This week’s topic for Week 5 in Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks is “So Far Away”. My family that I am going to discuss is my maternal grandfather’s family, the Fairhurst’s, who I have traced back to England. It’s not that England is that far, I am just at a stand still because learning how to do a new type of research (I know it’s the same language, but it’s still a different sort of system) I guess I’m just waiting until I have another branch to delve into records for more than one side of the family at a time.
My great-grandfather came over from Leigh, England in 1913. He travelled on the ship the RMS Mauretania. He came straight away to Jefferson County, Ohio to live. He worked as a miner and became a naturalized citizen on May 14, 1920. Eventually his family moved to Akron, initially working for the Seiberling Rubber Company (it was the second rubber company that F.A. Seiberling founded, the first being Goodyear Rubber Company – I know all this as I worked at his house, now a historic estate, Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens), then the WPA in the early 1940’s, and then once again finding employment as a rubber worker at Firestone Rubber Company.
His wife, the former Phoebe Boone, was pregnant with their second child so she was delayed coming over at the same time James did. A tale that was told to me by my grandfather, Harold, when I was doing my family history for my 6th grade Social Studies class, was that my great-grandmother was originally suppose to come over on the Titanic, but because she wasn’t feeling well, she opted to go at another time. Lucky for me if this was really the case as my grandfather wouldn’t be born for another 8 years. I have not yet looked to see if any of this is true, I just assumed it was false but a fun story for my family to tell.
I’ll admit another reason I don’t research this portion of my family is that I wasn’t overly fond of my grandfather, and therefore it’s being reflected on his entire family. He was an angry man who took things out on everyone around him. I have learned from conversations with his 2 of his 3 remaining children that he seems to have gotten that characteristic from his mother. So while other portions of my family tree tend to go back to the early 1800’s, sometimes even the 1700’s, my Fairhurst and Boone branches stop in the late 1800’s.
I guess I shouldn’t let my feelings get the better of me. It’s entirely possible that Thomas, Rachel, Enoch and Susannah are perfectly fine people living a splendid life in Leigh, England, and I won’t ever know until I start finding out about them. I didn’t know anything about the others either until I began researching. But for the time being they are over in England, with all their records, an ocean away.