Early this fall, I posted a partial family tree on Wiki hoping to attract interest leading to clues for finding both Capt. John and Phebe Freeman Crandall’s parents. Today via email, I received the notice copied below. What a jolt when I got to the birthday blurb at the bottom! Do I really need a personal reminder to acknowledge the birthday of a long-departed family member? Especially one I’ve never known when even relatives I know and have known haven’t had the pleasure of knowing her? Cree-eepy!
Maybe what’s more to the point but especially weird and bothersome is that I’ve lately been thinking/writing a lot about this particular Great-Grand Aunt Ann Jennet about whom Wiki sent notification. Please let me say now, in the event she is somehow tuned in and listening, no two people including me are capable of spelling her name the same way twice, let alone correctly. Trust me and I apologize for this but moving on…
Last night upon Ann Jeanette’s birthday eve, my recently discovered first cousin once removed on my dad’s side named Frank, emailed me two introductory pages attached to Ann Janett’s mother’s will which I’d never seen before. Thank you, Frank! I deciphered the tiny script this morning but decided to save the task of writing out a proper transcription for another day because I’m lazy (!) and because I need to dig through my files for the rest of the story, i.e., the third page of the will itemizing a short but tenderly rendered list of valuables. On this page, my 3rd great grandmother cites the names of her children including that of Ann Jenet. OK, organizing information is what efficient family historians do, right? Not happening on my end. I have too many emails to write.
Frank and I also exchanged messages last night about Annejeanette Crandall, as she is listed in a Federal Census, age 12. This A.J., however, is the daughter of Patrick Crandall and grew up to marry William McCord. Not our family? I would have thought so had I not been matched with a cousin through Ancestry’s DNA site who is her descendant. Wow, someone with whom I share DNA also has a grand aunt named A.J. (spelled differently) Crandall? Were these two individuals separately named in honor of a same shared ancestor? Or, are their similar names just a coincidence? No matter, if my DNA-cousin match descends from ancestral Crandalls whom I don’t recognize, we might still share one mutual grand who resides further up the tree whom we just haven’t found yet.
Back to today being the birthday of my grand aunt two generations removed who isn’t out of sight nor out of mind with or without Wiki intervention. After emailing Frank late yesterday, I also sent a note off to my DNA-cousin match referencing our two family trees where we each have a John Crandall through the grandparents of our AJ’s. Although his ancestor is native to England and mine to Rhode Island, perhaps we may one day agree on someone who came before from a mutually acceptable middle ground. Perhaps Massachusetts or better yet, an exotic island in route to the New World from the Old? Of course, verifying this ancestor we could share might require extraordinary effort.
Presto, miracle of miracles! This morning, I receive a reply from my DNA-match cousin saying he is contacting and enlisting relatives in Iowa. With my match’s fleet of Iowan connections as well as with the assistance of my two known first cousins once removed, along with my nephew James, and several other family tree members who have promised to test their DNA and post on Ancestry in 2018, we might make some headway. Yay! Do I see the helping hand of an expert possessing supernatural powers at work? Hmmm, perhaps Ann Jeanette enters on cue waving her fairy godmother birthday baton?
All I can say for sure is, watch out for birthdays of the long departed. I’ve decided to consult my new family anniversaries calendar so I know whom, if not what, to expect next. I’m either naively hopeful or crazy. You choose.
———- Original Message ———-
From: WikiTree <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: January 3, 2018 at 12:52 PM
Subject: WikiTree Family News
To close your account, e-mail us at email@example.com with “Please Close Account Crandall-1789” in the subject line.