How Finding Yourself in History Can Be the Most Valuable Gift You Pass Along to Family
How a Terrible Loss Led to an Incredible Find - And It All Stemmed from a Dream
In 2013 my father passed away and quite frankly I still can't believe I'm typing a sentence with the words 'my father passed away' in it. It's been very difficult; I'll never get over it; don't want to get over it.
This page isn't about the sadness of losing dad; I've written many pages about my broken heart already...Rather this page is about how a dream led me to find out some incredible information about my family history.
One night, not too long after dad passed, I had a very intriguing dream: The dream involved Dad and myself, and others who I didn't recognize, sitting on an open roofed old fashioned style train. Dreaming about trains in relation to Dad didn't surprise me as Dad loved Steam Engine Trains.
We were on the train, almost as a sightseeing adventure...something else that didn't surprise me..as dad was known for giving our visitors tours of areas he knew about at home and when we traveled.
What struck me odd about the dream was where the tour took us: It was around a really pretty curved lakes' edge, with lovely turns uphill, all along the water, until we arrived at a stop for a break where we got out to have a snack and drink at a very old fashioned open covered bar area over looking the water. It was pretty and peaceful, but I felt a bit like we had traveled back in time. The clothes seemed old fashioned as well, which I loved! And yes, it felt familiar.
I believe this dream is what led me to discover a fascinating piece of our family history that I didn't know about...More on the story below!
Photo: Me walking through Hollen Cemetery in Wellington County Ontario, Late Fall 2013
What I Already Knew About Our Family History - Our French Lineage is Well Documented - My Mother & Father - I Love You
I was born with the family name, Tremblay. My full name today, as you may have seen online already, is Barbara Tremblay Cipak. With the last name being my married name of course.
There's a well documented history on the Tremblay's. In fact there's a book written about the history of the Tremblays which unfortunately I don't have a copy of (yet). We're from a huge, and I do mean huge, French lineage that originally come from France back in the 1600's and who settled in Quebec, Canada.
From Quebec, my descendants founded a small French Community in Manitoba called St. Lazare. It's a small town that has more fascinating stories than you can imagine! .... honestly, the family stories can keep us entertained all night long; love hearing them!....oh what a great town...prime material for a hit movie!
Since both mom and dad are French, we know a lot about our French Lineage...and I love all of it...am proud of all of it, and not shy to say so. My Dad is a bit of a Legend in our town, lol...lots of stories...lots of history.
Photo: My mother and father
There are a number of St. Lazare's; in Quebec, Manitoba and France.
How a Dream Led Me to Discover Another Piece of Our Family History
The dream I spoke about in the intro paragraph left me with a sense to search deeper into my family roots
Although it's true, other family members knew about this side of our Family History, it wasn't common knowledge to my father, or if it was, it wasn't something he spoke about. I suspect that's primarily due to the fact that we have such a prominent French history, it tended to take precedence over much else.
Of course Dad knew about his grandparents on his mother's side! But this dream led me further back to a place many of my first cousin's and I weren't aware of.
I've shared much of the photos and details with my extended family already, and other extended family members have also added information to this historic find, so I'm not laying claim to being the exclusive family discoverer of this information. However, it is a piece of my history that I would never have sought out, had I not been led by a dream.
Keep reading below if you want to learn what I found!
Photo: The Graves of My 3 & 4X Great Grandparents at Hollen Cemetery in Wellington County, Ontario Canada
Our 3 & 4 Times Great Grandparents are Honored in Historic Hollen Cemetery as One of the Founding Pioneers of Wellington County,
I Had No Idea We Had Family from my Father's Side Emigrate from Scotland and Settle in Ontario - And Coincidentally I Happen to Live an Hour Away from There!
Hello Scotland! - Although I do know a bit of my Scottish history on my mother's side, I had absolutely no idea of what I was about to discover from my Father's Mother's Side!
Our Family Names from My Father's Mother's Father's Side are King & Boyd & McKee
Their journey is quite interesting. Barbara Boyd, my namesake, and Robert Kerr King Sr. had 4 children (they had a fifth child, their first, apparently named Andrew, who died at 1 year of age). Their four living sons were, Andrew, Robert, Hugh and John. John was born in Ontario whereas the other three sons were born in Scotland.
They immigrated to Canada by ship in 1842 and settled in Perth County Ontario. In 1854 they moved to Wellington County Ontario to settle a new community there. That would have been quite a trek! It's a fair distance between Perth County and Wellington County!
Photo: Personal Photo of Ours
Crazy Coincidences in My Own Life with My Ancestors - On my Father's Mother's Father's Side - I'm Part of these Surnames: King, Boyd & McKee
I LEARNED WHERE MY NAME, Barbara, COMES FROM
I'm not sure why I didn't know that my grandmother (my father's mother) also had Barbara in her name - I never thought to ask I guess? It turns out my grandmother's name is a complete combination of her family lineage - Roberta Margaret Barbara King - known to me as "Memere" (french). Memere was given her name for obvious reasons: Roberta (for Robert - her grandfather and great grandfather, Margaret for her Grandmother, and Barbara for her Great Grandmother).
Again, all of this sounds like basic stuff right - but it wasn't known to me until I had this dream and felt compelled to seek all of this out.
I FEEL A CONNECTION TO BARBARA BOYD KING
Barbara Boyd King is my 4 times great grandmother, who, as mentioned above, had 4 sons. Well, yes....my name is Barbara and I have four sons, and only 4 sons; no daughters born to me either, just like Barbara Boyd.
HOW MY FAMILY TREE FLOWS
Robert Kerr King Sr. & Barbara Boyd (King) - had 4 sons - Andrew, Robert, Hugh & John
Robert King & Margaret McKee had 1 son - William
William King & Henrietta Ellis Gwyer had 3 children - Roberta (my Grandmother), Maude, & Robert
Roberta King & Tirel (Israel) Tremblay had 7 children - Billy, Bobby, Buster (Jerome - my dad), Denis, Scott, Ruth & Susie
Buster (Jerome) Tremblay & Georgette Fouillard Tremblay had 3 Kids Together: Barbara (me), Johnny & Larry
Barbara (Me) Married John - and We have four Sons - I don't want my 3 Step Children to feel left out (so I'm mentioning them too) - so yes that's right, 7 kids all totaled.
I WAS ALWAYS DRAWN TO THE NAME BOYD
I'm 53 years old while I'm writing this page, and I'm just finding out that I'm a Boyd. I actually knew I was a King. Although I wasn't aware of the extent of the King history, I did know my Grandmother's maiden name was King.
When I was in grade 4, and living in Alberta, my grade 4 teacher's name was Mrs. Boyd and I can tell you that for reasons I couldn't figure out, I always loved her name and was drawn to it. I was a bit of a nervous kid, but strangely enough, around her I wasn't. I've never forgotten her, and frequently think about her.
Another Crazy Coincidence I recently Discovered about a Connection I have to Barbara Boyd King and Her 4 Sons - Of course, as you've already read here, I too have 4 sons, and believe it or not, one of her boys has the same birthday as one of my boys!
Photo: Me (Barbara) at the Grave Site of my 3 Times Great Grandparents; Robert King Jr & Margaret McKee King
ROBERT KING Sr. & BARBARA BOYD KING Settle in Ontario in 1842
What's odd is that my dad didn't know any of this, most of us didn't.
Being that the french side of our family came from Quebec to Manitoba, most of the history lessons I learned through family chats pertained to this! Ontario was never mentioned to me growing up as a place where family history or descendants came from. Maybe other family members knew this, but I didn't.
Here's the weird part; When I was 15 years old, mom and dad and my brothers of course, moved from Alberta to Brockville, Ontario. Well, Perth County (where Robert King Sr and Barbara Boyd King settled in 1842 is quite close to this area!) - And I now live an hour away from where they eventually settled in 1854 in Wellington County Ontario.
MAYBE THE SOUL KNOWS WHERE IT's GOING
I remember in grade 7 in Alberta Canada...during a social studies class...we were learning about Ontario, specifically Toronto, Ontario - You have to understand that when I lived in Alberta I never thought about Ontario, ever...after all we were proud Albertans (lol) - Anyway, as soon as the teacher mentioned Toronto...something in my heart felt drawn to it. I had never been to Toronto; never thought I would go to Toronto and didn't know anything about it ... except I felt drawn to it for some reason. I never forgot that feeling from that day in class.
In 1975 my father was transferred to Brockville, Ontario. We had to move. Four years later I ended up going to University in Toronto and, well, you guessed it, I now live and have lived in the west end of Toronto for nearly 30 years. So, does the soul already know?
Photo: My youngest son (my 4th) Jesse and I at the Graves of my 3 & 4 Times Great Grand Parents (his 4 & 5 Times of course) - The tall headstone is Robert King Jr.'s & Margaret McKee King and the stone on the ground is for Robert Kerr King Sr. & Barbara Boyd King (Robert King Jr.'s mom and dad).
Remember that Lake I talked About in My Dream in the Intro Paragraph? - More Coincidences!
It seems that the Lake in my dream may have been Conestogo Lake in Wellington County!
When my husband, son and I were driving home from our fun day on our historical quest, all of sudden we're driving down a particular side road (sorry I can't remember the name of it) when I notice the curved shape of a lake that's very similar to the one in my dream. I stretched my head to look further to see how the shape of the lake curved a bit around a bend and honestly, I was shocked. It was almost exactly what I had seen in my dream!
After researching the area, it appears it was Conestogo Lake. Apparently some of the land owned by the King's abutted that Lake. However, I have no idea whether the spot I saw as we were driving had anything to do with their land.
So you tell me? Coincidence? Past Life? Does the Soul Know Where it's Going? ....I sure loved being led on this journey by a dream though!
Here's a Brochure of Grand Rivers Park, Conestogo Lake - By the way, I've never been here, or seen this lake prior to this day.
Photo: My Youngest Son, Jesse and I, at the entrance of Hollen Cemetery
Our Barbara Boyd Lineage is Quite Intriguing!
Have You Seen the Movie Braveheart?
Robert King Sr and Barbara Boyd King originate from Aryshire, Scotland. I'm still trying to verify, via documentation, hopefully in the form of a birth certificate, the parents of Barbara Boyd.
There are some other Trees on Ancestry.com that indicate Barbara does descend from the famous Boyd Line linked to Sir Robert Boyd. If I'm able to definitively prove this by securing documented proof (if it exists), our family could officially be included into The Boyd Clan of Scotland. That's fun!
If you've seen the movie Braveheart, Sir Robert the Bruce was King of Scots from 1306 until his death in 1329. He was a famous warrior who led Scotland during the wars for Scottish Independence. Sir Robert Boyd was considered one of the strongest supporters of King Robert the Bruce. He was in fact, one of the Commanders at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314. Sir Robert Boyd was awarded for his contribution with land in Balliols, Kilmarnock, Bodington and Ayrshire.
Boyd Castles still stand today - You can learn more and see the Castles as well, here at Clan Boyd.
Photo Source Dean Castle - Wiki
Scottish & Boyd Clan Items, Including a Photo of Dean Castle
This is the Family Crest for our Boyd Ancestry: Our Motto is 'Confido - I Trust'
The Boyd Family Crest is 'Confido - I Trust' - Confido is Latin for 'have confidence in' or 'can rely upon'. A Family Motto is meant to describe and summarize the general motivation or intention of a group, clan or other type of organization.
This family motto resonates with me. I can say with certainty that if I had to define myself personally, it would be, 'someone you can rely upon, have confidence in and trust'. This trait perfectly describes my brothers as well - yes Dad too - As a Boyd in history, I'm honored to be linked to this motto.
The hand symbol on the Crest is a dexter hand held firm having the outer fingers bowed inwards.
Photo: from Wiki
From this Dream, I Like to Think Dad Is Saying What this Song is Saying
'You're gonna make it...yeah I know you can make it...cause I will stand by you, I will help you through...when you've done all you can do and you can't cope...I won't let go" - Maybe that train ride was all my ancestors sending this message - who knows, anything's possible.
Links for Other Members of My Family to View if They're Interested!
- General Information on Robert King Jr. & Margaret McKee
A place with a nice summary of information on Robert Kerr King Sr and Barbara Boyd King's Ancestry.
- Robert Kerr King Sr. & Barbara Boyd King - Founding Pioneers of Wellington County Ontario
A brief summary of Robert King Sr. & Barbara Boyd King's history from The Historical Atlas of the County of Wellington, Ontario. Toronto:Historical Atlas Publishing Co., 1906
- The Town of Moorfield in Wellington County Ontario
This is the town our ancestors settled in.
- Fascinating Historic Map of Wellington County Showing King Land Ownership
You can zoom in on this map and see the acreages of land that the King's owned! 100 Acres, 50 Acres etc. Really Interesting. You'll see a plot at VIII plot 179.
Some of Our Family Ancestry PhotosClick thumbnail to view full-size
© 2014 Barbara Tremblay Cipak
More by this Author
A carefully reviewed and selected group of songs pertaining the heartbreaking loss of a mother. Also featured, where to read several choice poems about the passing of a loved one.
A collection of many father and son songs that speak to this loving and sometimes complicated relationship.
If you find yourself struggling to find just the right sentiment to write in a wedding card, here are 60 Original Ideas to make it easier for you!