Dear Thomas – Part III

Fictional letter to the late Thomas Moore from his 3 x Great Grand daughter, Krista Moore…

I also have been meaning to ask you about Dr. Thomas Moore in Picton. I reckon you had some relationship, whether kin or not.  And his daughter, Catherine Ann Moore, who appears to be a cousin of yours.  It is the only sense we can make of the land transactions in the 1870s when times were difficult and you had to parcel off your land.  I don’t understand such things, but I can see that you lost quite a bit, and that your family cared deeply for you enough to try to keep it in the family.

What happened to your late brother John?  I can’t believe he died 4 days before you at the age of 46. What a heartbreak it must have been, a real blow, that possibly ended your life as well.  I can’t even begin to understand what happened, or why he was buried in Laidley (that is what we call it now), the cemetery where most of the Buchanans are buried, as they are still in charge of it (you’d be happy I think to know.).

John Moore, buried same day as his brother Thomas, Jan. 1887, Laidley cemetery, Maberly, Ontario

I have a friend there named Karen P. who has gone so far as to clear the tombstones of John Moore and M.W Moore, whose tombstones were quite broken and fallen back. She cleared and trimmed the tiger lilies from dear John’s grave, and put M.W. upright again. I guess she was a young daughter or niece of his or Henry’s.   But… what happened to you, dear Thomas?  Buried on the same day? It was winter was it now?  Where?  Can your family help me with this? Perhaps Margaret or your surviving relatives made a decision based on the two children you lost, and buried you with them?  I cannot say. But we also have a relative down by Rokeby named Karen Moore I believe who comes from a Harry Moore of not too long ago?  And she may have something to say about it. She still lives there, and used to live on the land your father William lived on.  I was quite happy to hear it. It is still in the family after all!

There are fireworks going off outside, as it is Queen Victoria day tomorrow. Can you believe it? So much for your George! Now we have Elizabeth II who is in her 90s, the longest standing monarch. Following her will be Charles and Camilla, and then his son William and Catherine. They were quite something when they came to Canada last summer. She is gorgeous and William simply glowed at her side.

Will & Kate, 2011

 

Sir John A MacDonald, 1st Prime Minister of Canada, contemporary of Dr. Thomas Moore of Picton and Thomas Moore, Esq. of Maberly, Oso-Frontenac, Ontario

Which brings me to you and your political career. Did you have a meeting with John A. MacDonald in the 1860s over the railway being extended from Kingston to Pembroke? I believe it was in the summer, a June day, and you were presiding in council, or had a private meeting, as you were Reeve of both Oso and Frontenac at the time. Your own son, Lawrence ended up a road-master on the Railway in Haileybury.  He died shortly after the fire of 1922, of Bright’s Disease, at Wellesley private hospital in Toronto.

Back to “Sir” John A. as we call him… See Historical Matters: Famous Moore Clash with Sir John A MacDonald

 

 

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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