It has been a bit like running the “antique Enquirer” on the blog lately. I have been amazed that it involved my family. The ancestors managed to pretty much kill the story by the time my mother came around. From what she said they just didn’t talk about family and the past at all, the story has been a real surprise to her too.
In the midst of the chaos that Edith and George created, 3 families took a hit. George’s family, the youngest being under 10, was scattered about when he took off to Omaha with what would become his third wife. I imagine his oldest son, who was 30 at the time, was left to deal with his younger siblings. Elijah Booth, George’s second wife Lizzie’s son, seemed to have been farmed off from the beginning of their relationship and her so called slide into insanity. The boy would never see his mother again after turning 12 when she was placed in the asylum.
Then there was Gertrude Harbottle-Tyrell, Edith’s illegitimate daughter. That child was marked on more than one occasion as an orphan. She was far from being an orphan as both parents were alive until she was about 21. Her father, Thomas Erastus Harbottle, according to Edith, recognized his daughter and paid for her support while she was housed in various places around Buffalo, New York. Both of Gertrude’s parents came from large families. Her mother came from a family of 6 siblings that eventually moved to Northern Michigan.
Her father’s family, according to a write up on her uncle, had 16 siblings. I have found 10 of the 16, seven boys and three girls, most of them remaining in Canada and at least one of the boys, Captain Harry G Harbottle, ended up in the Cleveland, Ohio area. At one point or another, Gertrude’s uncles sailed the great lakes as captains of ships. Heart disease would kill her father Thomas on board the ship Havana, outside of Houghton, Michigan before 1899, when he was near 40 years of age. Several of her uncles would also die from heart disease.
Colin Clark Harbottle, yet another uncle, would be famous for his bicycling ability during 1894 and 1895. He would then become infamous for the chase across the northern hemisphere after allegations were made of embezzled money from the bicycle club he belonged to. They would find him in Havana and extradite him back to Canada. Eventually he would polish up his tarnished name by entering WWI and earning the title of Colonel. Heart disease would claim his life too.
No matter what I search by I am having difficulty finding any trace of Gertrude. Her life consisted of being housed with the Keefs in Canada until being placed in the Episcopal Home. She would be a playmate for the son of Mrs Poole, his name was Gardner. Senility had taken over Mrs. Poole by 1918 and she had difficulty remembering writing letters, shown to her, to Edith and Gertrude. She did remember, vaguely, Gertrude being a playmate of Gardner’s. At some point in time Gertrude moved from the Poole house to the home of a widow.
Although her grandfather, Captain Thomas Harbottle would die in 1897, her grandmother Euphemia Clark Harbottle would survive until 1924. Gertrude would have been 48 by then and I wonder if she ever met her paternal grandmother.