This is a hard one for me. I’m including 2 photos here because of that. My husband’s great grandfather was JOHN QUARTZ MOORE born in 1883 in County Down, Ireland. He married ROSEANNA FERGUSON in Belfast on October 10, 1906. As happened with a lot of couples I’ve researched, the marriage happens when the bride is about 2-3 months pregnant. Roseanna was pregnant with my husband’s grandfather “Gramps” Samuel who was born in April 1907.
John and Roseanna were very happy. They had 6 children together- 5 boys and then a little girl who was born after her father passed away.
John, like many men during WWI, joined the army not having any idea what war was going to be like. He fought in France and made at least 2 trips back to Ireland on forays. Each time, Roseanna got pregnant.
Just prior to going to war, the following photo was taken. John is wearing his uniform. They have their 4 sons in the photo with Sam being in the middle. His youngest brother looks like a girl as was another custom back then to not cut their hair for a few years. John worked as a bread baker in Belfast. His father David had also been a baker.
The following photo is of John’s handwritten will, written in July, 1918. He was killed in action on the 27th September, 1918 in France. The will was verified and Roseanna Moore was left a widow with 6 children and a grand ole pension from the army of £29.
This will was a great find! It shows his regiment, his regimental number, and gives us the exact address that his wife was living at while he was in France, which was NOT in Belfast. This clue leads me to believe she was staying with his relatives as he was born in County Down. Now I have a clue to try and find where HIS family came from. The other clue I have is his middle name was is very unusual. I’m leaning towards thinking it’s a family surname. These are very exciting clues as so few records exist for Ireland that any information is greatly appreciated to help further my genealogical research on this branch of the family.
BOTH my husband’s great-grandfathers were killed in France during WWI. One was killed in late September and the other in August. By November the war was over. It’s so sad to me that these men left 9 children and 2 widows behind. Both were well into their 30s by this time and if they’d lived, it would have changed the entire course of our lives. John would have probably stayed on in Ireland and I’m sure William Speed would have lived on in Scotland.
Both the widows came to Canada on widow’s pensions. Both arrived in 1920 and decided to settle in Toronto. If all these events had not happened, my husband would not exist.
I’m constantly amazed at how every family is connected to an event in history. All families have stories and all families can see how history affects their own family history in a big way.