Sorry, this is late, a couple of birthdays and something called employment took up some time …
To put things into an easier perspective, put yourself in Mary’s place.
- It is 1852; you live on a small acreage in a one-story log cabin in Canada West (Ontario).
- You are the mother of eleven children, six surviving, of which three are married and off with families of their own.
- Your husband, Thomas is dead – has been since 1846.
- You mourn and re-marry (1847), all before your youngest child turns five-years-old.
- Your youngest three children live with you and your new husband (who is 9years your senior).
- In 1861, you relive the anguish again – you have outlived your second husband and must bury him also.
- You have spent the majority of your years as a single parent and a pioneer farmer; and in order to provide for your family from your land, you need help.
- Your children that are still at home are too young and need constant supervision – so who do you turn to?
Family – older children and their spouses, your parents, your grandparents, your siblings with their spouses and older children, among other relatives.
Now, here is the messy part in two segments:
Mary’s mother was Elizabeth (HODGSON) ATKINSON, who was the daughter of Robert HODGSON & Ann (ROBINSON) HODGSON.
After Elizabeth’s father died in Circa1781, her mother, Ann re-married … to a Wharton BRUNSKILL.
NOTE: To date (21DEC2011), my research has not picked up a connection between Elizabeth’s step-father (Wharton BRUNSKILL) and son-in-law (Thomas BRUNSKILL).
The other point to consider is Mary’s sister-in-law, Bethia KIDD, who in 1837 had married Mary’s younger brother, Thomas II – my 3x great-grandfather.
Bethia was the third daughter of Richard KIDD & Jane (SOLTON) KIDD.
And all of these people and their families came to Canada at approximately the same time, the mid to late 1830s.
Did Mary have three marriages? I have been able to confirm one – to Lancelot SHAW in 1847.
Her marriage to Thomas BRUNSKILL is an assumption based on travelling together with her parents and two brothers in 1833. Mary is pregnant, and if Thomas was not married to her by then, I strongly believe he would not have survived the sea voyage to New York City – he would have been swimming with the fishes (particularly if all the children were indeed his).
When Thomas and Mary were wed is estimated between 1827-1832.
- 1832 due to the possibility of Mary having a previous marriage to Mr. SOLTON; and,
- 1827 due to the possibility that Mary did not have a previous marriage.
- Mr. SOLTON could have been a male relative – Jane’s father, brother, nephew, uncle or cousin – and not a husband
If I haven’t lost you, I have a bigger mess to share with you, after Christmas 🙂