Great-great grandmother Emma, why doth thou elude me?
Despite my belief that the first place I would visit for foreign research would be Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, it seems that the mystery of Emma and my husband's Loyalist ancestors will have to wait...
Or perhaps not with regard to the unknown Hawksley ancestor.
At this very moment, we are waiting impatiently to know where the military will move us, and hoping that it will be Europe. Where we are now (South Korea) was not exactly on my list of places I wanted to visit - this assignment is more of a gateway to the places I have always wanted to see.
Besides the obvious educational value to us as a homeschooling family (bringing our son to see ruins, cathedrals, tombs, and more!), the genealogical value of such an assignment is immense. Germany seems the most likely place for my husband's job, and we do get some preference because he has been in South Korea for 2 years.
What does that mean for me in 2010, if (when! The power of positive thinking!) we move to Germany?
1. A visit to Italy is my first and foremost goal. I have been in touch with my cousins Mauro (in Savigliano) and Claudia (in Cuneo, where my great-great grandfather was born).
I would hop on a train and find my way to Cuneo immediately to research my great-great grandfather's parents, as well as to meet the 6 cousins whose names I already know.
After that, it would be time to see Moneglia, where my great-great grandmother was born. My Italian ancestors would be within my grasp at last! (That, and one of my favorite international cuisines...)
2. France would be the next likely destination. The family story is that great-great grandpa Galfre's parents or grandparents were from France. If I confirm this, I would certainly have to cross the border. This is one of the reasons I am grateful that we have been learning French as a family!
Even if the story did not turn out to be true, I would like very much to see the train station at Ventimiglia, which is about 20 miles from the border. This is where great-great grandpa worked as a baggage master, before coming to Massachusetts.
3. Manchester, England is where my great-great grandfather, John Wood, was born. His parents immigrated to Connecticut with the children. How wonderful it would be to see the places mentioned in the British censuses, visit the General Register's office, and collect birth, marriage and death records on John, his parents, his grandparents, and more!
Meanwhile, maybe I will find out if there is a list somewhere of British soldiers who fought during the Revolution or the War of 1812, and which ones might have been stationed at Fredericton, New Brunswick. If I can find one named Hawksley, he might be the man I seek...
4. Our 3-year assignment to Europe would not be completed without trekking to Dublin, Ireland, where my 4th great-grandfather, Edward Marshall Haley, went to college. We don't know exactly which county or town he comes from in Ireland, but his granddaughter said he went to school in Dublin, received an allowance from his parents, and used that allowance to travel to Massachusetts.
If I can pinpoint the school he attended, then perhaps I can learn where he was born! I have his parent's names, his birthdate, and an adventurous spirit to get me started.
When I think about the New Year and all the possibilities in store, I am excited for each new day - each new possible discovery!