William Charles Beatty and Sarah Isabelle McCreight—my Great-Great Grandparents on my Granny Beula North Lohr’s side of the family—purchased the land on October 30, 1888. They applied for, and received, a mortgage for $650. On December 31, 1889, a homestead paper was issued to William Beatty. I assume that the Beatty family was unable to pay the mortgage because the land was purchased by W.K. McGinness at a sheriff's sale for $980.60 on December 10, 1898. The land ended up being owned by the grandparents of the woman who contacted me. The Beatty family was in California by 1900 where, I’m glad to say, they prospered.
The woman who contacted me found my first book and website when she keyed in W. C. Beatty and Bonilla into a web search. Someone had reviewed my book on a website and included the fact that I had ancestors who had lived in Bonilla. The woman posted a note on my Contact page which included her email address.
I find it amazing how the links fit together and people contact me. I am grateful that when I reply for more information, people like this woman are very willing to share whatever details they have. The web grows and expands, and I learn more about my ancestors.
The information that had been shared about the Beatty family by one of my extended relatives who lives in Napa, California, along with the obituary that I located in my Granny’s stuff was that my Great-Grandmother Mary Gertrude Beatty was born in Lake City, Minnesota, July 24, 1873, and moved with her family to South Dakota in 1883. Gertrude, as she was called, spent most of her childhood in the Bonilla area. She married my Great-Grandfather John North at Hitchcock, South Dakota, on February 18, 1896. (Hitchcock is a town in Beadle County.) Gertrude and John North and their children, Arthur and Beula, moved to Alberta in November 1903.
I just never know when I turn on my computer in the morning and check my website page what interesting information that I’m going to discover.
On a related history topic, I was one of the many speakers during Historic Calgary. My presentation was titled Bring Your Ancestors to Life Through Short Stories and was hosted by the Southern Alberta Pioneers and Their Descendants group. There was a good crowd—about 35 people—and many of them were interested in using short stories as a way of doing family history. I also had several follow-up questions and comments posted to my website after that session.
One audience member said with a smile, “You’re making us feel guilty about not getting down our ancestors' stories in some form.”
I replied that my intent was not to make anyone feel guilty although sometimes a bit of guilt is a good motivator!
So, if you are reading this, why not make doing some researching and writing—or scrapbooking, putting together a photo album, or many other ways of doing your family stories—part of your life? Believe me, you will never run out of material! You will also meet some fascinating people who will help you along the journey.
If I can help with the process, send me a note on my Contacts page. I am also in the process of gearing up to do presentations on my second book, Branching Out: Adventures & Roots, in the fall and winter. The publisher has promised the book will be out the first week in September. My job now is to complete the revisions on the second round and get it back to the publisher as soon as possible. I have one presentation booked so far, but it is with a private group which doesn’t have space for visitors, but I will be posting the public events on my website later in August. I hope to see you at one of the presentations, or send me a note on my website letting me know about your family stories projects.