Bessie's Incredible Journey to Witch Creek

Bessie Bruford & young cousin Edward Phillips, Burlingame KS, in late summer or early fall 1893, from the group photo below.
Bessie Bruford & young cousin Edward Phillips, Burlingame KS, in late summer or early fall 1893, from the group photo below. | Source

Bessie's incredible journey to Witch Creek, California, began in her hometown of Plymouth, England.

Today even in a 747, Plymouth to Burlingame KS is a long slog. Add a return trip to England, then one to Glasgow, Scotland (to meet the future in-laws), then from Glasgow back across the Pond and across the entire U.S. to Witch Creek on the West Coast, and we're talking a boatload of frequent flyer miles.

Except 747s (or any commercial jets, for that matter) didn't exist in the 1890s, and Bessie made those trips in just over two years on steamships and trains.

Whew! Makes me tired just thinking about it!

If Witch Creek sounds familiar...

"Witch Creek" is the name given to the October 2007 wildfire that began on a ridge between Witch Creek, California, and San Ysabel, 5 miles to the east.

But a different type of fire - one of much longer duration - blazed in those hills in the 1890s, fed by the love of Bessie and a Scotsman named James Wood.

It isn't recorded how a 24-year-old English girl from a well-to-do merchant family in Plymouth, Devon, met the Scot almost 12 years her senior from Renfrewshire, Scotland. They could've met while she was a kindergarten teacher in Hammersmith, London.

However, I suspect they hadn't yet met when Bessie sailed from Liverpool for New York on 5 July 1893 on the S.S. Adriatic. The outbound passenger manifest indicates she was traveling alone (as a Second Class passenger) when she boarded, but soon made the acquaintance of two young teachers traveling together, Edith Vinter and Margaret Rogers, as she was listed between them on the arrival manifest at New York.

Another indication she hadn't met James Wood yet was the fact that she only had two pieces of luggage. Even if both were steamer trunks, they would hardly have held the trousseau and such necessary for a future bride's new life in America. More likely, they met on the train coming out from New York.

James had been in America since 1887, but didn't join his younger brother, Thomas J. Wood, in Witch Creek until 1893. Therefore, it's quite possible he was traveling to California on the same train carrying Bessie to Kansas City, where she would've caught one of several daily trains servicing residents of Burlingame and its lucrative coal mining industry.

On that first trip, Bessie may have intentionally packed "light" in anticipation of being gifted with clothes fashioned by her mother's sister, Sophia Window-Filley, a well-known seamstress and milliner in Burlingame, Kansas.

The photo of Bessie and Edward at the top of the hub is only a portion of a much larger photo of the remaining children and grandchildren (minus one not yet born) of Bessie's aunt SophiA, the mother of Edward's mother SophiE who'd died in 1891.

Bessie Bruford & her aunt SophiA Window-Filley's family in the side yard of the Filley home on the west side of Burlingame KS, late summer or early fall 1893.
Bessie Bruford & her aunt SophiA Window-Filley's family in the side yard of the Filley home on the west side of Burlingame KS, late summer or early fall 1893. | Source

Some photos, they say, are worth a thousand words. This one is an entire mini-series, so I'll stick to the extremely-condensed highlights of the world Bessie Bruford found herself in...but only briefly...in 1893.

SophiE's brother (SophiA's son) Tom Window is the dapper fellow holding a hat and standing behind wife Kate (wearing hat). Their daughter Muriel is the tiny little girl with her finger on her mouth at the bottom of the photo. You'd never guess from this photo that "Little Muriel" became a vaudeville star and a Ziegfeld Girl, traveled the world, and had two incredibly wealthy husbands (of three).

The woman in the droopy faux-Elizabeth I ruff sitting in front of the haggard-looking fellow with his tie askew, hubby Edd Riddle, editor of the local newspaper, is SophiE's sister Rebecca, always called Rebe ("ree bee").

The "baby" decked out in the white bonnet and dress is Rebe and Ed's son, Dudley McDonald Riddle. Believe it or not, Dudley was 5 mos older than Little Muriel...and almost 2 years old when this was taken. That outfit, btw, was the least fussy outfit Dudley was photographed in during his childhood. Can you guess Rebe really wanted a daughter?

Dudley survived his mother's efforts to feminize him and became a great-great-grandfather (on my son-in-law's side) of two of my grandchildren. Ironically, Dudley and wife Jane's two children were girls. Go figure.

The two older girls between Muriel and Dudley are Edward Phillip's sisters, Ruby and Monta. It was through researching my grandkid's paternal ancestors that I met Roberta, Ruby's granddaughter and owner of the original of this photo, and now my good friend.

You're probably wondering why the face of SophiA, matriarch of the clan at the far right holding second husband H.W. Filley's hat, looks a little "odd".

Well, tradition has it that Annie Phillips, the girl sitting between Bessie and Rebe, absolutely hated SophiA (although nobody ever knew why) and entertained herself by taking a needle to SophiA's face in every photo she could get her hands on. Luckily for SophiA's descendants, not very many. (I have an unscratched copy of this photo, but have no idea where it is at the moment. Sorry.)

Annie, who never married and was forever known as "Aunt Annie", was one of the twin sisters of John Edwards Phillips, widower of SophiE and (by then) absent father of Edward, Ruby and Monta (and Fred, standing next to Tom Window, behind Kate). John brought Annie over from their parents' home in Wales when she was just 17 to be the live-in nanny to the Phillips children, thereby depriving her of any further opportunity to disrupt twin sister Tillie's engagement to the boy Annie had her eye on.

Told you it was a mini-series...

But on to Witch Creek!

Witch Creek, like Burlingame in the 1880s and '90s, had been settled by British ex-pats. So many, in fact, that Witch Creek was often called "New London".

According to San Diego County Place Names A-Z, by Leland Fetzer, Thomas J. Wood's account of how Witch Creek got its name seems the most plausible:

"The Indians who lived here called it a name that sounded to us like 'Sissero' or 'Sissera'. I believe they were mispronouncing the Spanish word 'hechicero' or 'hechicera' which means wizard or witch, enchanter or bewitcher. We translated their word as 'witch', however, and that is the origin of the present name Witch Creek".

An unfortunate translation, in hindsight, in that the name became the basis of stories that the area is "hexed", lending credence to the tale that Indians in the area wouldn't cross the creek at night because it was "bewitched".

Thomas Wood, a Baptist minister and brother of James, had arrived in the Ballena ("VI yen neh") Valley from Scotland in 1884, and built a church in 1888. According to a 6 Nov 2008 article by Darrell Beck in the Ramona Home Journal titled "A Place Called Witch Creek", Rev. Wood "wielded a lasting influence" in the mountainous region, and "won the respect and confidence of both sinners and saints".

Witch Creek soon looked like a budding small town. There was a schoolhouse, a blacksmith shop, a church, a butcher shop, and a 2-story hotel called Fred Fisher's. After James Wood arrived in 1893, it also had a post office, of which he was postmaster until his death in 1938. Besides postmastering, James engaged in farming (vineyards and orchards), and sold merchandise from the side of the road.

So this was the other world Bessie Fisher Bruford became a permanent part of on arriving from Glasgow in the spring of 1895.

On the second voyage to America, Bessie made the crossing on the S.S. State of Nebraska as one of only fifteen First Class passengers (as opposed to 159 Steerage passengers). That she was leaving the UK for good is evidenced by six pieces of luggage this time, and rather than the ubiquitous "protracted sojourn" with no specific destination, the arrival manifest at New York City lists her destination as "Witch Creek, Ca".

Inexplicably, however, instead of being married by James's brother Thomas at the church in Witch Creek in San Diego County, Bessie and James married in Los Angeles County, on 8 May 1895.

In addition to being newly married, James became a Naturalized U.S. Citizen on 3rd August, 1895.

Three sons soon arrived to make them a family of five:

  • Douglass Bruford Wood in September 1896. ("Douglass" with the Scottish double "s".)
  • Stanley Bruford Wood in March 1899 (named for Bessie's only brother, John Stanley Bruford, who died at age 17 in the summer of 1897).
  • William W. Wood in July 1901.

Now for the part that always makes me wish my only knowledge of Bessie was the young woman reigning in her Cousin SophiE's son, Edward Phillips, in the photo at the top of this hub.

On 26 Oct 1901, when baby William was two days shy of three months old, Bessie Fisher (Bruford) Wood died. A life full of hope and promise was over at 34. Back in England, her mother Fanny Hunt (Fisher) Bruford would also be dead within the year.

James Wood never remarried. He and Bessie are buried side by side at the Nuevo Memory Gardens in Ramona, San Diego Co, CA. All of their sons married but oddly, as of the 1930 census, none had had children, and I can find no evidence of any born after 1930.

So there you have the story of Bessie's incredible journey to Witch Creek.

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Comments 43 comments

hush4444 profile image

hush4444 4 years ago from Hawaii

Witchcraft and love stories - what could be juicier? I loved every sentence of this wonderful hub - it reminds me of my ancestors, who also left Plymouth to find their fortune in America. Thank you so much for this snapshot of what their life could have been like.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 4 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

hush444, I can't think of anything juicier than a bewitched creek in a love story either...except maybe the stories I haven't told yet about Little Muriel. Oh wait! She was the bewitcher. lol! ;D


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Very fun and interesting hub! I was sucked in by the summary and glued! I can not wait to hear the next installment!

I just can't he'll wondering why Annie Phillips hated SophiA?! A little mystery that adds to the thrill of the story:)


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

Just loved this hub! I have been doing my family history for many years and have heard some great stories about my family, not all of them endearing by any means. And isn't it great that from one photo, you can create a real soap opera? Wonderful, voted up and shared.


christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 4 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom

Thats quite a family that you have there. Thanks for sharing its history with us.


robie2 profile image

robie2 4 years ago from Central New Jersey

Ahhh Jama, you have a way of making these people come alive, even for me-- and I am related to them:-) I love this picture-- got it out of a scrap book my grandmother left me. BTW I wrote a hub about her and there is a picture there of her as a grown up http://hubpages.com/family/Mothers-Day-Love-Tribut...

The redoubtable Aunt Annie was evidently a bitter old maid who, according to my grandmother ( Ruby Phillips Bramwell) hated Sophia because she was jealous of her. You can see a picture of her on this hub http://hubpages.com/family/Americans-the-worlds-pa... She looks like an unhappy woman.

I'm so delighted to have these people in my life via you, Jama and that we are friends and " shirt-tail" relatives. Bravo!! this one is great. Can't wait to read what you have to say about little Muriel and hope that will be coming up soon.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 4 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Thanks, realhousewife! As for Annie, robie2's comment explains the main reason she was jealous of SophiA (who as far as we know didn't have a jealous bone in HER body..) But SophiA was pretty and Annie wasn't, plus Annie didn't meet SophiA until after the boy she adored in Wales had rejected her affections and chosen her sister instead. (They were twins, but not identical.) So being around SophiA and the second husband who worshiped the ground she walked on was a reminder of what she didn't have...and never would have, because of her sour outlook on life. I've tried very hard over the years to muster up sympathy for "Aunt Annie", but it hasn't happened so far. ;D


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 4 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Hi, jools99! Share away! Let people know there's a lot of life and a ton of great stories in old family photos! That said, not every old photo encapsulates a soap opera like this one does, but SOME do if you dig deep enough.

Scanners are the best thing that ever happened for unlocking the secrets of old photos. I blew up a 2X3 B&W snapshot of my dad at 7 yrs and his parents on a hillside taken from about a hundred yards away, and laughed myself silly when the enlargement showed my dad was sticking out his tongue at the camera! His mother, my grandmother, was standing slightly behind and to the side and didn't have a clue what he was doing...and he knew that. ;D


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 4 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Thank you, christopheranton. It's really robie2's and my grandkids' family, but I feel incredibly blessed to have been invited to join it as a "shirttail cousin" after I ran out of secrets to unearth and skeletons to rattle in the closets of my own rather dysfunctional family. But then, aren't they all dysfunctional to some degree? ;D


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

Your and robie2's journeys to meeting each other are as intriguing as Bessie's journey to America. You both will have significant roles to play in the mini-series! Delightful read, Jama. ~Sherri


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 4 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

robie2, what can I say? My daughter could've married a guy from down the street with ancestors who'd live in the same place since the Mayflower landed, but she met Rebe Window and Edd Riddle's gr-grandson instead...and here we are. As I said in an earlier reply, I feel blessed to have been invited into this bunch, even as a "shirttail cousin".

As for making them come alive, their bodies have turned to dust but the essence of their lives live on through the photos and letters you and your 3rd cousin have shared, as well as the stories your Grandma Ruby shared with you when you were growing up. (Never mind she left out a few of the juiciest bits, but we've managed to unearth them anyway...)

Little Muriel? Well, WE know she was one-of-a-kind, larger than life despite her diminutive stature, and her life will take an entire book tell. (I'm workin' on it.) But I'll *try* to condense the highlights into a hub. Stay tuned... ;D


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 4 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Sherri / Sally's Trove, how robie2 and I met is as simple as my daughter insisting I ask her husband's great-aunt about the family history and Roberta posting a query about the Windows that the great-aunt forwarded to me. The rest, as "they" say, is history. But R and had NO idea at the time how MUCH history (and intrigue!) were waiting for us to find!

As for the mini-series, R would HAVE to play Ruby's sister Monta since they could be twins. The resemblance is truly uncanny! Me, I'd be "Aunt Annie". Bitter spinsters are a real hoot to play (if you aren't one, that is). Sucking enough persimmons to get the permanently sour, pinched expression she was famous for, though, might be a problem. ;D


Deborah Brooks profile image

Deborah Brooks 4 years ago from Brownsville,TX

what a wonderful fun and interesting read thank you for sharing..wow a mini series.. awesome

the love the old picture of Bessie and Edward.

voted way up

blessings

Debbie


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 4 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Deborah, you're most welcome! And THANK YOU for the "way up" vote! We have many other photos of most of the people in this one, but only the one of Bessie. Young Edward grew up to a drop-dead gorgeous guy...and looks like knew it, too, in pics from his teens and early adulthood! ;D


AnnaCia profile image

AnnaCia 4 years ago

Photos and stories, hand by hand. What a journey. Thank you for sharing.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 4 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Yu're most welcome, AnnaCia! And thanks for stopping by and commenting! ;D


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

How very interesting...all of this information from one picture. Loved the long dresses and collars that the women wore. That is some history of Bessie Bruford and an interesting family to be sure. Voted up and interesting! Thanks!


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 4 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Peggy, thanks for the kudos! Of course, it took several years to gather the "dirt" on each of the characters in this "mini-series", but this photo is unique because one rarely finds a single photo containing so many of the players.

It's also usually difficult, if not impossible, to date an old group photo if no one had the foresight to write the date on it. We were able to pinpoint the time frame of this one by comparing the dates of Bessie's voyages to America with the approximate ages of Edward and "the babies" Muriel and Dudley.

The three dark print dresses, btw, appear to be identical in style except for the neckline decoration, and we think were all made by SophiA. ;D


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

I know what you mean about finding photos with nothing written on the back once there is no one around to ask. I have some of those, but fortunately many years ago I sat down with my mother and together we worked on putting most of the family photos in a book and she typed out slips of paper that we inserted under most of the photos telling a bit about who was in the photo, dates or other information.

Something everyone should do...or at LEAST jot the names & dates on the back if stuffing them into a showbox to be stored.

You are a good detective!


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 4 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Peggy, if the names and dates can't be written on the back of a photo - say, if it's pasted on to those black cardboard studio frames - the info should, like you said, be jotted on slips of paper. But at some point - sooner than later - those slips of paper should be taped TO BACK OF THE PHOTO to prevent them becoming separated from the appropriate photo.

One way NOT to label old photos: two of my aunts labeled a bunch in an album with adhesive file folder labels! But instead of removing each photo from the album and putting the label on the back, they stuck them toward the bottom of the image itself! Or if in one of those cardboard frames, over the photographer's name and address, making it impossible for a cousin and I to know in what city the photo was made because the photog's address came off with the label's adhesive when we (carefully) peeled it off.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

Good points! Am sure you will be giving people ideas of how to save their photos for posterity...even themselves in later years! :)


kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 4 years ago from the Ether

Very well written, very entertaining. :) Loved it.


old albion profile image

old albion 4 years ago from Lancashire. England.

What can I say I'm only a man! A first class hub great presentation and the photographs are excellent. Brilliant research and enthusiasm shows through. What a woman and what an eventful life she led.

voted up/ interesting.

Graham.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 4 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Thanks, Graham! My #3 Daughter actually started the ball rolling when she asked me to research the origin of her son's middle name to find out if he and his father, grandfather and great-gf were all given the name in honor of a famous horse in the mid-1800s. She was relieved (as was I!) to learn they weren't, but the more I found out about Grandson's ancestors on his dad's side, the more curious I got...and here we are!

You probably won't believe it, but Bessie actually had the *least* interesting life of those pictured in that old photo! ;D


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States

As genealogy research is my passion, I loved this story and the pictures. I have inherited many pictures from my mother and there are several that we can not recognize. There are also postcard with pictures on the front and those are great as you know for sure who they are. Voted up and awesome!


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 4 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Pamela, it's always nice to hear from a fellow genie addict! The only other genie in my family, a first cousin, was the recipient of a huge box of old family photos and letters that our grandmother had the foresight to give her long before her (Grandma's) death. Cousin's first act was to notify me that "we" finally had "the box" after being worried for years it would fall into the hands of a non-genie relative and never be seen again (or tossed!).

Since I'd been researching that side of the family far longer and more extensively than Cousin had, I instantly recognized many of the people in the photos, but not all. The method I used for identifying those I couldn't was to study the background, approximate age, facial bone structure, clothing time frame, etc, and compare all of that to photos of those I could already identify.

That's how I ID'd a photo of Grandma as a pre-teen, in a studio portrait that included her parents and a brother and sister, all of whom I'd only seen in photos taken when they were much older.

(Hint: eyebrows and the shape of one's face and nose change very little over time, and eye color NEVER does, even in b&w photos.)

Thanks for reading and commenting, and good luck with the "mystery photos"! ;D


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

Hi, I love knowing the real life stories behind these photos, even down to the fact that one of the photos had the womans face scratched out in the photo out of jealousy, it makes it so real! Being in England, I grew up watching the old Western films, all the women pioneers tracking across America in their wagons with the horses and the men on horseback, it still seems strange to me to think that I ' talk' on here to people with family backgrounds which are similar, if not in actual action but in photos that look like it, amazing, sorry I am such a wide eyed child about that! haha! cheers nell


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 4 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Nell, some of my mother's ancestors DID come to Kansas (from Iowa) in covered wagons, but horse-drawn buggies and trains were the normal mode of land travel by the time Bessie and the others gathered on SophiA's lawn in the photo.

Yes, knowing Annie manifested her jealousy of SophiA by scratching out SophiA's face in photos DOES make it more real! You won't be surprised, then, that her non-identical twin Tillie was the complete opposite. In fact, I became quite fascinated with the contrast in their personalities and did quite a bit of research on Tillie and her farmer husband, even locating the house they moved to in Beckington (near Bath) after they retired from farming.

I find it equally strange, btw, to "talk" to people here whose family backgrounds are in the ancient shires and villages of England to which I'm much better suited and where I would've (happily) grown up had my great-grandfather not developed a case of "the grass MUST be greener in America"! Four generations and 130 years later, I can attest it is NOT and can only wonder 'what WAS he thinking?' to drag the family (including my future grandfather) over here! ;D


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

Oh wow what a wonderful story which I have to save!!!

Up up and away here and I look forward to so many more.

Take care and enjoy your day.

Eddy.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 4 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Why THANK YOU, Eddy, for making my day! If I can ever take a break from reading everybody else's hubs (yours included!), I'll write more hubs about this fascinating family. You have a great day, too!

Joanna


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

Hi, it is funny how just one idea back in the past can change the whole way of life for later generations. a lot of my family moved to Canada before I was born, and my mum was going to go but didn't want to leave my gran, so we stayed, I could have been Canadian! Wow!


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 4 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Nell, I totally agree! However, I'm personally glad your mum didn't go to Canada. I LOVE your hubs about England! ;D


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

Thanks Jama!


Rolly A Chabot profile image

Rolly A Chabot 4 years ago from Alberta Canada

Hi Jama... as I call encore... encore. What an interesting story and one which captured my attention. You have such a gift...

A note Dad was born in Rhode Island... Had he stayed I could be an American... smiles.

Hugs from Canada


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 4 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Rolly, thank you (she says, bowing, in response to shouts of "Encore! Encore!". I love making the family skeletons dance...and then writing about them!

As for being an Accidental Canadian...be glad your dad DIDN'T stay in Rhode Island. You're FAR better off where you are!

Hugs from the Reddest State in the U.S.

(That used to refer to the color of the soil and the Native American influence, but now means OK's political persuasion...)


Hubert Williams 4 years ago

Very interesting family story. I love genealogy. Thank you.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 4 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Hubert, you're most welcome! And THANK YOU for stopping by. I'm always thrilled to meet another genie! ;D


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 4 years ago from Fife, Scotland

Awesome hub and what a sad ending for this remarkable woman - a life cut short indeed! I think we find it hard to contemplate just how long these journeys took from the UK to the USA - but these folks were hardy and I guess just accepted the fact that travelling took forever.

How odd about the young girl who scratched SophiA's face in the photographs? Seems like jealousy maybe or a grudge? Very odd behaviour!

This was indeed a mini series and an absolutely enthralling one. TV producers think they produce great shows about life and family history, but they are nothing compared to the life dramas of real people.

A wonderful and fascinating hub + voted up across the board!


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 4 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

"Aunt Annie", the young girl who scratched SophiA's face out of as many photos as she could get her hands on, was a hateful, rebellious, narcissistic teenager when her brother brought her from Wales to America to be the live-in nanny to baby Edward and his three older siblings. The exact reason she singled out SophiA is a mystery, but my own personal theory is SophiA was the one person Annie couldn't intimidate (or charm) into doing her bidding. The children, on the other hand, were terrified of her until well after they reached adulthood. When she said "Jump", they jumped!

Yes, I don't know why scriptwriters waste time and energy making things up. I have piles of files of lives MUCH more interesting (or steamy) than anything they come up with. "Little Muriel", the tiniest little girl in the photo, is only one of them.

The only juicy tidbit I've never come across about any of the people in those files is murder, but I have my suspicions about the true circumstances of a few supposedly "natural" deaths... ;D


xstatic profile image

xstatic 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

A fascinating little history! Really interesting too. What a series of journeys she took. And then to die so young with small children left behind. Up!


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 4 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

xstatic, Bessie's story is an example of why genealogy isn't the boring "hobby" non-genies believe it to be. There are fascinating tales between a birth date and death date if one only takes the time to look for them. In this case, though, after finding out Bessie left an adoring husband and three small sons behind, I was wishing I hadn't looked quite so hard. Thanks for stopping by and the up! ;D


Virginia Allain profile image

Virginia Allain 21 months ago from Central Florida

Great family history. You've brought your ancestors alive here.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 21 months ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Virginia Allain, thanks for the compliment, although OFFICIALLY they're the ancestors of two of my grandkids on their dad's side and also of a now-great friend I met through researching them. But I've delved so deep into their stories, both in the British Isles and on this side of the Pond, and now know most of their secrets and like them anyway, that I think they've adopted me "from the grave". ;-}

A belated welcome to HubPages! ;D

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