Since coming to Montreal last September, I have been asked by several people what my connection to Canada is.
One connection, my great x 3 grandfather Joseph Lewis, is from the mid to late 1800s. He left Canada to come to the US for work.
But another, slightly more indirect connection, dates back to the 1700s. And it involves war. Continue reading
My mother was descended from a King’s Daughter.
OK, not actually a princess. Just someone who was paid by the French government to go to New France and marry a local farmer. But it still sounds cool to say we’re related to a King’s Daughter. Continue reading
A few weeks before my mother passed away, I finally had the chance to do what I had wanted to do for years: Visit the sites where my French-Canadian ancestor had been.
The problem was, I could only figure out one specific location, and that was only due to guessing based on an old photograph: a “cabinet card.”
My mother had insisted for decades that she had French-Canadian ancestry. Her grandmother Carrie Lewis Connally was French, she claimed. But I always wondered.
Lewis doesn’t sound terribly French.
I’ve made good progress on my mother’s high school manuscript — up to Chapter 9 (out of 15). Taking notes while I type, particularly about cultural references and language usage, I came across one interesting prediction:
“The space program of the two major nations [US and Russia] were joined after the moon project because it was cheaper to outfit; also, with the world’s greatest minds working together, better vehicles could be built.”
This was written a full 9 years before the joint Apollo-Soyuz (or Soyuz-Apollo) Test Project in 1975 that basically ended the “space race” started by the launch of Sputnik.
Written by a 17-year-old in 1968. The reality was more complicated, but still, heck of a prediction. Go, Mom!
“Three little children who were playing on the sidewalk near 118th Street and Seventh Avenue Tuesday afternoon jokingly shouted to two women riding in a ten-year-old automobile, ‘Get a horse! Get a horse!’
“A few seconds later they were frantically scrambling from the path of the old machine as apparently out of control, it plunged across the street toward them like a juggernaut.”
“There was a moment of silence and then from the front of the car…came the screams of a child.” Continue reading
One thing I have struggled with while uncovering my family’s complicated past is the lack of consistency in naming conventions before the digital age.
In the Information Age, if you type in your name or ID with a single letter missing or out of place, your application gets rejected by whatever online program it is you’re trying to get access to. We all have numbers assigned to us—social security numbers, student numbers, worker numbers, case numbers, credit card numbers, you name it.
Thhppt. What’s a number? What’s a name? That which we would call a rose… Continue reading