#52 Ancestors Week 42 - "Conflict"

Me and My Mother -1986
I've recently connected with a distant relative on my mother's side. I have absolutely no knowledge of my maternal family from my grandmother on back through time. My maternal grandmother passed away shortly after my mother was born, and there are no photographs or verbal history of any events in her life. It's always exciting to exchange notes with any newly discovered relative, but when it's on my mother's side, all the more so.

I was contacted by Sarah who was seeking information about her paternal grandmother who was an adoptee. Sarah's father and I are a DNA match. He also matches both of my sons.  Because my tree is public, she was able to see that the family story about who her great grandparents were could be correct. My 1st cousin 3 x removed, Annie Moore, was the person they thought was her biological great grandmother. DNA tests show that Sarah's dad and I share 19.7 centimorgans across 2 DNA segments, so the possible relationship of 5th to 8th cousins makes sense. Annie Moore's father was my 2nd great grandmother's brother. We are trying to piece together a timeline from the records that are available on line along with her family stories.

According to what I can gather from their paper trails, there may have been a few family conflicts with my mother's ancestors. Some divorces, what seems to be unwed mothers, and just general stuff that probably seemed radical or taboo at the time, but is part of the fabric of life today. The Moores were newer immigrants to Canada. My 3rd great uncle Paddison Moore (1821 - 1878) was one of 11 children born in Lincolnshire, England to Mary Ann Paddison (1798 -1881) and Joseph Moore (1796 -1876).  Some time after the 1841 English census and 1847 the whole family emigrated to Ontario, Canada. Joseph patented 100 acres in concession four in Ridgetown, Ontario on December 30, 1847. Two years later at age 27, Paddison Moore married Mary Ann Cross (1828 - 1905) in Maridian, Michigan, USA. Annie was their 2nd oldest child. She and sister Nancy were born in Canada. Four younger brothers were born in Michigan. The Moores moved back to Ontario, Canada where they had three more sons for a total of 9 children. It seems as though various children must have been living elsewhere when several censuses were taken. For example, Annie (aka Hannah and Anna) is listed on Michigan's 1860 census, but older sister Nancy is not. Nancy is back home in 1871 in Ontario, but Annie is living in a rooming house. Paddison's occupation is listed as hack driver in Michigan. When living in Ontario he is a farmer along with 2 of his sons, ages 15 and 12.  His farm was in concession four, suggesting he was either working his father's land, or Joseph gave or sold it to him.

 Annie married at age 34. Four years later she and her husband George Richard Smith (1853 - 1926) had a baby girl they named Ethel Leanor Maude Moore. By June of 1897 Annie had filed for divorce in Wayne, Michigan. Ethel would have been 6 years old. By the time Ethel was 8 she was listed as a boarder in the home of her future parents. In the 1910 census she had a different (but similar) first name and middle name and was enumerated as the daughter of her adopted family with her new surname. 

"Ethel" & husband on their wedding day 1914
In the context of the times, being a 40 year old divorced single mother must have been difficult. The couple who adopted little Ethel had been married for 7 years and were childless when they took her on as a boarder. The father was a hack driver in Michigan like Annie's father. Maybe they were colleagues, who knows. There is evidence that there were some bad feelings. "Ethel" was at 6 - 8 years old when things dramatically changed in her life. That is old enough to remember what happened. Ethel's journal says she had two brothers that visited her while she was living in Michigan.  Her  biological father tried visiting her and she refused. Unfortunately bio dad's last name was Smith, so it is difficult to trace him. He died in Vancouver, Canada in 1926. Annie Moore passed away in 1913 in Wayne County, Michigan, about three and a half hours south of where her daughter raised her own family. 

Annie  Moore was 65 years old when she died. On her death certificate she is listed as "married". She had no married surname, and didn't use her ex-husband's name, Smith. The informant was W.D. Morton. I can't find any record that W.D. is related to her in any way. He (or she) didn't know who her parents were or any information about them. 🕵 I'm not sure if she had any further contact with Ethel after giving her up for adoption. This is a small "c" conflict. Ethel had a good, long life with a happy marriage and was blessed with 3 children. We'll never know the details of what occurred, but all's well that ends well, as they say.

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