Eunice Rae Speed was born in April of 1909 in Forfar, Scotland. She and her 3 siblings (another had died), emigrated to Canada in 1920 with their widowed mother Jemima. Her father, William Marshall Speed was killed in France during WWI only a month before it ended.
Eunice (or Eunie as she was known) was a tiny, independent woman who had fought many tragedies. She lost her father at 10 years old, moved to Canada and she married Samuel Moore in 1933. She gave birth to my mother in law in 1934, but then lost 3 full term babies afterwards. Her dogged determination to be strong served her well when she nearly died of an aneurysm at 80 years old. When everyone thought she wouldn’t survive, she proved us all wrong and lived another 14 years!
Eunice had a great passion for telling stories. Her memory was excellent and I spent many hours listening to her tell me, in detail, how handsome her father was, where they lived in Scotland, what her life was like when she first moved to Canada and how she thought her mother was the sweetest, kindest woman she ever knew. She instilled in me, a love for family history. She loved to tell me the surnames from her family and where they came from. One such surname was FORRET. I remember even asking her how to spell it because it was so unusual.
It was Eunice who’s stories intrigued me, that gave me that urge to research not only her family, but my own ancestors from Italy. Of course, it was much easier to do hers! I will be telling you about her FORRET ancestors because as unusual and uncommon a name as it is, they were a VERY important and well connected family in Fife from the 1400s-1700s. It seems my husband inherited some fascinating ancestors and I’m the lucky one who gets to tell you all about them. On his father’s side he has direct Chieftain Clanranald ancestors and on his mother he has a family that came over with William the Conqueror and became land owners, high status ministers and burgesses in St. Andrew’s and mariners. Unfortunately for the FORRET side, they lost their lands after the Jacobite Rebellion of 1715 and it was downhill from there.
Follow me on the journey of Eunice’s maternal ancestors, whom she was very proud of. Here too, we will find famous people, but also some scandalous ones too!