It’s all twisted around, the information about my Gram’s side of the family. Throughout the years, I’ve asked about my dad’s mom, Mary – where did she come from, what is her family’s origin.
Canada, my dad said. The Blanes came from Canada.
So I dug and found, they came down from Canada. Then I dug further and found a mystery.
Did you know, Dad, that your mom was born Mary Blair, not Blane?
Was she now?
Yes, see, it’s Blair on the 1900 census. And look, here’s her father and mother’s wedding licence – He’s Henry Blair. So why is he Henry Blane on the 1940 census?
I’ve heard Blair/Blane before, Dad said, just don’t know why.
I found Henry’s dad, Newell Blair, and his dad, Louis Blair and his dad Enus Blair… Then when I searched Rosa’s side I found her mom Elizabeth Blair and nothing more. frustrated, I kept digging.
Then I found her. And I blinked.
I checked again.
Dad, I called to say, did you know your grandparents, Rosa and Henry Blair were first cousins? Did you know that Elizabeth and Newell were brother and sister?
He had no response. Guess it was something no one talked about. But it’s not too great a secret – it happened plenty a hundred years ago in rural Vermont.
So, I had to ask – is that why they changed their name to Blane? Or was it because it was more American and not so Scottish?
Don’t know Tudes, my dad replied, guess we’ll never know.
I’d like to invite you to explore another blog where I reflect on my family’s life in rural Vermont in the form of a letter to my Great-Gran, Rosa Blair. You can find it at: http://letterstorosa.wordpress.com