Keep Your Eyes Open When Reading Sources

I am not Edward Greenwood the third’s great, great granddaughter — I am the third Boisvere in Canada’s great, great granddaughter.  It makes a big difference when you are on a records hunt for relatives.

For years I sought out the multiple Edwards who came before me — and I couldn’t find them.  All that misdirected research was based on my own misreading of the family history that my grandparents had written for me.

boisvere by poppop

See, I saw “Boisvere III, Edward Greenwood” as Edward Greenwood III. I kept looking for the Edwards who came before my GGgrandfather, the one born around 1814 and the one born in France — because that is how my grandmother’s story went.  The first Boisvere was sent to Canada for his safety, by Napoleon.  The second Boisvere had the third Boisvere at 16, died young, and left him and his two siblings (Alfred and Angel) to be raised by Boisvere I.  Surely I could find an Edward living with an Edward somewhere.

But I couldn’t … because Edward was never Edward III, he was merely the third generation of Boisvere whose story was passed from his widow to their daughter to her daughter and into the ears of a GGgrandaughter who couldn’t hear what was being said to her.

In the end I made a breakthrough on Edward’s line before I realized my error in reading.  And I know, looking back, that if I hadn’t been so sure of my story I might have read more plainly and not wasted time with clues that only existed in my imagination.

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