Friday, 5 April 2013

A-Z 2013 'E' is for Emigrants - & Elusives!

During the 19th and early 20th centuries some of my family ancestors decided to leave the home and hearth and strike out for pastures new, emigrating beyond the shores of the UK! Some of it was driven by need - a lack of prospects at home; some of it was pure wanderlust and searching for adventure. Thus, some of the family ended up on the other side of the globe, in Australia and Tasmania, building new lives and continuing the generations to this day. Indeed, having established contact with long-lost cousins in Perth, WA recently, it has been interesting to catch up with different 'versions' of family folklore as expressed by these foreign 'cousins'!

Great Aunts Rhett (Rachel) and Bella, taking the air in suburban Sydney!

However, one of my Grandmother's brothers left for Canada in the early 1900's and is a mystery to me as I can find no reference to him whatsoever, other than a stray comment from an elderly aunt which suggested he'd gone prospecting. He is among the batch of 'brick walls' I refer to as my 'elusives' - and there are more than one or two of those, I can assure you!

My 2xGreat Grandfather, Archibald Meyers is the main 'elusive' I've been chasing for years. I have no birth record - his appearance in the 1841 census only gives his age and place of birth (Scotland - no town, though!). He married in 1835 and although I have a transcript of the parish register, as it's before statutory requirements of 1837 there is no mention of his parents. He fathered 8 children but after appearing with wife and all his family in the 1851 census he disappears from official records.

His wife remarried in 1857, but there's no death record for Archibald and I doubt they would have divorced easily in those days. I'd thought perhaps he'd abandoned the family, or that his wife had remarried bigamously, but a recent discovery by chance from a fellow researcher came across a possible scenario, revealed in historical copies of the local newspaper. There were accounts of 'overseas' news which indicated someone with the same name and age had travelled to Australia to join the gold rush and had been killed in a mining accident. I can't be sure if this was indeed my Archibald, but the age and dates fit the blanks created in my research, plus the fact that he was accompanied by a relative I cannot definitely confirm but whose name recurs in the family.

For now, it's as close as I can manage - but one day I might find another missing day.....!


  1. Hi Sue .. love your Determined ladies - lots of history you've uncovered ..

    Great co-incidence that you found someone else who helped in your information gathering ..

    Archibald ... perhaps that was the way he went ... I love reading your stories ...

    Cheers Hilary

  2. It appears that genealogy is a lot of detective work. Hopefully you'll find that missing information on your Archibald.

    Tales of a Pee Dee Mama

  3. So very interesting!
    Good luck in your search...

  4. Enjoying your Blog - Original and informative :-)

  5. WHat an interesting post. I think it's so fascinating to delve into family history. Good luck!

    Happy A through Z blogging!

  6. Last year I connected all kinds of branches on my family tree, and it was quite by accident. Online I bumped into someone who was looking for a person that I happened to have information about. We exchanged a ton of emails and I was amazed at how much she knew about my grandfather's and grandmother's sides.

    Good luck with that history. It's fascinating.

  7. Family history is so interesting. WE NEED to chronicle our lives somehow for future generations to enjoy.

  8. What great family story to go with the beautiful pictures you have posted. As a first generation immigrant, I guess I have to write THE STORY.
    Silvia @ Silvia Writes

  9. Sue this is fascinating stuff and has made me decide to begin searching my own "tree". After the challenge of course. You have some pretty cool outcroppings on your "tree".

    Chuck at Apocalypse Now

  10. Great post, I'm feeling the tug to look into my own family.