to Canada with her daughters. Within a few minutes, I had the details of her death before me.

I've walked past the graves in the churchyard at St Luke's in Victoria several times. I caught my first glimpse of the Resident Fan Boy at a wedding there, months before I met him. His sister was married there. His parents' ashes are interred there. I never guessed that I was passing the grave of a member of my own family, buried on a September's day in 1947.

When I told the Resident Fan Boy about this, he told me that his parents will have a significant wedding anniversary this year and he'd like to visit their graves when we're in Victoria next summer. I'll slip in among the older graves and see if I can find my grandmother's aunt. I wish my gran had known she was there.

One of the main reasons I got into family history was that, as a first generation Canadian, I didn't have a strong feeling of my family's past until I visited England for the first time. How ironic that distant and rather lateral aspects of it were lurking in places I strolled by daily.

I've finished packing the parcel and have written one more card. I'll get it all done, especially if I stay away from John Reid's blog.


SOL's view said...

It's amazing how small the world really is. I haven't done any genealogy; although it is capable of capturing my attention I haven't ever felt enough of a familial 'home' connection to anywhere my ancestors may have been to follow it up.

Reading someone else's was always far more fascinating than mine. :)

And if I don't get back to your blog beforehand, a very merry Christmas and a safe, healthy 2013 to you and your family. :)

Persephone said...

And a very Merry Christmas to you, SOL! I've said this before and I'll say it again. There is no such thing as a boring family history. If you dig deep enough, you'll find plenty of heroes and villains, desperate deeds and quiet desperation. That's every family right there.

JDR said...

Looks like you and others managed to stay away, visits to my blog are way down!
Merry Christmas and best wishes for 2013.

Persephone said...

Don't look at me, JDR! I don't have the readership! I'll bet visits will start bobbing up on Boxing Day, so Merry Second Day of Christmas, especially!