Gene Notes

Some random and some not-so-random thoughts on family history.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Too-Too Thursday - Webinar Hilarity!

Yes! I was able to log into yesterday's webinar on "Ten Reasons Your Ancestor Was in Canada" by Kathryn Lake Hogan. And I also got to say hi to her before hand - glad I had my headset on! And I made her laugh commenting on why I was watching. You see, I do have ancestors who lived in Canada, including my great-great grandfather who was born there in 1839.

Therein lies my problem. My ancestors emigrated to Ontario from Scotland - The Maitlands in 1828 and the Skirvings in 1833. Both had extremely difficult times. How Alexander Maitland and Helen Skirving met, I do not know. I do know they married in Toronto on November 8, 1836.

The first 6 of their 9 children were born in Canada, and starting with daughter Christina, born in 1850, the rest were born in Missouri. The youngest child, William, was born in 1857 and died then. Perhaps he was stillborn. I only have family information to go on that.

This is a transcription of a portion of The History of Ray County, Missouri, p.770-771.

Alexander Maitland - Was born in Toronto, now Ontario, Canada, June 13, 1839. He is of Scotch extraction, both of his parents being natives of Scotland. His father, Alexander, sen., came first to the United States in the year 1835, but remaining only two years, returned to Canada. Here he was married to Miss Helen Skirving, about the year 1836. Our subject was the second child and oldest son of this union. He received his education in the excellent schools of Canada, finishing at Knox College, Toronto, with the exception of a short time he attended school at St. Louis, after coming to Missouri. In 1852, Mr. Maitland accompanied his father to the United States, and made his home for about a year in the city of St. Louis, Missouri. The next year his father moved to Ray County, and was employed for a year as business manager by Colonel William Moore. Colonel Moore died in 1854, and Mr. Maitland and J. Lightner, of Lexington, Missouri, rented his property and continued the business for another year.  He then rented a farm in the Ray county bottom, upon which he resided with his family until the year 1860. In that year, Alexander, Jr., left home and began life for himself. Going to the mountains of Colorado, he engaged in gold mining for about six months, but not meeting with encouraging "luck," he left off mining and returned to Ray County. Not having been naturalized, he was yet a British subject, and in consequence, did not suffer molestation from any source during the stormy times after his return, until 1865.

As you can see, they moved back and forth a lot for the times. I do have a census for Alexander Maitland Jr in June of 1860 in Ray county, Missouri. I also have one dated October 1860 in Colorado.

Other than their marriage record in Canada, I have no other records of Alexander Maitland, Sr., and Helen Skirving. At any rate, they died in Lexington, Missouri and are buried there.

Although some of my ancestors arrived in Canada 186 years ago, find records on them is difficult. Very few passenger lists survived from before 1865. For all I know, my mother's Alsatian ancestors arrived in New York state via Canada. I may never know.

Copyright 2010-2014, ACK for Gene Notes

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