But they reminded me that I still have a long way to go with Emma's life.
Last time I posted about Emma Anna (Murphy) (Reagan) Shaw, it was February 6, 2012. At the time, I hoped I might have finally found her family. The Guysborough, Nova Scotia connection is the most logical one, but can you believe I haven't looked for 3 years now?
Granted, it's been a busy time for me - had a baby in January 2013, moved back to the states in June 2013, focused on establishing a writer career, etc.
So I suppose that dream, silly as it was, might be a nudge reminding me that the answers are still out there. I just have to remember to ask.
When I tackle the gaps in Emma's timeline - specifically from her birth (1861 or so in Nova Scotia?) to her marriage to my great-great grandfather (1888 in Middleborough, Massachusetts), I don't automatically look for her birth or her parents. I feel like, if possible, I need to work my way back from her marriage to great-great grandpa Erastus Shaw.
That means I would really, very much like to find out the name and ultimate fate of her first husband. We know his surname was Reagan. We know this because of various family documents - my great-grandpa Harrison Shaw's birth record in 1889, which gives his mother's name as "Emma A. Reagion," and Erastus and Emma's marriage record in 1888, which gives her name as "Emma A. Regan" and her maiden name as Murphy.
Emma also specifies in the 1930 census that her first marriage occurred when she was 16, which means roughly 1877.
In the 1910 census, she is listed as having 2 children, but only 1 living (my great-grandfather, Harrison Shaw). Did she have a child in her first marriage? I've found nothing to indicate she had 2 with Erastus. Of course, she might have, and the birth and death may simply not exist in Middleborough or Massachusetts records. Still, I think it's more logical to assume she had a child in her first marriage, since Massachusetts birth, marriage, and death events are all pretty well documented.
There's still the question of whether or not she was born in Maine or Nova Scotia. The existing vital records and censuses are roughly 50-50 on that question. Again, though, I think if she'd been born in Maine, there would be some indication of her in the 1870 and 1880 censuses... and there's nothing, which is why I err on the side of Nova Scotia as being correct.
This post is a bit rambly and probably only makes sense to me if you haven't read the previous posts. ;)
It also tells me I need to go in and re-examine all the records, and the timeline to see what I need to do next.
Copyright (c) 2015 Wendy L. Callahan