Helping You to Discover Your Family Roots

Unexpected Discoveries

A few weeks ago I was working away in my office deeply engrossed in one of my many genealogy projects when the telephone rang. Ordinarily I eagerly anticipate each new call but this time my head and heart were so deeply embedded in a family research project that I was perturbed at the interruption. Common sense took over and I picked up the receiver and gave a cheery “Good morning GenealogyResults Marg speaking.”

On the other end of the line was one of my clients, Sam Pilch, with a story that shook me to the core and further enhanced my passion for this profession. Sam is one of my clients whose project was nearing completion and we had been in regular contact via phone and email. There remained some unanswered questions that I was continuing to pursue. This call, though, was one of those unexpected, emotionally charged human interest stories that are uncovered for everyday ordinary people when they decide to research more about their family’s past.

One of the mysteries when I started was that Sam didn’t know who her great grandparents were. They were clearly one of the key missing links in this genealogy chart. It took a bit of work but I finally figured it out by comparing some Census records to some birth and death registrations I had located. In the course of this research I discovered, much to my surprise, that Sam’s grandparents had had a little boy they called Vern, their first child. The little boy only lived 18 days dying in Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children due to complications from being born prematurely. When I asked Sam if she knew this information, she did not. She called a couple of her aunts who also did not know that they had had an elder brother. One of these aunts was always raised to believe that she had been the eldest child.  Last week this aunt was in Peterborough for a visit and when her niece presented her with this information, and the proof, Sam’s aunt was quite upset. As their day went on, however, this new family knowledge turned into a positive thing.

I had discovered that little Vern had been buried in St. John’s Norway Cemetery in Toronto. Sam’s grandparents (parents of the infant) are buried in Peterborough, Ontario as it was the easiest thing to do at the time of their deaths. Sam’s sister has been in touch with the cemetery in Toronto and found out there is still space in the baby’s plot. Sam’s aunt is now making arrangements to have her parents dis-interred from the cemetery in Peterborough and moved to rest with their little boy in Toronto.  

Although this outcome is not the expected outcome from a family history search it was one that brought great satisfaction to the client and a sense of peace that the little baby boy who has been resting so long by himself will once again be with the parents who had had such a short time to love him and be with him.