Thursday, January 12, 2012

My Best Discovery in 2011

My best discovery in 2011 would have to be finding Aunt Betty.  In March of 2011, I posted the tragic circumstance of Vera Ellen Marsh Seaman dying shortly after giving birth to a baby girl.  Her daughter, Elizabeth Mary Seaman, was born November 3, 1920. I began my search by ordering records from Ontario, to discover the death date of the grandparents that may lead to an obituary. In the meantime I thought I'd look into Vera's brothers.  Causally looking through records online, I come across a border crossing record from Canada to the U.S. for her brother, Kenneth.  This is an amazing source, full of information.  It has dates of births, wife's name and maiden name, when and where married,  names of who is the travel party, why they are traveling, address of residence, name of his business and so much more. But most important his daughter's name and birth date. Mary Elizabeth born November 3, 1920. This has to be her.  Looking through more records, I discover that Kenneth ended up in Victoria, British Columbia and Mary Elizabeth Seaman marries Arthur Turner.  So I order death records and obituaries for Kenneth Seaman and John Turner.  After going over and over the information, I'm convinced that this is Aunt Betty.  But to really know, I'll need to talk to someone who knew her. I decide to make some cold calls.  Since there seems to be too many Turners in the area, I settle on calling the eight Seamans.  Prepared with a written prompt of what to say and encouragement from my husband, I begin to call.  The first Seaman is a very nice gentleman, who tells me a Seaman website. On to the next. After going through my prompt, I hear an elderly lady inform me that she knew Betty.  What excitement, someone who knew Betty. She is Betty's sister-in-law. She is kind enough to tell me all about Betty. Not only that, her husband (Betty's brother) calls me later to talk about Betty. Now the bittersweet part, that had us in tears.  Betty had just recently past away, while I was building up the courage to make the phone calls. She was 90 years old. 

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