Sunday, January 12, 2014

Samaritan Sunday (January 12, 2014)

[If you should choose to adopt this prompt to contribute your own stories of folks who have gone out of their way to lend genealogy-related assistance to others, I would greatly appreciate a mention to Filiopietism Prism whenever you do so.  Thank you!  And please do use the same photograph below to illustrate the prompt.  ;-) ]

Winning a lottery is a fantasy for many, but how many have the opportunity to win a genealogy lottery set in motion by a Good Samaritan who sought to reunite a family with 120 years of memories?  Keith Bremmer of Windsor, Ontario, Canada and his cousin, Margaret Turner from Acton, Ontario, Canada (now living at Lake Chapala outside Guadalajara, Mexico), were participants in just such a lottery. 

Keith and Margaret's great grandparents, George and Jean Bremmer, came to Canada from Scotland in 1890 and by 1923 they were living in Kitchener, Ontario. One of the family items they had was a small wooden, velvet-lined lap desk in which they kept such things as a lock of hair, photos of family members taken in Scotland, and other mementos.  

Somehow after George and Jean passed away (1923 and the early 30s respectively), the lap desk and all its contents left the possession of family members and eventually found its way into a Toronto antiques shop.  Marvin Allen, a collector of inkwells, happened across the lap desk and thought it would fit in well with his collection --  so he bought it.  Marvin died in 1995 and his daughter, Marlee Petroff, ended up with the lap desk and the Bremmer family history it contained.

To find out what happened next and how Keith Bremmer and Margaret Turner found themselves entered into a "genealogy lottery" involving the lap desk, go here for the details and to see photographs of the lap desk, Good Samaritan Marlee Petroff, and family pictures from inside the desk.  

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Photograph of the The Good Samaritan sculpture by Francois-Leon Sicard (1862 - 1934).  The sculpture is located in the Tuileries Gardens in Paris, France.  The photograph is by Marie-Lan Nguyen and has been placed in the public domain by her. See,
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Copyright 2014, John D. Tew
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