Monday, November 30, 2015

Celebrating Lucy Maud Montgomery

Today Google celebrates the birthday of Lucy Maud Montgomery (November 30, 1874 – April 24, 1942). She is the author of Anne of Green Gables.

She was born in Prince Edward Island (Canada) and after getting her teaching certificate from Prince of Wales College in Charlottetown (P.E.I.) she attended Dalhousie University in Halifax (Nova Scotia, Canada) before taking up a teaching position in P.E.I. That's when she wrote Anne of Green Gables (1908).

In 1911 she married a Presbyterian minister, Ewen Macdonald, and moved to Uxbridge, Ontario (northeast of Toronto). In 1926, she and her husband moved to Norval, Ontario, a small village due north of where I live in Mississauga, Ontario. We've passed her house many times. She lived there until 1935 when she moved to Swansea, Ontario, now a part of western Toronto between the Humber River and High Park. She died there in 1942 and was buried in P.E.I.

Lucy Maud Montgomery is a distant cousin of mine. I descend from James Cole and his wife Mary (maiden name unknown) who came to North America from Bletchley, England. Their son, Benjamin Cole, is my great4-grandfather. James Cole died sometime around 1765 and Mary married George Penman. The history is confusing, they may have lived in New England and fled to P.E.I. after the American Revolution. They self-identify as United Empire Loyalists.

Mary is my great5 grandmother and she had several children with George Penman. Two of them were Nancy (b. 1768) and Elizabeth ("Betsy") (b. 1769). Nancy married Donald Montgomery of the "New Moon" farm in Malpeque, P.E.I. (Emily of New Moon). Her sister married David Murray.

Donald Montgomery, the son of Nancy & Donald, married his first cousin Ann Murray, daughter of Elizabeth & David. Their son, Hugh John Montgomery, was Lucy Maud Montgomery's father.

Thus, Lucy Maud Montgomery's great grandmother is my great-great-great-great-great grandmother.





20 comments :

  1. I wonder how long before can enter any two names and get a DNA derived cousinship chart.

    My bet is that (if it isn't already available), within five years.

    Within 20 years the grain will be pretty fine, and include many famous and infamous people.

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    1. You can do that already with 23andme. I took the test the other day and it has suggested hundreds of people that may be fourth to fifth cousins.

      Of course if I had first cousins or siblings that had taken the test it would also pick those up immediately.

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  2. Replies
    1. My parents, and especially my aunt and uncle, knew Kevin Bacon's parents.

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    2. And I've been to Sandwalk and met a man whose parents knew Kevin Bacon's parents :)

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  3. I don't suppose you can explain the bit with the cake? I think I did read Anne of Green Gables years ago when my sister had a copy, but I don't recall any of the events from it.

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    1. The minister and his wife were invited to tea. Ann made a cake for the occasion and accidentally used Anodyne Liniment instead of vanilla. It made the minister's wife turn green, though she kept eating out of politeness.

      Here's the relevant passage.

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  4. Genealogy software that links well known trees to your own is amazing. I discovered recently one of the ways that I am related to Charles Robert Darwin. He is my 13th cousin five times removed.

    My 17th great grandparents were also his12th great grandparents.

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  5. Just looked up this family tree on geni.com (http://www.geni.com/family-tree/index/6000000038280175095#6000000002316037595)

    It appears that Mary's maiden name was Edgar

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    Replies
    1. Well there does appear to be quite a lot of consensus within other people's personal trees.

      There are 34 matches for Nancy Montgomery and most of them list here mothers maiden name as Edgar.

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    2. Copying an error doesn't make it any less of an error. Her maiden name was likely "Low" but the evidence is not conclusive. Lot's of sites have Mary Edgar as Penman's second wife and the widow Cole as his third wife. This is almost certainly wrong.

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    3. Copying an error doesn't make it any less of an error.

      I am reminded of the annotation of genomes.

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    4. I once spent a summer at Los Alamos working with Genbank on how to deal with errors in the database and how to prevent them from being propagated. There was no easy solution just as there's no easy way to prevent errors like this in public genealogy databases.

      Ancestry.com tried to deal with the problem in the past by creating "Millennium Files" that were supposed to be accurate but that didn't work. The problem is getting severe. There are tons of errors being propagated in genealogical databases and no way to fix the problem.

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    5. Speaking of errors ... why the hell can't Blogger allow better commenting options and let me fix my spelling mistakes?

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  6. I think it's "Bletchley" rather than "Bletchly". I write as an old Bletchley Line boy from the middle of the last century when the trains pulled us to school by steam engines.

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    1. Bletchley Park, of course, gaining some fame as the location of the WWll code-breaking effort of Turing et al.

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  7. Some years ago I produced an on-line family tree. It was accurate back to about 1830 but before that I was not confident of the earlier relationships but could check no further. I was horrified to discover some time later that what I thought was my own private tree had been accessed by some other person who had used my error-filled tree to complete his own.

    Perhaps others have also borrowed his tree in turn to produce there own and so on ad finitum. I doubt there is any way to remedy the situation and I now regret that I didn't have the forethought to slip Queen Victoria, George Washington and Sir Walter Scott into my tree somewhere just for fun.

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