Tuesday, 29 October 2013

A Genealogy Happy Dance.

As a result of Scotlands People publishing my article about my Great Great Aunt Jeannie Gow, I’ve received many messages from others asking if their Gow’s are related to my Gow’s. Two people even recognized the handwriting in the photo. The handwriting is that of my second cousin once removed, Betsy, who lives in New Zealand. Betsy is a descendant of my Great Grandfather William’s brother John. I’ve never met Betsy, but she was in close contact with my Grandfather in the 70’s & 80’s. In the late 80’s, they even travelled to Scotland together. They lost contact during the 90’s, and my Grandfather passed away in 2003.

Before I go any further, here’s a quick back story: My Great Grandfather William Gow was the youngest of 5 – John, Robert, Isabella, Jeannie & William. John immigrated to Ireland, Robert & William to Sydney, and the girls remained in Scotland.

When I started delving into the family history a few years ago, my Aunt always said that we must get in contact with Betsy, but we never succeeded in doing so. About 2 years ago, another distant cousin, John, who lives in Canada (also a descendant of John), put me in contact with many descendants of Robert. One of my new found distant cousins, Heather, who also lives in New Zealand, had an address for Betsy. When I solved the mystery of Jeannie, I posted a copy of the documents to Betsy, but never received a response.

Now, a few weeks ago, I had an email from Carole. Carole’s husband is related to Betsy on the non-Gow side. I was so excited!

I learned that Betsy is 85, and living in a nursing home with early stages of dementia. Hence, she hasn’t delved into the family history for a while. Carole took Betsy a copy of my Scotlands People article which she read, and also helped Betsy with establishing where I fit in her family tree. Betsy had only completed up to my Dad. Betsy gave Carole her genealogy folder full of information on our Gow family for her to scan and send to me.

Yesterday, I received a few e-mails from Carole, and it was not at all what I was expecting. The first contained photos of my Great Grandfather William when he was a teenager. These photos I had not seen before, so I was quite excited. However, my excitement shot through the roof when I discovered that Carole had sent me photos of Isabella, Jeannie & Robert too!!! I had never ever ever seen photos of Isabella, Jeannie or Robert before! I was massively happy dancing!! A little later last night, I realized that I now have photos of all 5 siblings!! And of course, I had my own dance party in my room.

I felt like this moment deserved fireworks. Sadly no fireworks could occur in my room for safety reasons.

I shall be posting these new photos over the next couple of days, so do keep your eyes peeled.

And to Carole, all I can say is thank you!

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