Wednesday, 9 May 2012

The one who started it all

Eunice and Sam Moore

Firstly, I wanted to introduce you to the woman who got me started in genealogy. She didn't do it intentionally. She just answered a very basic question that I asked her. I said, "What part of Scotland did you come from?"

With that, she began to tell me all about her childhood and losing her father in World War I, travelling to Canada as a 10 year old with her widowed mother and 2 siblings and what her own parents were like. I seemed to have awakened long lost memories buried deep inside her. Memories that she seemed tickled to be able to relate to someone who cared. And I really did care. I was fascinated. I didn't know then, but that moment is etched in my mind as the true moment that genealogy became my calling.

I asked her if she could tell me more and I wrote down some facts. Now remember, this was 1984 and computers were not household items then. She had remembered the name of the ship that they immigrated on and where she worked as a young woman, how she met her future husband who was also an immigrant from Ireland who had lost his father in the war, and how she lost her sister at 22 years old in childbirth. I sat there mesmerized as she spoke to me. The sorrow of losing a parent and the voyage to another country with little money and no other family there...losing her only sister. How sad. Yet, she was a tiny white haired spunky lady,  full of life with sparkly blue eyes. She would always have a cup of tea ready and would say little Scottish "ditties" that I found so amusing.
Eunice Speed Moore lived to be 94. I was so blessed to have known her and to me she was like a surrogate grandmother because my own 2 grandmothers were in Italy and I hardly knew them. She filled me with the wonder of family history, the love of family stories and the joy of sharing them with others. Thank you Nan.

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