Bathurst Courier, Jan. 19, 1847
“It becomes our painful duty to inform our readers of the most distressing calamity that has ever been our lot to record—namely of the destruction of a whole family by fire. It appears that on the morning of Friday last about 3:00 the home of Patrick Connor, in the Township of Lanark, was discovered to be on fire by some travellers who had put up at the house for the night and were aroused by the screams from the family”.
Read the rest here: Connor Family Lanark Fire- National Media
This morning I got this note from Cheryl Moss about the Connor family that lost their lives in 1847 and I began to cry after I read it:
I read your posting about the Connor Family Fire. Here is the church burial record from 1847. They were buried in the Ole Burying Ground AKA Craig Street Cemetery AKA Pioneer Cemetery in Perth, Ontario. Unfortunately the stone has not survived. Sad that, to think they are almost forgotten after what they endured to begin their life here.
Thank you for the remembrance,
Why should this matter to me? Why should I care about the Connor family, Cecil Cummings from Carleton Place, or smile at the stories of Bridget McGee from Perth? I spend hours a day writing and researching, and I am so very grateful to those that send me photos and family notations, as none of us cannot do this alone.
How can we understand our present or glimpse into our future if we don’t relive our past? History is a comedy to those who think, and a tragedy to those who feel, and when I got this note from Cheryl I felt so overwhelmed for the Connor family and I needed to write why her note was so important to me. Her documents also led us to the location of the family which had only been noted as “Lanark”. We now know they lived in the Perth area thanks to her.
Loveless voices tell us that history as we know it is an irrelevance, with its obsession with the dead and we should just forget them all. Well, I never knew what real tragedy meant until I began obsessing about local history three years ago. I was a fashion designer for 31 years– and only wrote the occasional story about my life from time to time. What happened to me? Sure I became a blogger 19 years ago and wrote celebrity gossip on a national level- but why this? Why do I care so much about the past?
Sometimes I feel like I have inherited these stories, and it is a tremendous, yet wonderful responsibility I have chosen to undertake. Our ancestors were born out of blood and suffering and they risked their lives for things that we now take for granted. History is not the story of strangers; it is the story of us had we been born a little earlier, and turbulent times taught them lessons, and now we can learn from those lessons too.
Never forget we are here only because of our families, and sometimes I wonder if some may be “waiting on the other side” for the documenting to be done. Each time I walk through an old cemetery I become overwhelmed by the stories of the dead.
Cheryl Moss sent me these death notices about the Connor family that no longer had a grave marker and were mostly forgotten. Now they are documented, and thanks to all of you that research your family lineage and send in photos and stories– you are doing a service by leaving a legacy, no matter how small or large. Together we are recording names that were once real, live people and now, because of you, they have become more than just a birth and a death date.
Please send in your stories and photos (firstname.lastname@example.org)– as eventually we will all become just faces in old photographs.
We keep this love in a photograph
We made these memories for ourselves
Where our eyes are never closing
Hearts are never broken
And time’s forever frozen still
Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun and Screamin’ Mamas (USA)