Brickwall Update #2

As I have said in the past, the reason I got into genealogy in the first place was because of my grandfather’s death, and realizing that I would never be able to ask him questions about his family. Luckily, my grandfather was a bit of a genealogist himself, and did some research on his father’s name, so we have information on his family going back several generations. He was also kind enough to write up the story of his family, which talks about where his parents were born, and how they arrived in Vancouver, where my grandfather was born and lived until he and my grandmother moved their family down to Seattle.

However, because he was the only remaining child of his parents (his only other sibling, a younger brother named Henry, died in a plane crash during World War II, when he was being sent to Europe), that meant that there was no one else to ask about his mother's side of the family. We knew what little my grandfather had written about them, but nothing beyond that. So, ever since, I have been working on finding the Parks (her father's family) and the Currans (her mother's family). All we knew was that they were from Ireland, and that one or both were from the general vicinity of Belfast.

I'm glad to say that I've recently found my grandmother's parent's death certificates in a database containing Vancouver death records, and was pleased to find that both listed their parents' names. For me, just having the names is a huge leap, as it's something I've been looking for for nine years now. It's one of those times when you kick yourself for not trying it sooner. I always ignored Vancouver because we "had all that info anyway." I'll say it here for those reading, though I know you will someday find yourself doing the same thing and kicking yourself for it later, because I read it many times myself and still didn't consider the meaning: Ignore Nothing. Deaths are just as important as births. Even if you think you know the whole story, you don't. Look it all up. You never know what you'll find.

My new information, which really only gets me one generation further back:
* My great-great-great grandfather's father was John Park and his wife came from the Dunlop family (all that was given was her last name, so I'm still unsure of her full name at this time). I'd always suspected a connection to the Dunlop family, because my great-grandmother's middle name is Dunlop, but I was never sure which side that was from. So now I know. I have nothing beyond my great-great-great grandfather's full name, and his wife's maiden name. Any further information here would be quite welcome.
* My great-great grandmother's parents were Thomas Curran and Jennie or Jane Blair. I know they had three daughters, Elizabeth (my great-great-grandmother), Sarah, and Rhoda, and possibly as many as four or five other children (I've found birth certificates for John, Rhoda, Joseph, Sarah, Thomas, and Anna, but none for my great-great grandmother). Beyond this, I know nothing for certain, so any more information (confirmation of the names of Thomas and Jennie's children, birthdates, marriage dates, etc) is quite welcome.

I was also lucky enough to find the Park family in the 1900 US Census, which was quite fascinating, because while we knew they had been there, we'd never been able to find records because the records hall had burned down. So now I have the birthdates of all the Park children aside from the youngest daughter, who was likely born after 1900, along with a few other interesting tidbits. Apparently my great-great grandparents had married either right before or right after immigrating to the US, and lived there more than 17 years before returning to Ireland. Not to mention that there had been two more children who had not survived to be listed on the census at the time.

So the lesson here? Ignore nothing, and even the highest brick walls can be climbed with time, patience, and perseverance. As they say in one of my favorite movies: "Never give up; never surrender!"

For more information on this family line, see these posts:
Brickwall Ancestors
Surname Sunday: Bordewick
The Bordewick Family
Four Generations Photos (the first photo is me, my mother, my grandfather, and his mother)

And for those who want to know what database I used, I used the new Family beta site. I highly recommend it, as it allows visual access to the actual records if they are available online, and allows you to download them or print them out if you wish.


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About this blog

This blog is maintained by two sisters who have had a life long interest in geneology.
Mika writes here mostly about our family (Hansen, Hillinger, Bordewick, Park, etc), and her search for more information.
Shannon mostly uses this space as a place to make the many stories written about and by her husband's family (Holly, Walker, Walpole, etc) available to the rest of the family, present and future.

Our blog is named Oh Spusch! mostly because Shannon is bad at naming things. The first post I put up includes a story about the time Walker's great grandfather took his whole family out to see a play and the littlest kept saying "Oh! Spusch!" No one ever figured out what she meant by that.