Monday, September 2, 2013

Mysterious Mrs. Grout Strikes Again!

Last month I posted a story about my cousin finding a stash of family papers.  These papers have led to a few new discoveries, but also led to many new questions.  Who are some of the people mentioned in these documents? I didn't have them in my own research.  But the biggest question to me is “Who wrote these papers?”

It took me some time to figure this out.  The clues were limited to a few dates on the papers, several handwriting samples, a set of initials that appeared over and over, and some internal clues like “my grandfather  Andrew Munroe”.  This helped to narrow down what generation made the documents,  and perhaps which grandchild wrote the papers.

One paper scroll, with beautiful handwriting, was signed by Albert Munroe Wilkinson (1860 - 1908).  He is my great grandfather.  I was able to separate out all the papers with his handwriting, and then I was left with two other handwriting samples and some typed papers.  All the typed papers were done on the same typewriter with carbon paper.   Several of these reports had the initials “A. M. G.”.

This paper was signed by Albert Munroe Wilkinson
I was confused, because I don’t have any ancestors with a surname that starts with the letter G, at least not on this branch of the family.  After examining all the daughter’s marriages I found Olive Adeline Munroe’s (1836 - 1905) marriage to John Henry Grout in 1855.  This is the mysterious Mrs. Grout that I have blogged about previously.  In an earlier post, I found out that she was the family member who gave Albert Munroe Wilkinson a set of silver spoons.  These spoons all had the initial of his Munroe forebears, back to William Munroe who came from Scotland in 1650. Obviously Auntie Grout had a love of genealogy!

At the top is the section written by Albert,
and the bottom is a section in pencil (different script) signed A. M. G.

This is a sample page, typed with carbon paper
and signed A. M. Grout, Oct. 11th 1889
I have a feeling that Albert and his Auntie Addie Grout worked together to compile much of this stash of genealogy documents.  The typed documents were obviously from Mrs. Grout, and Albert had done the handwritten reports and charts.  Some of his charts were corrected or added to by Mrs. Grout, and she had initialed her penciled in remarks.  Bingo!  My mystery was solved!

Before seeing these papers, I did not know much about my great grandfather Albert Munroe Wilkinson. He died rather young of septicemia following a gall bladder operation at a Boston hospital in 1908.  I can’t imagine how horrible this was in the years just before the discovery of penicillin.  My grandfather, Donald Munroe Wilkinson (1895 - 1977), was left fatherless at age twelve.  But now I know that Albert and I were kindred spirits. Is the love of genealogy inherited? 

Copyright 2013, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

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