Sunday, June 1, 2008

So, Aunt Connie, who were the Mestons?

I just got through with reading the ship diary of my ancestor James Meston, from his 1878 journey with his family from Aberdeen, Scotland to New Zealand on board the Oamaru.There was a sentence or two, or even a few paragraphs written for each day, along with their coordinates. It was fascinating to try to envision the scenery and the people on the ship. The most interesting thing was how they were all so unconcerned with death. About three or four people (including two babies) were recorded as having died on the ship, and then were never mentioned again in subsequent entries. Of course, everyone had about five children, so I guess maybe it wasn't such a big deal. It still made me wonder, though, if they really were grieving and it just wasn't recorded in the diary. It took me about 45 minutes to read this sparse account of the 12-week journey, and I am wondering about some of the smaller details. He often mentions the birds they see off the sides of the ship. I laughed a bit at the entry where the ship is "tearing along" at 13 miles per hour!

And now I know who the Mestons are, thank you very much.


Bela said...

And now I know who they are, too. Thanks for letting everyone know!!!

Gina said...

Well, the title of this small reflection is sort of a joke. It is said in our family that you shouldn't ask (Great-)Aunt Connie who the Mestons were unless you are prepared for a very lengthy response. :D

Oh, and I just learned that the name of the ship (also the name of a town in NZ) is pronounced AW-ma-ru, not oh-AW-ma-ru as I had thought. Just sayin'.

Bela said...


Maddie said...

wow, that's pretty cool.