It was a wet and cloudy afternoon, Monday, August 21, 2017. Normally, Sara loves rain, but not on a day that won't occur for another 28 years with the next eclipse of the sun. It was pure coincidence that Sara happened to look out the window when she did. A man was standing in the field peering up at the sky. Sara raced to grab a special viewing glass and bounded onto the deck. The clouds had parted ever so briefly and for a few precious minutes, she saw it...a partial eclipse of the sun! That's exactly how Sara's life had progressed so far, with many gob-smacking instances of glorious coincidence. That is, as soon as she started paying attention.
Sara grew up with three younger sisters, three younger brothers, and a pair of adults who stumbled into a parent trap. Sara wished really hard for aunts, uncles and cousins. By the time her 50th birthday rolled around, she had just about all she'd ever asked for. You see, Sara had taken to searching for her reclusive father's family. Her gregarious Welsh mother was an open book. Sara was the lucky recipient of the Wales's...and all they entailed—stories, photographs, documents. Her mother saved it all from the dustheap of history and gave it to Sara, which, as it turned out, was a good thing. Sara's father was a quiet man and a man of almost no worldly possessions. It is, therefore, no wonder that half a dozen black and white photographs from the Second World War, a set of miniature medals (the originals were given to a brother, a common occurrence in days of yore), and a set of military records from Library and Archives Canada assumed the mantel of utmost importance. A journey of a lucky 13 years of research had begun.
Never, never, ever did Sara expect to find what she did when she made a nuisance of herself, following her father's ancestors around, back much further than the 16th century, to places not only in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York and England, but also in Ireland (Mullinahinch, just 16 miles down the road from Knockafubble), Scotland, Belgium, France, Germany and Holland. Ancestors with names like Le Mahieu, Vermillie, Guion, Tourneur, Parisis and DeVeaux. And oh yes, Mosier. And then there are zee Eenglish—Arnold, Burgess, Burling, Chipman, Cooke, Carpenter—who was of course, a carpenter—way too many to mention. Throw in 13 direct ancestors on the Mayflower, along with another Mayflower passenger, Martha (Cooper) Tilley, who was a 9th great aunt through the Coopers, shake and stir, and voila, a hodgepodge of heroics — not just because some of them really were kings and queens and heroes of their times, but also because it takes a hero to be here at all.
Living in the 21st century has many advantages. Take DNA testing. Years of research confirmed by DNA. When, in rare instances, documentation is nowhere to be found, DNA, like a shiny knight on horseback, rides to the rescue! Ha, take that, pesky not-one-hundred-percent-sure!
Co-founders of the New World, planters and pioneers, adventurers and believers, leaders and builders, farmers and fishers. With fire in their souls, love in their hearts, and the will to survive. They are remembered.
When Sara isn't chasing rainbow souls, she likes to write a little, read some more and travel a lot...over the hill and through the woods to Grandmother's house.