Thursday, 1 August 2013

Thursday morning twitterings . . .

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Have you been bitten by the family history/geneology bug yet?   I fear I am quite in love with family history, and not just because I am a member of the LDS church either.  I have always had a deep love for the history of my family roots.  I am like my late Aunt Freda in that love.  She always loved researching our family history as well.   As Oprah Winfrey once said . . . in order to understand a people, you have to understand their history.  I don't think she was speaking about quite the same thing, but oh well!

Some lines are easy to follow, and others are not so easy.  The fun is in the chase, and sometimes you even come up with some very interesting stories to go along with the names.

One of my ancestors was a man named Boyd McNayr (or McNair, or MacNaer.  It is spelt in a myriad of ways.)  He was born in 1778 near Glasgow Scotland.  He came to Nova Scotia, Canada when he was 8 years old.  His father was with the King's navy and he left Boyd in Halifax with some friends when he went off to do King's Navy stuff and was never heard from again, and so Boyd was left in Halifax on his own.  As a teenager he made his way out to Lawrencetown where he took up the trade of Blacksmith.   He married a woman from Wilmot named Rachel Beals and they eventually founded a Settlement called Springfield.  The story goes that he led her whilst she sat on a horse, over the mountain.   I have a photograph of their headstone, which is one of only two zinc headstones in the Springfield Cemetary.

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They had quite a few children and their progeny are spread out all over North America.  I find it so very fascinating.

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This is his granddaughter, Ida McNayr-Smith.  She was my Great Great Grandmother on my mother's mother's side of the family.


I have a very similar photograph which was taken of me when my two girls were small.   It wasn't done intentionally to look like the older photograph.  Funny how that goes.  I don't even think I knew I had an ancestor named Ida McNayr at that point.

We have another picture of her as well . . .

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It's a bit damaged, but you can see her a lot closer in this one.   I find it fascinating to see the family resemblance from this ancestor of mine to some of the people in our family today.   It's the eyes, really . . . I have a whole set of cousins who have these very same eyes.

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The little old lady on the far right of this picture is her daughter, my great grandmother, Henrietta Smith-Best.  I remember her. She passed away when I was 4 1/2 years old.  She lived with my grandparents when she was widowed.   Her husband had owned a large farm up on the South Mountain.

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The woman with the dark hair in the back row of this photograph is her daughter, Nina Odessa Best-Woodworth, who would be my Grandmother.  Standing next to her, the young girl, is my Aunt Freda.  I don't really know who the other people are, which is a shame . . .

We have lots of old family photos . . .

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This one is of my mother's father, my Grandfather Woodworth (he is the boy seated with the black jacket) and his siblings.  When my daughter Amanda was about fourteen, she looked identical to the one sister on the left in the back.   They are all passed now . . . I remember the little girl in the front as my Great Aunt Melva.  We visited her and her husband Earle Smith at their home in Massachusetts several times when I was a girl.   They also came up to see us a few times in Nova Scotia, and of course Melva's granddaughter Martha and I are friends now on the computer and correspond back and forth as well as Debbie, who is one of the other sister's granddaughter's.

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Three of the cousins came out to visit mom this spring after her operation.   We enjoyed that afternoon.   They had a great time talking about old memories.   The "boys" are all in their 80's and 90's now, but sharp as tacks.   It was such a fun afternoon.  They all thought I looked like their mother, which was kind of weird, but also kind of fascinating.

I guess the long and short of it is that I love to do family history and find out fascinating things about my family and where we came from.   Some lines I run into brick walls and can get no further.  Other lines open up like dominoes falling into place . . . yesterday I was able to trace one line of my family all the way back to Sir John Howard, the first Duke of Norfolk.

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I was really blown away by this discovery.    We have been watching The White Queen mini series on the BBC, which is a dramatization of the book by Phillippa Gregory and about the War of the Roses . . . and this Sir John Howard was a very important man during this time and a staunch supporter of the House of York.   Knowing I have a family history entangled with this time period really makes it all the more exciting.  He was also the great grandfather to Anne Boleyn and great great grandfather to Queen Elizabeth first.

You can call me . . . Duchesse of Blacon , hahaha

Anyways, I guess the long and short of this today is that family history is such an intriguing and fascinating hobby.  You never know what you will discover, or where it will take you.   I have always had a strong affinity for the British Isles . . . and it turns out I have strong family roots here, on at least one of my family lines.  

What could you find out about yours???   You never know, but I'll guarantee one thing for sure.  It's a journey you will enjoy taking!

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Just look at this journey . . . to think that the DNA of that medieval aristocrat courses through the veins of these two little sweeties.   Astonishing! 

Have you found out anything fascinating about your family history.  I would love to hear all about it!

A thought to carry with you through the day . . .  

"To be a star, you must shine your own light,
follow your own path,
and don't worry about the darkness,
for that is when the stars shine brightest."

~ Author Unknown~  

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Cooking in The English Kitchen today . . . Lemon Verbena Custards.  Something fresh from the herb garden . . .

Have a wonderful Thursday.  It will be a late night for us tonight as we are off the Chorley this evening and The British Pageant!


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