Monday, April 21, 2014

The Curious Case of Haviland Marlow

Haviland Marlow
courtesy of Ruth Peacock
I have been in contact with my first cousin once removed Ruth Peacock, born Ruth Marlow, to whose work on the Marlow family tree I am indebted. She has generously shared her memories, her writings, and her photos. Ruth created a Marlow family tree back in the 1980’s for the purposes of a Marlow family reunion which took place then in Lougheed, Alberta, but she was unable to find much about her grandfather Joseph H. Marlow’s family background. I was delighted to share my findings with her.

A mystery she described back in the 1980’s is still unsolved, but us very tantalizing. She wrote the following, which she says took place in the late forties or early fifties:

“No trace of all Grandpa’s people is known—because an experience happened to me that tells me there is lots to learn of our roots. When my parents, my husband and I were in business in Alliance I was surprised one day to meet a young fellow from Ontario who in all aspects of character resembled my relations and above all carried the same name ‘Marlow’. Haviland was his first name. His voice resembled the Marlows to the point where it fooled my mother who thought, when she heard it that George Marlow had come to visit. No other incidents occurred to whet my curious appetite, but Hav some time later had a mind boggling experience that convinced both of us that we indeed were kissin’ cousins. It happened one day in the old ‘Saloon’ at Lougheed. It was after Hav had sipped at a few suds that he casually looked about him and saw a face so familiar that it disturbed him to the point that he wondered if he had imbibed too much too soon or was seeing images of the past. He compelled the urge to vacate the premises on the double and summoned his courage to inquire the name of the stranger. The man is George Marlow someone said—‘My uncle George Marlow has been dead five years’, Hav said, it can’t be true, this man can’t be George Marlow. This man was George Marlow and he resembled Hav’s Uncle George so much that he passed as his double. Hav said his uncles had the same family names of William, Fred and Tom. So there is something to this roots thing. Someone should do something about it before the valuable sources of folk-lore and information are lost by the wayside in the battle of life”.

Ruth sent me a photo of Haviland Marlow, and his obituary, from which I was able to start constructing a family tree for him. I found Haviland and his family in Durham County, Ontario. Hav did indeed have an Uncle George, and great uncles Tom and William, but no Fred as I can yet tell. His uncle George Marlow, born in 1878, died on May 2, 1943 in Whitby, Ontario. Ruth’s Uncle George Marlow was born in 1901 and died in 1985.

Haviland himself was born on May 17, 1929 in Nestleton, Durham, Ontario, the son of  Reginald Weldon "Ted" Marlow and Amelia Hunking. He died on June 2, 1984 in Rosthern, Saskatchewan.

I was able to take the tree back to the first ancestor from England, a John Marlow, born about 1807. I could not find him on my own tree, and have as yet found no reliable information linking him to a family or place in England. Some people on Ancestry have given him the father Thomas Marlow from Lincolnshire, but I can find no evidence for this. It is interesting that the area of Ontario where the Marlow family lived carries some of the place names from the general area of North Yorkshire from where our Marlows hail, i.e. Whitby and Pickering. I suppose this could mean that many of the original settlers came from these places in England.

I would be grateful to anyone who could help with locating the Ontario Marlow family’s roots in England.

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