It takes a while to thoroughly read and, if necessary, respond to more than 1400 emails. That’s the number of email messages that accumulated during my recent illness. One of the more intriguing messages was sent through Ancestry from a researcher in Saskatchewan, Canada who is related through marriage to one of my Gaull family cousins, a second cousin to be specific.
I immediately went through my genealogy database to find that I had some basic information about ‘other’ members of the Gaull family who were at least at one time in Canada, but really until this week when I dedicated some time to researching this family branch, I had no idea of the group of cousins (even as a family member I’m probably not allowed to refer to them as a ‘flock of Gaulls’) living on the Canadian prairies.
The connection is through my great great grandfather, John Gaull (1860-1942) who with his wife, Harriet McKenzie, raised eleven children including my great grandmother, Jessie McKenzie Gaull and her younger sister, Mary Jane Gaull. (John Gaull is pictured below, in the centre surrounded by family members in a 1928 photo taken on the family dairy farm in Monymusk, Scotland).
Mary Jane was only 16 years of age when she gave birth to her first child, Mary Jane Donald. Although the birth was registered as being “illegitimate,” the father was identified at the time of birth registration as James Donald, a local 21 year old farm servant. When James Donald and Mary Jane Gaull married early in the January following their daughter’s birth, Mary Jane Donald’s birth was deemed to have been ‘legitimized’ and a Record of Corrected Entry (RCE) was registered stating that to be the case. (It is important when conducting Scottish research to look for these RCE’s as they ‘pop up’ unexpectedly and can prove to be invaluable to your research).
James and Mary Jane went on to have seven additional children and, of their eight children, it appears that at least two immigrated to Canada in search of better lives and likely free land to farm in western Canada. William ‘Bill’ Donald and his younger brother Peter Donald both settled in Saskatchewan, married and raised families. I can now look forward to connecting with these ‘new’ cousins!