Category Archives: The History of Me

A look through the quirky history of Corina’s Family Tree

The Marcy Family Portrait

There are times in your life when you come across something so amazing that you can’t believe what you are seeing. Often these moments take our breath away. They reach into our hearts and our minds and we take a moment to just absorb what is in front of us. I recently had this happen.

It was packed in a plain white envelope on the side of a green plastic tub in my Dad’s basement. No one in the room with us knew what was in the tub other than some pictures and trophies. And no one knew what was in the envelope.

My dad slid out three large black and white pictures and a piece of paper with names on it. Immediately he knew had something special and called me over to see.

I found myself staring into the eyes of my ancestors.

 The Marcy family from June 1896. Back row: George Marcy, Ida Marcy, William Marcy, Mary Anne Marcy, Front row: Jared Marcy (father), Esther Marcy, Jared Marcy Jr, Norris Marcy. Sarah Marcy (mother - nee. McNeilly)
The Marcy family from June 1896. Back row: George Marcy, Ida Marcy, William Marcy, Mary Ann Marcy, Front row: Jared Marcy (father), Esther Marcy, Albert Marcy, Jared Marcy Jr, Norris Marcy. Sarah Marcy (mother – formerly McNeilly)

The haunting blue eyes were reminiscent of my departed grandfather Harry Hyde. The gene so strongh that even my daughter has blue eyes. Everyone looks so alert and focused, even the kitten on my 2x greatgrandfather’s lap. The skills of the photographer evident in the framing and positioning of the subjects. It’s purely magical.

Here is a family breakdown by age:

(Father) Jared Marcy, 1850 – 1905 and (Mother) Sarah McNeilly, 1856 – 1938

  1. Ida Cordelia Marcy, 1876 – 1967
  2. William James Marcy, 1878 – 1972
  3. George Freenan Marcy, 1879 – 1963
  4. Mary Ann Marcy, 1881 – 1957
  5. Jared Howard Marcy, 1883 – 1939
  6. Norris Franklin Marcy, 1887 – 1947
  7. Albert Arthur Lyle Marcy, 1889 – 1952
  8. Esther Jane Marcy, 1892 – 1961
Mary Ann Marcy stands behind her mother Sarah (formerly McNeilly) in this June 1896 family portrait.
Mary Ann Marcy stands behind her mother Sarah (formerly McNeilly) in this June 1896 family portrait.

Mary Ann was my mothers paternal grandmother, making her my  great grandmother. She married William Hyde. She is standing at the end of the back row behind her mother. She and William are buried in the cemetery behind Kirkwall Presbyterian Church, a few plots down from her parents and her siblings. I imagine the family portrait was taken in that very churchyard.

Jared, my 2x great grandfather, was born in Connecticut. Not 100% sure why his family moved to Canada but they were recorded as living in Beverly Township in Wentworth by the 1871 census. His parents were Freeman Marcy and Lydia Cordelia Green. He was one of 6 children. In the family portrait I’m stricken by his bold moustache and yet softness by holding a kitten in his arms.

Sarah McNeilly, my 2x great grandmother was born in Westover which is part of Beverly Township. Her parents were Arthur McNeilly and Elizabeth Irving. She was one of 11 children. By this picture she has lots of curly hair and a nose that reminds me of my grandfather.

I’ve never met these people, but their blood is my blood. One single photo, one moment in time from over 100 years ago, forever etched on my mind.


© Corina Harris, 2016

Using DNA to Talk to Ancestors

My husband James Harris and my daughter Adelaide on the day she came home from the hospital
My husband James and daughter Adelaide headed home from the hospital. Finding out his DNA profile will help give her a better picture of her ancestors.

One of my biggest regrets when I was younger was that I never really took the time to sit down with my grandparents and really listen. They were more than willing to talk about where they came from and where their parents came from. They could have talked for days. They had stories to tell and at the time I didn’t have the intelligence to listen.

I didn’t realize a day would come where I wouldn’t be able to ask those questions.

I don’t want my daughter to have to question it. I want her to know where her ancestors came from.

I wrote last week about how I had my DNA analyzed by AncestryDNA and some of the findings. What I failed to mention was that I also want to have my husband’s DNA analyzed. Lucky for me, he agreed. The DNA has been received in Ireland and in a few short weeks we hope to have some answers.

My husband’s family is fairly small and a little difficult to trace compared to mine. I find I come out with more questions than answers when trying to trace his roots. I am hopeful his ethnicity estimate and matches help unlock some keys to his heritage.

Isn’t it amazing that we can find answers about our heritage with technology?

© Corina Harris 2016