Pandora’s Box

I’ve recently encountered a bit of a dilemma in my journey to document the lives of my ancestors!

sad-faceWhat is causing my consternation is that, after I write and publish a blog about an ancestor, I may find more information and/or documents about that ancestor — and I don’t know how deal with this additional data.

An example is the recent release of the 1921 Canadian Census.  I located most of my Evison ancestors, who were alive in 1921.  One would think that this is a good thing — but I’m now faced with a decision about what to do to “update” the blogs that I’ve already published!?

I thought and thought and thought about it and narrowed my choices down to:

  1. Go back and add a copy of the 1921 Census to the blogs that I’ve already published.
  2. Write an “addendum” blog for each ancestor that I found in the 1921 Census.

The downside of adding the information to the original blog is that, if a person has already read the blog, they’re not likely to go back and check for updates and therefore will “miss” the info provided by the 1921 Census.

The upside of creating a “new” blog (which would include a link to the original one) is that a person who has subscribed to my blog will get an “alert” when the new blog is published.  As well, both blogs should come up in a google search.

After thinking about it ad nauseam, I decided to add the 1921 Census to the original blog — because, in most cases, the 1921 Census did not provide any new “startling” information about that ancestor.

crossed_fingersAnd I thought it was better to have all of the info that I’ve found for that ancestor in the same blog.

Fingers crossed that it is the correct decision!

However, I think that there has to be one exception to this “rule”.  And that is, if the additional information opens up a “pandora’s box” of new (or contrary) information about that ancestor.  Then I will write an additional blog.

For example, the 1921 Canadian Census provided more information about Russell and Susan Colvin Cudney.

Russell and Susan married on 2 Aug 1912 in Delaware, Middlesex County (Ontario).  The next census after their marriage was taken on 1 Jun 1921.  The 1921 Census revealed that Russell and Susie had 4 children between the time they married and the 1921 Census!

In 1921, the family was living in Delaware and they were renting a single-storey wooden house with 6 rooms.  Russell was a labourer earning $550 a year.

1921 Census - Russell and Susie Cudney and Family

The following are the names of Russell and Susie’s children that were listed in the 1921 Census — and all the information that I’ve found about them, as of the date of this blog.

  • Gladys Hazel Cudney is the oldest child and she was 7 years old in 1921.  I found her birth document on Ancestry; she was born in Delaware (Ontario) on 12 Sep 1913.  That’s all that I could find about Gladys.

Birth - Gladys Hazel Cudney

  • Velma M. Cudney was 6 years old in 1921.  Therefore she was born in about 1915.  I googled her name and approximate date of birth and a photograph of her headstone came up!

Update on 2 Oct 2014:  I replaced the photograph of the headstone that is on Find-a-grave with a photograph that I took personally.  I also added the photograph of the stone that has Velma’s date of birth and death engraved on it.

Headstone - Ellis Winston and Velma Cudney Axford

Headstone - Velma M Axford

Birth - Ellis Winston AxfordFinding this headstone led to research on Velma’s husband, Ellis Winston Axford.

I discovered that Ellis Winston Axford was the son of William Walden Axford  and Clara Evelyn Hunt.

Ellis was born in Westminster Township, Middlesex County, Ontario (Canada) on 26 Nov 1912.

According to an on-line family tree, Velma and Ellis had two children:

      • Francis Axford and
      • Russell Winston Axford

After an exhaustive search, I couldn’t find any information about Francis (see below for Update on 10 Apr 2014) — but I did find a transcription of Russell’s birth announcement, published in the St. Thomas Times-Journal on 11 Dec 1947.  Russell was born on 10 Dec 1947.

Birth Announcement - Russell Winston Axford

Velma Cudney Axford died in 1978 and Ellis Axford in 1997 (see the photograph above of their headstone).  They are buried together in Woodhull Cemetery in Delaware Township, Middlesex County (Ontario).

  • Mary “Marguerite” Cudney was 4 years old in 1921 — so she was born in about 1917.

For Ontario (Canada), birth documents only up until 1913 have been released and indexed on Ancestry.  So I don’t know exactly when Marguerite was born.  I did find a 1940 Voter’s List though, and Marguerite was living with her parents in Delaware (Ontario).

Voter's List - Marguerite Cudney

And according to a transcription by the Elgin County branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society, Marguerite married Thomas Henry Essey.  Their marriage announcement was published in the St. Thomas Times Journal on 29 May 1942.

Marriage Announcement - Thomas Essey and Mary Marguerite Cudney

Birth - Thomas EsseyThomas Henry Essey is the son of Percy Thomas Essey and Melissa McCauley and he was born on 6 Mar 1911 in Middlesex County (Ontario).

Thomas died in 1979 and Marguerite in 1998.  They are buried in Oakland Cemetery in Delaware (Ontario).  Next time I go there, I’ll take a photograph and update this blog.

Death and Burial - Marguerite Cudney Essey Death and Burial - Thomas Essey

  • William Cudney is the youngest child of Russell and Susie that was listed in the 1921 Census.  He was only 14 days old when the census was taken on about 1 Jun 1921.  Sadly, William died in 1925, when he was just about 4 years old.  He is buried in the same plot as his sister Marguerite.

Death and Burial - William Cudney

I titled this blog Pandora’s Box for a couple of reasons:

  • Because, as noted above, additional documents/information that is published and/or that I find while doing further research can open up a “pandora’s box” of even more documents and information!!
  • And because I’ve discovered even MORE “inter marriages” within the Evison family!  A definition for pandora’s box is: a process that once begun, generates many complicated problems. 

The “complicated problem” in the case of the Evison family is trying to figure out the relationships between people in family tree.  I don’t even know where to start to figure out and explain the relationships.  So I made up a chart 🙂  The coloured dots indicate those ancestors who are siblings.  It’s definitely a Pandora’s Box!!!!

(Click for a larger version of the chart)

Pandora's Box

Update on 10 Apr 2014:

Thanks to addtional information provided (see comments below), I now know that the correct spelling of “Francis” is “Frances”.   Frances Virginia Axford was born in 1941 and died in London (Ontario) on 6 Dec 2013.  Her married name is Perry.

Obituary - Frances Virginia Axford Perry

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5 Responses to Pandora’s Box

  1. JSD says:

    It looks like you are extremely detailed in your searches…very impressive. Look to your email and we can clarify some of the tree, okay?

  2. Pingback: Lucy Ann Evison Colvin and Her Descendants, Part Two | In Search of My Ancestors

  3. JSD says:

    My boyfriend read this and passed along the following information for you: “Hi…I have been looking with interest at your stuff re Evisons. I am a Delaware son, and the Axfords lived across the road and down a bit from my home in Delaware village. Frances was still alive a few years ago, as I opened my door in London, to find Frances delivering a package from UPS or FexEx. I hadn’t seen her for likely 40 years. John”

    • Thanks for the info, John and for passing the info along jsd!! The on-line family tree where I got the info spelled the name as “Francis” so I thought that she was a he!! I’ll change the spelling to “Frances” and perhaps I will be able to find information about her now. Thanks again!

      Update:

      I did find more information about Frances. Sadly she died on 6 Dec 2013. Here is a link to her obituary:

      http://www.mcfarlane-roberts.ca/obituaries/84381

      I will be updating this blog with the additional information soon.

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