My husband's family (Morehouse) has a claim to fame in their lineage. It would seem that several
Morehouse families arrived in New Brunswick at the close of the American Revolutionary War. In particular, Daniel Morehouse, seems to be the ancestor from whence my husband's family sprang. With a click of a mouse button I can suddenly add 6 generations to my husband's family tree, culminating in a famous local figure -- an American Loyalist. At the Kings Landing Historical Settlement (near Fredericton, my husband's hometown) there is even a Morehouse house. How fortuitous that I can fill in some more branches in my family tree. But alas, it's only the Morehouse side. Further digging will flesh out the other sides,
particularly the maternal lines.
As is so often the case it isn't always easy or even possible to find out information about women throughout history (unless they've done something very naughty!?) Regrettably, records usually only pay attention to the males. But every now and then I am lucky enough to find snippets of a female family member. For example, my great-grandmother, Amelia Bolt, was a mini land tycoon. She bought and sold property (in her own name) at a dizzying rate, making a neat little profit. By the time of her death in 1949 she was able to leave each of her 8 children a parcel of land in or near London, Ontario. She was also pretty ballsy. I found a court case where she sued her neighbour for putting his driveway (on his land) too close to one of her houses. And she won!
Another great-grandmother, Anna Zaranek, an orphan at age 18 in England, braved a dangerous voyage across the sea, fending off unscrupulous people. She made her way across the border to Canada where her two brothers had settled a few years previously. And amazingly, she arrived in London, Ontario in 1906 with all her worldly possessions that she set out with -- including an antique rocking chair that sits in front of me as I type this. I have an amazing amount of admiration for these brave ladies. Is it any wonder that I look to my family tree for baby name inspiration?
So while it is great to find a serendipitous site that fills in many missing details, I see this mainly as new branches that I can use as jumping-off points to find even more relatives. And hopefully to find some more brash and sassy females in the bunch!