Wednesday, May 03, 2006
Way Back Wednesday #1

Lucy Louise Mercier
my great-great grandmother was born April 10, 1854 New London, Connecticut, daughter of Edouard Mercier (1830-1908) & his wife Lucie Archambeau (1834-1911), French Canadian immigrants from The Province of Quebec who arrived separately with their families in 1848 and 1850 respectively. She was an accomplished local actress in the local Springfield Court Square theatre, an advertisement for which she posed for this photograph in 1878. Soon after, on March 3, 1880 she married Theodore Wyrwas, recent German Immigrant and with whom she had 9 children, the 2nd youngest of which, Florence Victoria (1892-1980) was my great-grandmother. Lucy was abandoned by her husband just previous to the 1900 Federal Census and soon afterward developed a hereditary mental illness which would plague her sister Minnie, 4 of her daughters and 5 of her granddaughters (including my own biological grandmother Filomena and her daughters Florence & Mary).
Toward the end of her short life she was confined to bed, at times restrained, and died as the result of multiple seizures at the age of 54 on June 1st, 1907. At the time of her death, her children ranged in ages from 13 to 26 and those who were minors were taken in by her siblings and parents. As a teenager I was able to locate and speak with her niece Lucy Wands Longwill (aged 97 at the time and of the perfect mind) who was the last person living to actually know and remember her. Lucy told me many things about her Aunt from memory and for a moment I felt transported backward into time, it was an amazing experience.
As the Way Back Wednesday posts are pretty much lost I am starting once again at the beginning with my first entry (although this one is a bit more detailed) and will build up again from there. As they progress I will reinstate the sidebar icon so that those who are interested may once again browse these old stories and photographs (which I am so very fortunate to have).
I have been slowly restoring old posts thanks to a couple fellow bloggers who have sent me cached entries dating back to last July when I started this blog. In the earliest days this place was more of a journal than anything, while at the same time detailing my mission to stop drinking, smoking and maintain a rigorous workout routine and diet. I've come a long way since then, and so has this blog. So far 56 of the original 325 posts have been recovered and it will take many months before the entire project is complete.
Yesterday was a miserable rainy day, I was thoroughly soaked during my run last night and had to crank up my heat to 75 afterward to get warm. April showers...etc. I spent the evening recomposing the lost posts, and answering queries posted on one of my genealogy sites. How exiting is THAT? Not much else to report or discuss, surprisingly I am neither tired today (the 4 miler each night is kicking my but, tho in a very good way) nor am I running late for a change. Time to shower and make my lunch. Hope everyone has a great Humpday!
Laters :)
S74 C12 148
Blogger toobusyliving said...
Great story - you have an amazing collection of photographs. Most of mine were ruined in a flood that is coincidentally posted on my blog today!

Blogger BriteYellowGun said...
"April showers...etc."

Except that it was May.

Blogger The Persian said...
haha I think I'm in a time warp or something.. when did May get here anyway??

Blogger CyberWarlock said...
I can actually see a bit of resemblance there :) It's odd when that happens a few generations later. My father's birth father (who he only met many years after I was born) has a painting of his grandfather in his house, which bears an eerie resemblance to me.

Blogger Ryan said...
what an awesome post!

Blogger purpletwinkie said...
Love the photo and the history!!!

Blogger barefoot_mistress said...
I think its so cool that you are doing all this, dad has researched our family back to Kings and castles. IT's so interesting! You are doing a fabulous job...

Now PG, go to the Tori post from yesterday and read my comment OK?

Blogger Sandouri Dean Bey said...
ditto to cyberwarlock. i don't know if this is from your birth line or a member of your adoptive family, but the resemblance is quite striking, especially in the upper half of her face.

Blogger barefoot_mistress said...
BTW I linked you! Zat ok?

Blogger Miz BoheMia said...
Wow! How do you find all this out? I am soo amazed by you! I wish I could do the same but my grandfather's roots are tied to Iceland and Denmarks and the Iraniand side is hard to research... harder than anywhere else as records and the like are just not really done!

You fascinate me my dear friend! Mucho, mucho, mucho!

It breaks my heart that you deleted so many entries!!! I am glad you are recovering some of them though... I still feel sad when I come over and see all those interesting links to more info on you gone though! So glad you stayed and are rebuilding it all!

Blogger dave in cleveland said...
so glad you recovered so much of your site jim, have been so busy at work last several days.....but this was awesome entry glad your back almost up to speed.......have a great day....:)

Blogger The_Gay_Dude said...
awesome post....and I hear ya on the time warp thingie!

Blogger DEREK said...
I hate that your old ones were lost, I'm glad your doing it, she was truly beautiful. Wouldn't you just love to be in the audience.

Blogger Sangroncito said...
How lucky you were to be able speak with a descendent!
I so wish I had interviewed my grandparents when they were alive. I just wasn't interested in geneaology in those days, unfortunately. They would have provided me with so much information that I've had to piece together myself.

Blogger Kalvin said...
This is really nice. I always feel reluctant about geneology because all of my relatives are psychotic about it (those damn mormons). Actually, my mother would drag me to libraries and make me scan marriage and death certificates for names and x's (signatures). I guess there is some wisdom in letting your children discover things on their own. It's truly amazing how many children people used to have. Nine kids? I only know a couple families like that...well, but yeah, mormons. Sigh...

Blogger Brad said...
The only things I will say to this particular post Jim is this:
1. I am so happy you decided to stick around and begin again.
2. I want to slap the shit out of you for making a decision "in the heat of the moment" and destroying a beautiful blog. Sorry, but I do LOL.
3. At least you stuck with us and hopefully saw that there are a hell of alot of people out here who have come to love you for the person you are. So my only comment on THAT would be to try and remember that the next time you are going through a tough time and maybe ask for suggestions or something. That ol "can't see the trees because of the forrest thing" ya know.

I was thinking as a sise note something you MIGHT want to think about is creating a couple of blogs for your boys and introducing them to the BASICS on it. Another friend did that with his kid. Wouldn't have to be something you shared with others except maybe when they did a particular post you could link you were particularly proud of or thought was cute. You would most likely find, the way kids and computers are now days... that they would be running circles around you very shortly on what they can do. My daughter, who started the internet world WAY after me has a blog that blows my mind in all the shit it does.
Anyway... sure am glad you stuck to it and are still with us my friend.

Beautiful post. So much affection and care. I envy you that connection that you have with your past. It's a really cool thing.
I'm up to three miles now myself. It's ok exept for the icepick that starts jabbing me in the thigh at about two and a half miles.

Blogger The Persian said...
toobusy: I lost much in a recent pipe-freeze incident, I feel your pain.

Cyber: Hm..I guess I don't see it but that is very cool you do!

Ryan: Thanks :)

purpletwinkie: I have a fascination with my ancestors..does it show? lol

barefoot: I have a number of noble lines, at least two stretching to Monarchs in Scotland and France.

Dean: It is my birthfamily, I can't believe two people see this yet I can't.

barefoot: Kool beans, I'll do the same later.

miz: Years of research, since aged 14. Ohh Iceland (I'm a big Bjork fan) how fascinating! I know all too well the difficulty researching my Persian side in Iran. "Forget it" my relatives tell me, but who knows, someday...

Well I am trying to get as many posts restored as I can, but it is incredibly tedious.

dave: Thanks buddy!

derek: Yes i've often thought about being there watching her, how amazing would that have been (in 1879 no less!)

sangroncito: Oh I was so thrilled back then to speak with her, she had the cutest stutter from youth but her mind was sharp!

kalvin: I used to volunteer at a local mormon genealogy library 3 times a month. It was some of the most rewarding time I've ever spent. I agree, some of them are mad crazy about documenting their lines.

brad: Yup I felt like slapping myself over that hasty move. Oh well lesson learned. I'm sure my sons will get into blogging on their own someday (if not here then Myspace) all the kids are doing it these days.

daniel: Thanks buddy :) I do have a passion for uncovering the past!

Congrats on the three miles, don't kill yourself with those workouts!


Blogger castor said...
I've never heard anything about mtDNA! Thank you for this hint! What an iteresting topic! Please, take careful! ... due to Gillette Banne (thinking of jealousy) :-)!!!

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