This post is offered with some trepidation because some may judge my choice of words. I hope the truth, presented in the most honest and caring way I know of, will suffice.
For the CoAAG 3nd Edition I wrote about Percy Fenton. The question has been asked, how is it that I came to know about Percy? The answer is, Percy is in my data base, he is a half great-uncle to Man.
I chose NOT to go into the relationship in my post for the CoAAG 3nd Edition because it may have over shadowed Percy’s story. He deserved a post all to his own, paying honor to his service.
So, here is a bit of the back story.
Man’s great grandfather was William Franklin Fenton (1861-1939). William married first, Fannie Hurlburt (ca 1865- 1898). When William was left a widower, he married again, Ida May Jarvis (1875-1959). Nothing different here, except for one small fact, Ida was of black heritage. I have been told she was of black and Indian heritage, but, my research is a bit thin here, someday, I really need to do some more.) William and Ida had 5 children, Percy was their first born.
Place this in the time frame, around 1900. Even though this family lived in Nova Scotia, there was racism there too.
From what I can tell in my research and talking to living family members, this marriage created a huge chasm in the Fenton clan. The truth of it is simple, not nice, but, simple. William Franklin Fenton was cut off from the rest of his family. I have proof of some and stories of more. Telling them here in this format, will not change things, and may only create more friction for the some of family, so, I choose not to tell them at this time. They are ugly and this family deserves better. That said, the story is spelled out quite extensively in my data base, because I don’t want to ignore it either, and I don’t.
Man and I have been aware of this half of his family for a number of years, our children know about it, and have not expressed any opinions other than, WOW, that is pretty interesting. I have shared phone calls and letters and email with a number of Ida’s descendants. They are such interesting wonderfully warm people. Man and I are delighted to have made their acquaintance and the ability to share their common ancestry.
We are after all, family!
* I have also been asked how Percy's medal ended up on EBay, and, I have to say, I am not quite sure, but did find this quote, "The seller of Fenton's medal, who lives in Nova Scotia, refused an interview with CBC News", at one of the news stories I quoted in the original blog post.
**Percy left no heirs when he died, as far as I know, he never married.
Copyright 2010, CABS for Reflections From the Fence
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