Memory is like a key; it opens a door to spending some time in the past.
Not too long ago, someone said to me you seem to dwell in the past. I have found out since doing my family history, there is so much I do not know about family matters. At my senior age maybe I will dwell on it, as it can be so interesting. In both my family history and my husband’s history I have gone back to the 1700’s, in my process, it goes back to discovering his great-grandfather was a Huguenot from the Guernsey Islands who settled on the Plains of Abrahams, in Quebec, in the late 1700’s.
In our home sits a Desk made on the Plains of Abrahams which was created in the Late 1700’s, during that time, by my husband’s Great Grandfather. The family also changed their name from LeLacheur to Lusher. When one has the use of a Laptop there is just so much information to be found to fill in some gaps to ones heritage. Connections were made and we found some new kissin cousins we did not know we had.
Huguenots were French Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries who followed the teachings of theologian John Calvin. Persecuted by the French Catholic government during a violent period, Huguenots fled the country in the 17th century, creating Huguenot settlements all over Europe, in the United States and Africa. Mar 16, 2018
In my Dad’s Family, history was a sad upbringing and beginning of life he had. His Mother and Dad left him and a sister in England, and came to Canada, his Grandparents brought him up. His father died in the first world war when my Dad was four. He went to work at the age of eight at a Mill in Rochdale, Lancashire. He worked in the same Mill as the War Time Singer, Gracie Fields. More than once when she would come on the Radio, he would say “Many a lunch time I spent singing with Her.” My Dad had a beautiful Irish Tenor Voice, needless to say we had some old 78″ records, with Gracie Fields songs. My Dad did live a lonely life until he met and married my Mom and he finally found out what Family was all about. He sailed to Canada when he was seventeen, to find his Mom. The outcome was not positive for him, his mom had remarried.
There is one thing about looking into your heritage: it is very difficult to wrap your head around some of the knowledge you gain. I have to say that you take on a very different attitude on what is important. I do find that when you learn more about the early years of your parents life it does make some dates far more important. As a Child I do remember going to Remembrance Day, and finding out about my Dad’s Family. The Service at the War Memorial in Ottawa was much more meaningful. It did answer the question of the tear in my Dad’s eye, I have to say I noticed it and would look for it on the following services held at the War Memorial that I attended.
I do remember being told about the flags around the National War Memorial. My Mom was a winner at her school, Lisgar Collegiate, for an essay, on how to improve the appearance of the area of the War Memorial. Her idea was flags around the outside area, and for many years as a child, I would come home from the service and say to my Mom, your Flags are still flying Mom. In the 40’s it was the Union Jack Flag. I do have a newspaper clipping showing that My Mom’s Idea was a winner. I do have to admit it became a bragging right as a child, and I did brag to my Classmates every November 11th. I am quite sure they grew tired of hearing it from me.
You know with Covid hanging around the world, one tries to come up with idea’s to keep busy, but out of the worry of covid invading the being, you keep busy. Years ago I started to mark down some lines and put together a series of stories of a Holiday at Richards Castle in Snow Road. These stories were generated by Childhood Memories of Summer Holidays at the Old Stone House. This was a holiday with the whole extended family. It started out in 1936 when Grandpa arranged for a holiday for two weeks, each year for over fifteen years. They would travel to Snow Road and Richard’s Castle. I did have such a good time as a young girl,, along with Prince Freddie the Frog, He sat on a lily pad in the Mississippi River.
The holiday trip in the back on an old Charles Ogilvy Department Store truck driven by an uncle or taking the old K & P Railway – Kingston – Pembroke or as it was dubbed by the locals the Kick and Push. As children, it was a horrible trip up as we would all get motion sick on both the trains in the back of the old delivery truck. It was a castle and we were a family of meagre means and if you could fantasize many stories could be generated, and with me they did and have lasted a good long time.
I then started to mark down stories from my childhood from living on Gardner Street. The houses on this street could have used a paint job and some repairs, but being war time and very few men around, and a Landlord who did not like to spend money or just may have been, she did not have it. So repairs seldom ever made it to be done, and the list of repairs just kept getting bigger and never addressed.
During the Covid shut-in time it was used to work on the Family history book, I did a write up of Family Treasures and where they came from, and who they belonged to. When one starts a project like this you also learn by it. In both sides of our family there were talented individuals and in most cases a lot of thought, love and technique went into the item. Some might think they were nothing more than trinkets yet there was a story and memories with each item. To me they are priceless and have priceless value. I still have my doll house, with a little circular table and two chairs, and a fireplace with a mantle clock that my grandparents created and gave me at the age of around nine. Grandpa made it and it has been special ever since. It has gone through family, and children have used it, with the specification it came back to me. It did and sometimes it might come out at Christmas, when one gets the desire for a Hallmark type Christmas.
My latest little pleasure is doing a family story book for kids, from the stories of Snow Road. I do not think of myself as a writer, but I do believe I am a storyteller, who just can recall memories from a picture or an item.
If you want to think of me as living in the past, maybe I do, but over the years I have built up a lot of memories. I do find pleasure, and my time in the past was very pleasant. To tell you the truth, with all the spare time I have and lack of seeing too many people and being alone so much, it does fill in a void, and childhood returns, if only for a while.
No I do not spend all my time in the past, but in my pleasant thoughts and yes they were, I travel back to some happy times. It does keep the mind active and the fingers nimble, marking them down.. One just never knows, what you might find out, something you never knew of, and maybe someone needs this information for a project they are working on. Family Tales, it’s a treasure and priceless, to find something and check it out. I am no Princess only at Richard’s Castle the name was Princess Pigtails, yes that’s what my Grandpa called me, and he was a wise man.
Just some thoughts and a few lines, on a quiet Sunday
from the ✒Of Noreen Tyers