Friday, May 14, 2010

Ugly Rumors and Family Legends

As I said when I started doing these blogs on family history, I do not plan to leave anything out. Most of these people are long gone now. I do not think badly of old family members if some unsavory fact comes to light. It becomes just one of those colorful facts that occur in any family. I like the idea of reporting anything that I hear(within reason)as long as it is done without malice of any kind. We have to face the facts that times and morals have changed, and what may have horrified earlier generations might actually make folk heroes of them now. I am sure that there was a great deal of pain involved in some actions of the last two centuries, but these stories, good or bad, help to flesh out the character of the people. We often portray out ancestors as rather saintly individuals, but it is the memory of these people as old men and women that blind us to the younger and perhaps wilder people they really were.

I am told that William was in constant trouble as a youth, and may have actually been a horse thief...well, at least there were no hangings in the family. It is also said that his father may have been a deserter from the American Civil War.

Joyce Woods thought that William E. Mitchell went to Canada with Henrietta and stayed for a time, but could not take it for long before he returned to Massachusetts.

John Mitchell said that Harold told him that Wm E sold a grocery store and had extra cash so he bought two identical Hupmobiles. He gave one to Henrietta and gave the other to a mistress he was keeping in Boston. He soon got into an accident with his wife's car. It was badly damaged so it needed lots of time in the shop to repair. He went to Boston, borrowed the mistress's car and parked it in the driveway. His wife did not notice. The car was repaired and switched.

John said that Everett told the story of them all being around the dinner table. Henrietta said that she knew what was going on and demanded to know why he was seeing this other woman. He said it was for sex. She told him that he could have sex with her. He reportedly said that no one would want to have sex with her. She packed up the next day and got on the train for St. John, New Brunswick.

Grandfather Mitchell later married his mistress whose name was Lucy.

When she got to St. John with the kids, she went to her father's house. He said basically..."You did what?". She said he was keeping a mistress and her father said, "Who isn't?". She refused to go back to him, so he told her she could not live at home. He let her use a log cabin near the St John River. John Mitchell said he was named for the river.

Evidently, our father remembered going across the river in a horse drawn sleigh with the river breaking up behind them as they crossed.

John said that Everett,Lauretta, Helen, Harold and Richard's childhood home in Malden was a house on the corner of Pine street and the Fellsway East...Presently painted yellow.