July 10 - 14, 2003
There were numerous examples of chance meetings and conversations whose impact will never be forgotten. If you experienced any, and would be willing to share them, contact Chris Young so that they may be placed here for all to enjoy.
Submitted by Chris Young
Several months before the Reunion I received a phone call from Lionel Thurlow.
He introduced himself asked if he could represent the Thurlow family at the Reunion. He added that the Thurlows did not come to Lunenburg until around 1880 and he wondered if that was too late to be considered.
I said, “Of course not. The Reunion is open to anyone who has an interest in any Lunenburg County family”.
Then I asked him “Do you know Stanley Thurlow?”.
He replied “Yes, he was my uncle. How do know him?”
“Well, he lived across the street from my grandfather in Lunenburg.”
“Who is your grandfather?”
“Captain Leo Corkum.”
“I know him. I sailed with him on a fishing trip about 1939.”
At the reunion, Lionel came up to me one day and introduced himself. Then he presented me with an envelope containing about 40 photographs that he had taken while fishing with my grandfather.
I asked Lionel, “What was the name of the ship you sailed on with my grandfather?”
“The Irene Mary”.
The Irene Mary was named for my mother.
Submitted by Les Sinclair
In 2002, I sent a Wagner query to LUNEN-LINKS. Douglas Rodie Wagner from Mississauga, Ontario replied requesting assistance in tracing his ancestors.
Doug and I made arrangements to meet at the L250 Reunion in Lunenburg on Saturday, July 12. Doug gave me a copy of a genealogy report that his 92 year-old aunt from Shelburne, Nova Scotia had given him. It was the second page of a two-page document. He did not have the first page and his aunt could not recall who gave the report to her. I gave the document a cursory glance, happened to make a mental note of the name Isaiah Wagner, and placed the document in my briefcase to study when I got home.
My sister and I purchased lunch outside the Academy and Doug proceeded to the unveiling at Blockhouse Hill. I suggested to my sister that we lunch in the adjacent cemetery while perusing headstones. My sister politely declined and suggested we join a couple that was seated at a nearby picnic table. We walked over to their table and asked if we could join them. After introductions I told the couple that we were at the Reunion to research my wife’s Wagner line, and also the unrelated Rudolf family.
The gentleman said, “I’m a Wagner, my name is Robert Rudolph Wagner”
I asked, “What Wagner are you a descendant of?”
He said,“I don’t know. I’m downhearted because I arrived here to-day and I could not find anyone that can help me trace my oldest ancestors.”
I explained that I was a host at the Wagner table on Thursday and might be able to assist him. After throwing a couple of names around he mentioned the name Isaiah Wagner. I said I had just met Doug Wagner for the first time and I had a report in my briefcase that Doug had given me and it contained the name Isaiah Wagner. I said that there were many Isaia’s and the report would likely not mean anything to him and his wife.
I took the one page report out of my briefcase and handed it to the couple. We were speechless when Robert said “That is the research I did back in the early 1980’s”. Robert had both pages of the report with him and gave it to us to photocopy.
We exchanged phone numbers and addresses and are planning an August get-together here in N.S. and again in the fall with Doug in Ontario.
Coincidentally, like us, Robert and his wife Pauline spend their summers at their cottage in Nova Scotia. The rest of the year we live in St. Catharines, Ontario and they live 45 minutes down the road in Hamilton.
Before departing Pauline whispered in my ear “Just wanted to let you know my husband is a retired clergyman.”
For the grand finale, four days later I was able to tell Rev. Wagner that he and Arlene are third cousins, they are third cousins once removed to Doug, and Doug’s Aunt is Rev. Wagner’s and Arlene’s third cousin.
Submitted by Peter Lake
Long lost cousins were not the only people I met at "The Reunion". Thomas Seaboyer sat down next to me as I compared notes with someone(I forget who) at their table. He opened up his folding box chart and updated me on his corner of my data. he then asked what software I was using, and how it worked. I called up myself to use as an example to show him what it would do, he looked at the screen, and the conversation went:
Thomas: "There's a Coffill, do you know John Coffill?"
Me: "I should, he's my Grandfather."
T. "No kidding, I was on a ship with him"
M. "No kidding, the Vema, so was I for one summer."
T. "No kidding, what year?”(we said this together)
M. "1974.” (also together)
T. "No kidding. Did you get off in New York?"
T. "No kidding, I got on in New York."
M. "No kidding, what did you do on the ship?"
T. "Messman, you?"
M. "No kidding, so was I.”
The world got a whole lot smaller just then.
Submitted by Chris Young
Unfortunately, I did not have much time at the reunion to do personal genealogy. However one morning I had a few moments to spare, and I went to Sherry Comeau’s table, where she was representing the Kaiser and Bachman families.
Catherine Bachman was one of my great great-grandmothers. I mentioned this to Sherry, who had just published a book on the Bachman family and had it on display. So I decided to put her book to the test and see if Catherine was listed.
The book was already sitting open on the table and at the page where Catherine was listed!
Not only that, but there was another lady looking at the book at the same time, and her great-great-grandmother was listed on that page and was a sister to Catherine!
Submitted by Les Sinclair
There was coverage on CBC TV Halifax. Here is what occurred.
After helping out as host at a table all day Thursday, Friday was our first day to go hunting for my wife's Wagner/Meldrum, Chase/Keddy cousins.
My ever observant sister Jean noticed that an apparent new comer had booked an Oxner/Berringer table in room 103 so we proceeded there first. Gordon Davison had arrived from Cullompton, England and was disappointed to find there was no Oxner table for him to go to. He asked and was given permission to host a table.
For a friend, Jean and I are presently researching the descendants of Leonard Christian Rudolf, b. 1710, Germany. Leonard was the overseer of the Foreign Protestants that arrived in Lunenburg in 1753. After explaining to Gord that my wife was not related to either Oxner or Rudolf however there were Oxner/Rudolf marriages we exchanged thoughts and business cards and were about to go on our way when the following conversation took place:
Les - "Must run Gord because we have so many tables to visit for my wife's direct lines. I will be in touch as things progress with our Rudolf research and Oxner marriages. Although its unlikely there is any connection to Arlene, let me have a quick look at your Berringer's because Rudolf Berringer and Anna Barbara Buckler are my wife's 4th great-grandparents."
Gord - "They are also my 4th great-grandparents."
Gord excitedly said to Arlene "Hi cousin" and gave her a big hug. We introduced Gord to Arlene's sister Leora and Mary (Veinot) Wagner from New Germany.
The CBC TV crew from Halifax happened to be in the room at that time and seeing the excitement and glee taking place they started filming and then interviewed Gord, Arlene, and myself. It was televised that evening shortly after 6 p.m.
Since then I have e-mailed Gord and he replied "Nice to hear from another TV star."
Submitted by Cairn Davies
I went to the reunion not knowing any family at all, only via e-mail. I had no idea that even you [Chris Young] and I were related until July, but to be at the grand reunion and actually make contact with my family was more than anyone could bare.
The experience was once in a lifetime for me, and will remain with me until I die.
My daughter Christine and I could never figure out why Mahone Bay was such a draw to us, until we went to see the Eisenhauer House. We really lucked out as the care-taker was there and in true Nova Scotia fashion was ever so kind and told us to have a look around and take as many pictures as we wanted and if he could answer any questions for us, he would be delighted to do so.
I was ever so fortunate to meet most of my great grandmothers brother and sister relations and in particular, great grandchildren of Artimus, Francis, and Webster. I have a photo of all of us together and will treasure it always.