Monday, 6 April 2009

Off Topic

Today is April 6th and it would be appropriate for me to celebrate the birthday of my great-grandfather's eldest brother, Newyear.

Newyear? Yes, Newyear. I didn't know anything about him until I had been investigating my family history for ten years or so. He was born somewhere in the United States in 1832. By 1839 the family was living in Kingston, Ontario, and a year or two later moved to a farm in what is now Scugog Township, Durham Region. He married in the 1850s and established his own farm in Bruce County. He had several daughters and one son.

Why Newyear? Well, April 6th is the first day of the year in the old Julian calendar that was used until the 1750s in England. It is still the first day of the financial year in England. Newyear's parents were both English, one or both of them must have recognized the significance of the day. I would like to think that the historian was my ggg grandmother, Martha.

Martha is a mystery to me. She and her husband George both gave England as their birthplace on Canadian censuses. Like her husband she must have emigrated to the States. Somewhere they met and started their family. But that's all I know. Even her maiden name is a mystery. She died as "relict of George". Frustrating.

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