June to September 2001
Cousins: my husband is related to my sister-in-law
Burgess Sends Dozens of Watson Photos
had some exciting happenings in my little genealogy
world. First, never ever get discouraged if you hit
"the wall." I thought I was stuck, couldn't find descendants,
couldn't find ancestors, so I posted surnames and queries
all over the internet using Ancestry.com and Rootsweb
very next day, I received an answer to my post about
the Watson branch. Try to follow this one: my grandmother
Ariel's father's sister, Aunt Mary Watson married Jack
McGregor. They had a son named William Robroy McGregor
in 1893--my grandma's first cousin. William left home
around 1920, working for the railroad. He ended up in
California. I never met him, and never heard my grandmother
speak of him; in fact, she didn't even tell me his name
when she gave me the family tree info, just told me
about his sisters Margaret and Winnifred.
seems William died in the 1970s in California. His best
friend was executor of his will. His best friend died
in October 2000. A woman named Debi Burgess (a WONDERFUL
woman) from Missouri went with her husband to California
to clean out her deceased husband's uncle's house. She
came across pictures and mementos that had belonged
to a man named William Robroy McGregor. She saw the
uncle's name listed as executor of the estate and assumed
that's how he got Mr. McGregor's artifacts.
would you do with those items? Well, Debi is a genealogist
at heart. She couldn't bear to think that some descendant
would miss out on these precious photos, so she packed
them up and took them home, determined to find the new
owner-to-be. She looked on a few message boards, but
night I posted my messages, she had decided to try again.
She found me, but I had no one with the name William
in my tree! After finding a letter with my Aunt Gertie
mentioned, my aunt and uncle, Harry and Min mentioned,
William's sister Margaret mentioned (and I did have
her in the tree), we started to assume that they were
my family mementoes. Then Debi started scanning and
sending pictures to see if I recognized anyone. Imagine
my surprise when she sent me a picture of my gggrandmother,
Mary Watson! I have the same picture, with the same
inscription on the back of it in my possession. Debi
and I were both thrilled that she had found me and she
sent the pictures priority mail--without accepting reimbursement--2
days later. In the box were dozens of family pictures
(most, sadly, without names), but some, including my
ggguncle Jack Wilson in full highland gear, pictured
here, were recognizable, and I'm still working on the
you, Debi, you've made me a very happy woman.
the way, when the pictures arrived, I found a picture
of my grandmother in the packet. So, the bottom line
is: a woman in Missouri cleaned out her husband's uncle's
house in California and found pictures of my very own
grandmother. It's a crazy world.
and Schmachtenberger Photos Found
went to visit my dad and Aunt "up north" in Michigan.
They surprised me with these great family pictures.
This one is the Rushton family in St. Thomas, Ontario,
Canada, around 1900.
Ann (b. 1876), Horace Holroyd (b. 1879), Bertha Estelle,
my great-grandmother (b. 1881),
Jane Schmachtenberger Rushton (b. 1850), husband Hiram
(b. 1853), and Blanche Winifred (b. 1883)
a mystery photo. The woman on the right is Eliza Schmachtenberger
Rushton, but I am trying to identify the others. My
guess is that the woman next to her is her sister, Sarah
Slough, and the younger women are Sarah's daughters,
Esta and Gertrude. Hoping a descendant will be able
to help me confirm that.
A surprise kinship
has been discovered. In May, my husband Rick took me
to his grandparents' gravesite. William Palmer and Iris
Luella Bradley Palmer died in the 1940's. Once I had
her birth and death dates, I found Iris Bradley's heritage
at Familysearch.org. There was enough information to
trace her lineage back to the Cohoes and Ostranders
in the 1600's.
At a party last week I was discussing genealogy (what else?), and we discovered that my brother's wife, Karen Ostrander Billings, is 5th cousins with my husband Rick. Small world, isn't it?
I have posted the descendants of Peter Van Ostrander (a work in progress).