Thursday, 18 March 2010

Someone somewhere knows something .... I just have to find them ... or they have to find me.

PHOTO LEFT: Gladstone after the 1941 floods. Cleaning up outside the Booyoolie Hotel.

Well, I think we are in waiting mode given that I cannot access records until I am back in Adelaide and there isn’t much more I can do in terms of sending out ‘feelers’.

I have written to the Greek Orthodox Church asking about David Ross and now must wait for a response either in the negative or the positive. Assuming of course there is a response. The fallback position will be to telephone. There can’t be too many Australian Greek Orthodox monks and the church must have comprehensive records. I of course have absolutely no idea what I am talking about. There may be many thousands of Greek Orthodox monks in Australia... at least hundreds... and who is to say he is in Australia?

Of course it may all come to nothing. He may have just found himself drawn to the Greek Orthodox Church by chance, speak no Greek and have no knowledge of his Greek great-grandfather. Then again .....and so it goes through a cavalcade of maybe’s, possibilities, potentialities, probabilities and very, very, very long shots.

I am also thinking of ringing some Ross’s in Murray Bridge, South Australia and have brought up a list of them from the White Pages. I know that at least one of Charlie and Mary’s sons went to live in Murray Bridge because we visited my father’s cousin there, Jack, who was the son of Constantinus John (Jack) and Ada Ellen Davies. But the links seem to have been lost over the years and the family records, when it comes to the Ross name descending from Constantinus and Spiros, go no further than the grandchildren.

The esoteric belief is that ‘energy follows thought’ so I like to think that energy is being sent out into the cosmos regarding Charlie Ross and his Greek origins and that eventually it will bounce something back to me.

There is a wonderful oddness to ancestry research and synchronicity seems part and parcel of the process. One of the oddest and most synchronicitous of circumstances involved Chrysantheous Christus and his English bride, Alice Maude Jones. In an amazing set of coincidences I was brought into contact with Alice Maude’s great-niece, Cathy, who lives in the United Kingdom.

About a year ago, cousin Spike Jones sent me an email along the lines of : Well you are not going to believe it but .....

Cathy, whose grandmother was Alice Maude’s sister, had been researching her family ancestry for about seven years. She started off with the paternal side, the Jones family and then having exhausted what was easily available, started on her mother’s side. A couple of years later she found someone based in Australia who was descended from her mother’s grandfather’s family.

God it gets complex and one ends up surrounded by countless ancestors which makes it very confusing at the best of times. Which is why, clearly, someone else is looking out for us and things just fall into place in the most unexpected ways. And everything happens slowly. Cathy’s stroke of luck came after years of patient research.

Cathy corresponded with the distant relative in Australia for a couple of years and then, in the past year, was told that some new records had gone online regarding British emigrants to Australia. Her Australian relative offered to do some searching for her.

Cathy told her that she knew Alice Maud(e) Jones had married an Australian soldier called Charles Christus Ross (actually Chrysantheous but he used the name of his brother Charles when he got married) and had then emigrated to Adelaide in Australia.

Cathy’s Aussie relative then emailed a cousin from her mother’s side of the family, whom she knew to be actively involved in ancestry research, to ask how to search the birth, marriages and death records in Adelaide and passing on the details which Cathy had provided.

And in that way that the ‘gods’ have, of playing sport with us, the cousin to whom the email was sent, was our Spike (Leonard) Jones. No doubt scratching his head as he typed one-handed, Spike wrote back to say that whilst Alice Jones was not in his line of Jones’s, his father’s sister, Hilda Rose Jones had married Charles Vangelious Ross, the brother of the Australian soldier, Chrysantheous Christus Ross who married Alice Maud(e) Jones.

So, while it was no-go with the Jones’s it seems that both Spike and I are related by marriage to Cathy and he was able to put her in touch with me, and other Ross relations who have been able to help her with research into her great-aunt, Alice Maud(e).

So who says the impossible can’t happen? Who would have thought it? A distant relative of Cathy's great-grandfather, living in Australia, is related to someone who is related to a great-niece, myself, of her great-aunt, Alice Maud(e) Jones. In short, Cathy and I share a great-aunt and great-uncle and are related by marriage. Cathy says she is still amazed and I must admit I am also still struck by the wonderfully synchronicitous nature of it all. Six degrees of separation for sure.

There is no doubt though that the internet makes such research very much easier and speeds up the process. It remains slow, but, given the amount of information Cathy and I have shared with each other and various ‘newly found’ relations over the past year, it is clear that the process of ancestry research via the internet is vastly superior to the processes of the past.

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