11 March 2011

Mary D. Mack, 1868 - 1921

Right under our very noses.

Mary D. Mack has been bugging me since I first discovered her listed on the gravestone for Burton Augustus and Minnie Mack. Located initially by a search in Findagrave.com, and by the grace of someone who recorded it and posted it on that website, I got a picture of the gravestone. [Yes, Jane and I did get to the graveyard last year but that's another story]

It turns out they aren't the only Burton and Minnie out there in the greater world, but they are the only Burton and Minnie Mack buried in Plymouth, MA. Which isn't Sandwich, MA  - where Pop said his grandfather was buried, but close enough - within 6 miles. I hadn't been able to find Burton in Sandwich, despite the efforts of the good people at the Sandwich Historical Society.

So who is Mary D. Mack?

Burton and Minnie's children were living in Everett, MA. Their grandchildren did not include a Mary D. Mack. Burton had two sisters, Mary "Minnie" and Etta Ellen Mack and a half-sister Martha Desire Mack that lived with his family back in 1871 in Nova Scotia. Maybe one of them?

Or maybe a second wife after Minnie died? An adopted child late in life? A relative from the "old country"?

Lying in bed the other morning trying to sort out the Drews, I was thinking that maybe it was time to go back and take a good look at the copies of the pages from John Dean Mack's family bible that Jane got from Aunt Marnie. Hah! Now I know it wasn't Martha Desire Mack - she died in 1874 and Etta Ellen died in 1908.

The last entry looks like _any Drew Mack, died 13 February 1921. Mary Drew Mack died in 1921. My best guess is that they are the same person. So, who wrote the entry in the family bible? That is another good question. Since the page are pretty worn, the color of the ink is consistent with the other entries, and the hand writing is pretty darn close, it may be Burton's. I do have samples of his handwriting - he was the enumerator for the 1891 census for Mill Village, Nova Scotia.

second page of Mack Family Bible

excerpt from 1891 Mill Village, NS census

I'm not sure. On closer examination, I can't tell if Burton ever wrote in the bible. So much for that course I took in graphology! My instinct tells me it was probably the women who wrote family information in the bibles. That leaves Drucilla, Minnie, Blanche (Nana/GiGi) and Marnie, but I don't have samples of any of their handwriting to inspect.

There seems to be a family resemblance in the handwriting. Have you noticed the same with your handwriting compared to your parents' handwriting?

When I was younger, my handwriting was very like Mom's... straight up and down, smallish, legible. Now my handwriting is more like Pop's - slanted to the right and a bit more flamboyant and at times erratic. Really hard to read sometimes, even for me. Dick's handwriting is like Pop's, distinctive and legible. Jane's is in between. Sometimes I can't tell whether I wrote note or she did. Funny. I don't think I consciously changed my handwriting; maybe some latent genes kicked in and made my handwriting change.

Looking back at the bible page, it looks like there were at least three, maybe four or more different writers.
The last one might be Marnie's handwriting. I wonder when she got the bible - and who had it before her.

I really would love to know who has it now.

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