Mystery Monday: Finding Bell Brodie, Canada edition

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I had a pleasant surprise in my email on Sunday morning. It was from my long lost cousin, Grace. (I love calling her that for some reason :)) I have communicated with Grace over the past few years thanks to my blog bringing us together. We’ve shared a lot of information on our linked Menzies/Love connection over the years. Lucky for me, she had something to add to the mystery of Bell Brodie!

She sent me three different letter transcriptions. Then she suggested that maybe I wasn’t supposed to be looking in London, England for Bell, but London, Ontario, Canada! Before I even consulted anything else having to do with the mystery of where Bell Brodie belonged, I brought out the map.

Canada?
Canada?

Once I brought up the map, I let out a big old “oooooohhh!!” Not only did London fit what I was looking for, but in Bell’s letter she also mentions “Sister Hellen is going to be married next week she will live at Port Stanly”. SCORE! I see Port Stanley on the map.

As if I needed further coaxing, I decided to re-read the letter I thought might have also been written by Bell (I was wrong and that transcription is coming soon). That letter is from another cousin of Jennie who is writing from Glencoe. Which is also visible on the map if you look to the very far left.

So folks, it looks like this search is going to be taking place in Canada. Which I know exactly zero about. Looks like it’s time to learn a new area for me. Any tips on Canadian research that you think might help me find Bell Brodie?

Disclaimer: The map used is copyrighted to Google. They have awesome maps. I use them daily!

Website Changes

Over the last month, I slowly started making some visual changes to the website. I got rid of all that brown and made the website brighter and more colorful. I was having a hard time getting up the gumption to even work on the site, so I went ahead and applied the TNG theme updates, fixed some bugs, and just went live on that side.

screen cap of new website design
New moore-mays.org site

The only downside is it’s just not complete yet. As you can tell in the screen capture, the sidebars are still incomplete and I haven’t quite decided what do with my open space on the main page. I want to live in the design awhile and see what is most efficient.

Temporary Blog Theme
Temporary Blog Theme

The other problem with the new theme was that I hadn’t worked out the blog theme yet. WordPress is a completely different kind of beast when it comes to coding. I have no doubt I can figure it out, but it’s definitely going to take some time. In the mean time, I needed the change! I was ready to get this new design going and I felt like forcing it was for the best. So for just a little while, both parts of the website are not going to match. When all is done though, it will be great and I’ll even have the new Diary of Llewellyn section up too.

So please pardon my dust and thanks for hanging in there with me during this strange year!

Mystery Monday: Finding Bell Brodie part 2

bellbrodie-00For the last few weeks, I’ve been jumping around a lot. I’ve been working on a billion things and not anything. Do you do that too? Always busy but never seem to get any one thing done. This weekend, I finally took some time to sit down and re-visit my Bell Brodie mystery. I didn’t expect to take such a big break but it was never far from my mind!

I don’t want to spend too much time running around in circles. I think it’s important to re-evaluate the things I picked out of the transcribed letter and make a plan before preceding.

  • Bell Brodie is writing to her “Dear Cousin”.
  • The letter is dated for September 1866 and is addressed from London.
  • Bell calls the person she is writing to, “Dear Jennie” in the middle of the letter.

Using these three clues, I’m planning to do a few things.

  1. I’m going to go through the Menzies/Love line of my family tree and match the year to a generation. This will help me decide if the Jennie mentioned is Jennie Love, Jane Menzies or Jean Farris. Lots of Jean/Jennie/Janes in the family!
  2. I’m going to use the 1861 and 1871 census to see if I can find a Bell Brodie, maybe in London. The letter doesn’t hint at Bell’s age. I figure once I estimate whose cousin she is, I’ll can have an age range at least.

The next clues were:

  • Bell mentions that “Your mother and Alick” were staying with Bell. She even addresses the woman staying with her as Aunt several times in the letter.
  • Bell tells Jennie several things to tell Alick, making it seem like Alick is not present even though in the beginning she mentioned he’d been staying with her 10 days.

What this does for me:

  1. The only thing I can think of is using the “Alick” to help me identify Jennie. I’m assuming Alick is Jennie’s brother. I shouldn’t assume that but it won’t hurt to see if there is someone in the household of Jennie who fits.

The final thing I’m going to research from the first set of clues is this.

  • Bell mentions the fun they had when she sailed up the Hudson in New York. Though she says next that she wished Jennie and Alick had been there at the time.

Bell mentions that she sailed up the Hudson River. Which means she traveled to New York. That also means that if I’m lucky, I can find her in a passenger list. I’ll search Castle Garden first and go from there!

Taking Things Slowly

It’s been a wild few weeks in the Moore household. My recurring injury flared up and I was forced to stay off my feet as much as possible. Then just as I was getting on my feet again, literally, the whole household has come down with all kinds of various illnesses. So of course, this makes me want to do 80 things at one time. Funny how that happens! During all this chaos, I’ve been thinking a lot about my blog and what I want it to be. Mainly, I just want it to be a fun little genealogy blog for myself and whoever else finds it! So I’ll be taking things more slowly. I used to write an article on the spot, proofread it and post it. I’m going to slow down that process a bit, so that I have some time to add in whatever sources/pictures/documents I need to accurately say what it is I’m trying to say. I have a problem in the fact that my brain goes faster then my typing. Sometimes, that really shows!

Family File Cleanup progress as of 6/25/2013
Family File Cleanup progress as of 6/25/2013. Gosh those blank spaces drive me crazy! Must fill them!

Even though I’ll be blogging differently, I still have my same projects. I’m still working on my Family File Cleanup. I’m still trying to plan my first genealogy road trip, two years later, HA! I’m still consuming as much information I can on the subjects I want to learn, just at a reasonable pace instead of an overwhelming one. My biggest project after my Family File Cleanup is done, is going to be going through my extra hard drive and cleaning it up a lot. There’s a lot of duplicate files and stuff on there. I haven’t been as diligent in some areas of organization as others. I’m even thinking about ordering a new external hard drive that’s separate from my computer. Not until I wrangle my mess though, the mess needs to be fixed before I reward myself.

I’ve also been trying out all kinds of software. I had some extra money in my budget to play with this month. Since that rarely happens, I decided to purchase myself a copy of Legacy 7.5 and Evidentia. I really want to try these programs out and see how good they are. While I’ll try out the full version of Legacy, I have a feeling I’ll still stick to Family Tree Maker. It’s what I learned on, it’s what I feel comfortable in. I still have Roots Magic too, and I love that one too. I know it’s better to pick one and stick with it. I just really enjoy playing with the other software options. Nothing wrong with that! Evidentia interests me because though I’m usually really good at pulling bits of information out of documents, I know I can do better. I just don’t want to get too deep into re-analyzing all my records until the cleanup is done! Then I’ll know I have a strong base to work from. Hopefully, this might help me with the mystery of Bell Brodie also! I’ll be sure to blog about all my trials and errors, just like usual.

So that’s where I’m at now. How are you all doing and what are your summer time goals? Are there any huge projects that you’re coming to an end of?

Disclaimer: None of the links in the post are sponsor links. I’m not making any profit by mentioning these programs. I wasn’t even asked to mention them, I just had good old fashioned curiosity!

Mystery Monday: Finding Bell Brodie

bellbrodie-00

Every once and awhile, it’s really good to do something different in your research. I find it keeps me from getting burned out on my larger goals and lets me have a little bit of fun. I was on my way home from a frustrating day at the DMV when I decided I was going to find out once and for all who Bell Brodie is.

Bell Brodie Letter 1st and 4th pages
Bell Brodie Letter 1st and 4th pages
Bell Brodie Letter, 2nd and 3rd pages
Bell Brodie Letter, 2nd and 3rd pages

My first step is to gather what I can from the letter. I’ll probably have to come back to this letter and re-analyze it many more times. I hope that I’ll be able to find more nuggets of detail as I learn more. To start though, I want to just have something to get me jump started.

  • Bell Brodie is writing to her “Dear Cousin”.
  • The letter is dated for September 1866 and is addressed from London.
  • Bell mentions that “Your mother and Alick” were staying with Bell. She even addresses the woman staying with her as Aunt several times in the letter.
  • Bell calls the person she is writing to, “Dear Jennie” in the middle of the letter.
  • Bell mentions the fun they had when she sailed up the Hudson in New York. Though she says next that she wished Jennie and Alick had been there at the time.
  • Bell tells Jennie several things to tell Alick, making it seem like Alick is not present even though in the beginning she mentioned he’d been staying with her 10 days.
  • On the 3rd page, Bell mentions Jennie’s mother again and this time mentions “Allie/Attie/Altie” sending his love to Jennie and his father.
  • Bell mentions Sister Hellen is getting married the next week and will live at Port Stanly.

These are the more obvious clues I picked from the letter. I’m going to start with these and go from there. If you’ve picked out anything more obvious that can help identify Bell Brodie, please let me know! I welcome any assistance.

Without even consulting my family tree file, I also know this letter came from the records of my Great Grandmother Llewellyn. This means it’s connected to my paternal Moore/Thorward lines in the New Jersey and New York area.

I’m not in any rush for this project. What I’m really trying to do, is learn how to be smarter about all the information that I have on hand. I feel like I might be missing some vital information that’s hiding between the lines. It’s all part of the process on being a more experienced, and more advanced genealogy researcher.

10 Years Ago…

This domain was purchased by my brother and I started this crazy, genealogy journey! The website has changed servers many times and I’ve come a long, long way in the area of web design. (Follow the link for a look back at the cosmetic changes to the site.)

It might have only been the last 3 years that I’ve been “blogging” but this site has been around on this domain for 10 years now! I’ve been working on a new design behind the scenes and now that the Diary of Llewellyn has concluded, I’ll devote a lot more of my time to that.

domain

Hopefully I’ll have some updates soon on everything I’ve been up to. All including researching, organizing, learning and quilting! Lots of stuff!

Diary of Llewellyn: The End

diaryofllewellyn

 

Llewellyn’s diary might have ended on May 28th of 1925, but her life didn’t. Neither did her penchant for documenting her life and the lives of those around her.

On June 12, 1926, Llewellyn married William Lawrence Moore at her parents house at 75 Westville Avenue in Caldwell, New Jersey.

written on the back: "Llewellyn on her wedding day"
written on the back: “Llewellyn on her wedding day”
Newspaper article on the marriage
Newspaper article on the marriage

The diary even makes the wedding article so much richer. Now I know that Willa Steinhoff, who was mentioned throughout the diary, served as her maid of honor. I know that Llewellyn’s dear cousin, Marguerite from Suffern was the flower girl. Roswell was also mentioned frequently, often walking Llewellyn home from church meetings. He served as an usher with Llewellyn’s brother, George. Even better, he gets a last name of Winans now. Ernest Smith was also mentioned a few times and he sang at the wedding.

4 years after Llewellyn and William were married, they welcomed their only child, my grandfather, William Thorward Moore.

William T Moore birth announcement
William T Moore birth announcement

After their son’s birth starts Llewellyn’s very, very active hobby of photographing her son.

William with his grandparents (6 months, 16 days)
William T Moore with his grandparents (6 months, 16 days)

Yes, she was always that specific with his age!

William and Llewellyn
William Lawrence Moore and Llewellyn Thorward-Moore

They would live a long, happy life together. William would give them five grandchildren. Tragically one of those grandchildren was killed in an accident. That shook the family but Llewellyn and William were able to make sure their other grandchildren knew that their grandparents were there for them. Taking them on summer trips and making sure they had what they needed.

William worked at AT&T for over 30 years before he retired. Llewellyn was devoted to the Methodist Church her whole life, and it’s one of the characteristics I hear about the most from people I meet. I never knew William or Llewellyn but I can tell they’re my kind of people. Even though they had no idea if their children or grandchildren would be interested in it, they kept a record of their lives. I don’t know why Llewellyn chronicled that 3 years of her diary without fail. I just know because of it, I can get a glimpse of a woman I never knew. Through the writings and photographs, I’ve been able to grow the family tree.

Sometimes I look at the things that survived, and I know I probably could have found those branches of the family tree eventually. It just wouldn’t have been as cool as finding it written on the back of a diner menu.

dinermenu

 

My plan for the diary entries is to move them to their own section of the website. There I can make an index, add pictures and links back to my database. I tried to do that during the initial transcription but at the rate Llewellyn was writing, I just couldn’t keep up with the pictures! I’ll be working on that and when it’s ready, I’ll make sure and let everyone know to get it linked to from the main website! I hope you’ve enjoyed meeting Llewellyn as much as I have!

Diary of Llewellyn: May 26, 1925

diaryofllewellyn

 

Bill came down. Helped us cut hedge & trim around. Folks went for ride. We did not go.

Next Entry: May 27, 1925
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