Today was our last day to find what could be found. We woke early and headed back to the Archives of Ontario at York University in Toronto. The words on my Archives pass to get in say, “The Thrill of Discovery.” I crossed my fingers, said a prayer and put my first roll of microfilm into the ScanPro machine at the computer. It was a film of The Colonial Advocate Newspaper in York for 1829. I advanced the film to the first screen shot, fitting and focusing the large image on the monitor, then my eyes scanned the page and adjusted to words set in type 184 years ago in this small frontier town. After reading through many articles and headlines, I noticed a small add for a Patent Beer & Cider Pump Maker. THEODORE TURLEY. Next door to Mr. J. B. Macaulay’s on Yonge Street, York.
We found him again. Or he found us. It was thrilling. Rick and I spent every last moment we had before racing to the airport this evening in those Archives, scanning and reading hundreds of pages of newspapers and documents. I think I’m bringing home over 700 pages of newspapers alone to study as I have time to go through them. Theodore is in those pages. Today I found 3 different ads he ran during 1829 and 1830.
As we headed back to the airport, we felt as if our week in Toronto passed in a few hours. We covered lots of ground and read from hundreds of books, documents and films, and looked at hundreds of photos. We are already talking about what to do the next time we come back.
Ancestral research is a thrilling discovery. It’s hard to explain to those who haven’t experienced that thrill yet, but it’s like stretching out your soul to embrace and to learn to love others in more meaningful ways. Both those around us and those who have gone before us.