Connecting Moores of Maberly, Drummond, North Elmsley, Carleton Place (Lanark County, Ontario)

Based on a comment submitted to this site, Thatsrelative, by Janet Moore, I’ve realized a connection that binds two Moore branches together: the Moores of Maberly/Perth area, and those of Drummond/N. Elmsley and other related towns in Lanark County, Ontario.

I’ve often wondered about the relation of Thomas Buell Moore (b. Nov 18 1833, Drummond, Ontario). He owned the Tayside cheese factory in 1894 (as per Perth Courier). This establishment employed one or more of my Moores.  Also, Mr Thomas B. Moore was Township clerk in 1899 (Perth Courier), another occupation shared with my 3rd great-grandfather Thomas Moore, Esq.(b. abt. 1829 Ireland) of Maberly, who was also Reeve of the Township.

Further research of these families shows that Mr Thomas B. Moore comes from a long line stretching back to Antrim Ireland and also earlier settlers of Massachusetts. My Moore origin is still elusive, though our closest match is Dundonald, Down, Ireland, near Belfast, which is shared with Antrim.

Another family, the Garretts, connect our Moore branches together very nicely and seem to be very close friends. Both families worked together and even married to each other. For example, our Winnifred Stephens/Stevens (b. Mar 1802 Ireland), my 4rth great-grandmother was widowed in the 1850s and remarried a Thomas Garrett (b. Jan 1791 England). This Thomas Garrett’s 2d great-grandaughter Viola Garrett (b. 1893 Ontario) married Kenneth Charles Moore (b. 1900) from this same line of Moores (son of James Samuel Moore (b. 1828 Garrison, Lachine Quebec), son of George William Moore (b. 1780s Furlough, Tullyniskan, Antrim, Ireland as per a family record).

Did you catch all that? It’s not easy to string these families together, but at some point, you have to notice the connections and make inferences. We may not have the pieces all put together, but there seems to be a clear connection binding these families socially if not by blood. Time will tell, and my guess is, DNA will confirm many cousins binding the Moore families of Lanark County (Canada), Ireland and the U.S. once and for all.

 

Herb Moore Carleton Place from Frances Moore bytown.net

Herbert James Moore of Carleton Place photo credit: Frances Moore of the website http://www.bytown.net/moorefamilybyfrances.htm.  The picture is of Herbert James Moore (b. 1888 Ontario), son of James Samuel Moore (b. 1863 North Elmsley) who was the son of the same name, James Samuel Moore (b. 1828 Garrison, Lachine, Quebec), whose father was George William Moore (Antrim).

 

 

 

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Winnifred Stevens / Stephens 1802

MOORE FAMILY OF LANARK COUNTY ONTARIO 1830s – UPDATE!

After connecting with a DNA relative Scott Moore, he sent me a digital copy of our common 3rd great-grandmother, Winnifred Stephens 1802, wife of William Moore 1800, both of Maberly, Ontario, who both emigrated from Ireland around 1829 to build a life in soon to be Canada.

This photo had written on the back of it, “Winnifred Stevens”. It is so wonderful to finally see her face! She is after all, one of The Women Who Made Me.

Winnifred Stevens 1800 of Maberly, Ont., provided by Scott Hansen Moore of U.S., descendent of David Moore, 4rth cousin, Familysearch.org https://www.familysearch.org/tree/pedigree/portrait/L268-KGP

Winnifred Stevens (1800), wife of William Moore

b. Mar 1802 Ulster, Ireland

d. March 6, 1874, Maberly, Lanark County, Bathurst Twp, South Sherbrooke, Ontario.

Children: Thomas, Mary Jane, Richard, Frances, David, John, Charles, Henry.  

Her first husband William Moore (about 1800 unknown origin in Ireland) died early before 1852 likely due to harsh conditions, leaving her with many children and a farm to raise. She remarried a Thomas Garrett as most women would do at the time, and died in 1874 at the home of her son, John Moore.

This Methodist pioneering matriarch was known by her peers as “an angel on earth” for helping her neighbours in times of need, specifically, saving a woman in childbirth on a cold winter’s eve.

God Bless Winnifred!

Thank you to Scott for providing this picture and his family’s research, adding another missing branch from our Moore tree!

If you have additional information, please write in the comments. Thank you.

Luck of the Irish! AncestryDNA Results

Well, the verdict is in. I’m Irish. After waiting for 3 weeks, my AncestryDNA results arrived via a message from an AncestryDNA Relative who is definitely a 3rd cousin, on my father’s side from the Palmer/Boyles line.

But the most exciting thing was seeing the chart below and having to do a double take on the ethnicity percentages:

Screen Shot 2017-07-06 at 3.42.55 PM

I’m not only Irish, I’m 57% Irish!  I thought that would be impossible, that my father’s side who had both Irish and English roots would dissipate my results to maybe 23% if I was lucky, but it turns out I’m IRISH Lucky – over half! And that’s an average. Some of my DNA strands or markers tested as high as 71% Irish, while others were a lower 41%.  So I’m “above average” Irish at 57% and quite happy to see my Irish roots declared in writing based on scientific evidence.

Here is a more detailed breakdown:

Screen Shot 2017-07-06 at 4.10.28 PM

(Note: Europe West includes German/France/Netherlands and Scandinavia includes Norway, Denmark and Sweden.)

Also astonishing was that I had about 18% French/German and over 17% Scandinavian! My Norse roots may come through my mother’s Scottish line, as the Anderson/Andersen  clan may have come over with the Vikings. These are also averages, and can be lower or higher depending on the DNA strand/marker they are testing.  For example, Scandinavian tested anywhere between 1% to 33% depending on the strand/marker; the average helps us know overall just “how much” of our genetic make-up is from that region overall.

My motivation for doing all of this was to find my Irish ancestors and living cousins. I have already found many potential cousins, and I am quite amazed how AncestryDNA has managed to match them to my family tree on ancestry.com with specific matching surnames and in some cases actual common ancestors.

This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship… And, this will make my Moore “plus” family reunion a whole lot bigger!

It feels good to be Irish.

Thanks AncestryDNA!

Krista

DNA May Solve Family History Blocks

Hello everyone!

It has been almost 3 years since my last confession! Seriously, it just tells you how time flies when doing family history research. I hit a roadblock in my search for the Moore Family, and kind of put it aside.

Just this spring, I decided to have my DNA test done with ancestry.com and am now awaiting the results.

In the meantime, it is important to follow the trail. I have reached out to 3 possible cousins so far that found me via ancestry, one in Ireland, one in Australia and another here at home, only a stones throw away.

Next is a family reunion. Perhaps that will pull us all together, and reveal some threads that have long been awaiting completion.

I will let you know as soon as the results are in!

Krista

Moore & Chambers of Dundonald Newtownards Down

I am back! After a long hiatus, I have reclaimed my genealogical map, my puzzle pieces and clues, my missing links and my stubborn brick walls in my research papers.  I have reconnected with long-lost cousins floating on ancestry.com with no response on my part for over a year.  I have realized – no determined – that I have ENOUGH, I know ENOUGH, and that the answer to this mystery is right in front of my nose.

Hence I have picked up my quill (aka. blog post), armed with what I know, and will put it down as best I can, inferring the rest with common sense and the obvious, blatantly obvious gifts that I neglected to claim long ago. It’s TIME!  The Moore Family tree deserves this last piece to link us to our Irish ancestors and enjoy the benefits of my ancestral and current family, brought together at last by intriguing stories and the knowledge that we are the offspring who will now carry those legends (and create new ones) into the future.

Alas!  Here I am.  Let’s get started, shall we?

IMG_1072

My people (Moores) came from Ireland about 1829, likely from around Belfast, in a place called Dundonald, Down.  That is where our distant cousin, Dr. Thomas Moore of Picton, born 1796, and his most likely brother, my Gr-Gr-Gr Grandfather, William Moore were born (parish names may vary).  There are many William Moores in that vicinity, as well you can imagine, along with Thomases.  Movilla cemetery in Newtownards nearby is filled with them, along with Samuels, Hughs and other related men who are waiting to finally be claimed as fathers, brothers and cousins on this disconnected family tree.  I’m over here! they sing – you’re almost there!  Just connect the dots and it is complete.

They say, begin with the end in mind.  So, here it is:

This is the headstone of my likely Gr-Gr-Gr-Gr-Gr grandfather buried in Movilla in Newtownards, Northern Ireland (near Belfast and Dundonald, Down), born 1720:

William Moore 1720 Movilla Cemetary Newtownards Down Ireland

William Moore 1720 Movilla Cemetary Newtownards Down Ireland

 

A David A. Chambers has contacted me who lives in the area and has offered to provide pictures from Movilla, and any other information pertaining to the family.  Chambers is the name of the family who married into the Moores before Ontario I am sure.  My Gr-Gr-Gr grandfather Thomas Moore of Maberly, Ontario, (Reeve/Mayor of South Sherbrooke), married Margaret Chambers, daughter of Moses Chambers – Moses and his wife Sarah Harrison married in Tullyish, Down (Dec. 30, 1824) at a quaint All Saints church in Tullyish, Down, where the famous poet W.B. Yeats’ grandfather had been minister (I’ll dig that up again shortly).  Here is the church:

All Saints Church Tullyish Ireland (were Chambers married) Yeats minister

All Saints Church Tullyish Ireland (where Moses Chambers married) Rev. W.B. Yeats served 1836-1862, grandfather of famous poet/dramatist of same name

The Moores and Chambers moved around a lot, so sometimes it is hard to connect them from one town or village to another. Especially if they move half way around the world!  But trailing them is a life long passion of mine – insane as that is, because, well, it’s fun. And I can’t wait to go to Ireland to celebrate all OUR hard work.

My next job is to take this William Moore 1720 and put together a family tree for him – his sons and daughters, and see how that connects in with my more recent ones.  I am sure my William had not only a Thomas as a brother, but also a John,  George or Hugh.  For example, I think I have found the father of said William Moore 1720, to be a possible John Moore 1683 of Ballyskeah.  If I sort it by the centuries I will have a list of names for each generation, and the linking will become easier and more obvious.

My thanks to Maree Moore of Australia for providing most of the information on the Craigantlet Moores who are in that area and are likely related.

MOORE to come, soon….

“Mooreville” Maberly

On our trek to Maberly, Ontario, our local host Karen Prytula showed us around – by foot. Yes, you can walk most of the Maberly road without getting too tired, in about half an hour. However, you can’t take everything in, the sights, the sounds, the whispers of old, in less than that. It takes time after time, memory even.

Eventually, it sticks to you like meat to the bone, until stories take shape out of sticks and stones.

Maberly Town Hall, South Sherbrooke  1884

Up on the wall of Town Hall we find the “Reeve’s cane”, with my great-great grandfathers, Thomas Moore, Esq, and Ephraim Deacon Esq. (unbenownst to them at the time, their son and daughter later married). I could see Thomas Moore now, likely six feet tall (his son Lawrence was 6′ 4″ with attitude) with a dignified walking stick, and Ephraim twisting his moustache as the meeting was called to order.  Thomas takes the Chair’s seat, listens and reviews many decisions that will be made in forming the future of South Sherbrooke, from the early 1860s to the late 1880s.

Reeve’s Cane, Town Hall, Maberly

See More on Maberly Moores.

Published in: on August 22, 2013 at 5:15 pm  Comments (2)  
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More on Maberly Moores

Since my last visit to Maberly, Ontario (near Perth), much has been brewing with local history buffs helping to put together information for the 200th Anniversary of South Sherbrooke (now Tay Valley Township) coming up in 2014.

PRESERVING LOCAL HISTORY OF MABERLY

We are currently investigating the original Wesleyan Methodist chapel that was built on Conc. 10 Lot 14 of S. Sherbrooke and a petition that was signed by local residents in 1852, including Thomas Moore Esq. (later magistrate/Justice of Peace/Reeve) and many of the early settlers of that area.  This chapel and old burying ground is no longer visible, but we are cooperating with local families to research and locate the original location of these sites and preserve what we can of local history.

More photos from our last trip.

List of Reeves, South Sherbrooke Town Hall, Maberly

Reeve’s walking stick; List of Reeves, South Sherbrooke Town Hall, Maberly including Thomas Moore and Ephraim Deacon

Bethel (Maberly) Women`s Institute, a picture of the Maberly Hotel

Bethel (Maberly) Women`s Institute, a picture of the Maberly Hotel. See pic below for the same tree beside the hotel, still standing.

Krista in front of oldest tree in Maberly, where Morrow Hotel once stood.

Krista in front of oldest tree in Maberly, where John Morrow’s Maberly Hotel stood.

We visited Town Hall where my forefathers, both Thomas Moore Esq., Reeve, and Ephraim Deacon, Reeve, served on council for many years, and many of their descendents.  Thomas Moore Esq. was also a local magistrate or Justice of the Peace to the King, and must have been sworn in at some point by the Lieutenant Governor General.  Magistrates were put in place in local towns in the new British colonies to settle local disputes outside of the larger courts.  He was not likely a lawyer, but a loyal servant who was passionate about politics, justice and local law.  He fought to preserve the original Weleyan Methodist Church and old burying ground, in a signed petition with his fellow settlers and trustees of the church.

Here we are on the land that William Moore worked with his father, originally owned by Thomas Hughes and later requested to be deeded to Robert Hughes.  It is where the Zealand Rd meets the now Trans Canada Highway, Highway 7, constructed in the late 1940s/50s.  The lines of the land have changed, so locating the original burying ground has been a challenge. The land is now occupied by a modern house with new owners.

New highways divide the land once inhabited by the Moores and Wesleyan Methodist church.

Karen and Steve discuss where the old landmarks may be on the 1860s map to modern day Tay Valley Township

IMG_1192

New highways divide the land once inhabited by the Moores and Wesleyan Methodist church

Here is a letter of petition the old inhabitants wrote to protect the Wesleyan Methodist church and old burying ground on this property:

Original petition to save Wesleyan Methodist church and old burying ground, Maberly, undersigned Thomas Moore et al

Original petition to save Wesleyan Methodist church and old burying ground, Maberly, undersigned Thomas Moore et al

“Petition 0526”, Township Papers, Township of SHERBROOKE SOUTH, Microfilm Series C-IV, Archives of Ontario, copy: June 2, 2010, transcribed by Krista Moore September 21, 2011.  (Describing petition of Church trustees for Wesleyan Methodist Chapel and burying ground on south South-East Lot 14 Conc. 10 S. Sherbrooke, Oct 14th 1856.)

Transcription:

[marks: 10.165 /slash 58]

To Anthony Leslie Esqr    Agent for the

Sale of Crown and Clergy Lands [v mark] at Perth in

The County of Lanark.

[Petition: 0526]

We the Undersigned respectfully state for your

consideration that on the south part of the South East

half of Lot No. 14 in the 10th Concession of South Sherbrooke

there is a plot of ground used as a burying ground

that on a part of this plot or contiguous to it there has

been a Wesleyan Methodist Chapel erected and in [our?]

[start?] occupancy and use for public worship for more

than twelve years. The undersigned Settlers in the nei

ghbourhood of said Chapel and burying ground re-

{ spectfully request that in the event of the said lot being

{ sold that at least two acres be preserved for the use of a

Wesleyan Methodist Church and burying ground

or not deeded  to any [purchaser ]  except to trustees du-

ly appointed whose names shall forthwith [was? Some or seem as] prac-

ticable be forwarded to you and through you to the land

granting department.

South Sherbrooke Oct 14th 1856

[signed by:]

Abrah Adams                                }    Malcom Morrow

Robert Lewis                                  }   John Chambers

John Buchanan                               }    William Armstrong

George Buchanan                          }    Charles Judge

Thomas Moore                               }    Da[vid or Daniel?] Conboy

George Buchanan                          }     John Armstrong

Wm Charlton                                 }     John Duffy

William Morrow

[along right margin:]

John Morrow

The now Maberly United Church:

IMG_1072

Krista beside the now Maberly United Church. Below an embroidered picture hanging in the local bar and grill on Highway 7.

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Welcome to Maberly

Tay River, Maberly

This past weekend my husband and I ventured to Maberly, Ontario to visit my long-gone relatives: the ancestors I have been researching for nearly 20 years.  Needless to say, it was a quiet visit. But quite reflective, tangible and fulfilling.

Local kids in Maberly

Local kids in Maberly 1950s

Maberly used to be somewhat of a “Mayberry” in its time.  Once a thriving pioneer village of  sawmills, blacksmith’s shops, a general store (or two), school houses, local churches and a town hall (still in operation), and the men’s local tavern – a favourite up until 40 years ago – Today, Maberly is crying out for some reinvention.

Entering Maberly

For sale, Maberly 2011

Although, there is a very good restaurant when you come in to town, the Fall River Restaurant on the corner of Highway 7 and Maberly/Elphin Rd. which officiated our visit with happy taste buds (who would have imagined gourmet Mole chicken pizza in rural Ontario?) and a Guinness, perfect after a dreary day of traveling.

Fall River Restaurant & Gift Shop, Maberly

Our proprietor Ian was the perfect welcoming host, dousing us with a local history (the structure we were standing in used to be the general store), and fascinating me with their awards as the “Greenest Restaurant in Canada”.  In Maberly?  Yup.

Falls Inn Restaurant

“Greenest Restaurant in Canada” – Maberly

Adventures in Maberly

To be continued…

Building a Case: In Search of the Moores of Maberly, Lanark County & Ireland

For some time now I have been investigating the Moores of  Lanark County in Ontario. It is time to start putting the puzzle pieces together: naming my assumptions, making an hypothesis and synthesizing information I have received over time to begin to solve this mystery of their origin. I will not be doing this alone. There are many contributors who have joined me for this ride.  And this can not be done only by sitting by a computer. In other words…

“It’s time to get my hands dirty!”

PURPOSE

The deeper purpose of my research is to get to know my ancestors on a more intimate level, as if they were alive to me. To know how they lived, who they loved and lost, what they did, and why they came here. Ultimately I would like to discover and visit the land of my origin in Ireland. Understanding the very roots of my past, and what led my ancestors to become the progressive pioneers, farmers and politicians who  left their mark in me and in Canada.

Also, I would love to share my discoveries with my grandmother, Helen Moore, who is the one who “gave me the bug” and set me off on this quest over 17 years ago. Now, at the age of 93, she is still waiting for an answer! “So, what can you find out about the Moores and where they came from?…”  Don’t get me wrong: She is “tickled pink” at my progress. But only I know how far I still have to go (and how deep!).

QUESTIONS

  1. Where and when were my Gr-Gr-Grandfather Thomas Moore, Esq. of Lanark County Ont. (Reeve of S. Sherbrooke and Oso/Frontenac), born in Ireland (abt. 1829), along with his father William Moore (abt. 1800) and mother Winnifred Stephens, later Garrett (b. Mar 1803)?
  2. Are Thomas Moore, Esq. of S. Sherbrooke (Lanark County) and Dr. Thomas Moore of Picton, Ontario (who punched Sir John A MacDonald in the nose) related and how? (Dr. Thomas Moore’s daughter, Catherine Anne Moore held the mortgage for some of Thomas Moore’s land in 1877).
  3. How did they live in Southern Ontario, who were their neighbours and friends, and what were their contributions to society and Canadian history?
  4. How are they related to other members of the community and did they travel together from Ireland, and when? What boat did they come over on?
  5. When can I book my tickets to Ireland? 🙂

WHAT I KNOW SO FAR

I know quite a lot about Thomas Moore, Esq. of S. Sherbrooke, given his public career as a magistrate and Reeve.  Both he and Dr. Thomas Moore’s lives were well documented, and the link between them in land records.

I am currently working with several people compiling the information we all share. There is an abundance of census records, land records, township papers and council meeting minutes that tell us a fortune of information about our collective ancestors. To distill it here will be very difficult. And so I will have to synthesize quite a bit to make this profitable.

 PROBLEM/OPPORTUNITY

My farthest known ancestor from the Moore side is Willliam MOORE of Sherbrook South, Lanark County, Ontario, who died sometime before the 1851 census in Lanark County, Ontario. The only known record of him is from the 1842 census, where he was Head of Household and a “yeoman” (farmer) in S. Sherbrooke, Concession 10 Lot 14E, along with his wife and children.

In terms of origin, the 1841 census only asks how many were born “Here” or “There”. His reads “There”. meaning Ireland (based on later records of his wife and his son Thomas MOORE – Reeve of South Sherbrooke/Oso-Frontenac).  No age is given for him either and so we do not have a birth time frame. However, his wife Winnifred STEPHENS (later Moore then Garrett), based on later census data, was born “Mar 1803” in Ireland. Their son Thomas MOORE was also born in Ireland, based on census data, sometime around 1828-9. The rest of their children were born in Ontario starting in 1834, based on Wesleyan Methodist baptism records.

Because William died so young (likely in his 40s), we do not gain  more information about him later when the records were more thorough. We have to use his wife, children, neighbours and other associates to gain insight into his life and origin.

LATEST DEVELOPMENTS

Hughes & Moores share Land in Maberly, Ont 1830-1861

After visiting Maberly (next posts) and doing further research with my fellow historians, we have discovered more about the land where the Moores and Hughes lived adjacent to each other in 1842 and 1851; and that in 1842 Joseph Hughes was a proprietor of land, whereas William Moore was not, and not even the eldest Thomas HUGHES who applied for Crown land on Conc. 10 Lot 14E in 1830.

HUGHES/MOORE/CHAMBERS related in marriage – HUGHES/CHAMBERS from Tullyish, Down

It appears these families were congenial as Thomas MOORE & Robert HUGHES both married CHAMBERS sisters Margaret and Letitia respectively; and that Willliam MOORE and Thomas HUGHES may even have travelled together from Ireland around 1828 after the birth of William’s first son Thomas.  Thomas HUGHES is from Tullyish, Down, Ireland, according to my sources, much like the CHAMBERS family who are from Warringstown, Ballydugan, within the same Tullyish parish, Down, Ireland.  This is a large clue as to the whereabouts of the Moore family in Ireland, as they very likely travelled either concurrently, or consecutively to Canada.

The  first Wesleyan Methodist “Cedar Chapel” of Maberly

Thomas MOORE, son of William MOORE, and other prominent trustees of the Wesleyan Methodist church in Maberly, petitioned to save an original chapel on Robert/Pierce HUGHES land, the original land Willliam MOORE farmed in 1842.  The chapel is now gone, and apparently there is still an old burying ground, containing neighbouring worshippers (not just family) of the time.  We walked this land and saw several openings, and plenty of rocks which could have been a previous chapel/burying ground, including an old gated laneway that is now overgrown with baby pines. More to come on the “Cedar Chapel” of Maberly…

Widower Thomas GARRETT re-marries Widow Winnifred Moore” & relocates to Lampton, Ont 1861

The latest finding proves that the widow Winnifred MOORE, after the early death of her husband William MOORE (around 1846), still farmed on Conc. 11 Lots 12/13 in 1851 (adjacent again to the HUGHES family), but disappears in 1861.  The reason is she remarried Thomas GARRETT (date TBA) and relocated to LAMPTON, Ontario where they lived with his sons and daughter on a farm.  I am not sure why Thomas GARRETT relocated to Lampton, but it appears his wife died sometime after 1851, and Thomas & “Winnifred Garrett” show up married on the 1861 census for Lampton, Ont.  He is 71 and she is 57. They are Wesleyan Methodist, living with his sons and one daughter, Caroline.

Winnifred GARRETT later returns to Maberly (likely widowed again), where she dies at the home of her son, John MOORE in 1874.  Both John MOORE and Reeve Thomas MOORE, Esq. her eldest sons, die within 4 days of each other in Dec 1886/Jan 1887, respectively. More on this story later…

FURTHER QUESTIONS

Did Thomas HUGHES travel with William MOORE from Down, Ireland, on the same boat to Canada/South Sherbrooke around 1828? Which boat was it?

Why did the widow Winnifred MOORE remarry the widower Thomas GARRETT, when she had plenty of sons to look after her in Maberly?  Was he wealthier? Was he a close family friend of her husband?

DEDUCTIONS/CONCLUSIONS

Moore to come….

If you have any information concerning this family, please contact me.

Thank you!

Krista M. Moore

September, 2011

Keeper of the Flame

I am cross-pollinating today… this is my blog re-posted from “Little Book of Miracles” which continues the story…

I am back from Kingston, home of my birth, and feeling quite reflective on what I found there…  Not only did I find my grandmother in a new hospital by the lake, doing relatively well (see Let Sleeping Lions Lie);  I found myself with my mother, and countless photos and letters dug up among boxes and boxes of stuff in my grandmother’s sun-porch…

In these boxes, we found my great-great grandparents Lawrence E. Moore and Emma Belle Deacon staring out from their front porch rockers in Haileybury…

…and their seven daughters (my great aunts), girls and women in tranquil Georgian-style dresses lounging on the front swing with flowers in their hair, or leaning with snowshoes and warm-mittened hands against the family’s seemingly chicken-wired fence;  my gr-great grandmother Emma standing solidly with her youngest one wrapped around her skirt, she looking quite tired but still strong in the heat of days… and another where she smiles brightly to camera, which delighted me beyond measure.

Moore women in Cobalt

These are The Moores I had always wanted to know: to play cards with at the dining room table (which is now in my mother’s dining room); to tell stories with, to laugh with…  I see Emma playing the  mouth organ (which is now in my grandmother’s hall closet); I hear their old Irish twang and crazy war-time songs (I shall never repeat them here – we were Protestant Northern Irish, if that says enough).

I feel I know them. I am bonded to them. I am proud to be one of them. I see myself in their tall languid frames, the way they hold their hands, tilt their heads, play to camera. The Moore Women.

I am a part of a long, and timeless heritage of self-assured women. Of strength. Of beauty. And of rebuilding. Death after death has taken them. But their faces tell me another story; they are still here, in my blood and in those whom I love now.

My grandmother had protected and shielded these treasures for years and years. She didn’t have the heart to go through them, or dispose of anything. I’m glad she didn’t. I’m glad I had the opportunity with my mother to get on my hands and knees and know this family I inherited.

The details won’t matter so much. The garbage bins will go out; the trinkets will disappear. But their eyes, their hands, their laughter and their tears will never go out in me.

Me in my red boots in Nanna’s backyard

 I am blessed to be here, the Keeper of the Flame.

Published in: on May 27, 2011 at 4:45 pm  Comments (1)  
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