Report on the 2011 November Reunion

Well, look what I found among my drafts for posts …

Haha .. Never managed to post it! But as with most things genealogy .. “Better late than never!”

Our reunion was a great success! With all that has been going on since, I haven’t had a chance to talk about the day.

It was a great chance to meet relatives who didn’t know one another! And we did bring together quite a crew of descendants of Matthew O’Connor and Mary Doyle. And yes, we had a birthday cake in their honor, thanks to cousin Sharon!

My sister Margo (who was unable to come) was hoping that we could find some relatives from the Cadieux side. And we did! Our cousin Neal (his grandmother was Belle Cadieux) joined us and we were thrilled that he brought along some photos to share too.

I had been doing some research at the Arnprior & McNab Braeside archives and came upon a host of photos from our Frood ancestors. Maybe our 2012 reunion will have someone representing the Frood or Watt families.

Turns out that we still have some cousins from my father’s generation in the Ottawa area, which was a great and happy surpriseĀ  Matthew O’Connor and Mary Doyle’s next to last child was Emmett (my grandfather’s brother). His daughter Marion, who coincidentally lives not far from the site of the reunion, joined us! What a thrill to catch up with her and that part of the family. Her sister Rita lives in Oklahoma and brother Desmond in the Ottawa area. When I visited with her on the Sunday following, she showed me a letter to our grand uncle Msgr. O’Connor from FDR, asking his advice.

Family of another of my grandfather’s brothers, Stephen, were represented, too! Richard wasn’t able to join us, but his brother stopped by, and was interested in the details of the tree. He got to meet some new cousins, too!

Connie, representing the Delaney branch, was also with us. Her grandmother was Mary “Minnie” O’Connor (my grandfather’s sister; daughter of Matthew & Mary) who married George Delaney.

Gary Allen has been doing research on the Irish in the Ottawa Valley. He joined us for the family names, and discovered a connection to the family through Isidore Cadieux, brother of my great grandfather David!

Cousin John is very knowledgeable on the O’Connor tree, having done most of his research before we had internet sources, so he knows the original sources and details well. He was a great resource for those with questions about the O’Connor and Dolan lines.

Cousin Sharon is also well versed in the O’Connors and Dolans. She too was a go-to person for questions. …and she helped with the cake and refreshments.

We had a really great morning together. It was a great chance to connect to family we had only seen as names on the family tree, but have now had a chance to meet and enjoy. So many commented that it would be nice to do this each year, that we are working on the dates for 2012.

I’m hoping to find some representatives of the Wilson and McEwan lines who could join us.

The Frood family and the 100th Anniversary of World War I

As the commemorations of World War I approach, I think about the family members who lost their lives in the Great War. Many, many of my ancestors were among the 690,000 soldiers of the Canadian Expeditionary Forces (CEF); a number were among the 67,000 killed and 173,000 wounded — almost 39% of those mobilised.

I was particularly touched by the story of Peter Frood (1865-1934), his wife Naomi McEwen (1857-1950), and their family. Peter was my great grandmother Barbara Watt Frood’s brother, my great grand uncle.

Even before the War, they had seen tragedy. In 1912, their daughter Iva Ray, a school teacher, had committed suicide.

cbfroodIt is hard to fathom their sorrow when, in 1915, they learned that their son Lorne Vine Frood, of H Company, CEF, died in the trenches somewhere near St. Julien, France. It was soon to be compounded, when news reached them in 1916 of the death, at age 19, of (Clarence) Boyd Frood, 8th Canadian Mounted Rifles, CEF, near Mount Sorrel, France.

Their bodies were never recovered, but they are remembered in the ceremony that takes place daily at 8pm, at the Memorial at the Menin Gate, Ypres, Belgium, where their names are inscribed. Sons of Renfrew, their names are also inscribed on the cenotaph outside town hall in Renfrew.

One of the plans to commemorate those who died in the Great War is to nightly project the names onto the War Memorials in Ottawa and several other cities across Canada.

In the run up to the celebrations of the 100th anniversary, many are reflecting on the meaning of the Great War. I find it hard to think about 10 million soldiers’ and 6 million civilian deaths.

Seeing it one family at a time begins to give some sense of the devastation that took place on both sides of the Atlantic.

 

The Froods of Carmichael, Scotland

Tracking the Frood family line was both simple and complicated. My grandmother, Mayburne Cadieux, was the daughter of Barbara Watt Frood and David Cadieux. “Granny Frood” traced her family tree from the Renfrew, ON Froods back to Scotland .. to what I learned was “Carmichael, Lanarkshire, Scotland.”

Barbara Watt Frood and David Cadieux, undated

At various times, I came across information about the Froods buried in the church yard at “Carmichael.” It all seemed just a bit fuzzy. Sometimes the references read “Carmichael Churchyard.” Other times, just “Carmichael.” On a map it looked like a fairly large area.

Alexander Frood was married to Marion Symington, and they were parents of Andrew, whose son Hugh (who married Barbara Watt, my great grandmother’s name sake) emigrated to Canada and was one of the founding families of Renfrew ON at the turn of the 20th century. It seemed the facts were clear, but where this “Carmichael” was located, that was a bit more complicated.

More than a year later, in a quite random internet search, I happened to click on the “images” category for the search results … and came across a picture of a tombstone for Alexander and Marion. It was labelled “Carmichael, Cairngryffe Parish, Carmichael Churchyard, South Lanarkshire, Scotland.”

It led me to Cairngryffe Parish in Carmichael. The pictures of the parish grounds on the parish website indicated that there were indeed gravestones in the church yard! But I had no luck finding out who had taken the picture. I couldn’t verify the location. Was it indeed in this church yard?

Then, the kindness of a stranger. Jack Meikle, session clerk of the parish in Scotland, verified the presence of the stone for me. He even offered to clean it up a bit and take a better picture so that the inscription would be more readable! Thank you Jack!

What a find! There is a special kind of joy that comes with the discovery of the places where your ancestors lived and died. And a distinct appreciation for the generosity of those who help you along the road to such discoveries!