June 13, 2009 - Great-Grandmother Marie - Why? - Part 2

13 June 2009

Evening,

Panic in the menagerie this afternoon. A really large white duck flew into and slammed into the screen over the pool and patio. You can imagine the trotting and galloping of six quadrupeds... It was like the Kentucky Derby. All six, chasing an unknown thing, a white blur, round and round the pool. They really had to have been confused! Not one barked. So much for the excitement in my life.

Initially, the "why" great-grandmother Marie went to San Diego, California in the United States from Georgetown, British Guiana was an unknown. Today I can make a few assumptions but I'm not going to go into that at this point in time. I'll let you develop your own hypothesis for her reasonings. I'll just present the facts, and the myths as I find them.

Growing up, I had heard that my father's mother, grandmother Jeanne (née Abraham) Smith Mann's mother, my great-grandmother, Marie Abraham had been French and was from France. That was an accepted truth... I had no reason to question it. I never met my great-grandmother Marie, and as I discovered neither had my father. And all of the recent questions I asked provided answers that she, great-grandmother Marie, was from France.

My first discovery as indicated in Part 1, was that great-grandmother Marie and great-grandfather Fred Abraham had five children; a son and four daughters. Great-grandmother Marie became a widow as quoted from the Demerara, Saturday, July 13, 1901 edition of The Argosy on the 12th of July; "which occurred at his, (Mr. Fred Abraham's), residence, Croal Street, shortly before nine o'clock yesterday morning."

The clip of the inserted map provides a present day map of Georgetown and the location of Croal St, at the left end of the map.

Allen Morrison's website, titled The Tramways of Georgetown provides a good series of pictures and drawings of what Georgetown may have looked like about when great-grandfather Fred Abraham passed away in 1901.

The next critical date that I have, (thanks for the copy, Zoë), is the British Guiana Marriage Licence for my grandparents Hubert Lloyd Smith and Jeanne Lucie Ernestine Abraham. This date was 23 March 1918. See an enlarged image of the original Licence by clicking on the insert to the left. (You should note that there are no ages or dates of birth provided on the Marriage Licence, and so this point we can only guess.)

Family lore indicated that two of my grandmother's three sisters; grandaunts Edmée and Renée were possibly already married. (You'll note that I now type grandaunt Edmée's name and not Esme, as indicated on the first Descendant Chart. Again family lore and other sources have presumed it to have been either Esmé or Edmée.)

A major event in the life of great-grandmother Marie appears to next have been the death of granduncle Frederick Henry Abraham, her only son. He was killed in World War I near Joncourt, France on 2 October 1918. (See my blog posting of May 23, 2009.) This was more than likely a devastating blow. And with the small amount of information gathered, she was alone, a widow in a foreign country - British Guiana, with a foreign language - English and with only her youngest daughter - grandaunt Cecile.

And so she decided to go on a trip.

To be continued in Part 3...

Enjoy,

Jim

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