I’ve taken the plunge into some Canadian and Scottish ancestry that I found quite interesting, and surprisingly, have been able to locate some great records (church records are some of the best!). I was looking in both Scottish and Newfoundland church records and found a wealth of information. For weddings, a lot of information can be gathered. For instance (transcribed as posted online):
From the Scottish Civil Records, 1881 Marriages in the Parish of Eastwood in the County of Renfrew:
1881 on the Twenty ninth day of April at Thornliebank after Banns according to the Forms of the Established Church of Scotland. David Coubrough, Printfields Labourer, Bachelor, 25, Thornliebank, [son of] Robert Coubrough, Cotton Cloth Lapper, dec. [and] Mary Coubrough, Formerly Gunn, M.S. Sandalands [married] Mary Smith, Printfields Worker, 20, Thornliebank, [daughter of] James Smith, House Painter, [and] Isabella Gunn. [The ceremony was performed by] George Campbell, Minister of Eastwood, [and witnessed by] Samuel Jack and Annie Carrey.
From this I was able to garner the following:
David Coubrough (25 years old and from Thornliebank, employed as a Printfields Labourer), son of Robert (deceased and formerly employed as a Cotton Cloth Lapper) and Mary Sandalands (whose original surname was Gunn) MARRIED Mary Smith (20 years old and also a Printfields Worker from Thornliebank), daughter of James Smith (a house painter) and Isabella Gunn. David and Mary probably worked together at the same textile mill (a Printfields Labourer was a factory worker who dyed and printed calico cloth). Robert Coubrough apparently also worked in a textile mill as a “Cotton Cloth Lapper” – one who moved the yarn from the carding machine to the next process in weaving. That is A LOT of information from one church marriage record!
I found even more great records when I moved to the Canadian (Newfoundland side of the family) — again being able to find church records paid off and yielded quite a bit of information.
In searching for a Monday article, I came across a story I originally meant to put under a “Massacre, Murder and Mayhem Monday” theme (hard to resist that alliteration!). But, there is so much negativity going on in the world at the moment, I just couldn’t bring myself to make that big of a “splash” with the story.
The massacre story is one I ran across some time ago while researching a friend and her husband’s ancestry (I wrote about her family history and being related to Benjamin Franklin here).
Lively Springs Massacre
In 1810 two brothers-in-law, John Lively and David Huggins, were living in the northeast part of Randolph County, Illinois (Illinois had just been carved out as a territory in 1809), and near the southeast part of St. Clair County. By all accounts they seemed to be prospering as farmers and cattlemen, so much so they needed to find bigger pastures at a place called Crooked Creek.
Everything seemed to go very well until the spring of 1813 when Indian raids became more frequent, perhaps as a result of America’s “second war for independence”, also known as the War of 1812. Again, America was fighting the British, plus the Indians, which the British deliberately encouraged to carry out raids against Americans.
For a time the two families were protected by a military unit in the area, but when the depredations became more frequent, Lively and Huggins began to discuss whether they should leave and move back to Randolph County (at this time they were likely the only settlers in the area). David Huggins decided it best to leave, but John Lively decided to stay.
Lively and his family lived peacefully for awhile, but in July of 1813 he began to notice his cattle growing restless at night, a sure sign of Indians in the area. This time Lively decided to take no chances with his family’s safety and hastily prepared to leave – but not hastily enough it seems.
While his wife and daughters milked the cows, John sent his son and nephew to round up the horses. As his son and nephew started in the direction of the horses, they heard gunfire. Running back they found their home overrun with Indians who were massacring (and scalping) their family members. The two young men were powerless to help and managed to escape – at least that’s the family legend since some of the information may never have been fully authenticated.
Nevertheless, it was a gruesome incident and a cautionary tale of settlers attempting to stand alone against renegade Indians (with perhaps prodding from the British). David Huggins, however, eventually returned to the tragic place in 1816, living there the rest of his life. I believe that David Huggins may be an ancestor of my friend’s husband.
I know that his second great grandmother was Hannah Huggins Charles. It’s likely her father’s name was Patrick and I’m supposing he was David’s son, although I haven’t found the proof yet. If not an ancestor, I’m quite sure there is some sort of relation. It’s always fascinating to relate such an historic event to a family I am researching.
More “Back-Door” Research
I wrote a few weeks ago about some “back-door” research I did in trying to locate the family of a friend who had been adopted (read the article here). I had another “back-door” incident this summer with my own family research.
I had long thought I knew who my third great grandfather on the Hall side was, but had begun to doubt whether it was absolutely correct. Even after locating a census record which I thought was my great-great grandfather William Marion Rupe, I wasn’t thoroughly convinced because of another record (a photograph) I found which cast a bit of doubt on that assumption.
In July I went to New Mexico and visited with my Aunt Joy who is in possession of many family artifacts, including old family Bibles. Interestingly, I received the confirmation of the identity of my great-great-great grandfather from a story ABOUT the Bible. Every family researcher knows that Bible records can be a treasure trove of information.
The Bible she showed me had been given to my great-great grandmother Mary Ellen (Cochrell) Rupe (William Marion’s wife) by her sister-in-law. From the story my aunt told me about the Bible, and an obituary tucked inside it, I was able to confirm who William Marion Rupe’s father was by tracing the married name of his sister with records back to their father George Washington Rupe.
To my fellow researchers – be relentless, keep digging and don’t discount trivial or seemingly useless information – you just never know what it might lead to. Oh, and, by the way, have an awesome week!
Have a GREAT day . . . someday it will be HISTORY!