Wednesday, January 23, 2019

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks–Week #4–Who Would I Like to Talk to?

Isn’t that a question we often ask ourselves?  If only we could talk to _______fill in the blank.  Maybe we could get answers to our family mysteries or just a better background on who, what, when and where.

Since the theme for this week doesn’t say we have to pick just one person, I am going to name a few of my beloved ancestors and why I’d like to (need to) speak to them.  If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you will recognize these names. I apologize for bringing them up again.  However, we all know that it only takes one person/reader to say “hey, I know the answer to that question!”  It’s what we all hope for.
William "Val" Gould - my great grandfather, son of John C. Gould

FIRST AND DEFINITELY AT THE TOP OF MY LISTMy paternal great grandfather, William V. Gould (born Vivaldo William Gould) (1859-1924).  I know, from many sources, who is father & mother were.  HOWEVER, I am completely stuck as to who his paternal grandparents were.  Who were the parents of John C. Gould?   What could William tell me about his own father?  Did he know who his paternal grandparents were?  Did he ever meet them?  What stories did his father tell about the family?  And lastly, why doesn’t there seem to be a single photo of his parents in family pictures?  They were alive until 1911 and probably 1919.  And, the next question would be – is the John Gould on the death certificate I’ve located, the correct person?  Is this William’s father?

I’ve written about this nearly two decade brick wall mystery and you can read it here MYSTERY MONDAY - WHO'S YOUR DADDY? John C. Gould 1833-1919?

THE NEXT ANCESTOR I NEED TO TALK TOMy maternal great grandfather, Robert Edward Lee Bowden, 1863-1906.  Who were his parents?  Did he have siblings?  I know absolutely nothing about his family.  

Interestingly, it was his daughter, Florence Bowden (my grandmother) who was the family historian/genealogist before me.  She kept meticulous records of family births, marriages and many deaths.  She drew a family tree by hand.  However, back in the 1970’s she wrote me a letter and in that letter is a response to a question I’d asked about her family.  Who were her father’s parents?  She could only say that she thought Robert Bowden’s mother was named Susan and that she died when my grandmother was 4 yrs. old, which would have been about 1892.  Since Robert and his wife divorced when my grandmother was about 11 yrs. old and he died when she was just 18 yrs. old, there may not have been a time when she could ask questions. Robert was a railroad brakeman and I expect he was often gone from the home.
 I’ve never found a picture of him and surely there must have been one taken at some point.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but I’ve also written a blog post about this brick wall and you can read it here MYSTERY MONDAY - WHO'S YOUR DADDY? Robert L. Bowden 1863-1906

Catherine Dorsey - my 2nd great grandmother with her children Annie & Horace Jr.

NEXT ON MY LIST -  My paternal 2nd great grandmother, Catherine C. Dorsey about 1842 – 1898.  She, by all records I’ve obtained, was born in Dublin, Ireland about 1842.  Her death cert lists her parents as Jno and Mary.  She lies in an unmarked grave at Mt. Elliott Cemetery in Detroit, Michigan.  

She was the wife of Horace Henry Thorp (1836-1907) and the mother of 10 children.  I have a picture of her.  I also have most of the information on 9 of her 10 children.  When did she arrive in the U.S.?  Was she really born in Dublin?  What were the full names of her parents and did she have any siblings?  How did she meet Horace?  
As you might guess, I’ve also written about her before and you can read it and see her picture here - MYSTERY MONDAY - WHO'S YOUR DADDY? Catherine Dorsey about 1842-1898

My Dad - Harry Norman Gould

AND LAST, BUT CERTAINLY NOT LEASTMy own Dad, Harry Norman Gould 1912-1991.  He absolutely loved to tell family stories and talk about when he was growing up.  He was an only child, and the grandchild of William & Mae Gould (although they had 6 children, he was the only grandchild).  I did listen to his stories growing up and when I became an adult.  I did ask him questions and we sat down and I had him label family photos for me.  But, you know how it goes.  Until we begin doing actual family research we don’t know what questions we should have asked.  

I didn’t begin my genealogy journey until 12 years after he died.  Now I have a hundred questions that I would be willing to bet he could answer for me.  And, we would have such a good time, laughing and talking about his beloved Mema and Bepa (what he called William & Mae Gould), his grandparents.  If only…….if only. 

There are dozens more ancestors that I’d love to sit down with, but for now, I’d settle for all or one of the four I’ve mentioned here.

Who would you like to talk to?  And why?
If you find that you are related to anyone mentioned in this post or have information for me, please get in touch.

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl
Copyright ©  2010-2019   Diane Gould Hall

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed your selection of people you would want to ask questions of. It must have been difficult to only pick these but the questions, I know, are very important ones to know the answers to.


I look forward to reading your comments. If you have any connection to the people mentioned in this blog, please let me know. I write about mine and my husband's ancestors and would welcome new information or meeting a new cousin or two. Thanks for visiting and come back soon.